Roof Top Tent (RTT) Questions

Randun

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Hi everyone! I am new to this forum, and I'm so glad to be apart of it.

I have a question for all of you that will listen. :)

I'm thinking about getting a roof top tent (RTT). Do any of you have one? If so, what are the pros and cons of a RTT?

Thank you all so much for your time and your help!





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bigbaozi

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Hi everyone! I am new to this forum, and I'm so glad to be apart of it.

I have a question for all of you that will listen. :)

I'm thinking about getting a roof top tent (RTT). Do any of you have one? If so, what are the pros and cons of a RTT?

Thank you all so much for your time and your help!
#1 - You could absolutely easily find 99% of this info on one of the many many many articles discussing RTT's online. I'd suggest you do some reading and narrow down what you want.

We have a Hybox, which is a 2 person hard top pop-up tent. It may be going back because the build quality doesn't seem to be as good on the new Thule branded products. The roof lining on ours is already coming off. We may end up replacing it with a Roofnest Sparrow, looks really nice and wasn't an option when we bought ours.

Big con is that it is heavy, you'll need 2 people to install it and it puts a lot of weight on the Jeep. You need to be mindful of your GVWR. Another big con is that you probably won't have any stores nearby that you can actually try it out. If you can find one you like at REI (and have a nearby REI), highly recommend buying from there so you have an easy place to return it. Otherwise, think of how much freight will be to send it back (a lot). Really kills your fuel economy over 70mph, we get like 18-19mpg when we were getting in the 22-23 range.

It does kind of suck having to climb down the ladder at night for the bathroom. Ladders are not comfortable barefoot.

We like it though. It's nice being off the ground on a stable flat surface with a real mattress. The canvas lining is way thicker than a standard tent and absorbs the wind really well. You can setup your bed once and not have to mess with it again the rest of the trip. Setting up and tearing down camp is a breeze. The hard roof also helps with the rain noise you get on a cover. Less worries about critters getting into your tent. It would be nice if it was a little bigger, but not a lot of options on the pop-up when we got ours. We don't like the wedge formats since you end up with one less wall of airflow, but those tend to be bigger since they fold open to the side.
 
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Randun

Randun

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#1 - You could absolutely easily find 99% of this info on one of the many many many articles discussing RTT's online. I'd suggest you do some reading and narrow down what you want.

We have a Hybox, which is a 2 person hard top pop-up tent. It may be going back because the build quality doesn't seem to be as good on the new Thule branded products. The roof lining on ours is already coming off. We may end up replacing it with a Roofnest Sparrow, looks really nice and wasn't an option when we bought ours.

Big con is that it is heavy, you'll need 2 people to install it and it puts a lot of weight on the Jeep. You need to be mindful of your GVWR. Another big con is that you probably won't have any stores nearby that you can actually try it out. If you can find one you like at REI (and have a nearby REI), highly recommend buying from there so you have an easy place to return it. Otherwise, think of how much freight will be to send it back (a lot). Really kills your fuel economy over 70mph, we get like 18-19mpg when we were getting in the 22-23 range.

It does kind of suck having to climb down the ladder at night for the bathroom. Ladders are not comfortable barefoot.

We like it though. It's nice being off the ground on a stable flat surface with a real mattress. The canvas lining is way thicker than a standard tent and absorbs the wind really well. You can setup your bed once and not have to mess with it again the rest of the trip. Setting up and tearing down camp is a breeze. The hard roof also helps with the rain noise you get on a cover. Less worries about critters getting into your tent. It would be nice if it was a little bigger, but not a lot of options on the pop-up when we got ours. We don't like the wedge formats since you end up with one less wall of airflow, but those tend to be bigger since they fold open to the side.
Thank you so much for your opinion and for getting back to me.

I have been doing a lot of research online, but I'm the type of person who likes to hear real people's opinions. So that is why I thought I would raise the questions here.

Thank you for also letting me know about the different brands that you have experienced too. That really helps me out so I can take a look at different ones.

I'm glad that you have had a great experence with your RTT. I hope to be able to enjoy one in the near future too!
 

geem03

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I came across a video on youtube and this lady was talking about rooftop tents and made some good points. The one that struck me the most and swayed our decision to NOT buy one was the fact of the constant set up and tear down if you need top use your vehicle to go anywhere. I'd you had you rooftop tent on a trailer, different story but on the vehicle, sounds like more hassle than anything. JMO....
 
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Randun

Randun

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I came across a video on youtube and this lady was talking about rooftop tents and made some good points. The one that struck me the most and swayed our decision to NOT buy one was the fact of the constant set up and tear down if you need top use your vehicle to go anywhere. I'd you had you rooftop tent on a trailer, different story but on the vehicle, sounds like more hassle than anything. JMO....
Thank you so much for getting back to me, and for your opinions!

I have thought about that same issue too! I don't want to be tied to my vehicle all weekend. I did find a RTT company online that carries a couple tents that have a very fast set up and break down. The company is called Tuff Stuff Overland. I really liked what I saw!

