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Roof Top Tent versus Ground Tent

Discussion in 'General Tundra Discussion' started by Zero One Actual, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. Sep 1, 2019 at 4:48 PM
    #1
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    I am debating between a roof top tent (RTT) or ground tent (or 2).

    RTT option:
    https://www.yakima.com/skyrise-poler-tent-medium
    Reason: 50% off price.

    Ground Tent option:
    https://www.amazon.com/Gazelle-2227...gazelle+tents&qid=1567381385&s=gateway&sr=8-3
    Reason: 30% off price and good reviews both written and on YouTube.

    RTT. Stays on Leitner rack system. Rapid deployment. Comfortable mattress. Off the ground. However. I live in the southeast US and I am not concerned about snow or bears or snakes climbing up to get me like people in Australia or out west. Also, I feel like a RTT always has to be stowed and unstowed any time I want to drive anywhere whereas a normal ground tent can stay where it is and I can drive a trail, leave in an emergency or drive wherever and come back to my camp setup.

    If anyone has any pros and cons or experience I would love to hear it. Thank you.
     
    Raxman80 and 15whtrd like this.
  2. Sep 1, 2019 at 4:54 PM
    #2
    Kerch71

    Kerch71 Surgical Precision

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    100% agree with the stowing/unstowing issue when you want to hit a trail. I like the idea of a RTT, just not the cost vs a ground tent. Like the flexibility of the ground better. To me these are the dealbreakers and I'll stick to terra firma.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2019 at 5:08 PM
    #3
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Consumes science with a side of hopes & prayers

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    I got rid of my RTT and got a 4 person gazelle hub tent. All the reasons you said.
     
  4. Sep 1, 2019 at 5:08 PM
    #4
    Sas

    Sas Humor is everywhere

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    Couple of worthwhile videos if you haven't already seen them. Good channels overall as well.





     
  5. Sep 1, 2019 at 5:14 PM
    #5
    Outbound

    Outbound Super Secret Elite Member #3

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    We've looked at RTT's quite a bit but I think we're going to settle with a ground tent. If we were true overlanders who set up at dark and break camp at daybreak to hit the road again, we'd go RTT. As it is, we generally set up at one lake or river and stay there for up to a week. We're looking at either a Gazelle or a Springbar.

    A deciding factor for us was the ability to hang out inside the tent if the weather turns to crap. The ability to stand up inside and have a small table and 2 chairs inside along with a pair of cots is what we need.
     
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  6. Sep 1, 2019 at 5:21 PM
    #6
    Sas

    Sas Humor is everywhere

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    I like that 3 person Gazelle tent. Been eyeballing that one for a while now.
     
    Outbound likes this.
  7. Sep 1, 2019 at 5:25 PM
    #7
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Consumes science with a side of hopes & prayers

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    The three person doesn’t allow tall people to stand up. Just FYI, in case it matters to anyone reading along, 6’ or taller, get the 4 person. Also, 4 person is comfortable for 3 with large sleeping pads; or 2 + dogs; or 2 + toilet.
     
    Shaggie13, Trooper2 and Sas like this.
  8. Sep 1, 2019 at 5:32 PM
    #8
    NR-J

    NR-J New Member

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    Oztent all day long. Absolutely love mine. It’s survived some crazy storms without issue and it’s very modular. We live out of it 2-3 weeks a month almost all year long. Setup is fast and easy.
    I’m 6’3” and have no headroom issues.

    I didn’t want to constantly have to tear down my tent every time I wanted to explore, and I didn’t want tear up an expensive RTT on trees driving in and out of camping areas.

