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Fishy
02-11-2013, 04:07 PM
As per Nakmans pledge of using this forum instead of MUD as the first place to go for help/advice......here I am.

It's time for a RTT for me. We've got a lot planned this year and I'd like a RTT for my travels and for when I've got Keagan with me. I've been 2 days searching the websites and Youtube looking at all the different models. I was naive to think that there were only one or two companies. There's like 50 companies with 20 different models each. I'm not looking for you to say "buy this or that", but rather what features you like/dislike about yours or ones you've seen. I've got 5 or 6 trips planned so far this year, and we'll do a few local overnighters. I figure I'll use the tent +/-20 times a year.

We'll probably get a popup sometime in the future as the girls get older, but for now a RTT is at the top of the list.

I guess I'm not really sure what to look for in features/materials. And, I don't want to spend $2500, so Eezi-Awn and hard tops are out.

treerootCO
02-11-2013, 04:17 PM
Find one that you can mount and un-mount by yourself. That should rule out most of 'em ;)

Fishy
02-11-2013, 04:33 PM
I thought this was a pretty decent idea.
W7r0hGS5uDM

Jenny Cruiser
02-11-2013, 04:44 PM
They pop up all the time. Just keep an eye on craigslist and you'll pick one up before long. Most people who bought them here rarely used them and have largely resold them for more than what they originally had in them. :rolleyes:

bgoodheart
02-11-2013, 04:46 PM
Check the members forum Fishy (not sure how to link to it here), I got the gents at Tepui Tents to commit to a RS discount on their tents. From what I've seen of them, they are a pretty decent line of tents, and the discount is substantial.

BJ

DaveInDenver
02-11-2013, 04:47 PM
I like the ones where you can stand up inside.

bgoodheart
02-11-2013, 04:50 PM
Found it:

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=17193&highlight=tepui

Caribou Sandstorm
02-11-2013, 05:01 PM
Find one that you can mount and un-mount by yourself. That should rule out most of 'em ;)

Is there such a thing???

I have Camping lab which I think comes from the same manufacturer that makes Mombasa RTTs . Christo probably knows a ton about RTTs, I think many are made in South Africa.

Fernando is the owner of Camping Lab and is based out of Florida. He is a good guy and is from South Africa.

Mine has the plastic base vs marine grade plywood like EZ awn. I would agree EzAwn are probably best quality but I have had mine since 2009 and it has held up very well. I keep it in the garage and only install when I am going to use it. So I am happy with my $850.00 purchase.

Wife helps me lift it on the truck. Takes 20 mins to tighten.

The kids love the sleeping pad and it is actually warmer then a standard tent, I guess the canvas is heavier duty. I took the rain fly off, cause when it is windy, it is noisy.. The canvas is water resistant and never has leaked.

I have the smaller size of the Camping Lab. If I had to do it all over again, I might buy the bigger size. As it is now, wife and 2 kids fit well up there but I sleep in the truck. Not much different than at home..:D

If I could pic a favorite RTT and money was no bother, it would be the style Iggy has. Light weight and more arrow dynamic but those are like 3k.

Finally I would say buy one used. I bet it would have less than 10 uses, if you could find one slightly used. Then you could save bundles....

Fishy
02-11-2013, 05:32 PM
I have the smaller size of the Camping Lab. If I had to do it all over again, I might buy the bigger size. As it is now, wife and 2 kids fit well up there but I sleep in the truck. Not much different than at home..:D

If I could pic a favorite RTT and money was no bother, it would be the style Iggy has. Light weight and more arrow dynamic but those are like 3k.

Finally I would say buy one used. I bet it would have less than 10 uses, if you could find one slightly used. Then you could save bundles....

I'm almost getting talked out of a RTT here. I did sleep in my truck a bunch last year. I just used a tarp over the tailgate and bungee'd it to the truck. Worked great, the kids loved it. We stayed warm, dry and cozy.

nakman
02-11-2013, 05:39 PM
I like the ones where the ladder is completely outside the footprint of the tent as opposed to underneath the tent and protected by it . Just seems to me like a waste of "tent space" up top for the ladder, and a waste of sheltered space down below. Twice I've sought refuge under a RTT during adverse weather (horizontal rain/snow awfulness) and it was kinda neat, being inside those changing room walls. But never so bad that I couldn't have made it up the stairs to go to bed.

