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  #1  
Old 23-03-09, 09:44 AM
Paul Venter Paul Venter is offline
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Default Roof-Top tents vs Stand alone Tents

Any comments on which style is better in which circumstances and why?
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Old 23-03-09, 09:57 AM
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Personally I prefer a normal tent, since you have more space, and it doesn't have a suspension that moves around when you turn over.

The only times I'd use a rooftop tent would be:
When travelling far, and packing up camp on a daily or almost daily basis (ease of use).
Where there are many wild animals (e.g. lions).

With my normal tent, I can stand, walk around and fit a double bed blow up matress, little fridge, etc, as well as sit in comfortably when the weather is bad.
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Old 23-03-09, 10:03 AM
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Paul,

More info Bud!

Where do you go camping, how often, how many people, what do you drive, how energetic are you, how rich / poor are you (both tents can range from R100 to R15 000), what is level of experience, are you okay with sleeping on the ground, is your wife/girlfriend/life partner etc?

Ther are soooooo many pros and cons.
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Old 23-03-09, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayK View Post
Personally I prefer a normal tent, since you have more space, and it doesn't have a suspension that moves around when you turn over.

The only times I'd use a rooftop tent would be:
When travelling far, and packing up camp on a daily or almost daily basis (ease of use).
Where there are many wild animals (e.g. lions).

With my normal tent, I can stand, walk around and fit a double bed blow up matress, little fridge, etc, as well as sit in comfortably when the weather is bad.
Jay i agree wrt the weather thing. I have been wondering if a loose tend is not better as then you can use the vehicle etc as wind breaks while camping.
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Old 23-03-09, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gazza1210 View Post
Paul,

More info Bud!

Where do you go camping, how often, how many people, what do you drive, how energetic are you, how rich / poor are you (both tents can range from R100 to R15 000), what is level of experience, are you okay with sleeping on the ground, is your wife/girlfriend/life partner etc?

Ther are soooooo many pros and cons.
Hey Gary,

I hear what you say and you are quite right in asking all those questions.
At this stage we are not a huge camping family. When i say not huge - we camp perhaps once/ twice a year and then its not in rough conditions (somethign that i am hoping to change as the family gets more adventurous. i not mind rough, but as life is - there comes a wife and kids - lol

Having said that, a loose tend can also be kitted out with camp cots for the lady's comfort.
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Old 23-03-09, 10:28 AM
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Personally, the more I see conventional RTT's in action the less I like them. Just come back from the Pilanesberg.

Of the three vehicles in our group, two had RTT's. The two couples that had RTT's only went on one game drive the whole weekend (I went at least twice a day, I had a normal tent). At least part of the reason IMO was the schelp of taking the tent down to go for a drive, especially in the early morning.

I will concede that it is nice sleeping on top of your car when their are large animals/predators around and no fences. In every other circumstance a ground tent is far more practical and comfortable.

As far as convenience is concerned I have to say I am completely unimpressed with RTT's. The two tents on the weekend (one was an Echo, the other a Howling Moon), took just as long to both completely erect and take down with two people working at it, as it took me to erect/take down my Turbo 250 Compact ground tent on my own.

If its a one night stop-over (like bushcamping on the way to Vilancoulos for eg), I dont bother with the flysheet of my Turbo tent and then my tent's up in seconds compared to the faffing around of my mate with his Echo RTT (with his wife helping).

So personally I think RTT's are only really useful for peace of mind in animal areas with no fences.

Not to mention the massive weight issue! Nor aerodynamics either.
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Old 23-03-09, 10:39 AM
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Alan, i am in your corner concerning mobility and practicality and comfort.

This is one thing that i have wondered about with RTT's (as you call them).

I agree, if one has set up camp for a day or two and just wants to pop out for game viewing or just a sunset drive its a huge schelp to strike tent.

