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  1. #1
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    kinda OT...roof top tents

    anybody own one, know anybody w/one? pros/cons. want one for the summer, but wanna be able to remove in late fall/winter on my daily driver. either store it or move it to another vehicle when needed. ended up w/a full size pickup to tow my boat. we spend a lotta time camping in the summers and i've been really into the look and ease of the rtt vs. a regular ground tent. still wanna getta badass van but that's lookin' like a couple years down the line now.

  2. #2
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    You're looking at Tepui I'm assuming?

    The thing that I think about is what happens when you've been drinking beer all night and you got to go out to pee. You have to walk down the stairs? Sad that this is my #1 concern.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    You're looking at Tepui I'm assuming?

    The thing that I think about is what happens when you've been drinking beer all night and you got to go out to pee. You have to walk down the stairs? Sad that this is my #1 concern.
    Wondering if I have bad shocks if that's something I can use to my benefit?
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  4. #4
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    You're looking at Tepui I'm assuming?

    The thing that I think about is what happens when you've been drinking beer all night and you got to go out to pee. You have to walk down the stairs? Sad that this is my #1 concern.
    yeh tepui, just wanna spend my $$ locally even though it's probably made in china. a big ass plastic bottle is your friend if u don't wanna leave the tent. or just open up door, and pee out door laying sideways? hopefully it doesn't suck for da wife partner.

  5. #5
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    Oh man, I've been lusting over the Kukenham for awhile. Drove down to their showroom a few weekends ago to check them out. They were really great - they were all down at Sea Otter so the shop was closed but someone from their warehouse drove up to the showroom and met me there. Got to crawl around in one for a bit, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the Kukenham Sky. Very burly construction, could fit 3 people or lots of space for two. The "sky" feature is awesome. The models with the extra annex just looked like a bit of a waste of money.

    They're about to add REI as a re-seller, which is HUGE. Nice to see a local company do well.

  6. #6
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    Damn. Didn't realize how expensive these things are.

  7. #7
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    Check expeditionportal.Com
    Velofix.com for mobile bike repair in Sac

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    Damn. Didn't realize how expensive these things are.
    Add in the price of a decent rack with the load rating to carry some of the bigger ones and they're definitely in the "luxury item" category.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    Damn. Didn't realize how expensive these things are.
    snap....still cheaper than the 60k 4x4 sprinter on my wish list. oh yeh add my new carbon fiber sc blah or ibis? and my expensive ass kayak, sup, cargo box, etc. oh yeh wanna fridge too. been on expedition portal, just want some real life mtbr nor cal locs opinions.

    @nilswalk, actually put a deposit on a kukenham ruggedized. not obligated to buy, just waiting for new stock to arrive. rtt will go on my newer truck/daily driver (2015 titan pro4x), just wanna be able to remove if necessary. i've also gotta 1st gen double cab tacoma 4x4 that it may split time on also.

  10. #10
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    My friend used a Mombasa for sea otter a year or two ago. It actually got some decent press since he was right in the entry race paddock with a lifted Subaru.

    He said it was super comfortable sleeping and i watched him set it up and teardown within minutes. It seems like overkill for most camping situations I would ever use it for, but I'm sure the expedition audience it's marketed towards, it'd pay for itself quickly.

    But, they do look cool.



    kinda OT...roof top tents-fb_img_1461790906951.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativeson View Post
    @nilswalk, actually put a deposit on a kukenham ruggedized. not obligated to buy, just waiting for new stock to arrive. rtt will go on my newer truck/daily driver (2015 titan pro4x), just wanna be able to remove if necessary. i've also gotta 1st gen double cab tacoma 4x4 that it may split time on also.
    Interesting info - when I was down there I asked buddy (whoever it was - I just call everybody "buddy") about the ruggedized version and his opinion was the regular versions were plenty tough for 99% of the uses. Unless you're doing some serious 4x4ing and likely to be smashing your vehicle through obstacles they're probably overkill. They're a lot of extra weight and probably the difference between a factory rack and needing something like a Gobi or Baja rack to hold it.

