Over the past decade, the term “RTT”, short for rooftop tent, has found its way into the everyday vernacular of all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. AntiShanty seeks to make the associated “RTD”, rooftop dwelling, an official entry in this same dictionary. With solid aluminum walls instead of fabric, the new product isn’t really a tent. And with the ability to haul nearly 800 liters of gear to camp before immediately converting into an SUV-like backcountry bungalow, it’s something very different from anything out there.
Still a prototype in development (and looking for the part), the RTD combines two rare products into one. It’s one of the few rooftop tents that doubles as a cargo box and one of only two hard-sided RTTs we’ve ever seen. The other hard-sided roof design is the extremely expensive Redtail RTC (now Skyloft), giving AntiShanty some price leeway to work with while still being the most affordable in the class.
If you’re wondering why the RTD looks absolutely giant atop the Toyota 4Runner it’s mounted on, it’s because it relies on its extra size for its dual-purpose design. Other rooftop tents that double as cargo boxes perform only one of these functions at a time, requiring the owner to remove the fabric from the inner tent to free up cargo space. The RTD, on the other hand, can haul cargo to camp and then set up as a rooftop shelter in about a minute, seamlessly performing both functions in the same trip. It also locks, securing valuable goods like surfboards or snowboards.
While many roof tents are designed to carry closed sleeping bags and pillows, the boxy RTD offers almost 800 liters of storage capacity, more than an XXL size Thule Motion XT roof box… or any other large roof box we found for comparison, even those that double as boats. We’ve verified with AntiShanty that the listed 28 cubic foot capacity is indeed headroom that doesn’t include space taken up by folded tent components – beating the largest cargo boxes was one of the goals of the review. undertaken during the development of the RTD.
The downside to the RTD’s bulky design at this point is that, unlike a carefully streamlined Thule or Yakima box, the front of the RTD is an absolute wall that adds wind resistance to the top of the vehicle. It seems to us that AntiShanty would be better off adding a bit of streamlining up front, and maybe lowering the height, even if that means a bit less cargo capacity.
When it comes to tent hardware, AntiShanty borrows from its original folding-wall playbook to guide the setup of a rectangular wall and two triangular walls that lower once the roof is open and secured to the ground of tub to create an all-aluminum corner shelter. with hard sides. Unlike the multi-part folding walls of hard-sided motorhomes like the Hiatus or Lagom, the AntiShanty are simpler single-panel walls.
AntiShanty applies aircraft-grade aluminum construction to the RTD, using a laser-cut exo/endo frame to support the insulated aluminum panels. It’s designed as a four-season tent designed to be comfortable in everything from sweltering summer to cold winter.
While all that aluminum helps keep the RTD from getting too heavy, the estimated 300lb (136kg) weight of the prototype is still double (or more) what you might expect from other rooftop tents. Add the weight of any cargo and, later, the people sleeping in it, and you can quickly exceed the dynamic and/or static load capacity of factory roof rails or aftermarket crossbars. In fact, it even exceeds the ratings of some full-length rig stands. Such a heavy load will also require more effort to get on and off the vehicle.
AntiShanty tells us it’s actively trying to reduce weight and reduce numbers before production, but it looks like buyers will eventually need a particularly beefy rig rack like the Eezi-Awn K9 (or maybe to be the most powerful pickup topper in the world) to carry the RTD. And they’ll want to determine in advance what they plan to load inside the RTD and compare rack weight capacities closely to be sure it will work.
AntiShanty is also planning the non-cargo Slimline RTD as a lighter and slimmer dedicated rooftop tent. This model is just a render at this point, with no size or weight estimate, but it looks like it could be a good way to get the real benefits of RTD with less weight and bulk penalty.
We like the idea of an RTT that can actively function as a cargo box while also converting into a tent, but we’re still unsure if the RTD shows it can be done effectively or provides more evidence to the contrary. We hope AntiShanty smooths out the rough (vertical) edges and successfully reduces the weight of the production model to pull the needle in first.
At US$10,000, the RTD is double or triple the price of other hardtop roof tents on the market, but only about half the price of the Redtail RTC, the only other hard-wall RTT to which we can compare ourselves. At $9,500, the RTD Slimline really doesn’t save buyers that much money at checkout, so it’ll really rely on its lighter, sleeker design as a selling point. RTD deliveries are expected to begin by Q2 2023, and eager buyers can deposit $1,000 now to reserve their build location.
The video clip takes a closer look at the RTD and how it works.
Dwelling on the roof with hard walls