Home Gear Roof Top Tent or Ground Tent?

Roof Top Tent or Ground Tent?

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You’ve seen the epic overland rig pictures out on the plains with the roof top tent providing off the ground shelter, and thought, “man, that looks awesome!” I wonder if I should spend the money and replace my ground tent? It’s a personal choice! Consider the options below and watch the video above to learn more about the experience with ours!

Ground Tent

PROS CONS
1. Inexpensive 1. Critters and Mud
2. Fast 2. Separate Bedding
3. Can be very large
4. Accessible

Roof Top Tent

PROS CONS
1. Home is where you park it 1. Takes up rack space
2. Off the ground 2. Weight up high
3. Bedding packed with it 3. Cumbersome
4. Vehicle not mobile

Summary

For us, we prefered the ground tent mainly because our vehicle is high and I always felt like a monkey crawling around the rig to open and close the tent. Try as I might, I did not get the setup time down below 15 minutes (partly because of vehicle height), and Corrie has RA, which means going up and down a ladder hurts. The RTT just wasn’t for us.

Front Runner Flip Pop Tent

There is a common misconception that RTTs are faster, but the fact of the matter is, I’ve never seen a tent go up faster than our Front Runner Flip Pop Tent. you literally just throw it and watch it unfold. You do have to be careful with the tent. The rods are not very strong, at least for this overlander.

 

 

Michael

Backwoods country bumpkin. Overland enthusiast and lover of the great outdoors.

Comment(116)

  1. Which ground tents have you used?  Is that a FiveJoy pop up tent?  If so what are your thoughts on it?

    Hey there – we have used a number of tents. Most recently the REI Habitat 4, and the Front Runner Flip Pop tent (FAST)! We keep our eyes on the OZ tents and one of those may be in our future. The Habitat is great, the Front Runner Flip Pop is fast, but you need to be careful with it, it is NOT heavy duty and we ended up breaking one of the rods. Habitat – fairly fast, good for 4. Why can't any tent manufacturers solve the crappy zipper problem?!

  2. Because both have benefits, I think it's handy to have both. You can get a decent ground tent for a decent price. RTT's are expensive but they can be pretty handy to have as well. My wife has been using ours for the past month on a trip she's been on and she loves it. It takes her longer to pack it away (approx 21 minutes) but I was able to show her a few shortcuts to help her get better. I'm able to break it down in 12 minutes. Ultimately, I'd like to either build or buy a trailer like a Turtlback Trailer to be able to bring the RTT somewhere and have amenities below and also leave camp with my vehicle. That would be ideal. Anyway, this is a great question that I don't think can be answered one way or the other.

  3. If you are looking at OZ tents, also compare with the Kodiak Canvas Flexbow tents.  I think they setup faster.  Its also two 'bags' rather than one long one that limits storage options.  It has a tent pole bag that fits across a vehicle, and the tent itself which is rolled up in whatever shape you prefer.  Has a slick canvas bag that works with some variance on how you fold it up.

  4. This question again. Ha.

    It will always come down to needs, application, and comforts. As Michael points out, there’s pros/cons to any setup. I personally have owned three RTT’s myself, and more ground tents than I can count. Current setup is a CVT Mt. Shasta Extended Summit with the Stargazer and Annex on my 4Runner, and we have a decent ground tent that my boys pack if they want their own space. I want them to see different tents, different terrain, and different camping styles, including but not limited to overlanding, backpacking, bikepacking, etc. I will admit though, I’m selling my Mt. Shasta and upgrading to a Hardshell soon, and the ultimate goal will be a teardrop+RTT combo. Because I camp sometimes solo, and sometimes with the kids, and sometimes with the whole family… my setup requires some flexibility and adaptability. I like the adaptability of a hardshell that I can easily move by myself between the 4Runner and a trailer as needed. When I’m solo, or me + 1, the hardshell will be plenty. Just pop it on the truck, grab my Plano’s and grab bags and go! When it’s more than that, I can take the whole rig. But, I also have plenty of friends that think that’s overkill. They’re fine with their 3-second malamoo and jet boil. They’re also single and/or married with no kids. They don’t understand why my trunk is full of stuff animals, RC cars, and enough food to feed an army.

  5. After spending an extended period of time exploring and hiking I have to say I really enjoy using our RTT. I know it's easy to use a ground tent, they are light and easy to pack. But I have to say if you get a chance to try one (RTT) you'll see why people like them. If your not into climbing the ladder you can always attach the RRT to a small trailer, disconnect at base camp and enjoy the best of both worlds.

  6. It will always come down to needs, application, and comforts. As Michael points out, there’s pros/cons to any setup. I personally have owned three RTT’s myself, and more ground tents than I can count. Current setup is a CVT Mt. Shasta Extended Summit with the Stargazer and Annex on my 4Runner, and we have a decent ground tent that my boys pack if they want their own space. I want them to see different tents, different terrain, and different camping styles, including but not limited to overlanding, backpacking, bikepacking, etc. I will admit though, I’m selling my Mt. Shasta and upgrading to a Hardshell soon, and the ultimate goal will be a teardrop+RTT combo. Because I camp sometimes solo, and sometimes with the kids, and sometimes with the whole family… my setup requires some flexibility and adaptability. I like the adaptability of a hardshell that I can easily move by myself between the 4Runner and a trailer as needed. When I’m solo, or me + 1, the hardshell will be plenty. Just pop it on the truck, grab my Plano’s and grab bags and go! When it’s more than that, I can take the whole rig. But, I also have plenty of friends that think that’s overkill. They’re fine with their 3-second malamoo and jet boil. They’re also single and/or married with no kids. They don’t understand why my trunk is full of stuff animals, RC cars, and enough food to feed an army.

  7. Like I said in the videos comments, I love my RTT. Yes it can be a pain if I want to put the annex on and break it down every day, but I don't have to have the annex, so it takes about 10 minutes without. I don't like scorpions and rattle snakes, so its a RTT for me.

    I do want to put together a trailer though, so if Im going on a trip and want to leave the tent in 1 place while I explore, I can.

  8. The way we typically camp is to set up a base station with a tent, offload a bunch of weight (inside or around the tent), and then explore the trails in the area with a somewhat lighter vehicle and with more room inside. This means invariably for us a rugged canvas Springbar tent that is heavy in every way: heavy poles, thick canvas, strong metal zippers, over-engineered steel stakes that don’t bind repeated whacks with sledge hammers. My thinking is, I would rather expend some effort when I am awake and usually in the daylight setting up a heavy canvas tent–it might take 30 minutes tops if I am doing it alone, half that if I have helpers–than realizing there is a problem in a windstorm at 3:15am and having to get out in the dark with a flashlight to deal with it, thereby making the next day not as fun because I am grumpy and sleep-deprived. There is something about the solidity and securty of heavy canvas — it doesn’t buffet in the winds as much as nylon fabics — that allows me to sleep better at night when camping. I am a sensitive sleeper; the constant din of a nylon fly flapping against a nylon tent doesn’t make for the best night’s sleep. So it is either a Springbar or Kodiak canvas tent for me.

  9. It's a Foxwing Awning and FoxWing Tagalong Tent for me. It's basically an OzTent that zips into my foxwing awning. I have a family of four and a four person RTT was going to take up my entire roof rack. I couldn't afford to lose that roof storage space.

  10. I found the same limitation with my roof tent. So I built a trailer this year and let me tell you, the combination of an RTT with trailer so that you can go exploring during the day without having to pack up your campsite is quite the luxury!

