put regular tent on roof?

#1
Being that most of my camping is done in the open Arizona desert, I'm not wild about a tent on the ground accessible to the various critters (snakes, scorpions, etc). I've been considering a RTT, but dang it, those buggers are pricey. Although I realize it will be kinda "redneck"...would it be a horrible idea to build up something like a folding plywood platform on top of my truck bed then put a regular tent on it? I realize it will likely be more of a PITA to set up and take down, though I was thinking I could minimize that pain with one of the pop-up/instant tents, then secure it down with eye bolts or similar.

I had also considered a truck bed tent, but my truck won't be my only vehicle I take camping, and I was thinking this would be a somewhat decent way to avoid having to buy two tents.
 

java

Expedition Leader
#3
I have seen exactly that done. Flat roof rack wiht a standard tent on it. Set the tent up on the ground, then put it up there...
 

flyingwil

Supporting Sponsor - Sierra Expeditions
#5
There is nothing wrong with that. I have seen several tent cots on roof rack, and as you mentioned ground tents. In talking with people that do so say it's cumbersome to set up, but if you're camping in rocky terrain or something where it hard to set up on the ground why not?
 
#6
who cares whats "redneck". I say do it, learn from it, improve it if you need to. hell, manufacture an affordable rtt for the masses
Heh...as someone who used to work in the fabrication business..I know full well that while it might seem like a great idea to "manufacture an affordable XXX for the masses", the reality is that it's often hard to do so and still make a quality product. Seemed far more often than not, the materials alone cost me more than a completed product could be bought for off the shelf.

Being in the desert, don't forget to factor in any wind you might get. Make sure that puppy is strapped down.
Of course. That's why I was thinking the instant tent style might be beneficial, as I'm thinking I wouldn't need to pull guy lines down, and would keep the footprint relatively small. I'm going to go browsing new tents this weekend to see what's available out there.
 
#8
I like the idea(s) - go for it! Every time I see a Maggiolina (I think of it as the Rolls Royce of RTTs) I think, "there's got to be a way to make something like that for a lot less than $3,000 (or whatever it costs).
 
#10
Although I realize it will be kinda "redneck"...would it be a horrible idea to build up something like a folding plywood platform on top of my truck bed then put a regular tent on it?
This has been my question ever since I started seeing the roof-top tents on this site. I'm too cheap to spend that kind of cash... especially since it wouldn't get a lot of use since I have a pickup camper and motorhome already parked in my shop.
 
#12
As is so common, life got in the way, and this got pushed off the stove for a while.... largely due to engine issues with my Scout, and the time it's taking to do an EFI motor swap (going from a carb'd Gen 1 SBC to EFI LT1).

The double tent cot was actuality one of my first ideas, but I'm thinking it might be a bit big to pack in. I'll have to do some measurements once the cage and the rest of the equipment goes in. Though it would be incredibly convenient to avoid having to modify the cage to handle a platform for the tent that would also fit under the hardtop... just plop the sucker on the ground and avoid all this hassle if I take the Scout instead of the truck, lol
 
#13
image.jpg Camp rite tent cot, double. One downside of this tent is my lady likes to cuddle and there is a bar the runs the length of the center, as well we have to tarp it up for inclimate weather. It's a great option as for the bang for the buck factor, in my application the legs fit well into my roof rack and I just bungee them to the rack bars. I also have an rear access ladder and a 2 ft by 4 ft piece of plywood that serves as a porch/floor which helps for getting in and out. For transport it is large with the frame, ie doesn't fit inside vehicle, also it tri folds up and won't close with bedding or pillows so everything stores separately. Also to transport on the roof it will need a cover as the material won't hold up to highway winds long either.

So my opinion, if your on a budget and need to be off the ground its a good option but does pack allot of inconveniences unless you have a pickup bed to transport.
 
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#14
Why not just go with a camper shell? Not to be a downer, but its a lot less complicated and probably cheaper in the long run. If you can't find one, well, you're already talking about making a plywood platform, so I assume you can build a box on your bed and customize it how you want it.

However, if you're dead set on a redneck RTT, then start with a tent you like and build around it. Then build a case around it that folds it up into a single closed package. The example I'm thinking of is a simple pup-tent with two fiberglass pole supports. Lay it out on a piece of plywood that folds at the center of the tent and hinges at the furthest outside edge of the folded point. Secure the bottom of the tent to the plywood however you feel you should. That way, all you need to deploy it is unfold the plywood and slip in the fiberglass poles. If you want a bit more complex, make the fold a double hinge and add sides so it forms a case or box and then you can the store bedding, pads and pillows inside it when it closed up.

Just my 2 cents.
 

Co-opski

Expedition Leader
#15
I like the idea(s) - go for it! Every time I see a Maggiolina (I think of it as the Rolls Royce of RTTs) I think, "there's got to be a way to make something like that for a lot less than $3,000 (or whatever it costs).
Large 48 gallon Action Packer $39, heat gun to mold plastic $19, roll of Tyvek sheet $31, u-bolts $4 = Get-r-Dun RTT $93
 
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