Have you read that article that Kurt Williams wrote on these? I thought he did a great job explaining the +'s and -'s of RTT's in general, and some of the key differences. Pretty sure it's on Expo, maybe his site as well... lmk if you want help finding it.

farnhamstj
02-11-2013, 05:44 PM
If you know a camper is in your future, Save the money and just use a regular on the ground tent. Better gas milage, less weight, truck still fits in garage, don't have to bring camp with you if you have to run to town for something.

I'll suggest borrowing someones for a weekend and see how you like it. We rented one and quickly learned it was not at all what we wanted.

I particularly disliked having to climb up and down the ladder at 2am when kids had to go to the bathroom.

Romer
02-11-2013, 05:53 PM
Stan,
I like the ARB Simpson III. It unfolds easy and gets put away quick. It is a bit longer than the sleeping bag so you can put your boots down near the end and a small bag. I also has the little extra cover area so people cant see right into the tent.

And yes Mike, I install it myself. I pull into the garage, lower it down, bolt it on and go
http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=559088&stc=1&d=1316921572

http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=559086&stc=1&d=1316921572
http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=559087&stc=1&d=1316921572

Course I have tall garage doors that allow me to clear it with the tent installed

The lift mechanism is $150 with free shippinghttp://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0009I8AO6/ref=nosim/ihco-20

The ARB Simpson was very comfortable on the Maze trip. I used nakmans full rack and also had two forerrunner two natao gas can carriers mounted on the back. Used on for gas and the other for a propane tank for the propane fire (no wood fires allowed)

http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=572258&stc=1&d=1321235510
http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=572259&stc=1&d=1321235510
http://forum.ih8mud.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=572260&stc=1&d=1321235510


Kurt from cruiseroutfitters has a great review of them

http://forum.ih8mud.com/cruiser-outfitters/306676-product-spotlight-new-arb-simpson-iii-roof-top-tent.html

Keith
02-11-2013, 06:57 PM
I have a Tepui mounted over the shell of my Tacoma. I picked it up from SoftTopper in Boulder for about $1k if I remember correctly. Reasons I went w/ the Tepui:

-Cheaper than most models out there.
-Takes up a very small footprint on top of the truck. I can still load 5 bikes on the roof rack over the cab while it is on the shell... Yet it opens up to be a little bigger than a queen sized mattress.
-I can open it off the back... Giving me shelter for the tailgate, which serves as our kitchen.

After some use (Probably about 10 nights in the last 8 months) I've discovered:
-The foam mattress it comes with is only a tiny bit softer than a board of plywood.... This is easily remedied by putting a memory foam pad sized for a queen mattress in there.
-Sleeping up there is freakin awesome! So much more comfortable than any other camping situation I've used. And if you park in the trees it's like being in a tree house.
-Getting out to pee is a little difficult in the middle of the night. If you tend to get drunk when you camp, this would be a terrible idea.
-It really hasn't hurt my gas mileage as much as I thought it would. Maybe a 5% reduction if that.
-Keeps me quite warm and quite dry. More so than any other tent/system I've used.
-My girlfriend likes it even more than I do.

Keith
02-11-2013, 07:10 PM
one other thing:
It's super easy and fast to put up and take down, especially when compared w/ a ground tent. My girlfriend and I can do it in about 5 minutes and it takes about 8 minutes to do it solo. Plus, all your bedding stays up there, so you pop it up and rack out and you are not occupying space in the truck with pillows and blankets.

nuclearlemon
02-11-2013, 07:23 PM
one big thing to consider is how easily you can set it up/take it down. i found out during the killpecker run that i could never use a standard fold over tent because i'm not tall enough to be able to deal with the cover, fold it down and fold it back up.

get a used maggi.. you can find them for about $1500-1700 and they don't really lose they're value.

i could set up in 2 minutes where it took treeroot 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. granted, he did have the vestibule, but even without, it still took a long time. teardown for me was 5 minutes. treeroot was still close to the same time.

after three days when we rolled in for fuel, the guys with the soft tents were on empty, i had a 1/4 tank. i've found no mileage loss at all.

