Roof Racks, Awnings, and tents...

SBSYNCRO

Active member
After a lot of research I've decided to pull the trigger on a Rhino Backbone system for the Jeep. I will start out with a pair of Vortex bars - since I have a Sunrider top, I can't use the full sized Pioneer platform, and honestly I'm not sure I'll ever really need a $1,000 platform when I already have a Yakima basket that will probably work fine if I need it. I will also don't think I'll ever go the route of a RTT (mostly because I don't want to drive around all the time with a 140 to 200 lb box on top of my Jeep)

What I AM interested in, however, is a combination of awning and ground tent that will be versatile and give me a comfortable yet modular setup for solo or 2 person trips.

Here's my typical setup now for a solo trip:



Next on my list are the Rhino system, Awning, and more spacious/durable ground tent.

(Then I will add 12v fridge + solar+aux battery.)

I camp outdoors all 4 seasons - I just came back from a trip where my son and I spent 4 days and 3 nights in 25º to 40º weather with rain, sleet, hail, and a bit of sunshine. Other times we'll camp in blazing sun and 90 degree days. An awning seems like a no-brainer for both scenarios.

I'm enamored with the idea of a 270º awning on the driver's side and an "Oztent" type tent either opening into the driver's side awning or on the opposite side of the Jeep while camped (to create a wind break with the sloped side of the tent).

However, as I look at the Oztent RV-2 it looks like that sucker is bulky when packed and I'm already struggling with weight/space constraints with the Jeep (and these 250 lb bumpers don't help!). After a lifetime on my knees in small dome tents, I'm thinking about tents with a bit more head room and possibly even room for a cot and more creature comforts. I stumbled across these, but can't find much information on them at all:

They seem lighter and a bit less bulky than the Oztent (and about 1/2 the price, which probably means they aren't built to the same standard)

Would really appreciate feedback from anyone running either a setup like the one I'm contemplating, or something they think is even better, and why.
 

sourdoughben

Active member
I have a Coleman 6 person tent @28lbs. with a Coleman cot, folding chair and table inside. I carry the Coleman on the roof RV rail system $50 and 6 lbs. or stow it inside.
coleman 6 person tent.jpegJL aluminum roof rack 2 (2).jpeg
I'm not a fan of the roof racks that weigh 75 lbs. + and RRT's or small cramped back packing tents when car camping.BTW, my colemn is 8 yrs. old and has weather many heavy winds. I'm guessing 75 plus nights use.
 

Yuke

Adventurer
I’m a big fan of my Darche Eclipse 270 awning, with the wall kit it even makes a massive enclosed area to camp inside of if needed. I often use a Darche swag inside it.

they also have a tent that attaches to a straight awning like you mentioned that is similar to oztent but packs down smaller.

A3E2A8D2-BF84-48E9-A7D1-C86C8E19B17F.jpeg352E186E-E018-4714-A9D8-4FAA4D72CC71.jpeg
 

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Eezi-Awn awnings; straight or 270, variety of options with wall sets available for some models. Not inexpensive products but expedition grade equipment regardless of what you go with. I also like my Rhino Rack Batwing but there are plastic parts found throughout the product, not a big fan of plastic in products I expect/need to last a long time.

Equipt1.com for Eezi-Awn products in the states.
 

camodog

Adventurer
For the awning, I have the alu cab shadow 270 and love it! Easy and quick set up, no poles and guy lines to mess with.
It is heavy, and expensive, but it’s the best quality. They do make wall kits for it, and you can also attach tent awnings via Velcro to it.
 

SBSYNCRO

Active member
Thanks guys. Keep the suggestions coming. I’ve looked at the Alu-cab and other similar “free standing” units and I think the weight and bulk are too much.

I’m torn between going lightweight, knowing it won’t last as long versus heavy duty knowing it will last but it’s making my weight problems worse.

I just pulled the back seats out of the Jeep so I picked up about 100 lbs there, but the plywood deck I’m building will probably add back half of that by the time it’s done.

