Roof top tent, swag or tub?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 01:00
ThreadID: 138735 Views:14422 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Hi all!

I keep changing my mind on this. I own a pretty stock dual cab ute i wana setup for longer camping trips. Just took my roof tent off to save some petrol. i dont want to leave it on 24/7 anymore, but im not too keen on taking it off and on every time i camp!
So im sort of leaning towards a swag or even a setup in my tub?

I like to camp for 4-5 days at a time with my dog and i occasionaly go hunting (why i liked the roof tent).

Would love to hear from anyone whose experimented with both
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 09:15

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 09:15

Welcome to touring, there is no perfect set-up that will suit all situations. Often it comes down to budget and what you can afford, compromise, or both...

If budget permits have a range of options that you can use depending on the style or type of travel being undertaken, failing that have the one set-up that suits most of your travel requirements the best...

For us, it can be anything from a hiking tent in the back-pack, southern cross centre pole tent or swag in the vehicle, or hitching up the TVAN camper trailer. After 25 years + of travelling we have accumulated the gear that allows us to take the gear that best suits that trip.

Just depends on what we are doing...

Best to get out there and experiment with what works best for you.

Good luck with it.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 626780

Follow Up By: duck - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 12:11

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 12:11
I'm with Baz
different trips call for different ways of camping (if you like to make it as comfortable as possible) & like so many others on this site will have heaps of gear stacked at home for those different trips

But its personal how you camp, I have a friend that camps the same way no mater where he is, its a bed roll (old type of swag) & basic cooking gear, never takes a chair, He is allways saying he does not need all that extra crap' so we will not let him use one of ours even if no one is using it, if its raining he can stand out it all day, we live in hope that one day he will buy a chair or even a tarp but after 10years I don't think he will change, but when the chips are down he's the traveller you want with you
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Follow Up By: Member - christopher w2 - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 22:36

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 22:36
Baz, always enjoy your comments so full of wisdom and common sense. I have learnt a lot from you. Thank you.
Once again I think you are spot on. Camping is horses for courses, depends where you are going, with whom and for how long. We use a tent for extended stays as a small group, an awning with walls for myself for overnight or alternatively sleeping in the back of my tub if the weather is unpleasant. Ancillary gear such as solar panels, cooking arrangements , shower en-suite etc etc again depends on what we intend to do.
Being flexible and travel as light as you can is the key.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 08:46

Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 08:46
Hi Christopher,

Thanks for your kind words...!

I have learnt a lot through my association with EO over the years

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Member - John - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 09:42

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 09:42
Make a rack for above the tub, low enough to allow RTT to sit below roof height, leave it on all the time, still lots of room in tub for storage.
John and Jan

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Reply By: noggins - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 10:17

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 10:17
I have a setup using a 2x3 mtr rollout awning and a tent arrangement that fits up under it from Kings.
On my last trip east I used a pair of Rola Roof bars that hold a solar panel on the canopy as the main supports for it.
I used the slots in the Rola to fit the brackets for the awning, using wing nuts from BCF, and when camped up for the night I simply loosened the wing nuts that held the awning along the side and simply took it off and then fitted it to the rear Rola bar.
Then the awning tent fitted under the awning , over the tail of the ute and I simply dropped the tailgate for a kitchen etc.
For extra support of the awning seeing it was holding the under tent I used a couple of tent poles and a cross bar in the middle under the awning bars.
Took all of 7 minutes to set up this arrangement.

AnswerID: 626784

Reply By: RMD - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 10:23

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 10:23
Leave the rtt where it is and fit a airflow spoiler on a roof bar so the air is smoothly directed up and over the rtt for economy reasons as mentioned in earlier replies.That way you have accomodation you require, ie, already own it. The spoiler/air director can also incorporate a solar panel and with a regulator it will keep you battery/ies charged as well.
Alternatively, take the rtt off and use a large heavier poly tarp to drape across the bars you have and it pegged out either side and to the rear. Sleep in swag, cook, sit, all out of the sun and weather, hail rain or snow. Plenty of room for one and dog.
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Reply By: Siringo - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 10:40

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 10:40
Here's a suggestion.

Replace the tub with a flat tray with fold down sides.
Build a rack that will allow your RTT to sit at the height of your ute's roofline.

In the tray create some drawers so you can access the space under the RTT easily.

Place your fridge in the back seat of the ute somewhere (if possible).

There'a ton of things you can do.

I had a king cab Navara which I built a frame for and got a canvas cover made to go over the frame. I was able to sleep in the tray area as well as carry all my gear . I built some shelving in which I could slide things in and out.

I reckon you'll be the only person who'll be able to solve this problem.

