roof top tent or oz tent with a fox wing awing

Hubby and I are planning our first big off road trip up to Broome via Alice Springs up the Tanami Track and then the Gibb River Road into Broome. Just after some advice from experienced travellers on what is better, roof top tent with a rear awning or oz tent with a fox wing? We have a patrol so if we do a roof top tent we will have it opening down the passenger side of the vehicle.

Thanks for any advice in advance :)

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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 22:03

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 22:03
Fox wing awnings are awesome until you have to pack them up. I had a mate who purchased one and got rid of it straight after a week long trip.

Most set up the RTT folding out back over the rear and have a side awning.
AnswerID: 537032

Reply By: Jackolux - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 22:10

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 22:10
We have both Rooftop and Oz tent , we use the RTT the most but there is pro's and con's for both .

If you want to camp in the same place for more than one night its a pain to have to pack up the RTT everyday to use the vehicle that's where the Oz tent is handy

It really is a difficult question you will probably get as many saying RTT as others saying Oztent

Regards Jacko
AnswerID: 537033

Reply By: Been-Everywhereman - Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 22:32

Saturday, Aug 02, 2014 at 22:32
We have both also, and exactly like the last person said,,,,,,,,,,,, what sort of trip are you doing?.... If you are fishing and camping right next to croc infested waters then the rooftop if the best............. If you are simply following the route you mentioned the an oztent is best.....Nothing worse than doing a daytrip and having to pack up only to find someone in your campspot when you return later on and burning your firewood. hahahaha.... In my opinion ...
AnswerID: 537037

Reply By: 489 - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:22

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:22
We have a rtt and spent many weeks travelling with it. Also we have a side awing with walls should we decide to stay longer. The only problem you will find is that once you have set up camp, it's very difficult to go anywhere without packing up again. Once the cook and I decide to stop for the night , that's is it. Beer o clock with nibble, drag out the camera gear and set up for night shoots Garry/Judy
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Reply By: Freshstart - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:34

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:34
Another RTT here. Ours is the full Hannibal tourer with fully enclosed (with waterproof attached floor) annex that extends out over the rear 100 series tailgate. This gives a good enclosed area for cooking etc using the tailgate as the kitchen bench. We also have a couple of tents which we take for grand kids or let the kids sleep in the annex.

We can, without rushing pack, up and drive away in 20 minutes. If we want to comeback there we set up the cheaper tent and "come back" to it. Remember the more you set up (extra comforts etc) the more you have to pack up. Also we tend to be on the move each day and rarely return to the same spot.

I don't like the idea of the foxwing in any breeze and it wouldn't suit our RTT with the RTT opening over the rear of the cruiser.

AnswerID: 537054

Reply By: Phil P - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:48

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 07:48

I recently went through a similar decision process, my advice to you would be to spend time at a RTT dealer (we went to ARB and a James Baroud agent) and to climb in and out of it several times.

I was ok with it, but it's not very "lady" friendly when getting out of it and you really need to be careful.

I also found that the type of ladder makes a difference to getting in and out with bare feet. Some of them were quite uncomfortable on your feet.

What I also found was that if one of you need to frequent the toilet more often in the night, they should be sleeping on the side that has the ladder to save climbing over the other person (assuming you have a side mounted ladder).

I ended up with a touring tent and side mounted ARB awning.

Phil P
AnswerID: 537056

Follow Up By: Freshstart - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:37

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:37
A good point about the loo and the ladder, Phil. Our 1.6M wide Hannibal has the ladder at the end, so no one climbs over anyone. ie the head or foot of the bed depending on your preference or the lay of the land.
FollowupID: 821303

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 08:22

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 08:22

Well we dont have either, just a simple tent affair that goes off the back of our old Troopy that takes about 3-5 minutes to pack up, and a small side awning. Plus we sleep in the back of the vehicle. Have used that set-up for a total of about 18 months over a number of trips over the past 15 years.

So I cant answer your question, but I can ask some questions that may help you come to a decision. Such as:
How long do you plan to be on this trip, and what time of year? Do you plan future trips. If so maybe you can build up your gear as you build experience. Maybe just use either tent or RTT this trip and add awnings etc later. If you are travelling during the winter months you probably wont encounter much rain, but you might get some windy days, so think about how each option performs under those conditions.

Do you plan to travel every day or stay in one place for a few days - if the second case a free standing tent might be more suitable, and as others have said will mark your campsite so others dont pinch your spot.

What age are you - if you are in the more mature age bracket think carefully about access to and from a RTT, especially in the middle of a dark night.

What is the advantage of a foxwing over a simple side awning if you also have a tent? - more shade but how much shade do you really need? What is the difference in packup time and ease for either type of awning?

Hope that helps a bit,


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Follow Up By: JATich - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:38

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:38
Thank so much Val, lot of food for thought in your response.

We will be on the road for about 6 weeks and leave Adelaide around 15 May 2015. This will be our first trip of many and working towards retirement in about 7 years. We are usually on the move each day but for this trip we hope to stay in some spots for more than one night.

We have friends that have an oz tent we can borrow, so we might invest in an awning and try that option for this trip and see how we go.

thanks again Val
FollowupID: 821310

Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 16:42

Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 16:42
And to add to Val’s comments…

We have a RTT that is hardly ever used, in fact it is gathering dust in the “shed”. Our preference is the Southern Cross Centre Pole Tent, but others work just as well, when not travelling with the TVAN.

