New to the overlanding world? Considering buying a rooftop tent, but don't know where to start? Don't feel overwhelmed, we are here to help!
The first thing you should consider is what type of tent, how many people and which bed rack you should choose to accommodate your lifestyle.
Choosing the right overland bed rack takes research, which takes time. With so many offerings, what makes a bed rack, the right choice? How big is your tent, how many will it sleep, what kind of weight will be on top and do you need storage on your rack?
In the world of overlanding, there is a multitude of items that can be mounted to your overland bed rack such as rotopax fuel/water/storage packs, recovery jacks, fire extinguishers, lights, water tanks and just about anything else that can be mounted to round tube. Tuff Stuff offers a variety of mounts to get some of these accessories mounted to our bed rack, such as the jack mount.
Bed rack height:
While appearance is always the first thing on your mind when shopping for the right rack, please be mindful of the height that the tent "should" be positioned at. Tents with annex rooms or vestibules (the overhang above the ladder) should always be mounted over your head height. If they are mounted too low, then the annex room ultimately becomes useless, due to you having to duck every time you enter the tent. The annex room is your enclosed sanctuary used for changing, or a retreat if severe weather comes in.
If the tent is mounted too high, then MPG becomes an issue- Just keep in mind, most do not buy a tent to save fuel. Most throw caution into the wind when it comes to camping/vacationing, so keep this in mind. If you are aiming for economy- Do not mount the tent above the vehicles cab height, as you can expect approx a 15-20% reduction in aerodynamics which equates to a loss in MPG's.
Choosing the right tent size:
The more common sizes of tents are 52-56" wide. Tuff Stuff Overland offers 2 sizes of bed racks to accommodate the standard 56" and the larger 77-86" wide tents as well. For the 56" ish size tents, we recommend the 40" Universal Bed Rack, which provides great support and a platform for a Delta or Ranger rooftop tent. For the larger models in the 77" range like the Elite Rooftop tent, we recommend using the 60" Universal Bed rack, as this will provide much more support under the tent leaving less unsupported overhang, and aesthetically will look better with a full-size tent.
Overland Bed Rack Mounting:
Mounting an overland bed rack can seem overwhelming, but we've made it as easy as possible. With a universal mounting plate, the Tuff Stuff bed racks all mount using the verticle facing lip on the inside edge of your bed. This overhanging edge allows plenty of support to secure the bed rack, and the bedside tops can typically support 700-1,000 Lbs when evenly distributed. This is what makes our 60" bed rack stronger- The ability to spread the weight over a wider distance on your bed.