Why so many negative YouTube videos about RTTs?

vintageracer

To Infinity and Beyond!
You will NEVER have properly "Dressed" Truck or SUV unless you have a tent on da roof.

Silly folks you should know that by now!
 

Lemsteraak

Adventurer
I'm an early advocate. Roof tents don't hit the mark. Most all of them, OK al roof tents today are derived from expedition tents and unless you are going of some sort of long voyage, are too expensive, too heavy, too complex, ..... and not convenient by my standards. Oh, and the ladders at too heavy and suck. Sorry to rain on the parade, but the critics on YouTube are pointing out the obvious.

Now that i had my little rant, I see a huge opportunity out there. We have been concentrating on making cheaper versions of existing tents. I would love to have a 40 pound three season tent that attaches directly to the rails on my car's roof, can be quickly taken off to put on the ground, or put back in the garage. Possible?
 

broncot

New member
I'm an early advocate. Roof tents don't hit the mark. Most all of them, OK al roof tents today are derived from expedition tents and unless you are going of some sort of long voyage, are too expensive, too heavy, too complex, ..... and not convenient by my standards. Oh, and the ladders at too heavy and suck. Sorry to rain on the parade, but the critics on YouTube are pointing out the obvious.

Now that i had my little rant, I see a huge opportunity out there. We have been concentrating on making cheaper versions of existing tents. I would love to have a 40 pound three season tent that attaches directly to the rails on my car's roof, can be quickly taken off to put on the ground, or put back in the garage. Possible?
Look up the Crua AER. Not exactly 40 pounds, but meant to be used on the roof or ground.

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Because the internet has become about the stuff not about the places. But I can't stand it when they give specific locations of their adventures, either. Bah humbug.
 

greg.potter

Adventurer
I've owned a rooftop tent for about 10 years. Prior to the rooftop tent we had been using mountaineering tents and a short stint in a truck cap 40 years ago. My perspective is it depends on intended use. Great for lightweight travel in relatively dry climates. Not so good in wet or cold climates the downsides in our experience being limited living space and issues packing up wet. The advantages that I appreciate most are being up off the ground, quick setup and a comfortable sleeping surface - no rocks, roots or holes in your Thermorest sleeping pad!
 

Lemsteraak

Adventurer
Look up the Crua AER. Not exactly 40 pounds, but meant to be used on the roof or ground.
Thank you, an excellent start, clever use of materials, but still derivative. They have made several excellent choices in materials, I love the advanced fabrics and ventilation.

The use of the corner struts is very '50s, everyone went with the ladder as a compression strut but I can see how you can save weight on the base if you have the struts. Folks lose and forget stuff like this, don't ask me how I know. Personally, I would prefer a zip on vestibule to save weight. They certainly know their way around making tents but still too heavy for one person to put on and take off a vehicle.

i'd love to see something really off the wall, like a hammock, or maybe a bear burrito (Tent Cot) or even a covered zero gravity chair but re-imagined for use with a vehicle. I'm dating myself, back in the 60's outdoor equipment was really difficult to get and expensive. There were lots of "kit' manufacturers like Frostline kits that would gather the difficult to obtain fabrics and designs and allow you to do the assembly thereby saving half the cost with the added benefit of teaching you the skills.
 

plh

Explorer
Sorry to crash the party as I have no opinion or RTT’s but I am intrigued by this sentence. Do you have pics in any threads here?
I never did a build thread, there are a bunch of photos on my Instagram: @83mmax I guess Wedge would be the proper name. Ripcord has a thread on here with his build, I used it for inspiration.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Thank you, an excellent start, clever use of materials, but still derivative. They have made several excellent choices in materials, I love the advanced fabrics and ventilation.

The use of the corner struts is very '50s, everyone went with the ladder as a compression strut but I can see how you can save weight on the base if you have the struts. Folks lose and forget stuff like this, don't ask me how I know. Personally, I would prefer a zip on vestibule to save weight. They certainly know their way around making tents but still too heavy for one person to put on and take off a vehicle.

i'd love to see something really off the wall, like a hammock, or maybe a bear burrito (Tent Cot) or even a covered zero gravity chair but re-imagined for use with a vehicle. I'm dating myself, back in the 60's outdoor equipment was really difficult to get and expensive. There were lots of "kit' manufacturers like Frostline kits that would gather the difficult to obtain fabrics and designs and allow you to do the assembly thereby saving half the cost with the added benefit of teaching you the skills.
You wanted to see a tent-cot repurposed as an RTT? Here's my Cabela's double tent cot mounted on top of my lil' home-made trailer (same principle applies if you wanted to mount it on top of a vehicle; you would just need to purchase a ladder and figure a way to secure it).

It takes just a couple minutes to set up and take down once you get the hang of it. You cannot keep your sleeping bag/bedding/air mattress inside when folded up. Not a lot of headroom; mainly just good for sleeping in (I sleep well in it with a 3" sleeping bag air mattress/pad). Removable fly (pictures shown with fly attached unless otherwise stated). Have been in some serious wind and rainstorms with no issues or leaks. There is a bar running down the center of the floor, so pick a side to sleep on (probably my only gripe with it). I really like being off the ground though. To get into the tent, first step on the flip down step (you can see it beside the ammo can on the trailer's cooler tray). Then step on the cooler, and then into the tent (so no ladder). I also stand on the cooler when tossing the rainfly over the top after it is folded open.

