Ford Ranger /Mazda BT 50
About the Ford Ranger / Bt 50
The Ford Ranger, and Mazda BT 50 Dual Cabs both share a 4 bolt factory Over cab rack mount - From Factory They have 1250 mm of rack space available over the cab and 1600mm Available over the Tub/Tray.
BT50 and Ford Ranger roof construction is comparable to all other dual cabs we've seen - Running a roof rail track with 4 bolts Inset with 2 Rivnuts per side . Like All Dual Cabs, Flex between the Cab and the Canopy prevents 'Bridging' the space between. So awnings and tents have to be fixed to either the Canopy or the Cab. (Not able to Bridge unless you use a flexing front joint bracket) .
WARNING ON 2020/2021 RANGER DUAL CABS
Later Model Rangers (2020 and 2021 And Probaby BT50 of these years as well) Have factory Implanted Studs instead of Rivnut inserts. These ;Studs' hold the plastic racks into the sheet metal roof of the cabin - They are not designed to be removed . They are not very strong and removing the plastic rack is impossible without also drilling out and removing the studs.
To Fit a stronger Rack to these newer models, the roof lining needs to be removed and custom internal blocks machined - Through bolts are then added to create a suitable mounting base - Before you can even start to fix off any roof rack.
Our Racks (or any othe quality roof rail rack can then be fitted. ) In Short - Its a Big Job - a Full Day at least before you can even start fitting a rack. You would not attempt this job without roof lining removal tools, and Machining equipment to manufacture custom internal parts
Setting up the Ford Ranger to carry a Roof top tent
Ford Ranger Dual cab sits beside the Jeep Wrangler and the Volkswagen Amarok as 'harder' vehicles to set up properly with a Rooftop tent. Installing the tent on the rear Canopy on the Back of a Ranger or BT50 is a big no-go for this vehicle. - The Vehicles handling suffers immensely.
Installing the Tent and rack over the Cab Gives the best possible handling scenario, - Despite the added cost.
The best roof top tent for the Ford Ranger Dual Cab
If you're over 6 Foot Tall - that starts to shorten the list of tents that you can comfortably sleep in down to 4 or 5. (Bundutop, Boss RT1 , and Eezi-Awn Stealth). If you want to carry Solar panels on the roof of the tent - They can all be fitted with Panels, The Bundutop will take the largest at 400w. If you have to carry Heavy Loads on top of the tent - The bush company tents are load bearing, and so is the Bundu Clam - A new tent that is looking to be a winner.
The shortest and most spacious of the above tents is the Bundutec Bundutop, which is also the lightest by over 30kg. So we would recommend the Bundutop as our first choice for the Ford Ranger.
Eezi Awn blade or Bundu Clamshell at 85Kgs are also good options for the budget concious traveller that prefers Clamshell Tents over Straight Lifing designs.
Other larger "high Lift" clamshells tents like the Boss, Camp King and Alucab can also be fitted , however at 2.4m Long and only 1700mm available fitting space on Over cab Racks it starts to look like you have to fit these tents over the canopy, and suffer the bad handling that goes with 110kgs behind the back wheels! - So we've left them out of the equation for now...
Why fit rooftop tents over the cab on the Ford Ranger and Other Dual cab Vehicles?
We've found that mounting rooftop tents and awnings over the cab to be far preferable to over canopy mounts on this vehicle. Over-cab mounting reduces vehicle body roll while offering 'step up' accommodation into the roof tent - negating the need for taller ladders. Vehicles off-road performance is greatly increased by keeping the weight centred over the vehicle. More on this here
Single-cab trays on these trucks can maximise weight balance with tents overhanging the cab. Most rooftop tents will specify max overhangs of up to 500mm - creating a nice platform at the rear on single cab tray vehicles.
Aluminium canopies do not usually need additional structural support to run Aluminium rooftop tents.
We like the Ostrich 270 Wing for most Victorian applications - as it is the strongest for its size and weight and also the most versatile. It Needs our 3 Point Awning to Rack brackets to be fitted to Dual Cab Utes such as the Ranger though as its 2.65m Long and thus too long for the canopy or the cab - It has to Bridge the two to be fitted securely. Check out the video on the ostrich wing awning here>
Tough Touring Over Cab Roof racks for the Ford Ranger/Mazda BT 50
Tough Touring now manufactures over-cab roofracks to sort out the issues faced with trying to fit up touring gear to a dual-cab Ford Ranger and BT 50.
The first challenge was to build a rack that centred the rooftop tent weight between the wheels of the truck to maintain its handling and climbing abilities. So we built the racks to be fitted over the cab.
We built the rack feet in 3 mm heat-treated steel and increased the footprint to prevent twist and increase the rack strength right up to over 150kg.
Roof racks over the cab give the Ford Ranger/BT50 the foundation required to now fit your rooftop tent. Typically the rooftop tent in turn gives the BT50 the Wide fixing space required to then fit your poleless awning directly to the tent with rack planks available up to 1650mm wide - All Tents can be fitted
Poleless Wing Awnings and the Ford Ranger - LIMITED CHOICES!
Ostrich Wing is about to release a Purpose built lightweight Awning for Ford Ranger and Bt 50 dual cabs called the OSTRICH JUNIOR.. Its just 18kgs and 2.2m long, making it possible to fit up to the Rock without major rack or tub modifications -
Why Can't I run Any of the other Poleless wing awnings on the Ranger ?
The Ford Ranger does not suit fitment of MOST standalone poleless wing awnings easily. This is because:
The Rear tub does not have any fixing points - If you have hoop bars fitted - They will be only 1600mm apart - Not far enough apart to carry a 2.6m pole less backplate.
Typical Over Cab Roof racks are only about 1200mm long on the Bt 50 / Ford Ranger... Too Short.
The Ford Ranger is also too low for swing out awnings to clear over the head of average height passengers.
If you're running a rooftop tent and you want to fit a full sized Poleless awning to the side of it on your Ford Ranger
To Fit a full size poleless awning to the tent on a Ranger or BT 50 - It has got to be mounted using Awning to Tent Brackets. We manufacture Awning to tent brackets for most popular Hard Shell roof top tents in the Market.
The Ford Ranger rear Tub has no hidden cavities large enough to hide 12 Volt chargers, batteries or inverters, so we designed a portable, self contained power pack to give touring Dual Cab Utes real world power that they can take out when they get home.
See more information on our Pack here>
Tough Touring Builds a Portable Power Pack for Tub Tray Canopies
Shown Beside - This portable power pack punches out 700W of constant load power at 240 Volts - as well as running numerous 12 volt gear like fridges and Compressors - taking in charge from Inbuilt DC DC charger and Solar Regulators to keep you powered right through weeks of touring.
The pack is water resistant and Easy to move between vehicles, making your tub tray or canopy a full blown power station when in camping mode, when back at work - slide out the power system and its back to open to use with tools and equipment like the day you bought it.