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    Resources — tacoma bed racks

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Roof Top Tents

    The Ultimate Guide To Toyota Tacoma Roof Top Tents

    The Toyota Tacomas are built for off-roading. Toyota offers plenty of trim levels dedicated to the off-road sport and lifestyle. What do you do when you want to spend the night out in the wild? From weekend camping to serious overlanding, a rooftop tent will make your trip even better.

    Why a rooftop tent? Tents that you can put on the ground can take up very little space and can be pretty inexpensive, but rooftop tents offer so many benefits. While more expensive, the size you get is leaps and bounds over most ground tents. When camping, it is always best to stay off the ground if possible to help avoid unwanted critters and weather from joining you. A rooftop tent keeps you high off the ground and safe. They are also very fast to set up compared to ground tents as they normally “pop up.”

    Types of Roof Top Tents

    There are a few different types of rooftop tents, and they have a few different mounting options too. First, despite the name, some can be either mounted on your roof or over your bed. They usually need a specific mount/roof rack that the base of the tent must attach to. Sometimes you can get these mounts directly from the tent’s manufacturer, and other manufacturers offer mounting options that work with aftermarket racks.

    The most basic of the rooftop tents pop up to form one single sized room around the size of the bed or cab of the truck. They generally have a few windows and one entry, similar to a normal single person or smaller two-person tent. These can either pop straight up to a rectangular shape or pivot up on one side to form a wedge.

    Larger models have about double the surface area that hangs over the side of your truck. They are supported by a ladder that climbs up to the entry point of the tent. These are similar in size to a large ground tent, but since they are folded up on the back/top of the truck, assembly is as easy as opening it up, and it unfolds and pops up. They can generally be up and ready in less than three minutes.

    There are some that are basically mansions. While similar to the larger model described above, these offer different levels and rooms. For example, you can find these with a tall room that surrounds the ladder section. It’s great for a living room to set up some chairs and relax before heading up to the main tent. Since the ground is your floor, you don’t have to worry about weight limits, and the fact it leads up to the main section, you can stand up fully without worrying about hitting your head.

    Mounting A Roof Top Tent To Your Tacoma

    When it comes to mounting these, you need a rooftop tent rack. Sometimes you can get these with your tent through your tent’s manufacturer, but I would suggest probably getting one you like from outside the tent manufacturer. I did a whole post on Toyota Tacoma bed racks, but in short, they are extremely versatile additions to your truck. Not only can you mount a tent on top, but there are so many storage, lighting, and hauling options. If you get one from the tent’s manufacturer, there is a chance that it may be useful for just the tent, and that’s it.

    Bed racks can be found from around $500 to $1000 depending on modular attachment points, finish and color, material, and size.

    Roof racks are around $200 to $700. These can be a little trickier to make sure they work with your tent. A common reason people get a roof rack is to have an area to tie down equipment to. For that reason, they don’t have to be level or support excessive weight. Take a look online to make sure the rack you choose supports or can work with rooftop tents if that’s how you plan to mount your tent.

    A quick word of advice: the bed of your truck is far more capable of supporting weight. While the A, B, and C pillars can handle the extra weight on the roof, the roof itself is not entirely designed for it. There is a chance the metal can flex and dent. Be careful with your selections.

    Popular Brands Of Roof Top Tents

    While there are many brands of tents, two of the biggest that are most popular with Taco drivers are Cascadia Vehicle Tents (CVT) and Tapui. They both offer many different sizes and options.

    One tent that will pop up (no pun intended) over and over again in your searches is Cascadia Vehicle Tents (CVT). They make units from $1000 to close to $3000, but they are a favorite for sure. From two-person to four-plus person tents, if you have a tent need, they can cover it. You can also rent their tents as well. 

    Another popular full-sized tent is from Tapui. For around the same price as a CVT, they offer hard shell and soft tents. They have plenty of different models to fit your needs. Compared to CVT, they offer plenty of tents that don’t hand over the size of the truck.

    From $1,700 to $2,500, Big Foot Tents offers a wide selection of models that claim you’ll have the “best night sleep you’ve ever had.” That’s a pretty large claim. They mostly offer hardshell pop-up tents, but do offer some larger, soft ones as well.

    All for around $1,600, Smittybilt offers some “universal-fit” options in the event you have more than just your Tacoma. Make sure the measurements fit your truck. You take a gamble with universal fits when it comes to anything, but sometimes they can be more versatile.  


    Full-Sized CVT - Tacoma World User trevordavis14

    Full-Sized Tepui - Tacoma World User MJonaGS32

    Hard Shell Pivot - Courtesy of Gear Junkie

    Full Tent - Courtesy of Low Range Off Road

    Toyota Tacoma Bed Racks - What Are They Used For & Where To Buy

    Toyota Tacoma Bed Racks - What Are They Used For & Where To Buy

    If you’re doing some Overlanding, or a weekend camping trip, bed racks make a world of difference in storage and organization for your Toyota Tacoma. Bed racks are a popular mod to Tacomas and are railed systems that bolt into the bed of your truck in minutes. They allow you to mount your gear to the sides and top of the unit keeping what you need organized, and within reach. 

    What Do You Need Them For?

    As I have said in many of my posts, the gear you need depends on what you do. Do you need the rack to support a rooftop tent (RTT)? Do you need to be able to hold gear to drive and survive for a day or a week? Do you want light-weight but more expensive aluminum or heavy but sturdy steel? Think about these questions as we take a look at some examples. The following are some of the most popular ones Taco owners have been talking about on forums. 

    RCI Off Road has been talked about on here and the forums for a few different aftermarket parts. That’s a good sign. It could be a one-stop shop, and people like them. People also like their bed racks. Standing at 12 inches, this lower rack can hold up around 700 pounds of gear and has the option to accept rooftop tents. Not tall enough? They have taller versions, and adjustable models as well. The base price of the 12-inch model is around $700. It installs quickly and looks good.

    Another fantastic option is the Cali Raised Overland Bed Rack System, which you can find right here at Emypre Off-Road. There are plenty of options with this rugged system to get the length and height that you want to fit your needs. With being mostly made out of aluminum, they are super light-weight but strong.  They will support your RTT and whatever else you need to get the job done.  At $850, you get free shipping and a lifetime warranty. 

    All-Pro Off-Road offers one of the most expensive and one of the most affordable options. From $430 to $900, there is probably a version that works for you. These are great to make what you want if you’re not happy with something out of the box. You can get a kit that is unwelded, and you can get these unfinished (bare metal). They also offer a bunch of different bolt-on accessories to really customize your bed rack the way you want. If you’re looking to make something custom without having to go to a shop to have one fabricated, this could be your option. Don’t worry: they make “plug and play” versions too!

    Front Runner Outfitters offers something different. With most of these racks offering storage on the sides, Front Runner focuses more on the top of the rack. The lightweight aluminum design is to allow you to have two levels to your truck’s bed. While expensive at around $860, they do offer the surface area of a second bed. It’s a more streamlined design over having side storage. They also make matching roof racks of the same design, in the event you need more surface area.

    Hauling your gear is something you need to take special attention to. A weekend warrior will have different needs compared to an Overlanding pro. Do you want the reduced weight of aluminum, or do you want the age-old proven durability of steel? Now that you have some idea on what’s out there, the next step is hooking one up to your Taco! Get out there, haul your stuff, and have fun. 

    Image Credits

    RCI - Courtesy of Bilstein Lifts

    Empyre - My Site :)

    All-Pro - Courtesy of All-Pro Off-Road

    Front Runner - Courtesy of Off Road Tents