    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using OB Talk mobile app

  11. Before this, I slept in a ground tent for many years. Then moved to a tent setup on the roof of my Jeep. While I felt safer from bears and critters in general, I always found it a pain to have to pack up camp to move the vehicle. I feel like the tent/trailer combo is the best of both worlds, though it can be tricky in an off road situation to turn around or back up on a tight trail

    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using OB Talk mobile app

  12. I spent a long time researching various ground tents and roof top tents before I settled on my Free Spirit Recreation Series Medium RTT. It really depends on the type of person you are and where you live as well

    My reasoning for splurging on an RTT here in Central Oregon

    -Highly volcanic region, so there is rocks EVERYWHERE, clearing ground for a tent is both a pain and ultimately does not leave the area as you found it

    -Extremely dusty. Packing away a RTT is much more convenient when it comes to not getting completely covered in the moon dust we have here

    -Better with critters. We have snakes, cougars, fire ants, etc here and it is nice to be up off the ground and away from those things. It is also piece of mind for me and the GF as we had a cougar encounter after backpacking 5 miles into a local mountain

    -Comfort. The RTT is easily more comfortable than a sleeping bag and an air mattress

    -Weather. The RTT enables us to camp in more seasons than a ground tent, we get snow and rain, so not having to worry about those things on the ground is great as well

    Anyone looking for a more affordable RTT that still has great construction, I would recommend looking at http://www.gofsr.com/

    They are busy though as they are growing, so they might not have a certain style in stock

  13. I spent a long time researching various ground tents and roof top tents before I settled on my Free Spirit Recreation Series Medium RTT. It really depends on the type of person you are and where you live as well

    My reasoning for splurging on an RTT here in Central Oregon

    -Highly volcanic region, so there is rocks EVERYWHERE, clearing ground for a tent is both a pain and ultimately does not leave the area as you found it

    -Extremely dusty. Packing away a RTT is much more convenient when it comes to not getting completely covered in the moon dust we have here

    -Better with critters. We have snakes, cougars, fire ants, etc here and it is nice to be up off the ground and away from those things. It is also piece of mind for me and the GF as we had a cougar encounter after backpacking 5 miles into a local mountain

    -Comfort. The RTT is easily more comfortable than a sleeping bag and an air mattress

    -Weather. The RTT enables us to camp in more seasons than a ground tent, we get snow and rain, so not having to worry about those things on the ground is great as well

    Anyone looking for a more affordable RTT that still has great construction, I would recommend looking at http://www.gofsr.com/

    They are busy though as they are growing, so they might not have a certain style in stock

    I agree 100% and that is a great pic. (the second)

  14. I have never used a RTT and I have been curious about getting one. I like the idea of being up off the ground but I don't like the idea of 140-200 lbs. of weight on my roof. The lightest one I've found is 90+ lbs. In off camber situations I don't know if I'd be comfortable with so much up top. I like the hard shell variety of the RTT but they seem to be the heaviest of them. I've only ever used ground tent and I have not been overlanding long or been in scorpion, grizzly or fire ant country.  I guess it really depends on what you need. The OZ tents look pretty quick to set up and tear down but I haven't checked specs on weight and 6'6" of product is a bit cumbersome to pack. I've also been considering an off road trailer with RTT on the trailer as well, which seems like it has it's pro's and con's as well.

    Good article though, has me stroking my chin and saying Hmmm a lot.

  15. Bashing RTT's is the new thing to do. We reached peak RTT popularity. Now it's hip to be anti-RTT.

    I've been in a ground tent for awhile, and sleeping on the ground got old once I turned 30 and had kids. I have no desires to carry cots and inflatable mats. I'm not sure how that is all easier. And we looked into the OzTent RV-5 and for a quick deploy tent, it certainly takes up a lot of space. Has a RTT price tag and after watching a friend put one away, didn't look any quicker than my current ground tent setup. Actually, stuffing my ground tent was faster.

    We switched recently. Tent is out of the way now of storage. So are sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. All in the tent. This free'd up a lot of space for us. The mattress is more comfortable, and we camp a lot in bear country, and I feel a lot better now. Bears have wandered into peoples tents.

    Having a fullsize, I don't tend to suffer the off camber effects that happen to shorter wheel base vehicles. I have to be in a very precarious position to get that effect. So "tippy" isn't something that happens a lot when I wheel. We also built our rack to be not 100% at roof height. So this helps. And the 23Zero Tent comes in at 130lbs. And my truck weighs around 8000lbs, so it's not really throwing the truck anywhere.

    Overall, it suits our family. And really, at the end of the day, people should be basing their decisions on their needs and what will work for them. Not what's popular and whats not.

  16. Why can't any tent manufacturers solve the crappy zipper problem?!

    They do it on purpose. Ever notice they also prefer the fine tooth zippers over the big tooth zippers like you find on diving gear? There are easier ways. You can even get more reliability by looking in the history books.

    Buttons and/or grommets will fix what their engineers couldn't get right in the first place. They hate the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" so they came up with zippers and little rain flaps to get hung in them. lol

    Use either a third piece that covers the seam or attached to one side with an overlap. Strong magnets work very well if it is calm.

  17. I don't think it's about bashing the RTTs. They are cool, but after extensive evaluation, I can't justify the price/ usable space ratio. I can buy a good quality 4 season base camp tent like a Springbar, Cabela's guide tent, Oztent, 12 Survivors, or even some of the Artic Oven's, and it is still cheaper than all but the smallest budget RTT's. Throw in a high quality cot and mattress with the money I saved, and I am comfortable at all times of year, the dog can sleep in there, and the best part is, I don't have to take my rig, I can throw it in the car or anyone else's vehicle and travel like I'm on safari.

    23 Zero RTT's $1699-$2599 (based on their website)

    Springbar $349-$1579

    Cabela's 239- 1569

    For the record, I was spoiled while in the Serengeti a couple years ago, so this is my goal when camping now(maybe not quite this extravagant, but you get the idea). This was what our tent looked like for the weekend. Was all good until the elephant came in the middle of the night and drank the shower water. That'll wake you up!

      1. I’m from grizzly country in western Canada. The elephant in the night was certainly the most”concerned” I’ve ever been with wildlife encounters…

  18. I love my roof top tents. I have 1 on my truck and 1 on my trailer. I generally only take out the trailer when I spend more then 1 night in the same spot. The truck is great for multiple nights in multiple spots. I do believe ground tents can be easier and faster but I don't think they hold up to weather as well and aren't ideal for putting away wet or dirty. In the end I choose a RTT for a good nights sleep. I sleep in my RTT almost every weekend. Its basically our second home. People should use what works for them. There is no right or wrong answer to RTT vs ground tent.

  19. I think they both have thier merrits. I have used  alot of tents in my life. Old miltary style canvas, to light wieght Marmot, etc brands. We have been running an Oztent RV4 since 2007 and just recently decided to pass on roof top tent due to the way we travel. We tend to base camp and use the car to go and do stuff alot, so I just don't want to climb up thier 2x a day to deal with the tent. We just bought a Jet tent f25x with full porch enclosure. However I think I am going to sell or return it because I find it just to heavy to get up ontop of my lifted 80 series. I think I am ultimatley going to get a trailer with a RTT but need to rethink the ground tent in the mean time. I have looked at tents like the Nemo wagon top 8 but just really dislike single wall nylon tents. They just do not breath and really make alot of noise in the wind. Although I love thier small size and light wieght in comparison to my Oztent I just can't get over how flimsy they feel. The times I have used a RTT on a Campa trailer I loved it and feel it is the ultimate set up for our family but sadly not quite in the budget yet for a trailer like that.

  20. I think the simplicity of essentially just opening a rooftop versus the set up of a ground tent is the most appealing.  I think about arriving at a destination later than planned, trying to set up in the dark and/or elements creates a whole lot of stress.  I would much rather pull down a rooftop, go to sleep and assess in the morning.  Also, the argument that it creates high weight on your rig.  Yes, that's an issue if your rock crawling.  That's not a flavor I associate with overland exploration.  Height clearance, yes, that is a real issue, but not high weight.  My humble opinion.

  21. I found the same limitation with my roof tent. So I built a trailer this year and let me tell you, the combination of an RTT with trailer so that you can go exploring during the day without having to pack up your campsite is quite the luxury!

    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using OB Talk mobile app

    I'm seriously considering this, do you have any start up picks? Kinda looking around for some foundation ideas

  22. For those w/ a RTT, how noticeable is it if you’re not parked on level ground, do you roll at night? Does it affect your sleep? Does finding level ground ever become an issue? With multiple rigs all trying to find a spot?

  23. I've had both. RTT sounded better when I first started – but the few advantages soon were outweighed by the numerous disadvantages: Tiny, crawling up and down your rig, putting everything away to move the truck, no 'base-camp' option. I sold mine and bought an Oztent RV5 and have zero regrets. Most of the advantages of a RTT – with far fewer of the disadvantages. Sets up in minutes and you have a tent you can stand up and maneuver in. Throw in a couple of cots and you have a safari setup.

  24. Bashing RTT's is the new thing to do. We reached peak RTT popularity. Now it's hip to be anti-RTT.

    I've been in a ground tent for awhile, and sleeping on the ground got old once I turned 30 and had kids. I have no desires to carry cots and inflatable mats. I'm not sure how that is all easier. And we looked into the OzTent RV-5 and for a quick deploy tent, it certainly takes up a lot of space. Has a RTT price tag and after watching a friend put one away, didn't look any quicker than my current ground tent setup. Actually, stuffing my ground tent was faster.

