Rooftop tent

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Neuvik

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What are the benefits of having a roof top tent versus just bringing a ground tent or having a set up in the back of your rig?
You are off the ground, so not tracking in mud/snow/sand. This also means in cold environments it won't suck as much heat from the tent. This goes the same with just sleeping in the bed of the truck.

Depending on what RRT they can also be deployed and stowed very shortly. This was major for me since stuff on the trail happens and you get to camp super late; Or it's raining/snowing and your Mrs. Just wants to bed down. My AT Habitat can be deployed in 30 seconds. That it I crawl in an we are done.

They are expensive though, require a rack or cover (the AT Habitat or GFC are integrated so it's one unit) so it's not just the price of the unit to figure out.

You do need to climb into them. Some people don't like that or want their dogs with them for some reason. (AT habitat or GFC you just climb into the bed of the vehicle.)

They do offset your center of gravity making difficult off camber trails more hair raising.

Depending on where they are mounted they are a target for branches.

Hope that helps.

Tents are great. I just don't like setting one up at 4am in the rain with an angry wife and baby haha.

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Road

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What are the benefits of having a roof top tent versus just bringing a ground tent or having a set up in the back of your rig?
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There are a lot of threads on just this topic, though hard to find in the searches.

I've used ground tents for all sorts of camping for over 50 yrs. I've also had pickup bed campers for multi-month adventures. A couple yrs ago I got a nice used hardshell RTT to put on my trailer. It can easily go on a vehicle, too. After considerable research on types of rooftop tents, I decided against the fold out flip open type.

For me, the benefits of having a rooftop tent are many:
  • It is MUCH easier and faster to find a spot to level vehicle or trailer than it is to find a big and clear enough flat spot for a ground tent. The ground could be full of roots, rock, or mud and you can still level your trailer and pop up your RTT.
  • Time involved. I can park my trailer, undo four latches, push the tent up, and be inside arranging stuff for bed while friends are still scouting and clearing a suitable spot for their ground tent. Packs up just as quick.
  • Easier to use and get a good night's sleep if parking in a friend's driveway, roadside pull-off, or just about anywhere. Can't always pitch a tent on the ground, but if I can park my vehicle, I can pop up my rooftop tent.
  • I can leave all my bedding in place; sheets, pillows, even a couple days change of clothes. I also leave a TV tray and light up there full time, even when it's closed. The TV tray provides a flat surface for drinks and keeps books, , phones, keys, flashlight etc from being lost in bedding.
  • A hardshell RTT also provides extra storage space when closed and underway for flat items like camp chairs, awning poles; just anything that packs flat.
  • Easy and quick to set up in rain, wind, or snow. It's another reason I chose a pop up hard shell and not a flip out folding rooftop tent.
  • No ground cold.
  • No worries about digging a trench to divert storm runoff or dealing with ground tarps under your tent. That can be a big deal when camping back country.
  • Saves space. All my bedding, sleeping bags, jungle blankets, pillows, etc are already in the RTT, not elsewhere taking up space or having to be moved out of the way to get to something. Spend a lot of time on the road, and this is a big deal, too.
  • Exercise. I see a lot of folks saying "I'm too old to be going up and down a ladder." I'm in my 60s and am absolutely convinced that going up and down ladders as much as I do and climbing all over my rig helps me stay more fit, maintain better balance, and increases my agility.
  • I've been pleasantly surprised how comfortable it can be for afternoon naps in the desert. The white top reflects a lot, and if vented right you most always get a sweet cross-breeze moving inside the tent.
  • Contrary to what folks think, it does really well in high winds and rain. I zip mine up tight against driving rain and stay snug and dry. The tent sides are water repellent and can be retreated as needed, like any tent should be.
It's really a snug, cozy, place to nap, read a book, get a great night's sleep, feel secure, and know the next morning you can pack it all up in a snap and get rolling.

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FishinCrzy

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I've got a fold out hard top and it takes about two minutes to setup and five minutes to pack up. It's really bigger than I need but that hasn't been an issue so far. It takes me much longer to situate the bedding and put on my clothes/shoes, get the various stuff that doesn't stay up there that would have to be packed up in any tent. But most of all, it some of the best sleep I ever get. I don't want to get out of the bag in the morning. Of course I have a hard time rolling out most mornings! I can see that it doesn't fit everyone's style. Every method has pros and cons. I might get too decrepit to climb a ladder at some point. I ain't haulin' any 90 lb. dog up there either! I could see a clamshell trailer at some point but I'm liking the open feeling up off the ground so far.
 

Road

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I've got a fold out hard top and it takes about two minutes to setup and five minutes to pack up. It's really bigger than I need but that hasn't been an issue so far. It takes me much longer to situate the bedding and put on my clothes/shoes, get the various stuff that doesn't stay up there that would have to be packed up in any tent. But most of all, it some of the best sleep I ever get. I don't want to get out of the bag in the morning. Of course I have a hard time rolling out most mornings! I can see that it doesn't fit everyone's style. Every method has pros and cons. I might get too decrepit to climb a ladder at some point. I ain't haulin' any 90 lb. dog up there either! I could see a clamshell trailer at some point but I'm liking the open feeling up off the ground so far.
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Fold out hard top... yours has a hard shell on top, but tips up sideways and folds out into more interior space? Much more agreeable to me than the all soft fold outs.

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FishinCrzy

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Fold out hard top... yours has a hard shell on top, but tips up sideways and folds out into more interior space? Much more agreeable to me than the all soft fold outs.

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Yes, bigger than I need but hasn't been a problem yet. The soft top was a little too much climbing around to be out in the middle of nowhere alone. I have a little aluminum stool but I get in a hurry sometimes and just used the tire to climb up. Coming down is a little more problematic. And, there was the zipper, which wasn't terribly hard, just one more aggravation. The hard top is easy now and much safer as I can do everything standing on the ground. Even though I am still fairly nimble for an old guy I want to stay in the game as long as possible!
 
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Motomikeca

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What are the benefits of having a roof top tent versus just bringing a ground tent or having a set up in the back of your rig?
Much I’d like to say was already said. First off I will never go back to a ground tent, not with all the other options out. Even though the new hub style ground tents pop up extremely fast now a days, they are no match for how fast we can set up and take down our hard shell RTT. Weather plays a huge factor on a ground tents as well, you don’t realize how vulnerable you are especially in high wind situations. I know our RTT surprises the heck out of us every time we get caught in mother nature’s wrath. The are well worth the money and easily justifiable in my opinion. Good luck on your decision making.
 

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Northman555

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Recently found a great you tube video on this very subject. I'm sold on an RTT. Only problem is the ones I want are sold out. Did everyone become an "overlander" during the pandemic last year? Lol. Oh boy.

Go search on YT and you'll probably find it!
 
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