Pulling in tent material while closing up?

Has anyone come up with a good solution to ensuring the tent material does not get pinched when closing the top down? I just bought my GFC used (thanks Brad). Is there any tricks or modifications that make it easier. It is on a Power Wagon so it is ~7’6" to where the tent needs to be tucked in. My wife is 5’2" so no way she can walk around and tuck it in and many times I will be solo camping. When I am pulling down I alternate sides tucking in but it seems like I get one side nice and tucked in and the other side flops out a bit. I am not all that tall at 5’9" either so just thinking others have experienced the same issue. thanks in advance.

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Standing on the tailgate, here’s what works for me…

  1. Leave all windows and doors open about 6-8".
  2. Close it all the way to get all the air out; let the tent sides spill out
  3. Lift one side about 1-2", push/pull the tent in, and close it.
  4. Look at the other side and do the same thing.
  5. Look at the rear of the tent and push any tent material in.
  6. The tent should close with a few little adjustments.

Keep in mind that the tent will close easier with use. If the previous owner didn’t use the tent much, it may take some time. I liken the whole activity to a little game of whack-a-mole. It definitely gets easier with use though. The only way to ensure no pinching is to look all around. The key is not reopening the tent more than a few inches.

Peace.

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For what its worth, I have this small folding dog step ladder that is easy to pack and lightweight to access the roof racks, might be a good addition if you are having a hard time reaching the height of the tent. It is also handy for hopping up onto the tailgate.
https://www.amazon.com/Folding-Portable-Steps-Medium-Doggies/dp/B08GNX74XF/ref=asc_df_B08GNX74XF/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=459503239362&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15820689021335168605&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9033572&hvtargid=pla-950268228459&psc=1

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I open all the zippers 1/3 or the way, then pull the tent down to the point it stays in a neutral position. Then I take my arms and swipe the side inwards as much as I can. Then just tuck in the back and close it up. Sometimes the window carabiner loops stick out but usually it works first try.

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these steps are helpful

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VGFXZHF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

like @jedgar pull the lid almost all the way down to get air out (with zippers part way open, arm sweep each side, attend to the rear portion, and then just check each side as you close, sometimes a quick extra tuck, also we usually dont lock one side with out making sure the opposite side is good to go

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has anyone used shock cord wrapped around the tent too pull it in as it is lowered. Seems like that might work.

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I let it down stuffing the sides in on the way down. Once down relaxed and air is out I open it several inches and that seems to create a small vacuum and help suck the sides in while finish stuffing. I have 2 rumpl blankets always up there, I fold the blankets so they touch the front hinge and have about 10-12 inches space around the other 3 sides to allow room for the tent to lay into.

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I had this on my Alu Cab. It came with it. Not sure why GFC hasn’t implemented it into their tents. Makes closing the tent a breeze.

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Found a drawer handle and used T-nuts to mount to the back. Cut a 10 ft section of old climbing rope, and fastened one end to a carabiner, which lives in the back of the truck when not in use. Before popping the top, simply attach carabiner to handle and voilà.


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I have installed a bungee cord (1/4 inch, I believe) around the tent inside the front overhang and it helps. But as someone else said, a simple walk around is best. I installed an awning on the drivers side so tucking in on that side is more cumbersome but still doable. The bungee I installed around the tent also helps to keep the doors up when open. But I still walk around to check for loose material.

I leave the two small cushions out and that leaves space for the tent to fall into the truck a little which makes it easier, of course this may not be desirable depending on what you have in the back.

It’s on my short list of things to do:

  1. full Velcro hook tent headliner (materials are waiting for me at home)
  2. replace locks with C5 locks
  3. shock cord to help close like alucab uses

I am a petite women and right now I can not close the tent… so thinking of this same set up. Handle and rope! thanks for the pic.

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Ensure aluminum latch locks are in the down and locked position. Slightly pull the roof down and as the tent naturally closes, give your tent a hug. When tent lands on the closed aluminum latches, giving you about 4 inches of play, open aluminum latches to the unlocked position. Slightly raise the roof holding the roof with your chin to prevent it from fully opening, hug your tent again getting all fabric in. Lower roof with your chin or freed hand and move latches to the locked position! Simple!

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Interesting. Can you put the small panels back in place from inside the bed and stuff the tent fabric back up?

I found a simple fix! I added these orange loop things from harbor freight to make it easier to tie up the flaps. They hang from where the carabiners are and are about 2-3 feet long. This also give me something to hold onto when pulling the tent down. I grab them on each side and pull the tent down with the other hand. This pulls the tent flaps in too. Hard to explain but will upload pics if needed.

Not really but I was just leaving them out. I’ve changed my approach with practice and just leave them in and can tuck the tent effectively. I did just order the 1" foam topper by Shop — Overland Softgoods so I think that will make it a little tighter to close getting the tent all tucked in by I’m confident I’ll get it figured out.

Alright here’s my update. I have the bungee and will be testing out using it this weekend. I got a marine grade superbungee which is 4’ long and has 5x stretch. If it needs to be any longer, static cord is the ticket. Just got it and it’s awesome. Idea will be to copy the alucab closing bungee when it’s open you pull it down and hook it on the rail. When closing just pop it up on the tent and close.

Will let you know how it goes!!

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The bungee worked - added about a foot of static cord at each end - it stretches far enough to lower away from tent and still has enough stretch to pull in the entire time the tent is closing.

IT DOES NOT HELP pulling in the flappy floppy loose af tent fabric on the sides. because they aren’t really flat to start, and the bottoms of the side windows are just dropping there with nothing to hold them in - they still wander out of the clamshell even with a really well performing uniform centered bungee pull. Bollocks… guess it is just going to continue to be a 30 second open and a 5 minute close for the duration. Since getting my new tent, it actually is flappier and floppier and looser on the sides than the original one - so now I close it, give it the big hug, pull it down, tuck in as best i can, then get off the tail gate, walk around, open it an inch on left side, tuck in, walk to right - open an inch, tuck loose tent slop into aluminum, then finally on the back because while doing the sides, something came back out the back.

If you want to see how it SHOULD work, check this video…I have such tent envy when I watch these videos… Tips & Tricks with Warwick: Closing the Tent - YouTube

Oh well, was a good idea none the less.

Interesting. I picked mine up in may and I feel like mine closest so easy and tucks in. Especially empty. If I have pillows and bags up there it’s a little more trickier and I’ll get off the tailgate and push it in.

Bit empty it’s super simple.