How to mount RTT on pickup (Tacoma) bedsides?

#21
I decided to just give the false gutters and gutter towers a try.

The false gutters are Thule 542s. The gutter feet I used are the 953s and they are 11" tall. (I wanted to use the 387s which are only 8" tall, but I happened across the 953s for a killer deal so I'm giving them a try.) And the bars I used are the 65".

The tent floor sits about 12" above the top of the bedsides and about 26" above the bed floor. When closed, the tent sticks about 3" - 4" above the roof of the cab.

The bars stick 6-3/8" past the tent on each side, but the fender flares stick out much farther and so do the side-mirrors so I'm not really worried about them being too wide. I may cut the bars down later though if I don't find good use for them sticking out past the tent.

I'm pretty sure I'll be stepping down to the 8" towers, but this works for now. I drilled out the falsegutters to take M8 size hardware as the stuff that came with it was about half that. Otherwise, the whole thing is super sturdy and isn't going to go anywhere without some massive force. Actually the weakest part is now the puny 4 bolts that bolt the tent floor to the tent crossbars--I'm going to add a few more bolts there.







 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
#22
Looking good. Tent opens to the back?

Hard to tell from the pics, are the load bars flush against the bottom of the tent, i.e. your not using the aluminum extrusions to bring the tent up off the load bars? Does it open and the floor lock engage OK?

Out of curiosity how much are you into the Thule system?
 
#23
Ya. Tent opens to the rear. The tent cross bars were already mounted parallel with the ladder so in order to mount to the thule bars, it was best to run the tent cross bars perpendicular to the thule cross bars. Makes sense? I may change it to open to one of the sides, but not sure yet. Any rhyme or reason for one or the other?--I haven't really came up with any yet. And so no, the tent floor is not flush against the thule bars. (See pic.)

False gutters = $40
Thule Towers = $80
Thule loadbars = $45
*Plus a bit of gas and drive time up to SLC twice.
I'd like to get some lock cylinders as well so that'll be another $20-30.

 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
#25
...Any rhyme or reason for one or the other?--I haven't really came up with any yet.
For my personal needs I have several reasons. I use my tailgate heavily, cooking surface, I pull my fridge out to the edge of it, spread maps out, etc. Sorta my desk. with the tent opening backwards you wouldn't be able to stand up at your talgate. With the awning on the side of my cab extended, combined with the shade offered by the opened tent, I have a nice sitting/shade area without any loss of utility.

...And so no, the tent floor is not flush against the thule bars. (See pic.)
Gotcha, that makes sense now.

Wouldn't you want a third bar in center? I guess I would be paranoid about the center of the RTT bowing.
Most tent floors have an internal frame structure. In the case of the Camping Labs like Ferg's its an aluminum sub structure with foam in the voids for insulation. I was able to obtain blue prints for the frame for my Mombasa and again for my ARB and use that info to change up the mounts on my setups. On my Mombasa/TT I'm using 4 bolts on each Thule load bar, basically they go right through the tent floor, and the aluminum extrusion (acting only as a spacer) and then through the Thule load bars. Its not as 'adjustable' as the clamp systems they provide but it doesn't move at all and I'll never worry about it failing. My ARB likewise is mounted with 4 bolts through the base on each load bar. Overkill really as the 2 per (4 total) should be fine.
 
#26
For my personal needs I have several reasons. I use my tailgate heavily, cooking surface, I pull my fridge out to the edge of it, spread maps out, etc. Sorta my desk. with the tent opening backwards you wouldn't be able to stand up at your talgate. With the awning on the side of my cab extended, combined with the shade offered by the opened tent, I have a nice sitting/shade area without any loss of utility.
Sold. I've been kinda thinking it would be nice to be able to haul some mountain bikes to the sides of the tent, and also thinking, well, the tailgate flops down so i'll still be able to access crap in the bed even when the tents open, and its kinda nice that the ladder part of the tent rides more aerodynamically. But the desk/table top stuff would be super handy. And I do hope to one day get a fridge in there as well. I'll def be rotating it to a side opening. If I end up needing to carry some bikes as well as a tent, I can either deal with removing one of the bikes when opening the tent, or just carry the bikes on a hitch carrier or something.
 
