Roof Top Tent Camping (RTT) Vs Ground Camping.

Let the adventure roll on!

Hello everyone, I would like to talk with you guys about my experience with Roof Top Tent camping (RTT) vs Ground Camping. I spent years camping on the ground and loving it. However as time went on and life filled up with things like work and other responsibilities. I noticed that I started using the inconveniences of ground camping as a reason to not get out and enjoy life. You know what I am talking about packing all the gear in the car and then either hiking it in or camping where you can drive to. Lets also not forget to mention the struggle of putting those dang poles together and fitting them in the sleeves of the tent. That is never easy at 2am with no moon out, so you are forced to use the headlights on your car or stick a flashlight in you mouth. I don’t think anyone is really fond of that 90s head pinch with the flashlight between your shoulder and neck either. Its 2017 we shouldn’t have to do that anymore. Also have you ever skipped putting the tent stakes in because you are tired from the hike in. What inevitably happens, you get woken up a few hours in with you tent blowing around like you are in a wind tunnel. And heaven forbid if one of the poles snaps and the tent collapses on you. Everyone has a slight panic attack at that moment.

I decided that I was going to find a way to camp that would remove those struggles. While at the same time removing any excuse to not get back out and enjoy nature. So I moved on to some other ideas. One being those tents that set up kind of like an easy up with the frame built onto the tent. They are great at being just that easy to set up and take down. But they weigh enough that you reserve yourself to camping where you can park your vehicle. I hope I don’t offend anyone by saying this but to me isn’t camping. You end up setting up around a bunch of other people. And sleeping with ear muffs on to block out the sound of their music in the middle of the night. I don’t know how many times I have been trying to listen to the sound of a distant elk bugling his heart away just to have it drowned out by some idiot hitting the panic button on his keys. The last time that happened I decided at that very moment there had to be a better option for me.

I looked into Roof Top Tents but couldn’t afford one at the time. So I started trying to figure out how to build my own and save some money. I looked online and found a bunch of other people that had done just that. When I went to order the parts to build it I actually found an older Mombasa RTT that someone was selling locally for $400. That was way to good of an opportunity to pass up, can you blame me? The next step was to build the mounting platform to give it a little more beef. I am not a small man and didn’t want to come crashing down in the middle of the night. If you have looked into Roof Top Tents at all you know that they cantilever off of themselves for the support on the side with the ladder. I wasn’t to sure about it but gave it a go anyway. It was incredibly stable and secure I literally sat at the top of the ladder and had a bowl of soup while I decided how to improve the factory design. It really didn’t take much I just extended the cross bars on my roof rack system a couple inches further to give a little more support on the joint. When I used it the first time I was completely blown away by how easy it is to set up and take down. No more pesky fiberglass poles to put together and no more ground stakes or guide ropes to trip over. It is as simple as taking off the cover, Undo two straps and pull the ladder down towards you. The hole thing opens up and drops into place. It takes less then 3 min to set up. I had finally found the perfect system for me, fast deploying, comfortable and stable. Now I know that someone is going to say “But Crucible if it mounts to your vehicle you can only camp where you vehicle can go”. That is correct but with my Xterra I can get pretty far off the beaten path. The next reason that I enjoy RTT camping more then ground camping is safety. I get way off the beaten path we are talking predator country. Because of that I never did feel as safe on the ground as I do on the top of my Xterra. When you are in the tent you’re a good distance off the ground which just makes me feel like my wife, me and our two dogs are much safer. That feeling leads to a less stressful experience and who wouldn’t want that.

To sum things up RTT Camping to me is exactly what I wanted it to be. There is nothing hard or inconvenient about it so I have no reason to stay home. Its comfortable and brings back some nostalgia of hanging out in the family tree house. And it above all it gets me off my butt and out in the world at a moments notice. Follow this link to see the video of setting up the tent. And while your there check out the other videos in the playlist to see the entire base camp setup.

Crucible Cam.

Let the adventure roll on!

4 Comments

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  1. Get a 4 wheel drive van with a bed in the back, all your camping stuff will fit under the bed, works great for me, no set up or tear down unless I hook I fly my lean to type tarp off the side! Easy to get in and out of when the call of nature happens too!

    • The vans are amazing. But they do carry a larger price tag which means larger budget.

  2. Nice writeup! My last few all-in camping trips with wife, 3 smallish boys and 2 dogs almost put me off of camping completely because it was so unenjoyable with all of the setup/takedown. I just got a RTT and am looking to put some hours in it this year. I came to the same conclusions as you. I also went on a 4 day hike last year that similarly almost ruined me because I packed way too heavy and hammock camped. The guy shuttling us to the trailhead described the philosophy differences of camper-over-hiker vs hiker-over-camper. I realized I’m camper/hiker, and just as guilty of overpacking when car camping, and I’m making efforts to simplify my approach to that as well. For some people the RTT is luxury, but for me it is utility and simplicity.

    • I agree completely. I am a camper/hiker as well. But also used to overpack, had enough for a week on a overnighter haha. I hope you enjoy RTT camping. I would love to hear about your journey into it. Check back often I’m excited to hear from you.

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