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  1. #1
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    Rooftop tents

    Apparently, this is a 'thing' now. I wrote an article about the Yakima offering but I am curious to hear from folks who've done it or are considering it.

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    I'm getting a teardrop trailer this winter. If kids ever enter the equation, so will a rooftop tent (at least, once they're old enough to climb the ladder).

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    Would never consider it. Whats the point of this tent if I have to pack it up everyday in order to leave the campsite? What about the load rating on the roof rails? Two (or even three) people plus a tent are going to put you WAY over the maximum.

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    I looked into it for a little while but my car is too small. I would think that when stationary, the weight limit doesn't matter much. I think the weight limit is to prevent being too top heavy in turns.

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    I agree the weight limit would mostly be of concern when the car is moving. There has to be a point at which the load on the rails/roof actually causes damage in a static situation.
    Two or three people plus the tent is going to be putting 400-600lbs on those rails while most are 'rated' at 150lbs.

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    Buzz has a point. I worked in shop that sold racks and some factory racks have very low load limits (esp. plastic factory ones like Subaru). The two person roof tents I have looked at ranged from 120 to 180#s.

    It would be worth doing your homework before buying a 1 to 2k tent.

    But, for some reason I am interested in these roof tents also. GEAR: N+1

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    Friend sent me this.
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    I lived in a CVT rooftop for over a month with a buddy on a trip up to Alaska and to me the main benefit was being able to get it set up very quickly after a long day / in the rain etc. They are quite comfortable and durable as well. Takes a few minutes to wrestle the top cover back into position but not too bad (I think they made more $$ hardshell cover ones that remedy this).Rooftop tents-img_4430.jpg

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    And when you have to take a leak in the middle of the night...ladders suck.
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    Looks pretty dialed on this one. Tepui tent.
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    Good for wheelin and bikin.
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    These look neat, but I'm not plopping my big carcass on top of the roof of my car.

    How about one of these though ...

    Rooftop tents-mobed-motorcycle-mounted-tents.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
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    What is that, a hot tub?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    I agree the weight limit would mostly be of concern when the car is moving. There has to be a point at which the load on the rails/roof actually causes damage in a static situation.
    Two or three people plus the tent is going to be putting 400-600lbs on those rails while most are 'rated' at 150lbs.
    you think there's any chance that they might have thought of that? I realize that in your mind, you know more about roof racks than the engineers that designed the roof rack and accessories they are selling, but do you think there is even a slight chance that... you know... Yakima considered the weight they are putting on their system?

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    This is definitely a second car option. That is having a second car that is for camping, exploring only. I have a friend that is very active in the overland scene and these things are old news in that world. But you don't want it on your DD. Adds wind noise, something nice to steal from the roof of your car and expose it to elements for a long time.

    We have toyed with the idea of getting a larger SUV, letting the kids sleep in back and getting one of these for the top for easier camping than using our pop up but then I realize I need a new car and so on and so on. The pop up is easier, more accommodating. If I get into overland expeditions, this would be at the top of my list, especially with the price point that Yakima is hitting now.
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    A friend of mine has a Tepui mounted on top of a metal frame on a lightweight trailer. Bikes travel in the trailer and can be locked to the frame underneath the tent.

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    Do I need to be a roof rack engineer to understand load limits? Do you know the static load limit on the roof your vehicle? I dont, and Im not even sure where to find that information. Please forward me the data that shows me the static roof load rating of all the vehicles that someone might be able to put a rooftop tent on. That way I will know if I am going to damage the roof of my vehicle with that extra 600lbs on top of it.

    If you had actually read my post, I wasn't referring to Yakimas system at all. Im sure its well engineered within the system itself. I was referring to the amount of weight that the system would put (with people and gear) on the roof of the car and the car mounting points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Do I need to be a roof rack engineer to understand load limits? Do you know the static load limit on the roof your vehicle? I dont, and Im not even sure where to find that information. Please forward me the data that shows me the static roof load rating of all the vehicles that someone might be able to put a rooftop tent on. That way I will know if I am going to damage the roof of my vehicle with that extra 600lbs on top of it.

