Home » I Just Bought A Pontiac Aztek Tent, The Holy Grail Of Car Accessories. Here’s What It Comes With

I Just Bought A Pontiac Aztek Tent, The Holy Grail Of Car Accessories. Here’s What It Comes With

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The Pontiac Aztek tent — it’s a General Motors accessory so rare that many have perished on years-long, arduous quests to attain one. I, somehow, didn’t have to cross arid deserts or critter-infested jungles to get my hands on the Holy Grail of Car Accessories, but I did have to drive to Anaheim. What I purchased there for a measly $150 is a true masterpiece of in-car living, and one that I must share with you all now.

It’s GM part number 12497515, and it’s called the “Tent Pkg,Lift Gate (No Awning)” or “Tent Assembly.” Many have dreamt of it, few have actually seen it, and I never expected to be among the lucky latter group. Then, on Tuesday night, a moment of serendipity struck.

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I’d seen the tent for sale on Facebook for a paltry $150, and in what must certainly be a mistake, it seemed to have been up for multiple weeks by the time I messaged the seller — likely one of thousands blowing up his inbox. Somehow, in what I can only describe as kismet akin winning the lottery, he chose my message to respond to, and even agreed to hold the tent until I was back from the Toyota 4Runner debut event.

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But then, under the cover of darkness on Tuesday night, just after the 4Runner reveal, I showed up at the man’s house, and completed the greatest deal of my life: A priceless Pontiac Aztek tent in exchange for measly American currency.

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I feel bad for having ripped off Lino Perez, especially given the cute dog in his profile picture, but when it comes to Aztek tents, one has no choice but to be a bit ruthless. It’s a harsh, harsh world out there for those in search of The Grail, and I wasn’t going to let my normally painfully-agreeable nature screw me out of something that has potential to bring me lifelong happiness. Here, if you’d like to see what true ecstasy looks like, watch this clip I took just after leaving poor Lino in a true lurch — tentless, alone, and hollow inside:

 

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As you can see, I was feeling anything but hollow inside, because the kit appeared to be complete! And if you’re curious, here’s everything included:

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It’s actually a really simple kit. The Aztek-branded bag includes one large tent fabric, with one side open and the other having a big zipper-door. There’s a pole in its own separate bag, and in another bag there are tent stakes and outriggers. That’s all there is to it.

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Setup looks pretty simple per YouTuber WatchJRGo. Step one: You fold down the tailgate and open the hatch:

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Step two: You attach the back side of the tent (closest to the front of the Aztek) via its straps to both the wheel opening and the roof:

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Then you shove the tent pole into the front, and hook it all up to the fabric tent, which you wrap around the tailgate:

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Attach the outriggers from the top down to the ground, and boom, you have the masterpiece shown towards the top of this article. Heck, let’s show it again:

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Wow it’s beautiful. How I scored such a masterpiece without having to take out a loan or hire a hitman is a miracle that I will never understand. But I’m glad, because this is all part of an effort to get 200 readers to sign up for Autopian membership! We’ve seen, 93 new orders, 3 gifts, and 29 upgrades, for a total of 125 so far. If 75 more folks sign up here for a membership that gives you exclusive content and optional Autopian swag/custom artwork from Jason, then I’ll have to buy a Pontiac Aztek to go along with this tent, then daily drive that Aztek for a month and live in the tent for a week.

I’ve always wanted an Aztek, so 75 of you: Please sign up! I’ve got a tent locked and loaded, and now it’s time to find the 2000s-era hideous GM SUV to go along with it.

 

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Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
3 months ago

If starting up a new business wasn’t enough, David’s life is about to be even more intense.

Sorry

Not sorry

TheWombatQueen
TheWombatQueen
3 months ago

I’m gonna get my membership tonight.

Clive Wilson
Clive Wilson
3 months ago

The next time David visits Australia, he’ll have to camp in a Holden Torana with the optional Hatch Hutch.

https://assets.primecreative.com.au/imagegen/max/cr/625/-/s3/cougar-assets/tradeuniquecars/2020/11/09/Misc/holden-ls-xx-torana-hutch-hatch.jpg

beachbumberry
beachbumberry
3 months ago

I vividly remember watching the first season of survivor and one of the parts of the prize was a brand new aztek and they always showed it with that tent. I think seeing that in my formative years really inspired my love of car camping

Evan Shealy
Evan Shealy
3 months ago

https://norcalgtoclub.com/1974-gto/

Call me when you find a tent for a 1974 GTO.

Checkyourbeesfordrinks
Checkyourbeesfordrinks
3 months ago
J P
J P
3 months ago

Great scoop! Not sure if anyone on the Aztek forums has done this yet but this feels like a great opprotunity to create a set of plans using the tent pattern and specs, so other yearning Aztek owners can DIY it a-la the old Popular Mechanics guides!