    We switched recently. Tent is out of the way now of storage. So are sleeping bags, pillows and blankets. All in the tent. This free'd up a lot of space for us. The mattress is more comfortable, and we camp a lot in bear country, and I feel a lot better now. Bears have wandered into peoples tents.

    Having a fullsize, I don't tend to suffer the off camber effects that happen to shorter wheel base vehicles. I have to be in a very precarious position to get that effect. So "tippy" isn't something that happens a lot when I wheel. We also built our rack to be not 100% at roof height. So this helps. And the 23Zero Tent comes in at 130lbs. And my truck weighs around 8000lbs, so it's not really throwing the truck anywhere.

    Overall, it suits our family. And really, at the end of the day, people should be basing their decisions on their needs and what will work for them. Not what's popular and whats not.

       I don't think having an opinion different from yours on RTT's constitutes bashing. Opinions from differing points of view help me make decisions.

  25. Ground tent for me.  I can get everything I need for two days in a backpack.  Toss a couple backpacks in the back of the LJ and I'm good to go.  Plus I already have three ground tents from scouting and tent camping trips.  We also have a 4×4 Ram with a 9 foot Lance which is a great base camp.  We tow the jeep until things get soft or tight and then drive in to the backcountry individually.

  26. I think the comparison of a ground tent and a roof top tent is sometimes comparing apples to oranges…depending on the ground tent. While ground tents come in a variety of configurations offering multiple uses, roof top tents are pretty much exclusively a place to sleep and sleep very comfortably. And that is the appeal of a RTT. I've slept on the ground, I've slept on self-inflating mats, I've slept on air mattresses and I've slept on cots. It wasn't until I slept in my RTT using real sheets, a down comforter and real pillows that I enjoyed the comforts of home in the field. And that is exactly what my RTT is…my bedroom.

    A RTT can't compete with a large ground tent in terms of sheer living space,  Most 4+ man non-expedition type tents are tall enough for a 6ft tall man to stand up in the middle. Oz Tents are awesome for this, but the top of the ground tent heap is the canvas wall tent. Sure, I'd love to set up a wall tent in the field as my home away from home, but the challenges associated with that are legion.

    With my RTT mounted on a trailer, it is only about 4 feet off the ground making an annex unusable. Because of this my base camp is supplemented with canopies and ground tents, most of which I have acquired over the years prior to "upgrading" my sleeping experience with the addition of the RTT. What I take is dependent on the weather and how many "guests" are tagging along. I will often bring my REI 6 man tent with me because I can stand up in it and it works well for gear storage, changing room or "guest" sleeping quarters… but I will never sleep in a ground tent again if I can help it.

    That said, when it was just me and my son, we rocked the RTT minimalist style.

  27. For those w/ a RTT, how noticeable is it if you're not parked on level ground, do you roll at night? Does it affect your sleep? Does finding level ground ever become an issue? With multiple rigs all trying to find a spot?

    Any tent that is not level is uncomfortable, but the advantage of a RTT is you start with a flat platform that needs to be leveled. Having my RTT trailer mounted simplifies the leveling process. I orient the trailer so it is level left to right and use the adjustable drop leg to level front to rear.

  28. I spent a long time researching various ground tents and roof top tents before I settled on my Free Spirit Recreation Series Medium RTT. It really depends on the type of person you are and where you live as well

    My reasoning for splurging on an RTT here in Central Oregon

    -Highly volcanic region, so there is rocks EVERYWHERE, clearing ground for a tent is both a pain and ultimately does not leave the area as you found it

    -Extremely dusty. Packing away a RTT is much more convenient when it comes to not getting completely covered in the moon dust we have here

    -Better with critters. We have snakes, cougars, fire ants, etc here and it is nice to be up off the ground and away from those things. It is also piece of mind for me and the GF as we had a cougar encounter after backpacking 5 miles into a local mountain

    -Comfort. The RTT is easily more comfortable than a sleeping bag and an air mattress

    -Weather. The RTT enables us to camp in more seasons than a ground tent, we get snow and rain, so not having to worry about those things on the ground is great as well

    Anyone looking for a more affordable RTT that still has great construction, I would recommend looking at http://www.gofsr.com/

    They are busy though as they are growing, so they might not have a certain style in stock

    How is this RTT compared to the CVT brand?

  29. Any Overlanders use hammocks?

    Luv my Hennesy Expedition. I use it for backpacking, kayaking, overlanding…

    Just picked up my first hammock from Hike Guru on Amazon. Nice, lightweight, convenient bag to pack. Haven't been able to try it yet but I am hoping to next week on vacation.

    As an eagle scout I have done my fair share of camping in my past which included only ground tents. I would love to try a RTT although the price of one is what keeps me from trying one out. A good ground tent can be had for only a couple hundred vs the cheapest RTT I could find at one thousand.

  30. I’m with Michael, I also prefer the ground tent. I cant see paying thousands of dollars for a RTT. People have a misconception that they are safer in a RTT, people forget bears, racoons, etc climb and can get to your RTT with ease. Lets face it, a RTT is worth a few hundred bucks, but you pay thousands for it. $8000usd for an alu-cab, please give me a break. You also lose your roof rack being that the tent is using the space, so this means you need to put everything in the truck. RTT look sweet that’s about it.

  31. I like this topic and hearing everyone's input on what they prefer. As others have stated, the geography of where you're camping does make one more desirable than another. As someone who does most of my camping in the desert, the ground tent has proved reliable and efficient for me many times over. It might sound silly, but there is something exciting about scouting out and locating a place to set up a tent… Another option I'm considering is building a drawer/sleep set up for the inside of my rig. Traveling as light as possible and utilizing some form of roof top storage could make the internal sleeping platform a great alternative to setting up a tent. Especially when you arrive at camp in the dark and want to forego all the work involved with a tent. I've seen many iterations of this and am currently compiling a list of possible configurations.

  32. Just picked up my first hammock from Hike Guru on Amazon. Nice, lightweight, convenient bag to pack. Haven't been able to try it yet but I am hoping to next week on vacation.

    As an eagle scout I have done my fair share of camping in my past which included only ground tents. I would love to try a RTT although the price of one is what keeps me from trying one out. A good ground tent can be had for only a couple hundred vs the cheapest RTT I could find at one thousand.

    Hammocks are great for the right applications…no need to worry about leveling, rocks, crawling critters,flooding, etc. Can be set up for cold weather but get a bit fiddly and bulky…ground tent easier for cold.

    I have oversized rain fly and "snake skins" on mine.  I can quickly slide the snake skins over the hammock and that gets it up and out of the way for more space under rainfly (also makes for quicker deployment). I use a ground sheet  so makes for a nice little sitting space under the rain fly and keeps gear off the ground.

     

    Enviado desde mi SM-J110M mediante Tapatalk

  33. I don't think having an opinion different from yours on RTT's constitutes bashing. Opinions from differing points of view help me make decisions.

    I'm describing a very selective non-argument point of view which is becoming more apparent. Ah, here's a good example with the emphasis added…

    I'm with Michael, I also prefer the ground tent. I cant see paying thousands of dollars for a RTT. People have a misconception that they are safer in a RTT, people forget bears, racoons, etc climb and can get to your RTT with ease. Lets face it, a RTT is worth a few hundred bucks, but you pay thousands for it. $8000usd for an alu-cab, please give me a break. You also lose your roof rack being that the tent is using the space, so this means you need to put everything in the truck. RTT look sweet that's about it.

    Sorry; "I can't afford it" thus "it's stupid" isn't an argument.

    What makes you think it's worth a few hundred bucks? Have you done research into the materials, construction, and operational cost of producing a RTT? I think you're a little off base.

    A lot of times we think things are over priced because they're simply outside our means to afford them. Or we'd simply never pay that price.  (I would never pay XYZ for X is pretty reasonable.)  Mostly because we lack understanding of how much it truly costs to produce or what it's actual value to us may be.

    Recently I had a friend staying with me to help me build a RTT rack and skid plates and bumper. He's a mechanical engineer and fabricator and I had no idea about the amount of time that went into just designing something properly. Talking 8hr days, measurements and designing in SolidWorks. The time spent getting steel, and actually fabricating. really changed my perspective on the prices of things. I had thought for some time a lot of the racks out there were obscenely over priced. Now I realize only a few are over priced, but most are probably not getting rich off the racks they sell and I was really wrong on that front.

    That being said, I highly doubt that a RTT is worth a few hundred bucks. Especially since aluminum panels which most have would be a few hundred bucks for just the floor.

    Using space on your roof rack is a better argument. You should stick to that complaint.