I hear your concern regarding animals, but are they really a threat when in a conventional tent? i guess here a heavy canvas unit will be more desirable than those nice nylon woven domes hey

it may sound awful, but i like a clean neat camp set-up but am honestly not into faffing with all sorts.
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Old 23-03-09, 10:42 AM
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As far as both tents are concerned I like the RTT better
Because the bed is already made when you stop.
Most of the sand and dirt falls of your feet climbing up the ladder.
Ventilation always seems better ontop than below.
I think it is a personal preference and if it is easy to setup and breakdown the other thing I believe is the space issue A RTT is all included a Stand alone there seems to be alot more luggage (ground sheet, stretcher, mattras bedding and the tent -which normaly does not fit into its original bag)
I am all for RTT
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  #9  
Old 23-03-09, 10:47 AM
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What you say is true. I assume it does come down to personal preference.
I still prefer the stand alone tent.
perhaps another aspect to look at is if the RTT is fitted to a trailer or vehicle.
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Old 23-03-09, 10:53 AM
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I would say that if you go for a ground tent such as Alan describes this should be best. Ease of use is in my opinion THE MAJOR factor that should be considered. I have a 3x3m canvas tent and use it for weekends away etc but would not consider it for travelling as it takes too much space and is a pain the "Mugabe" to erect and take down on a daily basis. Tents that are a pain tent to be left at home or people just don't go to the bush if it is a hassle.

RTT are only really good for protection against wild animals (lion etc) but your vehicle then becomes an extention of the tent and the drawbacks as Alan describes. Normal ground tents (canvas or nylon) will not protect you from lions etc so don't be told that canvas is way better than nylon. (I have yet to see or hear of a starving lion be put off a meal due to the canvas wrapper!)

I would caution though that with kids the one absolute rule that must be drummed into them from day one is to ALWAYS ALWAYS zip up the tent. I was in Kariba years ago and a night adder and my foot came into contact... no spank you very much not funny at all.

In closing I would say go for the turbo tent as Alan suggested, just set the ground rules, make it fun and the wife and kids won't care where they sleep.
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Old 23-03-09, 11:04 AM
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Thanks.

yes i like that idea - "just set the ground rules, make it fun and the wife and kids won't care where they sleep" -AN Dyes you are 100% correct about keepign a tent (no matter which type) zipped at all times - besides snakes those spiders an other crawlies do have a tendancy to spoil all attemtps to have fun.

Personally i prefer the non RTT option, it just seems that one has more flexibility with them.

As for the Lions - hmmm - point taken, however with the amount of meat on these bones i think any famished Lion would rather look at a fish diet - to nibble these bones would be an insult to injury - lol
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Old 23-03-09, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Venter View Post
I agree, if one has set up camp for a day or two and just wants to pop out for game viewing or just a sunset drive its a huge schelp to strike tent.
Isn't this all about the design of the tent?

I reckon that the commercially available tents are just utter rubbish (and why are they all so similar?).....and am in the process of making my 3rd home-made tent. The previous 2 have been 4-man tents, but the new one is a 2 man thing as my kids are heading off to Uni etc. I have seen 2 people struggle for 20 minutes to put a commercial rooftent away.....the one I am making will take 1 person about 15 to 20 seconds (both to put up and to put away).

There would be no excuse then for missing a game drive because of the hassle of putting a tent away. I enjoy free camping, and to not have to find a flat bit of ground suitable for a tent is one of the big advantages of a rooftent.

Mike

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Old 23-03-09, 11:17 AM
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Mike, you're right about the fact that there should be an easier operating RTT... you design it, I'll market it and we split the profits.

Paul, another consideration with RTT is age of kids, level of intoxication, etc... falling of the roof of a car is, I'm told, a certain way to put a downer on any trip. Also low branches can rip RTT, leaking RTT covers can result in wet bed.

If you have the money get both... RTT for when desired and turbo tent for when required and for ease of use. The ground tent is small and light so taking it along won't cause too much hassle.

A ground tent as mentioned costs about R6000 (don't quote me) but the whole RTT and roof rack etc could be in the region of about R8000 - R10 000 but the rack obviously has other uses. If your family are bush beginners then go for the ground tent unless SWAMBO directs otherwise.
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Old 23-03-09, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
I hear your concern regarding animals, but are they really a threat when in a conventional tent? i guess here a heavy canvas unit will be more desirable than those nice nylon woven domes hey
I had a little incident, which I am sure the big white hunter types would chuckle over, but which had my heart rate right up at the time. I woke to hear what I assume was a hyena growl and then snarl/howl (not that silly little whoop sound, a real nasty snarling howl) about a meter away and ABOVE me whilst sleeping on the ground in a small hiking tent in Botswana. I know its 100% psychological, but I feel a lot better hearing sounds like that below me at night!

I dont think canvas or nylon would make one feel any better in a similar case!

