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Old 01-25-2009, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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'cheapest' roof top style tents?

following the lines of 'you get what you pay for' what would be the best alternative considering both price and quality? these things cost more than a decent camper shell at times...for now im sticking with the cot/tent combo for me and my youngest son and another for my older(18) son and his female companion
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Old 01-25-2009, 01:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm starting to research the RTT's as well, they seem like a really good idea for a number of reasons. I especially like the quick setup time, and the ease with which that setup is accomplished.
It sounds like you might be looking for a large, family-sized tent, that's also what I'm interested in.
They seem to run around $2000.00+ for the better ones.
I would be a bit cautious buying something that was a lot less...
From what I have read, the expensive ones that are fairly widespread are made with really durable and long-lasting materials. I'm willing to pay 2 grand or a bit more for an RTT if it means I'll get 20 years of use out of it.
The one I am eye-balling right now is the Eezi-Awn 2200. It's about the largest you can get, and I think it even has a zippable partition in the middle to make it a 2-room tent.

I'd love to see some reviews on the various models out there...
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Any ideas on building one from scratch?
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Old 01-29-2009, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Anything is possible, but you better have a pretty sweet sewing machine!
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have access to tent fabric and a friend with a sewing machine that will do everything from vinyl and cloth to horse saddle leather..

he would need patterns or a basic design as he has never done a tent before.. maybe a pretty complicated deal, but if you can come up with the design end of it, I can get him to sew it at a reasonable cost..
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Rtt

I have a RTT. It's made by Rooftoptents.com. I think new they are around $1200. I traded a few parts for mine. I would personally try to find a used one.

Scope out http://www.overlandaccessories.com/
They have some pretty good prices from what i have seen.

Pros
Takes about 5 mins to set up and tear down.
up off the ground.
way comfortable(has build in foam)
surprisingly sturdy



Cons
120lbs on your roof rack
little top heavy on the road.
wind resistance on the highway sucks
crawling up after a few sport sodas can be interesting
midnight pee







Elliott
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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campinglab.com is another good company.
They have 2 models, the one they have been selling for a while and a new one (to them) from South Africa.
I own a Hannibal and have spent alot of time with the Camping Lab when we did 24 days straight on the Continental Divide Expedition.
The price difference is around $1000 between the 2 and it comes down to how long you plan to own it. The Camping Lab is a great tent and but I am not sure if it would stay great for 10yrs. However there are many Hannibal & EezeAwns that are well over 10yrs old. And you can still get a large percentage of the purchase price back selling a used one.

As for making one I have seen a thread on ih8mud.com that referenced someone making one and I think also on expeditionportal.com....it must be a crazy amount of work cuz you don't see many finished versions.

The South Africans & Ozzie's are way ahead of us in this and they don't build there own very often either so there must be something.

Another thing to think about is if you want to have a changing room under the tent...either way I can't say enough about how important an awning is also.

Good luck and enjoy
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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http://www.sierraexpeditions.com/ind...t_detail&p=352

Check that one out, it's basically a lesser expensive model by Eezi-Awn without some of the features of the more expensive tents in the same size.
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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theres a simpson, made/distributed(?) by ARB on sale in that same add under specials for about $300 off??
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Old 01-31-2009, 09:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i keep looking at these tents you guys give links to and then use the measurements and transfer them to my truck...trying to keep the tent safe off the rocks and trees isnt easy!
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Well, you have to remember that most of them fold in half right?
So, make sure you're looking at the closed dimensions when you're thinking of how to and where the tent is going to be mounted.
But I would be concerned with fitting my $2000.00 tent between a couple of boulders!
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Old 01-31-2009, 12:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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yeah, i was wanting to build a protective 'fence/cage' around it, so when its folded up and im wheeling it wont get trashed...im spending a little over a week in moab with my 6 year old in april, we need a small tent like these, but for $1500-2000 i cant be laying the truck on it...???
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Hey booger I'm not sure if this is really what you are looking for, but it definately wouldn't break the bank. My wife wanted to get me a RTT for christmas then saw the price. She asked about one of these and I said that would never work .... What was I thinking?

http://expeditionportal.com/forum/sh...&postcount=315
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My buddy has one of those cabella cots. (picture in the link above) There pretty sweet. good compromise If you have the space for it.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I've been toying with the idea of getting one of these after seeing some of the guys on the UA using them, they fold out and are set up in a matter of seconds.....while we were over there fawking with putting up our tent, air matress,....... -

http://www.kamprite.com/pages/products



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Old 02-05-2009, 03:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Before going truggy, I had measured my 2 person tent and fabbed the rack to work with it...put the tent on the roof, and that's that...inflatable matteress and you are done...rear ladder on the Discovery acted for both loading and egress/ingress...