#27
Wouldn't you want a third bar in center? I guess I would be paranoid about the center of the RTT bowing.
Most tent floors have an internal frame structure. In the case of the Camping Labs like Ferg's its an aluminum sub structure with foam in the voids for insulation. I was able to obtain blue prints for the frame for my Mombasa and again for my ARB and use that info to change up the mounts on my setups. On my Mombasa/TT I'm using 4 bolts on each Thule load bar, basically they go right through the tent floor, and the aluminum extrusion (acting only as a spacer) and then through the Thule load bars. Its not as 'adjustable' as the clamp systems they provide but it doesn't move at all and I'll never worry about it failing. My ARB likewise is mounted with 4 bolts through the base on each load bar. Overkill really as the 2 per (4 total) should be fine.

What Kurt said.

And I've been running it with the two crossbars on my 4runner with out any problems and no bowing (tent was on most of the time for about a year--even though I've only spent about 5 nights in it...). I think it would obviously be more sturdy with three bars, but definitely not necessary--especially for lightweights such as myself. :D
 
#28
Folks,

I know this is a very old threat but I'm not seeing anything newer that covers bed racks/rtt. I suppose my search fu is maybe just bad.

I'm going with a RTT on my daily driver (2017 Tacoma with double cab, 5-foot bed).

A few thoughts:
- I assume that keeping the rtt package at or below the cab is a good thing for aerodynamics; however, maybe installing it above cab height would provide some shelter to the tailgate area where I cook and work on stuff.
- Installing it 6-10 inches above the sides will put the tent package at about cab height (depends on the tent and the rack I suppose). I'm wondering about the space (pocket) directly behind the cab and whether it might cause wind buffeting (cavitation? whatever the correct term is).
- I'm really liking the idea of 3-crossbars rather than a full welded or bolted together bed rack for both cost and storage space(when removed). I might be convinced otherwise!
- Aluminum vs. steel (probably not a huge deal if going with cross bars
- Not sure about availability of canvas or whatever material covers if using a bed rack. I've seen pictures but nothing for sale.

Anyway, if you have used this type of system, I'd be interested to know your thoughts. Thanks in advance. Walt
 

Tonkaman

Well-Known Member
Location
Taylorsville
#29
I've got a 2016 Tacoma with a CBI rack and ARB RTT. Your welcome to come over and check it out. Prior to this I had a 2004 Tacoma with a homemade tube rack and the same tent.

For height there are many things to consider. Lower is better for aerodynamics, body roll, and noise. Higher is better for bed storage capacity and access to that storage. If you plan to use an annex with the tent then it has to be up high, otherwise the annex walls sit on the ground and defeat the purpose. Being up higher also makes it possible to use the rain fly on the side closest to the cab since down low the prop rods hit the cab.

The rack will depend on deciding what height you want. After you decide on height, decide if the rack needs to fulfill other purposes like fuel cans, shovels, etc. all of this will decide your needs which will quickly narrow down the options if your buying one vs fabbing one.

Ive made little changes over time only because I didn't realize the little things that bothered me until I spent a few nights out on the trail. Again your more than welcome to swing by and take a look at what I've got.
 

nnnnnate

Well-Known Member
Location
WVC, UT
#30
I had Carl (ilean here) burn me out a few brackets for the sides of my offroad trailer so I could mount an RTT on it. While we were talking about it he sent me some pictures of a rack he bent up for another guy which looked pretty slick. You may reach out to him to see what something like that would cost for him to build. I'm not sure if you've been lurking here for a while or not but many of us have something around that Carl has built and we're happy with his work. I know hes going on a trip this week so if you reach out to him he might not get back to you for a few days but hed be my first call if I was looking for something like this.
 
#31
Great feedback Tonkaman! I hadn't thought about the annex. I would take you up on your offer to check out your setup but I'll assume you're in UT which is a bit far at this time... I'm in Annapolis Maryland. :0)

Thanks for the advice. Cheers, Walt
 

Tonkaman

Well-Known Member
Location
Taylorsville
#33
Great feedback Tonkaman! I hadn't thought about the annex. I would take you up on your offer to check out your setup but I'll assume you're in UT which is a bit far at this time... I'm in Annapolis Maryland. :0)

Thanks for the advice. Cheers, Walt
To fully use the annex the tent will need to be about 8' high to bottom. Mind is about 6'6" and the walls don't hang straight.
 
#35
The pics of your setup do help, thanks. Question: Have you ever used a cover for your rack or know if there is one for it? I looked at CBI's site... didn't see one. Walt
 

Tonkaman

Well-Known Member
Location
Taylorsville
#36
By covers do you mean a canvas type shell? SoftTopper is the way to go there, but I don't know how it would work with a tent.

Maybe just have someone sew up canvas pieces with metal snaps like a boat cover?
 
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