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post #1 of 603 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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RTT talk

I am not completely sold on roof top tents. I have been eyeballing Four Wheel Campers for over a year now. However, in the interest of keeping my truck light and maneuverable (and save some $$$!), I feel like I should at least explore the RTT option.

This is not a RTT vs other campers thread. I would like to collect as much info as possible about RTTs and mounting systems for our trucks.

We are luckier than other vehicle platform as we don't have to worry so much about being top heavy. My preference is to mount over the bed like a lot of Tacomas do. What do you guys think is the best way to mount to the bed? The ots solutions like Thule are too expensive. Wood is too heavy. I'm left with custom fab (I prefer aluminum for weight) as I have not heard of any half rack being sold for the tundra. I would try and fab one myself (I am a hardware engineer by trade), but I cant weld so that really limits my ideas.

I have about $3k to work with total. I have no idea how much I'm gonna have to sink into the bed rack. But I also need to mount jerry cans and 2 full size spares. I'm thinking I need to integrate them into the rack somehow. But whatever I have left I can spend on the RTT.

Which RTTs have you guys heard good things about? If you have one (Craig!) let me know why you decided on it and which others you considered.

What problems have you experienced or anticipate? Positives?

Right now I am looking at the ARB tent, but I really just started my research.


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post #2 of 603 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 11:42 AM
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Question

I don't get the RTT's. Seems like it would be a hassel to leave camp if you needed the truck to go somewhere Do you not want to set a tent up on the ground because of creepy crawlies? Bears?
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post #3 of 603 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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We have been using ground tents for years. They work well.

But you are limited when choosing a campsite. You need lots of flat open space. With an RTT I just need a little space around the vehicle.

You also have to pack the bedding separately. RTT packs everything in one neat square.

Being off the ground could be lifesaving in the event of a flash flood. We have to worry about that in the deserts around here.

Being up in the air is cooler when camping in hot weather; more breeze.

Repacking the tent is simple enough that if I had to drive somewhere I would just break camp. I dont like leaving my things behind anyway.

One last thing, altho this applies to ground tents as well. Stepping up to a quality fabric, like a good poly-cotton blend is supposed to be a completely different experience. The tents should be warmer in cold weather, yet still breathe well so that you dont fill the inside with condensation. In hot weather they wont hold moisture so they should feel cooler.


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post #4 of 603 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 12:34 PM
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It takes all of 5 mins to fold the RTT up and off you go.
I went with the RTT because I hated setting up a tent and unloading the truck and getting the tent prepared for sleeping. Now I just unfold the tent and sheets sleeping bags are already in there. Just throw my bag and pillows in and I am good to go.
The fabric on mine is much thicker and waterproof. A lot warmer and have yet to test it in the heat but being higher with a breeze it might be just fine. On cold nights I do get some condensation on the ceiling but it hasn't been bad. Haven't used it in the rain or high wind yet either so can't help ya there.
I made a simple mount for mine out of 1 1/4 square steel just because it mounts to the square tubing better than round. No jerry can mounts or anything else, but you could make is so it holds a spare fairly easy. Could also make it to hold shovel, Hi-lift or whatever else. For extra gas its just as easy to load them in the bed - I have a large weatherproof bin that holds my gear so really only just that bin a cooler and my campstove in the bed. Plenty of room for gas, propane, water and firewood.
Alex just look on Craigslist and find someone that fabricates and can weld Aluminum. Normally they would be able to build a rack with any custom mounts you want. The hardest part for me was figuring out hot to mount it to the bed - I didn't want it permanent cause I don't leave it on. The sun would kill the RTT cover, so my mount stays attached to the RTT and put in the garage when not being used. It does take 2 people to put it on but if my boat wasn't taking all the space in the garage i would hang it from the ceiling and make a pulley system to lower and raise it with 1 person.


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post #5 of 603 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for the explanation, that makes more sense. It's interesting to me how people camp/hunt/fish in different parts of the country.

I converted a 5'x8' cargo trailer for an off-road camper. Works good for me but it would probably be like being in an oven in your neck of the woods
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post #6 of 603 (permalink) Old 01-31-2014, 05:48 PM
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Well it kinda sucks to pitch a tent in the desert - lots of rocks. And not real easy to pull a tent trailer in these parts either down the roads I travel. I can camp anywhere I can get my truck.


