Imagine waking up on the roof of your Mini Countryman, with only the rustling of the wind through the trees and the chirping of early birds around you. The MINI Countryman – the largest and most spacious MINI ever – is perfectly suited for adventure. And now that Belgium is considering allowing wild camping again, we’re already dreaming of a rooftop tent on our vehicle. We had the opportunity to test out the Autohome Official Roof Top Tent for the Mini Countryman and are allready impatiently awaiting our next adventure under the stars.
Text Anja Van Der Borght
For now, wild camping is still not permitted in Belgium. This means you can’t just set up your tent anywhere or park your car or camper in a beautiful spot for an overnight stay. Fortunately, there are a few exceptions. For example, you can spend the night on someone’s private property with their permission. Through Welcome To My Garden, a Belgian citizen initiative, owners offer their gardens or estates as free camping spots. Another alternative for a unique outdoor adventure is Campspace. Campspaces are provided by regular people who, for a small fee, are happy to share their own piece of the outdoors with others. These lodging locations range from backyards in the Flemish Ardennes to special cabins in the woods. Bivouac zones also provide a solution for wild camping. And with a bit of luck, you might get a ‘yes’ if you kindly ring someone’s doorbell. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were invited to stay overnight on the private property of a horse lover in Damme after experiencing some unexpected issues with our camper. These kind people have since become good friends.
This summer, we had the fortune to unfold our rooftop tent on the Mini Countryman at the rolling private grounds of the L. Lodge event venue in Grobbendonk. While Mini doesn’t sell these rooftop tents directly, they teamed up with Autohome to create the ‘AUTOHOME roof tent for MINI Countryman.’
You have the choice between two tent sizes: a cube shape or a pyramid shape. Both tents offer enough space for two people to sleep comfortably. Even though the tent might seem ‘Small’ with dimensions of 130 x 210 x 94 cm at first glance, it occupies the entire roof space, and considering that there’s ample room for two people to sit comfortably in the Mini’s front seats with a transmission tunnel in between, there’s enough space in the rooftop tent to roll from your back to your side and enjoy a good night’s sleep without elbowing each other.
The tent, made of 100% fiberglass, is heat-resistant and remains cool. It comes equipped with an insulated under-roof that provides effective insulation, soundproofing, as well as a dry and quiet environment during rain. The only sound we heard when it started raining at night was the gentle patter of raindrops on the tent fabric – a sound we found delightful.
Both tents are easy to open: just release the safety hooks, and the tent automatically expands using 4 gas springs. The shell can be lifted in 2 stages, offering flexibility for your adventure under the stars with your MINI.
- ATLANTICO | OUTDOOR TEXTILES RECYCLED. Weather-resistant, lightweight, tear-resistant. Compact, moisture-expelling, soft, and smooth.
Ventilation – Removing Heat and Condensation 24/7:
- A 10 m2 fabric surface ensures the expulsion of heat and condensation (4400 g/day), eliminating the need for fans or complicated and generally ineffective gadgets.
Opening and Design:
- 2 doors with inner sealing strips and 2 windows with zip openings that have graduated arches. Rainproof.
- Fine mosquito netting made of fiber over doors and windows. Small, protective aperture: dimensions 1.12 x 0.96, akin to high-quality mosquito nets available in the market.
Elastic Stowage Net:
- Spacious elastic roof net for personal belongings.
- 4 fold-away pockets for small items (2 on each side).
- ECOLOGIC POLYURETHANE. High-density crushproof mattress.
- 2 pillows.
- ARIEL | RECYCLED. Polyester Fiber mattress cover and pillows with zips, perfectly matching the tent model.
- 1 touch-sensitive bulb with 3 highly luminous swivel LEDs (12 Volt battery included).
- 1 height-adjustable aluminum ladder with a safety clamp. The ladder can be positioned at any angle against the tent.
- Ladder cover with a zipper.