  12. #12
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    Quote Originally Posted by nilswalk View Post
    Interesting info - when I was down there I asked buddy (whoever it was - I just call everybody "buddy") about the ruggedized version and his opinion was the regular versions were plenty tough for 99% of the uses. Unless you're doing some serious 4x4ing and likely to be smashing your vehicle through obstacles they're probably overkill. They're a lot of extra weight and probably the difference between a factory rack and needing something like a Gobi or Baja rack to hold it.
    thanks a lot. that's exactly the info i was looking for. i saw a review on youtube for a regular kukenham and in the owner's opinion the aluminum used for the tent bottom was susceptible to easy denting/damage, hence my reasoning for the ruggedized version. i was originally drawn to the regular kukenham because of the lighter weight and possible facility to remove when needed. decisions!!!

  13. #13
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    I got a low roof sprinter van, which I've been turning into a camper...very slowly. I've been considering getting a hardshell pop tent for extra sleeping quarters, and a separate bedroom parents..my wife and me. The roof top tents are expensive, but they are lot cheaper than a full build out a sprinter, and less than pop-top roof conversion from Sports mobile.

    I've heard of people having degraded handling with hardshell tents on smaller vehicles, 4-Runner.

  14. #14
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    They definitely look nice - yet the reason I've not purchased one is they all require breaking down the tent, sleeping bags, etc. to move the vehicle.

    If you are doing that daily (e.g. staying at each location for one night only), a roof-top tent would make sense. Personally, it'd be a major pita.

    Installing one above a 4x4 trailer seems pretty darn slick though, assuming there's not a camp kitchen in the trailer to draw bears in.

  15. #15
    mmc
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    Relatively new to NorCal MTB'ing (~6 months now?) so take this with a grain of salt... but I have an ARB RTT that I ran for a few years on my Jeep. (We do lots of backcountry camping, Jeeping, vehicle-based overland style travel, etc.) In a nutshell, the RTT is definitely a comfortable sleeping platform and you don't need to worry too much about finding smooth ground (though you will still need to make sure the vehicle is level).

    Beyond that, it has no practical advantages over a sturdy ground tent, and several disadvantages. It takes the same amount of time to set up/tear down as a ground tent. It adds weight high up on your vehicle affecting center of gravity. For multi-day trips, it makes it so you can't move your vehicle easily during the day without striking/pitching the tent. As @Carl Hungus mentioned, the practicalities of ascending/descending a ladder after a solid night of America-saving IPA are very real. It's still going to billow like hell in a strong wind (though maybe slightly less than a lightweight ground tent).

    There is an undeniable, treehouse-like appeal to RTTs that's hard to quantify. But to be honest it's fairly short-lived once you've spent a few weeks in 'em.

    For my money, I'd pick up a sturdy ground tent and possibly a cot (if you're worried about finding smooth ground to sleep on) and call it a day. Next step up from that would be a hard-side trailer (or Sprinter, etc.) that you can sleep inside.

    Anyway, hope this is helpful info and good luck with your decision

  16. #16
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    I went this direction. It does have some limitations but pretty damn comfy and you can disconnect and use the vehicle....

    kinda OT...roof top tents-pincrest-lake-brightman-campground-m.-stanislaus-river-001.jpg

    kinda OT...roof top tents-pincrest-lake-brightman-campground-m.-stanislaus-river-013.jpg

  17. #17
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    Good friends of ours built them selves one of these tear drop trailers (this example isn't theirs) on the cheap. They started with just a utility trailer and built it up from there. Slept 2 comfortably, plenty of storage, they had a generator and a decent capacity water tank too...

    The Simple Sleeper Teardrop Camper by Trekker Trailers

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    You're looking at Tepui I'm assuming?

    The thing that I think about is what happens when you've been drinking beer all night and you got to go out to pee. You have to walk down the stairs? Sad that this is my #1 concern.
    That's what wide mouth Gatorade bottles are for. There's nothing worse than having to get out of a warm sleeping bag and tent to pee in the middle of the night.

    Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone No Balone View Post
    I went this direction. It does have some limitations but pretty damn comfy and you can disconnect and use the vehicle....

