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Roof top tent advice

Discussion in 'General 4Runner Talk' started by Whiptastichandling, Oct 30, 2022.

  1. Oct 30, 2022 at 6:19 PM
    #1
    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    I could use some input from more knowledgeable people. I really want to get a hard top roof tent, I always heard/assumed you would have to get a aftermarket rack ie. Gobi racks for weight distribution. The price of a rack like that and a good tent appears to be 3-6 grand depending what you get. Wayyyy to much for me!

    I couldn’t help but notice a local set up I really liked. (I’ll attach photos) They didn’t have a aftermarket rack an said they use it all the time with no issues. All they have is the standard rails that come stock on a 4Runner and the cross running rails. I have the same thing! (I’ll attack a photo)

    I’m really hoping someone can shine some positive light in my favor to not needing that style of rack, perhaps from someone on here that even has a tent up there with no rack.

    thanks in advance this is my rack below

    FEBE4258-D890-4620-8BF8-30B059CEBD7E.jpg
    48AD736C-FC97-4E4E-9D57-09C50774BD12.jpg

    above is the rack I saw
     
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  2. Oct 30, 2022 at 6:20 PM
    #2
    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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  3. Oct 30, 2022 at 10:46 PM
    #3
    PVT Pablo

    PVT Pablo

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    So I was really into getting a roof top tent. I researched for days, weeks, months. I set aside a few thousand to execute my plan. What did I end up with?

    An 8x8' Ironman awning, walls, moving blanket flooring, tables, chairs, and an inflatable mattess, and I don't regret a thing.

    I have 64 sq/ft of living space, I can stand up, I can detach the awning quickly and drive away leaving it erected. It takes maybe five minutes with help to set up, and maybe 10 to pack it all up. All in price is about 500 bucks, and I don't have a giant box on my roof all the time.

    Is it as instagram sexy as a RTT? Absolutely not, but its cheaper, bigger, and and a hell of a lot easier to remove for the 6+ months out of the year I'm not camping.

    *not my vehicle, but setup is identical
    Screenshot_20221030-224900_Samsung Internet.jpg
     
  4. Oct 31, 2022 at 2:34 AM
    #4
    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    Interesting… so what is the perks of having if connected to the side of the car other then perhaps blocking the wind….? I have never seen one of those. I’m sure most of it would be answered in the previous question but my mind goes to why this tent and not just a normal everyday run of the mill tent?

    Thanks for sharing!



     
  5. Oct 31, 2022 at 4:02 AM
    #5
    GrantA

    GrantA Enjoying God’s creation

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    - GOBI roof rack and ladder - Westcott Design Rock sliders - M.O.R.E. Underbody Skid plates - Dual ARB air compressor & ARB single compressor - LED interior lighting - Ironman 2.0 meter awning and enclosure - Ironman winch with factor55 hook - Ironman foam cell pro suspension - Ironman recovery snatch rope - Ironman recovery traction boards - lilbscustomfab Hybrid Front Bumper - lilbscustomfab BMC - RRW RR7-H Hybrid Beadlock wheels - Nitto Trail Grapplers 285/75/17 M/T - 4.88 gears - ARB front air locker - ARB rear air locker - Hi-lift jack & mount - Sony aftermarket speakers - LASFIT External LED Light Conversion - Center console organizer - Glovebox organizer - ICS phone Mount holder - C4 rear bumper with dual swing arms - C4 gas skid plate - C4 rear diff skid plates
    I have the same Ironman setup… My vehicle below…

    3858FBFB-227A-45AB-8B47-CC29CA7A5B66.jpg


    @Whiptastichandling
    I don’t have the stock roof rack so I can’t answer that part. With all the weight up there I wouldn’t trust the stock crossbars as they were not designed to hold that weight.

    Personally I wouldn’t get a RTT (I was looking into it as well). Unless you camp all the time. Here are the reasons why and there is a good YouTube video that I would have to find where a guy goes into the experience.
    • You want to take it on and off every time you go camping or just lug around the extra weight and wind resistance?
    • Trying to get on level ground in a vehicle can be “fun” but you will want it level for sure.
    • The cost alone
    • The frequency of use isn’t enough
    • Storing that big thing whether it is on the roof or in your garage (seen some people build a nice hoist to their ceiling joists).
    Anyways as stated if you’re going camping every weekend. I would invest in a nice RTT, but I would put it on a trailer. Every time you want to go somewhere while camping you will have to collapse your tent and setup it up again. Which can get tiring after a while. I do like being off the ground though.

