Living full time in a roof top tent...Input please


I have a trailer with a CVT tent on top. I've been seriously considering a reduction in stress and rearranging my life. Would it be possible to live in and travel long term in a roof top tent if I have enough high quality outdoor equipment for almost any environment? I have done quite a bit of camping in my life and I spent the past year in a custom built Cargo Trailer RV off grid in the Ohio Valley without any heat or air conditioning, so I don't think that the climate control is a priority for me, But I do want to live like a person and not an animal. Any idea how long one of these CVT tents will last if it is inhabited full time? Any ideas on how to make life in a RTT more livable, while not stressing my budget? Part of my reduction of stress strategy is rethinking my career choices and working a...less structured...shorter hours...and more laid back job or bouncing from job to job as I travel. This means cutting my income by about 70%. "Minimizing" essentially! I welcome thoughts and ideas.


Expedition Leader
Seems like a PITA to set up and take down every day but otherwise doable. I'd want some more room though, at least a full sized tent where I could get up and stand or sit at a table to cook and eat on days with poor weather. I don't know about the CVT specifically but the more you can keep UV off of it the better.

Roger M.

Perhaps in a Howling Moon, or Eezi-Awn ... but any of the Chinese tents that I've ever owned aren't made to take that kind of continuous use.
The constant set-up and tear down would eventually do a number on zippers and straps.
And bent aluminum tubing as your major source of "structure" just isn't anything you can count on to remain in its original form over the long term , and with endless use.

I currently own a CVT, and love it ... but I use it as one would normally use a get-away tent ... I suspect if I were to use it every night, day in and day out ... things would start to seriously fall apart in 3 or 4 months.

Alternative take on it is that I guess you could use the tent non-stop to live in, carry lots of patches, and waterproof the seams every month or so ... basically use it constantly and just accept that you'll be repairing something on the tent, or dealing with bent frames or damaged zippers or worn/torn canvas on somewhat of a steady basis.

You might get a year of constant use of of a Chinese tent - after which you'd likely have to shop around for a new tent.

Having never owned a Howling Moon or an Eezi-Awn, I'm guessing they'd be much more durable based on the ones I've seen, and the generally high regard they're held in by Overlanders ... but it's only a guess on my part.


Expedition Leader
The longest stretch I spent in my RTT /totally off the grid was about a month stretch. Also did about two ish months in an RV Park. That was enough for me. A real shower and real toilet were the best things to get back too. I really do need a new RTT though. Mines about ready to disintegrate.

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"Having never owned a Howling Moon or an Eezi-Awn, I'm guessing they'd be much more durable based on the ones I've seen, and the generally high regard they're held in by Overlanders ... but it's only a guess on my part.'

I had an Eezi Awn Series 3, and it was certainly a well built tent! However, it started to wear in just a couple of months on the trail being set up every couple of days.

"Not an answer to your question, but just wondering where in Ohio have you been living off grid?"

I was not in Ohio, I has in Kentucky in the Ohio River Valley. I have property here.

Thank you all for the input! I was told that the CVT would be able to stand up to the task, but that was by CVT. I just wanted to hear some real life accounts and opinions. I don't mind a portable toilet, cold or "canned" showers, inclement weather nor small, but functional spaces (Yep, Tiny House type guy). I have the Mt Rainier Extended, so I have a pretty good size Annex room and a HUGE bed!
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Active member
are you going to be closing/opening every day? maybe think more along the lines of car camping... van life, setting up a vehicle whether a Jeep or sprinter (two different paths of many!) to be able to sleep inside the thing? THEN have a nice pop up tent for other days when you want to stretch out, shower, etc... Save you the wear and tear on an RTT and some money too... Wish I could try that route for a while, not in the cards for me though. Good luck, either way!


I know yeti and yolo did a long stint in their RTT on a trailer. Might want to check out their stuff and maybe ask them. They are on instagram. Pretty sure they use a CVT too

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Short answer is Yes I think it is possible. But I have zero experience with any other rtt than the one we own.

This has been our experience.... We're a family of 4 spending 30-45 day stretches in our Autohome Overland (it is about 17 years old now). We go out for about 2 months (some of it in hotels, rv parks, etc when we need to resupply and want a day off from the tent) Then back to friends or family for a week or so and then back out again. We've spent about 150 days out this year. 90% of that in the tent.
The tent has held up great. I finally had to replace a zipper. That was a pain in the butt to sew in but it worked. We do have a memory foam topper on the factory mattress which has helped a bit. Other than that we just use it.
We don't move around very much... usually spending minimum of 3 days in one location but more like 5-6 days. We also have a Kodiak springbar tent that is setup for base camp and used as our garage, living room, changing room, kitchen, bad weather hangout, game room, etc. For days that we need the truck to go exploring with then the rtt is put away in quick order. It really is not a huge deal and it should be even easier with you being on a trailer. I'm 6' in the air and so that causes a bit of acrobatics to get it done.

It is a bit of art and a bit of science to blend the minimalist and human aspect. We're constantly rethinking our setup and style and so for us it is definietly an evolution. No right or wrong way to do it. Bottom line... just get out there and experience it.

And when you start to feel like an animal... take a break. Get a cheap hotel. Drop into an RV park. Stay in one spot for a longer stretch. A hot shower and not having to worry about where you are going to sleep that night goes a long way for keeping the morale up.

The light stress of not technically having a place to sleep each night does play a role. Of all the full time travelers we've spoken with that is probably one of the top concerns, especially for folks that move almost daily.

Good luck. Feel free to pm me with any questions.


New member
Having spent months away sleeping in confined spaces during my military days, the first thing that comes to mind is that the tent and bedding would smell super bad after a few weeks of continuous use and you would need to find a really good way to combat that.. I would probably look at a small trailer.


Hahahaha! I can't believe I somehow missed the comments in this conversation! Love it!
I sold the tent. I have built out a trailer...which is almost complete. I am very close not to my next trip! Leaving for Arizona tomorrow actually.