Are there non-transparent pop-up shower/toilet tents?

Submitted: Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 21:35
ThreadID: 107731 Views:3255 Replies:8 FollowUps:23
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Hi
We're new to caravanning but are just about to set off on a 2 month trip around Queensland. As we'd like to free camp as much as possible, we've bought a Dometic portable toilet. Our van isn't very big and we only have an awning (no full annex), so we'll need an enclosure as we'd like to have the loo outside. I've been thinking about a cheap pop-up shower tent but most of them look like they'd be transparent in many lights and especially at night if you took a light in with you.
Can anyone point me to a not-too-expensive solution that's also easy to erect (we like the pop-up because if we pull up and its raining, we can throw it up quickly without getting drenched)

Thanks
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Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 22:01

Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 22:01
We have found the silver lined ones are non see through.

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Follow Up By: Sandrab58 - Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 22:46

Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 22:46
Thanks for that advice. I've googled "silver lined shower tent" and found a reasonably priced one online. Got a couple of bad reviews but that was related to not being able to fold it to pack away. Lots of people seem to compare folding one of these things to wrestling an octopus, but I like a challenge :-)
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 08:19

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 08:19
See f you can rent a octopus!

You will need all the practice you can get.

bill
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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 09:01

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 09:01
Yep ......... they're an absolute mongrel; until you master the art, then they're a piece of cake. I found some good demos on U-Tube which I studied assiduously. Came very close to cutting off 6 octopus legs though.
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Follow Up By: Axle - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:08

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:08
You had more patience than me Rosco, I folded ours up with the back wheels of the defender,in a fit of rage,..much to the missus disgust..lol.

Axle.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:43

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:43
Cheap ones are almost impossible to fold, good ones are dead easy.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:56

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:56
Must be a 'Fender thing Axle. I came within a gnat's whisker of giving our previous one the same treatment.
Mind you I had to master the art, as the replacement is one of those double jobbies with 2 rooms and one extra hoop ......... mongrel bastard of a thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:11

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:11
Actually the secret of these things is to NOT think logically.

Think of the most improbable method for folding it up and that will work.
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Reply By: lancie49 - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 08:40

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 08:40
Sandra, they're fine in daylight.
Leave the light outside the tent at night and you'll see the light, but others won't see you.
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Follow Up By: lancie49 - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 08:45

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 08:45
I forgot to suggest that you try the transparency in the backyard when you buy the popup and if it's not satisfactory you can change it for another brand/style before you go away.
Have a look at Youtube for how to fold a popup shower tent.
Practice at home first and you'll be fine.
We kept ours in the family room for a coupla weeks and set it up every night. After a week it was easy, it's the technique.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 09:09

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 09:09
Lancie's advice is good. You will probably want to shower during daylight anyway as it can be too cool at night. We bought a pop-up online and got one that happened to have quite a soft frame, so it was easy to fold (once we got the knack) but I have seen others of the same brand with a very stiff frame and much harder to fold. If I was buying again I would go to a shop and try out what they have, looking for a soft frame.
The folding instructions that came with our tent were practically incomprehensible but we found a good u-tube video that helped a lot. But although we practiced at home we still went through the "couple of rounds with an octopus" routine for a couple of days until we really got the knack of folding the thing. One other thing - condensation can be an issue, so if you want to avoid an unexpected shower during an early morning visit, give the tent a bit of a shake before entering.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Sandrab58 - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 11:20

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 11:20
Thanks folks. All good advice for newbies like us, especially about leaving the light outside and shaking it to avoid the early morning cold shower. I've also emailed the store to ask if the frame is too strong for us to be able to fold it, if they'll accept a return.

Thanks again for your advice
Sandra
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Follow Up By: Member - Greg H (NT) - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 12:03

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 12:03
We have one. Master the technique of folding it up at home.
If you want some entertainment watch someone else fold there's up. It can be a good couple of beers!!

Cheers

Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:56

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 17:56
Yes, we were the entertainment at one campsite a few years back. Carried the thing home flat on top of the camper, left it on the nature strip with a note "Needs a new owner" but kept the bag for my hoses.