Quote:
I have a 3x3m canvas tent and use it for weekends away etc but would not consider it for travelling as it takes too much space
Agree 100% with this. You need something that packs small and is light weight, plus is easy to erect. The nylon Turbo tents are ideal IMO!

Canvas is all very well if you plan on spending a month or more in the bush in one place (it will last much much longer in the sun etc). But the extra weight and space it takes up is not justified if you use it once or twice a year for a few days at a time IMO.
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Old 23-03-09, 11:22 AM
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If you camp a lot and off the beaten track as well you might end up with both, and more than one of each.
I have RTT's, canvas ground tents, 2 man and 1 man hiking tents, nylon gound tents and use these as required for each trip.
Even though I have a RTT on the Cruiser, I always pack a very small and light 2 man tent, and sometimes use that in preference of the RTT, etc...
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Old 23-03-09, 11:23 AM
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thanks Gary,

yip i have gone that route - ground tent.

lol - i really enjoyed your risk assessment strategy - the one in the beginning of the thread and now this one as well - lol
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Old 23-03-09, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kola View Post
If you camp a lot and off the beaten track as well you might end up with both, and more than one of each.
I have RTT's, canvas ground tents, 2 man and 1 man hiking tents, nylon gound tents and use these as required for each trip.
Even though I have a RTT on the Cruiser, I always pack a very small and light 2 man tent, and sometimes use that in preference of the RTT, etc...
Kobus, i like your idea of taking alone a tent per trip requirement.
i must remember to include a smaller one when i have invested in a RTT - those are wise words i think. - depending on how my preference changes with experience and activity type.
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Old 23-03-09, 11:43 AM
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We decided a RTT is not the way we want to camp.

Granted if you're moving to a new camp site every night a RTT makes a fair bit more sense but we do not often camp like this, preferring to spend a minimum of 2-3 nights at a site.

The reasons why a RTT put me off:
  • Any wind that comes up and the rapid onset of seasickness.
  • They are cramped
  • If your partner needs to go for a pee in the night, not only is it a schlep, but you are almost guaranteed to get woken up as the vehicle rocks around on it's suspension.
  • I see too many people struggle to get their RTT's up and even worse, down.
  • If swambo wants a nap in the afternoon and I want to do a game drive, one of us has to make a sacrifice

To me a trailer top tent makes a great compromise, and would be the route I would follow if it ever becomes necessary for us to travel with a trailer.
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Old 23-03-09, 11:48 AM
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Simon, the reasons you raise are excatly what were goignthrough my mind - juts nedeed confirmation that i was not just being full of nonsence.

BTW what/ who is SWAMBO this is the second reference i have seen in this thread!!
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Old 23-03-09, 11:58 AM
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Old 23-03-09, 12:07 PM
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She Who Always Must Be Obeyed
Oh how very apt indeed !!!! ha ha ha ha
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Old 23-03-09, 12:18 PM
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yet again the drawback to the trailer idea is the trailer. If you don't mind lugging a trailer around with all its various issues (increased fuel consumption, axle width, licensing, being allowed in certain parks etc,) then this is also an option... oh yes, there are also pros to a trailer.
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Old 23-03-09, 12:27 PM
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I cant recall ever seeing a trailer or vehicle RTT that was not canvas.
would this not also be an indicator as to the amount of environmental stress these types of tents are exposed to? yea i know nylon does not last as long in the sun etc - but i think that ground tents are easier to protect against the sun with gazibos or other shade of sorts.
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Old 23-03-09, 02:11 PM
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We went to Tietiesbaai this weekend and around the fire me and my mate had the same conversation which became a argument which become a big disaster.

I was in favour of a ground tent and he in favour of the RTT.

The bottom line was each tent has its pos and negs - and different usages for different scenario's.

I have a 3 x 3 canvas tent, it is very heavy and take up a lot of space, but if the wind comes up I dont have to go pick up my tent at the people camping next to me.

You always try to cut on the weight of all your accessories, and a rooftop tent is much more heavier than the conventional tent.

When we went to Namibia i took a nylon tent with which took me 5 minutes to put up en 5 minutes to take it down each morning, and I was packed up before the ouks with the RTT.
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Old 23-03-09, 02:21 PM
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Etienneo - i think you right, each piece of equipment has its place in life. (you guys are obviously more than passionate about your view points if a conversation moved beyond a heated debate and into an argument! - although i have to question the volume of "dutch courage" that went with the camp fire).