    Only 2 downsides to the Oztent; it’s packed size is like a 6ft body bag. It barely fits diagonally across the back of my crewmax when I load the truck up to go camping.
    Flaw 2 is the original bag for the tent absolutely sucks. Drifta makes an awesome heavy canvas one that has really held up well. 93DAD373-F988-4A65-A02D-004F9359856F.jpg
     
  9. Sep 1, 2019 at 5:48 PM
    #9
    NUDRAT

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    I'm a city boy. I would constantly worry some one was stealing my camp if I left it set up & went off to hit some trails.
    RTT just keeps me relaxed knowing I've got my stuff with me.
    Plus I like being up, it just feels more secure to me. Anyone tries to get in my tent when I'm asleep, there weight on the ladder would wake me up right quick.
    RTT for the paranoid! LOL
     
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  10. Sep 1, 2019 at 6:10 PM
    #10
    Hbjeff

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    Set up camp deep in the woods!
     
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  11. Sep 1, 2019 at 6:25 PM
    #11
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    I've had ground tents for years, never had a need for an RTT or even a small trailer for that matter. My current tent is a simple Coleman I got for under $100. It has room for an air bed and our bags, goes up or down in under 5 minutes.

    If you go ground tent invest a few dollars in good spikes to anchor it. I have aluminum ones that work very well.
     
    Mountun Goat and Black Wolf like this.
  12. Sep 1, 2019 at 7:26 PM
    #12
    BestGen

    BestGen Huge Member

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    Pros of a RTT would be a bit more security. Con would be having to climb down the ladder to go wee in the middle of the night. Pros of a ground tent would be primarily cost. Also you can take it with you in any vehicle you choose. I've owned a Eureka! tent for about 30 years now and it's still in great condition. www.eurekacamping.com
     
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  13. Sep 1, 2019 at 7:43 PM
    #13
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ O'Keefe Music Foundation Staff Member

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    I would tent it or rent it.

    The roof top tents have there place, but in my area, they become more hindering than anything. If you think a bear can’t get to you in a RTT, sadly mistaken.

    So tent it, or rent a cabin and go explore from there.
     
    Raxman80, Sas, Darkness and 3 others like this.
  14. Sep 1, 2019 at 7:47 PM
    #14
    Black Wolf

    Black Wolf METROLOGIST....morning news is for weather report

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    This^^^^^^
     
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  15. Sep 1, 2019 at 8:30 PM
    #15
    GravityGear

    GravityGear Parking Lot Prerunner

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    Ground tent. RTTs are becoming BrOverlander gear. Not a fan of the extra weight high on the truck. Also, I don't want to carry my dogs up a ladder.
     
  16. Sep 1, 2019 at 8:42 PM
    #16
    Hbjeff

    Hbjeff New Member

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    Rtt’s are awesome as hell. But the prices on them are insane. A decent sleeping bag and tent is way more practical for most people. Plus it’s easy to toss a tent in the bed. In all reality, set up and take down of a quality ground tent is under 10 minutes.

    The one thing ill give to the RTT crowd. Less bugs!
     
  17. Sep 1, 2019 at 8:42 PM
    #17
    Samoan Thor

    Samoan Thor God is technically an alien

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    RTT needs more mods to support the weight and to mount it, I’m gonna get a ground tent but a good one like OZTENT as @NR-J has said. It’s pricey but fast setup and tear down, no mods needed to put it on the truck
     
  18. Sep 2, 2019 at 5:03 AM
    #18
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    Thanks for all the inputs and opinions. Ground Tent it is.
     
  19. Sep 2, 2019 at 5:03 AM
    #19
    Sas

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    I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet, but when you're ground camping I've found it very useful to put a simple plastic tarp down under the tent. It helps keep the tent cleaner and the plastic tarp takes the brunt of the damage so your tent will last longer. Harbor Freight has coupons to pick them up for free or really cheap.
     
  20. Sep 2, 2019 at 5:09 AM
    #20
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    Most tent companies sell a footprint of specific models for that reason but a HF tarp also works and doubles for body bags for grandma on the roof rack.
     
    jordan0317, Hbjeff and Sas like this.
  21. Sep 2, 2019 at 5:29 AM
    #21
    NR-J

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    I’ve switched from tarps to woven mesh ground covers. They allow moisture to leave when you spill it or from condensation where a tarp holds it in place.
     
