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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I test loaded all of the gear I plan on taking on my forthcoming Kayak / Camping trip, including duffels and tubs full of camping gear, fishing gear, kayak gear, cooler, etc. My ideal plan is to load my Hobie Lynx kayak on the roof mounted cross bars (which I have not received yet), and stow the gear in the gear tunnel, trunk, and bed (with the tonneau closed). All I have left to figure out is my optimal tent solution.
At this time I am not planning on purchasing the Yakima RTT, it might prove to be too heavy / awkward for me to load and unload by myself. As an alternative, I did find a floored "Rev Tent" (REV TENT) that looks interesting, and only weighs 25 pounds. I would use it as an "in bed" tent. The problem is that with the rest of the gear filling the bed, the footprint of the tent (47.25” x 42.25” x 8.5”) doesn't fit.
So, my choices going forward are: 1) Change one or both of my tubs out for duffels to make room for the tent in the bed, 2) Purchase a second set of cross bars for the tent and stow it on top of the bed, 3) Purchase the Yakima RTT and figure out how to handle it, or 4) Find another solution.
Do any of you avid campers have a recommendation for an "in bed" tent or RTT that I can handle and stow? All suggestions are appreciated...
 

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The iKamper X-Cover 2.0 Mini is comparable in size but actually 5 pounds HEAVIER than the Yakima tent, and the weight of the tent was the OP's biggest concern:
At this time I am not planning on purchasing the Yakima RTT, it might prove to be too heavy / awkward for me to load and unload by myself.
The iKamper "Skycamp" models are even heavier. And all the iKamper tents are considerably more expensive than the Rivian Yakima, at least if you're getting the pre-March Rivian pricing.
 

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I’ve been an avid off roader and backcountry outdoors enthusiast for well over 40 years, do a bunch of what is now referred to as overlanding. RTTs are all the rage but have some major drawbacks, they are all over Craig’s list, classifieds, markerplace,… up here in Alaska. Most people I know that buy one, do not still have it 3-4 years later.

I got on the bandwagon about 10 years ago with a Tepui, it was heavy, awkward, sucked to get in/out of at night, crushed the mpg, …. Used it 3-4 times over the first 6 years and Sold it. About 2 years ago (now that my kids are both teens) we do a lot more multi day hunting from a base camp set up and started thinking about an RTT again. We got a iKamper mini. We use it a few times (along with an electric fence) a summer when caribou/sheep/goat/bird hunting in heavy brown bear areas during their late summer fattening up time. This is the only time we use the RTT. The rest of the year we use ground tents.

Biggest disadvantages of RTTs. First they are heavy, a 90+ lb RTT is roughly the same size as a <10-15 lb ground tent. Even if you leave it on or have a garage door tall enough (like I do) to do a hoist, or have an army of teens to help, it will still take up a large portion of your payload. Second, if you move the truck you have to unload, fold up, fold out, then reload, every time. Sleeping options are limited, can’t use a cot (which are preferred in warm weather) and I think are much more comfortable in general. It’s tough to get out and not wake up others in the tent. Compared to ground tents space is limited. And finally your tent can only go where your truck is.

if you do go down the RTT path, in general I’m of the bigger the better camp. But with RTTs I go with the smallest I can get away with. Why? You don’t want to haul a bunch of stuff up there. Also bigger is heavier, smaller is warmer (although these things are hot!). Me (5’8” 160lbs) and both my teens (5’10” 150lbs and 5’3” 115 lbs) can easily and comfortably sleep in the 2 person iKamper mini.

before you buy one I highly recommend renting one first.

here are a couple pictures of my truck above the Arctic circle off the Dalton. South of the brooks range (in cold foot) and north of the Brooks on the north slope.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great advice on renting a unit. Your experience with RTT's sounds pretty much in line with my expectations.
Alaska must be a great place for camping / overlanding. My experience has been limited to the lower 48, camping in my make shift van in the Rockies, or sometimes on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. I guess I am revisiting my youth 50 years later. Thanks for the pics. I hope you are a preorder holder and will receive your Rivian soon!
 

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Great advice on renting a unit. Your experience with RTT's sounds pretty much in line with my expectations.
Alaska must be a great place for camping / overlanding. My experience has been limited to the lower 48, camping in my make shift van in the Rockies, or sometimes on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. I guess I am revisiting my youth 50 years later. Thanks for the pics. I hope you are a preorder holder and will receive your Rivian soon!
Thank you. I’m waiting on the max pack so it will be a while. We have no charging infrastructure up here. On our 2nd Tesla (had an S for 4 years now a model 3 for going on 4 years) that we have for most of the driving. Really only use the LX now in the summer to access biking, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, prospecting,….
 