    Here is the YouTube video:
    https://youtu.be/ZCVavqvwYvw
     
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  6. Oct 31, 2022 at 7:11 AM
    #6
    PVT Pablo

    PVT Pablo

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    First, I just want to specify it's definitely not as convenient as an RTT, seeing as an RTT (some) can be deployed instantly. Setting up this cube takes a few minutes and it's not nearly as intuitive as a fancy RTT.

    I hear ya with the whole, "isn't this just a tent attached to the side?". Yes, it is haha. The structure is the awning. The cube attaches to the awning supports to make the room. The sides have zippered windows and the floor is thicker tent floor material.

    Anyway, just wanted to throw another avenue your way in your RTT purchasing adventure.
     
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  7. Oct 31, 2022 at 8:47 AM
    #7
    GrantA

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    - GOBI roof rack and ladder - Westcott Design Rock sliders - M.O.R.E. Underbody Skid plates - Dual ARB air compressor & ARB single compressor - LED interior lighting - Ironman 2.0 meter awning and enclosure - Ironman winch with factor55 hook - Ironman foam cell pro suspension - Ironman recovery snatch rope - Ironman recovery traction boards - lilbscustomfab Hybrid Front Bumper - lilbscustomfab BMC - RRW RR7-H Hybrid Beadlock wheels - Nitto Trail Grapplers 285/75/17 M/T - 4.88 gears - ARB front air locker - ARB rear air locker - Hi-lift jack & mount - Sony aftermarket speakers - LASFIT External LED Light Conversion - Center console organizer - Glovebox organizer - ICS phone Mount holder - C4 rear bumper with dual swing arms - C4 gas skid plate - C4 rear diff skid plates
    Forgot to mention you can quickly detach the awning and put it on polls which is nice.

    I am happy to show it to you when we meet up this weekend. I have been talking to my wife about getting a 270 degree awning. So if you are interested in a lightly used awning/tent let me know. :)
     
  8. Oct 31, 2022 at 9:55 AM
    #8
    Overland WT

    Overland WT Grumpy Old Guy

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    Two things:

    With any RTT, you can not go into an automatic carwash, will need either a winch or pulley system to take off your vehicle or at least two strong guys to remove it from the roof. They can make fast turns a bit tougher due to that weight being on top, raising your center of gravity and know that getting up and down at night, in wind, rain, snow, sucks balls. But they are worth 17 style points and 34 horsepower on Instagrams "Overland Cool" factoring system. Thule, Redtail, Roofnest, iKamper, CVT. Front Runner has a nice sub $900 RTT.

    The pics you posted above will work'ish. Toyota advises the OEM roof rails are only rated to 132lbs per their website. Yes, you will get some added strength from the "Yakima or Thule" cross bars as they will add rigidity, but I would not trust it to repeated use. There are a handful of great roof racks under $1k (Front Runner, Prinsu, UpTop Overland) and most RTT softsided for 2 adults+ weigh ~130-160lbs. Hardsided for 2 adults typically have a smaller open footprint, smaller vestibule and weigh 160-200lbs.

    https://parts.toyota.com/p/toyota_2017_4Runner/Roof-Rack-Cross-Bars/69550124/PT27889170.html

    If you have some coin to spare, how about a starting price of $31,000? It has full glass windows, hot and cold running water and is nearly bomb proof.

    https://overlandjunction.com/pages/redtail-overland-vs-tuff-stuff-alpha

    The awning setup is far more convenient if you use your rig as a daily driver but its far more simple, but exactly the same as ground camping. The awning can be deployed by itself, usually in just 2 minutes. Adding the surround takes another few mins, and teardown is about twice as long. The upsides are obvious. No getting up and down, you can stand up, more room, most can be setup against the vehicle with an zippered door or window, allowing direct access to the inside of the vehicle, better protection from windstorms. The downsides are that rain is still rain, cleaning is the same as a ground tent, less protected from animals. I have an awning that I only use only as an awning attached to a Front Runner roof rack.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2022
  9. Oct 31, 2022 at 11:33 PM
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    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    Sounds good! Looking forward to it and if you have room that would be great.



