Low roof top tent

G'day gyus,

I am trying to figure out sleeping options when camping. I am considering purchasing a 120 Prado and would love to fit it with a roof top tent.

Only problem is that I live in an apartment building and the garage has a height restriction of 2.05m. Prado is about 1.85m and all the RTTs I've looked at are at least 0.3m when folded up, most likely more with some sort of roof rack.

Is anyone aware of a super slim RTT? I've looked at the different styles (soft and hard shell) and all the well known brands (Roo Systems, Tigerz11, Howling Moon, Hannibal, ARB, Maggiolina etc.), but maybe there is some obscure brand that I'm not aware of which might fit my restrictions?

Note that taking off the RTT is not an option as I have nowhere to store it.

Ground tents are not an option either as girlfriend refuses to sleep in one due to bugs / security fears. I know it's irrational, but she won't consider it. Also, I'm planning frequent changes in locations, so a ground tent would be a PITA anyway...

Am I out of options?

Thanks to all who reply!

Cheers,

Dan
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 11:49

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 11:49
Dont forget to add the extra height of the roof rack the tent will be attached to.

My guess is you will do either two things that most of us do.
1. Park out side.
2. Dismantle roof tent when not touring.
AnswerID: 529998

Follow Up By: dan_and - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:36

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:36
Thanks, mate. Neither of these will be possible unfortunately.

Live in Southbank where parking outside is impossible. Also don't have storage space to dismantle.
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Reply By: Krooznalong - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 13:05

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 13:05
Sleeping in vehicle - false floor in back after removing seats. Probably your only option if you don't want to tow anything.

One other thought - that folded height would, I assume, include the mattress - whilst it's a PITA, would removing it and storing it in the unit when not required, get you low enough?

Or if you're game enough just tell the girlfriend to HTFU and put up with a ground tent!

AnswerID: 530008

Follow Up By: dan_and - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:41

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:41
Yeah, I was thinking about that. Not super handy with the tools myself but I've seen that the Drifta guys are quite creative when it comes to knocking up a storage / false floor solution to customer specs. Very reasonably priced too. Worried about length in the Prado though - I am 1.87m and need at least 2m flat surface to sleep comfortably...

Was also considering a Troopy - until I drove one, that is. It's just too big and truck-like to be my daily run-around in inner-city Melbourne. Also hardly fits into the parking space length-wise...

The RTT seemed to be the best compromise until I realised it's too high!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 07:00

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 07:00
We put a false floor in and used it a couple of times. But then we got a fridge! And then other stuff and to sleep in the car all that "other stuff" and fridge got in the way.

I see your dilemma.

Phil
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 16:01

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 16:01
Difficult - any reduction in height would probably mean a commensurate reduction in mattress thickness and comfort. Mind you - that can be compensated by self inflators.

Trying to remember my Open Sky - taking the mattress out would not gain you much as the pivot point is designed for a set mattress thickness. Worth a try though - you need to talk to 4wd camping ppl.

AnswerID: 530028

Follow Up By: dan_and - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:42

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:42
That's a good idea - I'll definitely double-check that. Thanks, Scott.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 16:14

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 16:14
Its already one of the most top heavy wagons we have Dan , no way would I add extra weight up there , sleeping inside the car as per Kroozalongs comment works well though.

While it takes more time to make the little bits needed to make a big flat floor it can be done without requiring a raised floor and at low cost.

There are real advantages to sleeping inside the car , even noise from other campers is significantly less and your inside a solid structure if an overhead branch comes down - list goes on and its really worth the effort.

Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 530032

Follow Up By: dan_and - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:49

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:49
Thanks, Robin. Yeah, I agree - sleeping in the car would be the best solution. The problem is there isn't really a vehicle that would allow me to do it comfortably I don't think.

Troopy is the only vehicle that has good length in the back, but is as utilitarian as they come (yet no doubt very capable). Very exxy also. If I only wanted to do one big trip around Oz, I'd definitely go the Troopy and sell it afterwards.

But I want a solution that allows me to go on spontaneous camping trips, can be my daily driver in the city and can do reasonable off-road driving (nothing crazy though - just beaches, dirt roads and easy tracks).

I thought 4WD + RTT was the best bet, but I hadn't considered the height until I actually looked at a few over the past days.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 21:13

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 21:13
I thought you were only thinking of a Prado Dan - but if your considering other cars then the Patrols in petrol are the way to go they can have more width and length than Prado and we have a double bed foam mattress 6" thick in ours.

They have more power, quieter with lower roof height lower floor height, probably the most capable car out there with twin live axles coils all round, dam side cheaper to maintain and buy 2nd hand and even consume that natural resoucre petrol @ 30% greater rate than the others.

Good luck with it !
Robin Miller

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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 17:09

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 17:09
All the RTT I have seen are around 300mm high plus roofrack. Probably the easiest option would be get a new girlfriend ;)
AnswerID: 530035

Follow Up By: Member - John - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 18:52

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 18:52
ROTFLMAO..................
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: dan_and - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:52

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:52
Haha. "Yeah, sorry babe, it's the ground tent or you, and I think the tent is winning".

