Rooftop Tent…One Man Loading System….Quick Tie Down

I recently purchased a Smittybilt rooftop tent to go on top of my camper shell on my 2018 Ram 2500

Now I had to figure out a way to get it up there! The RTT weighs about 125 pounds….

I wanted to mount it “North-South” so when deployed I had some cover over the tailgate. I’ll be adding a vestibule shortly.

The Ram 2500 with a cap is one tall mountain to climb. I don’t have a garage with a high enough door to unload with a winch. No trees in my yard afford a winch solution either. I thought about some type of crane. Either an engine crane, modified for the extended height or a crane that attaches to your trailer receiver…Both ideas was more than I wanted to get involved with.

After a few hours researching what other folks had done I decided to create some type of ramp/alignment rails on my carrier bars. And then simply lift the RTT to the tailgate and then slide it up on the roof. Sounded simple enough!

Lowes had 1″ X 1″ X 1/8″ aluminum angle iron that would be just the ticket. I purchased two pieces at 96″ each.

These lengths were cut down to just a few inches longer than the rails that were supplied with my RTT.

One end of each piece was cut as shown in this photo:

The two pieces were bolted through my roof rack rails using stainless steel hardware.

At the far end, a couple SS bolts were used as stops

Once the two rails were in place and bolted down it was time to try my invention.

A video is better than a million words:

Loading The RTT:

(Not bad for a guy nearing 70!……The extra length of the rails that come with the RTT make great handles)

Unloading The RTT:

(This video doesn’t show that I’m lowering it onto a furniture dolly so it can be wheeled into the garage)

Once the RTT is loaded, four stainless steel bolts secure it in place

I left the rails that came with the RTT long on purpose. They protect the sides of the RTT during this transition. And they allow much easier fastening the RTT to the rails. They are out in the open and easy to access.

Once off the truck it rests in the garage on a furniture dolly

Finally, I didn’t like the ladder that came with the RTT. I had bought a real nice extending ladder that I had used when I had a Truck Camper. And the ladder that came with the RTT wasn’t long enough. The telescoping ladder was modified and installed.

I’m really loving this Smittybilt RTT! Great value. Well made. Easy to use!

My recently ordered AGM battery, solar controller and portable panels will be installed next.

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