Upgrade to?

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Upgrade to?

Postby clackerz » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:40 pm

I'm looking for some advice on upgrading our tent.
We're a camping family for several years now and have found that we increase the number of camp trips each year (and am looking to go even more).

Over the years we've gone through our fair share of tents as the family has grown (and the number of accessories). Still use the smaller tents for weekenders or if it's just me and the kids.

We're at a point now that our current dome tent is starting to see it's wear and tear, so we think we'll upgrade again.

My wife would like more room (our current tent is a Sportiva Headland Dome - around 3.2mx5.4 has x2 rooms) so I've been trying to expand the room with a screen tent and tarps and with all her creature comforts there's alot of set-up to do. It can take 2hrs to set everything up so we can move in.

However I'm concerned that the domes don't last as long as the canvas and don't want to be replacing the next one again in a few years.

Is a canvas tent worth the cost (I'll get the extra room with the straight wall sides and the annex/sunroom etc) or do we really splurge and get a canvas tent to fit the trailer?
Is is a possibility to still remove the tent from the trailer (with the help)? I still want to use the trailer for other means. Can you still load up the inside of the trailer?
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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:38 pm

Oztrail do camper trailer tents suitable for putting on top of trailers for use as a camper trailer.
http://www.oztrail.com.au/canvas-produc ... ler-tents/

Most soft floor camper trailers can have the tent section removed but not necessarily very easily.

With regard to canvas tents......The disavantages with canvas tents is the cost, weight and care when wet as opposed to dome tents. You are right, domes might not last as long as canvas tents but only if you look after the canvas.

Interesting that you did not get the distance from your dome tent that you expected. I have one that is about 15 years old and is still almost as good as the day I bought it.

Cheers....

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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby CampGrrlz » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:14 pm

Is a canvas tent worth the cost (I'll get the extra room with the straight wall sides and the annex/sunroom etc)
Clackerz ... the straight sides are not so plumb, really. Not like the old style (of my youth, that old ;) ) 12ft x 12ft marquees. All the walls of every modern tent that I've seen come into the top a bit - in some designs more so than others. Even the cabin tents which look tricky for a couple of old ducks to put up have sides which lean inwards. The floor space is not the useable internal space so when thinking about getting something bigger, think a bit bigger yet and that should give you the internal space you need.
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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby clackerz » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:49 pm

Thanks for the replies!
I haven't totally dropped the idea of a dome tent yet - just looking at my options.
The weight of canvas concerns me, as does the fact you shouldn't pack it up wet - I've been caught out a few times having to pack up wet - I'm sure though if you get it home and unpack it and let it dry the canvas would still be OK?
The domes dry out real quick though!

I've looked at the OzTrail site (who do the Sportiva range) and like the look of their new 'T' shaped domes - esp the Highlander or Homestead models. These have the 3rd 'room' we're looking for.
Maybe an option to get a dome, and also buy a large enough tarp to cover the tent (and screen tent) to create a nice big covered area to set up a kitchenette under?

Our Sportiva is around 5 years old and the zips have started to not work (we have to use a side entrance now) and the flys have started to show holes.
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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby GypsyLady » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:45 pm

I personally am not a big fan of Sportiva but I do have & can highly recommend DMH as a brand and I also know Coleman do a very good tent. I am sure one of them will do one in the configuration you desire clackerz.

My son has one in that configuration from Anaconda and is so far happy with it so they might also be worth a look.

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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby understarryskies » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:47 am

Hi,

Both Synthetic & Canvas tents have their advantages & disadvantages.

Synthetic tents (domes) are generally smaller and lighter to pack & carry, they dry quickly and are usually less costly than the canvas equivelant.

Under average use, you can expect to get around 5 years out of most good quality domes on the market.

Canvas tents, while being heavier & bulkier, have a lot of advantages over synthetics if you like your creature comforts!

They insulate you better from the elements, keeping you warmer in winter & cooler in summer, they last a lot longer - properly cared for you should get a good 20 years minimum out of a quality canvas tent, they are a much stronger option than most domes (steel frame & canvas verses synthetic & fibreglass poles), they can be easier to set up than some of the large domes (less peg points and ropes to worry about, as the frames are generally self supporting), they tend to stay darker inside in the mornings, so the kids sleep later (always a good thing for Mum & Dad!) & they are much more comfortable to live in than synthetics as the canvas (provided it is a good poly/cotton blend) breathes whereas synthetic does not.

There are some great 3 room canvas designs on the market now if you are looking for the extra space - Oztrail, DMH & Diamantina all have 3 room canvas designs available.

If you decide to go with the synthetic domes checkout the ranges from Coleman, Oztrail, DMH, Blackwolf & Roman. These all have good options to suit different purposes and budgets...

Regardless of which way you go, remember to completely dry your tent before putting it away - if you have to pack up wet, make sure you don't leave it for more than 24 hours before you dry it. Mould & mildew can destroy both canvas and synthetic very quickly if you leave them wet.


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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby GypsyLady » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:06 am

understarryskies wrote:
Under average use, you can expect to get around 5 years out of most good quality domes on the market.



I have dome tents that I have been using for a good many more years than five. My oldest dome is a DMH Tanami (from memory) and is probably about 10 or 11 years old. My daughter used it recently and it is still in very good condition.

Often people starting out are happy to upgrade in five years anyhow.

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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby understarryskies » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:51 pm

I have dome tents that I have been using for a good many more years than five. My oldest dome is a DMH Tanami (from memory) and is probably about 10 or 11 years old. My daughter used it recently and it is still in very good condition.


Hi Gypsy,

I agree - well cared for domes can last longer than 5 years. I too have seen dome tents (I think they were DMH too - can't beat the old DMH models!) last for 10-15 years consistant use.

I'm guessing that you probably look after your gear really well, as do I. I have a bit of a reputation as a perfectionist in that way :lol:

In the camping retail industry, we tend to suggest an average of 5 years for synthetic tents because a lot of consumers are unable to look after & maintain their tents as well as would be ideal, due sometimes to lack of time, and sometimes to lack of knowledge.

I find that 5 years gives people a reasonable idea of what to expect under these conditions. Of course we also reccommend that they look after their gear and that if they do they can expect a longer lifetime from thier products.

What do you think?
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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby GypsyLady » Sat Aug 01, 2009 9:23 am

understarryskies wrote:
Hi Gypsy

I find that 5 years gives people a reasonable idea of what to expect under these conditions. Of course we also reccommend that they look after their gear and that if they do they can expect a longer lifetime from thier products.

What do you think?


In that context you are probably right but I also think that most new starters look to upgrade their tents within 5 years if they are regular users. And in hindsight tents that are manufactured today are probably not as good in the quality dept as they once were.

My concern understarryskies was the 'broad' statement you made initially which you have since qualified, thank you.

I also think that the more you use a tent the better you get at it and hopefully the longer it will last.

Thanks again for the clarification.

Cheers Gypsy....
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Re: Upgrade to?

Postby Komodo » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:57 pm

What about a centre pole with the extension? can be picked up about $399 from aussie disposals.

My dream tent is a southern cross like this one
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http://www.southerncrosscanvas.com.au not cheap - but they will last you a long time!
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