Good luck.
AnswerID: 626786

Reply By: GarryR - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 17:15

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 17:15
I think Baz-the Landy has nailed it. Judy and I have had a roof top tent until recently (it is in the shed), and due to age and getting up in the middle of the night, it has become awkard for us to get down in time for calls of mother nature, as we are in our late 60's. We mainly use a pyramid type tent now using the side pole kit to eliminate the centre pole That being said, we both have swags that we still use, and a small dome tent that we also use when on the motorbike. When time and trip conditions allow, we also have the camper trailer to use for a base and longer stays. Like Baz, when have accumulated over the many years. The only problems with using a rtt is that once you have set up you cannot go anywhere unless you pack up and set up again. As a laugh, we also had the little dog sleep with us in the rtt. My son uses a canvas setup that clips to the tub hard lid, but not sure of make etc, as he lives in NSW now,but have seen it setup
location - Warragul -Victoria
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Follow Up By: noggins - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 17:49

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 17:49
I think the one your refering to comes from BCF

There are 2 of these , this is the larger one

This is the other one

Both good when sleeping in the canopy

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Follow Up By: GarryR - Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 06:23

Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 06:23
Sorry Noggins - the pyramid tent I use is a Southern Cross Canvas tent with an optional side pole kit. They are a good heavy canvas tent made in Australia, Canterbury Rd, Kilysith, Vic to be exact. I have purchased many of Ian and Leslie Dix's products in the past, and he even custom makes if you need. The camper trailer is also one of their's, and that's how happy I am with my past purchases, with great back up if needed. I have no affiliation with this company, only a happy customer. the tent when folded up is 1mt x 1mt x 150mm high and weighs approx. 25kg or so.
location - Warragul -Victoria
life is too short, so out and about enjoy

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 08:44

Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 08:44
Hi Garry

They say buy right, buy once...

We purchased our Southern Cross Tent about 20 years ago and it is going strong - a great product!

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 20:35

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 20:35
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Reply By: harryopal - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 21:51

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019 at 21:51
Damian, I posted this information below to your enquiry about a week ago. Don't know if you saw it.

" sorry lost pics of two vehicles which I set up with drop side utility trays on each vehicle. One was a Landcruiser the other a Holden Rodeo 4x4 dual cab.

As you will see you can spend many thousands of $ on custom made arrangements with immaculate fittings and rigs that I guess add quite a bit of weight. Instead I used ply wood to make a camper on the back with a lift up roof to standing height. Looking at it from the rear, the left side I had a lift up side that provided cover and then used a tarp over this if rainy, windy or cold. so that area was fully enclosed including floor. This side I used as my kitchen with 3 way fridge, gas cooker etc, a fold up card table, fold up chairs to put out on the ground. At night I parked the fridge using gas on the ground.
The right side lifted out and I devised an arrangement where the side lifted up as a roof. A floor hinged at the floor level of the tray that folded out and was securely locked level with wooden supports that slotted into the drop down side tray of the utility. A couple of panels fitted into place either end and I could then use this area to shift across gear from tray and use the tray for sleeping.
The rear had a lift up panel across the width of the vehicle so I could prop this up and it made easy for loading. Within that panel I made a door with rear window do I could still use the rear vision mirror in the cab. A fold up compact short step ladder for getting in and out. The door was in two parts with the top part opening at the level of the of the tray panel when locked in place. I could put things in and out, (foodstuffs or whatever) without dropping the rear tray panel.
I called this The Half Star Hotel. It had many advantages. The structure was lightweight but well secured. (I had a five ply panel across the floor ) The ply provided insulation against heat and cold.
In making this every element was based on low cost and simplicity so that I could set up without any assistance and it took 5 minutes. It also meant you could stop anywhere at night without having to worry about wet ground for setting up a tent or whatever.
The cost for the whole thing came in at under $3000 with paint being one of the more expensive elements.
.I ran a line from the battery to the 3 way fridge and had long extention cords for camping in a park with lighting etc in the rear.
P.S. The plywood camper gives much better insulation than a canvas pop up or tent. Windows I made up using car window glass bought cheap from a wrecker."
AnswerID: 626795

Reply By: eaglefree - Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 14:34

Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 14:34
Ever thought of towing a small trailer with your rooftop tent above it?
Lots of storage space then.
AnswerID: 626801

Reply By: Damian G1 - Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 17:27

Thursday, Jul 18, 2019 at 17:27
Thanks for all the advice, wow! So i got heaps of plans now lol i just fitted a custom light weight drawer on one half, the other half will be for my dog. Gonna cut the racks (if possibe - their a wierd shape) and line a roof tent with my tub so hopefully it will make a decent roof for the drawer and my dog also.
My brother just bought a darche swag and im bloody tempted to get one and keep my options open when camping, cant hurt if it only weights around 10kg.

AnswerID: 626804

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