Thoughts on a hitch-mounted "roof tent" rack?

Corgi_express

Well-known member

I like the idea of roof top tents for the quick setup and staying out of the mud, but also like using my roof rack for things like kayaks (also not so keen on carrying my dog up a ladder...), so have thought about one of those little trailers that you put a rooftop tent on. However, today, I saw this gizmo that puts a roof tent on a swivel attached to the hitch. Has anyone tried one of these, or checked them out at a show? Seems like an interesting option to balance ease of setup and leveling with flexibility.

Of course it would be a hit to departure angle, but probably still better offroad than hauling a trailer.
 

nick-v

New member
Having something that big and heavy to move everytime I want to open the hatch would be a deal breaker for me.
 

kb1ejh

Member
At first glance when I had seen it before it looked like a good idea. What concerns me is that RTTs are designed to be horizontal so that the cover sheds the rain. I suppose if you know the wx is going to be good and live in an arid area it would be fine. Living in the East I would be concerned with rain leaking in from the bottom (which is now your side when upright). I would hate to stop somewhere on the road, have it rain, then find a wet bed when getting to camp. In good weather I think it might be fine.
 

towee

Member
This is one of those head scratching products to me really seems like the sort of worst of all worlds. Weight penalty, departure angle, tent placement, set up time, cost, standing height and the biggest is intrusion on our main working space the tailgate area.



Honestly the only pro I can think of is ease in removing storing when not needed
 

Ovrlnd Rd

Adventurer
Tailgate/hatch issue can be taken care of with a swingaway but you're just adding more and more costs to it. $1200 for the platform, $1500-$4000 for the tent (depending on your pick), $800+ for the swingaway. Starts getting pricey quick.

Wonder if it'd work with a hard-shell tent.
 

Yarjammer

Adventurer
I can appreciate what they were trying accomplish but... They've created the world's most expensive tent cot 🤷‍♂️

I'd never consider this option because of it being in the perfect position to take a dip in an unexpected water crossing, collect mud/dust and just a general pain in the ****** when needing access. There's also needing to relocate the license plate and brake lights on most vehicles when it is mounted.
 

Wallygator

Adventurer
Did everyone watch the video? A lot of these complaints seem to be nitpicking. Saying that cuz there is no such thing as a perfect setup.

Setup doesn't look to be any longer than any normal RTT and may even be quicker since you are not having to deal with a tent on your high roof. The weight penalty is negligible with the system weighing only 60 lbs. You can leave the tent as a base camp instead of having to pack everything up before you can leave. With a swing away this would be pretty slick, especially if you have a disability.

The price plus a tent is a lot but not anywhere near my hard shell if you stick to the cheaper tents. Departure angle suffers but not anymore than having a bike rack. Getting access seems simple enough with one latch to unhook and the tent comes down, but a swing out would be ideal. Brakes lights is a simple fix, just plug a portable set into the trailer plug or mount a set to the rack. They even sell a generic lighting system on their website for $39. No need to relocate a license plate because it's temporary, just like pulling a camper is.

Is this for the hard core off roader? Not when it's mounted. But this is a pretty cool system and you can drop it and hard core off road without it on the vehicle. An without the weight on the roof. Overall I think it's pretty cool.

https://rubiconep.com/racks
 
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AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
.....No need to relocate a license plate because it's temporary, just like pulling a camper is.
I would tend to disagree with that assessment. Since the website shows it’s a California company, I’ll share the California Motor Vehicle Code referring to this issue. I read the entire code section and don’t see any exceptions for this particular kind of use. I’ll be very interested if anyone can clearly show legal support for how putting this big box on the back of a rig and blocking the license plate is permissible. That being said, I do think this is a rather interesting, innovative new product.

California Code, Vehicle Code - VEH § 5201
a) License plates, including temporary license plates, shall at all times be securely fastened to the vehicle for which they are issued so as to prevent the plates from swinging, shall be mounted in a position so as to be clearly visible, and so that the characters are upright and display from left to right, and shall be maintained in a condition so as to be clearly legible.  The rear license plate shall be mounted not less than 12 inches nor more than 60 inches from the ground, and the front license plate shall be mounted not more than 60 inches from the ground, except as follows:
 
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Wallygator

Adventurer
I would tend to disagree with that assessment. Since the website shows it’s a California company, I’ll share the California Motor Vehicle Code referring to this issue. I read the entire code section and don’t see any exceptions for this particular kind of use. I’ll be very interested if anyone can clearly show legal support for how putting this big box on the back of a rig and blocking the license plate is permissible. That being said, I do think this is a rather interesting, innovative new product.

California Code, Vehicle Code - VEH § 5201
a) License plates, including temporary license plates, shall at all times be securely fastened to the vehicle for which they are issued so as to prevent the plates from swinging, shall be mounted in a position so as to be clearly visible, and so that the characters are upright and display from left to right, and shall be maintained in a condition so as to be clearly legible.  The rear license plate shall be mounted not less than 12 inches nor more than 60 inches from the ground, and the front license plate shall be mounted not more than 60 inches from the ground, except as follows:
I'm sure other states have a law that states something similar but feel in California this law would be enforced. Just saying. An again, if you are towing something that blocks the license plate do you relocate your vehicle license plate so it is visible? If you are carrying your bicycles on a bike rack do you relocate your license plate so it is visible? I wouldn't. This tent is temporary just like a camper is, just like a bike rack is, etc... Either way this is really a non-issue with a few solutions if it really is necessary to relocate the license plate.
 

AbleGuy

A Son of the Purple Sage
I can’t really think that this design is all that innovative after all, because it looks like this idea might have been around for quite a while. Here’s a similar concept from the US Patent office:

F48C725D-E48C-43A9-817C-FD5383F4B62A.jpeg
 
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