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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to buy a roof top tent...there's a lot of brands out there...any suggestions on which one might be the best?

2 person tent will do, otherwise no particular needs...
 

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I’m a big time ground tenter. I know in those they are one person smaller than they say they are.
 
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I thought about buying an iKamper brand RTT but decided to put the money towards a small trailer instead. I wasn't sure about adding extra weight up top. Having a 4" lift and 35" tires already increases my Jeep's center of gravity plus my hardtop adds more weight.
This is the one I considered. They make a 2 person version:
 

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I searched a lot and decided on smitty built. while other brands may be made better they are 2-3 times the price. So far mine has held up well. I also bought the smittybilt cargo rack for both TJ amd LJ. easily hold the tent secure and handle the weight well. I spent decades ground tenting and since I have gone roof top, I have never looked back. I also thought of the trailer thinh and am setting up a M416 as a second option for camping, with the roof top tent on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought about buying an iKamper brand RTT but decided to put the money towards a small trailer instead. I wasn't sure about adding extra weight up top. Having a 4" lift and 35" tires already increases my Jeep's center of gravity plus my hardtop adds more weight.
This is the one I considered. They make a 2 person version:
Thank you for the tip...I looked at it, very nice...I thought about the extra weight up top and your point is well taken...compared to yours mine is a stock JLUR XR where the "35 tires" are actually 34' diameter on the jeep and only a 1.5" lift so I think the center of gravity is enough lower than yours and I'm thinking of a smaller, soft top tent that weighs 140-150 stowed...I like the idea of the trailer too...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I searched a lot and decided on smitty built. while other brands may be made better they are 2-3 times the price. So far mine has held up well. I also bought the smittybilt cargo rack for both TJ amd LJ. easily hold the tent secure and handle the weight well. I spent decades ground tenting and since I have gone roof top, I have never looked back. I also thought of the trailer thinh and am setting up a M416 as a second option for camping, with the roof top tent on it.
I did a smittybuilt rack:

Automotive parking light Wheel Automotive side marker light Tire Car


I'll look at smittybuilt tents...thank you for the tip...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I’m a big time ground tenter. I know in those they are one person smaller than they say they are.
I did the ground thing back in the day and still have all the stuff...I'm thinking a bit quicker set up and take down and less space used, etc...heck, I just want to try something new, I suppose!
 

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I did the ground thing back in the day and still have all the stuff...I'm thinking a bit quicker set up and take down and less space used, etc...heck, I just want to try something new, I suppose!
I have a tepui brand mounted on an off-road style trailer ( ruger). It’s a great set up
 

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I have no direct experience, but since you have the smittybuilt rack, why not get a tent from them?
I do have a friend that has one, and it's been solid with no issues
 

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I’m a big time ground tenter. I know in those they are one person smaller than they say they are.
Or, two, or three people smaller, lol! But a small ground tent is bigger than a big RTT tent...


I did the ground thing back in the day and still have all the stuff...I'm thinking a bit quicker set up and take down and less space used, etc...heck, I just want to try something new, I suppose!
To each his own, and all that. But if quicker deployment and stowing is a motivation, eh... I have been on a lot of multi day trips with a lot of people with a lot of RTT's. They generally take a helluva lot longer to get setup and take down than I do with my ground tent. The ones who use them a lot and really know the drill, usually only take about twice as long to setup and almost twice as long to take down as I do. The twice a year folks.. 'Ell, with two people, they take FOREVER to get those things setup and packed away. And if it's cold, to where the material doesn't fold up nice and easy and the cover doesn't just drape right on over, oh my, the time and frustration I have witnessed with getting those things packed up to go. Solo guys always ask for help to get it done.

Seriously, I have usually got me tent set up, my ribeye cooked and eaten, and am sipping a whiskey and smoking a cigar watching folks still getting camp setup with their RTT's. Next morning, my whole outfit is stowed, my breakfast is eaten, and I'm on my second cup of coffee smoking a cigar watching them try to get packed up.

For me, I don't want one because I'd break a leg trying to take a leak in the middle of the night. That's the main reason. The other is I really like being able to stand up to get dressed in the morning. But seeing how much time it takes to deal with them hasn't exactly made me want one more... Nor all the complaints I hear about condensation, wind noise, etc.

