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utspoolup

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Okay, so I have been given permission to buy a RTT for the X. Not like I do not own enough dam tents as it is, but the girlfriend said she may go out more often if I give her some convenience things, and she knows I am not keen on a trailer yet. Maybe later but if I get the tent now, I can transfer it to the trailer if needed. I am specifically looking at the CVT Mt Shasta. I like this size more, since it can fit all 3 of us now (its the same size as my halfdome we take currently. and we just sleep in the tent, its not a hang out spot), so I know we all can fit, but I estimate 95% of the time it will just be me and my daughter, and more than half that time it will be me solo. It also will not eat all my roof rack so I can leave it on a majority of the summer as needed. I have carefully measured everything and everything will still fit perfect.

But I have a few questions I would like the group to answer before I call CVT, as they will push their product being salesman of their own gear.

First, do you have any regrets with your purchase? Anything hindsight that you care to share?

Who has the mattress cover, is it needed, after reading dozens of reviews, I never see it mentioned, same with the anti-condensation mat?

With the top of my roof rack being just under 81", I will need a ladder extension per their site does everyone on here use an extension? Maybe its the added height of the Gobi that makes it taller than the factory rack, since reviewing photos I do not see the many extensions. I will be body lifting it later and will need the ladder extension for sure. But I just don't see many with the extension and was wondering why?

Last is a curiosity thing. Does anyone have the stargazer? I think it is just another possible leak point, so Ill likely not do it, but for the sake of my daughter I was curious.

Thanks in advance and thank you for whoever can give input. I will likely be pulling the trigger in 3 weeks, so Im still in heavy research phase.
 
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vagabondexpedition

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I'm running a Tepui at the moment and have nothing but good things to say.


I do have an anti-condensation mat. I camp in the chilly (and sometimes cold) weather. It helps keep moisture out of the foam mattress. I don't use a mattress cover though - I'm always in a sleeping bag.

My Jeep has 3.5" lift and the tent up on the Gobi rack - the supplied ladder is more than tall enough, so no extension required.

The Tepui I have isn't a 'star gazer' model - that came out after I bought mine - I'd be more worried about the 'star gazer' cracking and then you have a ruined tent - not just a leak point - but I haven't researched enough to know the material that's used in those star gazer options.

Hope that helps a bit!
 

Ontario Overland

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I'm running a Tepui at the moment and have nothing but good things to say.


I do have an anti-condensation mat. I camp in the chilly (and sometimes cold) weather. It helps keep moisture out of the foam mattress. I don't use a mattress cover though - I'm always in a sleeping bag.

My Jeep has 3.5" lift and the tent up on the Gobi rack - the supplied ladder is more than tall enough, so no extension required.

The Tepui I have isn't a 'star gazer' model - that came out after I bought mine - I'd be more worried about the 'star gazer' cracking and then you have a ruined tent - not just a leak point - but I haven't researched enough to know the material that's used in those star gazer options.

Hope that helps a bit!

The matching chairs are a nice touch!
 

vegasjeepguy

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image.jpg I started with a Tepui Kukenam, similar to vagabondexpeditions, mounted on my M101 CDN trailer. After spending years camping with ground tents and sleeping on the ground and on cots, the RTT was a big improvement and was the most comfortable sleep I've had camping. A few years later Tepui came out with a larger ruggedized XL model and the extra space sounded like a good idea. I sold my original Kukenam and bought the XL. When mounted on my trailer it fits almost like a lid covering trailer end to end.

The first time out the new XL felt significantly more roomy and the anti-condensation mat (standard for the ruggedized XL) helped keep the interior dry. One of the great things about a RTT is being able to keep the bedding in the tent. I do pack extra pillows and blankets, but it's almost as comfortable as sleeping in my queen sized bed at home. I can also store my solar panels in the packed tent and they are well protected by the mattress.

I have never regretted my purchase...either time. I would recommend buying the biggest tent you can fit. You can never have too much room in your tent. I can't use an annex because my tent is only about 4 1/2' off the ground, but a friend uses one and it is a nice additional feature. I personally don't have an interest in a stargazer model because it seems to be another place the tent can fail and leak.
 
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Lifestyle Overland

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First, do you have any regrets with your purchase? Anything hindsight that you care to share?

Who has the mattress cover, is it needed, after reading dozens of reviews, I never see it mentioned, same with the anti-condensation mat?