    If you had actually read my post, I wasn't referring to Yakimas system at all. Im sure its well engineered within the system itself. I was referring to the amount of weight that the system would put (with people and gear) on the roof of the car and the car mounting points.
    I saw somewhere recently this same concern. From what I could ascertain with my non engineering brain car roofs and roof racks are designed for loads that are constant and so are given a rating like 200lbs but it isn't a rating for a dead load like a tent would put on it. That is much more weight, as your car is designed to support itself when upside down and the roof rack or factory rails can't compromise that. Ultimately the rating is to ensure that the roof rack doesn't torque off the roof or bend the rails. So 200lbs of canoe on a moving car but 2000lbs of flipped car on its roof.
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    High-rise bear feeders! :0)

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    I thought they looked cool when they first came out... then I saw the prices. I like the idea but I will wait for the Chinese knock-offs to come out! It would be cool if someone made just the tent portion that I could use on my own home made plywood box!

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    I have been running a Tepui Ayer on my Rav4 for a year now. I have had zero problems. My FACTORY roof rails are rated for 200lbs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    I have been running a Tepui Ayer on my Rav4 for a year now. I have had zero problems. My FACTORY roof rails are rated for 200lbs.
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    What do you like about this whole category of tents? How is it better than setting up on the ground?

    Love to hear about your real-world experience, specially from a mountain biker's perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelInOr View Post
    I thought they looked cool when they first came out... then I saw the prices. I like the idea but I will wait for the Chinese knock-offs to come out! It would be cool if someone made just the tent portion that I could use on my own home made plywood box!
    Chinese knock-offs. Oh man.

    It's like using a Chinese knock-off bike roof rack. Why even bother? There's a lot at stake with this flying off the freeway or one's carcass crashing in to the ground.
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    I got a demonstration this weekend and literally only took a couple minutes. The longer part was taking the cover off. After that, it was just a matter of pulling the ladder down which opened up the whole tent.Rooftop tents-11-img_4194.jpg

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    I agree, they are a pretty cool idea but having to pack up camp for a quick run into town seems kind of silly to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crfnick56 View Post
    I agree, they are a pretty cool idea but having to pack up camp for a quick run into town seems kind of silly to me.
    +1. Can't just drive away from camp on a whim without folding and packing up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    What do you like about this whole category of tents? How is it better than setting up on the ground?

    Love to hear about your real-world experience, specially from a mountain biker's perspective.

    fc
    I like the quality of the tent for starters. These are 4-season tents and are very high quality. Second is the ease of setting it up. I can have camp set up in about 10mins tops, by myself. If I have a helper its faster than that. It takes longer to get the cover off than to actually set it up. I leave my sleeping bags inside, so they are always with me. You have an actual mattress to sleep on which is very comfy. The only downside to them is the fact which has been mentioned above is that if you need to move your vehicle you have to close up the tent to move. I personally have not found this to be an issue, but I'm sure someone out there will find it to be nuisance.