Thank you again!
 

bigbaozi

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I came across a video on youtube and this lady was talking about rooftop tents and made some good points. The one that struck me the most and swayed our decision to NOT buy one was the fact of the constant set up and tear down if you need top use your vehicle to go anywhere. I'd you had you rooftop tent on a trailer, different story but on the vehicle, sounds like more hassle than anything. JMO....
Ours isn't a daily driver, so no real need to take it off. But if you needed to remove and store it all the time, that would be a massive pain. I added a hoist in the garage to store it, but haven't taken it off.

Also means the Jeep can't go in the garage anymore and you had better pay damn good attention to clearance height signs (and check how tall your setup is).
 
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Randun

Randun

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Ours isn't a daily driver, so no real need to take it off. But if you needed to remove and store it all the time, that would be a massive pain. I added a hoist in the garage to store it, but haven't taken it off.

Also means the Jeep can't go in the garage anymore and you had better pay damn good attention to clearance height signs (and check how tall your setup is).
You have a hoist in your garage? That is so smart! I love that idea!

I agree with you on the clearance issues too. I have not really thought about that being a problem, but thanks to you I will make sure to take good measurements of everything.
 

uawho

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We just bought a teardrop trailer and a hardshell RTT (Roofnest Falcon model).
The RTT will be going on the trailer, not the Jeep. For one, we have a soft top, and two, the need to break it down if you want to drive during the day.

But for simplicity, having it on the top of the trailer and ready to go on a Friday night. Not having to worry about setting up a tent in the dark if we're late getting to camp. Worth it for us and our two youngest kids.
 
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Randun

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We just bought a teardrop trailer and a hardshell RTT (Roofnest Falcon model).
The RTT will be going on the trailer, not the Jeep. For one, we have a soft top, and two, the need to break it down if you want to drive during the day.

But for simplicity, having it on the top of the trailer and ready to go on a Friday night. Not having to worry about setting up a tent in the dark if we're late getting to camp. Worth it for us and our two youngest kids.
Thank you so much for getting back to me.

I have seen those teardrop trailers at an overland show that I attended. Those are beautiful!

I also like your point about the simplicity of it all. That is what is leading me more towards purchasing a RTT.
 

aro

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I really don't like the high center of gravity with an RTT. The Jeep isn't the most nimble on the street to begin with, and then add an RTT...

That's why I go with a cot tent; off the ground for a fraction of the weight and price (and unchanged aerodynamics).
 
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Randun

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I really don't like the high center of gravity with an RTT. The Jeep isn't the most nimble on the street to begin with, and then add an RTT...

That's why I go with a cot tent, for a fraction of the weight and price (and unchanged aerodynamics).
I hear you on that. I was looking at that point too. Thank you so much for your opinions!

My friend has a cot too, and he loves it!

It so interesting to me to see what people are using and why they decided to go with that certain style.
 

JW-UK

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I have a hard shell Autohome Columbus tent. It's ready to sleep and stows in seconds, opens on gas struts. This is great for late overnight stops or going away from the camp site on multi day trips. It's top quality and I've had no problems with it.

The downside to most rtts is the need for additional shelter for cooking, changing or in bad weather. A pop-up, drive away awning takes care of that.

It now gets stowed in the winter, only fitted for the camping season. It does increase fuel consumption, affects handling and wind noise, but I can live with that for a comfortable night's sleep.
 

JimLee

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I came across a video on youtube and this lady was talking about rooftop tents and made some good points. The one that struck me the most and swayed our decision to NOT buy one was the fact of the constant set up and tear down if you need top use your vehicle to go anywhere. I'd you had you rooftop tent on a trailer, different story but on the vehicle, sounds like more hassle than anything. JMO....
I live in California like the OP, if you leave anything behind and drive off you risk it getting stolen, obviously some areas higher risk than others. And being offroad isn't a safety net here, you'd be shocked at the number of criminal acts committed in the middle of nowhere, damn side by sides. Of course it's not the only factor to consider but it does warrant consideration.
 

geem03

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I live in California like the OP, if you leave anything behind and drive off you risk it getting stolen, obviously some areas higher risk than others. And being offroad isn't a safety net here, you'd be shocked at the number of criminal acts committed in the middle of nowhere, damn side by sides. Of course it's not the only factor to consider but it does warrant consideration.
Around here in New Brunswick, Canada, I've not heard of too much theft when it comes to that... now saying that, I never leave anything of value just laying around in the tent either..... just in case....

But yes... i agree with you, definately something to consider
 

JimLee

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Around here in New Brunswick, Canada, I've not heard of too much theft when it comes to that... now saying that, I never leave anything of value just laying around in the tent either..... just in case....

But yes... i agree with you, definately something to consider
Its a tough decision for sure, i think it deserves serious consideration and asking questions like the OP did. Alot a these choices aren't cheap enough to decide you just changed your mind.

And by that i meant the decision whether to RTT, trailer, ground camp, etc.
 

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