Fishy
02-11-2013, 08:28 PM
Lots of good stuff on here. I appreciate the feedback. I thought I had my mind made up that I was getting one. I still think I would use it enough. The ARB like Romer has goes for about $900 on CL once in a while. The Maggi is top $ for sure, but seems like the easiest setup. Now I'm not sure what to do. Here's the article Nakman referenced from Kurt Williams.
http://www.rme4x4.com/showthread.php?70805-Is-a-rooftop-tent-(RTT)-for-me
EDIT: Same story Romer posted.

I had been thinking I'd at least like one for the Kokopelli trip. But, there's really not much downside to just sleeping in the back of the truck either. (Except maybe ventilation) OTOH, the kids would be psyched to sleep up top on our local overnighters. Seems like half of you like them, the other half don't. Do those of you who have them feel like you use it enough? Or, is it too much of a hassle? Damn Nakman and his "Post it on the RS forum" pep talk.......;) Way to douse the flames on my slumber in the sky.

:offtobed:

nakman
02-11-2013, 09:08 PM
one other thing:
... My girlfriend and I can do it in about 5 minutes and it takes about 8 minutes to do it solo...

Just pointing out for the record that I could have said something really really inappropriate and funny but am taking the high road here... don't want to scare you away too quick here Keith. :lmao: :D


Stan I had one for about 4 years and hardly used it. It was almost better to take the popup, or just a tent, or just crash in the truck. Then once I finally did I realized it just wasn't for me. Like Farnham said, you should try to borrow one, with at least one kid (you can borrow one of mine if yours can't go)- I bet you'd learn real quick if you liked RTT life.

MDH33
02-11-2013, 09:26 PM
Edit: before I had a kid...

I have an ARB Simpson II, the older model that Romer and Kurt have. I really like it. I lived out of my FJ60 a few summers ago and the RTT was great. I like that it doesn't get filthy when it rains or snows from mud on the ground. It has a mattress. I could fill my rig with gear and not have to worry about making room to sleep in it. I CAN put it on and take it off myself with some ingenuity. Going up and down the ladder is easier for me than crawling around on my knees to get in and out of a small tent and the RTT is a lot more wind/weather stable than a giant ground tent. Since selling my FJ60 I have built a rack on my Hilux and mounted it to my bed rails. It's great. Even easier to put on and off, easier to get in and out of. I just miss the enclosed FJ60 cab for my gear. I wish I could mount it on my FJ40 because I enjoy driving the 40 most. Someday I'll sell everything, buy an FJ45 Troopy (or maybe another FJ60) and mount a RTT on it.

http://mdhuber.smugmug.com/photos/i-ZjGCgTP/0/L/i-ZjGCgTP-L.jpg

Now that I have a kid I just don't wheel or camp anymore. :hill:

Fishy
02-11-2013, 09:27 PM
one other thing:
My girlfriend and I can do it in about 5 minutes and it takes about 8 minutes to do it solo.

^^^ Good catch Tim! :lmao: Dang that's funny......I can't believe I missed that! What's happening to me?

Fishy
02-11-2013, 09:33 PM
Edit: before I had a kid...
Now that I have a kid I just don't wheel or camp anymore. :hill:

Martin I like that set up a lot! Wanna sell it? :)

It looks like some tents don't open flat. Some have a slight "V" to them. The ARB's (Romers and Martins pics) look totally flat when open. The Tepui's look "V" shaped in their pics??

bh4rnnr
02-11-2013, 09:41 PM
I own an Eazi-Awn 1200 Series. Love it. Roof Top Tents are not for everybody. Theres things i'd change with my 1200, support post to be specific. Pinched at the bottom, where they mount to the base (mine cracked, Thanks Equipt for replacement!). ARB did better with this. Take down and set up is not much more than a ground, it's just what your used to, prefer.

