RTT to ground tent any regrets or vice versa

DCH109

Adventurer
I have a question
For those who have gone from RTT to ground tent, do you have any regrets or ground to RTT.

I am mainly a solo camper/ explorer and at times I will being my kids (8 and 10).
camping as a kid and into my earlier adult life I had a ground tent. As I started to travel across the US i bought a RTT. First a Maggiolina, then an Ironman/ ARB folding style.


Now I have been looking at OZtents as I like how quick the fold and the ease of using them.
My dilemma is the cost. Not that I cannot afford one (I have budgeted for one and the CFO (wife) said ok), but that this will be a significant investment either way. RTT is nice as I can put up anywhere.

Thoughts
 

acg

Adventurer
I echo eatSleepWoof's comments. I have a Tepui 30-second tent which is similar to the OzTent RV-model. Its packed configuration means it is long (about 4 to 6 feet depending on the model). It makes it challenging to store inside a vehicle. I bet it is the same challenge with an OzTent.

We got a Baroud tent for my 3 sons (13, 11 and 9). This means my wife and I will sleep in a ground tent. There was no room inside our Discovery or on top of the roof to carry an OzTent RV-model type tent.

Ease of setting up camp and packing to go is important. We ended up going with a Coleman Instant Tent for a ground tent, i.e., easy to pack & unpack as well as store inside our vehicle when travelling.
 
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dcg141

Adventurer
Tent setup is tent setup and it always takes more time than just opening the tent. Same with an RTT especially with an annex and and packing up both is time consuming. Its just a part of tent camping. I prefer the RTT but I can see an argument for both.
 

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DCH109

Adventurer
@eastSleepWoof

Fellow expat Vancouverite here. That is interesting about the Oz tent. seems like wile the 30 second setup is fast the prep is a pain. Guide wires i am not concerned about and I look at that like a Annex or awning.
The flat ground I know, this is not the concern, it was the setup in a rest stop or anywhere deal. My 60 has a new interior, just not for sleeping.
Your camp site looks great!
I can say the only thing I did not like about my Maggiolina was the size (had the largest) it was a PITA to move due to the weight. But I decided that (if i go this route) unless I need to bring my 60 into the Garage the RTT will stay on year round.

@acg
My wife will never camp with me, not her thing, well unless I have one of those fancy RV's, which is not my thing. My kids will and they can share accommodations with me.

@dcg141

Exactly and I wanted to hear both and weigh the pros and cons.

I know that one con on the hardshell RTT on a FJ60 will be weight. Rack and then the RTT adds drag on a moving brick that it is and then the weight. I saw this on my FJCruiser, but when i moved to the soft RTT I saw almost no drag and less than 1% loss in fuel.
This is not a deal breaker for me as I have a 5-speed and will have a long range tank.

So right now with all of that said I am leaning to the RTT.
 

krick3tt

Adventurer
I have had a RTT mounted on a M416 trailer, worked well until we were in Canyon de Che in a windstorm. The flapping drove us out of the tent and into the vehicle. I now have an OZ RV3 and do like it. When we camp together we use the OZ tent but when I travel alone I sleep in the Rover on the sleeping platform I made using Front Runner Shelf system. Not a lot of headroom but very safe. It is a challenge to find something that everyone might like and I am sure there is no such thing. It is awkward to put away a wet tent, ground or RTT.
Just have to find what works for you, can be a long and expensive search.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
I have had a RTT mounted on a M416 trailer, worked well until we were in Canyon de Che in a windstorm. The flapping drove us out of the tent and into the vehicle. I now have an OZ RV3 and do like it. When we camp together we use the OZ tent but when I travel alone I sleep in the Rover on the sleeping platform I made using Front Runner Shelf system. Not a lot of headroom but very safe. It is a challenge to find something that everyone might like and I am sure there is no such thing. It is awkward to put away a wet tent, ground or RTT.
Just have to find what works for you, can be a long and expensive search.



Yes it is.
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
I go back and forth between my love and hate or RTTs. If I had to measure the split, I'd say I dislike an RTT more than I like it. And I have used and evaluated well over a dozen of the best in the biz.

I tend to prefer a ground tent for most situations. I did try an OzTent and felt in some ways as if it was the worst of both worlds. Big and awkward like an RTT, but still had the real estate woes of a ground tent.
 

dcg141

Adventurer
The deal is there is no perfect answer. Everyone has different priorities and needs. But honestly get what you want and enjoy the pros and don't sweat the cons and enjoy the experience. if you have one and think the other is going to cure everything you dislike about what you have spent good money on, think again.
 

Lucky j

Explorer
I will pitch in, but for different reason.

I went like pretty much every body from ground to RTT. Never regretted it for vehicule traveling. I love the fact that sleeping bags and pillows would remaine in the RTT. And no matter what, putting a RTT (soft one here) away wet, is still better for me than the same with a ground tent.