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    Would it not be a lot better to just sleep in the back of the car?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Would it not be a lot better to just sleep in the back of the car?
    That is a little hard when you have 2 peoples cycling gear in the back, plus all of your camping gear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Would it not be a lot better to just sleep in the back of the car?
    I've done plenty of that. Not really. Ventilation sucks for one thing. And room you need for sleeping is room that isn't available for secure, dry gear storage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Would it not be a lot better to just sleep in the back of the car?
    Only if you have a separate tent for all of your supplies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    I like the quality of the tent for starters. These are 4-season tents and are very high quality. Second is the ease of setting it up. I can have camp set up in about 10mins tops, by myself. If I have a helper its faster than that. It takes longer to get the cover off than to actually set it up. I leave my sleeping bags inside, so they are always with me. You have an actual mattress to sleep on which is very comfy. The only downside to them is the fact which has been mentioned above is that if you need to move your vehicle you have to close up the tent to move. I personally have not found this to be an issue, but I'm sure someone out there will find it to be nuisance.
    Good info!!! Tepui is based here near my house and I will visit them soon and see what's up with their operation.
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    I have a Tepui Kukenam and it's a very high quality product. For the most part, the roof rack weight concern is a non-issue. As someone pointed out, most roof rack ratings take into account aerodynamic lift and drag, bumps and vibration etc. the static load they can handle is much higher. So unless you're going to drive 80 mph on a bumpy road with your family and dogs on the roof (Mitt Romney anyone?) most roofracks are just fine. I see lots of Tepui's on Crosstreks, Jettas etc. I had mine on top of a set of Yakima crossbars on top of a fiberglass ARE shell on my Tacoma, drove it across the country and back including dirt washboard and some miles 'wheeling. No loosening, roof cracks or any sign of problems. It has pro's and con's though, some related to the vehicle ... I'm sure a 3/4 ton diesel pickup would be less affected by the weight raised CG and drag than my Taco, let alone a non-turbo Subaru. In addition, even though it doesn't take long to set up, and just a bit longer to pack up, it is another step. OK if you're on a road trip with one night stopovers, in fact it may be easier than a ground tent that way, but not so much fun if you want to drive to various trailheads on a multi-day outing. Also, while much is made of the fact that you've got a mattress in the RTT and can keep some bedding in it, it is less space efficient and much heavier than a typical ground tent. And once set up, a ground tent can hold a lot more stuff, out of the weather and slightly secure, than a folded RTT. In fact for our last trip to SLO, we just used our ground tent camping at MdO. In the morning after breakfast put non-valuable but bulky stuff in the tent, threw the bikes in the truck and drive to Irish Hills to ride or to town for a nice dinner after a few nights of camp food. When I got back I removed the tent and it felt like the truck gained 25hp again. It may be for sale, though I suppose I'm not giving a great sales pitch. On the other hand, we took a summer trip to Mammoth, as well as for the Carson city Epic ride, and in both cases it worked well. We camped just a few miles from the trails, so set it up and didn't touch it for three days in each case. It is very comfortable, roomy, and for us, the using ladder is perhaps easier than crawling out of a ground tent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Do I need to be a roof rack engineer to understand load limits? Do you know the static load limit on the roof your vehicle? I dont, and Im not even sure where to find that information. Please forward me the data that shows me the static roof load rating of all the vehicles that someone might be able to put a rooftop tent on. That way I will know if I am going to damage the roof of my vehicle with that extra 600lbs on top of it.
    I know that the roof of a car is designed to support the weight of the car; around 3000# on average plus passenger weight, and that's not a static load. My engineer brain tells me, yes, I can safely apply a static load of 20% of the shock load the car is designed to withstand. If your car weighs less than ~300# with passengers, then yes, I would not count on safely putting a roof tent on it.

    I know that my car has had 600# of snow on it, that it's never even been anywhere that gets heavy snowfall. Thus, assuming it's designed to be outside (which you may well not believe it is), it's designed to have that much weight on it.

    I know that product liability being what it is, if they sold a system that would instantly cause your roof to collapse, every single customer would sue, successfully.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    I know that the roof of a car is designed to support the weight of the car..
    Sure, but without denting?? Happy with dents in your roof? Friend of mine has four dents in his roof from a roof rack. As far as I know it's a rack designed for the car. I've only ever seen bikes on the rack, maybe he put something else on it, I don't know but I do know that roof is dented.

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    I'm hoping that if you were to set a modern car upside down, the body is designed in such a way that the roof would not collapse down to the beltline. So therefore hoping that a tent with a fraction of the weight wouldn't cause any kind of major damage.

    On a vehicles I use for recreation, I'm not worried much about dents and scratches. I drive a 10-year-old Tahoe that I will probably keep to the death, just so I don't have to worry about such things.
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    I agree with your statements about how much a car roof should be able to hold, and they are designed to withstand rollovers. My question concerns the fact the the weight of the tent and gear etc, isnt evenly distributed over the roof of the car. All of the weight is concentrated onto the rails, and often to 4 points on those rails.

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    Your car and any roof bars you buy will have weight limits. You need to find them out and adhere to them, rocket science it ain't. When I looked at the limit for my bars I was surprised to realise it would be possible to get over it with four heavy bikes.

    When my friend told me about the dents on his roof I asked what the weight limit of his bars was, he had no idea.

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    I don't get it. Is a tent on top of a car any better, easier, or faster than pitching it on the ground? I'm sure it's more expensive and as mentioned a lot less convenient for middle of the night bathroom breaks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Your car and any roof bars you buy will have weight limits. You need to find them out and adhere to them, rocket science it ain't. When I looked at the limit for my bars I was surprised to realise it would be possible to get over it with four heavy bikes.