I'd say check other folks set up first then go from there.

Recomend a fridge first.

Fishy
02-11-2013, 09:48 PM
Recomend a fridge first.

ARB fridge and an inverter are already installed. Did that right away. This was supposed to be just a fishing truck. Then Romer and Nakman told me to come check out a Rising Sun meeting......:cool:

MDH33
02-11-2013, 09:49 PM
Martin I like that set up a lot! Wanna sell it? :)

It looks like some tents don't open flat. Some have a slight "V" to them. The ARB's (Romers and Martins pics) look totally flat when open. The Tepui's look "V" shaped in their pics??

Sure, make me an offer.

They don't open completely flat when there is no one inside. There are straps that cross over the internal frame that help support it and it seems like there is some tension there that keeps them from opening flat when empty. When you're inside, it seems to flatten out. I've never noticed it feeling like it was V shaped when inside, but it is noticeable from outside.

nakman
02-11-2013, 09:52 PM
^^^ Good catch Tim! :lmao: Dang that's funny......I can't believe I missed that! What's happening to me?

You're married now. So cut the group time in half, and double the solo... :D

treerootCO
02-11-2013, 09:58 PM
Bam! One man RTT install

31977

Romer
02-11-2013, 10:18 PM
Stan

I started with the Jayco Pop-up. Was the offroad version, but the partricle board interior would need some repairing ocassionally. Truth be told with a young family, its the right approach. Kids get bored. Sitting at the kitchen table coloring or watching a movie really helps with family trips. I sold it when the girls grew up and went to college/moved out.

I used an RTT (Oasis II) when Rachel and I went on the Rubicon in 2008. Being an adult then it wasnt too bad for the two of us.

I got the AT Horizon, wasnt for me and a bit cramped when Rachel came along. Sold that before a year was up

Really like the Kimberley. Queen bed for two and the floor is the same size and can sleep two more inside with heat if needed. Mostly just me these days and it sets up pretty quick and is comfortable for me.

I bought the RTT because I was told I could not take the Kimberely on the Maze. There was really only one spot it would have been a challenge. The RTT was pretty good and I wouldnt hesitate to take it on a trip for just me in the tent on an expedition run with the group

With a young family, the RTT would be difficult as a regular camping rig. Maybe OK for the ocassional. Great when you go with the club on an expedition run that doesnt work for a camper.

In all honesty, for a family camping rig, I would look to a pop-up. It will be a lot easier with a family as a regular camper. The RTT may work for the one trail run now and then, but it will be cramped.

What I am saying is you should figure out how to get a camper with some offroad capability and either tent camp of get a inexpensive RTT for those solo camping trips.

A Popup is much better with kids and you can get a used Jayco Baja or Evolution fairly inexpensive. When they are happy you get to be happy

Fishy
02-11-2013, 11:14 PM
Good info Ken. Thanks for that.......makes sense.

nakman
02-11-2013, 11:40 PM
Another vote for the popup with small kids. Really makes for a happy wife, the worse the weather is the better the camper. I power the microwave with the inverter in the 100 for 3-minute mac & cheese. This is our current setup... was about $2k used then a couple years later another $2k for the SOA and toyhauler mod.
http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/attachment.php?attachmentid=30605&stc=1&d=1349231547

This was our first camper, back when we just had one kid. Also SOA, but smaller 8' box and it got really small feeling when that pack & play came out again. I miss the tow vehicle more than the camper. :o

MountainGoat
02-12-2013, 11:22 AM
I seem to have developed some sort of irresistable attraction to getting one of these (http://www.socalteardrops.com/page.php?p=22). Even though I know it would set me back about $20k to get it set up the way I want.

