Starter RTT?

AZ_CAVALRY

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Thinking about getting an RTT, and don't know where to start. It's just me right now, so I wouldn't need anything crazy. I would like to keep it under $1k (if possible) but want one that will hold up in the elements. I talked to a guy at TJM a few months ago at a 4x4 expo, and was impressed with that setup for $8-900. Any suggestions?
 

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If it were just me I'd be looking at something small and simple like a hardshell popup, one of the FSR side folders, etc. Also, buy once, cry once. We had a budget RTT and the quality just wasn't there. If it's something you're going to use a lot and keep for a long time I wouldn't skimp on it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that virtually all of the Chinese tents look virtually identical and have the same features and so on. That does not mean that they are all the same. The differences are in materials used, fit-and-finish, quality control, warranty, etc.
 

AZ_CAVALRY

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If it were just me I'd be looking at something small and simple like a hardshell popup, one of the FSR side folders, etc. Also, buy once, cry once. We had a budget RTT and the quality just wasn't there. If it's something you're going to use a lot and keep for a long time I wouldn't skimp on it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that virtually all of the Chinese tents look virtually identical and have the same features and so on. That does not mean that they are all the same. The differences are in materials used, fit-and-finish, quality control, warranty, etc.

What budget RTT did you have? I've been looking into the Smittybilt and TJM tents, reading reviews and they all seem to have their pros and cons. The hard shell tents are a little above my price range, which I could possibly make work if the other style isn't there functionally. How do I know what the Chinese tents are? If I stick to brand names (FSR, Tepui, etc..), is that something I should worry about?
 

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Don’t focus on cheap. Look for value and actual needs. Like Josh said buy once cry once. Check out 23zero, tepui or golddog.
 

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What budget RTT did you have? I've been looking into the Smittybilt and TJM tents, reading reviews and they all seem to have their pros and cons. The hard shell tents are a little above my price range, which I could possibly make work if the other style isn't there functionally. How do I know what the Chinese tents are? If I stick to brand names (FSR, Tepui, etc..), is that something I should worry about?
They're almost all Chinese. You'll notice 90% of them look identical from a design perspective. Again, the difference is in fit and finish, quality control, and materials. The name brand tents will be markedly better than the off-brands. The price generally tells you a lot. I would stick to CVT, Tepui, 23ZERO, FSR, Front Runner, etc. so that you're at least getting a known quantity from a domestically based company with some semblance of a warranty and customer support.

ETA: not all name brands are good, Yakima for example are pretty terrible from what I've heard.
 

AZ_CAVALRY

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They're almost all Chinese. You'll notice 90% of them look identical from a design perspective. Again, the difference is in fit and finish, quality control, and materials. The name brand tents will be markedly better than the off-brands. The price generally tells you a lot. I would stick to CVT, Tepui, 23ZERO, FSR, Front Runner, etc. so that you're at least getting a known quantity from a domestically based company with some semblance of a warranty and customer support.

ETA: not all name brands are good, Yakima for example are pretty terrible from what I've heard.
Gotcha. I appreciate the info. Bernie (milkteacoma) really recommended his Front Runner tent and pretty much sold me on it. Plus his discount code helped. I'm going to do more research on the brands you listed as well.
 

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Gotcha. I appreciate the info. Bernie (milkteacoma) really recommended his Front Runner tent and pretty much sold me on it. Plus his discount code helped. I'm going to do more research on the brands you listed as well.
I've heard good things about the Front Runner, just keep in mind that it is not made out of the same materials as pretty much any other roof top tent. The walls and rain fly are more akin to that of a ground tent... It is some kind of lightweight nylon and not a cotton canvas or poly cotton canvas. This leads me to believe that it will be less insulated and less durable but more mildew resistant and definitely lighter weight. That is how they achieved the super slim form factor of that particular tent when it is folded up... That type of material is significantly less bulky. Just food for thought, it depends on what your priorities are which is best for you.

Check out the Tepui Ayer Baja... if I were in your situation, that is probably the one I would go with due to the size, quality, replaceable canopies, and overall simplicity.
 

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Also some tents are not 4 seasons. I know for az that’s not huge but in Washington where we get all 4 seasons it’s a must.
 

AZ_CAVALRY

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Also some tents are not 4 seasons. I know for az that’s not huge but in Washington where we get all 4 seasons it’s a must.
Yeah that's another factor I'm looking into. Going up to Yellowstone in September, so want to be prepared in the AZ heat and winters up north.
 

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Check out the tepui akers
 

AZ_CAVALRY

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Got a Smittybilt Overlander and I have absolutely zero complaints. Awesome quality, even better price
 

AZ_CAVALRY

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Too may choices!
 

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Thinking about getting an RTT, and don't know where to start. It's just me right now, so I wouldn't need anything crazy. I would like to keep it under $1k (if possible) but want one that will hold up in the elements. I talked to a guy at TJM a few months ago at a 4x4 expo, and was impressed with that setup for $8-900. Any suggestions?


Josh, I have one possibly for sale. its a olive drab GOFSR style pop up by CVT. 1k never used. just mounted.