REI had an extra 25% off sale prices last week and you could have gotten the Yakima Skyview 2 for around $500 which is about 50% off. Even now, it is around $750 for the 2 person. I would much rather buy one than hacking something together.I will heavily consider saving. It’s just so expensive at a minimum 1000
You are young, stubborn and resilient enough to make something ridiculous work for a while. Go for it. You will learn a lot about how to build and put things together. If your homemade RTT fails, then figure out how to make it better.The one I’m fabbing takes down in 10 minutes so you don’t have to worry about anything coming loose on the road. On,y thing that is semi permanent is the Smitty SRC rack
Nothing will pose any danger to anyone on the highway. My idea is a tent that sets up on the pre existing rack. It will not be driven with the tent on. The tent will be folded up in the trunk.You are young, stubborn and resilient enough to make something ridiculous work for a while. Go for it. You will learn a lot about how to build and put things together. If your homemade RTT fails, then figure out how to make it better.
Just be absolutely sure this contraption doesn't fly off the Jeep on the highway and become someone else's problem.
Bear with me for a minute, and don't skim the next two paragraphs.This is a design I photoshopped up. $289 Smittybilt SRC roof rack, 60$ cot tent, 30$ ply wood hinge fold out base for tent to mount on and 10$ in mounting hardware, tie downs, straps.
Less than $400 to have a functional rooftop mounting situation for my once a month camping trip with the guys.
Away from the critters, and it all is kept in the backseat (aside from the rack) which is left on the whole time. When I get to my campsite I simply attach the play wood base on the rack, release the tent and strap it all down secure.
Camping on the ground is an option; you just need to figure out how to do it. Personally, I think it makes more sense to modify a tent-cot to be used on soft ground; at least then you're not having to take a platform out, bolt it to the rack, and then strap a cot down on top of it in less-than-ideal conditions. Also, I can't see why taking the backseat out is too much hassle; it literally takes a couple of minutes, and that's if you're taking your time. It's less effort than what you're talking about doing with the platform.For those saying to just tent on the ground, that’s not an option, my only other option is to convert the inside of my TJ to sleep in. As it’s my daily driver and it’s too much hassle to take out the backseat once a month, I need a rtt. Worst case if my idea doesn’t work I figure I can always keep my tent for other camping. The rack is useful and I can reuse the plywood and straps for other uses. I don’t see anything to lose.
Cool let us know how that works out for you the best part about using the cot tent is if it doesn’t work on the roof it will still work for you on the ground.The one I’m fabbing takes down in 10 minutes so you don’t have to worry about anything coming loose on the road. On,y thing that is semi permanent is the Smitty SRC rack
you brought up a bunch of great points I will think about it and post some similar ideas soon. Maybe a leveling tent cot or something for on ground camping. Thanks for the time I’m the reply.Bear with me for a minute, and don't skim the next two paragraphs.
There are a couple of factors that you need to consider, the first of which is the size and weight of your support platform. Cots similar to the one you depicted are approximately 90" long and 30"-36" wide; assuming that you have a single-fold platform built from 3/4" plywood (inference, based on what you've said so far) you'll need to make room inside your TJ for a 45" by 36"-ish object that weighs about 50 pounds...and that weight assumes that you won't reinforce it in any way, which I wouldn't advise. Plywood is incredibly weak across its surface, so it's more realistic to think about what kind of fold-up structure you can build that will be strong enough to support the weight of you and your tent-cot ...and unless you start getting creative with aluminum and/or some structural panel materials, you're probably going to easily hit the 50-lb. mark when you achieve that goal, and it's going to cost more than $30. You'll also have to take that platform in and out of your TJ, from the top of all the rest of your gear, and install it on the rack before you can set up the tent.
The second factor you need to consider is weight. If you somehow build a 50-lb. support platform you still have to put a tent-cot on it that weighs around 30 pounds; the Kamp-Rite is 32, and other options are even heavier. That puts you in the 80-lb. range of weight before you add a sleeping bag, pillow, any other gear you might want inside the tent, and yourself. That leaves you with only 220 pounds of weight capacity on the rack, because Smittybilt rates the SRC TJ rack at - and this is a direct quote - "300 lbs. of evenly distributed cargo." Most racks in that category are rated at a similar capacity.
The point of this is that it's not quite as simple as you made it out to be, nor will it realistically be as cheap, and it although your setup plan sounds simple, it isn't. Imagine having to do what you're talking about doing in the middle of a rainstorm, late at night, in the cold; things get immensely different when factors like that are involved.
Camping on the ground is an option; you just need to figure out how to do it. Personally, I think it makes more sense to modify a tent-cot to be used on soft ground; at least then you're not having to take a platform out, bolt it to the rack, and then strap a cot down on top of it in less-than-ideal conditions. Also, I can't see why taking the backseat out is too much hassle; it literally takes a couple of minutes, and that's if you're taking your time. It's less effort than what you're talking about doing with the platform.
Think of it this way: you're building something that nobody builds...so there may be a reason for that. I love the ingenuity of the idea, but don't make the mistake of assuming success while shorting a proven method. If you really want to throw a rooftop on your rig, fine: do so...but buy a good rack, and buy a good tent. If you absolutely insist on going the cot-and-platform route, take a few pointers from the excellent photos that Mr. Bills just posted and try to replicate those Landcruiser setups on your TJ.
If I was you, that's what I would be thinking about. Skip the rack entirely, buy a nice bush cot with plenty of space, and think about a way to level it on the ground. I've never found myself in a situation where I couldn't find suitable space for a tent, but if the terrain you're in is as bad as you say, then the smaller your footprint, the better. Also - again - site selection is of paramount importance: you'll never make up for a bad site with any amount of gear. No matter what you do, Mother Nature will always be bigger than you...so you have to work with what she gives you at the time.Maybe a leveling tent cot or something for on ground camping.