I don't understand open bed trucks with racks and tents.

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MMc

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I see a lot of trucks here with a open bed, the rack with a roof top tent, why? What is the advantage. Is it because of the cost? is it most beds are short these days? Why no shell/topper? Why not a pop-up shell.
I have a long bed truck, shell and a overhead rack. The rack is for my toys, Surfboards, Kayaks, Fishing rods. whatever, sometimes I sit up there and watch the surf... I can sleep in the back and my stuff stays dry in the rain. It doesn't get dusty or muddy. It's mostly safe when I park somewhere and leave my truck. When I had smaller trucks brought a tent to keep stuff or sleep in, the rack/s was for toys and gear.
If this offends some of you, I apologize in advance. I just don't understand. If it works for you please tell me why.
 

RoarinRow

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I don't see to much of it around, but I image they like the flexibility of happening an open bed to store their gadgets, gear, and toys and tools. When they are not overlanding, then they will have an open bed to do as they wish. So I guess it's for flexibility. I like my camper shell cause I can sleep in it with not setup time. My shell has a basket on top for gear.

So it looks like the reverse configuration for people with an open bed, that is gear on the bottom and sleep quarters on top. Maybe it is easier to pull gear out from the bed than from on top of a camper shell. I know it would be easier on my back lol.
 

MidOH

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When I did that. Bundutec on a HD ladder rack, spare tire forward, all the expo cool stuff mounted on the rack.......

was because :
-we had motorcycles in the bed.
-caps are hot and humid, RTT's are breezy
-overly friendly, weird, Canadians can't climb ladders

Sadly, todays camping has changed. We pile all of the vehicles in the same unimportant spot. And drag our tents to a cool scenic spot where trucks shouldn't go.

Ground tent > RTT. We've come full circle.
 

JCWages

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It's hard to shuttle multiple mountain bikes over the tailgate with a cap.

Some people feel clausterphobic sleeping inside a cap.

Short bed mid-size trucks only have a bed length of around 5 feet making them too short to sleep in.

Caps are crazy expensive when purchased new.

My wife thinks caps turn pickups into "grandpa trucks. So she won't approve my request for one. lol


There are pros and cons with both systems. Some people start with one system then switch as needs change or deals pop up.
 

MMc

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Thanks for the answers. I do not buy some, but who am I. I really want to hear the reasons for a open bed over a shell.
I have a mountaineering, backpacking and climbing back ground. Most of the RTT are not good 3 season tents, in my opinion.
 
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MidOH

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Also, I can't walk in the bed with a shell, and open up my cargo boxes.

What do you consider a 3 season tent? Because a shell isn't a very good 3 season tent either. Single wall, still. You'll need attention towards breathability, AC and heaters, to keep condensation down.

RTT's are mostly a west coast arid climate deal.
 
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toxicity_27

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A buddy of mine has a rack, and a tonneau cover. His tonneau cover keeps things dry, while he has the rack for his RTT. He can remove the rack when he doesn't need it, and still has full access to the bed on the truck. This is on a Frontier.
 

vdeal

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I think part of the issue is folks who buy pickups never intending to use them as trucks. I have a small homestead and haul rocks, straw, mulch, wood, etc. in my truck. I also carry my mt. bikes on a Yakima Bedrock with Lockjaw mounts that puts the bikes above cab height. Canoes - I pop on the Yakima Outdoorsman. I can put them on or take them off in under 10 minutes. A shell turns a truck into an SUV without the back seats - just buy an SUV in that case. I really like the design of the Leitner Active Bed System with the slideable top rail. I could have that on and by just sliding the rail forward I could still haul large furniture or an appliance like a refrigerator. Can't do that with a shell. I guess I just like using a vehicle for what it was designed for instead of trying to turn it into something else.
 

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Also, I can't walk in the bed with a shell, and open up my cargo boxes.

What do you consider a 3 season tent? Because a shell isn't a very good 3 season tent either. Single wall, still. You'll need attention towards breathability, AC and heaters, to keep condensation down.

RTT's are mostly a west coast arid climate deal.
Versatility is the name of the game. Each to his or her own vise or need ! When I go camping, that's what I do camp out, and shelter is my prime concern. RTT's are a pain in the neck and you couldn't give me one. I think money is the biggest factor in what kind of rig one constructs, I know it is my issue. We go with whatever we have, the OB way.
 

The other Sean

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A buddy of mine has a rack, and a tonneau cover. His tonneau cover keeps things dry, while he has the rack for his RTT. He can remove the rack when he doesn't need it, and still has full access to the bed on the truck. This is on a Frontier.

I'm in process of doing similar, but my plan is to be able to mount my hi-lift and Maxtrax on the sides and either a cargo basket or cargo box on top of the bars (having a low set made that clear the tonneau as it rolls up) depending on if I am in DD / road trip / adventure mode.

There is no ideal setup. each has it's draw backs. Even with what I'm going with, I'm sure I'll end up with version 2 as I already see drawbacks to my idea.