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/mountaingoat/2013/krawler1.jpg http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/mountaingoat/2013/krawler2.jpg

I really need somebody to talk me out of it. :hill:

loudbay
02-12-2013, 11:35 AM
That thing looks AWESOME!!! :D

I seem to have developed some sort of irresistable attraction to getting one of these (http://www.socalteardrops.com/page.php?p=22). Even though I know it would set me back about $20k to get it set up the way I want.

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/mountaingoat/2013/krawler1.jpg http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/mountaingoat/2013/krawler2.jpg

I really need somebody to talk me out of it. :hill:

CardinalFJ60
02-12-2013, 11:54 AM
I seem to have developed some sort of irresistable attraction to getting one of these (http://www.socalteardrops.com/page.php?p=22). Even though I know it would set me back about $20k to get it set up the way I want.

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/mountaingoat/2013/krawler1.jpg http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/uploads/mountaingoat/2013/krawler2.jpg

I really need somebody to talk me out of it. :hill:
Sorry, Dan....you really do need one of these. :D:thumb:

Romer
02-12-2013, 12:12 PM
So if we are dreaming, I would give up the Kimberley if I could get this. The Ozzies get all the good stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpauUSmtJmA

Hulk
02-12-2013, 12:41 PM
So if we are dreaming, I would give up the Kimberley if I could get this. The Ozzies get all the good stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpauUSmtJmA

That thing is amazing. I want one!

Fishy
02-12-2013, 12:45 PM
So if we are dreaming, I would give up the Kimberley if I could get this. The Ozzies get all the good stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpauUSmtJmA

:eek:That thing is so stinkin' awesome! But, at around $53,000 US, I'm priced out.

MTSN
02-12-2013, 03:48 PM
I've been close to pulling the trigger on one as well and noticed the thread on expo about a group buy for the CVT tents. It looks like they're going to be at a 30% discount because of how many people have showed interest. I like several of their designs; here are the links:

CVT:
http://www.cascadiatents.com/Roof_Top_Tents.htm?m=94

Group buy:
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/group-buys/262434-feeler-roof-top-tent-group-buy-anyone.html

OilHammer
02-12-2013, 05:24 PM
I love photo 7 in this: http://www.socalteardrops.com/gallery.php?g=10

Pretty much everything says, "oh snap...we can't make this, back up!"
Reverse lights on, trailer tongue planted, running board planted....hahaha

Cool trailer, but I'm having a hard time understanding buiding a teardrop and then adding a RT to that.

I think the sweet design would be to make a hybrid of the buzz off and the larger one. Essentially, I like the low profile of the buzz off, but I like the "trunk" on the other. So, I think you build it so that there's a cargo box with a bed on top. The "shell" lowers down to squish the bed to just a few inches (for mattress and pillows) and it covers the cargo area below. When in camp, raise it like a pop-up, but the lower half is now exposed for access, and the bed volume becomes just like the buzz off, but higher off the ground.

MountainGoat
02-12-2013, 10:34 PM
Cool trailer, but I'm having a hard time understanding building a teardrop and then adding a RT to that.

My line of thought was the wife & kids sleep in the trailer and me in the tent initially. Then as the kids get older we could rearrange. There would always be room for the four of us in some configuration (plus the dogs could sleep in the changing room off the RT). I think it would be cool.

Edit: It does sort of kill the whole aerodynamic aspect of the teardrop design though. :homer:

OilHammer
02-12-2013, 11:12 PM
So if we are dreaming, I would give up the Kimberley if I could get this. The Ozzies get all the good stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpauUSmtJmA

Oh wow....that's pretty much got everything. I would love something like that, but only as a set up base camp kind of scenario. Like...set it up in the dollhouse or hells kitchen, and come back every night. Dragging something around in the desert for the long hauls would be a bit much.
Actually, $50k sounds reasonable when you see how much this has in it......and how much a cabin would cost you in the mtns. :)
Shoot, any RV is mega bucks and this one is clearly a leatherman grade tool.
Well, we were dreaming and all, right?

Keith
02-13-2013, 08:04 PM
Just pointing out for the record that I could have said something really really inappropriate and funny but am taking the high road here... don't want to scare you away too quick here Keith. :lmao: :D


Don't worry, I don't scare very easily.

