family tent + table advice please - 4persons car

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 06:56
ThreadID: 31788 Views:4249 Replies:12 FollowUps:4
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new to this site - and to car camping with a young family 4 & 2. Tried a Balnaring trip ad despite torrential rain and koalas mating over our heads decided we like it

Wood appreciate advice on good family tent also table for occasional use (plus other equipment that others found useful)

- Located melbourne.
- Will be for family ue initially at craravn parks with other young families then bush camping
- say 6X per year
- Will be packing everything into a Subaru outback with roof pod so space will be an issue
- Thinking geo dome 4-6 person with large vestibule with sewn in floor (for table ... when wet) - partially as somewhere for kids to move around when wet
and for us to be when kids asleep
- price is simportant but will spend for quality is there is a reason

Ray's wild country Geo 6 that seems pretty good but open to alternatives - there is alsoa deal on today which could be useful.

Alos interested in rollup camp table such as Outdoor referred to in recent RACV articl
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Reply By: Qlddisco - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 07:30

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 07:30
check out your local camping store or disposals for some ideas mate > take the family along to !!! to our family the camp store is our Toyworld ! the kids love being there and saying what they want !!! if u r only going to some park camping , mayb a little box trailer might b the go , this way u can take enough gear to set up a good comfortable camp mate ! get your self outdoors , it sure does beat seeing the kids sitting in front of the telly
AnswerID: 160828

Follow Up By: Member - Alan (WA) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:29

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:29
We used a "tradesmans" trailer style when we started camping - with the lift up sides. Allowed us to keep a base set up of our gear (which makes getting away quicker - and therefore more likely to do it) with plenty of room for any other stuff we wanted to take.

We could lock the doors easily for security and everything was nice and dry inside.

We have now moved on to a camper trailer - but only after we had done it for a while and worked out what we wanted.

Happy camping!

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Reply By: Feral - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 07:56

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 07:56

I have a family tent for sale which we used for the same idea that you have. It is going cheap so you had better be quick. The tent will be better than the Geo dome and you will have more space.

E-mail if you are interested and I will send you some pics.

Immaculate Discovery Td5.

AnswerID: 160839

Follow Up By: Feral - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:04

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:04
Here is a link that will show you the should work.

FollowupID: 415592

Follow Up By: Qlddisco - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:38

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 12:38
what sort of $,s u asking for the tent Davyd ??
FollowupID: 415649

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:15

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:15
Those roll up tables are a pain. Can't move them easily, always jamb fingers in them when rolling up, just a pain...

Get a table that is more bullet proof, so your kids don't have to be too careful around it.

AnswerID: 160845

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:36

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:36
We have an OzTent 30 second tent which is brilliant but for a family of 4 you would need something bigger. I would look for something lightweight.

Contrary to what Lone Wolf posted, we have two aluminium roll-up tables which work extremely well. The larger one is 4 years old and the smaller one is new. We use the larger one for cooking etc and the smaller one as a utility table inside our screen tent. Both tables roll up into small packages and are stored either side of our rear storage compartment
AnswerID: 160849

Reply By: Robbo3 - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:54

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:54
I've had three tents and now own a camper trailer. Best bit of advice I have is to buy good quality. Freedom, Southern Cross and the Tambo Orion range are all great tents.

Check them out on their various websites.

AnswerID: 160854

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:55

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:55
Ditto re Willem on the roll up tables - you will need very compact gear by the sound of it - dome tent too would be a must to save space while mobile. We have two roll up tables - one is all ally - the other has steel legs - go the all ally - lighter and just as good... about $30 ... the Go-lo type stores often have them. IF you had clear roof racks, one of those oblong plastic BBQ tables with pop-in legs can be good - they provide plenty of table space, and the can serve as a platform on the roof for other soft gear ...the legs can be stowed.... your roof module would rule that option out I guess. Seeing space is tight, you could try the disposable paper cookware......... (sorry - only joking).
AnswerID: 160855

Reply By: Scubaroo - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:58

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 08:58
If you are going to use a table inside the tent (we have a Geo 4 tent and one of those Coleman tables that packs into the seats like a suitcase), get some of that interlocking foam squares that you use for caravan awning floors etc - will save either the table, or more likely, a chair, punching a hole through the floor of the tent.
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Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:28

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:28

I've got a roll up table, and I've also got a Coleman Picnic Bench set, the tables folds up into one of the benches, and they both clip together to form a small suitcase, if you check out post 31024 you'll see a pic of it, and also some other ideas. I have found that this table is really sturdy and great for the kids to sit at, the fold up ones, can be a bit unsteady, esp with kids are around. If you're really keen on a roll up one due to space limitations, then I'd go for a larger one rather than the compact one.

