Sunday, September 23, 2018

Roof Top Tents Cool or Pain in the Ass?

Currently my family and I use a ground tent for our adventures.  I have had my eye on roof top tents since the begining and love the idea.  I am love the hard shells that pop up quick but they are extremely expensive and can't accommodate the whole family.  Some of the soft tops are big enough for the family but pretty heavy and look like they are a pain in the ass to setup.  One of my YouTube subscribers and I exchanged a few comments and I thought it was a very unique and candid view of  roof top tents you don't hear all the time.

Thanks to planbenterprises for the great info!

Dude, don’t get a roof top tent. Had one in my LC, pain in the ass. Once it’s set up, you’re stuck. You can’t make camp then go anywhere. You have to stop travel earlier to get a slot at busy campgrounds. If you are ever going to be in one spot more than one day, it sucks. Mounting on a trailer is the way to go. Hell, I’d rather do a ground tent than deal with the RTT again. Especially if you are a short person with a tall roof. Trying to F with a cold zipper covered with dirt or dust or snow while standing on Your tippy toes sucks. Trailer. Trailer. Trailer. Or easy pop up ground tent. Your rig doesn’t look as cool, but way easier!,,,
Thanks man! I appreciate the advice. I thought about this a little since we currently ground camp and it's real nice just leaving the tent up while we explore. I really like the fiberglass pop ups but they are expensive and way to small for my crew. I would love to build a trailer one day too! Thanks again!
For everyone thinking about it. LC advice. Had a 80 series with 3 inch OME heavies as a lift. On 33” bfg’s KO2’s. Had a custom heavy duty luggage rack built for it, customized around a Tapui tent. Big one. Cool setup. It opened off the back end, over the tailgate, served as a small awning and protection, loved it. When I put up the little canvas room thing it kind of enclosed the back of the rig and I still had plenty room downstairs. Lots of compliments. Looked rad. Went everywhere. Nice to have during Grizzly and other bear sightings in the Tetons. Anyway, one time we are camped among the aspen trees north side of Humphreys, supposed to be a clear night. 1 AM starts to snow. Do you know how hard it is to put the rain fly up, at night, during a storm, below freezing, from the INSIDE of the tent, with your family sleeping below you? With NO access to the outside? Hell, even during the day in ideal conditions you have to climb all over the hood and roof of the rig like a monkey. Dangerous. And no, you can’t just leave it attached and fold the tent up with the fly on. Well I pulled it off, after giving up, getting dressed, going outside, using the ladder, yes I had to pack a ladder because of the RTT, and put the rain fly up. Took an hour. In the morning, 3 inches of snow in the tent. But the family was safe and dry.... this is where it gets interesting. We checked the weather on the FM radio, the worst part of the surprise storm was coming in a couple hours so we HAD to leave because nothing other than a snowmobile was going to be able to get us out pretty soon. It was going to be a challenge for my Tripple Locked 80 series to get home through the trail with 3 inches of snow..... more than that, not a chance. Knowing how hard it was going to be to pack that RTT up, knowing it was going to take me climbing all over a snow covered hood and roof of a truck to get it done, knowing we were out of cell range, knowing my wife wasn’t capable of navigating or driving the family home if I were to tumble....... I came this close (holds up fingers showing the length of a ticks dick) to just unbolting the RTT and dumping it in the forest. It took me two hours to fold up that canvas, knock the snow off, and still FAIL to zip it up. Drove home with a ratchet strap across the top of the unsecured tent. A ground tent, we’d of been out of there in 15 minutes tops. A trailer with a RTT mounted at chest level, 30 minutes tops. Oh, and try backing down a ladder in your PJ’s at 2 AM to take a leak.... then try doing it again an hour later because your kid has to go too...... RTTs are great for a trailer. Or a Subaru. One adult= I say sleep in the back of your rig. Two adults = RTT works great. Gotta be chest level, head level tops. Two adults and one child in the Tapui Autuna (second to largest one they made) was cramped. Way cramped. Full disclaimer. The Tapui product was great. Tough. Well built. No complaints about the product. But it’s application for my family? Pass. Seriously, make room for a pop up tent and a thick inflatable mattress.... save a grand (or two, or three, or four) and put that towards a small trailer. My 2 cents.

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