Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

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Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby sassenach.girl » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:50 am

Hi folks,

Have a question about tarps and flys.

We have a Coleman Montana which comes with a fly. One of the reasons we chose this tent was because the fly opens out / extends about 2.5 meters out along the entire front of the tent to make an awning (see below).
montana.jpg

I had planned to do my cooking underneath this, but am now wondering if in rain, would the water just come through the fly. Is it 'standard' practise to tarp over a tent that already has a fly?

Thanks
Sass
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:59 am

YES....absolutely use a tarp....it keeps the sun off the roof and is therfore cooler in summer and in winter it keep the chill off making it warmer as well + it protects the tent from bird droppings, sap etc.

If you get a tarp bigger than the tent then you will have more area available in inclement weather AND you will use the area, believe me.

Your esky/fridge will need to be kept in the shade for it to work efficiently and in an open cool area.....it will be better in the shade under the tarp as opposed to being inside a tent.
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby sassenach.girl » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:03 am

Thanks for the quick reply Gypsy :) I suspect, on overnighters, we wouldnt bother with a tarp and would just use the fly awning. Though if we were to stay somehere for 2+ nights, then it may be worth putting a tarp up.

Given the tent footprint is 6.8x3.1m, what size tarp would you recommend?

Thanks
Sass
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:34 am

If it is the actual footprint that you have quoted then I'd go 20' by 18' and run the 20' across with the 18' running front to back.

That way you cover the tent and can run the extra out the front and use it to sit under.

I see where the tent has sloping walls so you would have overhang with the tarp on the sides too and that would mean shade/protection over the windows as well.

20' x 18' would give you great coverage all round and I personally would nto be going for anything less.

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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby Rosco532 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:01 pm

Spot on Gypsy....couldn't have said it better...

I personally think the ''bigger the better''...have plenty of coverage above your living area outside ...excellent protection from the weather.... :# AND be prepared for a few verbal clashes with your partner when putting it up for the 1st few times :cheers ....(we still do battle,,, each thinking our idea would be better...ha.)...Many hands make lite work....(one of the few times we wish we still had our kids with us to hold the ropes & poles)
Little tip I do,,,,,when you have the tarp in place, run round with tape and tape down the wooden rope tensioners ....this will stop them vibrating loose in winds (or when people trip on them)...just cut them off with a knife when packing up.
We also use solar lights around the tent / ropes....safer and easier to find your way home.

Enjoy your travels....good stuff.

I know I have used this pic before, but it shows the benefit of good coverage above and ....use of shade cloth on the floor (We run it under the tent as well)...so easy to keep clean...Avis's 'trusty' broom in the corner sweeps it clean...(shes been known to get that thing up to 40 mph)
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby sassenach.girl » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:08 pm

Thanks for the pic Rosco! Certainly helps with my visualising the setup. I'm all for the shade cloth under the tent and extending out for dining/cooking area .... shall now show husband your set-up so he can see the tarp in action. Will be very handy for longer stays I think ... and we will rely on just the tent for overnighters on-route.

Sass.
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby Rosco532 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:19 pm

This shows it from around the other side....think you can see what I meant about 'tape' on the rope tensioners...
cheers
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Apr 08, 2010 12:26 pm

That's good example Rosco has supplied for you to see Kylie. Always double ropes at the corners and I also agree with the wooden rope tensioners.

I have used both spring and plastic and the wooden are always better IMO and can be made at home out of dowel or similar depending if you want them round or squared.

Solar lights are also the go, especially placing them beside the pegs in the highly trafficated entry/exit points. I also use one outside the toilet/shower recess and have been doing so for many, many years.
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby two89w » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:11 am

Tarp all the way . Here is my 18 x 20 tarp :grin:

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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby Poodle Jewel » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:38 am

Yes i have an 18`x20` over my tourer tent, it gives me an awning at the front of around 6` then 1/2` down the sides, wouldn`t be without it.My front door of my tent has a small awning but i never use it.The last camp i went on i also took a small tarp connected it across the back corner and down the side that was my dressing room and shower.
If you look at the "Show us your camp site" photo forum you will see lots of peoples set ups.
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby markcrook » Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:50 am

Just to be difficult (I cant spell contravertial!) I thought I would risk being shot down in flames and put up an argument not to use a tarp, so here goes (get ready to duck :$ )...