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One of the greatest advantages of a hard-shell RTT that I see (at least for the specific use case with the R1T that I will describe here) is super easy set-up AND super simple take-down. The use case I am referring to involves driving to a camp destination, which is often home to the world's worst weather in my case, arriving in the dark, establishing camp, then waking up at the crack of dawn, breaking down camp and driving to a parking lot for the day (because no overnight camping is allowed in the lot). Not everyone has this use case in mind of course. The way I have traditionally handled this in the past, was with a platform in the bed of my pick up truck that supported gear storage underneath, a futon mattress on top of the platform, and a cap over the top of all of it. Essentially the pre-cursor to van-life. Some of the best sleeps I have ever had came out of the back of the truck. Zero set-up / Zero take-down.

A soft shell RTT is almost like setting up a tent (for both set-up and take-down) compared to hard shell IMHO.

*** I have an idea for how to handle this elegantly with the R1T that I have not seen anywhere else, but that may be my job in retirement if I start an aftermarket adventure company.
 

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One of the greatest advantages of a hard-shell RTT that I see (at least for the specific use case with the R1T that I will describe here) is super easy set-up AND super simple take-down. The use case I am referring to involves driving to a camp destination, which is often home to the world's worst weather in my case, arriving in the dark, establishing camp, then waking up at the crack of dawn, breaking down camp and driving to a parking lot for the day (because no overnight camping is allowed in the lot). Not everyone has this use case in mind of course. The way I have traditionally handled this in the past, was with a platform in the bed of my pick up truck that supported gear storage underneath, a futon mattress on top of the platform, and a cap over the top of all of it. Essentially the pre-cursor to van-life. Some of the best sleeps I have ever had came out of the back of the truck. Zero set-up / Zero take-down.

A soft shell RTT is almost like setting up a tent (for both set-up and take-down) compared to hard shell IMHO.

*** I have an idea for how to handle this elegantly with the R1T that I have not seen anywhere else, but that may be my job in retirement if I start an aftermarket adventure company.
The hard shell is exponentially easier with take up tear down. And to your points my previous RTT setting it up and heavy rain was not fun. I ended up soaked, the inside of the tent ended up wet. With the iKamper as long as the windows were closed when you folded it up set up in the rain inside stays completely dry. Also with the hard shell when it’s really windy you can situate parking with the hard shell into the wind which really cuts down on the tent being blown around. Are those pictures I posted of my LX was the rainiest wettest muddiest are I’ve seen the Dalton Highway in at least 15 years. One night we had 30 mile an hour sustained winds with gusts in the 60 to 70 mile an hour range. The iKamper was amazingly stable
 

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I think one of the more basic takeaway points with these RTTs is that you are going to want a decent pulley hoist system attached to the rafters in your garage to lift it off the truck and store it. 100# is heavy, especially for an old guy like me, and I sailed right past this concept when I ordered my R1T.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think one of the more basic takeaway points with these RTTs is that you are going to want a decent pulley hoist system attached to the rafters in your garage to lift it off the truck and store it. 100# is heavy, especially for an old guy like me, and I sailed right past this concept when I ordered my R1T.
Us old timers need to stick together... I have a scheme to lift and stow an RTT if I end up going that direction. Do you have a lift, or know which one you will go with?
 

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Us old timers need to stick together... I have a scheme to lift and stow an RTT if I end up going that direction. Do you have a lift, or know which one you will go with?
Don’t know if you can see from the pictures but I did my own with sailboat rigging. You can see in the picture I also did my own for the canoe, rocket boxes, and bikes.

I have 3 blocks on the canoe with weights ~90 lbs so with the blocks I’m lifting ~22lbs. 4 blocks on the RTT (~125lbs) so with blocks I’m lifting ~16 lbs. I can hoist all the canoe easily by myself, With the RTT I need a helper as the weight is not balanced, canoe goes straight up, with the RTT one side is noticeably heavier which make it go up uneven with the blocks pulley set up. So I need an extra person to level the load while I work the ropes. My Tapui was the same way. If I had to hoist it up/down by myself I’d need a power winch set up.

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To add to the discussion. Helping my buddy with an overhaul to his 1996 80 series. I wen my over there last night to help him install a new bumper/winch and sitting there was his new tetrapod RTT. Nicest RTT I’ve ever seen, well built, thoughtful design. Ability to put crossbars and up to 550 lbs on top of the RTT, made in USA, offer a military/veteran/first responder discount. Also for those of you warmer climates looks better ventilated then most.

I considered one when I bought my iKamper but at the time they didn’t ship to AK. I’ll very likely sell my iKamper and switch to one of these when I get my EV truck.

