Which Tent?? Doing trip WA NT and Qld from SA.Start in April

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 19:38
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HI I know this topic most likely done to death.Be great oneday if someone come up with the perfect tent for touring Australia. I used the centre pole tent for awhile good quality tent.But had some things I did not like.Anyways 2 tents I have read about for a bit now. Darche Airvolution AT4 almost expensive $795 on Ebay.Quick to set up, strong PVC floor.Awning comes off which is great if really windy and when you just need to sleep on route.Second tent Oztrail Tourer Fast Pitch. Cheap $350 on Ebay .Nice size 3mx3m can view the stars at night if not put fly/awning up.Quick setup can add side walls with windows and front wall..But crappy floor and need fly on for privacy.Not sure how strong frame is as not seen one in Adelaide setup.I know lot of people will say Black Wolf but I think expensive and strange no window on back wall ..Any thoughts ...
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 19:59

Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 19:59
Stephen, afaic there is no one perfect tent, as trips have little differences which lend themselves better to another type of shelter system (and stove, sleeping bag, etc etc).
It's like my bushwalking shed, now holding 25 years of tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves, ALL sorts of stuff, and will tailor what I take to the trip / weather etc.

Touring Australia ?
Moving daily ?
Gotta be quick !! Or you'll get sick and tired of setting up / packing down.

The tourer tent you might have now (?) centre pole, you can get a side pole kit, which frees up all the floor space.
Might be a solution.
Typical tourer
Side pole kit

For a little more room, you can get the extra size tourers, but more time setting up (possibly not too bad once you have a camp set up system in place.
Tourer Plus

Oztents and Black Wolf Turbos are pretty darn good, but package size / weight are a problem for some peple / vehicle carrying.

We have a Malamoo3 tent which is great for a lot of our trips.
Is so fast for both set up and pack down, just needs a bit of shadecloth for a groundsheet.

Really, spend the bucks and get the best tent ou can afford.
It will work out to a few measly $ per night at most, and enable you to set up / break camp so much faster / easier.
AnswerID: 597036

Reply By: Litlbalt - Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 19:59

Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 19:59
We have Blackwolf turbo and it has a back window its been on 2 month long trips and we loved it. We also have 2 Oztents only done small trips with them and love them also, they are going on their first big trip this year.

Can't comment on the ones you've mentioned above but I would be leaning more towards the Darche with the better floor, with the grounds in the outback def need something to be strong.
AnswerID: 597037

Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 21:04

Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 21:04
Thanks I always thought the BW had no back window my mistake sorry.How long you going and where from in which direction .Its hard decision for me which way to go from Adelaide..cheers
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 03:50

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 03:50
Depends where what you want to do. If your thinking of tracks, it may be still a bit early due to flooding.
If you head west via the nullarbor then up to Broome by May, tracks could be ok.
Head to Alice and cross the Tanami and head for Broome then double back to the GRR.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:58

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:58
Hi C9 wondering whats the other track before Tanami is that Gary rd ?Too early brain not working.Is that a good alternative to Tanami track and I have never done it and first time I heard of it.Found out here on OE. Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Crusier 91 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 10:13

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 10:13
Gary Junction Rd its called :) ends near port headhand in wa.
One of the main issues when travelling remote is fuel stops. Of late it seems to be the norm for remote fuel stops to close down for good so be careful of outdated info on the net. Also permits may be required.
This subject would be good as another thread.
Also use google search. There are heaps of forums around, the more info the better.
This is another great updated site for your travells

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 08:08

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 08:08

You haven't mentioned how many people, but for my mind the investment in an Oztent will pay dividends.

Although I have an RV3, the RV4 is the better choice.
Coupled with the Peak Side Panels (accessory) to provide under cover cooking/living space and with the vehicle backed up against the front opening, you will get the most practical use of your camping setup, with absolute trouble free and quick setup time, regardless of weather conditions.
Need extra space?
Add a tagalong attachment, or another Oztent.

