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Smittybilt XL Rooftop Tent w/ Pictures

Karpiel73

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I have an 01' Sport and am searching for honest, serious opinions on running a Smittybilt XL RTT on my Exploder. Smittybilt is currently having a killer deal on the XLs and there's a local 4 Wheel Parts nearby so I wouldnt pay shipping.

The tent is 76" wide so it'd take up close to the entire roof. Any thoughts?
 
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Karpiel73

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BKennedy

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How many times per year would you be using it? $879 plus tax doesn't seem to be that great of a deal to me.
 
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Karpiel73

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How many times per year would you be using it? $879 plus tax doesn't seem to be that great of a deal to me.
In 2019 alone I may be using it over 30 times. For the size of the tent, it'd be impossible to find one under $1k. Even tents that are 72" wide go for $1400+.
 
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good price on a good tent
You also must have a heck of a flat and strong roof rack for this thing to sit on so unless you already have that on your sport you will need to add that $$$$$
 
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gmanpaint

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30 times in one year? That's a lot of use, for an occasional low end, light use RTT.

You might want to bite the bullet now, and get a higher end RTT. Skip the buyers remorse, and search out other Christmas sales, on well known higher end units. That super low price might sound tempting now, but a year from now, you won't see it that way.

76" RTT is also 3 times heavier than your stock cross bars are allotted for. Replace them with metal bars, and for that size RTT, I suggest a minimum of 3 bars.
 
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Karpiel73

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That tent looks awesome!

What’s the weight limit for the roof of your Sport?
I've searched the forum and seems like 150-200lbs is the roof rack limit for a static load. As for the roof, I'm not sure.

good price on a good tent
You also must have a heck of a flat and strong roof rack for this thing to sit on so unless you already have that on your sport you will need to add that $$$$$
I planned on having 4 crossbars on the stock roof rails and fabricating a fairing to alleviate wind stress on the entire setup. I've had about 100lbs on the stock rails before. What are your thoughts?
 
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Karpiel73

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30 times in one year? That's a lot of use, for an occasional low end, light use RTT.

You might want to bite the bullet now, and get a higher end RTT. Skip the buyers remorse, and search out other Christmas sales, on well known higher end units. That super low price might sound tempting now, but a year from now, you won't see it that way.

76" RTT is also 3 times heavier than your stock cross bars are allotted for. Replace them with metal bars, and for that size RTT, I suggest a minimum of 3 bars.

See the above reply for my plans on crossbars. The tent weighs 148lbs and all smaller ones weigh 100-120. $1400+ is a tough pill to swallow! Lol
 
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gmanpaint

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Hmm, my cvt 56" Rtt is 175 lbs out of the box.

Pretty sure your stock rack is rated at 100 lbs.

You have to think of leverage and weight shifting while going back and forth off camber while traveling. Then when open, and a person's weight shifting in it, causing leverage stress to the mounts. I wouldn't trust factory 2nd gen bars at all, even 4 of them.

Just giving you my honest opinions here.
 
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Karpiel73

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Hmm, my cvt 56" Rtt is 175 lbs out of the box.

Pretty sure your stock rack is rated at 100 lbs.

You have to think of leverage and weight shifting while going back and forth off camber while traveling. Then when open, and a person's weight shifting in it, causing leverage stress to the mounts. I wouldn't trust factory 2nd gen bars at all, even 4 of them.

Just giving you my honest opinions here.
I assume others on here have upgraded their entire 2nd gen rack system? Do you have links to their setup? I'll do some searching too.
 
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gmanpaint

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Yes, others have built custom racks or steel cross bars and bolted them to the stock roof rails. A little searching will come up with some posts for you to see how & what they did to improve them, for greater weight capacities.

If you can weld, simple 1" round or square tube steel crossbars are cheap easy to make.
 
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BKennedy

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In 2019 alone I may be using it over 30 times. For the size of the tent, it'd be impossible to find one under $1k. Even tents that are 72" wide go for $1400+.

If you are going to use it that much, it would be worth it.
 
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Karpiel73

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Yes, others have built custom racks or steel cross bars and bolted them to the stock roof rails. A little searching will come up with some posts for you to see how & what they did to improve them, for greater weight capacities.

If you can weld, simple 1" round or square tube steel crossbars are cheap easy to make.

I think we're confusing terminology (maybe we aren't Lol) But here's a photo of my current setup with proposed additional crossbars. The xbars pictured are Surco Roof Rider rails and the clamps are Surco as well, the new ones would be identical to the photo.
I'd like to see pictures of your RTT if you've posted them somewhere.

PhotoGrid_1545589585544.jpg
 
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Karpiel73

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If you are going to use it that much, it would be worth it.
Agreed! I have at least 3 weeks of trips planned, not including my spontaneous ones i do on a wimb!!
 
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gmanpaint

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I don't know anything about those Surco rails, and I am too lazy right now to search out info, so I can't say anything about them. :D I am also ignorant on that style of roof rack. Somebody with hands on experience, with that style is better off to comment on this subject.

I have my RTT on an off road trailer, using a custom adjustable lift rack, that raises the base, to the 78" suggested height. The same principle applies to this use as to your vehicle. The rack has to be strong, and what holds the rack has to be stronger yet. All I can say is try it your way, and see how it goes. :)

A picture of it mounted in the 1st post found here....

Gman's Adventure trailer build thread.

I have loaded both my Explorers roof with a variety of objects, and different weights. From camping gear, spare tires, to ladders and building materials. I know what the roofs will take, as I have sheered the roofs sheet metal on one of them already. lol
 
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Karpiel73

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I have my RTT on an off road trailer, using a custom adjustable lift rack, that raises the base, to the 78" suggested height. The same principle applies to this use as to your vehicle. The rack has to be strong, and what holds the rack has to be stronger yet. All I can say is try it your way, and see how it goes. :)

A picture of it mounted in the 1st post found here....

Gman's Adventure trailer build thread.

I have loaded both my Explorers roof with a variety of objects, and different weights. From camping gear, spare tires, to ladders and building materials. I know what the roofs will take, as I have sheered the roofs sheet metal on one of them already. lol
Thats a very nice trailer! Obviously that'd be the way to go, maybe later on down the road.
Fingers crossed i dont destroy the roof of mine!
 
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Karpiel73

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The tent is ordered and will be here next week! I'll be using different crossbars than whats in that picture.
 
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Karpiel73

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The tent showed up a few weeks ago and needless to say, its a big one!! Also below is my crossbar setup. I'll be fabricating a wind fairing as well, so once thats complete i will post the setup. Be prepared though, its going to take up 90% of the roof! Lol
20190104_172006.jpg
20190104_171955.jpg
20190116_174137.jpg
 
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gmanpaint

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Just couldn't wait til it was installed to open it huh? lol

That's the XL right? Has Smittybuilt ever decided to make an Annex room for that unit or not? I know they do for the smaller unit.

Congrats and welcome to the RTT club. We are a rare breed in the Explorer group.

When your done installing it, your going to need a few things for it.

This place has some great tent products, with very good prices over other sites.

Roof Top Tent Accessories

I recommend the gear loft / shoe hammock combo, Anti-condensation mat, and the cover straps to keep it off your paint, when opened up. These are "Need" items. The "Want" items come later, as you use it.

I will be getting the interior tent insulation from them this year. That with the cold weather hood cover, will keep the tent nice and toasty with cold nights.
 
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