 

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Has anyone here in this forum tried this one: Nomad 1300 Hard Shell Rooftop Tent

I saw a member on the other Rivian forum posted using this. I was curious who else has tried and how easy/hard the install was, as well as how easy setup/teardown is.
It looked exactly like my iKamper mini…. Seems to be a knockoff of it? I’ve had the iKamper for 3 years use it probably 8-10 nights a summer and it is my 3rd choice for camping: camper is primary, ground tent is 2nd, RTT only when in heavy brown bear country during late fall.

I do not leave it on as I haul many different things on my rails: dip nets, cargo box, baskets, canoes,…. Getting it on and off the truck is a PITA. It is ~90 lbs and nose heavy, it takes me and both of my teens to take it on/off. Set up and take down when camping is easy as long as you only take minimal gear up in the tent and don’t have to move your truck.

I’ll add most people I know that get an RTT hate them. They are heavy, greatly reduce efficiency, sleep hot, can’t use a cot, getting up/down gets old, need to move your truck have to tear down/set up,… I would highly recommend renting one before you buy one.

here are some pictures of mine in action and how I have it stored in the garage.

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It looked exactly like my iKamper mini…. Seems to be a knockoff of it? I’ve had the iKamper for 3 years use it probably 8-10 nights a summer and it is my 3rd choice for camping: camper is primary, ground tent is 2nd, RTT only when in heavy brown bear country during late fall.

I do not leave it on as I haul many different things on my rails: dip nets, cargo box, baskets, canoes,…. Getting it on and off the truck is a PITA. It is ~90 lbs and nose heavy, it takes me and both of my teens to take it on/off. Set up and take down when camping is easy as long as you only take minimal gear up in the tent and don’t have to move your truck.

I’ll add most people I know that get an RTT hate them. They are heavy, greatly reduce efficiency, sleep hot, can’t use a cot, getting up/down gets old, need to move your truck have to tear down/set up,… I would highly recommend renting one before you buy one.

here are some pictures of mine in action and how I have it stored in the garage.
Awesome info, thanks. I wasn't going to get an RTT but now I've decided it would be nice to have for some camping trips. Would love to rent one if there are any in the area but I'm not seeing any for rent.

With all the camping you do, I'm curious since the R1T has 120v outlets, have you heard of any good solutions for a portable water heater/shower than can be plugged in?
 

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Awesome info, thanks. I wasn't going to get an RTT but now I've decided it would be nice to have for some camping trips. Would love to rent one if there are any in the area but I'm not seeing any for rent.

With all the camping you do, I'm curious since the R1T has 120v outlets, have you heard of any good solutions for a portable water heater/shower than can be plugged in?
I’m in Alaska and we camp all summer, June through mid September I put 10k miles on my truck and we spend ~60+ nights camping . We mountain bike, hike, subsistence fish/hunt, prospect, forage (mostly berries and mushrooms), ski (yes most of the summer on glaciers and snow patches), … just enjoy AK and NE Canada. The last 8 years has been the ‘13 Lx570 above, had a g500 the 9 years prior and a 80 series LC for 12 years before that. I had an R1T max pack explorer package on order but canceled (took my $1k and put it into RIVN) when they kept pushing out the max pack. I still have a CT and Silverado EV holder.

Like I said I have 3 primary base camp set ups:

primary is a 22’ ~6800 lb camper, current is a 2016 ORV 22BHS had for 7 years. Tons of storage, bunk beds (4 of us, 2 teens), full kitchen, tons of storage, I’ve upgraded the GVWR. Use it most of the time. Had a 25’ airstream before this and the ORV is better across the board.

secondary is a ground tent with cots, a GSI camp kitchen, 2 Camp Chef 3 burners, pizza oven, 500w solar, 1kwh battery bank, 3k inverter, on demand hot water, 95L 12v fridge, 50L 12v freezer, chem toilet house,…. I use this set up as base camp on the beach when we subsistence fish salmon, as a high alpine base camp when we summer ski and mountaineer, as a base camp for hunting sheep/goat/upland birds,…. I tried to use an electronic coffee percolator and it goes through my 1 kWh in <10min. My on demand hot water heater is propane, uses the small 1lb green cans, No way I would do on demand hot water on electric, the draw is too high, my guess is you would lose 2-5 miles of range with a 5-7 min shower. My kids have adapted much of this gear and operate as a good truck and catering business. Even when I get my EV truck I will continue to use this type set up with separate battery, fridge, propane water heater, propane camp stoves,….I’ll post some pictures to post when they set up this weekend

3rd is the RTT. We use it when the kids and I go up north (~1k miles round trip off road) above the Arctic circle late summer. With it take our smaller 12v fridge, small 2 burner GSI Selkirk.

We also use smaller backpacking/bike packing gear when we do long backcountry bike tours and deviate further from base camp.
 
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