Best touring tent

Submitted: Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 19:14
ThreadID: 119387 Views:4465 Replies:9 FollowUps:11
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New to forum, but having decided to head off around Australia by mid November, have been researching valuable information from this site. We are a family of 5 and are looking currently for an off-road caravan, but it seems clear we will need a tent to reach many of the best locations - is this correct? If so can anyone please recommend a suitable tent that will not take all day to set up and pack up? Wondering if the 30 second tent rv5 would be suitable or too small?

Thank you in anticipation.

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Reply By: Gronk - Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 19:57

Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 19:57
You really need to quantify "best" locations. Or what sort of offroad van ?

Tell us what they are and some on here will tell you whether a tent is need or not.

There are that many "best" locations in Australia, and not all that many need a tent to see, so more info needed...
AnswerID: 556635

Reply By: Renee W - Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 20:13

Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 20:13
Fair enough, thank you. We will be getting a full off-road van hopefully Bushtracker or similar (on the lookout as we speak) but from from what I understand a tent is required along the gibb river road, Arnhem land and also when heading to the Cape to get to some locations...or maybe not (I understand Arnhem land has no caravans)? Expect that we will use the tent only in these situations, so trying to work out what is best for these situations with kids 4,7&10....whether we need something larger (which takes up valuable space and time to set up) or better to get something smaller and '"make do" or whether we need a tent at all?


AnswerID: 556637

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 21:07

Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 21:07
Grab one of the better quality nylon dome tents with lots of mesh for use without a fly in the warmer northern climate
They are cheap, light and compact and keep the bugs out
Look for one with not too many bows as it is quicker to set up
I used a Coleman one with my family and it worked great
FollowupID: 842873

Follow Up By: madfisher - Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 21:22

Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 21:22
We had dome tents and found they can not witrh stand very strong winds, we have moved from them to the canvas centre pole type tents. Oztrail make some excellent ones. Although I would suggest a centre pole and a smaller dome for the 7 and 10 year for sleeping purposes. We have and 8x8 centre pole for one or two nights and a 12x9 for longer stays. The 12x9 could sleep 5 at a pinch but would leave no room for luggage. Both go up in about 10 mins.
Cheers Pete
FollowupID: 842875

Follow Up By: AlanTH - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 09:19

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 09:19
I'll back what Madfisher says about the centre pole tents as we've had an Oztrail tourer 9 plus for some years. Not much use and can't use it at all now as I have a bad back but it's not hard to erect when a bit fitter. Very quick.
Cook and I decided to go for the Oztent RV4 as I can slide it up on to a tray with rear rollers much easier.
For sale: One excellent full canvas tent, fully rain proof! Be quick 300 bucks :-)))

FollowupID: 842887

Follow Up By: slave - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 12:45

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 12:45
We saw many caravans along the Gibb River Road last year of all shapes and sizes. There were also caravans that traveled to McGowans Island North of Kalumbaru.

I love our Oz tent
FollowupID: 842895

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 22:30

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 22:30
Yes, Arnhem Land is another no caravans area.

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FollowupID: 842974

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 16:47

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 16:47
Mum & Dad have/had an RV5 and given I've spent a lot of time traveling with them putting the OzTent up and down I can offer some advice...


1. Plenty of room and height,
2. canvas is solid & waterproof,
3. good build*,
4."self erecting*"

* with limitation - see below


1. we had a problem with the plastic corner joins cracking - however it has been well used - replaced them with metal corner brackets / nyloc bolts, and a bit of grinding/filing to smooth the corner so it didn't rub the canvas and it was as good as gold (and more solid than it was before) - corner bits do have a bit of flex

2. to put stretchers in end ways you really need to peg the back dorsal flap otherwise feet / stretcher will rub

3. for the larger RV's - don't believe the spiel that it's a one man job to erect - you need two - one to hold/pull the front while another slides the self locking arms on the side - also applies on the way down as well

4. while as some said above you can do with four corner pegs, however if you want to erect with the back lifted and include fly cover and front awning, then you're looking at at least 14 pegs... sort of defeats the self erecting do it in 5 mins spiel at the camper shows

RV5 - loooong when folded and can be heavy - won't go inside vehicle and unless you're reasonably mobile - could be a hassle getting onto roofs... my father built a custom off-road trailer just to carry the Oztent and he has shoulder problems

Please don't take the cons as a negative, Mum & Dad loved theirs, and it was a great tent when up, however it's probably not ideal for quick one night stops...

also - they may have fixed this in later releases - the RV5 they got I suspect had an RV4 bag - that thing was one son of a b*cth to get back into the tent bag - Ma & Pa wound up getting a local upholsterer to extent and gusset the bag..
FollowupID: 843014

Follow Up By: Litlbalt - Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 17:31

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 17:31
Wow if the oztent isn't "ideal" as a one nighter I dont know what is. And if it is just a one nighter you wouldn't really need all the bits and pieces to go with it. We stay in ours for a whole weekend with just the tent no extras.

