Camping setup (don’t want a rooftop tent)

Aframedweller

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Do you expect rain where you camp? Get a really nice tent then. Predictably dry everyday like California summers? Get a $25 Walmart tent. Buy sleeping bags based on temperature ratings. Stoves can vary between backpacker to a few burners. Some sleeping pads, chairs, food, cooler and beer are all else you need. I used to bicycle tour all over Japan, California and the Pacific Northwest, so Jeep camping is very luxurious for me.





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txj2go

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I would like to know as well. I don't even understand the concept of sleeping up there, lol. Why? Spiders? Bears? What if you want to drive somewhere all of a sudden? Is this a "safe place" thing? It's so silly in my mind at this point as I don't understand others frame of mind. With all due respect, I'm sure there are important things I never thought of.
I'm curious what you have to fight off in your garden.

Regarding camping- there are lots of different ways to do it and pros and cons for it all.
I've been tent camping lots of places and frequently it is hard to find a good smooth flat area to set up a tent, so in that regards a roof tent makes sense.
If you want to take a lot of gear with you including camping gear and lots of cooking gear, and you want to have built-ins and drawers then you almost have to have a roof tent because there isn't much room inside the back for other gear.
I pack light for camping and expect to be by myself so I will rig for sleeping in the back which has the advantage of being stealthy and being mostly out of the weather.

As for camping gear, most people would take some form of tent, for ground camping you would need a ground cloth to go under the tent. For sleeping you need sleeping pads, sleeping bags and/or blankets/quilts. For food you need your food stores, cooking gear and some form of stove. You need water storage. Depending on your location you probably need toilet facility. I carry some folding chairs and now have a small folding table. I carry other small gear- flashlights, lantern, cellphone charger. Some people carry larger batteries for recharging electronics. I'm likely deficient on safety gear but for now I have a tire pump, shovel, jumper cables, tow strap, satellite communicator. I would carry a jump-start powerpack if I could figure out how to get it to operate with the dual battery system. The key here is that each of these things can be accomplished with gear as simple or as complicated as you wish- (as expensive or as cheap), according to your own style and tastes.

For my use I ruled out the drawer systems because they reduce the vertical space available for moving around in the back. For just me I will sleep on one side and put my gear on the other side. That gives me enough room to sit up if I want to read or to move around for changing clothes. I'll have to move the front passenger seat all the way forward. I'll remove the rear seat and bridge across it with a small platform.
 

McKenzie

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Can anyone show me their camping setup that does not include a rooftop tent or recommend a site that could show me great setups? I have a soft top and want to be able to have all the essentials for camping but don’t want the rooftop tent option. What are the essentials you use to camp and have everything fit in the back of a JLU?
I have a trailer for this purpose (Space Trailer - shown in the full view of my profile pic). We tent camp, and use it for all our gear - including kayaks when relevant - and love that a RTT would fit, but not impede the Jeep roof. All of our gear, and 2 dogs wouldn’t fit in the JKUR, but this gives us the chance to have a ‘real Jeep’ (2door 😉) and bring everything.

as a bonus, it was a great trip out to MN to pick it up. But they also deliver. And by ‘they’, it seems to be a 2 person operation, and decidedly made in the USA 🇺🇸!

https://www.spacetrailers.com/

Plus, when I picked it up I was greeted with “welcome to space”!
 

txj2go

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I have a trailer for this purpose (Space Trailer - shown in the full view of my profile pic). We tent camp, and use it for all our gear - including kayaks when relevant - and love that a RTT would fit, but not impede the Jeep roof. All of our gear, and 2 dogs wouldn’t fit in the JKUR, but this gives us the chance to have a ‘real Jeep’ (2door 😉) and bring everything
That's a good point-
Many years ago we tent camped out of the car. It takes a lot of cargo space to bring tent, sleeping bags, food, etc. and we would have to pack carefully. Then my father in law gave us his old pop-up tent trailer and we started using it. We could open it, put all of our stuff inside, then basically not have much to actually pack inside of our car. That made the packing very easy. And there was lots of room in the trailer for sleeping, sitting, etc. The tradeoff was that we had to pull the trailer around but it didn't take much to pull it.
 

