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Thread: Roof Top Tents

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  1. #1
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    Roof Top Tents

    I have been wanting a Roof Top Tent since I first seen one. Of course the downside is cost. Some of these can cost a few thousand dollars. Granted, those are extremely nice. Then there is the issue of the VX itself, it is very small. Finding a Roof Top Tent that is small enough to fit well, and large enough to be practical for two people has been a challenge. Even that is an understatement as I have yet to find one. I know others have done it with a “normal” Roof Top Tent, but it looks massive on top of the VX, and my fuel mileage sucks enough as it is.

    I considered going the DIY route for a while, but I really just don’t want to. I can sew (mostly), and I am handy with tools, but I do not think I could get the build quality were I would like it to be. Repairing a tear is different than fabricating. I know that with my skill level with a sewing machine that it would definitely look DIY. Maybe even look (and may even function) like crap. I could spend the time to learn, but with work, collage, maintaining my house, and just maintaining the VX, I really don’t have a lot of time to start new projects. This is especially true of projects that will require me to learn new skills as I work. I did figure out that a DIY Roof Top Tent would cost me anywhere from $200 to $700 in materials. There is a mountain of fabric choices, and I am too inexperienced to know where to start, and my budget can’t afford trial and error on a project that is more of a want than a need. I do have a good ground tent that I use, and I am mostly happy with.

    Then I found this: https://www.amazon.com/Kamp-Rite-Dou.../dp/B0757BKRWL

    The Kamp Rite Double Cot Tent. I have a found a 4 part YouTube series of one guy in Alaska who just put the single version on his roof rack. I was intrigued, so I looked up the Cot Tent on Amazon and if I mount it sideways (the two ends unfold off the sides of the VX), it should fit quite well. Of course to keep it up there I will need to find a way to mount it, reinforce the overhangs, find a sturdy cover for it, and am I sure there will be other unplanned for issues.

    But I like the idea, and it would give me a starting point. It is simple, sturdy(ish) and seemingly comfortable enough. I am considering ordering one to try it out. Who knows, I may just keep it as a ground unit if it turns out not to be a good idea. Then again, it may just be the perfect Roof Top Tent for a VX. Now to get it into the budget, Christmas was brutal on that front.
    --------
    VX Status: Running Great! Build is coming along nicely...

  2. #2
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    The tubular frame should make the mounting easy. On the extentions that go over the roof lines you can use some expandable poles, like what they use for survey equipment or there are some aluminim ones that are used for extension poles for cleaning brushes and such. In my opinion they don't have to be heavy because the weight distribution will be mostly on the roof top area. They are really for support. By using expandable ones you'll be able to level things out also. Perhaps something like this at each corner...https://www.amazon.com/Longarm-9248-...xpandable+pole
    Live, Love, Forgive and Never Give Up

  3. #3
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    I like the extension pole idea. Thanks

    I went ahead and ordered one of tents. I am hoping to get out and use it by the end of January, maybe early February. Once I have one in hand I will have a better idea of what I can do with it.

  4. #4
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    You'll likely want to find a easy way to mount a ladder as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mile High VX View Post
    You'll likely want to find a easy way to mount a ladder as well.
    Yes, a ladder would be a requirement. I am not as spry as I used to be Even if I keep it on the ground, it will still be an upgrade from my current tent. It will also mean ditching the roof basket I currently have up there. It should be in around the 10th. Hopefully I can figure something out.

  6. #6
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    Hey Thelgord,

    I looked into this a couple of years ago, so far only made a stand-up tent tunnel that hooks to the rear of my VX to a stand-alone tent. But others did different. check out this thread...

    Thread: anyone ever mod their VX for camping?

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to disasterlady For This Useful Post:

    Thelgord (12/31/2018)

  8. #7
    Member Since
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    I got the tent a couple of days ago, and finally got around to opening it up. I set it up in my living room to test it.

    First impressions: VERY well built, and strong. It holds both me and my wife fine, though the bar down the center is looking to becoming annoying. I will need a fix for that. It is very roomy with the top propped up with the flex poles. Even with both of us inside it didn't feel cramped, and we are not exactly small people. Not overly large, but not petite. Folded and in its carry bag, it is large. Much larger than I expected it to be. I can still fit it in the back of the VX since I don't have the rear seat in anymore. But it is quite large, though not that heavy for its size. 45-50 lbs?

    Planned mods: (Haven't even taken it camping yet and here I go )

    * Need to sort out the center bar issue. It's not a problem for sleeping, but it does make cuddling uncomfortable. Maybe a sheet of plywood between the frame and cloth? This doesn't seem too hard to solve, but I need to look more in to it.
    * Need to come up with a way to mount it to the roof bars. This one should be easy, or at least not very difficult.
    * Need a ladder. This is a must.
    * Need to make a PVC cover for when it mounted on top of the VX. This actually isn't that hard with a heat gun and some time.
    * I would like to find a way to reinforce the fold out portions. When folded out, the legs take most of the load, though the frame does "Stop" it from over extending. However I am not confident the frame alone will hold if it is suspended off the ground with no support from underneath and I am sitting in the opening.

    Size wise, it is a perfect fit the VX as an RTT. With some upgrades/modifications, I am hopeful it will work out well.

    [EDIT]
    I wonder I could LED light strips in it if I got power to he roof?
    [/EDIT]
    Last edited by Thelgord : 01/12/2019 at 10:20 PM

  9. #8
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    Power to the roof is pretty easy. Anyone that has lights on their roof baskets has done that. Mine is hooked up with a powerline running up the A-pillar on the passenger side so I didn't have to put any holes in the VX anywhere. You'll want a way to have a disconnect so you can easily take down what you put up. This is a pending project for me as well since right now I can't remove my roof basket because there is no way to easily disconnect the power to the LED bar. My plan is to install a waterproof connector that can be unhooked. I'll use some black industrial Velcro to create an attachment point along the roof rail for the wire when it's not connected. This will keep it from just flopping around on the roof when the basket is removed and keep me from having to install and uninstall the wiring all of the time.

    The LED lighting is a great idea. You could also use an inverter to have AC power if your battery would hold up.

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