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Thread: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be

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    Default Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be





    Description from youtube:

    "That being said if you watch my recent short video you can get a feeling for my recent anger toward my particular RTT as well. If you can measure a tents difficulty setting up by how much blood you spill (literally) while setting it up it's probably a good sign there is a problem with the tent. 2-3 bloody fingers with every tent setup, guaranteed.


    Oddly enough almost every complaint I have about this tent I knew of before I bought it. I just thought it wouldn't be a big deal and I could work around the "Cons" of the tent. Turns out that when all the "Pros" fall flat, and the "Cons" are worse than expected, you start to wonder why you dropped over $2000 for something that you only use 50% of the time and can be done just as well if not better with a $250 tent.


    Does this mean I think you're an idiot for buying or wanting one?
    Absolutely not.
    There are benefits to an RTT and especially if your style of camping fits around it, it may not be so bad. What what I am saying is that I think many people cling to and make excuses for their RTT because of "cool" they are and how much money they've invested in having one.


    But I'm a stickler for gear that serves me, not gear that I have to serve. And I also don't like having to spend a premium on gear that is all pomp and style but delivers very little for me in the way of actual functionality. I believe camping is about simplifying things to the basics, and I don't want to spend my rare and valuable vacation time struggling with something too complicated for the simple job it's supposed to be providing me."


    04:06 - Too Expensive for little benefit
    04:36 - It makes you immobile
    07:12 - Setup time is about the same as a ground tent
    08:12 - You have to level the whole vehicle
    09:14 - Not all campsites have a level place to park the RTT
    11:16 - You have to sleep in parking lots
    11:34 - So noisy in the slightest breeze
    13:12 - Not fully sealed. Has mouse sized holes
    13:53 - Massive heavy tent ruins MPG
    14:20 - Weight exceeds almost all vehicle roof limits
    16:55 - Setting up a 120lb tent 6ft off the ground is awkward
    17:21 - It doesn't hold as much as you expect.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    All of these reasons are why I have never wanted a rooftop tent except "you have to level the whole vehicle". I started sleeping in my truck when I couldn't find a good level spot to setup my tent and realized I just prefer sleeping inside it but also that it's way easier to level my truck than it is to find a level spot to pitch a tent. I would love to have a pop-top though, besides the absurd expense I think they actually deliver on what people are hoping for with a roof top tent.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    Not interested in making my rigs taller or sleeping on top of them
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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I never understood the allure of them, especially considering the price.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    for all this desert camping....nothing better than sleeping on the ground out under the open stars - no tent needed! I get the overlanding heritage started in places like SA and Australia where there are lots of things that you might not want to wake up to face to face - but here in the western U.S. with no bugs, it just doesn't apply.
         
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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I like the idea of being away from bugs and animals (even when a good authority says they aren't an issue). Up high and away from critters does tickle some interest but the overall higher center of gravity and more complex setup (external frame for the soft top jeep) has me saying no. Now, if a trailer were to come into the picture with a tent atop a trailer - maybe - but going trailer is a whole different discussion.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I've been using my RTT for three solid seasons now and I love it, so happy not sleeping on the ground anymore. Will I ever get rid of my Mt. Hardware tent? No, because you never know when your going to need it.

    To expensive: It sure is but with the right tent you'll never have bloody fingers.

    Immobile: This is true but if you have the right tent set up and tear down is pretty quick. I personally like to hike and having a base camp is important on long trips. Do you wheel to camp or do you camp to wheel?

    Set up time: Clam shell tents setup in under 3 min. It takes more time to blow up the air mattress. Tear down time is a different story, maybe 7 min.

    Vehicle leveling: Non issue, a few minutes if you have rocks or leveling chocks, even small logs can work in a pinch.

    Parking lot camping: That's funny. If your camping in a camp ground everything is a parking lot. Just say no to camp grounds.

    Noise: Seriously? Your in a tent, tents can be noisy. Now a clam shell RTT is a different story. It is the quietest tent I've ever been in. Sounds like this guy really needs a travel trailer.

    Holes in the tent: It a Tupui, need I say more?

    Heavy tent: They're heavy, true story. Mine weights 135 lb. Lets be real, if you're driving a big truck or a Jeep that's built your MPG is probably not going to be very good no matter what. Top heavy is on my mind when certain rock obstacles can be tippy, exercise caution.

    Bottom line is this guy made a mistake and did not research the products that are on the market well enough. I would say that most of his complaints can be addressed fairly easily with the right RTT.

    I have one of the thinner RTT on the market measuring in at 6" tall and I can keep all my summer time bedding in it except for the pillow.
    Sleeping on the ground is dirty and it's hard on your body when you start getting older. If your out for weeks at a time the ground tent really starts to suck after awhile.
    Peeing in the night is rough, climbing down a ladder in bare feet is no fun.
    It truly is nice being away from all the critters in the night. Every so often you might accidently set your ground tent up next to to many ants, that's a bummer.
    I have spent so many nights and days in a ground tent during summer time downpours and it is a bummer. The RTT makes downpours enjoyable. No soggy knees and shins getting out of a RTT.

