Question for rooftop tent owners regarding logistics.

vision-quest

Observer
Hey guys and gals, I recently bought a CVT rooftop tent and I'm trying to figure out how everyone goes about storing, putting it on and off, etc etc.

Basically, I have a 4Runner (4th gen UrbanRunner) and I only currently have the stock tubular roof racks that come with the vehicle. The tent is phenomenal when it's on, but it is INCREDIBLY difficult to take on and off due to the location of the nuts and the rack. The nuts sit kind of behind the tubular parts of the rack, so there's no room to get a ratchet through the side, making you have to enter from the front or back of the vehicle and maneuver with a TINY amount of space. It took me about an hour to get enough nuts off the tent to be able to take it off.

On top of that, my garage roof to the apartment building is too low to keep the tent on the roof. I have to take it off and on every time I want to use it, which I plan to be every few weeks at least here in Colorado.

Also, my wife is too short and not strong enough to help me take it off the roof and carry it to storage.

Do you guys just keep it on at all times to avoid this frustration? Do you have some kind of special lockers that secure the tent on your racks so it cannot be stolen on the street? Does having a better roof rack (like Baja etc) make this a lot easier?

I'm basically just trying to figure out the best way to go about this so it's not an incredible pain every time I want to put it on the roof or take it off.
 

Yarjammer

Adventurer
I leave mine on the roof full time since I too have a wife that isn't able to assist. I am planning on moving mine to my trailer once I build a rack for it to get rid of the 150# monkey on my roof since my rig is also my daily driver. There are guys who have lifts in their garages/carports, but from the sound of it that probably doesn't help you in your apartment situation.

As far as locking it to the roof... they're a big enough PIA that I don't see mine walking away anytime soon even if a thug understood what the heck it was.
 

justrom

Adventurer
We leave ours on the truck (daily driver, but only a 3 mile commute) during the camping season. We have a bed rack, not as high as a rooftop mount, and the bolt heads are completely accessible. My wife and I have a method to take it off and put it on that works (sort of). It is much easier to enlist the help of a neighbor for a couple beers. We have never worried about locking it, someone would have to know what it is, have the tools to get it off, and it would attract plenty of attention.

If you're honestly assessing your frequency of use then I would just leave it on the vehicle.
 

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JIMBO

Expedition Leader
:sombrero: I started with mine on the jeep==BAM/BUMMER !

I putit on my trailer and the jeep whispers "thanx", every time I startit !

Trailers are for special reasons and RTTs are for specific purpose, anything else falls to the side and is a chore !

Sorry-

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
I've had my RTT on 2 jeeps. On both jeeps, I mounted the tent to the crossbars, then removed the tent & crossbars combo from the jeep anytime I needed to pull the tent. That gets rid of most of the difficulty of removal/reinstallation.

On my XJ I picked up some used Thule bars off craigslist, on the JK I have the rhino rack backbone HD bars. They mount even easier than the thule gutter mount bars did.

XJ


JK


My wife AND garage are both too short so I put together an el-cheapo crane with 2 8-ft ladders, a harbor freight winch mounted in the garage, a long 4x4 and some mcmaster pulleys. It's still a little complicated but it works pretty well.

I pull the tent off if I know I'm not going to be camping for at least a month and for most of the winter. I figured out 2 harbor freight dollys screwed together to form one large dolly hold the tent perfectly standing up on it's long side. That way it stores in a reasonably small footprint in the garage and it's mobile.

 

DK4runner

New member
I have a 2007 4Runner. And I'm lucky enough to have a tall enough garage that I can back in and pull my Tepui off with a Racor lift rack attached to my garage ceiling. I do keep my tent attached to Thule crossbars, so I just have to undo the four feet. Takes me about ten minutes to take it on or off by myself.
 

howirolla

Adventurer
mine started on a trailer, then I moved it to the roof of my daily in an attempt to simplify my travels, not having to worry about the trailer is nice, loosing the extra storage is something I am ironing out lol.
I just leave it on the roof all the time, there is really no reason not to for me.

I leave mine on the roof full time since I too have a wife that isn't able to assist. I am planning on moving mine to my trailer once I build a rack for it to get rid of the 150# monkey on my roof since my rig is also my daily driver. There are guys who have lifts in their garages/carports, but from the sound of it that probably doesn't help you in your apartment situation.

As far as locking it to the roof... they're a big enough PIA that I don't see mine walking away anytime soon even if a thug understood what the heck it was.
I actually have a close friend have his stolen off the roof of his LC80, and they even took it OFF the rack and left the rack on the rig. it was parked right out front of his house. the lock nuts are a pretty cheap solution to that worry though.
 

vision-quest

Observer
Thanks so much guys! I think I might get those Thule Crossroads racks to attach to the standard tube rack on the 4Runner, that solves the problem of the issue undoing the nuts.

As for the issues taking it on and off, maybe I'll just have to take the gas mileage hit and leave it on at all times and leave it parked on the street rather than in the garage (our other car can stay in there). I'll have to buy some of those locking nuts for added insurance.
 

howirolla

Adventurer
just think of how much less hassle it will be NOT having to put it back on your roof every time you want to go camp. will make one night trips sound so much more fun.
 

Yarjammer

Adventurer
I actually have a close friend have his stolen off the roof of his LC80, and they even took it OFF the rack and left the rack on the rig. it was parked right out front of his house. the lock nuts are a pretty cheap solution to that worry though.
That's crazy! With the way mine is mounted and the strange angle of my driveway I or my neighbors would definitely hear the cursing. Once it is on the trailer I will be more concerned about security and will check out the security nuts.
 

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spikemd

Explorer
I leave mine up for most of the year. I also have the harbor freight furniture dolly for easy pushing around. Be sure you spray the cover with UV protectant periodically if it is left outside.

I like the idea of those locking nuts b. I just realized I have some Yakima accessory lock housing lying around that might work for added security.
 
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