Ground tent vs RTT

@CBEUnion

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I have a Coleman ground tent that goes up in under three minutes. And I mean from pulling it out of the bag to fully up. It's a EZ up style frame, sleeps 8 (they claim) and we love it. $350 compared to the $1000+ your paying for rooftop BEFORE you factor in a roof rack!





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four low

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I have a Coleman ground tent that goes up in under three minutes. And I mean from pulling it out of the bag to fully up. It's a EZ up style frame, sleeps 8 (they claim) and we love it. $350 compared to the $1000+ your paying for rooftop BEFORE you factor in a roof rack!
Which model Coleman is that ? I do like the idea of standing headroom in a tent.. Thanks
 

@CBEUnion

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AtlanticOverland

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I just read through all of the responses and many made very good points. Going back to the original question-is it worth the upfront price? It depends on who you are and what you want out of camping. My family and I do a few trips a year, 3-6 trips for durations that last up to ten days. We have a nice Marmot ground tent but to us it was a PITA to pack the tent and organize in the cargo area with the fridge and other camping gear, chairs, clothes, air mattress, ground tarp, sleeping bags, etc. We bought a Rhino-Rack and a RTT and we now love camping even more and we can keep the bags in the tent if we want. We can close the tent, drive off without fear that someone will go through our stuff. Ultimately, it could be that we have two boys and to them it is like having a treehouse and seeing how much they love it makes it worth it to us. On a side note, we slept in it last night because we were going stir crazy being order to shelter in place.
 

SeaDog22

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My reason for wanting a RTT is the hard shell ones can be taken down and set up in about a minute. I despise folding tents! I sleep in a bivy when I backpack.
Yes, the ease of setting up and taking down is big. I'm use to a hammock tent for canoe trips and backpacking. Now I'm looking at adding a iKamper skycamp mini for longer trips... like Mid Atlantic to California but wondering about the best roof rack for this purpose. Some racks require drilling into the Rubicon roof panels for installation, like the Rhino-Rack Pioneer Platform (or 3-bar set) versus the outer frame structure type. Also, wondering if installing a roof rack will result in lots of wind resistance on highway driving even when I'm not using the skycamper. Any ideas?
 

dke1955

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I too am interested to read what other have done and think about this topic. As a motorcycle rider of over 20 years, I have done my fair share ot tent camping. BUT even when I was younger...sleeping in a tent was NEVER great...it was adequate at best. I don't need to go into the pros of getting your butt off the ground but as metioned in the orig. post the cost of getting off the ground is substantial. I started out gearing up to sleep in the jeep and place some of the gear in a tent outside the jeep...BUT...the lure of the RTT keeps me looking. I would be really interested to see what others have done.
Be Safe everyone!....when this crap is over I think you will need a reservation even in the wilderness.....this is nuts!
 

DVJeeper

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My vote is a tent, a RTT cost, storage, weight, wind noise are all reasons that I prefer tent camping for overlanding and we've done several trips over the years. We've made some changes to our set up that have made tent camping much more enjoyable.

Tent - we down-sized form a large cabin tent to a 3 person Marmot Limelight. Our goal was to get the smallest tent that could fit 2 people plus our dog or 3 people. 3 people does require sleeping in opposite directions and using mummy shaped pads, but still 100% worth the quick set up and breakdown and trust me a few years ago there is no way I would have said this. This tent weighs 5lbs vs our old tent was about 35lbs and sets up supper easy in comparison.

Sleeping pads - we now use ultra lightweight back packing pads that inflate with a pump sack. Whoever invented the pump sack was a genius! maybe the single greatest invention for tent camping, here is a link if your not familiar with them. They work great and fill a backpacking style pad up in a few minutes.

Camp set up and breakdown are fast and easy, we like to move everyday when Jeep camping, it's part of the adventure for us. I would say that if you choose to tent camp, there is a pretty wide spectrum of what that means and gear choice will have a huge impact on pack size, weight and set up time. There is a different right for every person, sharing what ours has evolved too.
 

dke1955

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My vote is a tent, a RTT cost, storage, weight, wind noise are all reasons that I prefer tent camping for overlanding and we've done several trips over the years. We've made some changes to our set up that have made tent camping much more enjoyable.

Tent - we down-sized form a large cabin tent to a 3 person Marmot Limelight. Our goal was to get the smallest tent that could fit 2 people plus our dog or 3 people. 3 people does require sleeping in opposite directions and using mummy shaped pads, but still 100% worth the quick set up and breakdown and trust me a few years ago there is no way I would have said this. This tent weighs 5lbs vs our old tent was about 35lbs and sets up supper easy in comparison.

