Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

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Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby sazzle » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:15 pm

Hi there,
We've just dipped our family toes into camping for the first time since having small people. After the excitement of our first weekend away in a borrowed too small dome I have bought an Oztrail Villa (that apparently sleeps 12!).
I was essentially looking for a 3 room dome (one for kids, one for us and one as living space) but got a bit carried away with the idea of having the fly screen room attached to the front. Now I'm panicking that at 6m x 4.9m it's not actually going to fit many tent sites and that I have bought the taj-ma-tent of sleeping space!

Does anyone have this tent and how have you got on with it? Im just wondering whether I should try to return it before we've unpacked it and maybe swap for the oztrail bungalow 9, or should I go even smaller? We're looking to use it mainly for weekends and perhaps one or 2 weeks a year.
Any advice/ top tips would be most welcome,
Cheers in advance, The Carrolls
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby GypsyLady » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:39 pm

Hi sazzle and WELCOME to the forum...

IMO the tent size will be fine unless you intend to spend all your time in touristy caravan parks where space is at a premium.

Whilst ever you choose campgrounds with non structured sites you will be fine or even the tenting section of the CP you will not have any issues.

My CT has a bigger footrprint than that and I have never had any issues. My annex alone is 7.3 x 6.1 and that is without ropes.

You need a good size with kids for the rainly days & you will have some at some stage.

My advice would be to practice putting it up and down several times in the back yard until you get used to it. You could even have a practice run and camp out in it in the back yard which I am sure the kids would love.

I also recommend that you give the kids their own little chores to do as well so that the camping trip becomes a whole family adventure.

One can look after the poles and another the pegs and ropes, also get them in on helping with packing the car to go as well.

I predict that you will have many great camps to come sazzle.....Enjoy.

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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby sazzle » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:55 pm

Thanks for such a positive reply :)
The kids did indeed love our first adventure away from home (they're only 3yrs and 18months at the moment). I just need to find myself some nice unstructured sites now...

Anymore opinions welcome :)
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby Poodle Jewel » Sun Feb 22, 2009 2:15 pm

No sazzle don`t down size,you will appreciate the extra room especially if one day you get caught with rain and the little ones have to be inside.I only have me and i have a tourer tent.In bad weather i have enough room to put a little chairs and table inside plus my dogs.
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby GypsyLady » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:00 pm

sazzle wrote:The kids did indeed love our first adventure away from home (they're only 3yrs and 18months at the moment). I just need to find myself some nice unstructured sites now...


OK just a tad young for what I had in mind but the 3 year old can still help with the little things sazzle (hold this for daddy, get that for mummy etc), it gives them a sense of achievement too.

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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby sazzle » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:32 pm

Yes, absolutely, they already wanted to help lots although, they weren't exactly helpful!
But I agree its good to give them a job, my 3yr old enjoyed entertaining her brother with a few toys while we wrestled with the tent!!

I'm also looking to see if anyone has anything negative to add, Ive seen quite a few of these tents for sale on ebay (since buying ours) and most people state 'too big' as their reason for sale. Is there a standard tent site size in Au or more specifically Vic?
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby GypsyLady » Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:52 pm

No standard tent size that I am aware of sazzle...it is a case of horses for courses.

You have a family and you need a good size tent to accommodate all & believe me you always seem to accumlate quite a bit of stuff over time. With 2 little ones you will probably carry more than if your children were older.

Have a couple of rainy days and you will be very thankful of a decent size tent I promise you.

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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby Jo&Kev » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:14 pm

Hi Sazzle

I don't think there is any such thing as a too big tent. There are two of us and we take a 10 person two room dome tent. The idea being that we have a bedroom in on end and the junk room in the other. We pull all of the stuff that is in the 4WD (and in a Landcruiser there can be a fair bit) and stick it in the tent. Makes exploring in the 4WD a bit more fun knowing that stuff won't get busted.

It wouldn't be the end of the world if we couldn't do that, but I think it makes life comfortable and there is nothing in the rule book that says that we must be uncomfortable when we camp!

Kev
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby sazzle » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:35 pm

That's so true, I'm beginning to feel less hesitent about my taj-ma-tent now!
We'll just have to run in through the rest of the season I guess and see how we go. I picked it up for a good price ($399) so hopefully, I wouldn't lose too much if we did decide to sell at a later date.
Thanks for all the replies, so good to see so many cheery souls sharing their wisdom!
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby GypsyLady » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:13 am

Don't forget to practise with setting it up and packing it up in the back yard first sazzle...
Familarize yourself with handling it.
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby xmasbaby67 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:36 pm

Hi Sazzle,
We had an Oztrail Oddessy(two room - sleeps 12) before our CT and found we needed all the space we could get with three older kids. We had our queen inflatable bed in one room and the kids three swags in the other. :armsup
Although putting them up in the wind is a pain in the b.u.t.t.!!!! So make sure if it's windy when you are putting it up that all the doors and windows are open to let the air flow through otherwise you will loose poles and rip the tent as it tends to be like a massive parachute :*** :***
We colour coded all our poles which made setting up easier and quicker.
The only negatives we found were that the poles had a tendancy to snap in windy conditions (even with the tent fully set up and pegged down with windows open) also one of our zippers kept coming apart after about three trips and would only do up one way (bottom to top) without coming apart. :?
Overall we found it really good and the room was great.
Hope this helps :grin: :grin:
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby sazzle » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:36 pm

Well the monster has arrived!! It was too windy outside on Monday so in our excitement we pushed back all the furniture in our open plan lounge/dining/kitchen and put it up indoors!!! It is indeed pretty big but not as big as I had feared. Space wise it looks like there will be room for everyone come rain or shine or friends dropping in for the night.
Thanks for all the advice, now to choose airbeds/stretchers or self inflating thingys for the little ones.
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:43 pm

Self inflating mattresses are the only way to go if you can afford them. You will never have to worry about them going down overnight AND you can still add them to a stretcher if you wish.
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby cokebottle » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:00 am

As per advice above, you should not have to worry too much about size in most places, however make sure you find out what size the camp sites are.

The first time I took my fiancee & her 3 kids camping we had a 6 person dome from Supa Cheap:

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As you can see we would not have had room for a 12 person/3 room tent on that site ::() we had the smallest spot & when I rang to book the NPWS ranger said he could not give many any size's because they had only just renovated the camp ground & had not got a site map made yet, he asked how big my tent was & he assured me there would be no probs.... lucky we only had a small dome

Since then we have bought a 12person/3 room tent & it is the only way to camp, especially as mentioned when you have 3 kids stuck indoors with torrential rain outside, as what happened to us LINK: http://forum.camping.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=2975

The van park at Gulgong only really had one big campsite & lucky for us we got it, for two reasons, size & good drainage ;)

Michael
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Re: Is my tent too big? Help!!!! Oztrail Villa

Postby amanda » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:26 am

I just love your enthusiasm - setting the tent up in the lounge room! That's just the sort of thing I'd do - I couldn't wait for a weekend away to try it out.
It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt - then it's bloody hilarious!
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