     
  10. Nov 1, 2022 at 5:38 AM
    #10
    K-Paul

    K-Paul Looking for a water crossing

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    "No, sir! I didn't see you playing with your dolls again..."
    Go to the 32nd Minute:

    https://youtu.be/m9I9igIEGYg

    I have been team "Pop-up Tent" for a long time. I recently had a chance to try a friends RTT for an evening and Now I understand the whole deal with it. Everyone's opinion has value. But those who piss on RTT's cause they are "cheap" or love to opinion on things they have never tried have less weight.

    Only you can decide what variables you need to consider. Everyone has different circumstances. I could spend a whole day giving you the pros and cons for both. In the end, if you feel a RTT will fit your needs best, go for it. If not, no shame in a pop-up ground tent.

    I also have a ROAM awning with the option to turn it into a room. With a second hand it sets up quick but is cumbersome when alone. Still, its a fantastic option if you are tall and need space.

    In my case, 2K+ for a tent that cannot fit under my garage door and will kill garage space is too much for me... at this time..

    Post pics once you choose a setup!
     
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  11. Nov 1, 2022 at 8:19 AM
    #11
    Spare Parts

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    I have been ground tenting for 30 years, I now have to set up cots so I can move the next morning. Even though not horrible and actually makes sleeping on rough ground doable, I spent 4 nights on the side of a mountain back in June. However, setting up camp up at 6, 7, or hours later sucks, and I want to fix that. I had a RTT tent shipped with in 20 miles of my house, and if the company cared about their customers, I would still be in my 17 Taco with a RTT on it. But years later, I am still trying to decide what is the best option now. I love the ROAM room, but I would still need to set up cots, and I have a $450 LLbean tent already.

    good luck on your decision.
     
  12. Nov 9, 2022 at 2:21 PM
    #12
    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    UPDATE:

    went on first camping trip and now see the pros and cons of roof top. Still torn myself as I would like to have one for convenience and to stay off the ground from the rattle snakes around here in warm weather. We had some friends join who have roof top and camping as a whole seemed a breeze for them. Also had a friend who camped out of the back of their runner. Which do to a horrible rain storm that the weather man said there was zero chance of rain completely wrecked out tent and we ended both adults and two kids in the bed of the runner with a deflated full size air mattress deflated to fit.
     
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  13. Nov 9, 2022 at 2:23 PM
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    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    Currently trying to decide in investing in a nice tent or roof top. Back to the drawing board. I would love a 8-12 person tent with living room to put the clothes and food but a lot of places we camp it is hard to find a space they large that’s level. The roof top is just a huge investment. Not to mention the pre camping packing the un packing at site and packing to leave an then unpacking to put back up is very time consuming and anything to cut down on time would be considered. All in all it was a great trip though very beautiful kids had a blast on their first trip.
     
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  14. Nov 9, 2022 at 2:33 PM
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    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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  15. Nov 9, 2022 at 2:34 PM
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    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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  16. Nov 9, 2022 at 4:23 PM
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    Trail Runnah

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    I mostly solo camp, and I'm super comfortable sleeping in the back of my 4Runner.I went to an event last month, and a lot of people there had rooftop tents. One of the guys I was talking to bummed a ride into town with me because he had his tent all set up and didn't feel like spending the time to break it down. Another couple I was hanging out with also had a rooftop tent on their taco, and watching them try to break that down the following day after it rained all night and was covered in wet leaves was somewhat amusing.

    Meanwhile, basically all I did was crawl in and out of my 4Runner and I was good to go. I left my mattress and bedding setup for the whole weekend, in fact I didn't even take the stuff out for another 2 weeks after that haha.

    I get it if you need to stay up off the ground away from critters and can't just sleep in the vehicle for whatever reason, but otherwise they just kind of look like a pain in the neck to me.

    Plus you have the extra weight on top, plus you have the extra aerodynamic drag and resulting noise, and lost fuel economy. It just seems like a lot of trade-offs.
     