    When my friend told me about the dents on his roof I asked what the weight limit of his bars was, he had no idea.
    I'm not totally discounting what you are saying, and really I'm just speculating, but I would expect the weight rating for a roof rack accounts for the vehicle accelerating, braking, and cornering with luggage attached, and maybe even being involved in an accident. So I'm not sure it directly applies to the tent situation.

    That being said, if you exceed the weight rating, you should understand that you're on your own at that point.
    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Is it blue on one side and white on the other or did you buy two of whatever that is?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    I would expect the weight rating for a roof rack accounts for the vehicle accelerating, braking, and cornering with luggage attached, and maybe even being involved in an accident.
    If I remember correctly, the roof rails I bought earlier this year had different weight limits for bikes and roof boxes. Accidents are a different ball game. I reckon in many cases, your roof mounted crap is coming off.

    I don't see roof mounted tents as much of a safety concern but is there maybe a risk of damage to the roof? Not just from the weight on the bars but also from getting in and out. Perhaps not a big worry for a lot of outdoorsy types who see their cars as work horses anyway.

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    How do you level these? Do you need to level the whole vehicle? Or can the tent be leveled on the vehicle? I could see this being a huge pain in addition to packing and unpacking the tent over a multi-day trip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    How do you level these? Do you need to level the whole vehicle?
    How hard can it be? Just park on a flat bit of ground.

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    These are immensely popular over here in Oz... At times it seems like every second fourby on the road has one bolted to the rails... And a number of our friends use them regularly...

    I have never seen one damage a roof... Most weigh in under 60kg so they are not a massive load... And I regularly stand on our roof rack while it is loaded to greater than this without any dents in my roof...

    I still prefer a tent on the ground for some of the practical reasons listed above, but they definitely seem to work for a lot of people over here...

    Also, there are plenty of cheaper import options available over here... Most well under $1000...
    https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/pro...top-tents.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJesusfreak View Post
    I have never seen one damage a roof... Most weigh in under 60kg so they are not a massive load... And I regularly stand on our roof rack while it is loaded to greater than this without any dents in my roof..
    I'm not saying they are likely to damage the roof, but would you know about it if they did? While the rack is on, which is most of the time, no one knows about the dents in my friend's roof.

    I'm inclined to think that the weight of the tent setup and people in it are unlikely to damage the roof but I imagine it will vary from one design to another and from car to car. It's not a worry that would stop me buying one.

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    Here we go!! I picked one up at Tepui in Santa Cruz!! It's the Kukenam Sky for $1350 that sleeps 3 people.Rooftop tents-874c8b97573d864978ca069264f8ffc6.jpg
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    Rooftop tents

    I visited the crew of Tepui at Santa Cruz, Ca and here's some of the things I learned.

    Advantages:

    1. Speed - once proficient, folks can set up and pack up in 3-5 minutes. It's quicker when doesn't put up the rods to prop up the rain fly.

    2. Essentials stay in the tent. Leave a sleeping bags and pillows in the tent. They just stay in there, and like the tent, they don't pick up dirt and grime from the ground.

    3. Weight limits - The stated weight limits of racks are for dynamic weight. It has to account for cornering, speed bumps, dirt roads that can triple the forces on a rack for an instant while the car is moving. There is no standard conversion of dynamic limit to static but some rack makers are stating 200 lb. limits (dynamic) but in tests, the racks hold up to 800 lbs with no damage whatsover.

    4. Ladder takes the load - The ladder takes up 40-60% of the load of a tent since it is a key support beam. Thus, if a tent is fully loaded with people at a total of 500 lbs, the car roof rack is only holding up about 250 lbs.

    The ladder is the heaviest part of the system too as it is the most mechanically intensive device on the tent. It is also used as a lever to pull the tent open. And it has to account for the highest possible roof the tent might be installed in.

    5. Fun - perhaps the most alluring aspect of roof top tents right now is they are a gateway to adventure. For dudes, it is a new gadget that opens up possibilities. For kids, it's an awesome treehouse. For non-camper spouses, it is worth the 'adventure' to try.

    6. Away from the ground, attached to the car - there is a certain sense of comfort and convenience with this.


    Issues:
    1. Where to park? - This is open for discussion and will be sorted out over the next few years as these gain popularity. In California, it's fairly strict and one can't park 'near the coast highway'?

