Tent and campsite advice!

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Tent and campsite advice!

Postby ljv » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:42 pm

Hi. We have done lots of hiking camping before but now my husband and I are thinking of going camping with my nearly 3 year old son. I have been teasing for years about buying a Taj Mahal tent but now that we have come to it, they seem so big!

We need two pieces of advice:
- What tent to buy.
We are looking at the Coleman Chalet 9 XL ($499). It has 3 rooms and a vestibule but no awning and looks great - but big. I'm okay with the tent, the thing that I have an issue with is the vestibule. It can be bought without the vestibule as the 9 CV. I would like an large awning that we can put the chairs and stove under rather than a vestibule - but my husband (and the camping store lady) likes the thought of an encloseable vestibule. It can zip open on the sides. I think that perhaps we should get the cheaper version (Coleman Chalet CV - $349) and buy a separate gazebo. Sure, it can't zip up but I am afraid that the vestibule will feel too enclosed and not like a good inside outside area. What does everyone else think. Do you have a tarp - why use a tarp or gazebo over a vestibule. What about if it rains - a likely event this summer.

- Camping site
We would like to try it out by going camping this weekend (13-16th Dec). We have the following requirements of a site:
- amenities like hot showers and clean toilets
- by a river or bay or some other water
- quiet (we are used to hiking/bush camping)
- less than 4 hours from Sydney
- unpowered tent camping (ie we prefer not to be between caravans on slabs).

I know, I know, everyone else wants the same thing - but I thought that you might have some advice. :grin:

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Postby kazzakanary » Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:29 pm

Welcome to the site!!
I can't help you as I live in Brisbane but thought I would say hi!!!
Someone will help you soon I am sure....
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Postby SUNDOWNER » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:07 pm


We are relatively new to the forum and camping, we have done it the irish way around so to speak and come from a Caravan to a Tent but only because we now have a boat to pull so something had to go whilst still getting the enjoyment of getting away.

We searched around looking at all the Colemans chalets, Northstar & Timbertop until we came across the Sportiva Headland 12, it has the big bedroom at the rear which can if needed be divided across and also has the large front vestibule area and the added thing that sold us was that it has full length awnings on both sides plus front and rear plus a nice little feature in the rear dome area with what they call a Ventura roof hatch which basically sits up higher allowing extra ventilation into the area and totally screened off so that the nastys cannot get in.

We got ours at a bargain price of $311 from Anaconda at Springwood Brisbane after asking if they could beat Down Under Campings price for the same tent at $339.

The 2008 model also has extra triangular shaped compartments at the bottom of each corner of the front and rear flaps to put extra little items in, they even give you triangular shaped hanging shelfs that fit inside the compartments.

We have just erected it in the back garden and myself and better half are gonna sleep in it tonight........Wish us luck.

BCF also have this model and is well worth checking out as its a big seller, let me know how you go.


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Postby Mullie Grub Clan » Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:04 am

Hi Ljv,
We have a odyssey sportiva tent and paid $400.00 for it at Down Under camping.
It is very large and has lots of awns off the sides of it as well as heaps of doors for ventilation.... great for when it is hot. It also has side panels for wind/rain breakage.
We use tarps because they are fairly easy to put up once you get the hang of it. We had a separate gazebo but it got blown to death in the wind up the beach. Just keep in mind the the gazebo is great if you are not in the wind even if you have it guy roped and peged. Our turned inside out ::()
AT the end of the day it all depends on if you will be beach camping or not. We find the tarps are the best way to go.

They have these tents on ebay at the moment if you want to see what they look like.
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Postby Blue Bravo » Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:49 pm

Regarding a place to camp- Mungo Brush could suit - there a couple of different areas to camp and the camp sites are well spaced usually with some shrubbery between the sites. The area is between the lake and the sea.

Up the expressway - through to Hawks Nest - about 3 hours from Sydney :)
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Postby garbage » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:35 am

Green Patch in Booderee National Park (Jervis Bay) is very nice. Leafy camping area, no caravans, right on the beach, toilets/showers and unpowered. It's very popular though, and might already be booked out for a chunk of the school holidays.
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Less Than 4 hours south of Sydney

Postby itchyant-senior » Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:10 pm

g'day ljv
Heard of Batemans Bay? Look at the Shallow Crossing Campgrounds on the link below - you'll luv it
If you dream it - you can do it
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Postby ljv » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:30 pm

Thanks everyone for the fantastic suggestions. We ended up buying the Coleman 9 CV - largely because it was the only one that we saw erected and it was too difficult to figure out from pictures if a tent would be suitable. We plan to head to Patonga Beach for a couple of days. I look forward to trying the other spots mentioned soon!

Next challenge will be figuring out how to get all the gear into our Honda Accord!

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Postby Troyk » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:39 pm

ljv wrote:
Next challenge will be figuring out how to get all the gear into our Honda Accord!


Buy a 4wd! You will get the bug and you'll want one sooner or later so why not get one now. :grin:
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Postby ljv » Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:04 pm

Ah Troyk - philosophical issue about a 4WD in the city, I'm afraid. We may buy a stationwagon.
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