The first addition to the new trailer is a Smittybilt roof top tent. While there are a number of RTTs out there, I chose the Smittybilt solely based on price. Never having owned or slept in a RTT, investing several thousand dollars to trial the experience wasn’t an option. I examined one that was setup at the local 4Wheel Parts and the construction and design seemed fine for my needs. Given the relatively few nights I expect to camp in it each year, I think this one will hold up for many years.
The tent was shipped to the store, and I picked it up with the truck. At about 150 lbs, handling the large, heavy box was a chore single-handed.
Unpacking and preparing to assemble the mounting rails.
The ladder is bolted on.
The rails are installed. They can be aligned with the trailer’s crossbars to allow the tent to open to the side or the back of the trailer. I chose the side so that there is not undue weight toward the rear of the trailer, which would have made the tongue of the trailer too light.
Lifting it onto the crossbars was a two man job. The bolts are aligned and the tent centered from side to side. The welded crossbars were a bit too far apart; optimal placement would have provided support by each crossbar one-third of the way from the front and back edges.
Cardboard was used to slide the tent around for finding the right mounting place without scratching the crossbars. Foam is installed between the crossbar and the tent rail to prevent metal-to-metal contact while pulling the trailer offroad.
It was important that the interior of the trailer to be accessible with the RTT installed. The struts were up to the task of supporting the tent with the lid open. They also provided leverage to open the lid with a 150 lb weight.
The tent setup on the trailer.
The interior. Screens all the way around, including a skylight, provide for good lighting.
The cover installed and ready for a future trip.