    Or a better argument from the price standpoint is that you just don't feel the return on investment is worth the initial cost for you. That'd be reasonable. Some just don't see it worth paying the price just sleep on a flat surface with a mattress. They feel they can get the same reward with a ground tent and cot for example. That's a valid point I feel.

    Everyone's "was it worth the investment" is a little different. And we all tend to like what we have. Thus we tend to rationalize our decisions to ourselves and others.

    😉

    1. Your entitled to your opinion, as am I . Dont be a troll. I can get a RTT from alibaba for $300usd. One that is just as good as any other RTT that cost thousands. There is no justification for paying thousands for a RTT. Especially and $8000 RTT. I can afford to purchase one but choose not to. It’s like throwing money out the window. Same with trailers. 35k for an overland trailer, please. Talk about being suckered in. I could see 5k to 15k, but 35k is absurd. Eveything pertaining to overlanding is outrageously priced. Like they say, there’s a sucker born every minute. Enjoy your overpriced RTT and trailers.

  34. I'm describing a very selective non-argument point of view which is becoming more apparent.

    Sorry; "I can't afford it" thus "it's stupid" isn't an argument.

    A lot of times we think things are over priced because they're simply outside our means to afford them. Or we'd simply never pay that price.  (I would never pay XYZ for X is pretty reasonable.)  Mostly because we lack understanding of how much it truly costs to produce or what it's actual value to us may be.

    Everyone's "was it worth the investment" is a little different. And we all tend to like what we have. Thus we tend to rationalize our decisions to ourselves and others.

    😉

    Well said.

  35. I'm describing a very selective non-argument point of view which is becoming more apparent. Ah, here's a good example with the emphasis added…

    Sorry; "I can't afford it" thus "it's stupid" isn't an argument.

    What makes you think it's worth a few hundred bucks? Have you done research into the materials, construction, and operational cost of producing a RTT? I think you're a little off base.

    A lot of times we think things are over priced because they're simply outside our means to afford them. Or we'd simply never pay that price.  (I would never pay XYZ for X is pretty reasonable.)  Mostly because we lack understanding of how much it truly costs to produce or what it's actual value to us may be.

    Recently I had a friend staying with me to help me build a RTT rack and skid plates and bumper. He's a mechanical engineer and fabricator and I had no idea about the amount of time that went into just designing something properly. Talking 8hr days, measurements and designing in SolidWorks. The time spent getting steel, and actually fabricating. really changed my perspective on the prices of things. I had thought for some time a lot of the racks out there were obscenely over priced. Now I realize only a few are over priced, but most are probably not getting rich off the racks they sell and I was really wrong on that front.

    That being said, I highly doubt that a RTT is worth a few hundred bucks. Especially since aluminum panels which most have would be a few hundred bucks for just the floor.

    Using space on your roof rack is a better argument. You should stick to that complaint.

    Or a better argument from the price standpoint is that you just don't feel the return on investment is worth the initial cost for you. That'd be reasonable. Some just don't see it worth paying the price just sleep on a flat surface with a mattress. They feel they can get the same reward with a ground tent and cot for example. That's a valid point I feel.

    Everyone's "was it worth the investment" is a little different. And we all tend to like what we have. Thus we tend to rationalize our decisions to ourselves and others.

    😉

    Amen!!!

  36. Such a tough question.  I grew up sleeping in ground tents like many others have.  I have some very nice ground tents and will use them again soon depending on what kind of trip I want to do.  My son (currently 3 yoa) and I always go camping together and we both love my rtt which is currently mounted on my trailer.  He can climb up and down the ladder with no problems but I watch him close of course.  I gotta admit it sure is nice to sleep on that memory foam mattress with regular sheets and blanket that fold up in the tent.  Hardly anyone I know or see has one so I get a lot of questions and it's a conversation starter for whatever that's worth.  I like it when I go to the coast because it stays a little less sandy.  It's also nice because no matter what the terrain is or how much rain you get you're dry and comfortable.  As my son gets older I plan on doing some backpacking trips so we'll use a ground tent more then.  I have a hammock too but I haven't tried it yet.

    The most important thing is I'm single so I can spend whatever I want without having to answer to anyone so I got a rtt, multiple ground tents, and a hammock.  🙂

    There are good and not as good features to any sleep system so get what you want and go out and enjoy it.  Can we start the discussion about my arb fridge vs a cooler with ice?  Lol

  37. Tried the RTT and it’s proven to have some benefits. That being said I love how much justifying people have to do for a RTT lol. If people really think that having a RTT saves them from bears and other animals they’re either really dramatic or delusional. Sleeping on your rig won’t stop a bear from getting in or from being curious,  I’ve been camping all over Yellowstone, Baja, Death Valley and the sierra Nevada’s my whole life, I’ve never had a snake or a scorpion or a bear or a mountain lion in my tent. I simply zip up the door when I’m done moving in or out of it and it’s worked wonders [emoji23]

    At the end of the day it’s another luxury for camping in comfort and it’s the cool thing right now. Majority of people I see using RTT’s are in regular campgrounds.

    To each their own though!

  38. Lots of opinions being stated as facts here.

    Why not just do it all to keep everyone happy 😀

    RTT

    Hammock

    Ground Tent

    Sleep-In

    Yes, dont get religous about gear selection, choose the right gear for the application.

    Enviado desde mi SM-J110M mediante Tapatalk

  39. Yes, dont get religous about gear selection, choose the right gear for the application.

    Enviado desde mi SM-J110M mediante Tapatalk

    Exactly. That's why I have several to choose from. No one tent or load out is best for everything. Pick what's best for you and/or that trip calls for.

    Sent from my VS995 using OB Talk mobile app

  40. Having just spent 24 hours at the Appalachian Toyota Roundup at Windrock Park in Tennessee I can honestly say they both have their advantages. I had been camping with a Coleman 8 man cabin tent and 2 cots until this year. It was great for setting up a base camp in one location and wheeling over a weekend at a closed park. But I wheel with friends who have RTT's mostly on trailers who enjoy the same base camp idea while just disconnecting from the trailer.

    I impulse bought a Tepui Ayer RTT at the Lone Star Jamboree in Texas in May and after waiting a month for a supplier to send me their adapter mounts I cancelled the order and fabbed up some of my own. So it was mounted the first weekend in June and I was a happy camper except for the fact that it is too hot to tent camp in Louisiana between mid June and October.

    Enter the ATR Labor day weekend. I got there Thursday night early enough to set up the tent and awning. I then spent the next 24 hours either in the tent or under the awning because TS Harvey had chased me all the way up from Louisiana, and it rained for most of that 24 hour period. The tent slept great and was very comfortable. I just didn't feel like breaking camp in the rain to get on the trails. I finally gave up Friday about hour before dark, packed everything up between a couple of rain showers, and left defeated by the weather.

     In hindsight, had I packed and used the Cabin tent and a cot I could have set up a base camp, and at least got in some trail runs on Friday during the day. But since my camp was anchored to the vehicle I didn't have that option. Or I just wasn't gung-ho enough to use the option as designed.

    By the same token, had I had the RTT in 2015 when I took a 28 day 8100 mile trip, I could have saved more than the price of the tent on motel costs. Especially in the eastern half of the country where most "campsites" seem to cater to the RV crowd over tenters. It would have been perfect for setting up at night at the end of a drive at a truck stop, Walmart, or state scale area and packing in the morning to move on. Right now I am looking at trailers so I can move the RTT to one of those. But that will be next year sometime before I can pull the trigger so I have plenty of time to think about it.

  41. Your entitled to your opinion, as am I . Dont be a troll. I can get a RTT from alibaba for $300usd.  One that is just as good as any other RTT that cost thousands. There is no justification for paying thousands for a RTT. Especially and $8000 RTT. I can afford to purchase one but choose not to. It's like throwing money out the window.  Same with trailers. 35k for an overland trailer, please. Talk about being suckered in. I could see 5k to 15k, but 35k is absurd.  Eveything pertaining to overlanding is outrageously priced. Like they say, there's a sucker born every minute. Enjoy your overpriced RTT and trailers.

    It's spelled "YOU'RE"

    Whose the troll here?

    I also own an Airstream.

    You do seem to have an opinion. That much is clear. But no real arguments to add to the discussion. Shame.