I just wonder how strong the RTT's are when standing up against a good strong wind? the dome tents can fold and buckle and lay flat, but what happens in a RTT?
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Old 23-03-09, 04:33 PM
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When we went to Namibia i took a nylon tent with which took me 5 minutes to put up en 5 minutes to take it down each morning, and I was packed up before the ouks with the RTT.
Are you up for a race?

Your ground tent versus my under-development rooftent........After my tent is up I'll come and give you a hand getting your tent out of its bag!!!

We'll get Paul Venter to hold the money

Paul,

the current commercial design of rooftent is relatively poor in high winds...........the main hassle being the noise of all the not-pulled-taut material. I am sure I have solved this as well. My wife thinks I am rooftent obsessed...........but I just hate to see poorly designed things such as the rooftents you can buy at the moment.

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Old 23-03-09, 04:42 PM
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Have been through them all with mates and ourselves. The tent on the Conqueror was the best thing we could have done. All of the trips that we have taken since - once you arrive somewhere - it's lock and go. The downside is the weight of the trailer - the upside is everything else that goes with it - power, water, fridge, packing space etc.

In terms of hassle, it takes 20 minutes from stop to beer, and 30 minutes from wake to go. The worst thing is deciding what not to take - there's enough space for everything.
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Old 24-03-09, 12:24 PM
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Smile Ground Tents, RTTTs and TTTs

I have all types, but find that we hardly ever use the ground tents. Most take too long to put up, take down and they never again fit back into the original bags they came in. I have found them to be heavy, bulky and I dont seem to have the space to pack them and the fold up stretchers. You see, I hate sleeping on the ground (like a garden boy!!), even if it is on a matress on the floor. That I put behind me when I left the army.

Having said that, I think they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

I have a Technitop RTT (old style, with fibreglass shell) and can put it up and be asleep in less than 2 minutes. It is a delight when you are constantly on the move, spending just a night or two at any one place. It is a bit narrow (1.2m), it rocks when one turns over, its a shlep to go for a pee in the middle of the night (but so is it just getting out of bed and finding trousers and slip-slops in the dark in ANY tent).

My RTT folds away in about 2 minutes and I have survived (very well and with no fuss) a major wind and thunderstorm in Kathu one night and on several other occasions. It did not budge and inch or bend as some people suggested it would. You do however need some other form of independent/freestanding shelter if you have a RTT, be this a tent or gazebo. When it rains all day, sitting in a RTT or the vehicle is not very comfortable or clever. This extra shelter will also "reserve" your campsite while you are out on game drives and to keep you kitchen and seating out of the rain and sun. I have heard of people coming back to their campsite, only to find the new "tennants" moved ther rightful campers' chairs and braaigrids elsewhere, and put up their own tents etc.

In any form of tent, I do however hate to constantly live out of boxes and pack everything back into boxes everytime you go anywhere, be it to keep it safe from locals or to keep the baboons or monkeys from causing havoc when searching for food when you are not around.

This is where having a trailer comes into into its own. I have drawers in my trailer, to pack food in, in the kitchen area and drawers for clothing in the side, conveniently next to the sleeping/ dressing area of the trailer top tent. The negeative aspect of a trailer is the weight and the heavier fuel consumption, but all those are negated by the "home" comforts and the extra protection against rain, wind and sun. Putting up (20mins) and striking (30 mins) is fairly fast. Putting down the goundsheets and packing them away afterwards is what takes time, especially if the groundsheet or the under-side of the tent floor is wet. Same goes when the tent itself is wet. It is more of a shlep than either of the other two options; a trailer with TTT is most definately not for stays of just one night at a time.

A combination of the trailer (with TTT) and the RTT on a trip also works well. We have gone away to one place for an extended period, left the trailer TTT there and then used the RTT for short 1 night excursions or to hard-to-reach-with-a-trailer places.

It is 'horses for courses' and circumstance dependent. It also changes if it is just for you and SWAMBO, or if the children are going along and more sleeping space is needed.
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Old 24-03-09, 01:04 PM
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It really is a matter of horses for courses.

If you are a holiday camper, going to one or two or three camp sites over the course of a couple of weeks, a ground tent is the obvious answer.

