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Old 07-01-2011, 04:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How many people run Rooftop tents and actually like them

A friend of mine that camps almost year round has one but he also weighs ... 108lbs less then me ... i weigh a muscular and very hardcore cut 266... and with my GF and baggage up in the tent .. water / food / clothes Thats an extra 200 or so. Will rooftop tents hold that much, cause i've also seen fail rooftop tents.

Been camping once every season since i was 4... need SOMETHING better then the ground, cause i love wheeling.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's not so much the capacity of the tent but rather what capacity or rating are the roof racks, ladder bars or frame the tent is mounted on.

Generally the extra gear is left in the vehicle anyway so just you and the GF on top. Sorry... up top .

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Old 07-01-2011, 05:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do they make a ... Bigger gentlemen's frame/ladder setup?
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not entirely sure what you're looking for here but... I have a Maggiolina Large, and I've had me (175lbs), wife (135lbs), boy (35lbs), girl (25lbs) and dog (16lbs) up there, not a hint of a problem.

And, the RTT is awesome.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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There is nothing that says you need more than yourself and your GF up there, why would you want food and water in the tent? When you close them down, all you can leave in there is some bedding (2 sleeping bags or a few blankets, book, torch etc).

if you mean you want to carry the extra stuff on a roofrack beside the roof top tent, then just make sure you get / make a decent roof rack. or mount the whole thing on an external roll cage - then you've no worries.

if you look past the dog in this shot, you'll see my tent, with an awning that goes right to the ground. That makes a place to cook, change clothes etc. Check out "howling moon" stuff, it's very good.


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Old 07-06-2011, 10:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I just upgraded to a 128 square foot tent (for two adults and two children). The roof top on our mid-size SUV is simply too small for us, and I would say if it's only an SUV you shouldn't have over 300 pounds of equipment and people up there. For that kind of load, you need a truck with a rack that is supported by more than the gutters and roof pillars -- like a heavy duty rack bolted down to reinforced bed rails or a full roll cage. If you also want the square footage, you'd need a Bedford truck, Unimog, or a medium-duty 2.5ton type -- that's what you'd want in Africa where you really want to be on the roof.

In North America, try one of the larger "Outfitter" level tents from Eureka or a canvas tent from Springbar. The Springbar and a couple of extra-large cots would be nice but it makes a bulky load and takes a little longer to setup than a roof-top tent. My little SUV is already so crammed I had to go with a nylon tent instead of canvas (half the bulk). For rooftop tents, check out the Hannibal Safari Family Tent, at 78.7″ x 94.5″, it's the biggest one I know.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have been running an AutoHome Maggiolina AirLander since spring of 2008 and I like it.
I would not want to sleep on the ground again after having spent many a night up in the air.
The tents can handle the weight, and AutoHome has some beefy ladders.
And it is nice having all the bedding in place, and not tracking in dirt like a ground tent.

Most roof racks including factory ones can handle between 500 and 600 lbs when the rig is not moving, so you should be fine.
That is if you spread the weight out with Yakima or Thule crossbars.
Moving down the road most factory and aftermarket racks around 165 lbs is max.

And store the food elsewhere, not a good idea to store food in the same place you sleep in.

Here is a good FAQ on tents from the maker of mine.
http://autohomeus.com/info/faq.php
Quote:
Is my vehicle's roof strong enough to carry the tent and occupants?

AutoHome tents are designed to mount simply on a couple of Thule, Yakima or other aftermarket crossbars, the same as you would use to carry your bicycles, canoe or kayak.
The rack system transfers the weight to the structural parts of your car's roof. All roof racks carry a dynamic weight rating, to provide guidance on the tested limitations of the rack system when the vehicle is in motion. Most racks carry a maximum 165 pound dynamic rating, which means the rack can support 165 pounds of weight while driving down the road. AutoHome tents weigh between 73 and 155 pounds, so the rack system can easily handle the weight on most vehicles. When you are occupying to tent, this is a "static load", much more gentle and the racks can easily handle this weight. Always check with the manufacturer of your car and of your roof rack to determine the applicable weight limitations as they vary from vehicle to vehicle.


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Old 07-07-2011, 09:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My vote is try real hard to borrow one before you drop the coin. That is what my buddy that had one recommended and I'm glad he did. Both my wife and I hated it and we only used it for a weekend. He sold his as well. He had both the flip over kind and a maggiolina. Hated them both.

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Old 07-08-2011, 03:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Got mine in early 07, still very happy with it even though the shell is starting to yellow in spots.

