Saline Preservation Association

The voice of Saline Valley

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Posts: 121
The idea of camping in Saline with a rooftop tent attached to a ground ladder could be very problematic, given the large number of Mohave baboons that frequent the springs at night.

I've seen whole troops of them break into coolers left around carelessly. There's nothing worse than a drunk baboon - unless it's a drunk baboon climbing up a ladder to your rooftop tent to snuggle with you...

Posts: 23
There is no ideal. Every setup has compromises. At this point a RTT works for me but I don't mind a ladder either. If money isn't an impediment then those compromises can be negligible. It really all depends on what you want to accomplish.


Posts: 121
The drawback to rooftop tents is, what if you have to take a leak in the middle of the night? I guess you could just pee off the edge of the tent - particularly if you're a member of the male persuasion - but, otherwise, it's a lot of work to get out of those things in a hurry...

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Posts: 23

Regarding the Maggiolina RTT, have to say I love it, but limited use so far. Will be heading up the Pacific coast to Vancouver in a couple weeks for a few weeks of RTTing, AIRBNB, and imposing on friends for a night or two.
The pros are clear: being off the ground is great. The tent and air mattress were good, but ...; it is very comfortable, aereodynamic and very well made. Here is an odd fact, at least for me so far: my gas mileage actually improved slightly. I know that makes no sense, but it is true for me.
The cons: It won’t fit in my garage, so my truck sits in my driveway until I am done for the season, and remove/replace is a concerted effort with a few friends. Before I attached it to my baja utility rack, I kept it up out of the way on a plywood platform in the garage with an electric winch.
I’ve seen one M RTT in Saline in the past, hope to see more.


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Posts: 23
Not much of an off-road guy here. Acquired a new FJ in 2010 after a few years of exploring the tourist paved roads in DV. Wanted to see parts unseen. the truck is stock, with the exception of Nitto M/T's. Lippincott and Steele Pass are as adventurous as I need to be. camped at warm springs 2018  1 mb.jpg 
Recently placed a Maggiolina RTT on my truck and made a trial run out the the springs in mid-April. So nice to finally get off the ground.


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Posts: 11
The typical "bought not built" rig  (on the left) with all the fixins, lol.  Totally overkill for Saline, Steel Pass, and Lippencott, but well worth the investment when we're running through Pleasant Canyon or up Echo Canyon out of DV, since I frequently haul not just myself and my wife, but my 3 year old daughter and 1.5 year old son.  It's built for safety and being able to get out of almost any situation. 

While it does the job, it's extremely cramped inside and I use every square inch of space on the roof rack and cargo area. 

So I am converting an 8x5 enclosed trailer for off-road and kitchen/lounge duties.  I'm hoping to have a nice little base camp to come back to after a long trail ride, as well as a kitchen and seating area I don't need to disassemble after every meal.  Plus I can store heavy and un-needed items so I don't need to pack everything up before an off camber run. 

I've designed it and am in the engineering stages of development, but I'm hoping to have it functional and ready for use by New Year 2019.    IMG_4653.jpg 

And yes, that is a dog in the front seat of my friends rig.  (I can't attest to his driving skills on the highway, but he's a damn good off roader!)

...Fear is your only god...

Posts: 23

I bought it from a friend when he went with a more substantial steel plated rear bumper with dual swing out by CBI.

Apparently it was made by a friend of Brian of Goose Gear.

I'm considering having a steel bumper custom made that would integrate this carrier. It's well built.

Here's a company that makes something similar.

Seems they make carriers for different vehicle brands.

Hope this helps. I'll ask Brian who made it for curiosity sake.


Posts: 14
appletreasures - sounds like you have had some learning experiences, wise to listen...

Does anyone have suggestions for sleeping accommodations that do not involve setting up a tent?  I've tent camped for 40+ years..., now I have some budget to work with...

The Bruder looks funny, I was expecting a gun turret.  Maybe something a little less over the top.  [smile]

Posts: 21
Hughman, what's that tire carrier you have on your 4Runner? I like how simple and clean it is, without reducing your departure angle.

Posts: 30
As others have indicated, there are many options.
Cost and required comfort seems to often be the limits.

I have not been to the springs for about 5 years.

I have always been tent camping (on the ground).

I have driven the following vehicles to the springs.
1990 S-10 2WD 2.5L 4-cyl 5-speed stick
1990 S-10 Blazer 2WD 4.3L 6-cyl 3-speed automatic
I recommend stick shift.
I discourage driving a car to the springs.
Many do it but I fear limited ground clearance could be a problem and rough road is very hard on all vehicles.

I usually come in/out south  pass but have used north pass (it seems more prone to snow).

I tend to drive slow and never had ground clearance problems.
First trip out north pass I had trouble getting up one hill because my tires spun (most likely due to low weight and tires).
I solved problem by backing down and got a running start.

I had sidewall of tire shred due to rocks once and had a gas tank leak once (both at same time).
I had 2 spare tires on rims (plus two loose tires) and two 5 gallon gas jugs (full) so it was not a big problem.

Expensive, new, fancy equipment may make things better but they don't make up for failing to be prepared.

Being prepared means have at least the following: tools, good jack and lug wrench, spare tires on rims, extra fuel, extra coolant (10 gal of water for vehicle), 10 gallons of water for you, tow strap, shovel, jumper cables.

It is best to caravan with other vehicles.

The trip and the springs are remote.
Calling for help on cell phone is seldom an option.
charles kissinger

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Posts: 22
I also have a 2005 Tentrax I have been using for 8 Years but i found mine on craigslist $3500 verses $8000 the previous owner paid, it has its drawbacks but all in all a great small trailer 


Posts: 23
Small trailers are a great option, easy to store at home convenient in camp to move around unhitched. Personally don't like towing something behind me. The down side to a rtt is the pain on securing it if'n you want to explore with a trailer you leave it at camp and off you go. Also many of the new trailers are really well thought out...kitchens, battery/power staions, fridges, water pumps, storage, rtt's and awnings.

Here's a company located in Arizona that does a nice job.

At $28k not cheap but that's the ultimate version. I believe in the principal you get what you pay for. It's not in my budget but it maybe in my future.

By the way OP good thread.


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Posts: 18
This trailer is a little pricey but it goes anywhere the Jeep does.  Made by Tentrax. 033 (3).jpg 

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Posts: 217
Not sure what your budget is but a great trailer for the springs would be the Bruder EXP-6. Expensive but a great option. Australian made but will ship to the United States after a 9 month waiting period. Probably $80,000 US. Weighs about 4,000LBS. If that’s way outta your budget still check it out on YouTube. Cool videos.

Posts: 23
I have driven a 1995 Ford Ranger4wheel drive, 2007 GMC Sierra 2x4, 2008 Ford F-150 4x4 to the Springs. I loved my Ranger used a ground tent wind and sand are the challenges, disliked my Sierra again used a ground tent, was disappointed with the F-150 but like liked sleeping in the bed with a cap obviously great when the wind howls.

Currently, I have a dedicated 2005 Toyota 4runner SR5 4x4 rig built to explore off road.

33" Goodyear MTR kevalar tires, front & rear air lockers, on board air compressor regeared to 4:88, Rtt tent, side awning, dual battery setup to run a 50 liter fridge and lights and solar to keep the batteries topped up.

I wanted something narrow to hit all the good trails and it hasn't let me down. Just came out yesterday day by way of Lippencott, Hunter Mountain Road to Olancha. Small enough to park anywhere.


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