    2. Using the vehicle during camping. It's not so simple to drive away and leave the tent behind with this setup. This is more suited when one doesn't use the car while at an established base camp.

    3. Fear of heights - You can be up there pretty high and if you fear heights or are not physically fit, it's not as safe. Night restroom breaks, going down a wet ladder, buffeting wind are concerns as well.

    4. Cost - It's not cheap at an average of $1200. Rack system can be $500 as well if that doesn't exist yet.


    Thoughts?
    Last edited by fc; 11-08-2016 at 07:17 AM.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Thoughts?
    Sounds like a pretty comprehensive summation to me. I'm convinced.

  49. #49
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    Issue #2, using the vehicle while camping, has proven to be a much bigger problem than I expected. I have removed the RTT I bought just 6 months ago, and used about 20 times. For our last trip we used the ground tent, and in those circumstances, it worked a lot better. The other issues weren't problems for us (well, cost ...).

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by crfnick56 View Post
    I agree, they are a pretty cool idea but having to pack up camp for a quick run into town seems kind of silly to me.
    We (family of 4) ended up getting a pop-up tent trailer after figuring out tents in general (ground or roof) are just simply too small. RTT's are cool if it is just you, or you +1 and even then I would want a Maggiolina style tent where setup is as fast as you cranking it straight up and no cover to worry about. Maggiolina ? Autohome US We have a couple friends with these they can collapse it in 90 seconds if not less. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHd77e7PbIE

    Pop-up tent trailers are the way to go if you are camping as a family of three or more. You have an easy base camp all set up and all your camping gear can stay in there so packing/clean-up is minimal and super fast. We got a 12 year old used one for $1800, with two king size slide outs in great condition. I mounted a Yakima roof rack that can hold 8 bikes to the top of the trailer, it is a great setup.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Pop-up tent trailers are the way to go if you are camping as a family of three or LESS.
    fify
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    fify
    Haha, maybe when our kids get over 60 pounds each. At this point our 2 dogs are about bigger than them and take up more space.

  53. #53
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    Truth. We tried pop ups for awhile. I got really tired of having to put it up to load it for a trip and the same to end it.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    I think the roof damage concern is way more valid on cars without factory roof rails than those with. If you are adding roof rack feet and crossbars to your car, you are going to be way more likely to damage the car than the rails that have attachment points factory engineered into the vehicle.

    As far as crossbars, I'd avoid the factory bars for a roof top tent because so many of them seem to prioritize aero over strength and have pretty low weight limits versus the more robust Yakima and Thule type bars.


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  55. #55
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    Anyone get one for xmas?
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  56. #56
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    I considered one really hard---on several occasions. There are pros and cons, and for me, right now, doesn't make sense over the great ground tent we've got now. Feels like a more versatile solution (for me).

    However, I won't say I'll never get a RTT. But if I do, I'll probably go with a Flippac, since I have a truck. I like that it connects to the cargo area where we can access supplies without going outside.


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  58. #58
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    Rooftop tents are not a new idea:

    Rooftop tents-personalised-haynes-pensioner-manual-01.jpg

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Rooftop tents are not a new idea:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Nice photo!!! Used in Africa and deserts too a long time ago.
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  60. #60
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    [QUOTE=fc;13042631]Tepui tour is here:

    [url=http://reviews.mtbr.com/tepui

    Was the Discretion Brewing tour before or after?
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  61. #61
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    In hindsight I think I would have just bought a sprinter 4x4. #vanlife still in the cards.....eventually.

  62. #62
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    [QUOTE=andy f;13044278][QUOTE=fc;13042631]Tepui tour is here:

    [url=http://reviews.mtbr.com/tepui

    Was the Discretion Brewing tour before or after?[/QUOTE]

    We went there for an appointment and they were closed so I went to the brewery right away. It turns out they have 2 locations, a showroom (beside the brewery) and an office/warehouse a mile away.

    Had to go to the warehouse.
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  63. #63
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    pop-up video



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    I really liked the idea of these, but couldn't justify the price for something I wasn't sure was for me. So, to try it out, I built one myself out of lumber. Last August I used this contraption on a week-long road trip racing, riding, and camping, and it served me pretty well.