  42. Ground tent for me. 1) for useable space 2) not always taking my main rig 3) Most the time i leave camp where it is and wheel our of there. On hunting trips i leave my camp in 1 spot but drive out for the day. 4) $$$

  43. The way we typically camp is to set up a base station with a tent, offload a bunch of weight (inside or around the tent), and then explore the trails in the area with a somewhat lighter vehicle and with more room inside. This means invariably for us a rugged canvas Springbar tent that is heavy in every way: heavy poles, thick canvas, strong metal zippers, over-engineered steel stakes that don't bind repeated whacks with sledge hammers.  My thinking is, I would rather expend some effort when I am awake and usually in the daylight setting up a heavy canvas tent–it might take 30 minutes tops if I am doing it alone, half that if I have helpers–than realizing there is a problem in a windstorm at 3:15am and having to get out in the dark with a flashlight to deal with it, thereby making the next day not as fun because I am grumpy and sleep-deprived. There is something about the solidity and securty of heavy canvas — it doesn't buffet in the winds as much as nylon fabics — that allows me to sleep better at night when camping. I am a sensitive sleeper; the constant din of a nylon fly flapping against a nylon tent doesn't make for the best night's sleep. So it is either a Springbar or Kodiak canvas tent for me.

    Totally agree … The idea of an RTT is appealing, but just not practical for me and what I do … I will generally camp in one place for several days and drive around to different places to fish. I have a Kodiak Canvas Cabin tent and it has withstood 50 mph winds and heavy rains without a single issue. If I lived in a part of the country where wildlife was an issue, I could see the practicality. But I just can't justify the expense for one considering where I generally camp and how I camp. That being said, if I ever win the lottery, I will definitely have a James Baroud Evasion XXL … :sunglasses:

  44. I don't own an RTT, but I did sleep stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night … LOL! 😉

    Seriously though, I do not own an RTT, but a friend of mine does (a CVT), and he loves it. We were camping on the beach here in GA a couple of months back, and when I pulled my ground tent out it had a huge tear in the side of it. Still don't know what happened to it, but I ended up sleeping in the RTT. A storm decided roll in overnight and the truck swayed so much in the high wind I though I was going to get sea sick. Granted this is most likely a one-off situation, but I never felt unsecure and I think my thin ground tent probably wouldn't have faired that well. We stayed in the tent until the winds became more manageable before heading to our next camp site, around 10 am.

    However, as others have said, it really depends on the setup you already have in place. An RTT may make sense if you have a lot of internal storage, like a pickup or a mid sized SUV. If you have a smaller vehicle, such as a Jeep CJ or YJ, or as in my case an Isuzu Vehicross, then you may be better off with a ground tent and a roof rack to increase storage. If you have limited cargo space, but only need to carry enough supplies or a day or two, then an RTT may work even with a smaller vehicle, but if you are going to be "off the grid" more than a couple of days, then you need to pack a lot more food, water, fuel, etc…

    I have yet to replace my tent, and I am looking at options. One option I am looking at is the "Cot Tent".

  45. I enjoyed the video.  We are a family of 5 that do many types to travel so a RTT isn't practical for us. We have a 10 man Coleman Instant Cabin Tent as well as a 4 man version of the same tent. When I go solo, I usually use my hammock and tarp. These seem to suit us perfectly for now.

  46. It's spelled "YOU'RE"

    Whose the troll here?

    I also own an Airstream.

    You do seem to have an opinion. That much is clear. But no real arguments to add to the discussion. Shame.

      What are you so angry and defensive about ? Every member doesn't have to meet your requirements to have an opinion or to post. Mellow out.

  47. What are you so angry and defensive about ? Every member doesn't have to meet your requirements to have an opinion or to post. Mellow out.

    This thread has digressed a bit, but I understand and share where BoldAdventure is coming from. The discussion originated with a discussion of RTT v ground tent, presenting the strengths and weaknesses of each. And then the "you're stupid for spending so much on that" started. Those of us who have used almost every tent type available and have chosen a RTT have done so because the benefit outweighs the cost and our decision is informed and reasoned.

  48. This thread has digressed a bit, but I understand and share where BoldAdventure is coming from. The discussion originated with a discussion of RTT v ground tent, presenting the strengths and weaknesses of each. And then the "you're stupid for spending so much on that" started. Those of us who have used almost every tent type available and have chosen a RTT have done so because the benefit outweighs the cost and our decision is informed and reasoned.

      I agree, denigrating another's decision with negative words accomplishes nothing. I must disagree with where BA is coming from. Correcting spelling? Shame? It is this kind of attack that stops many from posting. A post saying stupid does not require an unreasonable attack, rather it should be overlooked in the same way it would be in a face to face conversation. Respecting others decisions is an important part of coming to a decision. The type of equipment we use is personal and most have used informed and reasoned thought to get there.

  49. For those w/ a RTT, how noticeable is it if you're not parked on level ground, do you roll at night? Does it affect your sleep? Does finding level ground ever become an issue? With multiple rigs all trying to find a spot?

    I stuck a couple of Rv type levels with adhesive backs on my hard shell rtt and that gets me close enough, I either throw a rock or something under a tire or I've also dug a small hole to drive into to level it close enough. I mostly worry about side to side and just sleep with my head facing the up hill side. With a soft rtt you could do the same thing, sticking a couple of levels on the rack or whatever when the truck is on a known level surface.

    Sent from my iPhone using OB Talk

  50. I actually like seeing people spend crazy amounts of money on their rigs and gear. It's neat stuff to me and I like seeing what is possible. If they have it to spend, what do I care? It also ends up benefiting those of us who can't. Either someone will figure out a way to make it affordable, or you'll end up getting it used when they're done with it. I got my autohome airtop used for half price because someone with more money than me decided they didn't want it anymore. I really like my rtt and don't think that I'll ever not have one having used it regularly for quite awhile now. If someone else, like my brother likes to sleep on his cot under a tarp, or another guy has the dough for one of those sweet AT habitat shells, good for them and good for us!

    Sent from my iPhone using OB Talk

  51. I must disagree with where BA is coming from. Correcting spelling? Shame? It is this kind of attack that stops many from posting. A post saying stupid does not require an unreasonable attack, rather it should be overlooked in the same way it would be in a face to face conversation. Respecting others decisions is an important part of coming to a decision. The type of equipment we use is personal and most have used informed and reasoned thought to get there.

    The trolls were starting to come out on this thread.  I can't cite references from posts if you like, but I think the point was made

  52. I've had both. RTT sounded better when I first started – but the few advantages soon were outweighed by the numerous disadvantages: Tiny, crawling up and down your rig, putting everything away to move the truck, no 'base-camp' option. I sold mine and bought an Oztent RV5 and have zero regrets. Most of the advantages of a RTT – with far fewer of the disadvantages. Sets up in minutes and you have a tent you can stand up and maneuver in. Throw in a couple of cots and you have a safari setup.

    Some of the disadvantages of a RTT in terms of setup time would be neutralized by purchasing an Alu-cab type that just pops up. My oztent sets up almost as fast as my old CVT and offers me much more flexibility. Kicked around purchasing an Alu-cab in order to amp up the convenience factor, but in the end decided that the limitations from my experience w a RTT trumped the convenience it affords.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  53. Everyone's definitions are different.

    Some of the disadvantages of a RTT in terms of setup time would be neutralized by purchasing an Alu-cab type that just pops up. My oztent sets up almost as fast as my old CVT and offers me much more flexibility. Kicked around purchasing an Alu-cab in order to amp up the convenience factor, but in the end decided that the limitations from my experience w a RTT trumped the convenience it affords.

    Yup, really depends on how you use stuff and what suits you. Even your platform can change the pros and cons.

    One of the common themes, I've seen with RTT's is that setup because it's so high isn't as easy as it seems. Especially on SUV's.

    For us, with my truck and the Ram Boxes, I can actually step up on the tire and then walk completely around my tent. I think this is a great example of how even the pros and cons can change with different setups.

    Becuase we're in a truck, we'd been ground camping in a tent for some time. I should also note, we have 2 little girls. Building a rack and adding the tent allowed me to free up a lot of our bed space. Before the truck, we had an SUV. I have a build thread for that rig here on this site too. And with that setup the ground tent worked a lot better. Becuase we made use of the roof for our rack and gear storage.

    We can't attack each other because we think X or Z is silly. But we can help each other see all the options, become aware of pros or cons and limitations in our own setups.

    And @buckwilk trust me, not angry. But sometimes you just gotta feed the trolls 😉 Rule #1 of life – never let someone else control your emotional state.

  54. I actually feel like RTTs and dispersed/off grid/wild/remote camping is a pretty good value on the wallet. We had a Tepui and spent 56 nights in it, I bought it for $1100 which seemed ridiculous at the time. But we made a decision that we'd try it out, and 2 years later, it was time to upgrade so we decided to sell it and I easily sold it in a day to someone for $700. So in all: we net $400 spent for 56 nights=$7.14 per night. And if you don't camp in a campground or pay to camp, you're weekend just got that much cheaper.

