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  #1  
Old April 21st, 2014, 09:09 AM
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Joe
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Best roof top tents

Hi all

I want to buy a roof tent for my 130. One of the most important things to me is being able to take in on and off the roof as easily as possible and with as few people needed to do this.

Any advice, words of wisdom or warnings would be great.

Thank you!
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  #2  
Old April 21st, 2014, 09:12 AM
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Rick Newman
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I have an ARB. Have been moving it from a Disco, to a trailer, to the 110 with my loader on my tractor. I have done it with another person bit it does get a bit akward. I am thinking any of them are "heavy" and tend to slide around on the rack while moving them about. I have seen a couple of guys that have a pulley system mounted in the garage for removal. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old April 21st, 2014, 09:14 AM
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Chris
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If your garage is tall enough to drive into, design a pulley system so you can just lift it on and off.
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  #4  
Old April 21st, 2014, 09:40 AM
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I had a frontrunner rack with an arb on it and it took 4 people to put it on the 130. 2 on ea side to pick the combination up and walk it over the front of the truck and set it on the rain gutters. The rack/tent combo easily weighs 200+ pounds. The rtt's typically mount very securely to the racks so its often less hassle to remove as a complete unit rather than fight unbolting the tent and then risk touching the truck with the exposed metal mounts as you remove the tent. Just my .02. A lift/pulley system would make the job a joy.
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  #5  
Old April 21st, 2014, 10:18 AM
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RTT are overrated... GTT are the new black.


Anywhoo... You can move them with (2) guys.
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  #6  
Old April 21st, 2014, 01:41 PM
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How would you attach the arb tent to the 130 roof?

------ Follow up post added April 21st, 2014 01:42 PM ------

How would you attach the tent to the 130 roof? Do you need a rack?
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  #7  
Old April 21st, 2014, 02:05 PM
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Yes...you will need a rack. I have a Brownchurch on my 110 and with some slight modification it works great. If you do it right, you can change how it opens...as in which side or the back. Same goes for my SD rack on the Disco.
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97 Disco SD "Emma" (250k and going strong)
95 P38 "Gus" RIP
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  #8  
Old April 21st, 2014, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDI Guy View Post
How would you attach the arb tent to the 130 roof?

------ Follow up post added April 21st, 2014 01:42 PM ------

How would you attach the tent to the 130 roof? Do you need a rack?
No you don't need a rack…

Two cross bars are sufficient for a roof tent in moderate use.

This is where my bias comes out as I am a foul weather camper (headed out to camp in the rainforest again this week…) and I've got a 130.

There are two tent options I would consider myself - full disclosure we (Defenders Northwest) are Autohome dealers because I personally wanted a better solution for my own use and found them to be the best option available - with quality to match.

My first choice would be an over bed mounted Maggiolina Airtop where the leading edge of tent front is just below roof line and the overall height is the same as a frontrunner or G4 type roof rack. This would not add to the overall height and would allow storage in the truck bed - modified hood and stick set could still fit under the tent for covered storage. Gas struts for easy open/close access on three sides with standing on the tailgate being enough to easily reach into the tent.

Second choice (the one I've used on my own truck) Autohome Airland mounted with two Frontrunner crossbars and feet - two side entries, lowest profile, crank open/close, and it can extend over the bed or the front of the cab unlike the Airtop.

Use a hoist system to store/install the tents as the combination of height and weight makes taking them on and off a chore without 4-tall adults.
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  #9  
Old April 21st, 2014, 03:33 PM
The Dro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mybluett View Post
Two cross bars are sufficient for a roof tent in moderate use.
X2

A Thule rack will hold. I've been using those for years without issues.

The High Feet will work on Series, DI, DII and D110.

The Thule Part No is 953.

http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/produc...ack-953-_-1089
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  #10  
Old April 21st, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dro View Post
X2

A Thule rack will hold. I've been using those for years without issues.