With the top of my roof rack being just under 81", I will need a ladder extension per their site does everyone on here use an extension? Maybe its the added height of the Gobi that makes it taller than the factory rack, since reviewing photos I do not see the many extensions. I will be body lifting it later and will need the ladder extension for sure. But I just don't see many with the extension and was wondering why?

Last is a curiosity thing. Does anyone have the stargazer? I think it is just another possible leak point, so Ill likely not do it, but for the sake of my daughter I was curious.
We just returned from a 13 day overland trip with our CVT Mt. Mckinley. This was our first experience with an RTT but I felt like we learned a LOT in those two weeks.
First of all, absolutely zero regrets. We were tent campers before this an the time saved alone is justification enough in our book. The comfort of the mattress pads coupled with the security of being off the ground helped me sleep well during the trip.
For cold weather camping we found that the annex coupled with a buddy heater is an absolute game-changer. I ran some temp tests and with 28° ambient temps we were able to maintain 60-62° in the RTT with the heater on "medium". Not to mention the annex is great for storing clothes in totes, changing, and even keeping your luggable loo handy at night for the wife to use instead of roaming out in the cold for the privacy tent.

I highly recommend the mattress covers. They're removable and washable.

Not sure on the ladder length. You'll have to go with the manufacturer input on that. I know that CVT just debuted a new retractable ladder that may help you out.

The stargaze is pretty awesome for a couple reasons... and not so much for star watching. The stargazer will give you extra light. The CVT is surprisingly dark inside even during the day and the flaps you un-zip really help. And on those sunny days, that tent can get HOT. So the vented flaps on the roof pull double duty, letting light in, and hot air out.
As to the concerns on leaks... I highly doubt the plastic used will deteriorate faster than the fabric so long as it's cared for properly. And even if it did fail... the whole tent isn't ruined, it's only on the rain fly. So worst case you'll order a replacement.
Now, the clarity of the plastic isn't that great so don't plan on counting any but the brightest of stars in the sky through it. Even so, I highly recommend it.

The only complaint I have so far on our CVT is the rainfly. In high winds it slaps excessively against the body of the tent. It may just be an anomaly with mine, but the fly seems to be just a tad too large. With the straps very tight, I can't get enough tension front to back to draw all the slack out of it. I've got a few ideas to try and help this, but I haven't had the chance to give it a try.

Overall, no regrets! We sleep SO GOOD in it that even after 2 weeks on the road we were still enjoying ourselves.
 
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utspoolup

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Thanks String and Vegas (also nice camp shot)

Figured I should update this. I purchased. I spent hours reading thru thread/ forums/ videos and checking a few out. Amazingly, I was pulling into the store there was a land cruiser guy with a Tepui. I was talking about me looking into CVT, he talked a bit and even setup his tent in the store parking lot for me and my daughter to check out. Total awesome maneuver and great sales pitch. Then I called around a few places, found a place called Rack and Road in Salt Lake City on state and about 6600ish that had a kukenam ruggedized in grey after seeing that and my daughter crawling up into it, I switched thing up a little.

First, both company's were outstanding in terms of customer service and answering all my questions, the CVT summit series and Tepui Ruggedized are pretty much apples for apples in terms of most features. Second, The Summit series Mt Shasta was only available in lime green which I hate bright neon colors. Reminds me of REI tents saying "look over here" there is a reason my hammock and hiking gear is all multicam. Allows me to blend in well and not be noticed, and I like the pattern. Third the shipping was quite a bit more expensive for the CVT summit series, about $100 different, not quite 100 but close enough for government work. Last, I was able to swing a 10% deal with Tepui, so that saved me over $200.

Ended up buying a Tepui Autana Ruggedized in Haze Grey. I will be using sleeping bags at first but already have an email out to Adam and Jenny of hammockgear. They build the best under and top quilts for hammocks. I own 4 of them. Anyways I asked if they would do up a custom quilt for the RTT. they just need dimension which i hope to provide using a blanket to get a rough idea when the tent gets here later this week, and will be picking up a set of the Tepui sheets as well. So depending on weather I hope to have it mounted this weekend and do a trial run up American Fork canyon with it weekend after next!

Thank you guys for your input and responses. I know I will be enjoying this.
 

roamingtimber

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We just returned from a 13 day overland trip with our CVT Mt. Mckinley. This was our first experience with an RTT but I felt like we learned a LOT in those two weeks.
First of all, absolutely zero regrets. We were tent campers before this an the time saved alone is justification enough in our book. The comfort of the mattress pads coupled with the security of being off the ground helped me sleep well during the trip.
For cold weather camping we found that the annex coupled with a buddy heater is an absolute game-changer. I ran some temp tests and with 28° ambient temps we were able to maintain 60-62° in the RTT with the heater on "medium". Not to mention the annex is great for storing clothes in totes, changing, and even keeping your luggable loo handy at night for the wife to use instead of roaming out in the cold for the privacy tent.