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What are the essentials you use to camp and have everything fit in the back of a JLU?
At 59 yrs. of age I didn’t like sleeping on the ground anymore and I got a sleeping cot. Big old Coleman ComfortSmart aluminum frame fold in half cot. It has bar legs that don't damage tent floors and fits nicely in my stand up 6 person Coleman Easyup tent along with a Strongback folding chair, table, lamp and a small rug. These items(tent mostly) take up a lot of room in my JLR but a great nights comfort and sleep is worth it. I don’t mind that my cooking gear and food is back packing oriented. Outdoors, everything taste pretty good. Btw, I tried a Cabela’s tent cot for a season when I had the Tundra 4x4 and shell. It wasn’t good and thats when I got onto what I’ve been using for 10 years now.
tent camping Rising Sun CPG., Glacier N.P. ‘09
tent camping Glacier N.P..jpg

Same equipment 2019 in JLR. tent stored behind ice chest and Rubbermaid action packer(cooking gear) Mostly I RV now but some trails require overnight tent setups.
Coleman  cot camping equpement.jpg

I have a 3 person Coleman but it’s not my go to tent and packing doesn’t change that much.
coleman 3 person camping setup.jpg

I just end up sleeping on the ground.
coleman 3 p tent camping.jpg
 
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Oncorhynchus

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I bought a Sierra Designs model Alpha tent (discontinued now) 21 years ago and it is still in very good shape. I find I can set it up in about 10 minutes by myself even in darkness. Tear down of course takes longer which is why I can understand the appeal of an RTT. However for the price ($$$) of an RTT, the fact that as a practical matter due to its weight I would probably end up just leaving the RTT on the rooftop of the Jeep all the time even while not camping, the number of times per year I would use it, an RTT just does not make sense for me. During some of the cabin fevered moments of COVID shutdown I dreamed of the luxury of being able to drive up to a spot and be asleep within 5 minutes of parking on level ground and avoiding:

1) the condensation on the windows if I am by myself and sleeping in the Jeep

2) setting up the 2 ground tents if I am camping with the family

an RTT seemed very alluring. But if camping with family I would still have to bring along one ground tent since 4 people cannot fit in an RTT.

when I bought that Alpha tent back in 2000 it was about $300 which was several times more than a typical Coleman but it has served us well. It is well constructed and has many features that we’ve used repeatedly.

GFC has a new ultralight clamshell RTT for approx $1000 and that could potentially tip the balance of the value equation in favor of that RTT for some people who have considered a high quality hard shell RTT to be overpriced.
 

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Lots of options for that. We used to do wilderness camping (lakes with portages, no cellular, etc) -- five or six days out--- in kayaks or canoe. In the kayaks, we had 8 dry bags (4 per kayak, bags fit in the hatches fore and aft inside the kayaks) that held all gear for the entire trip out: 1st aid kit, insect repellent, rope, 3-person tent with entry vestibules both sides, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, rocket stove with 2 fuel containers, clothes, food (note: no cooler of any sort), utensils, pan set, water filtration pump with water containers, personal protection, tp and bury scoop, headlamps, hatchet, compass, gps unit, maps, etc, etc. Sleeping bags in stuff sacks were about the size on a loaf of bread, stove the size of a coffee mug, etc. We also camped for many years (70's and 80's) as family of 4 with gear in the back of a Ford Fiesta and Mazda 626. So, you can go with all the necessities as above or expand as you desire.
 