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Follow Up By: Steve - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 19:12

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 19:12
hey Sandra, do like we do; total cop-out and just chuck it on the bed of the van. I've been called all the cowards under the sun when fellow campers have lingered around when I told them I know exactly how to deal with these infernal contraptions. :-)) Why all the angst? Chuck the bloody bag away and chuck the thing on the bed. Two things guaranteed an audience when camping; making a dogs dinner of reversing into your site or trying to put one of these things back into a 6" envelope. Leave it to the mugs and smart-ar$es, I say.
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:06

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:06
The ways of the Force, you must learn padawan.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:25

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:25
nah, mate. Leave that for heroes. Been through it and conquered it numerous times and just when I get to the swagger "I'll show em" stage and I pin it down all ends ready for the final blow, the bloody thing springs up where I least expect it and wangs me around the earhole. Some are easier than others...or maybe it's complacency - when you think you've got it cracked you make a hash of it yet when you think you'll give it a go but but deep down expect the aforementioned whack around the ear, the thing meekly and amazingly submits. There's never anyone around when this happens though.
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Follow Up By: Sandrab58 - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 09:20

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 09:20
Steve, you've reminded me that there are now TWO avenues of embarrassment for us - the privacy tent folding and the van reversing. As I said, we're new to this and, never having towed anything before, we're finding sites we can drive into. Hubby did back it into the driveway last time we got home, but I can see hours of entertainment coming up for fellow travellers :-)
I've ordered an Oztrail silver-lined pop up and will practise day and night in the back yard until I've mastered the beast. I must admit to a good chuckle at Frank P's experience with bringing it home on the top of the camper - I can just see it flapping about in the wind like a bad comb-over :-) I'd better not laugh too hard - could be us soon...
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:04

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 20:04
Sandra,

Love the description about it being like fighting with an octopus, and most of the responses support that view .....BUT..... it is possible!

There are some good videos on the web showing how to go about it, like this one, for example.

Worth googling "folding privacy tent" or something like that, and practicing without an audience. Once you get it, it just happens. (I haven't got it yet!)

Cheers

John
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 22:14

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 22:14
Simple rule RTFI, as I said cheap ones will be almost impossible to fold, well worth spending over $70.00, although saying that I think Oztent marketed one with thin fibreglass rod frames, couldn't even stand up by itself without the guy ropes on.
The best value one that I have found is a grey one sold by Kangaroo Tent City under their own brand name.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:54

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 11:54
It has been our observation (and experience) that only females are genetically enhanced with the required instincts and perseverance to master the fold up of these pop ups.
Michelle Martin
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Follow Up By: Member - batsy - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 13:38

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 13:38
Yeah..... right...... Think you need a discussion with MickO.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 18:57

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 18:57
No Batsy - Michelle is absolutely right - definitely women's work !

Cheers

John
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Follow Up By: Member - flashcher - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 20:13

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 20:13
Michelle is definitely right. I watched a youtube video and have mastered the shower tent mostly on the first go ever since. Hubbie on the other hand - we have had practise after practise in the back yard and he still can't get it (pretty much like folding the fitted sheet properly).
Oh and my name is also Michelle - maybe it is just a Michelle thing :)
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Reply By: D-Jack - Monday, May 12, 2014 at 21:07

Monday, May 12, 2014 at 21:07
I think you're overthinking the privacy thing - the view would be very distorted and if not would probably make someone's day anyway!
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Follow Up By: hooks - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 09:32

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 09:32
D -Jack,
I think you are on the money, on this one.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 12:00

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 12:00
The free camps I go to don't have anyone else nearby, so privacy not an issue. If its a popular free camp there are often ablution blocks (pit toilets) provided.
Michelle Martin
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Reply By: disco driver - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 10:36

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 10:36
There's another very good reason for having the light outside the shower tent, or any other tent for that matter.
Lights attract bugs and moths of all description, having a shower with them for company can be a pain in the ass, literally, especially if one bites you there.
And bugs in a dark tent trying to get out will keep you awake.

Disco.
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Reply By: Member - flashcher - Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 20:18

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 20:18
I take a little torch with me so I can see my way to the shower tent but also to give a sweep of light through the tent to make sure there aren't any surprises waiting for me on the toilet seat or on the ground, I then lay the torch on the ground.
AnswerID: 532416

Reply By: Member - Chris and Lindsay (VI - Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 00:03

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 00:03
Regardless of transparency, when you discover a big hairy huntsman spider behind you on the wall you are out of there ASAP and on show for all to see anyway.
AnswerID: 532600

Reply By: Sandrab58 - Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 07:25

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 07:25
Well, I received our Oztrail pop-up and, after taking advice from the forum and watching Youtube demos a dozen times, I'm proud to say I got it successfully folded first time. Also bought a good LED lantern which will sit outside the door for privacy but which will be used to thoroughly check for spiders (especially as I have arachnophobia). Never thought a simple trip to the loo would entail so much thought :-)
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