Bought Oztent Rv-4 - now what to do? (before picking it up this wkd)

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:13
ThreadID: 100928 Views:20525 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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Hi all,

Took the risk and bought an Oztent Rv-4 (with fly, peak deluxe side panels, front panel) after years of dreaming about it. Listening to my mate talk about it was the final straw ?
Hope it turns out to be a good investment in the next 20 years ?

I will be picking up the Oztent this weekend and was hoping for your advice/input with:
1. Storage in garage – what is the best position to lay it? Upright or flat on ground or it does not really matter?
2. Roof rack – what do you use to tie the Oztent & accessories on roof rack? Will mostly be driving on sealed road to go camping, do I need a luggage basket on roof rack to support Oztent or not necessary unless I go off track?
3. Set up Oztent at home – what do I need to do to check everything is okay & good to go camping? Hose tent? Workmanship? Etc?

Hope I haven’t missed out anything important I should know?

Looking forward to your advice/input ?

Thanking you!
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Reply By: Skulldug - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:06

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:06
Hi Timmy,

I am sure you won't be disappointed. I have an RV3 and gave it a good soaking with a hose before using it. I think this tightens the stitching and makes the seams more water proof. Mine has never leaked so it can't do any harm.

I believe OzTents are best stored laying down but the retailer advised against laying it on concrete floor with nothing underneath. I store mine horizontal on one of those Bunnings plastic moulded trestle tables.

I was also advised against transporting it on the roof rack without full length support. I have ignored this and haven't had any problems carrying it on two well spaced racks. Another member on this site (Stephen from Clare) who is much more travelled than I, does the same thing.

One thing with OzTents - they are prone to condensation inside on a cold night. I have been quite wet while camping in the Flinders. I purchased a fly and can verify that it solves the condensation problem but adds considerably to the set up time.

Another positive - I can't believe how sturdy they are in high winds. Just make sure you roll the awning up (if you don't have the side panels up) in a storm.


AnswerID: 506192

Follow Up By: Member - Grundle (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:55

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 16:55
Hi,did'nt do anything bar put it up to check when i bought my RV4.It rained,drizzeld the first couple of nights i used it for camping.Was dry enough the next morning .Take banister brush to brush underneath before putting in storage bag or buy cheep tarp to go underneath when you use.Mine has been stored in shed on concrete floor for 4 yrs when not being used and has'nt had any ill effects yet.Have fun,great tent.

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Follow Up By: Central Coast Timmy - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:08

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:08
Many thanks Skulldug & Grundle!
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Reply By: Old Dig - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 19:17

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 19:17
You will love the Oztent. Just make sure you peg it down properly in case of wind, brush the dirt off the bottom before rolling it up, store it off the floor and of course NEVER pack it away until its completely dry.
AnswerID: 506203

Follow Up By: Central Coast Timmy - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:09

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:09
Thanks Old Dig! It helps to know to peg it down, brush dirt off, off the floor and never pack away until fully dry.
FollowupID: 783213

Reply By: Hughie - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 20:44

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 20:44
We also bought the RV4 as an alternative to a roof top camper, which we'd used for many years. Have only used it once so far, and we also got condensation inside which was a bit annoying. However we will be using it more from now on.

Biggest problem is carrying it at 2m long and 30 odd kgs. I followed the saleman's advice and bought a set of canoe carriers that slide into the slot in the roof bars that we have. They are flexible and adjust to the shape of the tent and it sits on those nicely with a couple of straps over the top to hold it down.

AnswerID: 506212

Follow Up By: Central Coast Timmy - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:10

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:10
Thanks Hughie, it has given me an idea re: canoe carriers as a possible option for carrying oztent. Hmmm.
FollowupID: 783214

Reply By: Member - Ups and Downs - Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:37

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 22:37
Use the Fly for sure otherwise you'll almost drown in the condensation.

We used ours for a 14 month trip around Oz and used it every night except for 2 when we wimped out and had some cabin luxury.

It was fantastic and now 10 years later are just about to buy another one. The original isn't buggared, just a bit tired looking.

One thing to add is a Spreader bar across the front to keep the front bit taut. Works heaps better. When it rains just tilt one side down too to collect water in a bucket.

AnswerID: 506223

Follow Up By: Central Coast Timmy - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:11

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:11
Thanks Ups and Downs!
Regarding spreader bar across the front to keep the front bit taut.
Do you mean front awning when it is up as an awning?
FollowupID: 783215

Follow Up By: Member - Ups and Downs - Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 09:15

Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 09:15

Yes, should have said awning. Looking at the advertisements it seems that a spreader may come as standard now? They didn't when we bought ours but found one a great asset.