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  17. Nov 9, 2022 at 5:16 PM
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    DadOperator

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    I don’t know the model but my buddy has a CRV with what appears to be a decent roof unit just in the stock rails. yMMv
     
  18. Nov 9, 2022 at 5:17 PM
    #18
    GrantA

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    I would get an off-road trailer with a tent on top.
     
  19. Nov 9, 2022 at 6:46 PM
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    Spare Parts

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    At 6’3” I can say there is not a lot of leg room in the back of the 4Runner. My wife and I slept in it once, not a good night sleep. I don’t think I could do it with just gear either.
     
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  20. Nov 9, 2022 at 7:08 PM
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    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    @Whiptastichandling , if you don't want to buy an aftermarket rack, you can probably fashion something to attach an RTT to the factory side-rails. I found that a 3/8" carriage bolt slides right into the slots in the side-rails, and used them to attach my roof basket. Here's a picture to show what I did:

    20210718_085041_HDR_(1).jpg

    Some details here:

    https://www.4runners.com/threads/th...ll-of-my-money-went.12919/page-16#post-263894


    Is that the side-rails? Or the cross bars?

    Either way, that's probably dynamic load. I think the OEM side rails would support much more than that as a static load. They seem pretty solid to me.
     
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  21. Nov 9, 2022 at 7:15 PM
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    Trail Runnah

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    Ah, tall people problems. I'm 5'9, plenty of room for me.
     
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  22. Nov 9, 2022 at 7:33 PM
    #22
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    If you remove the rear seat bottoms, you get about 75" from the hatch to the back of the console. You can get a few more inches behind the front seats if you adjust them forward.

    But, it's not for everyone. Getting in and out can still be interesting at times.
     
  23. Nov 10, 2022 at 3:31 AM
    #23
    Spare Parts

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    Ya, I’ve thought about that, and yes getting in and out is freaking hilarious.
     
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  24. Nov 10, 2022 at 3:39 AM
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    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    I've gotten quite good at opening the door with my feet. :rofl:
     
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  25. Nov 11, 2022 at 8:43 AM
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    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    Thanks for the info, I believe I am leaning toward an awning setup even know I really like the RTT.

    31k!! I clicked out of curiosity just to see if that was a typo! That is insane and I assure you even if I could I wouldn't! It is very nice nonetheless.

     
  26. Nov 11, 2022 at 9:03 AM
    #26
    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    Thanks for all the advice guys, I noticed a few people asked.. There are 4 of us when we go camping otherwise I would just sleep in the back. Oddly enough, on the last trip from the photos, I attached there was no chance of rain. At midnight when my wife and I had just entered the tent a monsoon hit us. I opted not to put up the other layer of the tent that assure water not to enter the tent, not to mention it was an older tent and we are due for a new one. Everything and one in the tent began to get wet. I had to pick up the kids and run in the monsoon and dark good ways to get the kids and wife in the car. Followed by deflating the smallest air mattress we had to fit to size in the back of the 4runner. So although I would never do it again, we all four slept in the back of the 4runner.
     
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  27. Nov 11, 2022 at 9:54 AM
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    ESCT4R

    ESCT4R New Member

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    I too wanted a RTT, but ended up getting this Napier tent. If you're like me, I will try and find the best camping spot and want save it while I'm able to explore the trails. This tent allows you to disconnect from the truck and stands alone. We have a luno air mattress that we sleep on in the back and use the tent for extra space to hangout or have our friends sleep with a queen air mattress. Just my .02 cents ;)


    IMG_0515.jpg
     
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  28. Nov 17, 2022 at 4:59 AM
    #28
    Whiptastichandling

    Whiptastichandling [OP] NCrunner

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    Neat, what are the benefits of having this style connect to the back of car?



     
  29. Nov 17, 2022 at 9:58 AM
    #29
    ESCT4R

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    2022 TRD ORP
    It's only beneficial if you are planning on sleeping inside the rig. When it's cold or windy, I simply close the hatch, lock the car and sleep quietly and comfortably. Another reason I opted for this is that I don't have anywhere to store an RTT when I'm not using it. Since the rig is my daily, I don't want to be driving around everywhere with it attached. I already get crappy MPG...

    There's some good youtube videos reviewing the Napier tent; I recommend you check them out and do research on both RTT's and the Napier. What works for me night not work for you and vice versa. :thumbsup:
     

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