Fishy
02-13-2013, 08:28 PM
So, I had been thinking maybe a RTT wasn't for me. Then my wife showed me Keagan's winter journal from school. Here was yesterday's entry....It's official, we're back in the RTT market.
Is there anything better in the world than kids who enjoy being outside??

bh4rnnr
02-13-2013, 08:50 PM
Kurt's write up on RTT's

http://www.rme4x4.com/showthread.php?70805-Is-a-rooftop-tent-(RTT)-for-me

OilHammer
02-15-2013, 03:25 PM
I keep thinking about something like this though. http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/36791-It-seems-Eureka-made-a-flippac-type-tent-for-the-FJ40



Of course, none of this matters to most of you since I'm the only one that wheels a 40 anymore. lol

Here's the troopie version http://forum.ih8mud.com/fj45-owners-club/245935-j45-german-buschtaxi-treffen-08-a-2.html

Fishy
02-19-2013, 02:04 PM
As I've been looking more and more into this, how stout are the soft RTT covers? Can they handle the scratching/slapping of tree branches on the trail?

I did some trails last year that beat the top of my truck up pretty good from low hanging branches. It seems like the Maggiolina is the clear choice because of its ease of operation and hard shell. They don't come cheap though. I'm on the lookout for a used one.

bh4rnnr
02-19-2013, 07:43 PM
As I've been looking more and more into this, how stout are the soft RTT covers? Can they handle the scratching/slapping of tree branches on the trail?

I did some trails last year that beat the top of my truck up pretty good from low hanging branches. It seems like the Maggiolina is the clear choice because of its ease of operation and hard shell. They don't come cheap though. I'm on the lookout for a used one.

Imho, the Maggiolina would be the ones to avoid. Pocking a hole through the shell would be expensive. Eazi-Awn, and ARB (others as well i'm sure) have heavy duty canvas covers for the tents. Plus, the tents are folded up in storage while traveling. Main parts of the tent are protected by the base.

MDH33
02-19-2013, 08:17 PM
The cover on my ARB is (or is very similar to) Hypalon. It's really pretty tough stuff. The zipper on the cover failed long before the cover and I procured and purchased a new cover (with improved zipper) from Kurt easily and for a reasonable price. I'm sure the maggiolina would be tougher, but for the extra cost, I can replace my cover a few times, but I doubt I'll ever have to again.

Fishy
02-19-2013, 08:48 PM
Imho, the Maggiolina would be the ones to avoid. Pocking a hole through the shell would be expensive. Eazi-Awn, and ARB (others as well i'm sure) have heavy duty canvas covers for the tents. Plus, the tents are folded up in storage while traveling. Main parts of the tent are protected by the base.

The cover on my ARB is (or is very similar to) Hypalon. It's really pretty tough stuff. The zipper on the cover failed long before the cover and I procured and purchased a new cover (with improved zipper) from Kurt easily and for a reasonable price. I'm sure the maggiolina would be tougher, but for the extra cost, I can replace my cover a few times, but I doubt I'll ever have to again.

Good points. It's probably gonna come down to anything decent that pops up for sale on CL..... with a price that's close to what I have in my spending pocket that day.

nuclearlemon
02-20-2013, 08:26 AM
Imho, the Maggiolina would be the ones to avoid. Pocking a hole through the shell would be expensive. .

why? repairing fiberglass is easy and cheap. having a new heavy duty cover sewn up or a new zipper sewn in is expensive. and i don't have to dick around with trying to get a cumbersome cover on.

Rezarf
02-20-2013, 09:36 AM
why? repairing fiberglass is easy and cheap. having a new heavy duty cover sewn up or a new zipper sewn in is expensive. and i don't have to dick around with trying to get a cumbersome cover on.

I'm with Ige, I'd prefer dragging a fiberglass RTT though trees over a cloth tent.
Not many toppers get holes poked in them from branches. Personally, if I could afford a Magiollina I would be all over their carbon fiber version. Lots of space, DRY and lightweight. :thumb: