Sure-Fire Ways to Improve Your Roof Top Tent

Mr. T

Member
"2 of these" are the telescoping poles under the tent??

Yes 2 telescoping poles to help support the tent (the top end of pole fits in a hole on the edge of the tent) and 2 D ring tie downs on each side that the landyards attaches to as you can see to keep the tent from folding up in high winds.

Note: The tent opens out over the tongue of the trailer and not to the side as seen in picture.

Update on telescoping poles: After camping this past weekend and found that one of telescoping poles came up short and had to use rocks under it to support one corner of the tent, so I made a new support that uses the trailer tongue and the RTT ladder brackets. The Telescoping poles are not needed any more.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Mccaf

Adventurist
Can you tell me what kind of “rack” that your ARB Awning is attached to at the side of your trailer?
 

roving1

Well-known member
Closing up?

I have issues with my Mt Shasta Ext when it is time to close up the tent. It collapses fine but all the external tent material ends up on the other side and leads to a lot of time spent tucking and stuffing all that material in to get cover on. Am I doing something wrong, is there a solution to this? I have a couple of black straps inside tent that I don't know what they are for, could be related! Thanks!
I have a mount Shasta Extended Summit. The summit material is great for durability but you can't really tuck it or fold over the top or do anything with it. My most hated thing about this tent is their utter lack of design to solve this problem. I have taken to using a ratchet strap around the end to compress the tent halves together and then run another around the perimeter to compress all the bits that you can't really stuff or do anything with. It has cut my packing time in half.

I think the solution would be to go to a truck tarp place or boat top maker and just get a tarp made you can throw on and bungee from underneath would be so much easier and make me stop hating the worse thing about my RTT. Getting that cover back on and zipped only occurs about 10% of the time without profuse swearing and several breaks because my arms are tired. The OEM cover is ridiculously tight.

I have this fantasy of taking my tent with nothing inside it and telling the CVT guys that I will pay you $100 if you can pack my tent up in under 15 minutes and another hundred if you can get the summit annex back in the crappy bag it comes with in in under 10 in under 40 degree weather. I would never lose a cent lol.
 

roving1

Well-known member
I am really not seeing any point to the security nuts for RTTs. The way most are mounted you could hacksaw, dremel, angle grind, or use bolt cutters in seconds and easily defeat them. The absurd amount of money some of those products cost don't seem worth it.
 

Cletus26

Adventurer
I am really not seeing any point to the security nuts for RTTs. The way most are mounted you could hacksaw, dremel, angle grind, or use bolt cutters in seconds and easily defeat them. The absurd amount of money some of those products cost don't seem worth it.
Look up “wheel every weekend”. He has made some pretty nice setups
 

Scoutman

Explorer
I have a mount Shasta Extended Summit. The summit material is great for durability but you can't really tuck it or fold over the top or do anything with it. My most hated thing about this tent is their utter lack of design to solve this problem. I have taken to using a ratchet strap around the end to compress the tent halves together and then run another around the perimeter to compress all the bits that you can't really stuff or do anything with. It has cut my packing time in half.

I think the solution would be to go to a truck tarp place or boat top maker and just get a tarp made you can throw on and bungee from underneath would be so much easier and make me stop hating the worse thing about my RTT. Getting that cover back on and zipped only occurs about 10% of the time without profuse swearing and several breaks because my arms are tired. The OEM cover is ridiculously tight.

I have this fantasy of taking my tent with nothing inside it and telling the CVT guys that I will pay you $100 if you can pack my tent up in under 15 minutes and another hundred if you can get the summit annex back in the crappy bag it comes with in in under 10 in under 40 degree weather. I would never lose a cent lol.
While I agree that the cover is the worst part about most of these traditional RTT's I have never had any issues getting all the tent material to fit. I spoke with CVT once about the difference in the Pioneer and Summit covers and the Pioneer cover has bump-outs (for lack of a better term) for the ladder(s). That's why they look so much tighter than my Summit Series which is just one large box shape. Here's a post I made in the 'keeping the annex attached' thread for how I fold mine up. This is with (2) 32" wide very thick winter sleeping bags zipped together inside (jack and jill style). I've always just folded my extended vestibule material over the top of the tent and never tuck it inside since it's so heavy.
 

roving1

Well-known member
While I agree that the cover is the worst part about most of these traditional RTT's I have never had any issues getting all the tent material to fit. I spoke with CVT once about the difference in the Pioneer and Summit covers and the Pioneer cover has bump-outs (for lack of a better term) for the ladder(s). That's why they look so much tighter than my Summit Series which is just one large box shape. Here's a post I made in the 'keeping the annex attached' thread for how I fold mine up. This is with (2) 32" wide very thick winter sleeping bags zipped together inside (jack and jill style). I've always just folded my extended vestibule material over the top of the tent and never tuck it inside since it's so heavy.
Hahahahaha. Yeah, either mine is a misbuild or the Shasta cover is way different. I can barely get the cover on with nothing in the tent. To put 2 pillows and 1 backpacking sleeping bag in there requires a ratchet strap to compress the tent to get it close to parrelel in the closed position and the cover barely goes on. I have one sleeping bag like you mentioned and I can't even get the cover on with it inside. There is no way in hell I could ever put the annex on top of the tent. This is in warm weather. I also use a strap around the perimeter to avoid 20 minutes of trying to tuck and poke the sides in enough to zip the thing up. Plus the front side by the cab of the truck I can't reach so a strap is really the only way to push it in.
Your vestibule is more rectangular which might lend itself to flipping over the top. Mine is square so the sides I think won't really let me. But I will try it.