We have 2 and at last camp I put one up myself including sliding the slides up and holding the front bar all by myself while my hubby did the other all by himself too my father inlaw also does his too.
FollowupID: 843016

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 01:42

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 01:42
Litlbalt, didn't say it was a bad tent, however I stand by everything I said...
FollowupID: 843033

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 22:45

Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 22:45
Hi Shannon

If you are looking at the Oztents, they are fantastic and true for their 30 seconds setting up. Very strong tent and when the heavens opened up for us on Kangaroo Island, we had 110mm of rain overnight, it just kept bucketing down. Not one drop of water in the tent, and we had a 50mm water debris ring around the tent next morning.

It is by far the best tent that we have ever purchased.


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AnswerID: 556644

Follow Up By: Member - Markthemilko (WA) - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 00:29

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 00:29
Yep, I'll second that - 30 seconds to put it up.
And I always put it in the bag the same way so that the doorway is always where I want it - I put the bag on the ground so that I always unzip it from right to left and I know that the doorway will be next to our Cruiser. And when packing up I lay the bag beside the rear of the tent so that I zip it up left to right. That way you'll never have to turn the tent about-face when it's raining! nor any other time.
Happy 4WDriving

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Reply By: Litlbalt - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 17:00

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 17:00
We had a Blackwolf Turbo plus 300 was a great tent we loved it and it housed us in some awesome places and through lots of heavy rain.

We have just got Oztents there are 4 of us and we have 2 rv4's and the pack up is so much faster but alas the cost of the 2 tents is alot more then just the blackwolf and I cant see us fitting into a rv5 well we could but without bags and probably on the smaller self inflating mats but in saying that when we were at Palm Valley there was a family of 5 in a rv5.

Space wise the Blackwolf is perfect but I love the pack up of the oztents.

AnswerID: 556663

Reply By: Renee W - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 17:27

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 17:27
Thank you everyone for your replies. It would seem that the oztent is a great tent but I agree now that unfortunately might be too small for all 5 of us. I have also considered the black wolf tents as the reviews are also very good, but now it would seem the best option might be a centre pole tent or cabin tent - a compromise in set up and pack up but more suitable for 5 people. Regards, Shannon.
AnswerID: 556665

Reply By: Member - Tony F8 - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 07:37

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 07:37
Buy yourself two simple tents, one for the adults and one for the kids, easier to pack and store.
AnswerID: 556681

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 22:27

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 22:27
Hi Shannon

If you get a top of the range Off Roader, the one place you need to tent it is Purnululu National Park in the Kimberley, where caravans are not permitted. Otherwise you will get to most places. We took our F250 and Bushtracker along the Gibb River Road, to McGowans Island Beach at Kalumburu, and other unsealed roads such as the Tanami, Gary Junction and Great Central Roads (see our trips on these in My Blogs). Size was no impediment on any of these roads.

For your family you will probably want a 20' (internal) at minimum, and coupled with a capable tow vehicle you will not be able to get down narrow and winding 4wd tracks. The Holland Track in the Western Australian Goldfields is an example of a track unsuitable for caravans. Tracks like these are not usually on the agenda of someone doing a lap.


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Follow Up By: Renee W - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 19:38

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 19:38
Thanks for your reply Motherhen, we have just purchased a 200 series landcruiser and yes we are looking at a good quality used off roader and are currently grappling with size. I don't want something too big, but again if we are in it for 12 months or so don't want something too small. The research I have done would suggest 19' to 22' - there are some like elite that are near 24' but this to me seems too big for what we want to do (off the beaten track). I am glad to hear that at around 20' the size isn't too restrictive.
FollowupID: 843064

Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 13:41

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 13:41
There are a number of instant up tents around these days which are strong because of the exo frame, and as the name suggests, instant. Coleman and Wanderer are a couple. I got the wanderer for the kids to sleep in and am happy with the quality vs price. I would tour with it. If you plan to sleep in stretcher beds rather than sleep mats you will need better than 2000mm in any direction at the height of the bed, so a 2000mm floor space won't quite fit them in unless the sides are vertical. Just something to be mindful of.
AnswerID: 556737

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 18:56

Tuesday, Jul 07, 2015 at 18:56
Check out thread 119046, Renee. Some mention of Oztents and a cheaper unit that can be added to make a large living and 2 sleeping areas.

About 10 years ago we bought a tent from Kmart, that was comfortable for 3 of us. Just need to remember which rods go where, or it can be somewhat embarrassing/frustrating.

If you're heading off in November, then I'd be selecting tents that can keep out more than just insects........if you get my drift.


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Follow Up By: Renee W - Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 19:41

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2015 at 19:41
Thanks Bob, I hope you mean rain and not wife has just had a meltdown!
FollowupID: 843065

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