Rooftop tent question

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I'm designing a rooftop tent for my FJ80.

Why do most RTT designs go across the vehicle, rather than folding along it (front to back)?

I've been seeing more and more 70 series cruisers running around with campers on top of them, so it got me wondering why, if I'm making my own, I wouldn't just build it to fit along the long axis of the cruiser.

Thoughts? Any RTT design tips to share?
 
Also: is this design a good idea or a bad idea? I don't think I'll build it, but I can't quite think of enough reasons not to.
It'd be two sheets of plywood covered by tent fabric.

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The "typical" clamp shell type RTT can be positioned in any direction on the roof of a vehicle. For whatever reason, most seem to have it opening off to one side. When I had mine on the roof, it opened over the rear gates.

As for the one you have sketched, there are several companies with that similar design (Autohome Columbus model comes to mind) as well as others that pop straight up, like the old VW camper vans.
 
seen plenty (mostly non Land Cruisers) that flip out to the back as well. Depends on where you'd like it and for what reasons.
Over the back can be good if you have a tailgate and spend some time back there - in that you now have a 'roof' and some protection (Rain). However not great if you are cooking off the tail-gate ans some of the smells make it up to the RTT.
Are you planning an outside awning that comes from the RTT down to the floor so you can have a protected 'room'

If you've not already I'd go see some of the regular RTTs in action (not just brochure and videos) and get some 'feel' for what works and features you'd like. finding a 2nd one likely cheaper than building one from scratch
 
I'm designing a rooftop tent for my FJ80.

Why do most RTT designs go across the vehicle, rather than folding along it (front to back)?

I have a eezi-awn series 3 (med) and a longroad regalia (large) RTT that I swap between depending on where I'm camping and the weather.

To answer that question I think its because vehicles roofs are not squared. If you want a RTT that flips to the back of the vehicle it would end up being longer then wider or a very small tent. So it would be 5ftx 12ft. So unless you are a family of pygmy indians its going to be hard to stretch out.
 
flippin to front or back means you won't have that space for storage (or say it's shared roof rack with other things). with ladder to the front you'll have to make sure your ladder can set up properly (i've seen some where a short ladder ends up at the top of the tube front bumper and they climb from there). flipping to either side will alow you to set up an awning room which most fold out RTT comes with. also acts as extra shade. flipping back over the tailgate is cool too but good comment on food smells going up if you cook from the back.

with regards to your sketch, guess anything can be done. gotta consider your material around the three sides and making sure it's waterproof and secured tightly. depending on how tall it folds up, you'll have little room for your feet, assuming the head goes at the widest part. i'm guessing it's a super rough draft but you might also want to leave space for a mattress? or keep it super flat and just add thermarests?

anyway, it'd be cool to see a more low profile/thinner clam shell type rtt as you have sketched!
 
Also: is this design a good idea or a bad idea? I don't think I'll build it, but I can't quite think of enough reasons not to.
It'd be two sheets of plywood covered by tent fabric.

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Your design copies what is already out there, but most "Clamshell" RTTs have a fiberglass shell, not wood. Tent fabric covering would help protect the wood, but be extremely hard on the fabric and it would not last long. Also, being an owner of a CVT Mt. Baker, the hinge end of your design will suffer for lack of foot room. I think it's cool though, that you want to build your own. Not trying to discourage your efforts, just sharing experience. Good luck :cheers:
 
Your design copies what is already out there, but most "Clamshell" RTTs have a fiberglass shell, not wood. Tent fabric covering would help protect the wood, but be extremely hard on the fabric and it would not last long. Also, being an owner of a CVT Mt. Baker, the hinge end of your design will suffer for lack of foot room. I think it's cool though, that you want to build your own. Not trying to discourage your efforts, just sharing experience. Good luck :cheers:

I've actually just finished building the tent. I'm going to mount it on the roof rack tomorrow night and take it for a spin. Roof rack materials cost me about $160 and tent materials cost about $150 (Canadian dollars). It's a bit ghetto, but for about $300 plus sewing and building time not a bad adventure.
 
Be sure to post some pics! If it works for you and having fun building it - that's what's important. Sounds like you're doing just that.
 
Plywood wound up being 6x4' because 8x4' seemed excessive, but as a 5'8" dude it works okay for me. It held up to the real world stress test of gravel and highway driving, so it seems like all is well.

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How does it look closed up? You will want a cover for wet weather traveling. Might be able to fab one out of a tarp. A drawstring cinching it up tightly around the base might work. Will you try to carry bedding inside as most RTTs are capable of doing? That will slightly increase the height of it when closed.
 
The tarp is a really, really good idea. I wish I had thought of it. No matter, I'm glad you did.

As far as bedding, I've got some thermarest mattresses up there right now. I'm planning to increase the amount of bedding later, mostly depending on whether I even like sleeping in an RTT this weekend.
 

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