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Do you expect rain where you camp? Get a really nice tent then. Predictably dry everyday like California summers? Get a $25 Walmart tent. Buy sleeping bags based on temperature ratings. Stoves can vary between backpacker to a few burners. Some sleeping pads, chairs, food, cooler and beer are all else you need. I used to bicycle tour all over Japan, California and the Pacific Northwest, so Jeep camping is very luxurious for me.
I just have to rough it in my old age (72) been there need more comfort now

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Oncorhynchus

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I would like to know as well. I don't even understand the concept of sleeping up there, lol. Why? Spiders? Bears? What if you want to drive somewhere all of a sudden? Is this a "safe place" thing? It's so silly in my mind at this point as I don't understand others frame of mind. With all due respect, I'm sure there are important things I never thought of.
The price of an RTT has to give one pause; is it really worth it? For people who do lots of living on the road it could be worth it. I mean there was a reason why those little Volkswagen Westfalia buses with the built-in pop up roof tent had a good commercial run.

Personally when I become a semi-retired empty nester, I’ll take another look at RTTs.
 

Oncorhynchus

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Do you expect rain where you camp? Get a really nice tent then. Predictably dry everyday like California summers? Get a $25 Walmart tent. Buy sleeping bags based on temperature ratings. Stoves can vary between backpacker to a few burners. Some sleeping pads, chairs, food, cooler and beer are all else you need. I used to bicycle tour all over Japan, California and the Pacific Northwest, so Jeep camping is very luxurious for me.
One of my tents is clip-style rather than fabric sleeves for the poles. I can assemble the poles under the rain fly and form the shape of the tent and then crawl under the fly and set up the tent after the fly is in place. That way the tent does not get soaked if I have to set up while it is raining.
 

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Tent:
Requires additional gear, Sleeping bag, pad/air mattress if you don't like hard ground and want to maybe stay dry if it rains.

Hammock:
-Includes bug screen and rain fly, quilt lining and tree straps (CRUA brand Koala model) if you get the "complete kit"
-Needs at least 1 tree and maybe your roll bars to hang it. Possibly hang it inside jeep from roll bars with a 4 door.
-Don't need extra pad or air matress, or sleeping bag.
-Not any larger than a standard mid size tent in a bag.
https://www.cruaoutdoors.com/collections/hammocks/products/crua-koala-set


Canned chunky soups, stew or other foods than don't need refrigerated. (saves space/cooler not needed and water still hydrates you when its not cold).

Sterno kit/holder for large cup to heat food/ instant coffee. Firewood not needed, and safer than a ground fire.

Back pack hung on side rollbar Always stays in jeep contains:
Duct tape
Tampons (tinder for emergency fire or used to make a bandage with duct tape)
Parachute cord
Knife
Lighters
Rope
Various sized zip ties including very large HD types
TeePee
Roll of paper towels
Hand saw
Hatchet
flashlight
Head lamp
extra set of socks, pants, shirt, sweatshirt
Iodine water purification tablets for emergency water purification.

Other items always in jeep.
Hand come-along winch
shovel
recovery straps, miscellaneous connectors/shakles etc.. to connect 2-3 straps if needed.

Hammock kit, food, and water are the only things I need to pack/add if intending on camping or going somewhere very remote or far away where I could be stranded overnight.
 
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neil

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I would probably consider an ultralight trailer vs a rooftop if I needed more room, but I have storage for that when not in use. The trailer can be parked and left if in a secure spot. but it is added cargo.

Also depends who your traveling with.
 

The_Armed_Gardener

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I'm curious what you have to fight off in your garden.
I would probably consider an ultralight trailer vs a rooftop if I needed more room, but I have storage for that when not in use. The trailer can be parked and left if in a secure spot. but it is added cargo.

Also depends who your traveling with.
That's really good... "It depends who you travel with."
I would be set up totally perfectly fine with Uhdinator' s setup above.

My wife, not so much, Uhdinator. I just hope that everyone takes kids. They don't care so much and can really learn so very much about life.
 

neil

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I'm curious what you have to fight off in your garden.


That's really good... "It depends who you travel with."
I would be set up totally perfectly fine with Uhdinator' s setup above.

My wife, not so much, Uhdinator. I just hope that everyone takes kids. They don't care so much and can really learn so very much about life.
My son and I, just sleep in the back. Wife comes along, very different setup. lol
 

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