Oztent Range

Some people will state that they are awkward to carry.
Well, yes you really need a set of roof racks,as the collapsed length is about 2 metres, but the extra storage space gained elsewhere for other gear is also an added advantage.
Although our usual camping mode now is a camper van, there are still occasions where the Oztent is our preferred method. Or we take it along as well, for extra camping solutions for friends or family members, that may accompany us from time to time.

Love our Oztent!


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Follow Up By: OBJ - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:05

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:05
X 2 for the Oztent RV4. Took ours around Australia, used it pretty much every night except in Karratha after I had hurt myself, and we still have it. Get a roof rack though. For us it was the perfect tent, so we found ours.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:23

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:23
X3 for the OzTent. We have had the RV4 for a very long time and Its the best tent ever purchased. If your touring Austrlia, being on the roof will not be an issue, as you will need every bit of space inside your vehicle for all the other gear that you will be taking.


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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:26

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:26
Hi Bill and OBJ wanted the RV before but was not thinking getting roofrack on Hilux
But then I bought roofrack secondhand and I do not think with my style roofrack can carry the RV tent Thanks I will go to Snowys store in Adelaide see the RV tents see if can fit.If can do what size as they not that big There is 2 adults and 1 5 year old ..
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:55

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:55

I would be surprised if the Oztent didn't fit your rack.
All you need is the two cross rails.
I usually have a steel "basket" mounted to the Rhino cross rails, but the tent sits nicely along the outside edge of the rails and against the basket. Two straps hold the tent securely in place.
I have worn holes in the bag over many travels, but just a new bag ($50) and all looks new again.

For two adults and one 5 year old I would recommend the additional tagalong tent which is a cheaper accessory for the Oztent.
Checkout their website for more detail.


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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 15:29

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 15:29
Hi People looked first hand at tents at Snowys.The Oztent are very nice.The Coleman Gold series nice setup too.But love the canvas types tents better than plastic ones just something about camping that lends itself to...cheers and its good to get feedback from you all with experience with different tents...
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:28

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:28
G'day Stephen, we have just purchased an oztent rv3, just the two of us, for a trip later in the year, have had it set up in the spare room.. To pack up the sleeping bags, air bed and tent, takes about 5 minutes, one person.. So easy.. Agree with other comments, need to carry it on the roof rack, which frees up room inside the vehicle, which is a bonus. We are very happy with it.. Just need to make sure you open and close it the right way, and be a little gentle in the unpack and packing up, as have heard it is possible to break hinges, if done the wrong way.. We have a couple of other tents also, but were looking for something fast, and saw the rv3 on line at a store in SA, on special.. (Impulse buying at its best) think it was around $800, free delivery.. Really like the accesories available with it as well, maybe at a later date, we will add to it.. Good luck with your choice, and enjoy your trip.. Cheers Odog
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:47

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:47
Tjanks Odog what roofrack you got as mine not sure can fit this tent as is steel cage type with solid bar running right around the top and only 120mm gap to slide anything through.cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 20:21

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 20:21
I Odog

Another great tip for packing up. Once you have the tent folded and rolled up, place the carry bag over the tent, then roll it over and zip it up. It is a far easier way of getting the tent back into the carry bag.

As I always say, it is the best tent ever we have owned, including a Souther Cross tent that now sits in the shed. Any tent that can withstand 110mm of rain overnight, thats nearly 4 and a half inches in the old scale, and not have one single trip of water in it must be bloody fantastic, with a water ring of grass over 50mm all around the outside of the tent.


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Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:51

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 09:51
Get into your local camping shop and have a look at the Coleman Instant Up 6 Gold, they are well contructed, weigh about 15kg, quick to set up and pack up and are well priced.
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 14:59

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 14:59
Stephen, we have a pioneer platform rack, haven't fitted it yet, just waiting on the mount bars to come, on back order, with your rack, you would be able to pack something under the tent, and secure it on top of the rack, where there is a will, there is a way! Cheers Odog
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 15:32

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 15:32
Yes good idea Odog .Have to fork out some bucks for Oztent .
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 19:34

Sunday, Mar 06, 2016 at 19:34
Don't forget to check out the Aldi special next week.

Its branded Coleman and is 3 X 2.7m and is one of their instant up external frame types.