JDE
JDE
3 months ago

Question is will it fit on the sister tot he Aztek, the Buick Rondezvous. You might have to get a pair.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
3 months ago

Looks like a diaper.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
3 months ago

Quick question: Is it possible to put a rooftop tent on the Aztek in addition to the hatchback tent?

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago

For those of us with slightly different proclivities, does this mean one day one of you might acquire a Nissan Pulsar NX and its rare optional Sportbak conversion top?

B/c for my money, a sport coupe that changes into a wagon, both with freakin’ t-tops, beats an Aztek camper any day!

Nathan Day
Nathan Day
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I have vivid memories of the ads for this Subaru from watching Saturday morning cartoons when I was maybe 7 or 8 (why they were advertising this vehicle in that time slot I have no idea). But the sports coupe/wagon with interchangeable tops left quite an impression.

Superfriends will return after these messages…

“Son, I thought we agreed you were going to buy the Subaru.”

“But Dad… I *did*.”

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Day

I remember the print ad copy, using the distinctive taillight pattern as the main motif.

My parents bought (relatively) large domestics, so it was completely forbidden fruit for me.

Zach Gilbert
Zach Gilbert
3 months ago

As a person who has owned what many consider “ugly” cars; late 90’s F-150s, Plum Purple PT Cruiser, and a Champagne Pontiac Aztek. I LOVED my Aztek. I traded one of my ugly F-150s for it, and it was phenomenal. It had the sunroof (first one I ever had), had the cooler middle console (coolest thing ever), and it came with the camping package so it had the tent and the audio controls in the back of the vehicle. It had a decent ride height, super smooth, plenty of headroom, and it was just as reliable as pretty much any Pontiac I ever had.

Great find, and thanks for bringing me down memory lane.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
3 months ago

This still looks better engineered than the Cybertruck tent. Now David needs an Aztek and a weekend sleep test

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
3 months ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

The Cybertruck tent is a major profit center for Tesla. 3000 bucks (the top rated ground tent on REI is 700). Those Musketeers will buy anything at any price with the Tesla logo on it.

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
3 months ago

David needs to track down that yellow Aztek show car that was on eBay motors in 2007. We all know which one it was, yellow, lambo doors, airbrushed art of a chimp holding a banana like a gun on the hood, and last but not least, the nice lady posing in front of the vehicle. I finally found a pic but it doesn’t do it justice: https://www.jagpromotions.com/images/jstyle/chimp2.jpg

TheWombatQueen
TheWombatQueen
3 months ago
Reply to  M0L0TOV

That’s insane

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
3 months ago
Reply to  TheWombatQueen

Yeah, it became a running joke on Jalopnik for a long time. Too bad I can’t find anything on it anymore. The eBay listing was absolutely insane!

Carter Young
Carter Young
3 months ago

Years, ago, I saw one of these in use at the trailhead parking lot to Jerry Johnson Hot Springs in deepest Idaho. The owner was crawling out of the back, and so (being the owner of many ground tents, with some costing more than my car at the time), I asked him how it was. He said: “Simply miserable.” When all zipped up, it leaked in the rain, and even with all the windows open, the condensation was was unbearable. It is, after all, only a single wall of coated fabric.

Pro tip if using this parked on the payment: use duct tape instead of the metal stakes to hold the guy lines to the ground (this what they do with tents pitched on the wooden decks of the Alaska Ferry). If you don’t use the guy lines, the thing will sway in the slightest breeze and collapse in a strong gust.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago

Neat find as a curiosity, but as a practical item, it doesn’t look like it really adds much space. I suppose some head room at the very back, but I would think some clip-in screens for the side windows so they could be open for ventilation would be cheaper, easier, less of a problem in case a quick getaway is necessary, and nearly as effective.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
3 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

But you can maybe stand up in it? That has to be worth something when you need to pee at 3am…/s

Collegiate Autodidact
Collegiate Autodidact
3 months ago

What a great score! Godspeed with your Aztek endeavor! You’re an inspiration, all the more reason to wish you good, nay, great luck.
There was an optional tent available for air-cooled VW campers which somehow attached to the side when the doors, either the hinged ones as with most split-screen buses or the sliding one as with most baywindow buses, were open but I have yet to see one in person. As with pretty much everything related to air-cooled VWs nowadays, such an item would be mighty pricey, certainly more than the 150 bucks you paid for that Aztek tent.
My 1969 VW camper is indeed remarkably complete, including a fairly uncommon mosquito net that fits over the rear hatch, but the original owner was a grad student in anthropology so she only ordered the most basic model which she actually picked up directly at the factory in Germany; she spent some time touring Europe and England in the camper before taking it to Australia to do fieldwork in the outback for a year or two. The second owner used it to camp in nearly every state in the continental U.S. with their family. I’m the third owner and while I did indeed DD the camper for many years I have yet to undertake actual camping trips in it but someday, someday, especially with the aforementioned inspiration. And, yeah, it’s pretty pathetic that my bus has been around more than I have.

Ophidia
Ophidia
3 months ago

I did sign up but it might have been right at the end of March. Count me too!

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