Images by Joel McGuirl
We’ve all been there. Trapped in a tent, staring out at the rain as it showers down relentlessly from above. Forced to snack on gas station jerky rather than the delicious steak kabobs you spent time prepping before your trip.
Of course, there’s always the relief from a simple blue tarp, but they require constant attention and are let’s face it, they’re exceptionally fugly. I know. Blue tarps are really cheap, I have used them for years too, but they tend to dry rot, the eyelets pop out of them and tear the crinkly blue material and again, they make our campsites look like a hillbilly retreat -making for embarrassing photos. Thankfully, there is a better option.
Slumberjack (SJK) recently released the Roadhouse Tarp which, unlike the blue tarp was specifically made to adapt to our rigs, campsites and lifestyles. It can either attach directly to the rear of your truck, Jeep or SUV allowing for a large living area to wait out bad weather or escape from the sun. Where most rear facing awnings have to be permanently mounted to a vehicle, and cannot be used away from your rig, the Roadhouse Tarp can be moved from vehicle to vehicle or setup without a vehicle at all.
There are three different configurations: A-frame without the vehicle, A-frame single pole with vehicle, and A-frame dual pole with vehicle. Leaving the Roadhouse Tarp at base camp will protect your chuck-box or table while you are off fishing or exploring during the day. The triangular shape encourages rain to run off of the sides rather than pooling and sagging in the middle. The A-frame single pole with vehicle configuration offers the same benefits while attached to the vehicle. The A-frame dual pole arrangement offers more living space by spreading the peak of the tarp out over a wider area.
One caveat, the mounting straps can make contact with your paint. In order to keep the straps from sanding your quarter panels down, you will need to either rinse the dirt away, or place a barrier between the two. A pair of towels should do the trick, just be sure to shake them out between each campsite as you travel.
The fly material is constructed of heavy duty 68D polyester (the same material used for the floor of the SJK Nightfall tent). This fabric is tough, waterproof and the color doesn’t clash with its surroundings -making for great photos no matter where you set up camp. The guy lines are reflective, which if you’re clumsy like me, is a necessity. The guy rope and pole attachments are reinforced with a heavy nylon material to alleviate stress on the eyelets.
The two included steel poles are segmented for portability and are eight feet tall adding more than enough headroom for an NBA center. The tarp is 160 inches long by 192 inches at the rear which explains the massive shadow it casts!
Overall, we’re very pleased with the SJK Roadhouse Tarp. Whether you are an avid hunter, camper, or overland traveler you will undoubtedly find this tarp to be handy. Give it a look, you won’t be disappointed.
Packaged Weight: 12 lbs 6 oz
Dimensions: 160” x 103” x 192” (trapezoidal shape)
Packaged Dimensions: 25” x 7” x 7”
Peak Height: 96”
2 Steel poles (96” tall, 5 segments each)
Fly Material: 1200mm, 68D polyester
Details from SJK website
3-in-1 tarp provides shelter for hunting, camping & off road adventures
Unique attachment system easily connects to most Jeeps, SUV’s and trucks
Option 1: Single pole “A-frame” setup with vehicle
Option 2: Dual pole “awning” setup with vehicle
Option 3: Dual pole “A-frame” without vehicle
Includes two heavy duty, 96” tall steel poles
Includes eight super-duty 10” steel stakes
Includes heavy duty reflective guy ropes
Includes carry bag
For more information on the SJK Roadhouse Tarp, visit slumberjack.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on this website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”