Mounting my RTT to my Southern Style Offroad roof rack

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Contributor I

Obviously the way that a RTT is designed to mount makes it a bit of a PITA to put on and take off. I know a lot of people with SSO / Prinsu / Frontrunner / Victory etc roof racks that use the 10 series extruded cross bars have dedicated 2 cross bars to their tent, leaving the cross bars attached and removing or mounting the tent by mounting / unmounting the cross bars. There are also some quick release options, but these make the tent stick up in the air farther and I want to still be able to get into my garage so that's out.

I wanted to marry two cross bars permanently to my tent, but I didn't see any reason to use the factory hardware. Instead I removed the factory extrusions held on with 4 m6x1 bolts with fender washers and nylock nuts and turned two of the extruded cross bars from my SSO roof rack into the mounting bars. As luck would have it, the cross bar spacing on my SSO rack is exactly right for distance between the factory holes in my Tepui tent. I drilled through the cross bars in the locations of the RTT mounting holes, then milled a slot in the underside of the cross bars to capture the new 1/4-20 nylock fasteners. It works perfect, and the tent sits about 1.5" lower than it would using the factory mounting system.

Here's one of the slots I milled on the underside of the track to capture the fastener:



A closeup of one of the mounted bolts with the captured nut in place:



The crossbars in place. The Tepui factory extrusion is in the center for reference:



Obviously I left the bolts slightly loose, mounted the tent, and when I made sure all the bolt holes lined up and everything was where I wanted it I tightened the bolts down. Lineup ended up being perfect and this is going to make taking the tent off and putting it back on so much easier. There is a minor downside, though. Because of the small aluminum straps and hardware that hold on the nylon straps for the cover the tent has to be very slightly offset, otherwise those land right on the side rails and don't allow the crossbars to drop down.
 
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