Depending on the truck, some bed caps are specific to that vehicle, so, used are rare as hen's teeth and new is $$$
 

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Thanks for the answers. I do not buy some, but who am I. I really want to hear the reasons for a open bed over a shell.
I have a mountaineering, backpacking and climbing back ground. Most of the RTT are not good 3 season tents, in my opinion.
Same back ground and I agree, where is the advantage of an RTT unless it is on an SUV. Even more perplexing to me is the RTT on a trailer craze. Almost every one I see the RTT is too low to get proper access to the trailer. I am sure the RTT is going to be a short term craze.

The hard shell RTT like the James Baroud on a Wrangler make perfect sense. A sleep platform as secure, durable, compact as a Thule. With a 5 second setup time. And you can drive/reposition fully setup. But the average RTT is exactly why I no longer tent. Setup/Packup is way too complicated.... especially in the rain.

Flame me if you want but thats my view on RTTs.

jamesbaroud2-1280x640.jpeg
 

JTW5

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I have my truck set up this way as I usually take a kayak with me and often times a good bit of other lake/camping equipment with me. It gives me the ability to sleep in my tent that is more comfortable than anything I could build for the bed of my truck and still keeps my bed open. I travel to hunt as well so I need the bed of my truck free.
qiisKJpWSCanR0Tf%ZxHQw.jpg
 

JCWages

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Thanks for the answers. I do not buy some, but who am I. I really want to hear the reasons for a open bed over a shell.
I have a mountaineering, backpacking and climbing back ground. Most of the RTT are not good 3 season tents, in my opinion.
Sounds to me like you're trying to justify your style of overlanding equipment over another which is NOT what this forum is all about. There is no superior vehicle platform or superior style of sleeping arrangement. The only one that matters is the one that works for your specific needs and budget until either of those change.

Wanting to understand why some folks do what they do is cool but how you phrase your questions and responses makes a big difference in how the membership reacts to a post. That's why so many of us come here. To avoid snarky responses and feel welcomed no matter what kind of rig we drive or how we mod it. :smile:

Some of us like the versatility of a rack and tent that can be disassembled as needed for the occasion.

Some examples of how I use my truck. Some of which can be done with a cap and some can't or would be very difficult. And keep in mind, I like caps and may have one someday. They offer lots of other advantages I like.

Oops, I need to haul hay today? Shoot I wasn't prepared but I can do it.


Haul these office desks to the dump? Ok.


Herbicide spray day. So glad I don't have a bed rug or sleeping platform to soak up this water or potential herbicide leaks.


What do you mean we need to use my truck to haul the kids bikes to the bike park for his birthday party?


Shoot, those bikes don't fit under the rack. I'll just unbolt this 70lb rack real quick (4 bolts) and make room.
 

jimbofoxman

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Too each their own I guess........I think caps are silly, same with tonneau covers but that's because I've always used my trucks like a truck. I don't have any of it right now; cap, cover, rack, RTT or otherwise. Been debating a RTT and it would be on a rack. Would install a hoist in the garage to take it all off if needed, but that would be more for the winter months. I do have other options for hauling stuff if needed.......but in the end I've always thought caps/covers were useless, get in the way and just plain silly. But that's just me.....and I got issues! :tearsofjoy:
 

jimbofoxman

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A buddy of mine has a rack, and a tonneau cover. His tonneau cover keeps things dry, while he has the rack for his RTT. He can remove the rack when he doesn't need it, and still has full access to the bed on the truck. This is on a Frontier.
That might be the only way I'd have a tonneau cover is with one of those racks that work with the cover. Caps just don't work for me and my truck uses. If camping became more common thing for me (I'm trying to make it that way) I could see having a tonneau for keeping things dry for camping. But with tonneau covers, I just didn't want to be one of them trucks!
 
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RoarinRow

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It's hard to shuttle multiple mountain bikes over the tailgate with a cap.

Some people feel clausterphobic sleeping inside a cap.

Short bed mid-size trucks only have a bed length of around 5 feet making them too short to sleep in.

Caps are crazy expensive when purchased new.

My wife thinks caps turn pickups into "grandpa trucks. So she won't approve my request for one. lol


There are pros and cons with both systems. Some people start with one system then switch as needs change or deals pop up.
Grandpa truck lol. That's what I thought for many years until I got one and see modded trucks with camper shells, then I was like, 'now that is cool'. Luckily my wife thought cool, it's like a SUV now.
 

Lanlubber

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Same back ground and I agree, where is the advantage of an RTT unless it is on an SUV. Even more perplexing to me is the RTT on a trailer craze. Almost every one I see the RTT is too low to get proper access to the trailer. I am sure the RTT is going to be a short term craze.

The hard shell RTT like the James Baroud on a Wrangler make perfect sense. A sleep platform as secure, durable, compact as a Thule. With a 5 second setup time. And you can drive/reposition fully setup. But the average RTT is exactly why I no longer tent. Setup/Packup is way too complicated.... especially in the rain.

Flame me if you want but thats my view on RTTs.

View attachment 104189
All opinions are welcome in my opinion. This thread is very similar to the thread on what vehicle makes the best rig, pick up or SUV ! The important thing is to get out there any way you can, equipment will come in due time.