Roof Top Tent Discussion

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I wanted to discuss the roof top tents what works and what you would change if you did it again. There are so many options and configurations out there and the prices can balloon from a $1000 all the way up 3K. Definitely want the fold out vs the hardshell for the overhang aspect. Cody made a great point that stuck with me on the ladder placement @elephantsCBR and I definitely want to get the combo with the annex for changing, sitting area, storage or extra sleeping space. @wemahfouz
 
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The fold outs can be a real pain to put away, depending on the height you've got it mounted. I went hard shell and gave up the extra space after having an ARB Simpson III, and it's been a huge improvement in that my setup/teardown time is super quick. With the fold out, it was more time and effort than a ground tent, but it did have benefits - being up off the ground is great regardless.

I've got my Maggiolina Extreme up for sale in the classifieds, if you change you mind on the hard shell vs fold out, by the way :)
 

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Thanks for the feedback I can definitely see the appeal to the ease and quick setup with the hard shell. Long term my plan is to have an adventure trailer with a rooftop tent and annex we can setup for a few days and do some exploring in the 200 maybe even adding a 2nd RTT or hard shell to the top of the 200 for when the teenagers come. I'm in a state of transition I went from a Mega-Cab Diesel towing a 5th Wheel around the country with the family to looking at RTT's. My kids are older now and their schedules work/school are busy and don't allow for the camping much anymore. I sold that setup and want something to accommodate the wife and I and would certainly splurge for 2nd RTT when the kids want to come. My son and I did a lot of backpacking with the boy scouts and we have some nice Kelty lightweight ground tents so we're not foreign to tent camping but the girls are gonna take some work :D
 
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I can't decide if I want a RTT on my truck or just pull a small camper trailer. Could get a small trailer and put an RTT on it and have the option of movingmovi RTT to the truck anytime I don't want to pull a trailer. There's so many options available and I have a fee custom ideas, it is hard to sift through it all to figure out the best option. I really like the habitat topper design but they are expensive.
 

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I certainly understand bud, long term I want an adventure trailer to set up a few days so the rig is free for exploring, short term I'll go with RTT to mount on the rack that can be moved to the trailer when needed will just depend on the trip
 
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I also want to have a trailer so I can setup camp and have the truck free to explore or make a run to town if the need be. I plan to have the wife and/or kid with me eventually and also want to have space for 2 or 3 people. I really think a nice little trailer is the way to go for me but it will be a while before I can get there.
 
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The fold outs can be a real pain to put away, depending on the height you've got it mounted. I went hard shell and gave up the extra space after having an ARB Simpson III, and it's been a huge improvement in that my setup/teardown time is super quick. With the fold out, it was more time and effort than a ground tent, but it did have benefits - being up off the ground is great regardless.

I've got my Maggiolina Extreme up for sale in the classifieds, if you change you mind on the hard shell vs fold out, by the way :)
If I found the right hard shell for the right price I'd take it. I've seen some really nice ones. I'm not sure about the Maggiolina Extreme...
 
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Roof top tents only seem like a good idea if you travel in areas without wooded trails to me. I would always be concerned with damaging my expensive tent on low limbs or trees during off camber section. How much more comfortable can it be than a Coleman tent and air mattress?
Not bashing just discussing and wandering the true benefits of a tent that expensive from a guy with no experience with RTT's.
 

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I don't want to be sleeping in a tent on the ground. LOL
I know the feeling I can do it on occasion but even with sleep mats its hell on the back, the older I get the harder it gets though Holden's Scout leader is in his 70's and does it all the time. Makes the Dads feel like whimps :lol:. At yesterday's meeting another member Q gave me the copy of Toyota Owners with the RTT review I'm gonna look it over my Prisnu rack is ordered.
 

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Roof top tents only seem like a good idea if you travel in areas without wooded trails to me. I would always be concerned with damaging my expensive tent on low limbs or trees during off camber section. How much more comfortable can it be than a Coleman tent and air mattress?
Not bashing just discussing and wandering the true benefits of a tent that expensive from a guy with no experience with RTT's.
Agree John definitely don't like the idea of running heavily wooded trails with limbs whacking your tents all the way through but I have to say Cody and Will's held up well on the High Water Mark trail last spring. I've seen some those overlanding series use them as well and seem to hold up to daily abuses of the trails and setting up every night. The advantages from my point of view.

  • Time saved in setup and tear down of camp. Now this depends on the individuals Holden and I can setup and tear down our single backpacking tents and a down bag in mins and be on our way but setting up to make the wife comfortable in a ground tent we're talking bigger tent, air mattress and some additional comforts to keep her comfortable. Talking to Quintin, Cody and Will 20mins to setup the RTT you can leave your bedding and down bags in it and you have a nice comfortable mattress already in there.
  • Off the ground. In rocky, uneven terrain or even muddy terrain its hard to find a good spot for a ground tent. Also in heavy rains even the best sealed ground tents can get water in them.
  • In a travel situation setting up camp in a different location every night I'd have to think the advantage goes to the RTT.

Expedition Portal Head to Head article discussing them both.
Head to Head: Roof Top or Ground Tent
 
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Roof top tents only seem like a good idea if you travel in areas without wooded trails to me. I would always be concerned with damaging my expensive tent on low limbs or trees during off camber section. How much more comfortable can it be than a Coleman tent and air mattress?
Not bashing just discussing and wandering the true benefits of a tent that expensive from a guy with no experience with RTT's.
I completely agree, having and expensive tent up so high puts it at risk. On a pickup you and reduce the height of the tent, protecting it from trees and such but that's not a perfect fix. Not so easy on a 4rnr or an LC. Here are a few pros and cons as I see it.

Pros:
Easy setup and teardown, you can even leave the bedding in place for the most part.
Greater flexibility in camp locations, just need to park so the truck sits fairly level.
Always off the ground, rain or shine...
When open it provides a shaded area next to the truck.
Like a camper you can have more permanent power or other hookups since it is mounted to the truck.
Better mattress than a typical air mattress.

Cons:
Expensive!!!
For the price there are other options with just as many advantages.
Heavy compared to some other options.
Sits up high risking damage from trees and alike and raises the center of gravity.
You have to pack up camp to move the truck.
Have to climb a ladder or something to get in and out.

There's a lot more than I listed here but I'm not an expert either. It seems like the options are endless.
 

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All good points, in the end its up to the individual and budget that fits your trip and travel needs. Though the RTT's are pricey its still a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of RV ownership with storage, insurance and the maintenance. I hope its a middle of the road solution between the ground tents and the RV's for this point in my life so we can still go out and enjoy a few trips or meet up with the family. When I'm done paying for the kids college I'll go get that motorhome and tow a cruiser behind it if I'm not too old by then :meh:. My parents inspire me they travel the country and enjoy it. They raised us camping so I guess that passion to travel and camp was passed on from them. They leave for a 4 1/2 month trip to Alaska this will be their 3rd trip covering from the Canadian Rockies up to the Northern Point of Alaska on the Alaskan HWY and back down the coast. This is their second Sprinter Motorhome. I'd prefer to see Alaska in a Land Cruiser off the beaten path on one of the Alaska Cruiser Treks but his route is pretty grand as well catching the salmon run and watching the grizzlies and seeing the Northern Lights.
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