And the reason is simple, Mrs Landy’s preference is the tent, because it is a room that sdhe can stand up in. Most roof top tents are simply a bed, unless you go for a full awning set-up, in which case you might just as well go to a tent…

One thing is for sure, nothing works 100%, so best to look at a set-up that will best serve your requirements most of the time…

Good luck out there…
Baz – The Landy
FollowupID: 821595

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:20

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 09:20
On the occasions when we use our Oztent, we find we don't need any other awning.

With the Oztent awning erected, including the side panels (ours are the peak ones), we simply back the vehicle up to the awning opening and we have an adequate under cover area to do the cooking, etc.
This was the main reason we chose the Oztent over others. The front awning is a good size to cook, or sit under and with the addition of side panels, turns the open awning into an enclosed space. We have never bothered with an additional front panel to fully enclose the awning as the vehicle creates reasonable "privacy" and we have full access to the vehicle rear, including using the tailgate as an additional tabletop.

Couldn't imagine the restriction of a roof topper, which would turn the vehicle into a "fixed object".
With the Oztent, we can set up camp, then leave to drive wherever we choose, without having to decamp first.

Love our Oztent and there are a myriad of accessories to add to camping functionality.

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Follow Up By: JATich - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:42

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 10:42
Thanks Bill, we will probably go with the oztent option, we can borrow one from friends to see how we go. Guess you just learn by trial and error to what suits.
FollowupID: 821311

Reply By: philw - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 11:04

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 11:04
Southern Cross or Freedom extended touring tent,with large attachable awning. You could hand these tents down to your Grand kids.
AnswerID: 537073

Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 12:04

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 12:04
This is probably not going to help your decision, but we have gone from a camper trailer, to a tourer+ tent, to a good tarp like awing and a swag. can be set up in minutes, covers the whole vehicle including ground matting, (not like the picnic and fox wing awnings where water comes in between the roof and awning). I only have to put in 1 additional pole and can drive the vehicle in and out as I please. We also have some Velcro walls to give us options with wind and rain. We don't have the unfounded fear of being attacked by apparent wild creatures whilst sleeping in the swag, the tent still comes for drives, but is not used very much at all.
Keep it simple and save yourself a bucket load of $$$.
We spend up to twelve weeks a year travelling this great continent of ours, and have found this to be the best set up for our needs.
Drive Safe.
Tony F8.
AnswerID: 537078

Follow Up By: JATich - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 15:25

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 15:25
Thanks Tony, that all makes very good sense and very practical too.

I think with this being our first time out, on a long trip we will, like you in time work out what works for us too.
FollowupID: 821328

Reply By: Moondyne - Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 12:08

Sunday, Aug 03, 2014 at 12:08
Another for the Oz Tent / Foxwing option. Did almost exactly that same trip using that combination back in June. We have had the Foxwing for about three years now and used it many times including in some pretty horrendous weather. As long as you tie it down when it needs to be it will do you fine. The hardest thing with the Oz-Tent is getting it back in its bag, once you've done it a few times it gets easier.

If you want a bit of extra room have a look at the Oz Tent Screen House Hex. Takes about a minute to put up and will give you a nice area for a kitchen with shade and insect protection.

Hex Screen House.
AnswerID: 537080

Follow Up By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 16:41

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 16:41

You may be doing it already but if you place the tent on the ground and place the bag over the tent, instead of trying to place the tent in the bag, it makes it a lot easier.

We often see people struggling to get the tent in the bag. Little things can make life a lot easier and you wonder why you didn't try that in the first place.

FollowupID: 821413

Reply By: Rod W - Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 11:05

Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014 at 11:05
Ostrich Wing awing... dear as but far superior to foxwings
AnswerID: 537191

Reply By: Member - pedro1 - Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 16:06

Thursday, Aug 07, 2014 at 16:06
We have had 12 months travelling Aus with Oz tent and Foxwing.
Very versatile setup. We also had 2 awning for Fowwing as well as the side and front awnings for the Oz Tent. So we use a different setup dependant on the length of stay and size of site. Plus weather conditions (heat or rain) and how often the vehicle was to be moved. One problem I saw with rooftop tents was on the Nullarbor when a lightning storm came through. A fellow camper in a roof top tent packed up at 2am in the morning due to the fear of lightning- a aluminium ladder to the ground would be a great lightning attactor!
AnswerID: 537328

Reply By: graemejoa - Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 11:16

Friday, Aug 08, 2014 at 11:16
Sounds like you might borrow the oztent. But if you want another option, take a look into the Kodiak Canvas Flex Bow canvas tents. Much more versatile and cheaper. They are made with some sort of 100% cotton canvas and are supposed to be much more comfortable in hot weather than either a RTT or the oztent. Quick to put up, I think some of the Outback adventure touring companies use them for this reason
AnswerID: 537365

Reply By: Member - powernut (AFL Power) - Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 at 21:10

Saturday, Aug 09, 2014 at 21:10
Putting the Oztent back in the bag is a knack. I use three Velcro ties to wrap around the tent 1/3 along each. It keeps the tent compact. Get it half way in and stand it up and pull the bag up like a sack and the remainder slips in. Pull down zip and job done.

It is best done with two people and a little patience. About five minutes max, then while it is standing lean it onto shoulder and swing it level on the shoulder, then just walk to vehicle and roll it off onto roof. Or if you are height challenged walk to rear of vehicle and poke the end onto the rack and walk it in, and push the remainder on.
I am an apprentice retire. Its looking like my most successful career to date.

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