top of car campers?

Discussion in 'Off The Wall Campers' started by bob barnes, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2017
    While in Europe we saw many campers that were installed on top of a car. quite a ladder to get to the camper we saw many old people using them.

    couldn't believe it!!
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    IIRC bearman512 has one for off-road trips they can't take the camper on. We actually see various top of vehicle set-ups regularly. One of the rental RV places has a model with the bed on top. (Juicy is the outfit, the rentals seem to be purple and acid green.)
  3. AzJeff

    AzJeff New Member

    Jun 10, 2018
    northern Arizona
    They're becoming a thing here. Called RTTs (roof top tents), the overlanding crowd loves them.
  4. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2018
    Yea, I looked at them. Nice, especially if you're going somewhere that you don't want to tow even a small camper.
    Nice ones are $3500 or so, cost you 1-2 mpg when mounted and would be a pain to install/remove when not using them.
  5. Overland

    Overland Active Member

    May 1, 2013
    Bristol, Pa
    I owned an RTT for years, while extremely comfortable to me when I needed to get away from a ground tent (back issues), I found it a pita if I wanted to leave camp for the day.

    Taking a drive for the scenery, heading to the local watering hole or needing other supplies had ya tear down camp and set back up to crash for the evening.

    I wasn't alone in that, many opted to mount the RTT to a small trailer such as a Military M416 etc. Then your still living around the trailer, not inside if ya need to get out of weather. This is what led me to find a small pop up, and still be able to enjoy the Jeep lifestyle the way it was meant to be.

    Theres a lot of Chinese knock off's out there anymore.. the better quality heavy canvas RTT's are pricey. Cheaper RTT's with typical tent fabric often fail.. plenty of reviews out there.
  6. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2018
    If I buy one I'll get an Alu Cab.
    It'll probably be mounted on a small trailer though as I don't want it on top the 4Runner.
    Overland likes this.
  7. BrewskiSucks

    BrewskiSucks New Member

    Jul 24, 2018
    I looked into RTTs before I decided to get a tent trailer. The ones I was looking at were $4,000 to $5,000 for the same size tent I was already using on the ground, only difference was it had a mount to the roof. I could get a decent used tent trailer for that price, AND have a kitchen, living room, multiple beds, and a heater, SMH. RTTs are too expensive for one bed and nothing else to offer.

    One of the main reasons I didn't get it was because it would be up there ALL THE TIME. My truck wouldn't fit in the garage with that much over head, so I would have to park outside. Plus, we wanted something a little nicer than just a tent because we have a baby, and carrying the baby up and down that tall ladder all the time was not appealing.

    They do seem to be able to go more places than a trailer but that's why I got the offroad version of my trailer. If I can't get there with the lift kit on my truck AND on my trailer, I probably shouldn't be there to begin with. The RTT does seem to be a good fit for some people as they are more versatile but for my uses a tent trailer was a much better fit.
    Overland likes this.
  8. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Jun 6, 2018
    RTT is nice for some things, having it on the roof all of the time and taking the 2mpg hit and added wind noise makes it less appealing.
  9. CGChief

    CGChief Active Member

    And once you setup camp, you ain’t goin’ anywhere.
    WVhillbilly likes this.
  10. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

    Oct 15, 2006
    Graceville, Florida
    I have seen a few, The first one was when we were camping in Al. at Oak Mountain, a camper pulled in and set his car topper up. I moseyed over as I was curious , he explained that he and his wife were both nurses, both from The Philippines and lived in California, (she could not make this trip because of work,) but they were traveling looking for and documenting historical sites all over the U.S. To be honest the little bed over the roof of the vehicle did not look big enough for two people,(It reminded me of one pulled behind a motorcycle on a trailer) and a late night nature call would have been bad news, using that ladder while half asleep, It would whip me during the daylight hours. But he liked it so that was what mattered to him. I do not know how they cooked as I did not see a stove or any other camping gear, and the little foreign suv did not look like it would hold much in the way of gear
    I guess they ate in restaurants. I do not think that would be the way for me anyway to camp
  11. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    I'm not comfortable with even thinking about a RTT ladder when I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. :) Weren't they originally designed in parts of the world with scary snakes and other wildlife?

    I do like my popup slide-in truck camper very much though. The precursor to RTTs? They've been around as long as tent trailers. It'll go anywhere my fat truck will go but it is getting pretty tight for the whole family, hence my dabbling in popup trailers.
    neighbormike likes this.
  12. Overland

    Overland Active Member

    May 1, 2013
    Bristol, Pa
    Keep in mind.. the RTT's are usually better suited to the traveler on the constant move where rarely nights are spent in the same location. In the event longer stays are planned many have mounted them to a Military style WWII Jeep trailer..

    One thing I liked about my RTT is with both side awnings opened I got a nice breeze coming through in the evening.

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