If you are doing expedition type travel, then a rooftop tent is part of the answer - you can pitch it anywhere, including in guarded urban parking lots (like Ethiopian hotel lots), side of the road when you just can't move any further (mud holes in Tanzania, Uganda), as a bird and game hide (anywhere), safe when there are predators around (human and animal), away from scorpions and snakes, and wonderfully quick and easy to put up and take down - if someone is battling forever to do either, they haven't practised enough or have a badly designed tent.

On long trips, we carry four sets of shelter - our rooftop tent, a side awning with two zip on drop sides for heavy rain, a Bushtec Canteen, and a light, compact nylon tent. None take up much space or weigh much and that way you have the best of all worlds.

Re strong winds: we have been in winds estimated to be 90km/h coming off Mount Kulal on the shores of Lake Turkana and survived fine (not to mention gale force Western Cape southeasters). We have two storm guy ropes that we use to lash down the top section of the ladder just above the join and that stabilises the tent.

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Old 24-03-09, 01:29 PM
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ek volg die thread met baie konsentrasie en memoriseer elke woord... is ook besig om te kyk na n RTT want ek hou nogal van die explore idee... kort net n roofrack mar ek sukkel met daai een...
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  #31  
Old 24-03-09, 02:01 PM
Paul Venter Paul Venter is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
Are you up for a race?

Your ground tent versus my under-development rooftent........After my tent is up I'll come and give you a hand getting your tent out of its bag!!!

We'll get Paul Venter to hold the money

Paul,

the current commercial design of rooftent is relatively poor in high winds...........the main hassle being the noise of all the not-pulled-taut material. I am sure I have solved this as well. My wife thinks I am rooftent obsessed...........but I just hate to see poorly designed things such as the rooftents you can buy at the moment.

Mike
Ah Mike - have no fear we all need our obsessions in order to make it through life - lol
But further to your comment about the noise from loose material, even if the material is taut and the tent is elevated (and lets say a rain event has happened), the chill effect on the occupants of that tent surly must be increased even in the slightest breeze. to me even if the design is adequate, the environmental exposure level increases drastically by being elevated.
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Old 24-03-09, 02:33 PM
Tony Weaver Tony Weaver is offline
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But further to your comment about the noise from loose material, even if the material is taut and the tent is elevated (and lets say a rain event has happened), the chill effect on the occupants of that tent surly must be increased even in the slightest breeze. to me even if the design is adequate, the environmental exposure level increases drastically by being elevated.
We have camped in our rooftop tent in minus eight in thick snow on the Sanetti Plateau in Ethiopia's Bale Mountains and been very snug - we toss a spare tarpaulin over it to cut the wind chill factor. And then, the real beauty of a rooftop tent, we sleep under a thick down duvet - there's plenty of room for one inside the RTT and it lives there while travelling. Snug in winter, cool in summer - a real boon in mid-winter in the Kalahari too, when the temperature often falls to minus 10.

As for rain, so long as you have a decent RTT, rain is no problem, whereas in a ground tent you have to always ponder whether or not you will have a river running under or through your tent.

RTTs are also above the flying height of mozzies, another plus.

TW
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  #33  
Old 24-03-09, 02:59 PM
Paul Venter Paul Venter is offline
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As for rain, so long as you have a decent RTT, rain is no problem, whereas in a ground tent you have to always ponder whether or not you will have a river running under or through your tent.

RTTs are also above the flying height of mozzies, another plus.

TW[/quote]

I hear what you say about the mozzie zone - every bit of protection against these little critters helps

Ok here is another question: how the heck does one reply with only a selection of the previous comment in your quote message reply?
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  #34  
Old 24-03-09, 03:03 PM
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Hmm some good points in favour of RTT's that I hadnt thought of:

Quote:
As for rain, so long as you have a decent RTT, rain is no problem, whereas in a ground tent you have to always ponder whether or not you will have a river running under or through your tent.
Quote:
RTTs are also above the flying height of mozzies, another plus.
Is this true? I never knew mosquitoes had an altitude ceiling as low as that.

Quote:
you can pitch it anywhere, including in guarded urban parking lots (like Ethiopian hotel lots), side of the road when you just can't move any further (mud holes in Tanzania, Uganda),
Also as Mike says when the ground isnt suitable for a normal tent (ie heavy bush, rocks etc), but then you have to try and get the car level.