    Rooftop tents-img_20160723_181730.jpg

    The platform is a 4x8' sheet of 3/4" plywood, hinged in the middle and folds out. The ladder folds down, and two hinged 2x4" beams swing out and interlock with the ladder mount (lap joint style) to support the overhanging portion of the platform. Everything latches together once in place.

    There's 1/4" foam padding permanently glued to the top of the plywood. The tent is just my 2.5-person backpacking tent, which fits very nicely on the 4'x8'. To fold it up, I do need to pack up the tent/mattress/bedding, so that is less convenient than a real manufactured product. OTOH, I always still have a tent if I want to camp on the ground.

    Rooftop tents-img_20160804_192057.jpg

    The whole thing sits on the factory roof rack of my Outback, with the weight at the ends of the rails (not the center). Everything folds relatively flat. I'm not quite happy with it yet, and need to see if I can make it a bit more aero, with some plastic fairing or a tonneau cover or similar. As it, I get a ~10% hit to highway MPG with it attached.

    Total weight is around 120lbs. Deflection with people on it is pretty minimal (I designed for a 500lb load centered on the overhang as worst case). I've spent several nights in it alone, as well as a few with a second person aboard.

    Rooftop tents-img_20160805_203504.jpg

    So, why go through the trouble of all this versus just putting the tent on the ground? A few reasons.

    1. Camp anywhere. For a lot of my trip, I was camping in the parking lots of DH parks. I didn't want to put a nice tent on gravel. This way i was guaranteed a smooth, rock-free place form my tent, everywhere and every time.

    2. Rain and mud. If I can't find a dry tent spot, I keep the bottom of my tent dry, and I don't have to worry about waking up in a puddle testing out the tent's "waterproof" floor.

    3. Ventilation. Being 6ft higher off the ground really does help with getting a breeze in the summer.

    4. Allergies. Yeah, I know. But, I have an easier time getting a good sleep up off the ground than camping right on the grass.

    5. The overhang is surprisingly useful. Put your lawn chair underneath while you wait out the rain (instead of huddling in the car). Run a little clothesline so things can dry if you don't have any trees nearby. String up a curtain for a changing room or private shower. Etc.

    6. Fun. It's like a mobile adventure tree house. It's silly, and a conversation starter. At races, I get to be the Mayor of Tent City.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    I really liked the idea of these, but couldn't justify the price for something I wasn't sure was for me. So, to try it out, I built one myself out of lumber. Last August I used this contraption on a week-long road trip racing, riding, and camping, and it served me pretty well.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ....
    That's a really, really cool effort and analysis Lazarus! All you really need is that waterproof, rubberized cover and it'll be good. One thing though is you might fall of the sides of your platform since there's no structure protecting it.

    How do you adjust the height of the ladder?

    So you gonna keep doing it? Look for a production one? They are kind of expensive. I feel that for $500, a lot more folks would be getting in to it.
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    Thanks for the kind words.

    I'd thought about rolling off the top while sleeping, but it isn't a problem for me in practice. It's plenty wide, at least when alone. I had a companion decide she needed to fall asleep dead center, pushing me to the edge, which was a little unnerving.

    I think my setup is good enough for my needs, for now. If I expected to not be alone in it 90% of the time, I think a real product would be "nicer".

    With Yakima and others entering the market, and if these become less niche, we might expect the price to come down as scale of production increases. At $500-600, I'd probably jump on one for sure. For reference, my build cost ~$100 for the lumber and fastener hardware, and is still BYO tent.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    Thanks for the kind words.

    I'd thought about rolling off the top while sleeping, but it isn't a problem for me in practice. It's plenty wide, at least when alone. I had a companion decide she needed to fall asleep dead center, pushing me to the edge, which was a little unnerving.
    It would be quite a ways to the ground...

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by lazarus2405 View Post
    At $500-600, I'd probably jump on one for sure.
    There was a Facebook thread going around last year among some friends doing a group buy from a vendor on China Roof Top Tent, Roof Top Tent Manufacturers, Suppliers | Made-in-China.com

    Yes, one of these companies makes Tepui Roof-Top Tents | Tepui Tents | Roof Top Tents for Cars and Trucks and Bigfoot Roof Top Tents by Bigfoot | Camping on a higher level You can get the very same tent for $500 before shipping. I would assume shipping is the killer, hence the "group buy" idea.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    pop-up video



    Hey Francis,

    Kyle from Tepui here. Thanks for dropping by our warehouse a few months back, and glad to see you've already got your set up dialed. Looking good!

