RTTent on ladder racks

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 13:49
ThreadID: 138642 Views:1241 Replies:8 FollowUps:12
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Is this safe on the ladder racks? Its an xtm roof tent i got on gumtree... I have used it but im scared that theres not enough support? Even though Its only me up there

Cheers

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Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 14:45

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 14:45
While the racks themselves will hold your weight , I would be providing some bracing so the paralleling effect doesn't fracture the uprights at either the top or bottom ends. I imagine there is some fore / aft movement of the upper section and if used on rougher roads it might destroy itself.
AnswerID: 626504

Reply By: thinkin - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 15:03

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 15:03
Have the ladders got a manufacturers rating or are they custom made. Photo not good enough to see detail of structure. Can you move the structure when you forcefully try to shake it . If you can it will need reinforcing . If the RTT is still on the vehicle when you get to your destination you should be right.
Importantly the structure should be robust enough to carry the camper with travelling wind speed resistance.
AnswerID: 626505

Reply By: Damian G1 - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 15:29

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 15:29
The racks can definitely hold the weight...im just worried about the big middle section that has no support...or are these made with strong metal bases?
AnswerID: 626506

Follow Up By: RMD - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 16:07

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 16:07
Damian
Only you will know if the centre section flexes/bends/deforms downwards with your weight. We can't estimate that not seeing the build construction, you can see the base. Fit a bearer underneath if it does!
Do yourself a favour and fit a roof with a full width sloped backwards air deflector, so it scoops the air up and over, instead of hitting the front of the tent structure. I have one fitted to a Dax which smooths airflow over the roofbars and solar panels. Makes a difference to fuel economy.
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Follow Up By: tim_c - Friday, Jul 05, 2019 at 12:09

Friday, Jul 05, 2019 at 12:09
See if you can find the installation instructions for your particular tent - they should tell you if it can be installed on two bars as you appear to have done (wouldn't be any different to installing on roof bars, providing the spacing is similar) - you may be able to find a PDF version online if the seller didn't provide them with the tent. Have you used the original mounting points - this would give an indication of how the manufacturer expected it to be installed.

Also, have a look at the floor structure under the mattress and see if you think it's sufficient - can you feel the floor flexing when you are in the tent, or does it feel reasonably firm. Get someone else to climb in while you have a look underneath and see if you can see how much it flexes with a person inside.

As for the wind deflector, I'd suggest this is not required with the style of tent you have - the fibreglass shell is already shaped to deflect wind (unlike the Howling Moon tent I used to have, which was shaped like a big block, and I could feel the difference it made to the car at highway speeds, particularly when trying to maintain 100km/h up hills)
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Reply By: duck - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 17:33

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 17:33
Damian G1
the base is fiberglass & is it a foam sandwich construction ? most are.
If so, it should be ok as in a foam sandwich construction it will not need much glass to be stiff as & hold the weight as it works like a trust frame, Eg a surf rescue inflatable craft (soft hull) has a floor board that is 25mm foam core & only 3 layers (225csm,600 Wr & 225csm) on each side has no 90' edges to give extra strength & will take 450kg in the centre with only 150mm support on the edges (put IRB floor between 2x 44 gallon drums & a weight in the centre of 450kg it will bend a bit but not much and there 1800mm apart) so unless your one big fellow it should not be a problem unless the manufacture has given a support distance. To be safe get a fat mate with he's large girl friend to climb in & check for distortion if it holds them your wright
AnswerID: 626507

Reply By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 19:17

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 19:17
The Kings Kwiky is similar and states that it needs to be installed on their flat rack platform not just the bars. That causes a fair increase in weight and cost. It's possible the XTM is the same, they're on the cheap side.
AnswerID: 626511

Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 20:44

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 20:44
Dam are they like kings quality? How much are xtm's new? I sort of took a gamble with this one but heard they sold em at BCF so thought theyd be alright
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 22:17

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 22:17
Kings kwiky roof top tent review

The main thing is are you happy with it ?
Cheers Nick b
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Wish the missus was as dirty as the tailgate

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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 00:01

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 00:01
I hate to say it, but I've found the Kings stuff to be comparible to anything you buy elsewhere, just cheaper. And I'm not a fan, just something I've noticed from examining other people's gear.
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 07:05

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 07:05
Micheal : i think your right in most cases there but i understand its ethics that are under scrutiny . Good value for money but not necessarily quality ??
Cheers Nick b
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Wish the missus was as dirty as the tailgate

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Reply By: Hoyks - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 20:03

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 20:03
If concerned, drop into your local aluminium retailer (Capral) and grab a couple of lengths of extrusion to bridge the gap between the rack rails.

It might add 20mm, but should be able to be clamped between the floor and the racks with the existing clamping system without adding extra holes to the tent floor.
AnswerID: 626512

Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 20:43

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 20:43
That sounds good. Can i get it from bunnings? So i dont need to drill, the bars just clamp to the current racks? I dont mind taking the tent off to do it obviously
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 09:44

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 09:44
Nope. Dont go to bunnings and pay triple the price for half the thickness. Go to Capral and get a length of say 30x 50 4mm ...cut to length and clamp/bolt on to supports.
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 17:22

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 17:22
Only triple? They are getting generous these days, I was thinking probably closer to 5x.

Yes, Capral or an aluminium merchant will be a fraction of the cost of the Big Red Hammer Shop.

The down side is that you may have to buy a 8m length, but then you can put an extra brace in for nothing. Or put the offcut in the shed for another project, its not like it goes off.
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Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 19:48

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 19:48
thanks for the advice. sounds like a plan. i was also thinking of just cutting it in half myself and placing a roof rack on it like this.
could i use the extrusion bars to join the racks back together after i chopped it?

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FollowupID: 900361

Follow Up By: Hoyks - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 21:42

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 21:42
You could drop it a bit, but trying to tuck it behind the cab? I don't think it would work out too well.

You could cut the racks down to drop the height of the tent, but the tent you have is longer than the tub, so will stick out the back a bit. Not insurmountable, but a bit of a PITA if you want to get stuff out of the back of the ute. The tent in the picture is folded in 1/2 and has a full canvas roof, so sits a bit taller than yours when stowed.

I'm guessing the existing rack is steel? Then no, aluminium is not much chop for stitching it back together, just find someone that is competent with a MIG welder and get them to weld it back together.
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Follow Up By: Damian G1 - Friday, Jul 05, 2019 at 10:53

Friday, Jul 05, 2019 at 10:53
Thanks. Im thinkin of just swapping for a fold out roof tent like pictured (if i go that way)...not sure if my racks are steel but their really solid so likely.
Ill check with a welder wether they can weld extrusion bars or weld the original pipe back to the top after in done with it
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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 22:11

Wednesday, Jul 03, 2019 at 22:11
For my liking I cannot see enough diagonal bracing, either left-to-right or fore-and-aft. My guess is that it will not hold up under duress.
AnswerID: 626517

Reply By: Member - silkwood - Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 17:01

Thursday, Jul 04, 2019 at 17:01
I'd say it's fine, the racks you have should have no problem with that weight. I wouldn't worry about fitting any kind of wind deflector, either, the front is wedge shaped anyway. I do like the idea of a couple of alloy lengths to brace the floor (and concur- DON'T buy from Bunnings!). If you do use square tube, fit caps on the front end, otherwise you may get an awful humming sound.

XTM are a budget brand (yes, a little like Kings) but that doesn't mean it won't hold up, just don't abuse it.

Cheers,
mark
AnswerID: 626527

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