PS I have my own semi-home made RTT system which I use in Botswana, which works very well, but still prefer a normal "walk in - stand upright" tent that is separate from the car in most cases though.
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  #35  
Old 24-03-09, 03:20 PM
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I think the mosi altitude thing is partly right.........they certainly seem less inclined to get so high, but I have seen the little b***ers on the outside of the tent in the morning.

Not everything has an altitude limit.............we once left the tent up and open to dry out in Mali.....and then had to sweep literally thousands of earwigs out of it before going to bed! The oddest one of all, though, was my brother putting a jacket on one morning, in the tent (Western Sahara or Mauritania), and then discovering when he climbed to ground level that there was a scorpion on his shoulder! Where had that been overnight?

I think Tony has touched on the biggest advantage of the rooftent...........you can have a decent mattress, and decent bedding & pillows, and not be worried by the space they are taking in the back of your car.

Mike
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  #36  
Old 24-03-09, 03:23 PM
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The altitude thing about mozzies is right but the normal "ceiling" is regarded to be in the region of 10 to 12m....
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  #37  
Old 24-03-09, 03:51 PM
Paul Venter Paul Venter is offline
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Yea Simon is correct about the Mozzie. Also its the anophelies (Spelling??) that is the malaria carrier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alanB View Post
Hmm some good points in favour of RTT's that I hadnt thought of:



Is this true? I never knew mosquitoes had an altitude ceiling as low as that.

Also as Mike says when the ground isnt suitable for a normal tent (ie heavy bush, rocks etc), but then you have to try and get the car level.


PS I have my own semi-home made RTT system which I use in Botswana, which works very well, but still prefer a normal "walk in - stand upright" tent that is separate from the car in most cases though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonB View Post
The altitude thing about mozzies is right but the normal "ceiling" is regarded to be in the region of 10 to 12m....
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  #38  
Old 24-03-09, 04:14 PM
Tony Weaver Tony Weaver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Venter View Post
Ok here is another question: how the heck does one reply with only a selection of the previous comment in your quote message reply?
Hit the quote button, and then delete the sections you don't want.

If you want to do several quote sections, highlight the lot, copy, and then paste and edit each time.

TW
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  #39  
Old 24-03-09, 04:14 PM
ralton ralton is offline
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Default Lions!!!

Tell me, are there any documented cases of lions and other nasty animals tearing open a tent and dragging the occupants out?
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  #40  
Old 24-03-09, 04:18 PM
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Tell me, are there any documented cases of lions and other nasty animals tearing open a tent and dragging the occupants out?
Yes, there are. My mom's aunt was killed by a hippo while she was sleeping in a tent...
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  #41  
Old 24-03-09, 04:20 PM
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Not that I know of.........
.........but I did hear of the opposite happening. Some Germans were camping somewhere, in a ground tent, when one of them awoke in the middle of the night with a heavy weight pressing against his face.

After a bit of gentle manouevering they eased the zip of the tent down a few millimetres to discover that they were now camping in the midst of a pride of lions, with the male lying half-on and half off their tent!

Twenty four hours later they were still there...........and by then, the Germans were quite desperate for the toilet! They lived to tell the tale.

Mike

Last edited by MikeAG; 24-03-09 at 04:21 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #42  
Old 24-03-09, 04:34 PM
Tony Weaver Tony Weaver is offline
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There have been several cases of hyenas dragging people out of tents, but always when the tent was open or a part of them was exposed outside the tent. In 1984, a ranger friend of mine was sleeping in his bedroll in Damaraland when a lion jumped right over him and took out his Staffie.

And here's a hippo story that happened at Fisherman's Camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha. I wrote about it not long afterward:

"The camp has signs everywhere that say "hippo are dangerous, do not camp on hippo paths." In 1994, a family of German overlanders arrived and, despite warnings from staff and other campers, pitched their tent on a hippo path (the grass was nice and short). That night, a bull got amorous with their hippo-shaped dome tent. The father slapped the hippo through the nylon, and he took this as a challenge from another bull to his mating territory.

Mating hippo are an awesome sight: Angry males are even more awesome. He lunged at the tent with his mouth open, and trampled their baby, snapping her arm. Then he scooped her up in his mouth, bit her in the back, his tooth snapping off in her flesh. He turned on the father, ripping open his leg, tearing his face. They were air-doctored to hospital and survived, just."