What I really love about the soft RTT is the fact that I could sleep even when raining with all windows open and have a 360 degree view. No ground tent or hard shell rtt can do that.

We have now move to a TD with a very nice stargazing window that can open. Even if the window reduce the inclose impression (or even better,mwhen no bugs, to sleep with both doors open) it will never equal the soft RTT with all 4 side wide open and never worry about little rocks on the ground. Yep, a good matress can help, but it is never wide enough to protect your knees.

Btw, even with the TD, I have kept all that foes in my RTT set-up on my off road trailer. ;) and off course I still have my ground tents.
 

coledudley

Observer
I agree with pretty much everything that's already been said.

I started with a Tepui soft-shell, then replaced it with a James Baroud Discovery XXL, and now alternate between the JB, Kodiak canvas tent, and a Big Agnes Rattlesnake backpacking tent. Clearly, there are pros and cons to each of those tents. We'll omit the RTT if we're doing more technical, off-camber terrain or if we're on a trip where we're staying with friends or at hotels more often than we're camping. We've been using the Kodiak canvas more often these days to reduce roof-top weight and to provide easier access to roof-top-mounted items like Maxtrax and our shovel.

It's very hard to beat the JB in terms of setup time... maybe a minute setting it up and 2-3 minutes for closing it down. The bedding is always ready to go on the inside. No sleeping bags or pads to set up. The only thing that can take some time with a RTT is leveling in the vehicle. Sometimes that takes an extra 5-10 minutes depending on the terrain. The JB is perfect for trips where you're sleeping in a new place every night.

By contrast, the Kodiak Canvas tent makes a great basecamp setup. It's spacious, warm, and relatively easy to set up. The main variance in setup time with the Kodiak is staking the tent... there are a lot of stakes and they're essential to the tent's structure. Most times it just takes a few minutes but there are a couple times it's taken 20-30 minutes to get it staked down. Then, there's another 5-10 minutes of getting out and setting up the sleeping kit. On the up side, the dog gets to hang out with us in the tent.
 

REDrum

Aventurero de la Selva
When I had my RTT on top of my FZJ80 on 6" lift with 37s the bed was 7'9 off the ground; and really needed a belay for point fall protection.... I'm using both OZtent 5 and ARB tent awning now instead. There are aspects of RTT I liked and miss, but doubtfull I'll go back to one. Under the rare set of circumstances where I could, it would be in support of some sort of navigational rally (Alcan 5000 or Baja 4000) type event; quick set up daily. And it would most likely be a hard shell RTT design for ease of stowing and nothing taller than a Volvo X90....
 

altaboy

Observer
New concept w/r rtt: Just saw mention via my smart phone news push: https://gearjunkie.com/hitch-pitch-rooftop-tent-mount

RTT tent mounted to rear tow receiver hitch. a rectangular flatish package that mounts to rear of vehicle in a vertical position completely within the slipstream of vehicle profile. @ camp, fold down w. unit resting on 4 or so columns. Unfold tent (like other RTT designs). Can detach from receiver hitch allowing the rig to go off on misc adventures with tent in a stand-alone config at camp.

Bonus: tent is only x" of the ground via resting columns (guessing knee height). No mud on tent bottom, no "technical climbing skills" needed for entrance/exit.

Might be a "deal maker" for me:wings:
 

REDrum

Aventurero de la Selva
Heard rumors of that a while ago, very cool see it and that it made it out of prototype.
 

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Rezarf <><

Explorer
To the OP, I've used both a RTT on both my rig and I used one on my trailer. That said I grab a quick setting up ground tent and cot lately. Neither design is faster than other. The Oztent RV series is awesome in that it pops up in under 30 seconds... so does a RTT, but in the real world (its pouring outside, or windy, or snowing or mosquitos) but both take about 8-10 minutes from park to in bed with the RTT being a bit faster.

It comes down to preference, but I like that I can still use the truck once "camp is set up" and drive away from the tent. The weight up high is another thing I don't miss.
 

DCH109

Adventurer
I want to thank everyone on their comments.

A few things. I like the trailer idea, however I do not want to haul a trailer (I do not think yet). While it will give me more room inside, I eventually will be building a drawer system for my fridge and gear.
On the setup times, thinking back the RTT was faster to setup as the gear was all inside and ready to go. Even on the soft tents I folded my sleeping bags etc
That leads me the the next issue height. I have a 3" lift with 33" tires. while not huge on a FJ60 with a RTT it will be up there for sure. While I can climb in the ladder and do not get out in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, I cannot say the same for two small kids.
I can picture it now, I have to pee dad! I get up climb down the ladder and then help them down. and they go pee. This is not a fun scenario for me. for that a ground tent will be more ideal.

This and the top heavy aspect of it (thanks for several of you reminding me of this) could be a deal breaker.

I will spend more time thinking about the pros and cons. and for all of you thanks!! you did not make this much easier LOL. I did expect that.

How about anyone who has been camping with small kids. Preference?
 
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