At $179 I guess the floor would have to be weak , but anyway give it the once over.
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Reply By: Malcom M - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 07:40

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 07:40
Hi Stephen

Firstly - a touring tent has to be canvas not nylon!!!

We have quite a few tents but only two of these get used now. Coleman instant up and Darche AT4 inflatable.
Coleman instant up is wonderful for weekend away as its so quick and lightweight but after living in our in the Vic High Country with two weeks of non stop rain, we don't take this on lengthy trips anymore. If you cannot dry out the tent and you pack it away even slightly moist, the water will wick all the through the fly and nylon tent and it will leak like a sieve next time it rains. Two weeks of non stop rain killed any idea of ever travelling with this again and this convinced us to look at alternatives, we chose the Darche.
The Darche AT4 inflatable is simply brilliant. Takes under 60 seconds to inflate, Has a ton of headroom (I'm 6ft 4" and can stand up in it). Its bulging sides make it like a Tardis (bigger on the inside) as opposed to every other tent which taper in and restrict your internal room space.
The tubes are kevlar and you can drive over them fully inflated without popping them. Even if one did die, there is a second so you still have shelter.
Flaps all over the place so excellent ventilation. Window flaps are gussetted with zippered side flaps so can stay open in the rain.
You don't need to take the awning off. Its is zippered on but packs away installed. Worst case you can drop it across the front of the tent if you are in a hurricane.. There is a ton of ropes provided with the tent and a heap of tie down points. We have only ever used the floor corner pegs plus ropes to pull out the window flaps.
Negatives - 1/ you feel like a dork using a pump to put it up but you get over that.
2/ If the pump fails, you are stuffed. Your truck compressor will not put this tent up. We bought and carry a spare pump just in case ($20) on our longer trips.
Recently used it for 6 weeks around Cape York and can't recommend it highly enough. Its canvas so properly waterproof. Darche themselves are fantastic to deal with.
If you want one then look at Wildearth.com.au if you sign up to their newsletter they give you a large discount voucher. Apply that to the heavily discounted price they have anyway and it becomes a very cheap tent
Black Wolf is not waterproof unless you fit the fly.
Standard tapered tent that is no quicker top put up than any other standard tent
Oztents have a very long storage bag that is longer than most roof racks. No stand up room unless you stand right at the door but quick to erect.
AnswerID: 597086

Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 08:58

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 08:58
Thanks Malcolm sounds good.I thought the Darche was plastic type tent.? How does it go on the rain ? The Oztent are well made but hassle to put up on racks and I like to keep minimum stuff up there..Where did you buy extra pump from.One guy said it falied at seal so just added silicone.Have you the new model with newer pump and mosquito net in ceiling .Talking of ceiling whats condensation like ...Funny you say about pumping it up but it must be funny wayching others struggle with poles..I watched my friends put their plastic tent up took like 40 minutes ha ha
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 09:33

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 09:33
Glad Malcolm someone had 1st hand experience with the Darche as that was my original choice as just right size and not that heavy.Is it easy to pack away.?In Europe they been using these types of tents for decades and the Darche is made for our conditions... Also what about in winy conditions.My centre pole tent could handle it but bit scary...as side walls used to fall in no matter how well I pegged it and roped it .Cheers
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:19

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:19
Think you might have found one of my reviews...
The older pumps were not so good and you could pull the whole top off of the pump with a loud bang so anyone who hadn't been wondering what you were doing now is. Pumps work fine, just embarrassing. The thread that holds the top down isn't that strong so a simple bead of silicon in the thread binds it all together and its still going strong. Up and down every day for 6 weeks.
Bought the spare pump direct from Darche. They also have spare dump valves now which they didn't before. They are very responsive to customer feedback.

Our tent is the previous model and does not have the ceiling mesh (current model does). However it was only a few days before we chopped into it and fitted a mesh panel as I was sure condensation would be a problem plus wanted maximum ventilation for the cape.

Darche read my review and have since sent me a completely new pump which is a whole lot different in design and construction. Much stronger and does not let you rip the top off anymore. Also has an over pressure valve built in so you cannot over inflate the tubes which could rip the stitching out of the canvas that holds them in the tent. You'd have to be an idiot to do so though as both pumps have pressure gauges built in.

