Modern air tents vs pop up swans

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 20, 2020 at 20:56
ThreadID: 140169 Views:1337 Replies:8 FollowUps:17
Curious if anyone has decided to go against the current trend of camper trailers like the swans and go with one of the more modern air tents? I ask as setup and teardown of these modern tents is incredibly simple and fast, plus there is way more room in the larger tents than any caravan could ever provide. Added to this there is no need to tow something, insure, register, maintain etc. Plus a decent air tent is a fraction of the price. Looking for advice here as we'd love to get into camping with the kids and see the air tents as a valid option too! Thanks in advance!
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Reply By: Rod W6 - Saturday, Jun 20, 2020 at 21:31

Saturday, Jun 20, 2020 at 21:31
Try erecting one and then packing it back down and into its bag. Unless you get ALL the air out it is a bit of a nightmare.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 08:08

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 08:08
They are also very heavy to lug around.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:43

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:43
And when it gets a hole in the seams somewhere and it settles on you during the night, that will be when the fun begins with a family and no shelter. Using thicker air may help!
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:53

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:53
They are very robust. I doubt that they would puncture easy. I had a Darche one but at 35KG it was ridiculous carting it around. Normal camping wouldn,t be an issue.
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Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 13:34

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 13:34
Camped next to a family with a fairly large Darche blow up last year.
He had been in the Pilbara nd Kimberley was happy with it.
I wanted to watch him pack up but got distracted for five minutes and looked back and he'd done it.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:43

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:43
Bigfish mine isnt can lift easy not heavy. And I have bad back.
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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:45

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:45
Its not hard at all we did 3 months in Darche Airtent. Easy peasy.
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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:52

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:52
Kevlar airpoles good luck trying to put hole in it. Withstands big winds no problem too.
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Reply By: Banjo (WA) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 09:17

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 09:17
Hey Adam, sounds like the brand that you sell is worth having.

Do you mind giving me a link to your sales site?
AnswerID: 632227

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 at 11:35

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2020 at 11:35
Best tent I have ever had, but misses wanted camper trailer , but after having it realises camper trailer takes a lot of time setting up.
So back to Darche Air tent. Just got to find that perfect mattress.
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Reply By: Member - Core420 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:00

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:00
I have an instant up tent that takes less than 15 minutes to setup including awning ground sheet and two very comfortable stretchers with adjustable legs to ensure they are perfectly level at all times. Total weight of all gear less than 60 kg and it easily fits in my dual cab tray. I chose this setup instead of a trailer because of lower cost, lower fuel consumption, no long term storage issues, and I can go anywhere my 4wd can take me. Haven't looked at the air tent because at the time of buying they were not yet available.
I would consider them now because they appear to be simpler to setup. I'd use a compressor (carefully) to do most of the inflation and deflation.
AnswerID: 632230

Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:49

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:49
Get the Darche Airtent. Love it tough as nails not heavy. They make pump up swags as well.
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:37

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 10:37
Tenting is certainly cheaper if you have the space in the car to add the tent itself, the mattresses, stretchers and bedding. That is already a big if.
We have done full circle with light trailers to bigger vans to tenting on the roofrack.
We find the biggest mismatch is the so called set-up time. Somehow the advertised setup time for tenting is for the tent itself but then you have to add the time and effort to set up the stretchers, inflate mattresses and make the beds, all of which are not counted in the set-up time of trailers as beds are already made.
But The biggest time has always been the pack up time. It is fine if you can set up in say 15 minutes, but when tenting with family the packing up takes more than triple the time, especially bedding/mattresses/packing car or roofrack. That is where campervans come into their own.
It is fine for a big holiday in one location, but if you are on the move every few days that is something to consider.
Sorry for being long winded but there are many variables and it depends on your needs and personal situation.
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Follow Up By: Member - J&A&KK - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 21:03

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 21:03
I agree the pack up takes a lot longer than the set up. Pulling the things out of the bags is so much faster than putting them back in the bags. The bags shrink over time for sure.