FollowupID: 783247

Reply By: Atta Boy Luther - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 01:12

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 01:12
I have owned an RV4 for a number of years plus the peaked side panels and front screen and everything else . Packing the peaked side panels with the poles in there little bag and the front door etc in its own bag was an absolute PITA . So what i did was buy an extra large oztrail duffle bag . Now the side panels and front door and fly etc gets folded roughly and shoved in the duffle bag . It takes about one tenth of the time to pack away . I also use the bag for the front door i think for all the poles . So all the poles for the accessories stay in one place . I have a seperate bag for all the tent pegs and a seperate one for all the ropes . With the oztent though , all the pegs and poles for it stay in the tent bag . You will need a fly because if its cold you will get some condensation forming on the roof of the tent . Thats ok , it just shows you that not even your breath can escape , nice and waterproof . Thats the great thing about a modular tent , sometimes i just put up the tent , other times i use all the gear . Regarding the floor mat . An C Gear multimat of the size 6mts x 2.4 mts fits exactly under the tent with all the holes lining up for the tent pegs . Plus 6 mts is a perfect length when the front awning is used . My roof basket is about 300mm narrower that my roof racks so my tent sits up beside my basket . I use a product called SPT lockable tiedowns to tie the tent to the roof bars , noone can take it without taking the whole roof rack . The tent is supported by 3 roof bars . When taking the tent out of the bag unzip it and then roll the bag upside down and then take the bag off the tent , much easier . Put the bag on the tent the same way . When you take the bag off , the triangle piece on the tent will be the front so you know which way to have the tent facing before unrolling it . I think i hosed the tent when i first got it , but dont know if you need to . 3 self inflating mattresses of 2mts x 800mm fits perfectly in the tent making one large sleeping area . These days without the kids i just use a oztent goanna stretcher with a self inflating matress on top.
AnswerID: 506232

Follow Up By: Atta Boy Luther - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 01:20

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 01:20
I forgot to add , if you get the front panel then just use that spreader bar if you dont intend using the front panel but want to have the front awning out . I use the longer poles for the peaked side panels to give the front awning a peak if just using the awning without the peaked side panels . Be very aware of rain forming big puddles on the roof of the front awning if you just use the awning without the peaked side panels . Thats why i always have a peak in the awning regardless of using the peaked side panels or not .
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Follow Up By: Central Coast Timmy - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:21

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:21
Wow, some great info Atta Boy! Thanks!
I will look at the SPT lockable tiedowns - hmmm.
Just trying to work out about the spreader bar part as front panel awning. Is it right up the front of awning to put spreader from pole to pole?
I have C Gear multimat 2.4m x 6m that has not been used much - was considering selling it but thought perhaps i will need it one day with oztent - glad its now :)
FollowupID: 783216

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 07:06

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 07:06
I store our Oztent standing up. No problems experienced.

When traveling, I use a basket to carry the Swags and other camping gear stored inside a canvas bag.

The Oztent mounts alongside the basket sitting on the two cross rails only, but supported at three points by straps. To keep everything relatively secure, I use two extra lockable stainless steel reinforced straps.

I don't recall hosing the tent down before first use, but have certainly "seasoned" it since.
We don't use a fly, finding leaving the two small front panels open above the doorway which seems to restrict condensation developing.

As for setting the tent up at home, all you need is a little lawn space and it is really a 30 second job to put it up. (without pegging it down)

One tip for you.
I originally bought an original ground sheet and on one wet occasion, the awning area had a large area of pooled water on it.
I have since purchased the mesh style groundsheet and everything is now sweet with any water (or dirt, etc.) simply falling through.

Enjoy your investment, they are a super tent.

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AnswerID: 506236

Follow Up By: Central Coast Timmy - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:28

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:28
Thanks Sand Man!
Good to know you've had no problems storing Oztent standing up.
I like the idea of Oztent sitting next to basket - it has given me an idea to look into that a bit more.
Trying to work out the roof rack situation as my kids love surfing and it is a must to go camping with surfboard on roofrack - hmmmm. Maybe surfboard on top of basket (with camping gear underneath surfboard) and Oztent alongside basket like yours might be the way to go. Hmmm.
FollowupID: 783217

Reply By: Member - pedro1 - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 14:12

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 14:12
Going by our local repairer, make sure when you use the tent , that you make sure you peg the guy ropes from the top , and in wind, use two ropes in each corner (some people only use pegs on the bottom of the tent .
Another point, always take the legs out horizontally not vertically when packing or unpacking otherwise you can break the pivot points.
And finally if you use it a lot, check for canvas shrinkage in a year or two, the solution is to cut the frame down rather than replace stressed zips
AnswerID: 506251

Follow Up By: Central Coast Timmy - Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:30

Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 21:30
Thanks Pedro1!
It helps having this info re: peg & guy ropes.
Taking legs out horizontally when packing/unpacking - will keep that in mind thanks!
Thanks re: canvas shrinkage, will try and remember your advice (cut frame down)
FollowupID: 783219

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