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Old 03-24-2018, 12:16 PM
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Roof top tent question

Hello all,

We have a 1995 Wrangler two door Sahara and are interested in a roof top tent. I currently have a soft and a hard top for the jeep. I am looking at tents from Tepui, treeline, Tuff stuff, and Smittybilt. I am looking at price and quality but if any of you have experience with any roof top tents please let me know what you think. Next on the agenda is an exterior rack/cage(?) for support of the roof top. I'm looking for options and advice so if any of you have ideas please let me know. Thanks👍🏻

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Old 03-24-2018, 08:43 PM   #2
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Subscribed. Although I'm not sure you need a hardtop because I think it mounts to a roof rack as your base. I'm a newb though. Here for interest in same thing

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Old 03-25-2018, 12:30 PM   #3
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Well this does not address your question but...

I have been kicking this idea around myself. However for cost and versatility I think the ultra light camping trailers are a better bang for your buck.
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:17 PM   #4
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Some of the tents (if not all?) Mount to your cage sans top or the roof rack w/top (but iirc it needs to hold 500lbs or more.) .So it may be necessary to have a family roll bar vs the sport bar -top or a rack.
If you have a 4x4 store near your place (like a 4 wheel parts) they may have 1 on display? I was looking at 1 on display at my local 4 wheel parts.
But I'm sure someone will chime in with info, they usually do
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:29 PM   #5
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What is nice with a YJ soft top, is that a cage rack, still allow you to take the top down w/o flipping the rack up.

I used to have a rack on my YJ, used it for ski box and sea kayaks, but the jeep became a trail rig and I decided to use my off road /utility trailer for RTT and kayaks. So I sold the rack.
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Old 03-29-2018, 07:30 PM   #6
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I think if were to contemplate this I would go with a Garvin rack & Air Top tent

But the joys of installing it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfz2tCDD3XI
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Old 04-01-2018, 10:41 AM   #7
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The Garvin rack is a very easy install. Measure twice drill once...ask me how I know..

I actually had my Garvin rack lowered almost a full two inches from its factory height. I run a frameless soft top or the hard top. I would assume there would be a conflict with a super top because of the lowered height.
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:02 PM
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I called Garvin. They were right on it with some suggestions and I really like the way their product easily tilts downward for removal of a top or such. They were a little more pricey but I like MIA.

the airtop tent - WOW out the box expensive.

Right now I am looking at the Garvin with the possibility of a smittybuilt tent. I have also looked at the smittybuilt rack with tent.....
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:58 PM   #9
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Smittybilt on my rig, tent & rack. I can't complain, both work with no rust or problems.



Camping with some hippy friends & their van in Moab
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:45 PM   #10
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Smittybilt on my rig, tent & rack. I can't complain, both work with no rust or problems.



Camping with some hippy friends & their van in Moab
This is the exact example that made me think about going with a trailer. So there you are in Moab and you want to go wheeling. You have to take down camp and haul the damn thing with. Then when you're done wheeling you have to set back up. I can see it being a slight pain to haul around Moab but what if you are up north and run into some mud?? Now there is mud all over your tent. Or if you go through trees......
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Old 04-03-2018, 01:09 PM   #11
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This is the exact example that made me think about going with a trailer. So there you are in Moab and you want to go wheeling. You have to take down camp and haul the damn thing with. Then when you're done wheeling you have to set back up. I can see it being a slight pain to haul around Moab but what if you are up north and run into some mud?? Now there is mud all over your tent. Or if you go through trees......
Never heard of Overlanding, have you?

There I was, Saturday morning in Moab, I wanted to go wheeling so I took it all down, did Fins & Things, then found another camp spot (better) and set up camp again.

It's literally 5 minutes to set up and take down...don't be so lazy.

For the 4 of us, this has been perfect.

Head out Friday night, find a spot on a trail, bed down for the night, wake up & break camp, go wherever we want to go (wheeling, shooting, or just chill all day) then drop camp where we land Saturday night, wake up Sunday and do it all again ending up at home Sunday night (usually).


That said, this setup has saved our lives. Can't say that for a trailer.


Snow wasn't expected, nor was breaking the sector shaft of the steering box. We had to spend the night on the trail.

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Old 04-03-2018, 02:54 PM   #12
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Never heard of Overlanding, have you?

There I was, Saturday morning in Moab, I wanted to go wheeling so I took it all down, did Fins & Things, then found another camp spot (better) and set up camp again.

It's literally 5 minutes to set up and take down...don't be so lazy.

For the 4 of us, this has been perfect.

Head out Friday night, find a spot on a trail, bed down for the night, wake up & break camp, go wherever we want to go (wheeling, shooting, or just chill all day) then drop camp where we land Saturday night, wake up Sunday and do it all again ending up at home Sunday night (usually).

But if you are planning on overlanding you could just as easily bring the trailer with you also. All the benefits non of the draw backs. Plus you could use a trailer behind a different vehicle. I am certainly not saying I am right (I have never owned a roof top tent or an ultra light trailer) but I think its a good discussion and will hopefully help others decide.
That said, this setup has saved our lives. Can't say that for a trailer.


Snow wasn't expected, nor was breaking the sector shaft of the steering box. We had to spend the night on the trail.

If you were planning on overlanding, you could certainly bring the trailer with. Also if you want to go with a different vehicle you could. I would also think fuel economy would be significantly better with a trailer.

I am not convinced a trailer is perfect or better for everyone(I have never owned a roof top tent or an ultra light camping trailer) I think the discussion is good and should help others decide also. Hell I might even change my mind before I buy one..
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Old 04-04-2018, 12:20 AM   #13
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Tepui tents are great and some are priced fairly well when they have a sale. They have a great design for the stairs that they use for the tents. Personally I would go with the Smittybilt, they have made some improvements to the design and can be found at a very reasonable price when they are on sale as well. Although they do lack in quality and the stairs aren't as great as other companies. I also really like Yakima's Skyrise tents, they have a great design for mounting onto their racks. They have allow you to lock it to the towers and make it easy for you to put on the tent as well as take it off.

As far as mounting on a hardtop or rack, I personally use a roof top tent on my truck's topper with a sliding roof rack system and it holds the weight well. I've seen other guys run the tent on a sliding roof rack on their hard tops and looks the best in my opinion. The tent really don't weigh that much, just depends on how many people you plan on having in the tent. If its just one person then you should be fine.

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