I highly recommend the mattress covers. They're removable and washable.

Not sure on the ladder length. You'll have to go with the manufacturer input on that. I know that CVT just debuted a new retractable ladder that may help you out.

The stargaze is pretty awesome for a couple reasons... and not so much for star watching. The stargazer will give you extra light. The CVT is surprisingly dark inside even during the day and the flaps you un-zip really help. And on those sunny days, that tent can get HOT. So the vented flaps on the roof pull double duty, letting light in, and hot air out.
As to the concerns on leaks... I highly doubt the plastic used will deteriorate faster than the fabric so long as it's cared for properly. And even if it did fail... the whole tent isn't ruined, it's only on the rain fly. So worst case you'll order a replacement.
Now, the clarity of the plastic isn't that great so don't plan on counting any but the brightest of stars in the sky through it. Even so, I highly recommend it.

The only complaint I have so far on our CVT is the rainfly. In high winds it slaps excessively against the body of the tent. It may just be an anomaly with mine, but the fly seems to be just a tad too large. With the straps very tight, I can't get enough tension front to back to draw all the slack out of it. I've got a few ideas to try and help this, but I haven't had the chance to give it a try.

Overall, no regrets! We sleep SO GOOD in it that even after 2 weeks on the road we were still enjoying ourselves.
Hey @stringtwelve, when you say that the annex coupled with the buddy heater was a game changer, how did you have this set up? Heater in the annex on the ground and the old heat rises rule heated the tent above? I'm still trying to sell my wife on the rtt idea (and cost), being able to heat it would be a plus. I've heard of buddy heaters in tents before, but the thought of a heater in an rtt makes me nervous about fire.
 

Lifestyle Overland

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Hey @stringtwelve, when you say that the annex coupled with the buddy heater was a game changer, how did you have this set up? Heater in the annex on the ground and the old heat rises rule heated the tent above? I'm still trying to sell my wife on the rtt idea (and cost), being able to heat it would be a plus. I've heard of buddy heaters in tents before, but the thought of a heater in an rtt makes me nervous about fire.
There are two risks when a heat source is introduced to a confined space. The first, obviously, is fire. The second, is oxygen depletion. After researching the Mr. Heater "Buddy Heater" it had the safety features I thought would help mitigate these issues. The heater includes a low O2 sensor, a tip over switch, and a flame detector; all of which will stop the gas flow when activated.
I borrowed this heater from a friend when I went to Expo West last year. I used it in a small 3 person dome tent and it worked great. I even tested the low O2 sensor (unknowingly) when 4 inches of wet snow snapped my rain-fly support, effectively blocking all air flow. When I woke early in the morning, the heater was off and I was alive. Not gonna lie, I was a bit shaken up when I realized what happened. So, I do trust the O2 sensor (and God, for not letting me die in my sleep!)
As to the fire potential... I did slightly toast my sleeping bag at one point while I was (thankfully) awake and carelessly flipped the top back while reaching for my backpack. It underlined the need to keep the heater clear of anything combustible. This is a challenge in a small tent. I ended up putting a fire extinguisher in the tent with me... just in case.

Now, as to the RTT method I used. I Installed the annex and it's floor, closed all annex doors and vents, opened the ladder side solid panels and left the mesh zipped (2 year old containment). Up top I cracked a small 1/4 corner of each stargazer flap and for good measure, a portion of the side windows as well. (The McKinley has two small built in rigid vents, but I erred towards caution.) I sat the heater where the rising heat would hit halfway on the sleeping platform and the other half would go up to the tent area. I maintained 4' of clearance from the heater to any flame source. The heater warms up the floor directly in front of it fairly well but nothing near ignition temps. (I can put my hand on it.) With this setup we were amazingly comfortable. Later in the trip, as temps were colder, we actually closed more of the flaps with no issue.

You have to understand that I'm super safety conscious, especially when it comes to my family so I wouldn't do this if I didn't think it would work safely. There is one factor to remember with the heater being below the sleeping surface; the O2 sensor isn't going to help you, so make sure you stay vented up top. I'm going to go one step further on the next cold trip and keep a smoke/carbon monoxide alarm for attaching to the main cross member via velcro for added assurance. You can keep a fire extinguisher up top if you like, plus remember that the flaps opposite the ladder ALSO totally unzip as an escape route.

