hard top roof top tent

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 21:09
ThreadID: 104856 Views:3739 Replies:1 FollowUps:1
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Hi all, I have plans to build a roof top tent similar to a James Baraud RTT. It has an aluminium angle frame with aluminium sheet on top and canvas sides. The bottom frame will be 50 x 50 angle and the top frame probably 100 x 50 so as it sits over the lower frame and seals onto the roof rack decking (13mm ply). I was then going to fit 2 scissor lifts (similar to those used on pop-top caravans) with 1mtr of lift. The whole thing worked on the premise that the upper track of the SL faced inwards and attached to the INSIDE of the top frame while the lower track faced outward and attached to the OUTSIDE of the lower frame. I've now discovered that although I can buy SLs with enough lift, their tracks face the SAME way. This has necessitated a design change which is going to make building the thing very difficult and dodgy.
1. Has anyone heard of SLs with opposing tracks? Who sells them?
2. I've considered buying the SLs and reversing one track and its rollers but would this work? Has anyone ever done this?
3. Some people say I need a third SL on the end. Other people tell me only the 2 side ones are necessary. What do you think?
4. I've also considered gas struts but think the roof would sway around when perched high on top of 4 ball joint mounted struts?
5. I'm not interested in the roof style where only 1 end is lifted nor in using air lifters.
6. Has anyone built one of these things? Can anyone give me any tips?
I've come this far and enjoy a challenge, but this problem with the guides/tracks on the scissor lifts has thrown me for a six. I'm hoping someone can help or come up with with a clever linkage lifting mechanism. Many thanks, DJ.
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 21:24

Thursday, Oct 24, 2013 at 21:24
"4. I've also considered gas struts but think the roof would sway around when perched high on top of 4 ball joint mounted struts?"

Doesn't seem to effect the James Baroud non clam shell tents. Have another look at how they do it I suggest.

The other option is to look at the Maggiolina scissor legs on a rolling bevel, however suspect this would be rather complicated for a DIY set-up. I have a Maggi and it works well, however it's flipping complicated. The scissor is internal and you have to be careful with the tent canvas when folding it down. An external system would make packing away easier.

Personally if I was building one from scratch (and I have thought about it), I'd use external gas structs.
AnswerID: 520300

Follow Up By: Iain M - Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:16

Friday, Oct 25, 2013 at 07:16
The Baroud is supported by struts in each corner, they use fairly powerful units. They rate their RTT at 120kph when erected. There is a YouTube of a car being driven with the thing up on its roof, guess it proved the point!
The struts operate on a pivoted steel support inside the RTT that bend like a knee, once up the canvas is taught and holds it all in shape.
Mine is up in just over a minute, very convenient.
FollowupID: 800749

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