120$ tent, 200$ rack (10 years ago)...no weight up top

DONE!
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I found this one, a bit less expensive still, and seems "ok" quality.
http://www.racktents.com/Tents.html

I started a thread about it on ExPo to get everyone's opinion on it.
It's not one of the higher-quality ones, but it's not too cheaply made either. It isn't built to the high standards of an Eezi, won't last as long, but it's 1/2 the cost.

I probably won't buy one until next year anyway, so me doing the research now just means i'll have to re-do everything again next year.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Anything is possible, but you better have a pretty sweet sewing machine!
saw a guy a few years ago that had a folding base platform that would attach to his cage and had hold downs for his tent
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Before going truggy, I had measured my 2 person tent and fabbed the rack to work with it...put the tent on the roof, and that's that...inflatable matteress and you are done...rear ladder on the Discovery acted for both loading and egress/ingress...

120$ tent, 200$ rack (10 years ago)...no weight up top

DONE!
This is what I'm thinking. Pull the tent / mattress in the vehicle when wheeling (protected & no addition weight up top). As an added bonus, having the option of setting up on-ground if needed (for any reason the vehicle couldn't be level, but some ground nearby is level). Maybe I'm a cheap bastard, but I don't see how a $2000 tent has any more advantages over a $50 tent, $50 air mattress, and $200 roof rack.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:17 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm a cheap bastard, but I don't see how a $2000 tent has any more advantages over a $50 tent, $50 air mattress, and $200 roof rack.
Some of the same things that I've been thinking about, especially since I already own everything, mattress, large ground tent, sleeping bags etc.

It comes down to a convenience/speed thing in my mind, and how much you want to pay for that convenience.

I think the RTT's are really great.
It takes less than 5 minutes to setup your sleeping area, and everything inside is kept clean and dry, even during setup. The mattress is included in the price, and always stays inside, all of your bedding stays inside too.
I've setup my tent enough times in the rain to know that it totally sucks, and I would pay some money to not have to ever do that again.
Will I pay $2000.00 to avoid it? Maybe, maybe not...
I guarantee next time I set up my tent in the rain, I'll be cursing up a storm and kicking myself in the ass!

There are options out there that aren't too bad on price, they just aren't the premium options.
I think the main thing you will lose with purchasing a less-expensive model of an RTT, is longevity. Spend $1000.00 and you'll get 7-10 years of mostly trouble-free operation.
Spend $2000.00, and you very well might get 20+ years.

The other thing I have thought about is frequency of use, and of setup/takedown.
If I was planning a longer trip, 2+ weeks, where I was going to be camping at multiple locations, and having to break camp a bunch of times, I would likely buy an RTT for that trip.
If you are camping in one spot, one camp site for a week, then there isn't as much benefit to the RTT.
If it takes approx. 30 minutes to setup, and another 30 to take down camp, and you move campsites 3-4 times on your trip, you're looking at a few hours worth of your trip, in daylight that all you are doing is setting up.
It would be much more attractive to enjoy the scenery with a drink in hand sitting in a cumfy camp chair...

Ok, I've beat this to death.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:01 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I've been toying with the idea of getting one of these after seeing some of the guys on the UA using them, they fold out and are set up in a matter of seconds.....while we were over there fawking with putting up our tent, air matress,....... -

http://www.kamprite.com/pages/products


totally going this route, especially after thinking about all my wheeling trips and the number of times i actually parked on somewhat level ground, rarely!!
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:27 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I bought the "double" this weekend and it's going to be perfect for us, set up in about a minute the first time....bet once I read the instructions I can cut that time in half. Got mine at Bass Pro Shops, included the optional rainfly for $299 and it fits nice in the bed of my rig .
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:42 PM   #23 (permalink)
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What are the dimensions of that thing when folded up?
Have you tried laying on the mattress to try it out?
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:50 PM   #24 (permalink)
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The double is larger when folded -

Dimensions of "The Double"
Bed Size: 84"L X 52"W
Tent Size: 84"L X 53"W X 40"H
Folded Size: 53"L X 32"W 9"D
Weight: 36 lbs


And yes, we set it up - I'm 6'-0" and there's plenty of room for two people in the double. the others are a little smaller when folded. The cot is a little hard right now, but I'm sure it will break in - we will probably throw a sleep pad in there at first.

http://www.kamprite.com/pages/products

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Old 02-09-2009, 06:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I bought the "double" this weekend and it's going to be perfect for us, set up in about a minute the first time....bet once I read the instructions I can cut that time in half. Got mine at Bass Pro Shops, included the optional rainfly for $299 and it fits nice in the bed of my rig .

perfect, theres a new basspro shop a few miles away ive been looking for an excuse to go to...looks like well have the same setup in moab
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