It started with a 10 year old utility trailer, throw in the Tuff Stuff Alpha Roof Top Tent and we had a project. We needed something that would allow us to camp in small campground sites, but have everything we needed in one easy setup.
Where did we get our trailer?
The trailer came from COSTCO and it was only available for a short time.
Adding in adjustable jacks was a must for us. We wanted to be able to level the tent and have it be stable. We had a mobile welder come to the house to add all 4 jack mounts. While he was there he welded the rack mounts to the frame.
Yes, but they work great. Each jack is rated at 2000 lbs and has 15 inches worth of travel. We can easily lift a fully loaded trailer which makes leveling very easy. One thing to note is the handles do not fold down so we do not leave them attached to the trailer when traveling.
THE ROOF TOP TENT
Tuff Stuff Alpha
We were in uncharted waters, as we had never actually seen or used a roof top tent before. The hard top of the alpha was very appealing as it has a quick setup and you don't need to deal with an outer cover. The Alpha was in pre-order phase for its first production run, so we took a chance and ordered.
Overall the roof top tent has vastly exceeded our expectations.
Building the Rack
The plan was for the roof top tent to sit on top of steel beams that would be inside the trailer bed.
We ordered DIY No Weld Rack from Compact Camping Concepts to secure the steel posts. The square tubing were purchased from a local steel company and pre-cut to specific lengths. Drilling the holes into the steel poles to connect the brackets was probably the most time consuming and difficult part of the build. Have plenty of drill bits on hand and make sure everything is square.
Easiest part was spray painting it orange, which took about 5 bottles.
The two of us managed to wrangle the tent up into place on the rack. The mounting brackets were easy to put on and adjust.
As you can see the rack ends extend over the top of the tent. This was designed so we can transport kayaks or other long items above the tent during travel. It was just plain old dumb luck, but these extensions made it a perfect spot to mount our 270 degree awning. Make sure you account for an awning when you design your build!
We chose the height of the tent in the trailer based upon the storage of our bikes. The bikes can slide in under the tent without any troubles.
We do get a few strange looks and questions regarding the cattle panel on the sides of the rack.
The main reason is to make sure everything stays in the trailer while we travel. We bring with us an overabundance of toys (kayaks, bikes & paddle boards) while we camp and this makes it easier to pack.
This also gives us plenty of attachment points to hang things while we are at camp. Our headlamps, bathroom bag & garbage all hang from the rack.
We are still pondering the idea of enclosing the rack, but that is a project for another day.
OVS Nomadic Awning 270
The awning was an add on to our trailer build. Its ease of use and large area of coverage was a great replacement from having to use our pop-up tent. And it just looks cool.
*Make sure you order the correct version, we have the drive side model.
Tuff Stuff Alpha Clam Shell RTT Annex Room
This is great for storing our clothes, and changing, there is even a spot for a potty.
The space is big enough to be an extra sleeping area as well. The annex also provides protection from bugs when the screens are use.
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