Ok, I still don’t get the whole tarp thing, I have read all the benefits of tarps – but still don’t get why you really need one?

Modern tents are designed to be weather/water proof, they are UV stable, and a tent with a fly offers additional insulation/protection. If you approached a tent manufacturer and asked do I need to erect a tarp to protect my tent I guess they would all say no, its not needed otherwise they would provide them or change the design.

I have camped in the UK and all over France (including the French Alps) and they don’t use tarps and the weather can be a lot worse, colder and wetter.

I can understand using a tarp to cover a kitchen or eating area if you don’t have an awning (but a gazebo is an alternative) and maybe to provide additional shade to keep your tent cooler, I guess this is particularly so with the reflective backing – but again modern tents are well ventilated and we wouldn’t be in the tent much during the heat of the day and then they cool down at night (and sometimes it is nice to try and capture some of that heat for cooler nights).

Wet tents are a pain, we got well and truly rained on over Easter, the CT didn’t leak, we had to pack it away damp as it kept on raining, we got it home put it up on the front of the house (2-3mins) while we sorted everything out and it was completely dry within half an hour. We also find any dew etc also dries out quickly, usually we pack up everything else first and when we come to fold up the tent it is dry – this also was the same when we had a Coleman.

For some reason the canvas seems to repel water and dry out quicker than our nylon tents.

Bird deposits etc, we usually just sponge them off anyway – I guess you would with a tarp.

To me tarps seem a hassle to put up, extra poles, guys, pegs etc and it is more to buy, transport and take down (I’m sure I will be told otherwise!).

I am not saying don’t get a tarp, I know a lot of people on the forum swear by them and I respect that. I just wanted to put across another point of view, try camping without a tarp a couple of times, see how you go – you can always get one at a later stage if you feel that is what you need.
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby toucan » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:03 pm

We also dont use a tarp. We have a Coleman Montana and its been through some storms and not a single leak or problem. Ventilation is also great in our tent.
We also use a gazebo for our kitchen and eating area.
Out of the group of 6 families who we usually camp with only one puts a tarp over his canvas tent. The others have a seperate tarp area for their kitchens.
I guess it depends on what you think is easiest and suits your family.
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby sassenach.girl » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:08 pm

ahhhh the pros and cons .... don't you love them?

To be perfectly honest, the thought of putting a tarp up is daunting, and I always felt that a screened room would be a lot easier for our family (not to mention somewhere I can hem in the little ones) .... thanks for mentioning you have the same tent. Which gazebo do you use Toucan?
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby xmasbaby67 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:13 pm

We are not tarpers either :$ (*ducking & weaving*)

We did a couple of times with our first tent and had a massive storm each time with distasterous results. The last time we put one up we had poles flying through the air like javelins and very dangerous. Although we did have a 30 x 30 tarp so it was pretty big but we were camping with friends and had both tents under the tarp and it was properly put up with heaps of poles and ropes and spreader bars etc across it. Us two girls even put it up once and the boys when they arrived didn't have any modifications to make. :armsup

Now having had two CT's we have never tarped and at Xmas in 40 degree heat followed in the same week by a massive storm we had no probs.

Just our point of view (*running from the scene*) hahaha
Last edited by xmasbaby67 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tent + Fly ..... need tarp as well??

Postby toucan » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:15 pm

We have an outdoor connection gazebo that we got just before Xmas. It went through a big storm at xmas and it didn't budge!. It has walls that zip together to form a wind/shade break. I found the frame great for hanging up towels to dry.

Also this same storm ripped our friends tarp that we all thought was well secured.
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