Rules & Tips for Rooftop Tenting

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Pebody1013

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Hi Everyone,

I am new to overlanding and this is my very first post! My wife and I live in Chicago and we are planning an epic summer trip to the Pacific Northwest and then up to Alaska. Total trip estimate is 6 weeks. We are looking into rooftop tents and are excited for our adventures to come.

My question is about the etiquette/rules/laws of when and where you can pop open your rooftop tent and settle down for the night. In remote areas, can we simply find a secluded place to pull off the road and bed down? In state/national parks what are the rules about pulling off to the side of a 4x4 trail for the night vs. needing to stay only in established campgrounds? How do you use your tent in slightly more populated locations?

Any advice or experience you could lend me about this would really help our trip planning. We love the idea of just driving and camping wherever the road takes us. We would be bummed if most of our nights were spent in crowded campgrounds listening to the calming sounds of public toilets and blaring radios. Having never planned an overland trip, I don't really even know where to go to get help with this, so thanks for your help!
 
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NorthStar96

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Wow! that's a trip and a half! Isn't it like 1500 miles one way from Washington to AK?
I would recommend bringing spares for everything. Starter, alternator, belts hoses...etc. Alaska is Big country. Could you just imagine a Griz attacking you as you change a flat tire? That would be the trip of a lifetime.
There is a Series on TV that is Called Expedition Overland. It's about a group going to Alaska in their Toyotas and the Trials and Tribulations of such a trip. Heres a link to episode 1 season 1.

I hope this helps you with some of your questions..
 

TxTerra

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That alaska series was amazing! I havent had a chance to watch the south america series yet.

i would imagine though that you could camp where ever back country camping is allowed. Yes, there will always be campgrounds to use, but i couldnt see why you couldnt use a RTT anywhere you would be able to use a ground tent
 

First State Overland

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The" rules" for RTT-ing are the same as if you've just be normal tent camping. It's still considered camping so any and all local laws and restrictions apply. Even in the back country you should research your route and know what lands you plan to cross prior to your trip. Chances of a getting penalized in remote areas are slim but the last thing you want to do is piss off a local because you set up shop on their property and didn't know it. If the rules aren't clear and it's not posted - and especially if there are obvious signs of prior camping activity (fire ring, clearings, etc) then I'd do it, but I'd keep my setup to a minimum in case I wasn't sure and felt the need to pack and go rapidly. Many areas have restrictions on back country camping about distances from a trail or facility, permits required, fires, allowed.

During my road trip around the country I loved BLM lands and the rules that you can generally camp wherever you'd like. I would be in the absolute middle of no where thinking there wasn't another soul for a hundred miles and I'd crest a hill and there would be a full size 5th wheel all set up. No doubt they were thinking the same thing - "what the hell is that guy doing out here?" I definitely started some folks. And some of those folks looked a little shady so it was a friendly wave and keep on going.

Tread lightly and have fun!
 

Mad Garden Gnome

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I think there is a thread on here or EP where a RTT'r got approached by some uptight camp host because they were in a tent spot and not an RV spot..............with an RTT. ?.
 

mmnorthdirections

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http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/fishlake/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5121831
This will help you allot, it's called dispersed camping and is legal and amazing. I love the FJ also (2010 and lovin it)
You have great resources available to you through this forum (Members are everywhere) if you need help along the way. If you have not looked at http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/ Check it out for everything FJ cruiser... I have seen amazing support for people on the road that have a need....
Happy and safe travels for you!
 
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