The High Feet will work on Series, DI, DII and D110.

The Thule Part No is 953.

http://www.thule.com/en-us/us/produc...ack-953-_-1089
using ?
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  #11  
Old April 21st, 2014, 04:52 PM
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John B.
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There are also the Manbo roof bars to consider: http://www.boab.biz/acatalog/Maggiol...cessories.html
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  #12  
Old April 21st, 2014, 05:11 PM
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How you support/mount one depends a great deal on which tent you buy. Some are cheaply made from light weight nylon and weight significantly less than the heavier more durable models. These tents tend to last longer the better you support them. The Autohome stuff is pretty much the ultimate and are lighter because they use a grp hard shell. The Howling Moon, Eezi Awn, Arb Simpson are all thick canvas tents and are significantly heavier. The ARB weighs in @ 175lbs by itself so picking that up and putting it on a 6 foot 8 or taller truck is no small feat. The weight of the tent alone exceeds Thule's max recommended load for their rectangular bar rack system, this before a couple adults climb into the tent. Like Newman, the last few times we moved mine it was with a fork lift. The cheap nylon tents are fairly light and easily moved on and off. You asked what is the best, you should look @ the different tents mentioned and see what appeals to you.

http://www.autohomeus.com/ (read here but buy from Brian)

http://www.eeziawn.com/eeziawn/legen...of_africa.html

http://www.bundugear.com/index.html (US Howling Moon Importer)

http://store.arbusa.com/ARB-Series-I...201-P3658.aspx ( not saying its one of the best, Its basically a Howling Moon/Eezi Awn knock off. ARB USA's customer service has been awesome when I have called with a need)
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  #13  
Old April 21st, 2014, 05:11 PM
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Jeff Payne
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Are the mounting rails on the bottom of RTTs a standard distance apart? I just wonder how universal a set of bars or a rack can be
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  #14  
Old April 22nd, 2014, 06:19 PM
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Rick Newman
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The ARB directions give a standard width that the rails are to be mounted. If your rack has rails that run lf to rt and fwd to back, the sliding bolts pretty much will adapt to anything.
My trailer has rails that run rt to lf...and that limits the tent opening to the rear. Personally I like it that way. Your set up isnt as "wide" as we found at VOT. There we had the tent opening to the pass side, and an awning on the drivers side. You gotta have some space to set it up that way. Also when opening to the back, when you attach the room, you have access to the back door thru the room.
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06 L322 Range Rover "The Black Pearl"
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97 Disco SD "Emma" (250k and going strong)
95 P38 "Gus" RIP
99 P38 Callaway Edition #106 RIP
85 Defender 110 2.5NA "Margret"
01 D2 SE7 "Cuzn It" (blown up POS)
03 D2 SE "Fred"
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  #15  
Old April 23rd, 2014, 05:43 PM
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Great post - and right on the money.

Consider the tent a camping accessory and not a vehicle specific accessory and the perspective shifts a little.

Consider the intended use and duration of use carefully. Safari style tents are unbeatable in warm weather and camp-site use. The reason we are an Autohome dealer is because it rains a lot here and we camp when we need to regardless of the weather. If you are a fair-weather camper or live and camp in a warm dry places then a fold out type (African or Aussie type) tent is the most space for your money. If you are the type who goes out whatever the weather or intend to use it when traveling (IE extended travels, single nights in a location, urban/roadside sleeping) then the hard shells have a serious advantage in use - and a higher price tag to match. A RTT should be the only thing on the roof if possible as the weight is manageable in driving, and you don't want to have to load and unload the roof every time you stop.