That won't go down well...
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Reply By: mikehzz - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 19:37

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 19:37
No, you need a new car. You can mount a roof tent a bit lower on the back of a dual cab ute.
AnswerID: 530054

Follow Up By: dan_and - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:53

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:53
Hadn't considered that yet. I'll definitely check that. May well be the solution!
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Follow Up By: steved58 - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 23:44

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 23:44
I second that have seen many where the RTT is lower than the vehicle roofline also keeps the centre of balance of the vehicle lower for offroad work ie custom rack above the tray
Steve
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Reply By: rumpig - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:26

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:26
maybe look at James Baroud, i would think they are much lower then your standard RTT, though you might not like the price of them
AnswerID: 530062

Follow Up By: dan_and - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:54

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 20:54
Mate, I looked at them because I'd heard lots of good things about them. Unfortunately they are also too high in the back due to their aerodynamic shape. Good for fuel economy, bad for apartment dwellers...
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Reply By: 1533rl - Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 21:35

Monday, Apr 07, 2014 at 21:35
How about a mate in the suburbs ? Our RTT is actually stored in the shed , on its side the footprint is only 1200mm x 300mm so you don't need much space to store it.You will , of course, need your mate to help lift it onto the roof rack. Just a 15 minute job to tighten the bolts. Might just cost a few cartons at Christmas.
Cheers
Peter
AnswerID: 530078

Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 07:03

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 07:03
I was thinking the same but not have a reliable, strong body around to help to install and remove it from the car I had to gave that idea away. And I hope it works for you.

Phil
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Follow Up By: dan_and - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 09:52

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 09:52
Thanks, Peter.

I was already considering this, but I'm worried that it will restrict me too much in terms of when and how often I go out camping.

I agree it's feasible for a few trips per year, but I am hoping to go maybe once or twice a month.

Would be pretty painful getting it on and off that often, plus would always need to coordinate with my mate = not very spontaneous...

But I'll give it some more thought!
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Follow Up By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 10:00

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 10:00
It is possible to add a pulley system and then you won't need a friend.

I can move the whole tent around with a simple hand trolley. But you need a way of lifting it onto and off the car.

I did ask about a verandah or overhang to store it under as I have. The same verandah or overhang can be used together with a bunch of pulleys to lift the tent off and onto the roof rack. Then you wheel it into the garage with a hand trolley.

Once organised I would estimate 30 - 45 minutes to cover the whole process. I take 20 minutes to do either one.

Problem solved.

Phil
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FollowupID: 812959

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 07:04

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 07:04
I should have mentioned this beforew.

Is there a balcony or overhang outside the garage. You may be able to remove it (me 15 minutes) and hang it up under the balcony.

When you do your calculations again do it with the car as empty as you can. Even filling our two fuel tanks (215 lt) means I can go in to one of the local car parks.

Phil

Ours is about 280 in height. Two shots merged. Front and side. No pulleys. I just lift one corner at a time and hook the chain up.

AnswerID: 530089

Reply By: gke - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 09:41

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 09:41
Hi Dan,

Would this work? Reverse in , lift it as per Phill's suggestion and then drive in normally so the RTT is suspended above the bonnet.

Cheers, Graham.
AnswerID: 530096

Reply By: dan_and - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 09:48

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 09:48
Hi Graham, Phil,

Thanks very much for your ideas. Looks like a great solution, but unfortunately this won't be feasible for me.

I live in a high-rise apartment building in Southbank, and my parking space is in a multi-storey garage...

Thanks anyway,

Dan
AnswerID: 530097

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 11:29

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2014 at 11:29
The only other long shot idea I can think of would be something like a boat loader where you can pivot it behind the vehicle and swing it back up and lock when you go out - a lot of pfaffing around though ... but the only other option would as someone said - look for a Ute tray or dual cab and mount it lower....
AnswerID: 530103

Reply By: nickb - Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 02:15

Sunday, Apr 13, 2014 at 02:15
Just another idea, what about a swag on a stretcher? They make double swags, I assume you could get or modify a stretcher to suit.

This may take up as much storage room as a RTT though.
AnswerID: 530440

Follow Up By: Sam W5 - Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:03

Friday, Apr 25, 2014 at 20:03
hey mate, check out kulkyne.
http://www.kulkyne.com/au/Homestead-Swag-Twin.html
say this would be you're best option, with out buying a daul cab
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Reply By: graemejoa - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 10:46

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 10:46
Looks to me like your only practical option is on the ground despite the girlfriend. Check out a Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow tent ( wife and I have one. They are really neat, easy to put up and packs away into a couple of bags).

Get one of those Qztrail or Wanderer "Anywhere Beds" ((basically a blow up mattress attached to a fold up stretcher, even the queen size packs down to practically nothing and takes a minute or so to put back up). The girlfriend is off the ground, the tent will keep the bugs away and the whole thing should take about 15 minutes to put together.
Cheers
AnswerID: 531638

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