Sleeping pads - we now use ultra lightweight back packing pads that inflate with a pump sack. Whoever invented the pump sack was a genius! maybe the single greatest invention for tent camping, here is a link if your not familiar with them. They work great and fill a backpacking style pad up in a few minutes.

Camp set up and breakdown are fast and easy, we like to move everyday when Jeep camping, it's part of the adventure for us. I would say that if you choose to tent camp, there is a pretty wide spectrum of what that means and gear choice will have a huge impact on pack size, weight and set up time. There is a different right for every person, sharing what ours has evolved too.
I gotta say as of now I am leaning in your direction. As I said I rode a GSA Adventure BMW for a good bit. Have traveled and tent camped all over the US...it was a blast, and of course I still have all the gear...including my Marmot tent!!....yes those are great tents...took me a while to find the Marmot but it made a huge difference for me. What I am thinking I may do is get a good rack...can't remember the name...the one that bolts to frame not drilled into roof....a nice awning...(put tent under if need be)...and let it go at that. Thanks for the reply...nice to find others who support your way of thinking...Be Safe!!!
see ya
dave
 

Stingrey

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A good ground tent, that sets up quick, is the way to go. Here I am , set up for a weekend. These types of tents set up and break down in about a minute.
I have the Gazelle T4. I'll admit they are big but it fits in the back of a JLU , lengthwise, with a seat folded down. Still plenty of space inside for everything else from a table & chairs to the fridge. The slightly smaller T3 will fit in the back, sideways.

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jlopes68

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Well i may be late to the party but I'll pitch in my .02. We choose an ETT. Earth Top Tent. Some of the reasons are as follows.
We wheel frequently and to remote locations, weight is a huge consideration and issue, so less is better. Win for the ETT. When camping with groups of 4 wheelers, night runs to a hipoint to star gaze happen. Those with RTT's are suddenly not so proud of how quickly they can set up and break down and sit it out or hitch a ride. Basecamp, another win for the ETT. I don't know of many people my age who choose to climb stairs, so why choose a ladder? Ground level living, another win for the ETT. I have a 30' TT so i have considered towing a small trailer with an RTT, then i think of the ease with which i can maneuver unburdened by a trailer and well thats it. Maneuverability, another win for the ETT. I just couldn't come up with any real wins for the RTT other than maybe walmart camping.
 

intentsrig

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I use both. Different trips call for a different tent. There is something to be said about not packing up a sandy, wet ground tent in the morning. I don’t wheel at night whenever I can avoid it so no worries about leaving camp. Plus, I like camp beers.

My Rtt weighs 90lbs. I have zero concern for that on the trail. If that extra 90lbs takes me over I was probably going over anyways.

It’s just fun being in the rtt. The mattress is always there, my sleeping bag, pillow. Saves a lot of room in the Jeep. Inflatable air mattresses can be annoying without an electric pump.

I can pack the rtt away faster than my gazelle t3 plus air mattresses deflation/ pack. If that matters lol.

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four low

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I use both. Different trips call for a different tent. There is something to be said about not packing up a sandy, wet ground tent in the morning. I don’t wheel at night whenever I can avoid it so no worries about leaving camp. Plus, I like camp beers.

My Rtt weighs 90lbs. I have zero concern for that on the trail. If that extra 90lbs takes me over I was probably going over anyw
It’s just fun being in the rtt. The mattress is always there, my sleeping bag, pillow. Saves a lot of room in the Jeep. Inflatable air mattresses can be annoying without an electric pump.

I can pack the rtt away faster than my gazelle t3 plus air mattresses deflation/ pack. If that matters lol.

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How did you like the Gazelle T3 ? I ordered one for my 416 trailer, the 6x6 footprint, and 5''8" headroom should be excellent, looking forward to using it
 

intentsrig

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How did you like the Gazelle T3 ? I ordered one for my 416 trailer, the 6x6 footprint, and 5''8" headroom should be excellent, looking forward to using it
It's really nice and is quick/easy to set up and tear down. If you are over 6'2" you wont fit very well while laying down in any direction apart from diagonal. I thought about the T4 but it is just too big to fit in the jeep in any practical way. Way too long.

I like the ability it has to bring in a small table and chairs if needed depending on the weather. The height makes it feel roomy
 

intentsrig

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I put the Gazelle T4 inside my JLU without any problems. Post 39 above.

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Good to know. My measurements showed me coming up short. Thought it was 67.5" long? Maybe I just took inaccurate measurements! lol. I'll keep the T4 in mind for the future.
 

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