    Yes overlanding can be pricey especially since it's grown over the past few years and companies are capitalizing on the trend, but RTTs hold their value pretty well. My rule though, is try to buy gear at a discount or sale price to be able to cover the resell/buying gap and take care of it. Pass it on to someone else when you no longer need it.

  55. For those who use RTT; would you provide some guidance for a newbie interested in getting an RTT on how and what you use to level your rig?  I have seen photo's of people using devices but what is the preferred device?  Leveling or Blocks?

  56. For those who use RTT; would you provide some guidance for a newbie interested in getting an RTT on how and what you use to level your rig?  I have seen photo's of people using devices but what is the preferred device?  Leveling or Blocks?

    My rtt is on a trailer and it has leveling jacks at all four. I use wood blocks as bases, I carry a variety of blocks for that purpose. And for the Hi-lift.

    Sent from my VS995 using OB Talk mobile app

  57. For those who use RTT; would you provide some guidance for a newbie interested in getting an RTT on how and what you use to level your rig?  I have seen photo's of people using devices but what is the preferred device?  Leveling or Blocks?

    I have been using Anderson Levelers on my Airstream for some time, they're great because you don't really need a second person. Just back onto them to level.

    I just take them with me, and back my truck onto them depending on which side needs to be leveled. Works like a charm with the truck too. Although, the truck's tires are much larger and they look a bit silly. But so far working great.

  58. It's spelled "YOU'RE"

    Whose the troll here?

    I also own an Airstream.

    You do seem to have an opinion. That much is clear. But no real arguments to add to the discussion. Shame..  Can you post some pics of your airstream  please classic caravans  BnT

  59. I just bought my first RTT so I'll have more of an opinion on it after I use it some. As I said earlier looks like I'm going to have both. Oh, and a trailer as well in the future. Not sure it'll be an airstream on the trail however.

  60. Ok, so I installed the roof top tent and opened it and I have to say (albeit  being the first time I'd opened it) I didn't find it to be that much faster then the ground tent. Especially with the rig being so high with the 3" lift. I do like that I do not have to stake things down and that I'm off the ground but the real test will be sleeping in it and in my case as I'm getting older having to use the little boys room frequently in the night. I'll be taking it to Off The Grid West 2017 on the 29th with my twin six year old girls so we'll see how "Ruggedized" it is with two sets of little hands that like to see how everything works. :grinning:

  61. I had REALLY wanted a RTT and had begun researching them before last week's camping trip but never pulled the trigger.

    I have to say I'm kind of glad I didn't. For our situation, where there's just the two of us and the dog, a ground tent works better.

    Plus in a week's time, we camped at 3 different sites and used the jeep to run around exploring during the day. It's nice to leave camp setup when we go out.

    I saw several in on our trip in the camps, and still really like the idea, but I think it's more the idea than the reality that I like.

  62. I have always been a ground tent camper/backpacker. I have in the inventory everything from a single person a-fame to a 10 person mansion with a porch. I even got into hammock camping and that was good on my aging body. A side note is that the girlfriend doesn't like the idea of us being is separate hammocks…so that is reserved for my solitary outings according to her. When she saw a few rooftop tents on our trip up to Central California this summer…she fell in love with the idea. I like the idea but I too am apprehensive of the weight up on the roof and the breaking camp if we want to drive the rig somewhere. I told her I would research the idea some more but its not like you can rent them from REI to test it out. So for right now we are sticking to the ground tents and saving up the $$$ for other necessities on the rig.

  63. I'm an everything camper, we use the RTT on trips were we are traveling/camping/traveling/camping, etc., which we do a lot of. The RTT is perfect for that and very comfortable. It's NOT for base camping though, if we are going someplace where we are spending a few days without breaking camp, then we bring the pop-up or the trail dome ground tent.

    I feel like the reason people get on "this is better or that is better kick", is because they look at it from a single camping perspective. To me every camping situation requires something different, and there are times when an RTT is more convenient, and there are times when a ground tent is more convenient.

    I guess all I'm saying is try to look at someone choices from all sides.

  64. I have always been a ground tent camper/backpacker. I have in the inventory everything from a single person a-fame to a 10 person mansion with a porch. I even got into hammock camping and that was good on my aging body. A side note is that the girlfriend doesn't like the idea of us being is separate hammocks…so that is reserved for my solitary outings according to her. When she saw a few rooftop tents on our trip up to Central California this summer…she fell in love with the idea. I like the idea but I too am apprehensive of the weight up on the roof and the breaking camp if we want to drive the rig somewhere. I told her I would research the idea some more but its not like you can rent them from REI to test it out. So for right now we are sticking to the ground tents and saving up the $$$ for other necessities on the rig.

    You can rent them from Tepui. I met a couple that had rented one and then decided to buy one after they rented it when I was picking mine up. You should see if there is a company near you that rent's them.

  65. I'm an everything camper, we use the RTT on trips were we are traveling/camping/traveling/camping, etc., which we do a lot of. The RTT is perfect for that and very comfortable. It's NOT for base camping though, if we are going someplace where we are spending a few days without breaking camp, then we bring the pop-up or the trail dome ground tent.

    I feel like the reason people get on "this is better or that is better kick", is because they look at it from a single camping perspective. To me every camping situation requires something different, and there are times when an RTT is more convenient, and there are times when a ground tent is more convenient.

    I guess all I'm saying is try to look at someone choices from all sides.

    I agree. One choice or the other is to finite and black and white. You need what you need in any given situation. I now have both a RTT and a ground mount and I'm also bringing a small light weight for backpacking. If I'm base camping it's ground tent. If it's a short stay or overnight RTT. There are pro's and con's for all of them.

  66. One very important point thing I didn't notice brought up.  Which does the wife prefer?  Mine wanted the RTT….:grin:  Couple of items I do like about it are, in the cold it's warmer than the ground.  And storage wise, if you have a pretty good size ground tent you are going to either store it on your rack or put it in the back and take up space….you can also put more than you think inside the tent before you fold it down.  And you don't have to spend thousands of dollars.  I think it is really just a preference, and to each his own….As long as you're getting outside and enjoying yourself who really care what you camp in?

    Love to topic by the way

  67. One very important point thing I didn't notice brought up.  Which does the wife prefer?  Mine wanted the RTT….:grin:  Couple of items I do like about it are, in the cold it's warmer than the ground.  And storage wise, if you have a pretty good size ground tent you are going to either store it on your rack or put it in the back and take up space….you can also put more than you think inside the tent before you fold it down.  And you don't have to spend thousands of dollars.  I think it is really just a preference, and to each his own….As long as you're getting outside and enjoying yourself who really care what you camp in?

    Love to topic by the way

    She prefers the ground tent. She doesn't like climbing up and down a ladder in the middle of the night to use the little girls room

  68. I have not used a RTT yet but I am really considering purchasing one…. I like the idea of being up off the ground and also the comfort of a mattress!!! My wife and I both have some back troubles so the mattress will be a life saver. However the change to center of gravity as well as the lack of roof top storage could also become an issue. I think my best bet will be to  build a small off road capable camping trailer and attach the roof top tent. This will allow me to get off the beaten patch set up a base camp and still enjoy the full performance of my jeep.

  69. I love my RTT. I keep a 1.5" memory foam mattress in it, so its similar to my bed at the house! All trips are better with a good night sleep!

    That's perfect!!! Is that a Harbor Freight trailer build or something else? I have seen a lot of builds using the Harbor Freight trailers but wasn't sure the quality…

  70. Just sold this yesterday.  This pic was taken Sunday night and it's sitting on my 97 lexus lx 450. fits perfectly.

    I'm moving to a small camperette on my tundra so I can winter camp more often.  But I would buy another one of these in a heart beat,  like the other fellow said earlier in this thread.  It's nice to have both, especially if you have friends along or kids with you.  I don't thing you can go wrong either way.  It is nice being up off the ground though.  Cheers!

  71. Just got back from Off The Grid 2017 and used my RTT for the first time and was curious to see the difference with the weight up top on the trail. It did not bother me in the least. I'm not rock crawling in my rig and it handled just fine. No problems or drama going up the mountain. I do however recommend the mattress upgrade. I'm going to be doing that for sure. The only other problem I'd say was that I was base camping with my kids and did not want to break down the tent for the pre run. I'd like to purchase a trailer with RTT for future trips where I'm stationed for a few days so my rig is free to move on a moments notice. That or nice ground tent. Overall though I have to say I liked being of the ground and with my Maxtrax and Lynx leveling blocks is was very easy to level out the vehicle as opposed to leveling the ground. Happy with my purchase overall.

