I’ve been wanting to go to Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) for a few years now. I decided this is the year. 9 days of endless Moab trails, camping, and festivities. To be ready for the trip, I need a solid roof top tent (RTT) and roof rack solution. Choosing between the many options was tough.
I had two basic design choices. I can go with an exoskeleton style roof rack. Very strong but looks terribly goofy on a daily driver. Alternatively I can buy a solution that requires drilling through your hardtop roof to attach to your roll bars for support.
I decided on the Rhino-Rack Backbone with Vortex crossbar kit. If it’s good enough for my favorite overlanding vloggers, it’s good enough for me. The kit should arrive on Jan 6th. You can bet I’ll be cringing between now and then.
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Roof Top Tent
For the RTT, the first decision is whether to get a hardtop or a soft top. This was a pretty easy choice. Hardtops are quick to set up and take down, typically <60 seconds. Versus the 10 minutes (or more) it takes to set up and take down a soft top. No contest, I went with a hardtop.
Next came the shape and design choice. I’m not a fan of wedge type RTTs. I think they look cool, but I feel that the waste of space is a deal breaker. I’m not very tall, so it probably wouldn’t have mattered to me. I just know I wouldn’t have been happy with the design. I love the design of the iKamper Skycamp Mini and the Roofnest Condor.
They’re similar, though given the history of the design, I couldn’t buy what I consider to be a blatant knockoff. iKamper has a reputation for quality and support. They earned my money. Its waiting at Main Line Overland until I get the rack installed.
The iKamper 2.0 mounting bracket is one of the reasons I picked crossbars instead of a platform. Once the roof rack is installed, the RTT can be installed and removed quickly and easily. If I went with a platform, I’d have to use their crappy iKamper 1.0 mounting brackets. I’d have to drill through the platform, and installation and removal would be PITA.
Once I’ve installed the rack, I will swing by Main Line Overland to get it attached to the crossbars. I plan to do that on a Friday, so I can head out for a couple days to test and tighten down whatever might shake loose. #loctiteFTW
Now I wait.
The Rhino-Rack kit is due in on Jan 6. I’ll install it the following weekend, provided it doesn’t rain or snow, and that the temp is reasonable. Once the rack is installed, I’ll head to Main Line Overland to get the RTT installed.
From what some buddies told me, I’d do well to get the iKamper awning. If only so I can stay dry if I need to get out in the middle of the night, when mother nature calls. 🙂 Stay tuned for my upcoming install blog.