Why so many negative YouTube videos about RTTs?

Joanne

Adventurer
Hi all!

My Desert Dawg tearbox trailer is going to be out of commission for a period while I do a major "remodel" on it. It has seen a lot of use over the last 15 years. That leaves me with either using a ground tent, or purchasing a RTT to mount on my F-250 Superduty. I started looking for YouTube reviews and it seems like the majority of videos I found were "Why I hate my RTT" or "You don't want to buy a RTT". I'm not sure why so much negative press on them.

So can I ask you guys for your honest feedback on your RTTs? What you like and what you don't.

Thanks in advance!
Joanne
 

Victorian

Approved Vendor : Total Composites
Been there done that.... This is my personal opinion:
We had a ARB for several years for camping on Vancouver Island. A wet and damp climate.
EVERY time we took it out it got tons of condensation... This means bedding got wet and we needed to set it up in our driveway to dry out. Making our Jeep useless for half a day.
Folding up a wet roof top tent over your head sucks... Water runs into your sleeves...
It raises the centre of gravity by a lot and fuel economy really suffered.
Didn't fit into a city parkade anymore... Really problem when you live in a city and need to go down town...
Over priced.

Next time I would install the biggest awning I can and place a nice tent on the ground.

Maybe a different story when you are in the desert.

Cheers
 

GBGCR4x4

Member
I think it's just opinions to be honest. Also, Youtube does in a way work like google, where if you write the right keywords and get the "flashy headline", people click the video, watch it, it ranks better, and so it stays at the top. all the other videos reviewing tents or just in general reviewing an overland trip or trail whilst using a tent, aren't as flashy.

That said, I've personally owned a Guana Equipment Wanaka 55" for 3 years and counting. It's on top of my Armada with a Front Runner Slimline. I've probably taken it off 2-3 times in those 3 years, mostly because it is a bit of a hassle to take it off. I use it around 7-8 times a year when I get a good long weekend off to camp.

Are they heavy? Yes. Expensive? Yes. When it rains is closing it a bit harder? Yes, do you need to dry it our later? Yes. Can I go on most city parking lots with a low roof? No. I probably wouldn't be able to fit regardless as my rig is lifted and with a rack, but anyways, I can't with a tent.

That said, I love it. High, high quality and durability. Three years, i've treated it VERY ROUGHLY, and it's still going very strong. Comfortable as ever. Honestly, one thing is camping in a ground tent with a pad, one thing is in a tent like this. It can't be compared, I sleep like a rock, and so does my girlfriend who generally hates camping and she only comes along if it's on the RTT. Also, her friends, who had never gone camping, agreed to come on a trip on another tent we got from a friend, they loved it. The freedom of driving to campsites and setting the tent in less than 5 minutes and closing it also in 5, it's easy, fast, practical. But the sleep, oh man, I honestly get solid 8-10 hours of sleep and wake up ready to do some nice outdoors activities. Unbeatable, worth every penny.
 

plh

Explorer
I had one for a couple years, they kinda suck. Terrible to dry out once wet, difficult to put away on top of a truck - damn dangerous when everything is wet (trucks are slippery when wet) and putting away. I'm describing the typical $1,500 +/- all canvas type tent. I built an A-Frame instead and its much better.
 

ducktapeguy

Adventurer
Because controversial titles get emotional reactions, and reactions get views. It's the internet

One thing I've noticed was when RTT started to become popular, there were a lot of opinions on them, and the most vocal ones were from people who had never owned or used a RTT. Whenever the topic would come up, people would come out of the woodwork just to comment on it because they wanted everyone to know their feelings about them.

I think a lot of it might just be because for some people it's the wrong tool for the job. It's not a perfect solution for all around use, it really is a niche piece of equipment that satisfies a need under limited circumstances. But when it's good it's great, when it's bad, it's sucks. They are heavy, small for it's weight, expensive, etc. It affects my gas mileage and my COG to some degree, and prevents me from going into underground parking garages. There are some trips where having a tent attached to your vehicle doesn't make a lot of sense or becomes a burden. But if given a choice, the RTT is my default. It sets up relatively quick, my family loves sleeping in it, and I never have to clear a spot when I come rolling into camp late at night.

