New affordable lite RTT option coming to soon!

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

Kevin108

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,741
Virginia Beach, VA
Member #

6632

I've had the Smitty 2783 for 3 years. I bought the least expensive model I could find because I felt like starting at "the bottom" was the only way to appreciate any additional quality the more expensive brands might offer and I had just gotten the FJ and wasn't sure just how often I'd be able to get out with it. Turns out I can get away for several weeks a year and currently have about 50 nights in the Smitty tent.

Mine needs a new rain fly. It has a hole. For now I patched the hole with some adhesive I had laying around. I called a 1-800 that Smittybilt's Facebook presence provided me and an American man answered the phone, no phone tree or other common commercial shenanigans. After a brief conversation, he provided me a part number and recommended ordering the replacement through my local 4 Wheel Parts. He could only estimate the cost for me, but it was in the neighborhood of $30. Affordable tents also have affordable replacement parts!

For the wind and branches the fly sees, I consider it a wear item and not a component failure. I've had no other issues with the tent as manufactured. I did modify the cover straps for some extra length. The original straps were too short to close the bedding up inside the tent. The hinge and cover had plenty of room, just the straps were short. From what I've been told, that was a shortcoming of the older version of the tent that has been corrected in later versions of the tent. With any tent or related component, that is something to keep in mind. Definitely do your homework and make sure you know what you're getting. I bring that up because there's also two (or more) iterations of the annex for this tent, Smittybilt 2788. The older version has the door behind the ladder, which makes no sense for the door or the ladder. The later versions correctly place the door on the side.

Other mods: I added a motion-sensing LED to the tent base for getting in and out in the dark. I added an eBay LED strip inside that is powered by USB. (I've read that the new versions come with one.) I added a zipper to one side of the cover to make it easier to remove and reinstall. I replaced the OEM extension ladder with a telescoping ladder from Tepui. The Tepui ladder is taller, stronger, and more adjustable. They run about $150 and require only one additional hole to be drilled in the tent base.

All that was just to say... If you're looking for an affordable rooftop tent, they are readily available from a name you already know. While Smittybilt can be hit or miss on quality with some of their parts, the tent is really nice and completely comparable to models costing significantly more.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brad78375

SpikeMD

Rank V
Member

Off-Road Ranger I

1,432
Granite Bay, CA
First Name
Ted
Last Name
Speicher
Member #

3127

Ham Callsign
WJ6SPK
Look at the specs on the small Tepui Ayer...it is tiny! Hence the lowest weight. Weight of fabric makes a big difference as well. The canvas is heavier but also breathes better and it warmer than straight polyester tent like Yakima.

The Overland Pros Anza has a nice open design for airflow without side windows therefore it doesn't require spring rods. Weight is about 110lbs.
 

jeepwillikers

Rank I

Traveler I

Look at the specs on the small Tepui Ayer...it is tiny! Hence the lowest weight. Weight of fabric makes a big difference as well. The canvas is heavier but also breathes better and it warmer than straight polyester tent like Yakima.

The Overland Pros Anza has a nice open design for airflow without side windows therefore it doesn't require spring rods. Weight is about 110lbs.
Just finished a 2 week trip through CO, UT, AZ from NJ in my Tepui Ayer. I agree it is tiny, but it is big enough for my wife and I to sleep in and leaves enough room on the roof of our Wrangler for a 60”x20” cargo rack mounted in front. The standard canopy for it was versatile enough to sleep comfortably in temps between the mid 30s to the upper 90s depending on the window configuration. I think I will probably also pick up an additional mesh canopy for future hot weather trips. I would say the biggest sacrifice of the small size is the lack of headroom when sitting up (I can only sit up straight when I am directly under the center support and I am 6’ tall) but we pretty much only used it for sleeping so it wasn’t to big an issue. If you are traveling alone or with a significant other, have a small vehicle, and/or don’t plan to spend much time in it except for sleeping it works brilliantly. If you are taller than about 6’ you may not be able to sleep comfortably in it.


Sent from my iPhone using OB Talk