Roof tent thoughts!

Reno

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Costco has been having this guy on sale throughout this spring. I’ve been tempted to pull the trigger on it twice now.

upload_2019-5-1_13-30-46.jpeg

https://www.costco.com/Silverwing-Clam-Shell-86"-x-51"-Mounted-Rooftop-2-person-Tent.product.100468990.html

I’m in a pickle with where I want to go with camping or “glamping”, I’ve tent camped for what seems like forever, but now my kiddo is changing my perspective. That and I’m really tired of sleeping on the ground.

I want something easy, like this guy. Warm, like this guy. Actually would prefer a freaking RV, but something like this can get me outside a lot easier and faster than tent camping with a ton of crap in the back of the car.

So what’s your thoughts, get something like this for the few years the kiddo is still too young to go camping? Save the money and buy an RV in a couple years once the kid is old enough to start camping?

Been looking at these too.

2019_thor_freedom_elite_22hec_por1616078_2.jpg

Thor Freedom Elite 22HEC - Camping World Hkr - 1616078

Thanks!

Reno
 
OP
Reno

Reno

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What makes a roof tent that much different from a ground tent? And you having a young child the roof tent is going to be tricky to get them in and out of. Just my thoughts.
Good points, getting him in and out could be interesting. Especially for bathroom runs.

My pros are.

It has a mattress and flat surface.
Better insulation.
You can keep bedding in it all the time.
It sets up quickly.
Off the ground.

I’d say my cons are.

It’s off the ground.
Wind noise while driving?
Loss of gas mileage?
Getting it on and off for off season could be fun.
It’s on the car unless you take it off.
 
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I really liked the idea of a RTT when I first saw them...drive, park and voila, you’re camping. Bedding all rolled up inside, easy-peasy.
But the more I thought about it, the following flaws started appearing...
-Ladders and 3am pee’s (specially beer-fueled) don’t mix well. For my wife, that wasn’t just a “no”, it was a “Hell No”. I could see that becoming quite the liability as your little one becomes more mobile, too.
- big 95 lb German Shepherd. Lifting him up and down into the tent? No way.
-driving the other 98% of the time I’m not camping with a top-heavy, aerodynamically-poor brick on my rig? Nope.
- storing the tent with some kind of pulley system attached to my garage ceiling? Hassle!

I ended up getting a quality, fast set-up ground tent (OZ tent) and a top of the line air mattress (Exped). I don’t look as cool, certainly not high-speed low drag, but in the final analysis it works better for us.
 
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RTT's are popular in Africa and Australia where nasty critters roam at night.
Gives you a few more seconds to "get the gun".
After a night a beer drinkin' it might be challenging to navigate the ladder in the middle of the night when needing to empty the bladder.

If you need to get back on some skinny roads, the RTT would be a good option.
If you're going to stay on pavement, might want to look at a conventional RV.
 
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$1800 for a freaking tent?

For camping maybe 2-3 times a summer, I would either rent an RV or buy a used pop-up for $2k or less.

I paid $100 for mine and am slowly fixing it up. I will never lose money on it. Could probably get $800 for it in current condition.

View attachment 575188
That's in good shape !
Those were the premier tent trailer in their day.
 

Certaindeaf

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Costco has been having this guy on sale throughout this spring. I’ve been tempted to pull the trigger on it twice now.

View attachment 575172

https://www.costco.com/Silverwing-Clam-Shell-86"-x-51"-Mounted-Rooftop-2-person-Tent.product.100468990.html

I’m in a pickle with where I want to go with camping or “glamping”, I’ve tent camped for what seems like forever, but now my kiddo is changing my perspective. That and I’m really tired of sleeping on the ground.

I want something easy, like this guy. Warm, like this guy. Actually would prefer a freaking RV, but something like this can get me outside a lot easier and faster than tent camping with a ton of crap in the back of the car.

So what’s your thoughts, get something like this for the few years the kiddo is still too young to go camping? Save the money and buy an RV in a couple years once the kid is old enough to start camping?

Been looking at these too.

View attachment 575173

Thor Freedom Elite 22HEC - Camping World Hkr - 1616078

Thanks!

Reno
If that guy didnt park in the middle of that creek he coulda used a $10 tent.
 
