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If I have to piss in the middle of the night I don't want to have to fumble with a ladder and lantern.
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I am old in age so my bladder is not the greatest... so in my roof top tent I use a Portable Urinal:

The Portable Urinal also gets used in the cab of my truck for long road trips to the off roading trail head.
 
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Lol, I wouldn't go that far. I think ground tents with good mattresses are better suited for most people. Investing in an Exed Megamat and a decent ground tent will have similar size and comfort to most RTTs, and it will weigh less.

I've done extensive research on RTTs and used multiple styles. The kind that flip open have some benefits over ground tents. You can leave sleeping gear inside (mattress and bedding), the setup time can be faster than a similar sized ground tent (I'm thinking 8-person Coleman or something like that), you are off the ground (if that matters to you), and if you can level out your rig then you're guaranteed a level sleeping spot. My first tent was a flip open kind, and I wouldn't buy another. Generally they are much heavier than a ground tent, take as much or more time to set up for the size tent I actually need, and getting them on and off the vehicle (plus storing) can be a hassle.

A hard shell has more benefits over a ground tent. Opening is generally faster, because they are assisted by gas struts or electronics. You can leave sleeping gear inside. You have a hard roof over your head, which can help with noise or extreme conditions. Some of these can be built lighter and low profile, which helps with vehicle dynamics (although a ground tent and good sleeping pad still wins in the weight category). Some can also be used as roof racks.

I started building a wedge style, hard shell RTT. I made the frame, base, and top out of wood. I still need to sew the fabric walls for it. It takes about 30 seconds to set up, and I'm guessing will take 90 seconds to close when I get fabric on it. If I decide this one works well enough, I might make one out of aluminum and composites. There is a good DIY RTT comunity on Facebook, and most people have less invested in building one than a quality ground tent.

Is an RTT the be-all end-all in camping? No. Do they have some benefits over a ground tent? Yes. Is it worth it? That's up to you. They are becoming a fancy "fashion" accessory within the overlanding crowd, but there's no harm in that.

If you want to look at some cool stuff, check out the following:
1) GoFast Camper
2) RipCord's DIY Wedge Camper
3) RoofNest (Sparrow is my favorite out of their offerings)
4) FreeSpirit (Odyssey is my favorite out of their offerings)
5) Smittybilt (the budget option)

The old tent:
View attachment 318941
View attachment 318942

The new tent:
View attachment 318939
View attachment 318940
You know, it never occurred to me to make a RTT. It's a simple structure after all. Thanks for the inspiration!

Newbie here (my very first post), so forgive my question but I just started thinking about this.

Has anybody purchased one of those stand alone "Cot Tents" and just put them across the width of the bed? Like this?

View attachment 319608
I have not, but it's an intriguing idea. The last time I car-camped, I strapped some plywood to my camper shell's roof rack and pitched a borrowed one-person backpacking ground tent on top. I wouldn't recommend it for windy situations. If I car-camped more often, I'd improve on the design. Vehicle roofs are narrower than the body width, so it's probably not doable for more than one person.
 

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THIS!!!! Finding new ways to use our trucks everyday...... #ClubFrontier
 
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Never heard of them, but seems much more functional and easier to stow , less modification and expense on the truck.
 

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the pic with the hammock looks nice but every time I see plant growth like that, I think poison ivy
 

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I saw a tent setup on one of the Nissan Dealer sites that uses the bed of the truck as the base. The tail gate is lowered and you enter the tent from the back of the truck. It has an awning at the entrance that looks like it would keep light rain off you giving you a chance to get out without just stepping into a shower. Seems like it was around $400 but can't swear to it. Has anyone seen/used one of this design?
 

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I saw a tent setup on one of the Nissan Dealer sites that uses the bed of the truck as the base. The tail gate is lowered and you enter the tent from the back of the truck. It has an awning at the entrance that looks like it would keep light rain off you giving you a chance to get out without just stepping into a shower. Seems like it was around $400 but can't swear to it. Has anyone seen/used one of this design?
Like a truck bed tent? I've used one in my F-150. If you're by yourself, it's arguably better than a ground tent (you're up off the ground), but I'd rather have a camper shell. Problem is you have to take all the stuff out of the bed to pitch the tent. With a camper shell you can build some sort of a bed (or heck, even set up a cot if you have the 6' bed) and keep your stuff off the ground/inside the truck.
 
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