Why are roof-top tents so popular?

ryancalhoon

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I know that roof-mounted tents are extremely popular with Jeep owners who like to overland. I was just curious why so many people use them instead of using a regular tent on the ground? I would think that it would be nice to be able to set up a camp and still be able to go out exploring with the Jeep rather than setting up and taking down a roof-mounted tent?

 

Opus

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It's harder for the bear to pull you out of a roof mounted tent in the middle of the night...
 

Apples491

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Different tools for different purposes. RTTs became popular because a lot of time, you aren't in the same place every night. They're subjectively faster to setup than a ground tent and eliminate, or reduce, a lot of the problems with finding flat ground, avoiding rocks and sticks, animal encounters, waking up in a puddle of rain water, etc.

But yes, if you were planning to set one camp as a basecamp for several days, a ground tent (or a RTT on a trailer) would be the better solution.
 

Bug Splats

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For where I camp a ground tent is ideal. But if I’m anywhere near grizzly territory there’s just no way in hell I’m sleeping on the ground, even if I’m armed.
 


Trini

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Im pretty sure it's the elevation, which eliminates the dangers that come with nature, and as someone also mentioned, the ease of finding stable camping spots that has rocks etc.
 

Mudduck

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I can the benifit, but id rather ground it or roll out the sleeping pad in the back.
 

entropy

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Believing that a RTT will protect you better grom a grizzly attack is wishful thinking.

It is a tarp a few feet from the ground. Bears are exceptional climbers and theyre very powerful.

A predatory bear will not be deterred by a RTT.

RTTs are popular on the overlanding community because youre generally on the move and spending the night in a different place each day.

I feel safer when I sleep in my trailer. So i sleep so much better. Am I actually safer than in a tent? Rationally speaking, I dont think so. But the chances of being attacked while camping are abysmal. And I am sleeping well and thus enjoying my trip. So if a RTT makes you feel safer, it is a valid point. Even if it is a placebo.
 

Grinner

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I think the perceived popularity of RTTs in online forums is higher than reality. I can pitch a Eureka Timberline in a few minutes. Toss in a Therm-a-Rest and I'm good to go. The logic of wanting to sleep on top of a Jeep escapes me.
 


RT-TCZ

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I think in-car beds and rooftop tents each have their pros and cons. The most important thing is to combine it with your own needs and uses. I don't choose rooftop tents for four reasons.

1 Poor sound insulation
2 Not friendly to friends who like to wake up at night
3 expensive
4 The tent is very heavy and has large wind resistance, which increases fuel consumption
 

Ratbert

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I can the benifit, but id rather ground it or roll out the sleeping pad in the back.
You're overlanding and still have room to sleep in the back? I also assume that you're solo.
 

IdahoJOAT

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Here's the reality, as I see it:
  1. Most people want to seem cool. These make people look at you and go, "Ooo, they go do things I wish I could do." Nevermind the sucker is opened once a year. No loss to me.
  2. Cheaper than a trailer. This is a fact. Even with the rack to mount to, you're still going to be positive to a $10,000+ trailer.
  3. Quick set up. Most of them will accommodate leaving bedding in them, so setup takes minutes. Yes, you can get ground tents that setup the same or quicker, but not on level, flat ground.
However, at least for most people, they basecamp. This immediately negates the positives of a RTT. With a basecamp, the RTT is more of a PITA than anything else. This is the reason I love having our TT. We get to where we want, we drop the ready to go trailer(5 minute setup) and then we can go do what we want.
 

SparkleTooth

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Been doing the overlanding thing for a while now and have steered away from the RTT for a number of reasons.
  1. Adding 75-120lbs of weight to the roof does not bode well for a vehicle with consider body roll to start with (Especially when lifted)
  2. Fitting in to parking garages is a no go (A problem with my last job)
  3. Fuel mileage (wind resistance) can become an issue
  4. Price is insane
  5. Leaving it on a daily driver becomes just dead weight in between overlanding adventures
I've been using the Gazelle overlanding tent which can be had for ~400 bucks and I have timed myself setting it up, which can be done in 90 seconds. It can be easily loaded and unloaded into any vehicle when needed, and provides way more room than a RTT.
To answer the question though as to why there are so many out there now? I think alot has to do with the popularity of Overlanding in the last 2 years. People tend to get what other people get within their favorite subgroups. I'm sure looks and street cred play a role as well to some degree.
 

srt20

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If you urinate near your campsite, The chances of bears or wolves coming near you are very low.

We sometimes have to leave a fresh hunting harvest out in the bush. It will be field dressed with the innards next to it. We will always urinate right near it. No predator has ever come to the harvest. Always retrieved the next day.

Animals dont want to be near us. They will defend, but if you dont mess with them, they wont come by you.

I have stayed in ground tents/wall tents many times hunting. Along with our harvest on the meat pole close by. Never had a bear come into camp.

Park animals are different. They are used to people and human scent.

That said, I doesn’t matter to me what anybody uses for sleeping arrangements. Use what makes you happy. My wife likes hotels.

 

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