  72. I have a RTT (on a trailer) and several ground tents, as well as hammocks. Each trip is a little different for me, so the sleeping arrangements vary. Anytime my wife and I can sleep in the hammocks, that is the first choice. By far my favorite way to sleep when camping.

    I did one trip with the RTT on my vehicle (previous Suburban) and wasn't really a fan of using it that way. If I were literally only settin git up to sleep each night, that would be fine, but even if I am moving daily, I prefer to set up late afternoon and hated that I lost the use of my vehicle. The trailer is way better for base camping.

  73. My background is from 30+ years backpacking, so comparison is ultra lightweight backpacking tents to a RTT.

    The trailer was initially built to add hauling capacity to the 2 door JK, the RTT was an afterthought. During the trailer assembly, became interested in the RTT concept. Was hard to do any true comparison between brands/models as home is Iowa and the state isn't a great demographic for RTT retailers. Found enough basic information and owner feedback online to narrow search down to a couple brands and models. Under the "dumb luck" category, stumbled into a thread on another forum that REI had started carrying one of the brands/models I was considering, their annual 20% off sale price applied (and was underway) as did free shipping to my local store. Additionally, Active Junky had a 5% additional rebate.

    Made some trailer modifications for the RTT benefit (steel brackets to transfer rack bar loads directly to trailer frame, frame pockets to accept RV scissors jacks, heavy duty tongue jack, etc.), but didn't go so far as to add a marine battery/solar set-up/on board water system. Have just under $6k in the trailer/tent combination. Could have easily reduced that by $1.5k if I'd have painted trailer myself and not matched tires/wheels to JK. 

    Have 50+ nights in the tent. It's been a game changer. Some thoughts:

    Pros:

    *     Much larger footprint/more durable/more headroom  (again, vs. ultralight 2 man backpacking tent).

    *     Off the ground (critters were never an issue, but unseen rocks/tree roots discovered at 11PM and especially migrating water after

           rainstorms were).

    *     3" mattress (also a con – see below). Bedding stays packed inside when tent is collapsed.

    *     Each window/door has independent and deep awning. Have left windows fully open during rain storms and, unless driven by a

           decent wind, had no water inside. If leaving camp with rain in forecast, windows zipped half shut (zip up from bottom)

           combined with depth of the awnings has resulted in zero water inside tent, despite some fairly strong accompanying winds.      

    *     Can set up on uneven terrain . The tongue and scissors jacks are rated at 3 tons each, trailer weighs in at 1,200 lbs. fully loaded.

           Can lift  the trailer entirely off suspension to level and eliminate any movement when inside tent.

    *     Mounted at trailer height, can reach all tent straps/zippers/cover to open/close tent. Ladder is extended less than halfway.

    *     Can travel without breaking camp. With awning being an independent, stand alone structure, it takes close to an hour to tear

           down/pack up the kitchen/tent/awning/stuff by myself. Looking at the second photo, you can see our camp has a fair amount of stuff.

           Coming from lightweight backpacking and cutting every conceivable weight/mass down to the nub, I appreciate the ability to bring

           stuff that I don't have to carry 3 miles on my back.  So I do. Cast iron skillet/Dutch oven/camera equipment all  jump to mind.

    Cons:

    *     Anyone that says their RTT ladder isn't murder on their bare feet is a liar. Sandals resolve the pain issue, but present a different set

           of problems as climbing out of the tent in the dark results in a blind fishing expedition with your first foot out feeling for that initial

           ladder rung. Barefoot it hurts, sandaled you have a muted sense of touch.

    *     Expense. No argument that RTT's purchased new are pricey compared to ground tents. And they're particularly spendy to ship if you

           don't have a local retailer (close to $300 in my case). However, if you're in a state where they're popular, appears they've been on the

           market long enough to where a decent used market is appearing.

    *     3" mattress – haven't spoken with many folks who've liked the standard mattress provided with their RTT, regardless of brand

          or model. We had to experiment  with a few different options to dial it in for a good night's sleep. But dialed it is and I sleep well

          beginning with the first night, which never happened once in 3 decades of tent camping.

    My $.02. A game changer with zero regrets, but some acknowledged compromises. And again, ultralight backpacking tent is the comparison here.

      

  74. My background is from 30+ years backpacking, so comparison is ultra lightweight backpacking tents to a RTT.

    The trailer was initially built to add hauling capacity to the 2 door JK, the RTT was an afterthought. During the trailer assembly, became interested in the RTT concept. Was hard to do any true comparison between brands/models as home is Iowa and the state isn't a great demographic for RTT retailers. Found enough basic information and owner feedback online to narrow search down to a couple brands and models. Under the "dumb luck" category, stumbled into a thread on another forum that REI had started carrying one of the brands/models I was considering, their annual 20% off sale price applied (and was underway) as did free shipping to my local store. Additionally, Active Junky had a 5% additional rebate.

    I’ve heard of a few folks going through REI using saving from sales and dividends. Like you my RTT was an afterthought after getting my trailer.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I had no idea what a RTT was at the time. I would also agree with just about everything you said about pros and cons. Especially the leader, which is why I keep a pair of flip flops handy.

  75. My background is from 30+ years backpacking, so comparison is ultra lightweight backpacking tents to a RTT.

     

    The trailer was initially built to add hauling capacity to the 2 door JK, the RTT was an afterthought. During the trailer assembly, became interested in the RTT concept. Was hard to do any true comparison between brands/models as home is Iowa and the state isn't a great demographic for RTT retailers. Found enough basic information and owner feedback online to narrow search down to a couple brands and models. Under the "dumb luck" category, stumbled into a thread on another forum that REI had started carrying one of the brands/models I was considering, their annual 20% off sale price applied (and was underway) as did free shipping to my local store. Additionally, Active Junky had a 5% additional rebate.

     

    Fab response i was looking for a good argument (pros and cons) to use with the wife! Definitely on my shopping list now 🙂

  76. My background is from 30+ years backpacking, so comparison is ultra lightweight backpacking tents to a RTT.

    The trailer was initially built to add hauling capacity to the 2 door JK, the RTT was an afterthought. During the trailer assembly, became interested in the RTT concept. Was hard to do any true comparison between brands/models as home is Iowa and the state isn't a great demographic for RTT retailers. Found enough basic information and owner feedback online to narrow search down to a couple brands and models. Under the "dumb luck" category, stumbled into a thread on another forum that REI had started carrying one of the brands/models I was considering, their annual 20% off sale price applied (and was underway) as did free shipping to my local store. Additionally, Active Junky had a 5% additional rebate.

    Made some trailer modifications for the RTT benefit (steel brackets to transfer rack bar loads directly to trailer frame, frame pockets to accept RV scissors jacks, heavy duty tongue jack, etc.), but didn't go so far as to add a marine battery/solar set-up/on board water system. Have just under $6k in the trailer/tent combination. Could have easily reduced that by $1.5k if I'd have painted trailer myself and not matched tires/wheels to JK.

    Have 50+ nights in the tent. It's been a game changer. Some thoughts:

    Pros:

    *     Much larger footprint/more durable/more headroom  (again, vs. ultralight 2 man backpacking tent).

    *     Off the ground (critters were never an issue, but unseen rocks/tree roots discovered at 11PM and especially migrating water after

           rainstorms were).

    *     3" mattress (also a con – see below). Bedding stays packed inside when tent is collapsed.

    *     Each window/door has independent and deep awning. Have left windows fully open during rain storms and, unless driven by a

           decent wind, had no water inside. If leaving camp with rain in forecast, windows zipped half shut (zip up from bottom)

           combined with depth of the awnings has resulted in zero water inside tent, despite some fairly strong accompanying winds.   

    *     Can set up on uneven terrain . The tongue and scissors jacks are rated at 3 tons each, trailer weighs in at 1,200 lbs. fully loaded.

           Can lift  the trailer entirely off suspension to level and eliminate any movement when inside tent.

    *     Mounted at trailer height, can reach all tent straps/zippers/cover to open/close tent. Ladder is extended less than halfway.

    *     Can travel without breaking camp. With awning being an independent, stand alone structure, it takes close to an hour to tear

           down/pack up the kitchen/tent/awning/stuff by myself. Looking at the second photo, you can see our camp has a fair amount of stuff.

           Coming from lightweight backpacking and cutting every conceivable weight/mass down to the nub, I appreciate the ability to bring

           stuff that I don't have to carry 3 miles on my back.  So I do. Cast iron skillet/Dutch oven/camera equipment all  jump to mind.