As to fuel consumption, you're only going to get 3 hours from a 1lb canister on high and up to 6 on low. In my opinion, don't even bother with the small cans, get the adapter hose, filter, and a 20lb tank (which you may already have depending on your other camp equipment). You will get 48 to 110 hours of run time with this method and won't have to crawl out of bed in the wee morning hours to swap that baby can.

Sorry for the long-winded write-up. That's what you get when I'm sick with round 2 of the flu and sipping some hi-octane cough syrup!

Let me know if you have any other questions. You will absolutely love the convenience and comfort of an RTT, no matter the weather.
 
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Maxterra

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Thanks for the great information on the heater, Steve.
I just received the annex for my rtt and an awning, and was wondering if that would work.
Going on a desert trip in a couple of weeks that may be cold...

Hooray for the damn flu[emoji1304][emoji1304][emoji1304]. Finally just succumbed myself to the dreaded h1n1.
 

utspoolup

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Your sick again! Or is it from the last bout you had? Still cant get over had bad your place got hit. Hope you stay on the up and up Dave.

I have one of those Mr Buddys as well as the Coleman power cat with the catalyst element in front of it. I also have AA smoke and CO2 alarms all around the house, Im a bit of a prepper so little things like this makes issues nicer just in case something happens.

Thanks for the tips
 

Raul B

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IMG_8878.JPG i had the Mt shasta on my rig and loved it... my only regret is not going bigger... you may also want to look at their new Premium line called the summit series.... ill be getting one soon to try out... i currently have the Mt Jefferson on my trailer....
 
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utspoolup

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If you read the post you will see I did look at them but the color is obnoxious, shipping was a lot more. Just for FYI, the Standard Mt Shasta was quoted to cost 250 to ship to me. Tepui charges a flat rate 215 for the ruggedized and 150 for the standard weight Shasta equivalents when delivered to the lower 48.

As I mentioned earlier, nothing wrong with either of them, and both companies were helpful to assist me in the questions I had. CVT tried to explain a few things that they mentioned was on the installation video, and even offered to send me a copy prior to purchase to review. Tepui on the other hand has all of their videos on youtube, so anyone with a smart phone/ PC/ etc can quickly reference it months down the road if need be without having to find a DVD. Little things like this just help to show the details some retailers think of in advance to help their customers.

But as stated earlier, both are great companies, but saving over 300 for pretty much the same thing was the win in my book.

Also, great looking photo, I really like your sleeper winch bumper. Clean setup Sir.
 

utspoolup

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Me??? If so, yup. Picked up a Tepui Autana ruggedized in haze grey. Posted about it in the "what did you do to your rig" thread. Sorry not here, but here you go. http://overlandbound.com/forums/index.php?threads/what-did-you-do-with-your-rig-today.35/page-87#post-18615

I'm a fan, Ive only used it twice now, but on may 28th the family and I will be following some friends to rushmore for 9 days. We will be staying in this. I will say as I did before, spend a few dollars more and get what you want. The anti-condensation mat is nice when it is near freezing. The thicker material is really nice. The CVT lime green in my book reminds me of a zombie marketing fad right now. So not for me. Tepui offered everything I wanted, better pricing, and I found a retailer that gave me 10% off. Really can not complain about that at all. I have the Tepui sheet set with a nice down duvet. If it gets too cold I keep 2 Hill people gear serapes (that turn into half zip 30* sleeping bags, and are just a little wider than 1/2 the tent, so perfect for couples, or my daughter who still loves daddy and lays right next to me). Give her a few years to turn to a teen to hate my guts, but Ill enjoy our moments now.

I also keep a Kifaru Woobie in the Raingler roof net with the Serapes. The woobie gets used all the time in the winter, my daughter just keeps it on the rear seat for extra warmth.
 
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utspoolup

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It sure is. My daughter likes it but its the Serape that she loves. I have been half tempted to get a woobie express when they were first released, but was already eyeing the HPG serape. After comparing the two, I had to go with HPG, so be it weights more, its also larger, has a hood, no Velcro, has a zipper, can be a nice mild weather sleeping bag, the great coat mode looks weird, but is very warm, and it still fits under my poncho well, IE not exposed to getting wet (Well not a poncho per se but a OPSEC poncho shelter).

In the winter is not uncommon to find my daughter in her room wearing the serape watching cartoons. I keep one each Serape and Woobie dedicated to the truck. The other set is in the coat closet and it is easy enough to throw in the truck when we go camping.