If you tend to basecamp in one spot for a week and drive everyday, a RTT would not be a good choice, a ground tent works better. But, if you're constantly moving camps everyday, I would hate to have to unload and setup a Kodiak tent everyday, just the unloading and packing would get tiresome. If you think a wet RTT is a pain, a wet Kodiak or Springbar absolutely sucks. If I'm solo then I either use my small backpacking tent or sleep in the car. Personally, it's just one of many tents or sleeping arrangements I use depending on the type of camping trip I go on. Think of a tent like a car, there are some vehicles that are designed to excel at certain tasks. I would never take my minivan on an off road trip, just like I would never use my FJ40 as a family commuter vehicle either. They all have a purpose and really don't work very well in other roles.
 
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Kevin108

Explorer
Rooftop tents are expensive, and not something needed by most people. When they discover this after a few nights, the amount of money spent only to end in disappointment really fuels their anger.

I've had mine for 6 years and still use it every chance I get. I have about 150 nights in it now.
 

kwill

Observer
Aren't the YT videos specific as to their complaints?

1. Expensive.
2. Heavy and up high where you don't need it.
3. Not easy to get in/out of, especially with kids, dogs, etc.
4. Wind drag when driving.
5. Hard to dress/undress in one.
6. Exacerbates wind noise and potential hazard.
7. Vehicle must be leveled.
8. May not fit in garage.
9. Must break down camp for daytime exploring.

But...lots of people love them and will point out the advantages and the issues with ground tents or trailers or swags or whatever. It's all about what fits you, your companions and your style of camping.
 

ZMagic97

Explorer
I had two, and agree with issues like cost, be leveled, the climbing in and out can be a burden, and the weight and shape does not help in driving in the wind.

I may get one to put just above the bed on my truck: it seems better than roof mounting. Even so, an air mattress, tent, and pump have not not let me down.
 

krick3tt

Adventurer
I had one mounted on a M416 trailer. Better than on my roof, lower. Camping in windy places was a problem, very noisy up high. Condensation when it was cold but all tents do that.
I do not understand the fascination with how fast it can set up. I have an OZ tent that sets up faster than the RTT ever did. Sold the RTT and the trailer years ago. Got an OZ tent, better in my opinion. Sometimes I sleep in the LR when weather is really crappy.
RTTs have their place. Ground tents have their place too. As I get older (now 75) lower is better for me. Apparently it is a gravity issue.
 

WeLikeCamping

Explorer
I never really got into RTT's, they just don't appeal to me. I agree with all the negatives without ever having tried one. I went from ground tent to camper shell to ground tent to RV trailer. You wanna talk about sleeping in comfort, try a real bed, in a heated camper with a separate actual bathroom - that is comfort. I still tent camp, or in the proper weather, will just use a cot under the stars or the bed of my truck. For me, it all depends on what I am wanting to do. They all have their positives and negatives and what really matters is how they weigh out for your choices.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Hi all!

My Desert Dawg tearbox trailer is going to be out of commission for a period while I do a major "remodel" on it. It has seen a lot of use over the last 15 years. That leaves me with either using a ground tent, or purchasing a RTT to mount on my F-250 Superduty. I started looking for YouTube reviews and it seems like the majority of videos I found were "Why I hate my RTT" or "You don't want to buy a RTT". I'm not sure why so much negative press on them.

So can I ask you guys for your honest feedback on your RTTs? What you like and what you don't.

Thanks in advance!
Joanne
well.... RTTs were cool, the thing to buy, there was an explosion of popularlty, many bought because they were cool.

But finally, like all well marketed bad products..... the buyers are feeling buyers remorse. Are RTTs good yes, do they have a market yes, but it is a smaller market than the initial explosion created.

Like all products buyers need to be honest with their needs and desires. Every product which explodes with popularity on the market place eventually hits a wall. If you want one, buy used, there are thousands of remorseful buyers wanting out. Next year or in two years they might be the best buy but only IF you actually want one.

For me all tents, RTT or ground tent have moisture issues. Pack up in a rain storm..... it is a tent.
I loved ground tents because they were cheap.
RTTs are not cheap.

Home.jpeg

For me the biggest negative with MOST RTTs especially on the roof of the vehicle is once setup the vehicle is not going to move.
If I wanted an RTT..... I'd go for something like this. Even setup you can drive around the campsite.

DSC_0063.jpeg

But the negative youtube reviews are driven by a saturated market of buyers who followed the websites, believed the hype.
 
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Joanne

Adventurer
Thanks everyone for the good discussion. I wasn't looking for advice, but rather information. You guys really came thru with information and well considered opinion. Thank You! I'm looking for a one or two year solution, so unless I get a killer deal on a RTT I'll probably get my old tent out and find a nice cot. That will get me through.

Thanks again!
 

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