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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 2017 Touring trim.

Just beginning to research camping options. Wondering if anyone has experience on these questions:

What are the pros/cons of suv-attached tent vs standalone tent?
What are the pros/cons of Honda's tent vs Aftermarket ones?
Do the suv-attached tents introduce challenges with bug control and battery discharge on the car with having the hatch open?
Anything else to consider?

Thank you any thoughts.
 

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I'd rather just go totally separate. Easier to drive off if you need to make a food/beer run. Also not sure what the advantage is connecting a tent to a vehicle.

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The hatch being open shouldn't cause a battery issue if you put the light switch into the "off" position.
 

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Sleeping in a Pilot is great for one, realistic for two. I removed the second-row seats and built a platform to provide storage under and a flat surface. Lots of resources on that here and on the broader internet for ideas.

If you want the extra room a tent can provide, buy standalone. REI has good quality dome tents at a reasonable price. I don't see any advantage to a tent that only works when attached to a vehicle. Sometimes being able to move just a few feet from where you can park is the difference between being on a hard surface and grass, or having a great view.

Best way to investigate is to visit a popular state park and see what people are using to car-camp. I don't recall ever seeing a Pilot with an attached tent in my travels.
 

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I'd think a separate tent is a no-brainer. An attached tent is a bit of a gimmick although I'm sure it has some positives. But if your tent's attached, you're painted into a corner as to what ground you're sleeping on, and any experienced camper knows that that's kinda critical. The above points are great too -- your vehicle isn't tied to your sleeping quarters if you need to make a run somewhere, and with a separated vehicle, you have, well, separated spaces, which can be a good thing for a lot of reasons.
 

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I wonder how does the Pilot tent fair up against bears .... Since usually the vehicle is your safe point against a bear visit looking for that home cooked meal you just prepped...
 

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I camp over 50 nights a year, mostly in a tent, and find the free-standing but attachable "truck tents" to be the best setup. The old Cabela's one was fantastic but not made anymore, so my current one is the Napier SUV tent at around $350.

Cabela's truck tent with my old Subaru Forester -


Napier tent - Napier Outdoors Sportz #82000 4 Person SUV Tent



The Napier tent has two big doors with shades that zip down to cover the screened windows completely. The vehicle side tube is big enough for the Pilot, although I've found the zippers to be a bit touchy. The 4th side is the only one that doesn't open, but still provides ventilation. The top has one quarter as mesh with another small mesh panel, with the rest being solid nylon material -- so it is easier to heat in cold conditions.

So my requirements for a truck tent include a rain fly that completely covers the screened windows -- many modern "fair weather" tents don't have this. A good connector tube to the vehicle, and as little mesh in the roof as possible under the fly.
 
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