TW
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  #43  
Old 24-03-09, 04:40 PM
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Acrorellik Acrorellik is offline
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Went on a week-end getaway camp with some mates of mine and I had a RTT on the double-cab and a RTT on the off-road trailer... all my mates had ground tents
We all got to camp that night and it was pouring with rain....
RTT on the double-cab took all of 1 minute to setup and my girl and I were done.
We then sat and enjoyed the escapades of my mates trying to get their tents up in the wet
One mate eventually gave up and made use of the RTT on the trailer.
Needless to say all my mate had a good look at the RTT the next morning and where all sold on it
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  #44  
Old 24-03-09, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Tell me, are there any documented cases of lions and other nasty animals tearing open a tent and dragging the occupants out?
I've heard of people that were dragged out when they didnt fasten the zip properly (ie the tent was partly open). Recently read somewhere about some lion/s jumping onto a dome tent with someone inside at Mana Pools, cant remember where I read it, it could have been here?

All the old hands insist that you are safe in a tent provided you don't have any food with you and its zipped up, which doesn't make complete sense to me because a) you ARE food b) predators/scavengers can definitely smell you (a dog I'm told has a sense of smell 100,000 times more sensitive than a human's - I would assume a lion/hyena/leopard etc is similar), especially if you have had a nice braai for supper and havent showered before sleeping etc .

PS On a friends game farm they had lions break down the door to their kitchen and take impala carcasses that had just been shot and slaughtered, there was apparently nobody in the house at the time - was told this by the owner and his daughter on separate occasions. It was an old farm house so perhaps the door was wonky?

Last edited by alanB; 24-03-09 at 04:51 PM. Reason: afterthought
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  #45  
Old 24-03-09, 05:04 PM
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We had Christmas '94/ '95 at Naivasha, and heard the same tale as Tony tells. Sounds like those people were candidates for a Darwin Award!
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  #46  
Old 24-03-09, 08:33 PM
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Agree with Kola. Need a tent for every occasion. RTT for daily travels. Dome for 2-3 day overnights. Base tent for 2-3 weeks, and Lodge for the Swambo every week! Trailer for the month + trips. BTW, thanks for the GPS tips, SimonB.
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  #47  
Old 25-03-09, 08:50 AM
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Dome tent - because I only have one.
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  #48  
Old 27-03-09, 01:12 AM
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Looking at this from a practical point I would go for the ground tent first. The main point to consider is to get the best quality that you can afford and to go for a size that you can comfortably handle.
I enjoy camping but refuse to squat, I do not sleep on the ground only fox terriers sleep on a little mat. Campmaster make a decent folding bed with an inflatable mattress that takes care of this department. We use two or three tents depending on the time away and the trailer as secure storage for foodstuffs from baboons (four and two legged types).
I am presently in the process of building a rtt as well but this will be for touring where I don't need to be out at the crack of dawn for a game drive but for any longer trips the trusty bow tent will still be there.
The ultimate would be the camping trailer where the sleeping section is above the trailer with a large area enclosed around the trailer but the time to set up and strike camp also increases as do the cost of the unit. Personally with that kind of weight and capital investment I would rather go for a caravan with aircon and built in bathroom.
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  #49  
Old 27-03-09, 06:32 AM
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Default My 2 cents worth

I have been reading the posts of the battle of rtt and ground tent.
I still believe it is a a sort of private affair which one you like. I have been camping a lot and always in ground tents of different sizes and shapes old and new.

The biggest question i see everyone ask is of time to put the tent up, well if my ground tent takes 10 or 20min longer than the rtt who cares im on holiday and why rush and what is 10min for comfort space and place to relax in.

Ive met an elderly gentle man a while back at a caravan dealer and we started talking and 1 thing he said to me that i will always remember is " that if you can sit ( chair) lekke at your camp and sleep comfortable then you having a restful holiday sdpecialy after a long trek" So i always think about this and even if it take me a bit longer its worth it" ONLY A FOOL IS UNCOMFORTABLE IF HE CAN BE COMFORTABLE"

We also believe in closing the tent for creepies at all times

Thanx
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Old 27-03-09, 07:48 AM
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I find sleeping in a tree is a lot more comforting, take of your belt tighten it to a thickish branch and then to your arm - get the pillow in place and get comfortable. As long as the coals as going near the tree trunk the leopards seem to stay away and there are no mozzie issues.....
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