Then there is the pack up when everything is wet. Usually when wet it’s also cold and the hands don’t seem to work very well.

Having tented for many years as a junior surveyor, poles etc, I would not bother with a blow up pole tent. The compressor plus airtight seams are just another variable to work with. I wouldn’t fancy carting around a 36kg tent.

Cheers John

John
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Follow Up By: LAZYLUX16 - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:47

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:47
My Swan takes longer than my airtent by a mile.
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 11:13

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 11:13
Why not a swan with an inflatable frame, best of both worlds ... something like the Opus
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Reply By: Ron A - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 11:20

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 11:20
We have tried both over the years and after purchasing a new boat are considering going back to a tent of some sort. As we have had to modify the trailer a bit would appreciate some suggestions from the learned travellers on this site. Have attached a picture to show you our setup for your suggestions.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 12:58

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 12:58
You need a bigger boat Ron.

Cheers
Jim
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 15:43

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 15:43
That's just his ski boat. You should see his yacht. :-)
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Follow Up By: Rod W6 - Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 20:37

Sunday, Jun 21, 2020 at 20:37
Well its not hard to see that the boat is a Dinky toy and the semi is a Matchbox toy.
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Follow Up By: John Baas - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 01:07

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 01:07
I'd be interested in the compressor you're using; I've been happy with my ARB job to date, but I'd upgrade on recommendation...
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Follow Up By: RMD - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 10:32

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 10:32
I want to see him back down the ramp and launch it. The prime mover is 4wd.
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Follow Up By: Member - Sanantone - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 12:29

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 12:29
Do you need to sweet talk your misses into winch duties, when pulling it out??
Tony
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Reply By: LAZYLUX16 - Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:41

Monday, Jun 22, 2020 at 20:41
Hi Adam14 .I have both. Swan Outback. Heavy duty aftermarket suspension not crappy Jayco stuff.
My experience is if you don't mind mucking about setting it up ,its good. Its best if you camping for a few days in one spot. Its luxury very comfortable and a lot of space a bit overwhelming really. But more things to worry about breaking. More fuel used and turning around in tight spots can be hard
. Ok airtent I have Darche. Like a Tardis inside , tough as nails, withstands winds no problem no condensation because huge roof vent.
Easy peasy setup. Can go anywhere and easy to find a spot to setup. Find best mattress money can buy is key to tent camping.
Jayco needs reasonable flat area for fridge to work.
Not heavy the tent I can lift on my own and I have back issues .We have 4 man but you can get 6 man one too. We will be selling the Jayco. Cheers my 2 cents worth.
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Reply By: Member - Dublediff - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 at 21:06

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 at 21:06
Wait until it rains, I mean really rains! Been on the Murray at Easter with heavy rain, river rising a bit so ground water is high and out digging a ditch around the tent, then you will wish you had a camper like the swan. Mind you it was fun, we were younger and more adventurous and the groundwater dried up the next day so we stayed a few more days, with the same rain issues. We were in a group and it was a yearly event and a couple of the softies showed up with jayco campers the next year. We did exactly the same the year after. More convenient having clothes, food etc in camper ready to go when you put it up etc. It was also great on Fraser Island when the dingoes were opening tents beside us to forage for food. A tent is cheaper, a tent is easier to store away when you are home and you can get into more camps with a tent, but. Whenever you leave your home accomodation, and everything else is a compromise. I now have a Bushtracker with a full en-suite, air conditioning, full fridge, 400 litres on board water, diesel heating etc etc, yeah, I'm an old fart who spent the first 10 years camping in a tent on the side of the river with no power, running water was the Murray etc etc. we loved it, the kids ran amuck, learned how to fish for yabbies and carp, lol. Hunted rabbits with sticks and a spot light, showered by the light of the stars under a canvas bag with a shower rose, the water heated on the coals of the ever burning camp fire. Loved every minute and wouldn’t change a thing. The van allows me to travel further afield in comfort, so is the wife by the way and that makes it much easier to get her to go. But we still have a tent for areas where we can,t take take the van. Horses for courses and whatever spins your wheels.
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