So far the Rhino batwing seems like a winner but the plastic bits bug me. I noticed Overland Pros has their “wraptor” awning which is about 10lbs lighter than the Rhino and has separate poles and no plastic bits that I see...

Hmm.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Yuke

Adventurer
The Darche Eclipse 270 gen 2 is only 50lbs, for an awning of its size, that’s pretty good! I could never go back to anything that is not freestanding
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
I installed the rhino rack backbone on my '15. It was great - we used it with a medium sized CVT roof tent and it was quite enjoyable, despite weighing 120 lbs. Once you sleep up in the air, away from the water/mud/bugs/rocks, it's tough to go back. That said I also pulled the backseat, built a plywood platform, put in a fridge and aux batt, and slept inside a few times in cases of high wind. Those nights, sleeping inside was 1000% more restful compared to a RTT flapping in the wind... Buy some "gutter leaf shields" from home depot for $10 and cut them down to fit your rear windows. Instant 4" screens that are perfect...




All that said.... now with a bigger family we tow a 5x8 trailer with a bigger RTT on it and drive a soft top rubicon. Much better solution for us. Also, soft tops are much more fun than hard tops.

71029025_10106515441385122_5205341466141917184_o.jpg


FWIW, we camp in all 4 seasons also. Typically in the winter, we don't bother with the trailer (or bringing the kid), and just roll out a 2" foam mattress, some halfway decent sleeping pads, and some bulky 0 degree teton bags with flannel linings and sleep in the back of the jeep with the seats folded. Remote start in the morning warms everything up nicely!
IMG_2526.JPG
 
Last edited:

dstock

Explorer
Thanks guys. Keep the suggestions coming. I’ve looked at the Alu-cab and other similar “free standing” units and I think the weight and bulk are too much.

I’m torn between going lightweight, knowing it won’t last as long versus heavy duty knowing it will last but it’s making my weight problems worse.

I just pulled the back seats out of the Jeep so I picked up about 100 lbs there, but the plywood deck I’m building will probably add back half of that by the time it’s done.

So far the Rhino batwing seems like a winner but the plastic bits bug me. I noticed Overland Pros has their “wraptor” awning which is about 10lbs lighter than the Rhino and has separate poles and no plastic bits that I see...

Hmm.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Do know that the plastic bits are intentional so that they break before things start bending. They include a couple of spares in the purchase.

A friend of mine has a fancy $$$ Australian trailer that has an awning without plastic bits and it now has bent poles which are much more costly and difficult to replace.

When he saw how easy it was for me to setup and put away my Batwing, his immediate response was "F you!"

YMMV, yada, yada...
 

ProjectKing

New member
All that said.... now with a bigger family we tow a 5x8 trailer with a bigger RTT on it and drive a soft top rubicon. Much better solution for us. Also, soft tops are much more fun than hard tops.

View attachment 566555


FWIW, we camp in all 4 seasons also. Typically in the winter, we don't bother with the trailer (or bringing the kid), and just roll out a 2" foam mattress, some halfway decent sleeping pads, and some bulky 0 degree teton bags with flannel linings and sleep in the back of the jeep with the seats folded. Remote start in the morning warms everything up nicely!
I think that trailer is awesome! Really a great setup and I would love to build one similar to it. Do you have a build thread?
 

Mass_Mopar

Keep it simple stupid
I think that trailer is awesome! Really a great setup and I would love to build one similar to it. Do you have a build thread?
Thanks, and no, no build thread. The 1 liner summary: 5x8 motorcycle trailer, all aluminum built by nhtrailers.com I built out a simple interior and put a tepui RTT up top. Keeping on topic, I really don't use our little awning over the entry door, I need to seriously consider a larger one with a screen room, probably an ARB 8' ??
 

ProjectKing

New member
Thanks, and no, no build thread. The 1 liner summary: 5x8 motorcycle trailer, all aluminum built by nhtrailers.com I built out a simple interior and put a tepui RTT up top. Keeping on topic, I really don't use our little awning over the entry door, I need to seriously consider a larger one with a screen room, probably an ARB 8' ??
Great info! Thank you! I was thinking about a 270 degree awning or whatever they are called.
 

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