I like the durability and solidness of the summit material but trying to bet my particular tent closed is a nightmare.

I'm becoming convinced my tent or cover is out of spec. In freezing weather it is almost impossible to pack up.

It really ruins my experience and defeats the purpose of having a ready made bed when I have to schlep a lot of my sleeping stuff out of the tent and find watertight storage in my truck bed.

Looking how neat and organized your write up is and how awesome and functional it would be to pack like that and knowing how easy that cover must go in with nothing on top to even be able to attempt the extra stuff is literally making me ill.
 
Last edited:

Scoutman

Explorer
Hahahahaha. Yeah, either mine is a misbuild or the Shasta cover is way different. I can barely get the cover on with nothing in the tent. To put 2 pillows and 1 backpacking sleeping bag in there requires a ratchet strap to compress the tent to get it close to parrelel in the closed position and the cover barely goes on. I have one sleeping bag like you mentioned and I can't even get the cover on with it inside. There is no way in hell I could ever put the annex on top of the tent. This is in warm weather. I also use a strap around the perimeter to avoid 20 minutes of trying to tuck and poke the sides in enough to zip the thing up. Plus the front side by the cab of the truck I can't reach so a strap is really the only way to push it in.
Your vestibule is more rectangular which might lend itself to flipping over the top. Mine is square so the sides I think won't really let me. But I will try it.

I like the durability and solidness of the summit material but trying to bet my particular tent closed is a nightmare.

I'm becoming convinced my tent or cover is out of spec. In freezing weather it is almost impossible to pack up.

It really ruins my experience and defeats the purpose of having a ready made bed when I have to schlep a lot of my sleeping stuff out of the tent and find watertight storage in my truck bed.

Looking how neat and organized your write up is and how awesome and functional it would be to pack like that and knowing how easy that cover must go in with nothing on top to even be able to attempt the extra stuff is literally making me ill.
Well part of the neat and organized way I folded that up was because it was ideal conditions in nice weather in the driveway. :) I have some D rings that I need to add to keep the folded up annex attached to the tent. I may do that this weekend.

I would call Bobby at CVT and talk to him. There may be some dimension that is out of spec and I would think they would work with you on making it right. The few issues I've had they've made right every time. How long have you had the tent?
 

roving1

Well-known member
Well part of the neat and organized way I folded that up was because it was ideal conditions in nice weather in the driveway. :) I have some D rings that I need to add to keep the folded up annex attached to the tent. I may do that this weekend.

I would call Bobby at CVT and talk to him. There may be some dimension that is out of spec and I would think they would work with you on making it right. The few issues I've had they've made right every time. How long have you had the tent?

Long time. 15 months probably . Problem is I bought it in Oregon and immediately went on a month long trip. Then had to travel overseas for work. Then returned from work and went on a another big trip and then had to go overseas again. So I really have not had much time to do anything other than just sort of use it and deal with it. I have only been in the US for 3-4 months in the last 15 months and not consecutive. I live in MI and had plans to go to Chattanooga but those fell through.

At the time I wasn't sure if it was me or all the cold weather I was camping in. Both the weather and me being a noob were definitely part of it. But before ratchet straps I was climbing on top of the tent and using all my weight to compress the tent and pull the velcro tight. I never saw anyone else do that but I never encountered anyone with summit material or the extended version so I chalked it up as that early on.

I might call or I might not. I'm not sure there is any real advantage to the cord side retainer and zipper. It's not super waterproof at the velcored ends of the zipper either. I really think a tarp you could just throw on and bungee up in 90 seconds would be a better design. Especially in cold weather.
 
Last edited:

tae73

Observer
I will have to agree with you roving1, I have a cvt mt shasta extended pioneer and can barely get the cover on. All I have inside mine is condensation mat, their mattress and my exped air matress which is about a 1" thick when folded up. No sheets or blanket or pillows, if I dont get all the air out of the mattress no way is it going to fold up.
 

stingray1300

Explorer
Last fall, I decided to try something to improve the ol' RTT. I finally got a couple of rolls of duct insulation. That aluminum floor does a great job of radiating cold... I'm talking about the 20ºF in the morning cold at Green River Lakes in Wyoming (8,000ft) in September.

This past September, we camped at 9,200ft on Cinnamon Pass, CO, and it was unbelievably cozy! The insulation adds R3. Just enough to really make a difference. Now we have a 3.5 season tent. Hope this answers someone's questions about doing this.Insulroll.jpgInsulinstall.jpgInsulroll.jpgInsulinstall.jpg
 
Top