We are in the process of looking at tents at the moment for our Simpson trip next year, so far considering a BlackWolf Turbo 300, an Oztent RV4, and the Tambo Orion


AnswerID: 160862

Reply By: ellmcg - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:42

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 09:42
I too worship the roll-up camping tables. And the chairs that fold up and go in a cylindrical bag go very well with them. BTW does anyone know if it is still possible to get the chairs without arms? They take up so much less room, for the space-challenged vehicle...
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Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:52

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:52
yes you can get them,
FollowupID: 415625

Reply By: Shawsie (Member - Bris) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:38

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 10:38
Hi Davyd, All good advise above, but here's my 2c worth. We were away with 15ppl & 5kids last weekend (7 tents/setups) so had a good chance to see what everyone was using and by their standards WE are camping minimalists LOL. There was a CT which was more like a 1 bedroom apartment - fantastic, but the rest had all tent setups.

For a couple with a couple of kids, a two room tent is essential and with an awing out the front sewn into the tent (if poss) you can then put a ground sheet underneath.

A fold-up cooking table and a fold up eating/sitting/cardplaying table, like the ones with the table and chairs together and folds up into a small case, just get the sturdy type as the alloy ones break easily.

The folding deck chairs ($10 at BigW) can be easilly stored, but we prefer the camping ones mentioned above. We store them next to our rear _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx.

The blow up mattresses can be stored in the tent bag if you fold them neatly and that just leaves a couple of plastic tubs to store cooking & camping utensils etc.

We just have a 4man tent and a tarp, but we found the stuff I just mentioned worked very well for others, but fitting it into the car is onother chapter (DOH!). Go through a few trial runs and you'll soon find the best way to fit it all in.
AnswerID: 160878

Reply By: ev700 - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 11:18

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 11:18

By the time you get all of the stuff you might well have been better off getting a second hand camper trailer. Some of the newies are cheap too as long as you do not give in to the salesman 'upping' your expectations.

Another option for long term use is a a secondhand Jayco poptop (eg Swan or Flamingo).

My reasons for suggesting these options are:

they give you the option of longer term camping as well as the two-three day outings;

some comfort helps a lot when camping with a family;

more flexibility for wet/hot/cold/windy weather;

carrying water, gas, bedding and cooking kit is taken care of so it is much easier to slip away; and

secondhand you pick up heaps of good kit cheaply. Go to garage sales too as a good source of camping gear.

Should you go ahead with tents, be sure to add up the weight of all of the stuff you have to carry and remember that a cargo barrier will be necessary to stop the kids and you being crushed in an accident.

Adding weights and price usually indicate that a camper or Jayco or similiar is the best option first up rather than down the trail.

A final tip - when the children are a bit older, get them into your local Cubs/Scout group. Boys and girls ared included. We did and the children had heaps of fun, learned heaps about basic camping and I got to go along as a parent helper and got in lots of relaxing camping (gives wife a weekend to catch up on things too).

Have fun
AnswerID: 160886

Reply By: Member - Des - Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 12:21

Sunday, Mar 19, 2006 at 12:21
We are fairly new to camping too. After much research, we recently bought a Black Wolf Turbo 300, and have just used it for a week in the high country. Excellent tent, solid, well-built and quick to set up. But (there's always a but) bulky when packed: about 1.5m long and about 30cm x 30cm, weight 23kg. Same would go for its main competitor, Oztent. (In fact the Oztent only fits on the roof of most vehicles, whereas we could get the Black Wolf in the Prado.)

If space is a big issue, you can't go past a dome. In fact consider two domes. A big one (maybe two rooms) as living room/parents bedroom and a small one for the kids. They really don't take very long to set up - a lot of set up is getting sleeping, cooking and other gear out and ready.

We took a cheap mesh screen dome ($150 from Aussie Disposals) and used it as a living room. Light and compact. Each side rolled down, so you could have shade or rain protection as needed. Great particularly if staying more than 1 night - you can have chairs and gear inside, and be protected from the flies and mossies, while still feeling outdoors. Wouldn't withstand severe weather though. And we had a mouse chew its way through the mesh. They love corn chips, it seems!!

Happy camping anyway.
AnswerID: 161487

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