Best hard shell roof tent?

Joined
Jan 18, 2020
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143
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MA
Hi guys

I got a 2019 LC200. It’s myself, wife and two kids ages 2+5, just looking for a roof tent. I was thinking for now a James Baroud XXL would be the best out there? And be ok for us?

Are they the best or look at other options?

Does anyone also use their tents in freezing temps and manage ok with the winter liner kits?

Anyone leave them on ‘permanently’? Is that ok with extreme heat summer and extreme lows in winter like we get in New England, or should they be removed?

If they need to be removed then is this a multiple person job? I don’t have much help, just me and the wife

Also, if this can install to go on the roof rails, is there a point then in me buying a roof rack? As it would cover it completely

Lastly, anyone install this on their own? Is there much to it?

Thanks in advance for help and suggestions
 

arnott1t

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Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,682
 
 
 
I have a James Baroud and really don't like it and wouldn't buy it again...
1. Most fabric is held by velcro on the bottoms of doors and windows. I've worken up with an arm or head out of the tent
2. My discovery leaves your head exposed to rain unless buttoned up tight... then its a hotbox....
3. Bug netting is sufficiently large to let no see ums in... it does keep birds out
4. Mine is 5 years old and the glass top is getting a bit saggy... I haven't treated it well though.
5. I'm not a big dude but its still a little small for two people. an XXL would solve that I expect.

I love:
1. how easy it tears down
2. how easy it tears down.
 

pappy

photosynthesizing
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Too far north. Too far east.
 
 
 
Look at the iKamper 2.0. I believe it's a family tent.

 

pappy

photosynthesizing
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Too far north. Too far east.
 
 
 
Does anyone also use their tents in freezing temps and manage ok with the winter liner kits?
I just use one, and sometimes two sleeping bags.

Anyone leave them on ‘permanently’? Is that ok with extreme heat summer and extreme lows in winter like we get in New England, or should they be removed?
My Autohome lives on my 4R. It never comes off. I use it too much. I'm in the southwest. I can't speak for the northeast.

If they need to be removed then is this a multiple person job? I don’t have much help, just me and the wife
It is a multi-person job unless you have a forklift, or some kind of hoist system in the garage.

Also, if this can install to go on the roof rails, is there a point then in me buying a roof rack? As it would cover it completely
You don't need a rack. Several of us use Yakima, Thule, or Rhinorack load bars. For a 200, you are probably looking at a rack. A fella in the club has an iKamper 2X on a Front Runner rack.

Lastly, anyone install this on their own? Is there much to it?
I would not even try to install without some brew and buddies … or some way to mechanically lift it. It's not hard to install, just big and heavy.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
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Arizona
I think AutoHome RTT's are among the best RTT's on the market.
Everyone seems to favor the aluminum clam shells thinking they are better and stronger, I don't buy into that, they absorb tons of heat from the sun, something Fiberglass will not do. Most, if not all aluminum RTT's weigh considerably more too.
AutoHome is the only manufacturer (that I know of) that builds a hand laid glass shell using heavy fiberglass matt, all the other brands are sprayed with a chopper gun using fiberglass strands. The difference in strength is tremendous!
90% of the new RTT's out there are copies of what AutoHome has been building for decades.

As always, your mileage will vary.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
143
Location
MA
I think AutoHome RTT's are among the best RTT's on the market.
Everyone seems to favor the aluminum clam shells thinking they are better and stronger, I don't buy into that, they absorb tons of heat from the sun, something Fiberglass will not do. Most, if not all aluminum RTT's weigh considerably more too.
AutoHome is the only manufacturer (that I know of) that builds a hand laid glass shell using heavy fiberglass matt, all the other brands are sprayed with a chopper gun using fiberglass strands. The difference in strength is tremendous!
90% of the new RTT's out there are copies of what AutoHome has been building for decades.

As always, your mileage will vary.
Will check them out
 

Willard

SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 5, 2007
Messages
2,021
Location
Northern Virginia
 
 
I think AutoHome RTT's are among the best RTT's on the market.
Everyone seems to favor the aluminum clam shells thinking they are better and stronger, I don't buy into that, they absorb tons of heat from the sun, something Fiberglass will not do. Most, if not all aluminum RTT's weigh considerably more too.
AutoHome is the only manufacturer (that I know of) that builds a hand laid glass shell using heavy fiberglass matt, all the other brands are sprayed with a chopper gun using fiberglass strands. The difference in strength is tremendous!
90% of the new RTT's out there are copies of what AutoHome has been building for decades.

