Planning stages for a dedicated roadtripper build (1 Viewer)


I can mangle anything ...
Jan 4, 2005
Baton Rouge, LA and Fountain Hills, AZ
Hi Mark, seems to me you are overthinking this by a whole lot - 6-8 weeks isn't a problem if the vehicle is well-maintained

park it with a trusted soul who moves/drives it once a month or so, and looks it over before you fly in to pick it up - throw your stuff in and go :steer: - list of cruiser contacts along the planned route, AAA Premium plan, spare battery, CB and HAM, paper maps

personally, I have a policy of no-camping where there is infrastructure or 'civilization', and even if money was short, I'd rather stay in the rock bottom motel of a rinky-dink village in god-forlorne BFE

so two 80 series did just fine for my sister and me on 10 days of a 2500-plus miles south-north-south US trip in 2019 - no fridges, but two Pumas - we did some remote trails, no serious rock-crawling, some dirt roads, some 80% asphalt :meh:
Jan 7, 2005
The Greatland
We have camped in tents with some pretty rough weather and been fine once we were able to find ways to keep the tent pegs from getting pulled out by the wind. I doubt any RTT would have held up well to that but maybe a hardshell facing the correct direction would have. Part of me thinks the best option is a good ground tent that is easy to set up and take down, a good awning for rain cover and shade and some good rain gear/cold weather gear for the rough weather. It is versatile, keeps the land cruiser with lower center of gravity and is lighter. You could still have a kitchen set up in the back of the LC for convenience and speed of meal prep.

That said, you could (and sounds like you were planning to anyway) bring a ground tent and use it when or if the RTT can't take the weather. That would add a little bulk/gear but is good to have a back up if needed. It is always a little more challenging to plan for a trip that is so varied in location, weather and activity. Sounds like it will be a great trip though.
We seem to lean in the same direction so far as the answer to this situation. I have to admit I find it a little bit odd how none of the adventure seeking overlanders ever run into it on all of their daring expeditions?

The more I think about the things that a rooftop tent doesn't do for you, the things it does do and the compromises it does or doesn't call for, the more I start to wonder if sticking with the tried and true ground tent approach might be more my style. We have a number of tents and of course all the personal gear for rough weather. I recently bought a half dozen of the roll out roof rack mounted 8x8 awnings that are all over the market these days. One or two of those will be earmarked for this rig regardless.
As it happens I have stumbled across one of these for a pretty good price locally.

Not really at the "gathering gear and equipping the rig" stage yet but I am thinking about picking it up and using it for some of my normal outings for a summer or two and seeing if I still like the idea. The usage will be very different but it should still let me form some more experienced opinions about the RTT thing.

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Nov 13, 2010
Found this comment on a RTT in the camping section here on mud (Roof Top Tent Choices - that commented on high winds/rain that seems favorable. Holding up to 50mp winds is pretty good. Just to be clear, I have no experience with RTTs so my opinion is worthless at best :). I was kind of surprised to see that this one did well in the wind.

Not sure how well a Tepui would do with the wind but would be interested in your review if you go that route. The only other review I saw regarding RTT and weather was for a terrapod that ran into some rough storms on their way to Moab with wind and hail and it stood up just fine.

In thinking about them, I like the simplicity of the hard shell tents for set up and take down but obviously there is the compromise of sleeping space since you are limited to the width/length of the roof. In order for a RTT to work for me I would need to store the sleeping gear in the tent and then store supplies in the vehicle. Since the roof footprint and interior footprint are about the same, It doesn't seem like there is much difference to me then to sleep in the vehicle itself and store bulky/dirty gear on a roof rack. It would ultimately be lighter and cheaper that way. The challenge I see with this idea is cold food storage. Most fridge/freezers seem to be too tall to set up a platform to sleep ontop of in the rear of the vehicle and am not interested in putting a coolbox or fridge on the roof ;) Maybe on a rear bumper carrier🤔? This keeps bringing me back to a ground tent that is quick to set up. It can be store on the roof rack with other dirty/wet gear making it easy to access and store since it is usually one of the first things to set up and last things to be be put away.

Glad you have time to try out options before committing but sounds like you have plenty of experience as it is. Maybe you could borrow a RTT instead of having to buy one incase it isn't quite meet your needs? Would hate to buy a tent that ultimately doesn't work. I guess they can be re-sold and the loss can be thought of as an opportunity to try something new/renting a tent.

Anyway, here is the review below of the tent that had the review regarding winds.

I have an iKamper. Really like it, sturdy, warm, waterproof, and an essential here in AK it is dark inside. I have the skycamp mini on yakama round bars on my 200. Usually I’m of the school bigger is better but with RTT’s I like the smallest I can get away with. The mini is a 2 person tent but me and both my Teens can sleep in it just fine. We use it on our fall hunting trip up the Dalton to the Brooks range here in AK. This year we had 4 days of rain, up to 50 mph winds and temps in the 30’s. The tent did great.

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Car Camper Extraordinaire!
Aug 4, 2006
I have in fact looked at those along with a lot of other roof top setups. Everything from Expensive Italian Stuff to Cheap Chinese Crap... ;)

I am liking the larger size of some of the soft tents. But I have to wonder how they would stand up to high winds. We have enjoyed being snuggled down in the sleeping bags in good tents while sitting out a few kick ass thunderstorms. The kind where it seems like someone has turned a hose on the tent and the whole thing would probably rip loose and fly away if it were not for your weight inside it. The better quality hard shells seem like thy would probably stand up to that. Not so sure about ANY of the soft tents. For that matter I have to wonder just how effective awnings that pass for "rain flys" would be in any real rain. Nothing wrong with catching a hotel room here and there, but it would suck to be chased out of the back country by a few days of rain. :(

I don't think I have ever read/heard that discussion when roof top tents are compared. The assumption seems to be that you will only camp on pretty days?

Hey Mark,
The Campteq is a Roof Top Tent for some or more of a new roof if you do it the way we did. We cut our entire roof off and the Campteq was the top/bed. We could move the bed out of the way and have standing room. Full time in the truck for 3 years meant we wanted a bit more room and we didn't want to have to go outside to get into bed. I would still say that the poptop still didn't like the wind and rain. You still just have fabric between you and snow/water/wind/smokey fires/loud music. So, whatever you do, I'd suggest a downstairs bed. We now have a composite box on an 80 so it works well to sleep up stairs or down to take care of those issues.

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