We are linked on the Autohome USA website under the dealer list and offer a discount for D-90 source members - also have ARB items but do not advertise them as we prefer the Maggiolina tents for our customers and ourselves. Hard to swallow the buy-in price, but you can use the tent for 5 years and then sell it for half of what you paid for it. Sierra Designs had a great ad-campaign many years ago when I was an instructor for REI - a slogan that was funny and true at the same time - "Sleep Better, Perform Better"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
How you support/mount one depends a great deal on which tent you buy. Some are cheaply made from light weight nylon and weight significantly less than the heavier more durable models. These tents tend to last longer the better you support them. The Autohome stuff is pretty much the ultimate and are lighter because they use a grp hard shell. The Howling Moon, Eezi Awn, Arb Simpson are all thick canvas tents and are significantly heavier. The ARB weighs in @ 175lbs by itself so picking that up and putting it on a 6 foot 8 or taller truck is no small feat. The weight of the tent alone exceeds Thule's max recommended load for their rectangular bar rack system, this before a couple adults climb into the tent. Like Newman, the last few times we moved mine it was with a fork lift. The cheap nylon tents are fairly light and easily moved on and off. You asked what is the best, you should look @ the different tents mentioned and see what appeals to you.

http://www.autohomeus.com/ (read here but buy from Brian)

http://www.eeziawn.com/eeziawn/legen...of_africa.html

http://www.bundugear.com/index.html (US Howling Moon Importer)

http://store.arbusa.com/ARB-Series-I...201-P3658.aspx ( not saying its one of the best, Its basically a Howling Moon/Eezi Awn knock off. ARB USA's customer service has been awesome when I have called with a need)
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  #16  
Old May 2nd, 2014, 05:54 AM
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I have the Maggiolina by Autohome. It really is like having your own adult treehouse. Wife, babe,and I sleep comfortably. We got the Maggiolina Grand Tour (Large). I'm 74" and I can stretch out just fine. Here's a pic of it on the roof (closed). I can add one of it open later.
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  #17  
Old May 2nd, 2014, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mightymo View Post
I have the Maggiolina by Autohome. It really is like having your own adult treehouse. Wife, babe,and I sleep comfortably. We got the Maggiolina Grand Tour (Large). I'm 74" and I can stretch out just fine. Here's a pic of it on the roof (closed). I can add one of it open later.

Here's one of the tent opened.
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  #18  
Old May 2nd, 2014, 09:16 AM
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Chris Davis
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Eventually we want a RRT (or TTT), but the price makes me gag. I am seriously considering trying one from Alibaba-- either individually or a group buy for 10 with some like minded individuals (probably all in the same area that would want to take a swing of the bat...). Others have used them with pretty good success-- and the pricing is digestible. I'm not implying that quality is or isn't there. And I'm not discounting the service, support, and catering the all the above companies give. And it is a roll of the dice in terms of warranty, longevity, and quality.

But I'm a handy guy-- as many of you are too, with fab skills and a mechanically oriented mind so I am at least considering it and gonna check on freight. Figure if base quality is close, I can modify things. I have seen what appears to be interesting models in the $300 range, plus freight/duties. Has anyone here tried one?

I have seen other products first hand (such as carbon mountain bike rims) and have been impressed. But I'm weary as anyone. More of a curiosity at this point-- I need to build a trailer first...
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 09:48 AM
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EDIT: after reading more about the issues of "knocking off" and quality control, I am less interested. True that many of these good makes (listed above) come from China, but they seem to have a lot more QC presence. Didn't know there was such a flood of these products even through eBay... There is definitely a price I'd pay for known quality/warranty.
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  #20  
Old May 3rd, 2014, 08:46 AM
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Rick Newman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymo View Post
Here's one of the tent opened.
That looks great Matt. Jack W has one of these on his 90 and loves it. Either way you go with the RTT option, its still a hell of a lot better than sleeping on the ground....I am so done with that nonsense.
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97 Disco SD "Emma" (250k and going strong)
95 P38 "Gus" RIP
99 P38 Callaway Edition #106 RIP
85 Defender 110 2.5NA "Margret"
01 D2 SE7 "Cuzn It" (blown up POS)
03 D2 SE "Fred"
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