    In on of my pics you can see that there is not good spot for a ground tent, nothing but deeply planted rocks. An RTT made this camp spot enjoyable.
    The other pic is the crane that I made to take the tent on and off, it works pretty good. It takes me about an hour to put it on and an hour to take it off. Not a big deal, I only do it twice a year.

    RTT are pretty damn cool but it all depends on what you want out of your travels. Do you wheel to camp or do you camp to wheel.

    For me in the end it's all about the level of comfort that I want when I am out in the backcountry and I like to be comfortable.
          

  8. The Following 4 Members Say Thanks to Gretchen For This Post:

    open_circuit (January 27th, 2022),Paul (January 27th, 2022),speedkills (January 27th, 2022),Tom (January 27th, 2022)

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    Thanks Gretchen. The ability to camp anywhere even if there isn't a clearing for a tent is why I like to sleep in my jeep instead of a tent as well as why we picked up a small trailer last year. If roof weight wasn't a concern for me I'm sure we would have ended up with an RTT before a trailer and been quite happy.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I like them but not on my Jeep, I don't even like the weight of the hardtop and doors on trails. I also don't like the idea of going to Moab, St George, Ouray, Fourmile, North Sand Hills, places like that where you set up camp and then leave to go run trails, hike, eat, get gas etc... and have to pack up the RTT for each run. For different types of trips it would be a real asset though, everything has it's plusses and minuses. I couldn't really consider one because of my dog, he was 107lbs, deaf and not exactly cooperative, getting him in and out of a RTT would have been comical at best. As it happens he passed a couple of months ago and I have not sold my off road trailer, so I have an opportunity to reconsider. My ground tent is big enough to stand it, it has carpeting, cots, heat, light, a fan and a table with room for two and a dog, all for about $500.00. If it gets stolen or ransacked at a campsite that's all I'm out. It would be an easy set up for a RTT on the trailer though, it's about 2' lower than the roof of our Xterra would be so everything would be easy to reach. I'm truly on the fence, it's nice to hear perspectives from people that actually use them.

    I'd rather have this guy back than any tent.
         

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I didn't digest this pic at first, that's pretty cool. I guess it swings around to the saw horses? Archimedes would be proud!


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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    It does swing to the saw horses. I will replace the come along with an electric winch.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I need video next time you do it, I can't even picture the action but am super intrigued.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be




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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    The Alibaba link goes to an error page for me. The error is in a language and character set I can't read though.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    Its just search results for Roof Top Tent on alibaba.com

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I haven't pulled the trigger yet but I've been considering a tent cot for a while now. If I had to predict the next trend in Overlanding I think it will be better versions of tent cots.

    "After two years, the love has faded and we're getting rid of our Tepui Kukenam 3 rooftop tent. The disadvantages have started to outweigh the advantages and, for the same money, we can utilize multiple different shelter systems based on our need that don't involve constantly lugging around 150lbs worth of tent on our roof, especially when we're not using it.

    One of the items we're excited about replacing it with is a Kamp Rite Two Person Cot Tent, which has a lot of the same advantages as the rooftop tent, at a greatly reduced price and able to be stored easier when not in use."


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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    Paul previously posted:
    "I've been considering a tent cot for a while now."

    Back when I lived in the northeast I found that a hammock was a handy way to avoid sleeping on a rock or root in the dense woods of the Adirondacks, Green Mountains, and White Mountains. The main issue with a hammock is insulating yourself underneath. So how are these tent cots typically dealing with that? Do you still sleep on a pad, or are there models that are integrating that insulation somehow so you can just flip it out and use it?

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I use a cot now with an air mattress and a sheet made for cots that fits the ends of the cot frame. I just put a sleeping bag or blanket on top of the air mattress, sheet on that and then more sleeping bags or blankets over that. It's pretty warm, but that's inside a tent. IDK how cot as tent will compare, but I really like it for the convenience. I can set one up under my vehicle awning too, considering getting the wall kit for that. I like this one for it's size and lack of center bar https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087X3N22K...ding=UTF8&th=1

    Looks like the same one:


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    Trevor? (3 Weeks Ago)

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    I bet if someone makes one of these where you can leave all your bedding inside and just flip it out and use it, that would sell some units. Maybe insulate the under-side of the cot you you don't have to inflate a mattress.

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    Default Re: Roof Top Tents aren't all they're cracked up to be



    Trevor? previously posted:
    "I bet if someone makes one of these where you can leave all your bedding inside and just flip it out and use it, that would sell some units. Maybe insulate the under-side of the cot you you don't have to inflate a mattress."

    I think the nice ones come with a foam mattress that rolls/folds up with the tent. Here's an example, though this is an Australian tent that is very expensive to buy here.


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