Roof Top Tent - Should I?

harkco

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Just wondering for those of you that have used and had to store roof top tents before, how practical are they? I have almost purchased them in the past for my 4Runner and even my current Raptor, but don't like the idea of having to remove and store when not in use. Leaving it on all the time doesn't seem like the best option either - given the hit on range from the weight. I guess what I'm really asking is for you guys to justify or talk me out of the purchase of something I will probably only use 3-4 times per year, but really want. Thanks in advance!
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crashmtb

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We’re sticking with ground tent, for a few reasons.
  • You can get a LOT of conventional tent for a fraction of the price of a rooftop tent
  • they’re a pain to store when not in use
  • don’t want to have to set up/take down when camping and driving to a trailhead or something.
  • harder to sit in the doorway of the tent and put shoes on 🤣
  • so far the quality of most rooftop tents I’ve encountered hasn’t been as good as ground tents
and on and on.
that said, if you really want it, go for it!
 

LordUlhtred

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Just wondering for those of you that have used and had to store roof top tents before, how practical are they? I have almost purchased them in the past for my 4Runner and even my current Raptor, but don't like the idea of having to remove and store when not in use. Leaving it on all the time doesn't seem like the best option either - given the hit on range from the weight. I guess what I'm really asking is for you guys to justify or talk me out of the purchase of something I will probably only use 3-4 times per year, but really want. Thanks in advance!
Skip it. It is a luxury item (Only if you have plenty of $ burning a hole in your pocket). I want one myself too but the reality is that it is way too expensive for the # of uses per year.

I bought myself a pop up tent, Gazelle Tent. It is an expensive tent for sure but no where near the pricing of roof top tents. https://gazelletents.com/products/t4-hub-tent-alpine-green
 

mgc0216

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I have one for my Subaru (it's actually the same model that Rivian is selling). I have used it about 5 days in 18 months. That's not a good equation. Probably going to give it it to my kid.

They look cool on your rig, and they sleep really nice, but as mentioned above there are some real drawbacks (cost, storage, inability to easily day trip from the campsite).
 

SwifferPNW

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How long do these rooftop tents take to set up compared to a ground tent? About the same? How about ease of use? Been thinking it'd be nice to have a platform to sleep on rather than uneven ground (I'm used to packing my tent, so my setup is very minimum).
 

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I have all the same concerns here. It would be convenient, for some trips, but I'm not sure the storage challenge is worth it. I very much like the idea of driving to a trailhead late, setting up the tent, sleeping under the stars and hitting the trails early. But the cost for the few times it would be used is a lot.

From the website: https://rivian.com/support/article/whats-included-with-the-three-person-tent-cargo-crossbars they cover all the dimensions, except for the weight! I think for me, the size stowed of "49” x 58” x 17” high when stowed" is maybe too much. Can't get that into the garage attic.

I still have it configured, because it is also a nice backup plan in case the towing with the R1S and our trailer is not practical due to distance and range.
 
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harkco

harkco

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Skip it. It is a luxury item (Only if you have plenty of $ burning a hole in your pocket). I want one myself too but the reality is that it is way too expensive for the # of uses per year.

I bought myself a pop up tent, Gazelle Tent. It is an expensive tent for sure but no where near the pricing of roof top tents. https://gazelletents.com/products/t4-hub-tent-alpine-green
Thanks for the heads up on gazelle tents - thought I had looked at about every tent on the market. Looks nice!
 

Temerarius

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I'm looking at one as well. We camp every year, and every year there are two big complaints from the family:
  1. The blow up bed sucks/is not comfortable.
  2. Putting up/tearing down the on ground tent can suck (especially if it's on a dirt pad or such as they seem to attract every particle of fine dust and pine needles imaginable).
  3. Putting up/tearing down is noticeably quicker (on most RTTs it seems).
  4. Wind storms are "SOME POO CAME OUT" moments.
That said, I am not totally convinced yet for the reasons cited above:
  1. Holy hell these things are pricey.
  2. Storage is rough.
  3. You are bound to your car (you ain't packing this thing in).
  4. You are bound to where your car can get to (the road ends 25 feet from a great spot to camp? ....go pound sand, this is where ye be camping).
I'm looking at the SmittyBilt RTT (version 2, not the version 1), and not the XL either (she won't fit on the R1T).

I have a few months to decide...
 

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I have a Racor rack in my garage to store my iKamper. It's rated for 250lbs, which is plenty of capacity for this tent. When I want to use it, I just back my vehicle under the tent and lower it into position.

51093989170_a8f5fdfba8_b.jpg
 

Temerarius

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I have a Racor rack in my garage to store my iKamper. It's rated for 250lbs, which is plenty of capacity for this tent. When I want to use it, I just back my vehicle under the tent and lower it into position.
Slick!

...I'm kinda jelly.

My kayaks are hanging in my garage and basically consume the entirety of the ceiling in my garage. I wish I had space to set something like that up.
 
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harkco

harkco

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I have a Racor rack in my garage to store my iKamper. It's rated for 250lbs, which is plenty of capacity for this tent. When I want to use it, I just back my vehicle under the tent and lower it into position.

51093989170_a8f5fdfba8_b.jpg
This looks like a great option. Is that powered or a crank of some kind?
 

Blueassassin

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I have always been a ground tent camper and have never wanted a RTT. That being said last time I went camping it was pouring rain as I was trying to set up the tent and the rain continued all night. So when we got back to the tent not only was it full of water but the ground was so saturated that it was like a waterbed on the floor. We had an air mattress luckily to keep us off the floor but not the best experience. Second item is I really like the outdoors and camping and if a glamping style luxury will help my wife want to go camping more with me its worth the money. Along with anything else I can add to the truck to make it more enjoyable of a camping experience for her.
 

crashmtb

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I have all the same concerns here. It would be convenient, for some trips, but I'm not sure the storage challenge is worth it. I very much like the idea of driving to a trailhead late, setting up the tent, sleeping under the stars and hitting the trails early. But the cost for the few times it would be used is a lot.

From the website: https://rivian.com/support/article/whats-included-with-the-three-person-tent-cargo-crossbars they cover all the dimensions, except for the weight! I think for me, the size stowed of "49” x 58” x 17” high when stowed" is maybe too much. Can't get that into the garage attic.

I still have it configured, because it is also a nice backup plan in case the towing with the R1S and our trailer is not practical due to distance and range.
https://yakima.com/products/skyrise-hd-3-md-tan

same tent. 114.6lbs

I have always been a ground tent camper and have never wanted a RTT. That being said last time I went camping it was pouring rain as I was trying to set up the tent and the rain continued all night. So when we got back to the tent not only was it full of water but the ground was so saturated that it was like a waterbed on the floor. We had an air mattress luckily to keep us off the floor but not the best experience. Second item is I really like the outdoors and camping and if a glamping style luxury will help my wife want to go camping more with me its worth the money. Along with anything else I can add to the truck to make it more enjoyable of a camping experience for her.
you‘d still have to unfold the tent and deploy the rain fly with a rooftop tent
 

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Temerarius

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you‘d still have to unfold the tent and deploy the rain fly with a rooftop tent
When I've played around with the RTT's, they setup way quicker (especially in adverse conditions). A friend has one and it's basically 3-4 minutes... regardless of sunshine, rain, wind, or "OMG I can't feel my fingers".

Really, the only part that takes any time is the little posts for the fly.

His also didn't have to deal with sitting in the soggy mess after all of the rain.

But, his tent also cost $1,800.. mine was $150.
 
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