    Cons:

    *     Anyone that says their RTT ladder isn't murder on their bare feet is a liar. Sandals resolve the pain issue, but present a different set

           of problems as climbing out of the tent in the dark results in a blind fishing expedition with your first foot out feeling for that initial

           ladder rung. Barefoot it hurts, sandaled you have a muted sense of touch.

    *     Expense. No argument that RTT's purchased new are pricey compared to ground tents. And they're particularly spendy to ship if you

           don't have a local retailer (close to $300 in my case had the REI option not presented itself). However, if you're in a state where they're popular, appears they've been on the       market long enough to where a decent used market is appearing.

    *     3" mattress – haven't spoken with many folks who've liked the standard mattress provided with their RTT, regardless of brand

          or model. We had to experiment  with a few different options to dial it in for a good night's sleep. But dialed it is and I sleep well

          beginning with the first night, which never happened once in 3 decades of tent camping.

    My $.02. A game changer with zero regrets, but some acknowledged compromises. And again, ultralight backpacking tent is the comparison here.

     

    Can you talk more about what you tried for a mattress?  Brands and sources. What you liked and what you didn't. I need a standard queen size, 3" that's comfortable.

    Thanks

    Doug

  77. Doug;

     

    So, for context's sake: I'm 6' & 155 lbs. Side sleeper. Prefer hard mattress. Factory mattress (Tepui) always woke up with sore hips/shoulders/knees. Assumed mattress too soft (wrong) and needed to stiffen/harden it up (wrong again). First attempted fix was my backpacking Zrest egg crate sleeping pad over the factory mattress (closed cell foam). Improvement, but now too hard.  Next was purchase of Therm-A-Rest self inflating sleeping mattress over the factory mattress. Spendy, more comfortable than sleeping pad, but habit of having to futz with the proper air pressure multiple times the first couple nights to get the firmness right and then sliding off of it during the night. More research via another forum with an active RTT community and I was on the verge of spending $200+ on either an Exped Megamat  (several RTT owner's giving rave reviews) or ordering the new Tepui "luxury" mattress when I stumbled into a few positive reviews from folks who'd resolved their factory mattress comfort issues with the addition of a 1.5" or 2" memory foam mattress topper. The claims were that it not only significantly increases the comfort of the mattress, but compresses easily with no effect on closing up the tent even with bedding/sleeping bags inside. Decided to try before spending 5x the cost of the topper on the Megamat or luxury mattress. $40 and a pair of shears (to cut to fit) later and all my comfort issues are resolved. The memory foam is clingy, so stays in place. It compresses easily and returns to shape after several minutes in an uncompressed state. Being a Spring/Fall/Winter camper, the memory foam adds a bit of warmth as you sink in to it and acts as another (thin)  layer of insulation between the aluminum tent floor and me.

     

    All this written, researching the solution led me to literally dozens of options claimed as THE solution by other RTT owners. With no real consensus of what works for a majority of folks, I started cheap and worked up the cost/benefit options. Convinced that with so many variables, no one can recommend with any certainty what will work for you, so start cheap and work up the options until you find what works.

     

    My research was mostly online via RTT section at Expedition Portal website (very active segment and knowledgeable members) and the Overland section at Wrangler Forum.com. The Expedition Portal website and its members were by far the most helpful.

  78. Take a look at 4Xoverland.com. Andrew St Pierre has a good video on this. In the end it will come down to a few things. I am going with a nice Tent and not a RTT. I am doing this because I like the freedom to leave camp and come back to a campsite. I think I am going with the CINCH 4 man pop up tent. It may be a bit of a gamble but it looks great.

  79. Doug;

    So, for context's sake: I'm 6' & 155 lbs. Side sleeper. Prefer hard mattress. Factory mattress (Tepui) always woke up with sore hips/shoulders/knees. Assumed mattress too soft (wrong) and needed to stiffen/harden it up (wrong again). First attempted fix was my backpacking Zrest egg crate sleeping pad over the factory mattress (closed cell foam). Improvement, but now too hard.  Next was purchase of Therm-A-Rest self inflating sleeping mattress over the factory mattress. Spendy, more comfortable than sleeping pad, but habit of having to futz with the proper air pressure multiple times the first couple nights to get the firmness right and then sliding off of it during the night. More research via another forum with an active RTT community and I was on the verge of spending $200+ on either an Exped Megamat  (several RTT owner's giving rave reviews) or ordering the new Tepui "luxury" mattress when I stumbled into a few positive reviews from folks who'd resolved their factory mattress comfort issues with the addition of a 1.5" or 2" memory foam mattress topper. The claims were that it not only significantly increases the comfort of the mattress, but compresses easily with no effect on closing up the tent even with bedding/sleeping bags inside. Decided to try before spending 5x the cost of the topper on the Megamat or luxury mattress. $40 and a pair of shears (to cut to fit) later and all my comfort issues are resolved. The memory foam is clingy, so stays in place. It compresses easily and returns to shape after several minutes in an uncompressed state. Being a Spring/Fall/Winter camper, the memory foam adds a bit of warmth as you sink in to it and acts as another (thin)  layer of insulation between the aluminum tent floor and me.

    All this written, researching the solution led me to literally dozens of options claimed as THE solution by other RTT owners. With no real consensus of what works for a majority of folks, I started cheap and worked up the cost/benefit options. Convinced that with so many variables, no one can recommend with any certainty what will work for you, so start cheap and work up the options until you find what works.

    My research was mostly online via RTT section at Expedition Portal website (very active segment and knowledgeable members) and the Overland section at Wrangler Forum.com. The Expedition Portal website and its members were by far the most helpful.

    Thanks for this. Will be ordering a memory foam mattress topper and trimming to size next season.

  80. Doug;

    So, for context's sake: I'm 6' & 155 lbs. Side sleeper. Prefer hard mattress. Factory mattress (Tepui) always woke up with sore hips/shoulders/knees. Assumed mattress too soft (wrong) and needed to stiffen/harden it up (wrong again). First attempted fix was my backpacking Zrest egg crate sleeping pad over the factory mattress (closed cell foam). Improvement, but now too hard.  Next was purchase of Therm-A-Rest self inflating sleeping mattress over the factory mattress. Spendy, more comfortable than sleeping pad, but habit of having to futz with the proper air pressure multiple times the first couple nights to get the firmness right and then sliding off of it during the night. More research via another forum with an active RTT community and I was on the verge of spending $200+ on either an Exped Megamat  (several RTT owner's giving rave reviews) or ordering the new Tepui "luxury" mattress when I stumbled into a few positive reviews from folks who'd resolved their factory mattress comfort issues with the addition of a 1.5" or 2" memory foam mattress topper. The claims were that it not only significantly increases the comfort of the mattress, but compresses easily with no effect on closing up the tent even with bedding/sleeping bags inside. Decided to try before spending 5x the cost of the topper on the Megamat or luxury mattress. $40 and a pair of shears (to cut to fit) later and all my comfort issues are resolved. The memory foam is clingy, so stays in place. It compresses easily and returns to shape after several minutes in an uncompressed state. Being a Spring/Fall/Winter camper, the memory foam adds a bit of warmth as you sink in to it and acts as another (thin)  layer of insulation between the aluminum tent floor and me.

    All this written, researching the solution led me to literally dozens of options claimed as THE solution by other RTT owners. With no real consensus of what works for a majority of folks, I started cheap and worked up the cost/benefit options. Convinced that with so many variables, no one can recommend with any certainty what will work for you, so start cheap and work up the options until you find what works.

    My research was mostly online via RTT section at Expedition Portal website (very active segment and knowledgeable members) and the Overland section at Wrangler Forum.com. The Expedition Portal website and its members were by far the most helpful.

    Thanks for the info. Sorry  for the slow response I was out of town yesterday. I already have a memory foam topper but it is to soft to use by itself, wonder if they are all the same. I will try doubling it up with something. What did you wind up using under yours?

  81. Over the aluminum floor is: Factory anti-condensation mat, factory 3" mattress, 1.5" memory foam mattress topper and a finally a thick flannel blanket. I camp in cool/cold weather exclusively, which makes the memory foam much denser/resistant to compression than in warmer weather.

    Long thread, but a better answer to your particular problem may lie in this thread. Mattress issues/solutions start somewhere in the mid teen pages:

    http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/52933-Sure-Fire-Ways-to-Improve-Your-Roof-Top-Tent

  82. That’s you’re problem right there…need to put some meat on those bones.

    It's not for lack of trying. Between my gene pool (paternal grandfather was 6' 6" and 175 lbs.) and the metabolism of a hummingbird, it's unlikely this "bean pole" physique is going anywhere.

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