We’ve been using an iKamper rooftop tent mounted on our truck, just behind the cab but high enough that we can still use the bed of the truck for our stuff. We LOVE it! Camping has become so easy to do and I love sleeping off the ground.
I’d like to see a category here just for rooftop tents as we don’t quite fit in the traditional tent category, nor in the RV category. That’s been the only (slight) drawback for us when at private campgrounds. They designate a rooftop tent as an RV. That means a tent campsite is not available to us, which means we don’t get a campfire.
Love it! We’ve been using the Tuff Stuff Alpha roof top tent since January 2020. We like that it is a hybrid between a hard top and a soft top. While driving, its a hard top. Which is good, since we leave it on all the time. When open, its soft top allows for more room. It’s the best of both worlds.
We’ve taken it out to dozens of sites and never had issues with being considered an “RV”. I like the flexibility because we can use tent or pull through sites. The only sites I don’t like are tent sites that are “walk in”. In those type of sites we are left on the pavement, while our group sets up around the campfire. So we look for sites that allow you to drive up to the fire ring/table. We also do a lot of dispersed camping. I actually started posting reviews for The Dyrt because I thought there was a lack of RTT related content.
My biggest issue is having to pack up everything to leave the campsite. It doesn’t take long, but it’s annoying. So we are restoring a 1969 Honda CT90 Trail bike to keep on a hitch carrier. It’s not street legal, but it will help us drive around a National Forest. We could also bring my BMW G650 if we needed a street legal ride.
Also, we need a better way to store stuff in the bed. After driving down a forest road, everything is covered in dust— or worse- mud! We are looking into camper shells and tarps.
View of our current rig from the passenger side:
View from the driver side ( you can really see the hybrid here)
Beth, I’m SO happy to hear from another rooftop tenter!! I was beginning to think we were the only ones on this forum.
Your setup is extremely similar to ours. The Tuff Stuff Alpha looks just like the iKamper.
I like your idea of bringing along a trail bike so you don’t have to break camp in order to explore.
Regarding storing things in the truck bed, we keep everything in plastic boxes that we bought at Costco, but I’ve also seen them at HomeDepot. We have large ones for bedding and such and smaller ones for kitchen supplies and food. My husband also covers the bed with a tarp which helps to keep things clean and dry.
We use the tailgate as a counter for preparing food. One of our favorite things to do is stop for coffee breaks along the road. We use a single burner propane “stove” that takes up very little room. We have a manual coffee grinder made of metal and an Bialetti coffee maker (also metal).
@MTHinojosa We have such similar set ups— we should be friends
You’re right, the IKamper is almost exactly like our Tuff Stuff. We have some of those yellow topped containers too. We also use pelican cases and a huffy tool box for kitchen items. That sounds like a nice coffee set up- I’m jelly.
I’ve been looking at an electric fridge, but I’m worried about leaving in an open bed. Have you thought about this? Or building an overland kitchen with pullouts?
I sent an email to @taylor asking for a dedicated RTT category. Even if its just me and you!
Thanks for asking for a dedicated RTT category!
We’ve not considered adding a fridge to our setup. I think the wildlife would love that. We keep food inside the cab at night, which also is not ideal but we haven’t had any issues…yet.
Sure wish I was on a roadtrip!
I’ve been looking at building a RTT Trailer. Love the idea of a RTT, but it wouldn’t really work with my style of off-roading with my jeep. Thanks everyone for sharing excellent photos to keep me excited in the build!
Tony, wishing you the best with your project! Just so you know, in my experience, most RTTs are mounted on vehicles smaller than trucks so I think it would work really well on a jeep.
Would love to see a separate Roof Top Category too. We don’t have one yet but are on the cusp. We drive a mini van and so our storage would be in the van. We’ve been regular tent camping for decades weeks and months at a time - the flexibility of a roof top is what really intrigues us. And as for the wonderful walk in sites that are so special - we’re thinking of still packing along our backpack tent for those unique sites.
We have a Tuff Stuff Overlander and love it. We bought a 8x5 trailer from Lowes and built a double rack. The camping gear goes in to the trailer, the lower rack carries our kayaks and the top rack has the RTT. This also gives us the freedom to go for a drive if we want to and leave everything set up.
That sounds like a great setup and I would really like the ability to drive away without having to close up the tent. Do you have a lock on the trailer to keep it safe while you’re away (i.e. no one can hook it up to a hitch and drive off with it)?
I do… when I remember to put it on. I make a point of locking it when it’s parked up at home but most of our camping is done in state parks where there is always an audience for the possible thieves.
I have a tent from Mekik Motors AirCamp which is very similar to the iKamper model. I am sooo satisfied with it too. I suggest that you could check them out too.
I’ve been using an iKamper Mini on a 2018 Audi Q5 for a few months now. No complaints, easy set up and pack up and it holds up in the wind & rain. I participate in trail races and use it about twice a month, it’s always a topic of conversation and everyone who inquires about it loves it once they’re in it. I have 4- 12 gallon Husky waterproof storage containers that I use to store: 1) Food 2) Clothing 3) Cooking supplies and 4) Electronics. All cold stuff goes into a Yeti Tundra 35. I toss a sleeping bag, pillow, blanket and a Jackery power source into the back and I’m good to go for a few days. I too would love to see a unique category in the forum for RTT as it’s a growing community and we don’t fit squarely into RV or Tent categories.
I have a Roofnest Sparrow, but plan to order a GFC Superlite soon, so I can get it by 2022. Ha!
Or 2023 .
I settled for the Tepui Foothill because of the footprint and weight when I saw those production lines. I’ve been keeping an eye on their forum and it seems like a lot of customers have mixed feelings about the product. You might be able to find one lightly used soon.
Here’s their forum if you don’t have it:
How are you liking the sparrow? I like that I can have a cargo basket on the roof with the Tepui, but have major fomo on the setup time of a clamshell.
Love the Sparrow, but want a clamshell for ease of closing solo.
I highly doubt I will be able to find any of the Superlite’s slightly used anytime soon, or at a reasonable price. I am on their FB group and there are some really greedy dudes on there. One guy was trying to get $4k for one he bought and decided he didn’t want anymore.
I am in no hurry, tbh…I am going to be in AZ October 2021 to Feb 2022, and Italy from March to August 2022, so if it takes a couple of years to get it, I am okay with that.
HI, I’m Mik! I just ordered my RTT from Roofnest. It is shipping out today-YAY!! Reading the comments I was wondering if I would be a tent or an RV and if anyone had any problems getting into the RV parks. Any other RTT in the South/Gulf area? I will be making short trips on the weekends to MS, AL, LA, FL and thinking birds of a feather flock together. Happy tenting!
I use rails on my truck along with a hard shell Bed cover to protect our camping equipment from dust and sticky fingers. I liked the bed racks, but many of those cant be used with tri fold toneau covers.
Just outfitted the tundra with a rooftop and had our first outing. We have a travel trailer but I thought this would be more fun for short trips and to adventure out a little. First trip was good but need better sleeping bags :-). We have 4 of us and a dog. Wife and kids sleep in the roof top and I slept underneath in the bed ans the dog has probably the best spot in the back seat of the truck. Have a deep cycle battery and solar panel to keep what small electronics going that I need.
I bought Tongtu Rooftop Tents, fold-out style in 2019. At that time, it was because my career suffered a setback and I wanted to go to nature to relax. Its high cost performance may also give me a happy mood. The mattress is about 6cm thick and I added a blanket myself. There were also heavy rainstorms during that period, but the tent was stable. The experience of that time is unforgettable for me. I think I should live a good life!