I've seen quite a few people get RTT's and after one season go back to a good ground tent. But I also know guys that have been using RTT's for years and years and wouldn't roll any other way. And kids LOVE them!

Like I said, to each his own.









- DAA
 

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Oh, meant to include...

Of the guys I know that use RTT's frequently and long term, I think all or almost all of them are running ARB.

- DAA
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, heck, I've always ground camped so this time I'm ready to experiment with the RTT...Elff I did get the Smittybuilt because of the rack and because 4-wheel parts had it for about $300 less than anybody, including truck ship to my door...It will be a while before I use it because I am a warm weather camper...no snow, thank you very much! I did my winter mountaineering back in the younger days...I'll be testing the set-up and take-down Real Soon Now and let you all know how it goes.
 

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Very Cool.
I'll be getting a truck bed tent for my Gladiator with a mattress, just for convenience, but it's basically just a 1 person tent, vs RTT,
but no way on the Snow camping. That's what Hotels are for. LOLOLOL
 

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The short story: Ground tents are more comfortable if you're camping a few days in one spot, Roof Top tents are less work if you are on the move.

I'm a long time back packer and have spent countless nights in a small mountaineering tent along the trail. Now a senior and want a tent I can stand up in for the obvious reasons of comfort and convienence.

Once we started over-landing with a Jeep club went 2 years camping in ground tents. If on the move it is lots of work setting up and taking down the tent. The second ground tent we tried was a Gazelle pop up tent that was quick to set up and take down but it is long and needs to be carried on the top rack. Still lots of work to break camp, get the tent on the top rack, roll up the bedding, etc.


We noticed others had Rooftop Tents on their Jeeps and spent much less time and effort setting up and breaking camp. Note this is on long distance overland trips such as the Heart of the West or BDR's.

So we bought a James Baroud evasion Rooftop Tent. Top of the line and expensive.


Only shot available with the RTT up is in a funky RV camp ground near Capitol Reef UT.


Since we can keep bedding in the RTT it is very quick to pop up or down making it easier on a long trip. But need to climb up and down a skinny ladder to get to our sleeping spot and no standing up.

In conclusion if you are camping in one place a ground tent is better for convienece and comfort. If you are with an over-landing group and getting up early and then on the move, an RTT is quicker and less work.
 

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If you are with an over-landing group and getting up early and then on the move, an RTT is quicker and less work.
My experience and observations have been mostly the opposite.

But.. Not all ground tents are created equal. Some are definitely more work and/or take up a lot more cargo space than others. And, the hard shell pop-ups like the Baroud are definitely faster to deploy and stow than the more typical "small cheapish (but hella expensive) ground tent strapped to the roof" style RTT's that most run.

Really though, nobody seems to believe it until they see it. A good ground tent like the Springbar I run, goes up as fast or faster than the vast majority of RTT's. Definitely faster than the ARB/Tepui/Smitty type. The Baroud and a couple of others though, are as fast to setup and even slightly faster to take down. But, can't stand up in them, would suck to have to cook in them, etc., etc.

I've yet to see anyone show more than a two or three minute setup and take down time and effort advantage on overlanding type trips for a RTT - and that only with the Baroud style you have - ARB's and Smitty's, take way longer. And a few folks have made a concerted, public effort to prove me wrong (two of my friends sell RTT's for a living). But they haven't...

- DAA
 
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Posted in the RTT thread. My RTT comes with 2" memory foam and I added 2" of extra memory foam. It feels like a home bed, getting the same feeling in a regular tent is hard. I have spent years camping in regular tents and all i will say is once I got the RTT, no going back.
 
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I could‘ve benefited from a RTT many times where I rolled in late and didn’t want to unpack. We did the full White Rim trail and reached our camp at Potato Bottom in the dark. The switchbacks at our exit ahead were washed out and we had to go back the way we came in. The ranger had already informed us of this.

Curious to know, is the RTT offered on a two door?
 

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Have a large RTT in my LJ, so no reason why it will not work on a 2 door.
 
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