Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?





View Poll Results: Where did you mount your roof top tent on your D/Cab bakkie?

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  • Cab

    5 20.83%
  • Canopy

    19 79.17%
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  1. #1
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    Post Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Hi all,

    If you own (did own) a double cab bakkie and a roof top tent, please vote.

    Where did you mount the tent? On the cab or on the canopy and why?

    Poll added, please vote and give a quick (or long) reason...

    Thanks!
    4x4 Groete
    Albert de Villiers
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Well if I did own a double cab ( I own a Land Rover Defender 90 ) bakkie and would mount a roof top tent, I would mount the tent on the cab because of the weight distribution would be more or less in the middle which would not make the end more heavy then it would normally be, reducing excessive wear and tear on the rear parts etc.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    On the cab of my Defender, opening over the bonnet for 2 reasons:
    a. Central weight distribution
    b. ladder clips to top of bull bar - much easier to climb in than up a long ladder


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    It seems we don't have a lot of people with Double cabs and roof top tents on this community?

    Do you all tow trailers/caravans?
    4x4 Groete
    Albert de Villiers
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Hi Albert
    I mounted my tenton my canopy, purely because it was the easiest. Mounting it to the roofrequired a roof rack, and the aluminium canopy already had mounting place.
    I would ideallylike to mount it on the cab, but wondered if the wind resistance of cab vs.canopy would be any different?
    2012 Bi Turbo 4Motion, on Bilsteins with a 50mm suspension lift and 20mm body lift. 76mm pipe and software.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Trebla,
    I did a quick Google search and looked at 4x4 rent bakkies. Quite a few have two tents on (cab and canopy), but the single tent ones are mostly on the canopy.

    A bakkie is designed to carry extra weight on the rear axle, so from that point of view it's fine. So if I were to get a RTT, I'll stick it on my canopy

    I assume your canopy is rated for the load.
    Last edited by RoelfleRoux; 2017/01/11 at 10:55 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBoy View Post
    Hi Albert
    I mounted my tenton my canopy, purely because it was the easiest. Mounting it to the roofrequired a roof rack, and the aluminium canopy already had mounting place.
    I would ideallylike to mount it on the cab, but wondered if the wind resistance of cab vs.canopy would be any different?
    Hi John,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    So if you had a roof rack and a roof top tent the tent will be on the cab and the roof rack on the canopy?

    I'm not sure about the wind resistance, it's and interesting question...?
    4x4 Groete
    Albert de Villiers
    Amarok BiTDi 4Motion
    Youtube Channel


    www.andre4x4.co.za

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RoelfleRoux View Post
    Trebla,
    I did a quick Google search and looked at 4x4 rent bakkies. Quite a few have two tents on (cab and canopy), but the single tent ones are mostly on the canopy.

    A bakkie is designed to carry extra weight on the rear axle, so from that point of view it's fine. So if I were to get a RTT, I'll stick it on my canopy

    I assume your canopy is rated for the load.
    Thanks for the input!

    I also had a look at the rental companies setup, but I can't say that all is fitted on the cab or all is fitted on the canopy.

    Yes the RSI canopy is designed to carry extra weight on the roof, so that is not an issue.

    If you mount the tent on the cab the weight is spread between the two axles, then I would fit the roof rack on the canopy?
    4x4 Groete
    Albert de Villiers
    Amarok BiTDi 4Motion
    Youtube Channel


    www.andre4x4.co.za

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebla View Post
    Hi John,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    So if you had a roof rack and a roof top tent the tent will be on the cab and the roof rack on the canopy?

    I'm not sure about the wind resistance, it's and interesting question...?
    Well, I now have aroof rack and a roof top tent, and the tent is still on the canopy.
    The reason forthis is that the tent is mounted flush (25mm max) above the canopy, so this isstill fairly low profile. If it was on the cab, it would need to be at lease 60-80mmhigher that the setup I have now.
    The roof rack isalso loaded heavier than the weight of the RTT, so this weight is placedbetween the axles.
    The RTT is a 1.6munit, so extends a good 200mm over the cab.
    There is no real scienceapplied to my decision on placement, it has just developed this way, and noreal reason to change it all now.
    2012 Bi Turbo 4Motion, on Bilsteins with a 50mm suspension lift and 20mm body lift. 76mm pipe and software.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    This is my setup, reason being that my cab is too small for the RTT

    But even if it was not, I would rather have the weight over the rear axle. The tent ladder might also be in the way if you want to fully open a door when the tent is up.

    Good question about wind resistance..
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    On the canopy.

    Some reasons:

    1. It acts as a roof over the canopy thereby making it a degree or 3 cooler which will benefit your fridge
    2. Most non clam shell type rtt's is not simply a matter of closing it and zipping it up. You need to be mobile around the vehicle and elevated to tuck away the tent at sides and to slip over the protective cover. When on the canopy, you gain gain access to much of the tent on the tailgate.