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Roof top tents are great! I have been using them for over a decade now. I have a medium size and a huge one. The comfort and speed of deployment blows away a regular tent and sleeping pad. My camp is set up in minutes. It also never gets wet underneath, or has roots, rocks, scorpions, snakes, or squirrels, all of which I have encountered here in Oregon. It is also really easy to level your rig with a rock and you just can't do that with a ground tent.
For the late night beverage draining all you need to do is put an empty wide-mouth Gatorade type bottle in the tent and you are good to go!
If you have to bring your stupid dog just have them sleep in the rig our outside.
I do not recommend driving around all year with them on top. That wears out the cover and they can sometimes mildew. They are easy to store and not that hard to get on and off. The ladder can be intimating at first but is really no problem. It may sound counter intuitive but the ladder is easier after a few cocktails because you have more confidence. I know from experience.

As for that particular tent it looks like one of generic Chinese imports and you can get that for cheaper or better yet, get a way better tent for that kind of money! The hard shells have their appeal but many are really cramped inside. Be sure to check out the measurements. The canvas "pop-up greeting card" style are much larger and only take a couple minutes more to set up. By design they are twice as big when open.
Here is a long discussion on the often rebranded generic Chinese imports. Imported Chinese Rooftop Tents?

I would strongly recommend checking out Freespirit they have amazing products are an Oregon Company too. they have several soft tents and one hardshell.
Adventure Series Tents
CVT is here in Oregon as well.
The Autohome and James Baroud are great quality tents that you are going to be much happier with if you have your heart set on the hard shell.
The World Best Roof Top Tents | Autohome US
James Baroud USA - Roof Top Tents Built for Adventure.

If you have more questions feel free to ask me. I also would be willing to loan you either of mine if you wanted to make the trip out to Central Oregon. I have a Mombasa and a CVT but would rather have a Freespirit.
I also have a motorhome and they are great too!
 
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I discovered AirBnB last hunting season :D


We did tent camping for years, then moved to a small travel trailer....sold it a year ago in anticipation of getting a bigger one but home improvement projects have taken precedence.

Ive also pondered the rooftop, but I have a truck...kinda pointless ( and there are "truck bed tents" for a 10th of that price.)
If you have an SUV it would be an ok option if you are willing to deal with the ladder and such. Keep in mind the load rating on your rack, you can very easily exceed that with the tent and a couple if bodies.
 
My own camping gear evolution over about 50 years on the trail:
truck front/back seat;
sleep on ground in open;
ground tent;
back packing gear;
Alaskan Camper ("it goes up it goes down");
series of ever longer RV trailers;
23' Chev B+ camper;
suitable roadside hotels & brothels depending.....

The most fun/most comfortable was the pleasant 20 years in the Alaskan, wearing out a series of pickups in the journey.

Each has their advantage. Yes we miss 'camping out'; no we don't miss the crowds, the damnable expense, the wide spread demand for reservations, sometimes A YEAR ahead!; and again, the cost. While we had dedicated & decent quality gear, gassing up & heading for the coast was costing right at $100 not counting eating out etc.

Retired from that aspect of 'camping' and now trying other modes of outdoorsy stuff.

I've been eyeballing those hard wall A-frame trailers lately...:cool:
 

L84Cabo

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There are some pros and cons to roof tents.

The good...
  • They're quick and easy to setup and take down
  • You're up off the ground
  • You usually get a cushy light mattress in them
  • And you can leave your bag and stuff setup in them usually

The downsides are they are
  • Expensive AF
  • You can kill yourself trying to get down in the middle of the night to go pee
  • They're tough to get dogs up into if you have one
  • They may relegate you to sleeping in the parking lot or in certain places you really don't want to be because your rig isn't allowed beyond a certain point...or you'd like to sleep down by the river but there is no suitable path to get your vehicle down there
  • Did I mention they were expensive AF?
  • You lose a lot of roof space for other gear

If you're thinking of a motorhome at all, rent one a couple of times and make sure you enjoy it. I would also strongly advise buying slightly used as opposed to brand new. Talk about a depreciating asset.
 
Costco has been having this guy on sale throughout this spring. I’ve been tempted to pull the trigger on it twice now.

View attachment 575172

https://www.costco.com/Silverwing-Clam-Shell-86"-x-51"-Mounted-Rooftop-2-person-Tent.product.100468990.html

I’m in a pickle with where I want to go with camping or “glamping”, I’ve tent camped for what seems like forever, but now my kiddo is changing my perspective. That and I’m really tired of sleeping on the ground.

I want something easy, like this guy. Warm, like this guy. Actually would prefer a freaking RV, but something like this can get me outside a lot easier and faster than tent camping with a ton of crap in the back of the car.

So what’s your thoughts, get something like this for the few years the kiddo is still too young to go camping? Save the money and buy an RV in a couple years once the kid is old enough to start camping?

Been looking at these too.

View attachment 575173

Thor Freedom Elite 22HEC - Camping World Hkr - 1616078

Thanks!

Reno
Marriott.
 

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