Looking for a Roof Top Tent

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Ameyryan

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Contributor I

60
Quarryville, PA, USA
First Name
Ryan
Last Name
Amey
I'm currently baffled by how many options there are in roof top tents and blown away by the different configurations there are. Prior to researching I always assumed it was a ground tent modified to mount to a vehicle, more or less. This is most definitely not the case. So, on that note, I am finding it difficult to choose the best roof top tent for my application. Here is what I need from a tent, what I hope to gain, and what doesn't matter so much to me.

What I need:
-Enough space to fit two adults and a dog while being average weight or less.
-A ladder that can extend to at least 6'.
-For the tent to cost no more than a maximum of $1800 including shipping.
What I hope to gain:
-Crossbars on top of the tent so that kayaks, cargo boxes, ski carriers, etc. could be mounted as well. This would limit choices to only hard cased tents which I am still on the fence about. Thoughts?
-Included interior lighting in the tent would be nice, but also not something that is a big deal. Many other options exist for lighting inside the tent of course.
-Purchasing from an American made company would be a plus for me.
What doesn't matter as much:
-The look of the tent both folded and open.
-The brand, meaning that I have no loyalty or preference one way or the other except where it is made as previously mentioned.


Anyone have any thoughts? Any roof top tent companies or models I should look into?
 

Biker Eagle

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Chelsea, AL, USA
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Fiberglass/Aluminum RTT's start around the $3K mark and go up to $9K, which would restrict you to the used market. Also, you might be better served to research teardrop/squaredrop alternatives with the pet. Lifting a pet 6' in the air could get old quick.
 

1Louder

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Cross members is a deal breaker. You might be able to have someone fabricate something for you but I don't know of any that would fit that bill. If I had a hard shell ($$$$$$$) I wouldn't want to put anything on top at the risk of damaging it. What vehicle are you putting this on and what type of roof rack? Most folks put towers forward and after of the tent so when the Kayaks sit above the tent. Of course anything on those towers has to come off to open the tent. And remember the higher you stack the more you are messing with your vehicles center of gravity.

Lights - Plenty of small solar powered LED lights that work just fine.

USA! - I don't know of any US made tents in your price range. In fact I don't think there are many USA made ones to begin with.

Other than that plenty of good tents. 23Zero, CVT, Tepui... and many other brands.
 
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Ameyryan

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Contributor I

60
Quarryville, PA, USA
First Name
Ryan
Last Name
Amey
Fiberglass/Aluminum RTT's start around the $3K mark and go up to $9K, which would restrict you to the used market. Also, you might be better served to research teardrop/squaredrop alternatives with the pet. Lifting a pet 6' in the air could get old quick.
By teardrop/squaredrop I assume you mean trailer alternatives? I’ve been bouncing that thought around too. Great point on taking a pet up and down too, I hadn’t thought of that.
 

Ameyryan

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
Quarryville, PA, USA
First Name
Ryan
Last Name
Amey
Cross members is a deal breaker. You might be able to have someone fabricate something for you but I don't know of any that would fit that bill. If I had a hard shell ($$$$$$$) I wouldn't want to put anything on top at the risk of damaging it. What vehicle are you putting this on and what type of roof rack? Most folks put towers forward and after of the tent so when the Kayaks sit above the tent. Of course anything on those towers has to come off to open the tent. And remember the higher you stack the more you are messing with your vehicles center of gravity.

Lights - Plenty of small solar powered LED lights that work just fine.

USA! - I don't know of any US made tents in your price range. In fact I don't think there are many USA made ones to begin with.

Other than that plenty of good tents. 23Zero, CVT, Tepui... and many other brands.
I haven’t decided for certain which vehicle this will be going on. My wife has a lifted Jeep Wrangler and I drive a Subaru Crosstrek, it will probably be one of those two for now. When you say towers in front of and behind the tent, would these be custom parts? I’m not familiar with crossbars that would sit high enough to mount above an RTT.
 

1Louder

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By teardrop/squaredrop I assume you mean trailer alternatives? I’ve been bouncing that thought around too. Great point on taking a pet up and down too, I hadn’t thought of that.
A friend of mine built a custom ramp for his dog. She is probably 85lbs. So it really depends on the size and age of the dog. The trailer I am selling can feet a dog comfortably at the end of your feet or in one of the front cubby holes depending on the size of the dog. Just remember 95% of the Teardrops out there are a Queen Sized bed or smaller. And when they say Queen Sized that really mean something a few inches more narrow. A Queen is 60" and most trailers are around 56-57" interior width. Whereas there are plenty of CA King RTT's. After 6 years and many configurations I like sleeping indoors now.
 

1Louder

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I haven’t decided for certain which vehicle this will be going on. My wife has a lifted Jeep Wrangler and I drive a Subaru Crosstrek, it will probably be one of those two for now. When you say towers in front of and behind the tent, would these be custom parts? I’m not familiar with crossbars that would sit high enough to mount above an RTT.
You have small roofs! You would need a custom rack and here are some examples from a Turtleback Trailer with Kayak Towers.

turtleback.jpeg

turtleback-trailers.jpeg
 

BigDogYJ

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California, USA
First Name
Jamison
Last Name
Donato
I’ll tell you from experience. I borrowed a 4dr wrangler with a roof top tent before I bought my wrangler and honestly I didn’t like having the weight up on top of it. It’s a lot of personal preference but I felt like if I had to avoid anything suddenly it felt like it wanted to go over. I would never put one on my Jeep. Mind you I’ve driven lifted Jeeps and trucks my whole life. Just something to keep in mind. If you do go for it, might think about putting that tent on the Subaru or a trailer but that will increase your costs. Good luck.