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    damn tone!!! does that thing make it over the ridge from middle fork willamette to toketee lake?!!!! i ended up gettin a 17' arima, eventually wanna get that up to OR (or even WA)!

    @mmc thx breh! exactly what i wanna know. around here sc/monterey county i see a fair amount of the tepui tents but don't know any owners, got a buddy at my wife's work that has some friends w/tepui's so i'll get some more feedback there (i'm sure it will be more positive). i also like four wheel campers but probably not going that route w/this vehicle.

    really though, w/the cost of the rack + tent it's probably close to about 1/2 the price of a new bronson or 5010 or ibis or whatever carbon badassness there is. so ground tent and more bikes or bike sh*t?!! decision fatigue!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone No Balone View Post
    I went this direction. It does have some limitations but pretty damn comfy and you can disconnect and use the vehicle....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Man. That's a big tent.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nativeson View Post
    damn tone!!! does that thing make it over the ridge from middle fork willamette to toketee lake?!!!!
    No way man, I'll be going around the long way. I did take it up to Oakridge and WA. state.....
    Canada this fall.

  22. #22
    Obi
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    O/P ditto the expeditionportal.com forum for reference material.

    My biggest advise I can give you is this, just as with an RV, a rack and basket system, roof box, etc., BE PREPARED TO HAVE TO HAVE A SPOT TO STORE IT.

    I found myself lucky in being able to resell our Tepui for little to no loss by means of Expo. I simply found it unreasonable to store it for the other 11 months of the year either on the roof of the 4Runner or back of the Ram. I don't care what anyone tells you, moisture will get into the tent by means of condensation under the cover, and the cover does deteriorate in the sun/wind.

    I found myself way happier with a simple quick-setup spider tent, some tarps, and some collapsible/rollable memory foam (ground protection and insulation from the cold ground) and it is way easier to store in the garage and can be even thrown in a rental car.

    Just Saying

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanxj View Post
    Check expeditionportal.Com
    Every time I do that, I end up spending 8 hours on the internet with glazed eyes and a dreamy look on my face.

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    Give Phil at RideSFO a call. He's local, is a dealer, and has one on his personal vehicle he uses a ton.

    Roof Top Tents ? rideSFO

  25. #25
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    Sleeping in a tent on top of your car is pretty silly. Would you put a picnic table on top of your car? There's nothing on the ground that will hurt you If dirt is an issue, then a sturdy ground tarp below your tent will keep your tent clean. You can get a really nice and EZ-to-set-up tent at REI for a couple hundred dollars and it takes up little space in your car or garage.

    If you don't need the privacy and the mosquitos are not out, then sleeping under the stars without a tent is a real treat. Just throw down a tarp, pad, and sleeping bag and fall asleep gazing at the constellations.

    Then save your money and energy building out your dream van complete with icebox, gear storage, stove, bed, down comforter, insulated walls, gatorade P-bottles (pickle jar for the ladies), etc.

  26. #26
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    How about one of these:

    High Quality Hard Shell Roof Top Tent - Buy Car Roof Tent,Hard Shell Tent,Roof Top Tent Product on Alibaba.com

    Cost of shipping is $100. You have to pick it up at the Oakland Port or distribution location.

  27. #27
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Trail Bum View Post
    Ha! Makes a lot of good points and solves many of the drawbacks.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by squareback View Post
    Every time I do that, I end up spending 8 hours on the internet with glazed eyes and a dreamy look on my face.
    HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHaaaaa!

    Mee too man, mee too...
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  30. #30
    jrm
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    THose are pretty cool. According to the Tepiu site you can rent um as well. Rentals | Tepui Adventure Rentals

  31. #31
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    My Flippac is one of the best purchases I've ever made, I sleep in it every race (6-8 a year), go on one 2-3 week trip a year, and get in other weekends when I can. Unlike most rooftop tents it's open on the inside into the bed area, so when you are standing in the bed you have 8 feet of headroom, then crawl up into the sleeping space. When it's folded down it's the same size as a normal shell and operates as one.