Wind is no problem. We had a lot of gales up the east coast of the cape and had no issues. As I said there is a heap of tie down points around the tent and we haven't had to use them. Talking like 6 or more per side, ropes from every window flap, every corner, sides up towards the top. Not sure what their thinking is with this but it sure does give you lots of choice for where to attach a rope to get to a tree rather than a peg. With no ropes (just the corner pegs) it could blow flat but would pop up again.
Unlikely you wouldn't have some window flaps open (7 of those plus door) so there's ropes strung from them anyway, add the 4 corner ropes and there's still at least one left on each side up towards the top.
If you are in a hurricane then I guess it could blow flat but consider that everyone else's rigid tent has been blown away whilst yours is hugging the ground.
Another thing we did was buy some extra long steel pegs plus some sand pegs. The Darche pegs are pretty big but we do this with all our tents just to have more options in different conditions.

The tent is totally waterproof. The only way to get water into it is a garden hose poked into places where rain cannot get to. Under those conditions, I'd probably be getting into the truck and leaving anyway. The canvas is a heavy rip stop fabric and the floor is vinyl which turns up the sides for about 150-200mm. We use a tarp under it to help keep sharp things away plus it stays cleaner for packing.

There is a permanently attached fly which is a really weird shape and just has little strips of material that come down each corner. Its not really there for water protection but for ventilation. The fly sits ontop of the tubes with the tent roof below that so you have a 100mm gap between them.
A big difference in heat in & out in 40 degree heat.

The carry bag is one of the toughest I have ever seen on a tent. Big and strong with handles on the ends as well as top so you can haul it out of the overloaded truck with appropriate violence.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:53

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 11:53
Ha ha Malcolm just read ya review on seller Wild Earth..Lucky for me new ones got airvent and the newest bug mesh in it and new pump...as you just wrote..only thing missing is window covers that can be done up inside.My old centre pole had one ..Perhaps I could use some velcro and make up one for the back window..and them corner windows..Sounds good to me the hrat factor seeings love the deserts...Thanks for great info sounds lik you did good service to Darche.I actually got them to put measurements of front of awning on their drawings.Still didnt get free tent but I think you deserved one.They make them next to nothing and make good profits.I got on Alibaba website and they supply most tents to Australia from China..mind you have to buy at least 50 at a time... Just wondering what mattress you use.I bought aerobed for wife and son but they do not like it.Great for packing very small.Lady in camping store told me to get selfinflating ones but I have had before and seams split and buggers to foll back up small...cheers
FollowupID: 866077

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:36

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 13:36
We've gone through a heap of cheap crap self inflating things plus expensive ones.
All fell apart or killed my hips so gave up on all them and bought some Exped inflatables.
Friggin awesome!
Exped have to manually pumped up but we do that with the standard 12v pumps that everyone sells. They just plug into the inlet opening. Separate in and out ports with one way valves fitted make it super easy to adjust your pressure preference. The ports are along one end which removes a common failure point being the corner area for most single valve things.
Started out with a SimComfort 10LW and loved that so much I bought a Megamat 10 LXW as well.
They're pretty damned expensive but bullet proof. Both are good to around -49c so you can sleep on snow without feeling any cold coming through the ground plus they are some 100mm thick. The megamat is the more comfortable for me but costs more. I'm in my 50's but 6 weeks continuously on this presented no pains or aches. Have yet to puncture one but they come standard with a color coded puncture kit. Not many do that.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:45

Monday, Mar 07, 2016 at 14:45
Thanks Malcom who sells them and do they fold smallish .Yeh I am 54 and like 105kilos now (25kg overweight but hope this trip lose a lot ) and hips took hamnering 4wd for work its nice to thrash some elses 4wd ha ha ha and young then ..but I lived in Nepal for a bit no mattress just wood hard on hips.Funny my 2nd wife from Thailand her mum in 60's sleeps on tiled floor just with bit of material doesnt like mattresses...
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