    3. On the canopy, when opened it provides some more shade to your kitchen area which is usually the rear of the bakkie or the sides of the canopy. This is especially handy when you have the add a room.
    4. Most bakkies is too light in the load bin area and always requires some extra weight for a more comfortable ride and to make it less tail happy on gravel.
    5. If you get it wrong, and drive under a low branch, wire, wall etc, the damage to your vehicle roof ripped open will be much more expensive than the damage to the canopy.
    6. It just looks better.
    Nico Swart

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    We want to do what I call the 'mini canopy', Janniel (also on forum is correcting the plans) his is operational. Mini canopy is half the height (or tent dependent) of the usual canopies. The idea is to have the rtt on the mini canopy at cab roof height or slightly exceeding it. We are trying to streamline everything and take some pressure of the V6's petrol usage. We hope the streamline one reduces the drag. He will probably post the build when hes done. Anyone with any other ideas?
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Here is my setup.
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    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    I put mine on the cab. I have the rent on load bars on the cab......It allows you to carry additional items like a spare wheel, Jerry cans, firewood etc etc on top if the canopy.
    Most people don't but a roof rack for the cab but rather just buy load bars.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    My previous vehicle was D/C and I had the RTT on the cab for the following reasons:-
    1) The RTT was opened out over the bonnet , with the ladder fitted onto the bulbar. Only half the ladder is required to operate the RTT, the other half can be left at home. One less thing to do.
    2) The vehicle can still be moved with the RTT up, to get away from a dangerous situation, like a fire or rising tidal waters or a rising river.
    3) It is not neccessary to unzip the whole cover of the RTT as the section attached can just be left on the bonnet of the vehicle without lying on the ground and is then so much easier to just through over and zip shut the next morning.
    4) The ladder can be tied to the bulbar, making it less likely to be meddeled with while you are sleeping at night. You could even lock it in position.
    5) The vehicle can be moved if the tent is still wet the next morning, to a close pan for game viewing or fishing spot next to a river or beach, to have everything close by and under your control.
    6) When going to bed your dirty or muddy shoes can be placed in the bonnet of your vehicle, within arms reach of where you get out the RTT. The next morning you look out over your domain while putting on your boots before descending the ladder.
    7) The most wild animals cannot use your flimsy aluminium ladder as a scratching post while you are upstairs.
    8) In Botswana at Mababe or Ghoha camp a lioness used a RTT to sharpen her nails nails, breaking the RTT in the middle and breaking the ladder. This had the occupants in the RTT on the ground with the lioness with only the fabric seperating the people from the lioness.
    Apparently the inside of the RTT could never be cleaned satisfactorily for fixing or resale.
    9) Wind resistance below 100kms/h is largely insignificant, unless you are also driving into a strong headwind at the same time, but then likewise, you could then be driving with a tailwind, which would then be assisting your fuel consumption. You thus have a 50% chance of this affecting you negatively, the other 50% will effect you positevely.
    I am sure that you could think of more reasons, but this suited me well for at least 12 years and I never regretted my decision.
    I had a roofrack over my canopy which was used for wood, extra spare wheel and anything else that needed transporting.
    Hope you make the decision that suites your needs.
    Happy ans safe travels for you and your family.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    This is an Excellent topic, I'm planning a rtt and wondered the exact same point, looks like the canopy fitting has advantages

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Quote Originally Posted by haboob View Post
    My previous vehicle was D/C and I had the RTT on the cab for the following reasons:-
    1) The RTT was opened out over the bonnet , with the ladder fitted onto the bulbar. Only half the ladder is required to operate the RTT, the other half can be left at home. One less thing to do. Yes, sometimes its all about the little things and one less thing to do helps.
    2) The vehicle can still be moved with the RTT up, to get away from a dangerous situation, like a fire or rising tidal waters or a rising river. A vehicle can still be moved regardless of where the rtt is situated. Granted, if the ladder is fixed to the bull bar, the rtt will be a little sturdier to drive for a short while out of harm's way.
    3) It is not neccessary to unzip the whole cover of the RTT as the section attached can just be left on the bonnet of the vehicle without lying on the ground and is then so much easier to just through over and zip shut the next morning. I dont quite get this. On most rtt's I know the cover cannot be zipped of / removed completely without taking of the entire rtt. Presumably yours works different. Mine's zip is only on 3 sections of the square tent.
    4) The ladder can be tied to the bulbar, making it less likely to be meddeled with while you are sleeping at night. You could even lock it in position. Don't camp where there are tricksters about wanting to play a joke on you by removing your ladder. Where rtt's are utilized, no such people should be about.
    5) The vehicle can be moved if the tent is still wet the next morning, to a close pan for game viewing or fishing spot next to a river or beach, to have everything close by and under your control. This all depends on the area you're at. In wide open spaces like the CKGR maybe yes. Not in the bush. And this is not advisable in any event.
    6) When going to bed your dirty or muddy shoes can be placed in the bonnet of your vehicle, within arms reach of where you get out the RTT. The next morning you look out over your domain while putting on your boots before descending the ladder. Are you actually clinging to the ladder whilst putting your shoes on? I cannot manage this and I'm certainly not stepping onto my bonnet to do this. Throw down the shoes and put them on below. No rtt placement advantage here imho.
    7) The most wild animals cannot use your flimsy aluminium ladder as a scratching post while you are upstairs.
    8) In Botswana at Mababe or Ghoha camp a lioness used a RTT to sharpen her nails nails, breaking the RTT in the middle and breaking the ladder. This had the occupants in the RTT on the ground with the lioness with only the fabric seperating the people from the lioness. A lion will reach to the top of the bull bar as well very easily. One could secure the ladder on the ground as well with tent pegs so that it is less likely to move around when rubbed against.
    Apparently the inside of the RTT could never be cleaned satisfactorily for fixing or resale.
    9) Wind resistance below 100kms/h is largely insignificant, unless you are also driving into a strong headwind at the same time, but then likewise, you could then be driving with a tailwind, which would then be assisting your fuel consumption. You thus have a 50% chance of this affecting you negatively, the other 50% will effect you positevely. Wind resistance will make no difference regardless of where it is mounted. If anywhere ontop of a vehicle, there will be increased resistance.
    I am sure that you could think of more reasons, but this suited me well for at least 12 years and I never regretted my decision.
    I had a roof rack over my canopy which was used for wood, extra spare wheel and anything else that needed transporting.
    Hope you make the decision that suites your needs.
    Happy ans safe travels for you and your family.
    Just some thoughts.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2017/01/11 at 03:14 PM.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    I have mine on the canopy. Can mount it lower and my Rsi canopy can handle it. Also prefer the weight on the real axle. Have the root mounted so it opens sideways.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    SwartKat;3454740]Just some thoughts.[/QUOTE]