The outer legs were removed from the tent-cot since they'd just be hanging in the wind. And I had a custom cover made for it for travel (had to anyways with the legs now permanently in the down position). This thing has crisscrossed the country a couple of times and been up into northern Canada more than once. Total weight is about 45 lbs.

This snipped picture from Cabela's website is a couple years old - I don't know if or what they sell for now. Picture shows tent-cot with outer legs attached, but without rainfly attached. Sadly, young lady not included.
Cabela's Tent Cot.JPG
Fully set-up. There are eight bolts on each side (16 total) securing the tent-cot's legs to the trailer's lid. It isn't going anywhere - it would be easier to steal the whole trailer. Did anyone notice the drop-down tailgate on the TJ?

Overland Adventure.7.1.jpg

In case you were wondering if I could still access the inside of the trailer with the tent-cot attached... Yes, I can. I think the trailer lid is actually easier to lift with the tent-cot opened like this vs. when in the stored/folded-up position.

Overland Adventure.6.jpg

Custom one-piece vinyl cover for the tent-cot. Has five zippers (two on each side, and one at the rear). Sometimes the zippers are a little difficult to get started.
Overland Adventure.2.jpg

This last picture is just me showing off my Willys, but it shows the flip down step in the normal upright position by the ammo can on the trailer's cooler tray. Most RTTs start in weight at over 100lbs (probably closer to 120lbs for the lighter ones, and up from there). This thing is about 45lbs (every little bit helps when the trailer's towed by the Willys). Would be even lighter if the legs and frame were aluminum (and would probably be more expensive), but this thing is made of fairly bombproof steel tubing. I've been very happy with it. Fit and finish were excellent. You can tell they put some thought into the fabric portion too. There are pockets inside the tent, etc.
Willys and trailer.6 (2).jpg
 
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mcjager

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

Most people are upset that they spent $1000 on a RTT when a ground tent costs $100. that is why.
 

NMBruce

Adventurer
I ordered my TuffStuff Alpha ll tent about a year ago, I thought it was a great price. For todays price, I got the tent, an annex and a canopy. It took 4 months to get the tent and I put it on a half rack on the back of my Tacoma. I dont find it an more of a problem to get in and out and even climb down when needed. I like it better than crawling out of a tent. I also find it more comfortable than sleeping on an air mattress or cot.
My next move will be to mount it on my trailer, a little easier to get into and can be left at a camp site while out exploring.

I wasn't sure if it would work for me, but so far I really like it after about 15 nights of camping.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
My favorite set-up (once all set-up) is my 8x10' Browning dome tent (cost a little over $100) with a full-size cot inside. I can store stuff under the cot, I can have my full-size camp chair inside, and my little propane heater. And I can stand-up inside! Great if you're going to be at the same place for a few days. I actually carry this tent (and a cot) inside my trailer for those extended stay occasions. A pain to set-up or take down though when raining/snowing.
 

Attachments

Lemsteraak

Adventurer
RnArmy,

Brilliant! I've heard of TentCots being repurposed as RTT but your application is the first I've seen that really makes sense. I can see objections because of restricted height and some funky material choices and the central support bar but the weight saving is profound. Love your Willys by the way.

I tried to look up TentCot in Cabella's but I think the double one is out of production. I was able to find a very nice one from Japan in my internet search. Thank you
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
RnArmy,

Brilliant! I've heard of TentCots being repurposed as RTT but your application is the first I've seen that really makes sense. I can see objections because of restricted height and some funky material choices and the central support bar but the weight saving is profound. Love your Willys by the way.

I tried to look up TentCot in Cabella's but I think the double one is out of production. I was able to find a very nice one from Japan in my internet search. Thank you
You're welcome! I was repurposing something I had on hand with the tent cot. I've yet to take the Willys and trailer out on an adventure... I need to fix that.

Since my tent cot is mainly used for sleeping, the lack of headroom isn't really an issue (and I've used it for multiple month-long adventures along with shorter length trips). There's plenty of room inside to lay on your side and read while waiting out a rainstorm. And I've "cooked" and ate an MRE or two while in the tent-cot.

So what did you find in Japan?

Sometimes I see the Cabela's one in their store (at least the one in Olympia WA). You can always call and ask if they have one in stock. Seems like there's also a Cabela's south of Portland OR.

If I was starting over, I would seriously consider this Kamp-Rite one for the added headroom:

Kamp Rite Double Tent Cot Review (Full Outdoor Comfort) | Best Tent Cots for Camping



Kamp rite double tent cot.PNG
But back to the original topic of RTTs, I don't really see one as being practical in my situation (everyone's situation is different). I'd have to get some sort of external cage for my TJ to mount a "real" RTT, and it would add height to my already tall and short wheel-based narrow Jeep. I'm afraid it and the cage would make it top-heavy. And trying to put one on my trailer (RTTs weighing in at over 100lbs) would make it difficult to open the lid. And even if I did, I don't think I would be able to open the lid with the tent in the open position. Not every option out there works for everyone. For some, RTTs are the greatest thing. I've overlanded with folks that had them, and sometimes I was a bit jealous.

Now if I had a four-door Jeep JK, I'd seriously consider getting a "real" RTT.
 
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