My tent is the small sized one and it sleeps my wife and I fine. I got the matress recoverd (added a quilt top to it) and I sleep really well in the tent. As for food and gear... the only thing other than bedding that we keep in the tent at night is a flashlight and a bottle of water. Gear stays in the truck and our shoes go on the roof of the truck under the tent.

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Old 07-12-2011, 09:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I used a ground tent on my last trip. At 2AM, awaken by a bear sniffing around outside the tent, I was wish I'd taken the RTT.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Doug and myself did a video of the ARB tent here and we both weigh 250lb. each.

http://moab-offroad.net/smf/index.php?topic=1278.0
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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RTT's don't work for everyone's needs, simply put. I've spent my fair share of time in different RTT's, they work great for me needs but they are far from a 'must have' for every application.

Here is an older RTT article I wrote, hoping to help some decide if it will work for their needs before paying for an $$$ piece of gear.

Is a Roof Top Tent for me? The RTT Conundrum

I'm actually working on an update version of it for Tacoma Magazine currently...
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Half of your cons disappear when it's mounted on a trailer. Also, about it being cold, I completely disagree. The ground is usually colder than the air (at least, it conducts heat away from people better). My RTT is much much warmer than a ground tent. This may vary depending on specific conditions. If I was in the arctic in the winter, a 4 season ground tent might be warmer. But other than that... I also find a RTT is cooler in the summer. Non-sensical? Sure, I can't explain it, but it's true.
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I used a ground tent on my last trip. At 2AM, awaken by a bear sniffing around outside the tent, I was wish I'd taken the RTT.
It's a damn good thing bears can't climb. Oh wait...


Roof top tents are nice for some trips, but I stopped using mine because most of the time I want to set up camp and then go in a night run. When I get back to camp late, I don't feel like docking around with a tent on my roof.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd just like to know where a person can buy just the ladder...
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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It's a damn good thing bears can't climb. Oh wait...
If it ever came down to it, it would still buy you some time, and improve your odds.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I had been reading this thread with a bit of anxiety when it was posted as we were preparing to depart on an 11 day trip on which we intended to spend every night in our camping labs RTT.

Well, having gone on that trip and returned home successfully, I must say that I LOVE sleeping in a RTT and it will be hard to go back to a ground tent for more primitive trips

I don't think I would like having to deal with a ladder though. Our setup has a convenient 4'x6' back deck that you step onto as you exit the tent
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Glad you liked the tent.
With your setup you can pretty much leave the ladder at home.

Looks like your dog approves of the setup too.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:47 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't think I would like having to deal with a ladder though. Our setup has a convenient 4'x6' back deck that you step onto as you exit the tent
Do you have a build thread for your utility box trailer?
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Do you have a build thread for your utility box trailer?
Not on here, but there's one on ExPo and one on ih8mud.

http://www.expeditionportal.com/foru...ase-camp-build

http://forum.ih8mud.com/trailer-tech...amp-build.html

The build threads need some catching up. The inaugural trip I just got back from was fast approaching and I stopped taking pictures/documenting things in the build thread as I went in order to save time.

I still ended up working on it until 3am the morning we were scheduled to leave, but I made it(left at 8:30am) and didn't have any issues with the trailer all week.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:23 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Glad you liked the tent.
With your setup you can pretty much leave the ladder at home.

Looks like your dog approves of the setup too.
The ladder is actually quite handy for two reasons. I leave the first section in place and it's what holds the tent up in the front(ladder rests on the tongue). The second section as you can see in the pic gets carried around back and used for access to the deck. I hope to eventually install a step or two out back and alleviate the need for the ladder, but it's not high on the list.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I'd just like to know where a person can buy just the ladder...
http://autohomeus.com/accessories/parts.php

$229.00 Not too cheap!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:28 AM   #23 (permalink)
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My set up awhile back.. I've since taken it off the trailer and put it on my Pilot....I love the roof top tents, I sleep like a log in mine...
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Lived in mine for 2 weeks straight with my wife as we drove up the pacific coast and definately love it. I am 6'6" 250lb no ladder problems or tent problems, definately would trust it on a walmart roofrack set up.
The only thing I hate about the ARB tent is the zipper is an abolute piece of shit other than that it is great.

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Old 08-26-2011, 12:23 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I have one. hated it on the roof on an suv, too much drag
loved it in the bed of the truck, down low enough to see over it and not hurt mileage, but still high enough to store gear below it.

that said, with a full size truck i'd rather get a shell or cap and matress for the bed than a RTT. windy nights are nice in a bed with shell, noisy in a tent, and no need to "let the tent dry" after a rainy night either with a cap.
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