    Zero One Actual [OP] and Hbjeff like this.
  22. Sep 2, 2019 at 5:59 AM
    #22
    jc153

    jc153 Speed-ish Glamper

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    I have and use both.
    RTT is great for being up off the ground and moving from camp to camp on a daily basis. Also don’t need to worry about finding an open or level area. They are expensive, heavy and you need to secure them with some type of rack.
    Ground tent works great when we have a base camp to explore from. Usually lots of room inside so you can stand. They are well, on the ground, you need an open level area and the newer style have a large packed footprint for storage.
    With the new easy up and down ground tents they both deploy/store in around the same amount of time.
    They both have their pros and cons so it really depends on your budget, intended use and what makes most sense for you.
     
    Zero One Actual [OP] likes this.
  23. Sep 2, 2019 at 7:13 AM
    #23
    Coolhardy

    Coolhardy New Member

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    I just got my Ikamper RTT that sleeps 3-4. I tried ground tent but it didn’t work for me. Guess we all have our preferences. It is for sure expensive as compared to getting a ground tent.

    Didn’t have to install roof rack. Rhino Rack makes the cross bars for Tundra. The load capacity was enough to install a RTT.

    3C156105-59C6-42F7-B0C4-0DDF74ED03C5.jpg

    D940519F-4D56-4621-A781-5EAA01373AFD.jpg
     
  24. Sep 2, 2019 at 7:46 AM
    #24
    HulkSmurf14

    HulkSmurf14 Fast Paced

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    I don't like my feet feeling like they are about to split into two or more pieces when scurrying down the ladder for a midnight pee blitz...ground tent for the win!
     
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  25. Sep 2, 2019 at 8:03 AM
    #25
    crabbymcnab

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    For my ground tents, I use canvas such as painters tarps on the inside floor. Helps contain the mud, easy to take outside and shake. Plus, feels good on those cold mornings.
     
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  26. Sep 2, 2019 at 8:39 AM
    #26
    NoRcptn

    NoRcptn Mediocre Poster

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    I've been back and forth and used both. New to the RTT. I purchased the Silverwing from Costco.
    https://www.costco.com/Silverwing-C...Rooftop-2-person-Tent-.product.100468990.html
    A lot of tent Co's. have great warranties but they will not allow returns because shipping damages them ( Roofnest ) and it's expensive!Normally they will warranty specific parts. Unless you can get back to the manufacturer, like Tepui in Santa Cruz (great co. BTW), it seemed like a better option to be able to drive it down to my local Costco.

    ok, now for the meat of my experiences: Solo camping and camping with wife, dog, 2 kids.
    RTT Pro's:
    *Superfast Setup
    *Kinda fast takedown
    *Multiple camping trips where I just parked and setup where a tent would not have been ideal.
    *CLEAN,CLEAN,CLEAN. No more issues with dirt, condensation, and bugs.
    *No come-home-cleanup where I need to wash and airdry everything. I leave my bags and pillows in the tent and park. Thats it.
    *flexibility. Wife and I sleep in the RTT, kids in the truck bed with doggo.

    RTT Cons:
    *Need to break it down to go anywhere. Although, for me it's <5 minutes, so not an issue so far.
    *Ladder is a pain in the ass to get on from the tent when I'm in it. At least for me who is always sore and not very limber.
    *storage when not on the truck during the winter.
    *No doggies. But my lab sleeps in my truck bed. not the same for everyone.
    *Some campsites are quite a ways away from parking spots. Have to decide carefully when booking new places.
    *Way more expensive than a tent.
    *if you toss and turn, like I do, the truck moves A LOT. Still experimenting with airbags and inflation to negate this somewhat. It has been better, but not totally cured.
     
  27. Sep 2, 2019 at 9:00 AM
    #27
    Cox3497

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    Nice truck and sweet setup dude!
     
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  28. Sep 2, 2019 at 9:01 AM
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    COMiamiFan

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