    I'll take this time to introduce myself; my day job is Customer Service/Inside Sales at Tepui Tents, but after hours you can find me on the bike or at the start line of a local XC or cyclocross race. I'm the unofficial bike representative for Tepui, as we have surfers, hikers, snowboarders, rock climbers, and lovers all flavors of the outdoors under one roof.

    Consider this the open invitation to everyone in this tread that if they have any questions about Tepui Tents, or about RTTs in general, I'd be more than happy to answer them. I'll do my best to respond here on MTBR, or you can reach me directly at [email protected].

    EDIT: We'll be on display at the Sea Otter Classic (on the gravel between Ohlins and Bern), so if you are on site, be sure to drop by and say hi! We may or may not have some oat sodas

  70. #70
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    Aw yeah!!! Got my first outing done in Santa Barbara, El Capitan State Beach.

    Great experience as setup was easy indeed and I slept very well. That mattress is is indeed dialed. Had a warm night so I had the roof open even.

    Peeing in the middle of the night is a little more involved.

    I got my lighting and sleeping bags dialed so I just left it in ther now. If I leave 3 pillows in there and just pack it like that, I would be dialed.

    On the pickup truck, there was no extra wind noise with the then setup I have. Not sure there's a mileage hit. I can feel the tent a little bit in handling/corners. The pickup is more comfortable though and has better traction with the rear loaded like that with 130 lbs.

    Rooftop tents-img_5300.jpg

    Rooftop tents-p3080001.jpg

    Rooftop tents-p3080007.jpg

    Rooftop tents-p3080009.jpg

    Only surprise is how expensive camping fee is. $35 and the attendant even wanted to charge me $45.

    I should have parked in the State Forest up on Camino Cielo road above Santa Barbara, like this guy and several others.

    Rooftop tents-img_5209-1-.jpg
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    These are a huge thing in Aus... Sometimes it seems like every second fourby on the road has one bolted to the rails!

    We still use a ground based tent for our family of 4, however I know lots of guys who se and love them.

    They are also pretty popular with the caravan touring crowd which is also huge over here... Means they can drop the van somewhere and take their (4wd) tow vehicle way offroad when required and still have accommodation.

    They have also got pretty cheap over here... Down to $650AU (about 495USD to save you the conversion) ...
    https://www.4wdsupacentre.com.au/pro...weekender.html
    These guys don't ship to the states at the moment... But it might give some hope on low cost options in future...

  72. #72
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    I bought a Smittybilt RTT.. only time will tell the tail. A large part of me wanted(still wants) the James Baroud Horizon Vision but I didn't want to spend $3k
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  73. #73
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    I think this is a great idea for a weekend getaway for two people. I don't know how comfortable it would be for a family of four but then again I am not a big time camper. Need to look more into these , thanks for sharing !

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by fc View Post
    Aw yeah!!! Got my first outing done in Santa Barbara, El Capitan State Beach.

    Great experience as setup was easy indeed and I slept very well. That mattress is is indeed dialed. Had a warm night so I had the roof open even.

    Peeing in the middle of the night is a little more involved.

    I got my lighting and sleeping bags dialed so I just left it in ther now. If I leave 3 pillows in there and just pack it like that, I would be dialed.

    On the pickup truck, there was no extra wind noise with the then setup I have. Not sure there's a mileage hit. I can feel the tent a little bit in handling/corners. The pickup is more comfortable though and has better traction with the rear loaded like that with 130 lbs.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Only surprise is how expensive camping fee is. $35 and the attendant even wanted to charge me $45.

    I should have parked in the State Forest up on Camino Cielo road above Santa Barbara, like this guy and several others.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Very cool, now I am going to investigate, my son would love this.


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  75. #75
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    I haven't secured the tent to the trailer yet. I need to replace the hinges and add lifting struts as well as a receiver for my hitch mount bike rack. Awing, legit refrigerator/freezer
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rooftop tents-19225463_10213410919049756_8379290272627110491_n.jpg  

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  76. #76
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    This is the 3 inch mattress on a 3 person Tepui tent. It's overlayed against a queen sized bed and you'll see it's a bit narrower but a foot longer.

    Rooftop tents-img_0186-1-.jpg
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