    The main benefit to rooftop tents some people in this thread don't understand is the speed of setup. I can pull up to my spot in the middle of BLM land, flip the top up in 10 seconds, go in the back of the truck, turn the heater on, and be dry and warm with access to all my gear and food. They have them for all the normal bed sizes (5.5ft, 6ft, 8ft), I got it used with the SLO rainfly (which is pretty much mandatory) for $2400



  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatWhite415 View Post
    My Flippac is one of the best purchases I've ever made, I sleep in it every race (6-8 a year), go on one 2-3 week trip a year, and get in other weekends when I can. Unlike most rooftop tents it's open on the inside into the bed area, so when you are standing in the bed you have 8 feet of headroom, then crawl up into the sleeping space. When it's folded down it's the same size as a normal shell and operates as one.
    i like the flippac, but want some racks up top to hold a kayak + cargo box. most likely goin rtt.

  33. #33
    jms
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    Or........

    Or you can do this.
    Roof tent.
    Stove.
    Refrigerator
    Solar panel/inverter
    Grenade for a drivetrain
    The day before the Whiskey 50
    kinda OT...roof top tents-p1020327.jpg
    On the way to Oregon
    kinda OT...roof top tents-img_1550.jpg
    Gooseberry Mesa
    kinda OT...roof top tents-img_2158.jpg
    My Favorite Peeps:

  34. #34
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    kinda OT...roof top tents

    Da new rig as it sits today. No real mods yet, most likely getting lifted soon. Yesterday, took it to the Rack Spot in San Carlos, hella rad service and I let them drill into the roof. Track install and some new core bars on the cab for the rtt, came out sweet. I installed the rear core bars last week and they set me up w/a cavernous cargo box that was the best aesthetically/utilitarian for our purposes. Rolled to Lodi next to pickup a new kayak at Headwaters for the full poseur gear ho look, had to test out those Yakima JayLows yo, 85 down 5 no problem! Some serious Saturday driving but not too bad, make sure you tie down your bow/stern.

    Definitely a luxury for us to move to a larger vehicle (still have my 2003 Tacoma double cab 4x4). Looking into a portable fridge/powering setups, as well as other glamping equipment. Gonna try out the rtt and see if it works for us. Plenty of room on the property if it becomes a yard treehouse.

    @jms lovin vans but don't think the westy can pull the boat! Interested in seeing how the ecoboost Transits fair after longer lifetimes. There's a dealer in Newberg that has converted Quadvan Transits in stock. I love the weirdness, cargo space, tow rating, and 4x4 conversion capability of the Nissan NV. Forum folks don't seem too warm about the new 4x4 Sprinters (my buddy loves the pre 2007s? doesn't like new model year vehicles, dunno if I wanna go diesel). Still love the classic Ford E series but dunno about the longevity of their gas motors. Ocassionally I'll craigslist/ebay Quadvan or Quigley, Sportsmobile etc. Still probably a few years down the line but you never know.

    MTBRs are just natural expeditionportal.com folks, its sweet to geek out on peoples rigs/bike porn/camp setups and see how folks make homes away from home. Having a buncha gear/dogs, etc is definitely a balance of space vs fun management when you're on the road. Some road and backyard poseur shots for reference. Can't wait for summer!!! GO DUBS!!!!
    kinda OT...roof top tents-imageuploadedbytapatalk1462121859.739704.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails kinda OT...roof top tents-imageuploadedbytapatalk1462118967.461493.jpg  

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    kinda OT...roof top tents-imageuploadedbytapatalk1462121278.418274.jpg  

    kinda OT...roof top tents-imageuploadedbytapatalk1462121339.256547.jpg  

    kinda OT...roof top tents-imageuploadedbytapatalk1462121389.482023.jpg  

    Last edited by nativeson; 05-01-2016 at 10:38 AM. Reason: mistake

  35. #35
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    ...saw an article on Adventure Journal about these, with a great idea I'd not considered:

    Ditch the sleeping bags and inflatable pillows and use down duvets and pillows, you will be much more comfortable. When closing the tent fold the bedding into the half of the RTT above the vehicle and compress as much as possible being sure to not let the bedding interfere with the tent poles when closing.

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