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post #7 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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It takes all of 5 mins to fold the RTT up and off you go.
I went with the RTT because I hated setting up a tent and unloading the truck and getting the tent prepared for sleeping. Now I just unfold the tent and sheets sleeping bags are already in there. Just throw my bag and pillows in and I am good to go.
The fabric on mine is much thicker and waterproof. A lot warmer and have yet to test it in the heat but being higher with a breeze it might be just fine. On cold nights I do get some condensation on the ceiling but it hasn't been bad. Haven't used it in the rain or high wind yet either so can't help ya there.
I made a simple mount for mine out of 1 1/4 square steel just because it mounts to the square tubing better than round. No jerry can mounts or anything else, but you could make is so it holds a spare fairly easy. Could also make it to hold shovel, Hi-lift or whatever else. For extra gas its just as easy to load them in the bed - I have a large weatherproof bin that holds my gear so really only just that bin a cooler and my campstove in the bed. Plenty of room for gas, propane, water and firewood.
Alex just look on Craigslist and find someone that fabricates and can weld Aluminum. Normally they would be able to build a rack with any custom mounts you want. The hardest part for me was figuring out hot to mount it to the bed - I didn't want it permanent cause I don't leave it on. The sun would kill the RTT cover, so my mount stays attached to the RTT and put in the garage when not being used. It does take 2 people to put it on but if my boat wasn't taking all the space in the garage i would hang it from the ceiling and make a pulley system to lower and raise it with 1 person.
Which tent did you go with? I take it you mounted the front of the rack in the stack holes, but how did you attach the rear of the rack?

I was hoping to mount cans and spare under the rack. Have the rack sit about a foot or so higher than yours. Altho that might raise the cg too high.

Mine would have to be removable as well for hauling. But I would probably just leave it on most of the time. I can garage my truck right now so Im not worried about the sun. I have fab guys that I can talk to, but they suck at designing lol It would be better if I called them up with a finished plan.


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post #8 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 12:41 AM
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I dont remember the brand of tent but its the same as the Tepi tents. Just got the 2 man size cause thats all I needed. The rack is built with 6in wide angle and sits over the bed side and not in the stakes. It is connected via uni-track where the factory tie downs mount. So I can slide it forward or further back. Sits high enough to clear the spare and it doesnt sit above the height of the cab just for less wind resistance when traveling.

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post #9 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 01:10 AM
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I got a solution for ya. The back seat.


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post #10 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 02:03 AM
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Ive' been looking at these as well and i think im gona put it above my quad on the quad trailer, then i can drop the trailer , unload the quad and pull the rtt open and have my truck separate from the rtt and have the space where my quad was to have a kitchen area or covered sitting area. Maybe screen that in too.
Ill have to build the rack for above the quad though.
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post #11 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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I got a solution for ya. The back seat.
Ha! I have no back seat...


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post #12 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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gf wants a skylight. giving serious thought the the howling moon stargazer 1.6m with extension.

expensive tho

but if I can get 5 years out of it and a used sale, then I would consider it worth it.


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post #13 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 01:29 PM
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Yeah I wish mine had some screen in the ceiling but maybe I will just cut a hole and add my own. Then use velcro and make it a flap that I can open and close. It has a rain fly so not worried about water.


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post #14 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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^^should be super easy. Just make sure you sew it properly. ripstop sewn properly should last

what tent did you go with?


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post #15 of 603 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 03:48 PM
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RTT in my Tundra

I have had my tent for more than a year, I used a lot and I bought it to convince my wife to go camping in remote areas more often because she hate bugs and animals.
After I used the tent (if not rain or mud) is ready to pack and use again. It keeps so clean because is in the top.
The tent can be set in not time if you pack it correctly. To pack it back, it take a little of more time to fit all in place and be able to install the cover.
The tent is WAY more expensive of that floor type tent, but the construction is way better. It has its own mattress. The materials are better and also it have an isolated floor.
The downside of that is that basically you are stuck at the place until you pack it back. You can live the floor tent and go wheeling and go back with out pack all.
I install the the in my roof only when I going to used, it takes two people to install it and I keep it dry and clean for the next adventure.
I used in could whether (20F) and we spend a warm nite in the tent.
Well that is my two cents.

This is my Truck/tent in the desert.



This is in Colorado with the changing room attached.



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