As always, your mileage will vary.
I second this. I have had both and Adventure model and an Extreme model over the years. I prefer the hand crank ones as they are simple and just work.
Both I bought used and both were over 10 years old.

I had new mattresses made and they were used for another 5 years each. Basic care they will out last you.
Well worth the investment.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
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MA
Both AutoHome, James Baroud our of stock until October, iKamper 6 weeks
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
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143
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Ended up going james Baroud Grand raid xxl and the falcon awning and walls
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
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Herndon VA
I have the Grand Raid XXL and slept in a New Jersey / Pennsylvania winter (winds and cold rain) and i had to remove my sleeping bag i was so warm (I used the thermal insulation barrier as well. The key is to get a low profile sleeping bag that can stay in the tent year round.. i found a two person bag from North Face on REI that was on sale.. the ones on Amazon made by Teton i found were too thick to close the tent ... but it sure was warm! My only complaint about the XXL is the weight. Might be an issue with 2 kids ( we sleep up there with our Malinois dog... it is roomy enough for the three of us. I like how you can sit up with no issues. Glad you went with the James Baroud!
 
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Sep 15, 2015
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Vermont
We bought the Tuff Stuff Alpha....from what I can tell, basically the Ikamper for $2000 cheaper. The lifting is heavy, especially with a tall vehicle. The mounting is not difficult but takes patience if there isn't a lot of room between the tent and roof. We live in New England and take the tent off usually in October and store it for the winter. No issues leaving it on during the other 6-8 months.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
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Location
MA
We bought the Tuff Stuff Alpha....from what I can tell, basically the Ikamper for $2000 cheaper. The lifting is heavy, especially with a tall vehicle. The mounting is not difficult but takes patience if there isn't a lot of room between the tent and roof. We live in New England and take the tent off usually in October and store it for the winter. No issues leaving it on during the other 6-8 months.
thanks bud! Good to know as I’m in MA also
I got a James Baroud Grand RAID XXL and installing it was pretty tough
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
143
Location
MA
Congrats on the tent! Glad we could help you out. When you get it all set up with the awning, definitely post a few pics!
will do, it’ll be a while because I have to order a full roof platform rack in order to support the awning. And that’s a month or two off.
Just the tent for now
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
586
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Santa Cruz
 
Ah, yeah everything is on backorder it seems. Glad you at least got the tent! And yes, we do 2 crossbar setups all day. Spread them as wide as you can on the 200 front to back.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
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MA
Ah, yeah everything is on backorder it seems. Glad you at least got the tent! And yes, we do 2 crossbar setups all day. Spread them as wide as you can on the 200 front to back.
Yeh the max the Rhino rack suggests is 31.5” apart...not that much really
 
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Aug 5, 2020
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on the road
We have the Grand Raid XXL on our 2018 LC200 and aside from what arnott1t said above re the mesh being insufficient to keep out the tiniest of pests AND the velcro doors (we‘re all girls with long hair and it does pull out our hair) we love our Grand Raid. We also have a Tepui RuggedizedKukenam 3 (better mesh and zippered doors) but we choose the James Baroud every trip bc one of us can pop it up or down alone in about a minute. Also the mattress is amazing. We have ours on a Frontrunner rack and Frontrunner’s quick release tent mounts are a game changer... four of us (all girls) can take it off after trips or put it back on no problem so you’ll definitely need extra hands for that.

James Baroud is great with customer service and has mailed us parts whenever we needed them.

We also leave our double sleeping bag in the tent and it accommodates it well, but we just ditched the ladder bc we have so much stored in our LC and the tent is harder to close with both the bag and the ladder up there. We installed a Gobi ladder on the rear hatch and it’s the best thing we’ve ever done to streamline our organization/storage.

Re: the bugs getting in to the James Baroud, we were actually fine for three years of mainly west coast and west Canada travels. We’re also based on the east coast and never had a problem with bugs getting in until camping on the east coast this summer- just never use any other light while in the tent other than red light (headlamps). All said we love it and the storage above the Grand Raid XXL is super helpful (just don’t overload it).

Looking forward to seeing your awning!
 
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