    No, you don't hang on the ladder while you put your down boots on, you sit in the open doorway of your RTT, with your feet on the ladder. It is also not neccessary to stand on the bonnet. You will be within arms length of the bonnet with only half the ladder in use, while sitting in the doorway of your RTT.
    Most areas where you pitch your RTT have access roads, where you can drive out with RTT pitched. If you cannot, then just do what you normally do, but it can be done, if you have a RTT mounted in this way.
    The vehicle will be difficult to drive away with the ladder resting on the ground, that's why I suggested it be fixed to the bulbar in front.
    The lioness can still use the RTT as a place to sharpen her nails or to stretch, but then will only pull the RTT down as far as the bonnet and not down to the ground, as was the case in the article I read.
    I had a Howling Moon RTT which could be unzipped the whole way around. If you unzipped it too far and the zip off top came off, it was difficult to get back together again. With the zip starting and ending above the windscreen in the front of the vehicle, we normally left a short section from the corner to the middle unzipped. The top piece would then get thrown over and pulled into position before the zipping would start. I would do the drivers side and SWAMBO the passengers side.
    Criticising everything written by others does not make you more right, or you way the better way.
    Maybe if you see how other people do things, you may learn from their experiences, instead of believing that everything you do is the right way to do things.
    I answered the post without criticising anyone else, but gave the member the information how I did my RTT, and not insinuating that my way, was better than that of anyone else. This was to put the information out there for anyone to use or discard, as they deem fit.
    Happy and safe camping...
    Last edited by haboob; 2017/01/12 at 02:47 PM. Reason: add a point

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Roof top tent: Cab or Canopy?

    Quote Originally Posted by haboob View Post
    SwartKat;3454740]Just some thoughts.
    No, you don't hang on the ladder while you put your down boots on, you sit in the open doorway of your RTT, with your feet on the ladder. It is also not neccessary to stand on the bonnet. You will be within arms length of the bonnet with only half the ladder in use, while sitting in the doorway of your RTT.
    Most areas where you pitch your RTT have access roads, where you can drive out with RTT pitched. If you cannot, then just do what you normally do, but it can be done, if you have a RTT mounted in this way.
    The vehicle will be difficult to drive away with the ladder resting on the ground, that's why I suggested it be fixed to the bulbar in front.
    The lioness can still use the RTT as a place to sharpen her nails or to stretch, but then will only pull the RTT down as far as the bonnet and not down to the ground, as was the case in the article I read.
    Criticising everything written by others does not make you more right, or you way the better way.
    Maybe if you see how other people do things, you may learn from their experiences, instead of believing that everything you do is the right way to do things.
    I answered the post without criticising anyone else, but gave the member the information how i did my RTT, and not insinuating that my way was better than that of anyone else. This was to put the information out there for anyone to use or discard, as they deem fit.
    Happy and safe camping...[/QUOTE]

    You are obviously offended. Not my intention to do so but you should know that If you make a comment on a public forum, it is there to debate, whether you like it or not.

    So please don't be so touchy man! Also, nowhere did I say that my way is the correct way. I did the same as you by giving my opinion and experience.

    Feel free to disagree with me with regards to the issues I've raised. This will help the OP make an informed decision.

    Apologies none the less, I meant no offence.
    Last edited by Die SwartKat; 2017/01/12 at 02:49 PM.
    Nico Swart

    Triton 2.5DiD D/C with SS
    ZS6NJS

    One day, or Day One. You decide. Tomorrow is promised for no one!

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