Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 12:09
ThreadID: 4501 Views:2503 Replies:17 FollowUps:22
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This hasnt been done for a while and when I searched archives for Tents, I got all sorts of stuff....

Lookin for something simple to erect, and doesnt take up 5/4's of the car space.

Thinking of Canvas, but $$ are an issue there, Outback Canvas has an 9x9 for $700+.. Can get a 6 man dome for $250....!

The dome have now isnt right for us with 3 yr old anymore, and wanna get sometihng different. Just not sure what..

What are people using.. And No I dont want a $10k-30k box trailer with a tent on it.

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Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:14

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:14

I have just been through the excercise. All the canvas tents are $600+. I ended up with a COI Lightning touring tent at $619. because I wanted a quick to erect and pull down touring tent. They end up packed flat at about 700x700x75mm because you leave some of the framing in. Not a problem, will fit in the boot of a car/wagon. Mine sits on top of my chuckwagon in the back of the Prado.

It boils down to this if you want very quick to erect tent and one that will last forever and in storms then canvas is the way to go.

If you want low cost, not fussed about longevity or what happens in gale force winds, rip resistance then go for the cheap dome tents. They also pack up into a much smaller space and are light.

Good luckWe have so little time to enjoy our land
AnswerID: 18086

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:18

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:18
Thanks for the reply..

More interested in saving space in the car than 30 secs to erect, but then again dont want 20 poles ala-80s canvas jobs!

Ive looked at Outback Canvas only 2 models but 10 mins from home here!, Southern Cross closed until after anzac, freedom none on display around here, and not much else comes up on a google search.

Any photos of this one of yours around??

Take care.
FollowupID: 11336

Follow Up By: Squid - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 14:49

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 14:49
Hi Truckster,

I would definitely go for the canvas despite it being a bit more expensive and bulky when packed. They seem much more durable and I am assuming easier to fix if there is a problem with ripping etc.

We have just come back from Brooms Head (NSW), where we had high winds and plenty of rain. Our dome tent, which is not very old and was not particularly cheap, did not cope with these winds. On the last night two of the poles simply split down the middle, resulting in the tent practically laying flat when a gust of wind hit it. The friends with us had a similar tent and it's poles split and ripped the tent, not much fun to try and fix in the rain.

We will be purchasing a canvas tent in the near future.

FollowupID: 11345

Follow Up By: Michael - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 16:49

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 16:49
Hi Truckster, I think OZ TENT are now selling a huge dome tent that springs into position when you let the packing straps go, Its the one thats been advertised lately in the $x$ mags, Oz TENT seem to have gotten their hands on it, I couldnt see it on their web site but they do have it, Apparently you can stand up in it and no assembly of fibreglass rods, its all sewn into it,, No doubt i will see it at the Rosehill Race course Show in Sydney next week. You probably need the whole campsite to wrestle it to the ground to fold it up ,BUT we shall see. Regards Michael.
FollowupID: 11361

Follow Up By: Jack - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 18:20

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 18:20
Oztent have a couple of "quick erect" tents on their website (apart from the actual Oztent itself) at http://www.oztent.com.au/e2shop/listsubcategories.pasp?CategoryID=24 which may be of use.
FollowupID: 11365

Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:18

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:18

At the caravan and camping show at the Caulfield Race Track a couple of weeks ago I saw a tent called a "30 second tent", about 2.5 x 3 metres and full head height that folded out from a 2.5m x 300mm diameter tube. I know they've been around a while and are about $600-700 dollars.

There's something about only 30 secs in the pouring rain that appeals to me.... (in your case even more with a toddler!)
AnswerID: 18088

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:20

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 13:20
yea mate has one of them, they are a PITA! OzTent or something I think they are called..
Shame really, its not the erecting thats the problem, its the packin away!

30 secs in pouring rain really appeals to me too!
FollowupID: 11337

Follow Up By: ptcrowe - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 22:52

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 22:52
Truckster i have one of the Oz tents and i can honestly say i have had no dramas whatsoever packing it away it takes about two minutes once the pegs are removed (thats if you decide to peg it down it works just fine as a free standing unit.) The other reason that i have no probs is that it is so easy my wife usually packs the tent away by herself while i roll the sleeping bags because she says putting the tent away is a lot easier than getting the sleeping bags bak into their bags. But as you said space is of a premium to you so the Oz tent may be no good for you unless you have roofracks because it is about 2.5 meters long when packed away. I couldn't be happier with mine and i can tell you that when its raining it is a pure joy to have the tent up and be inside it in about a minute and a half max. Good luck with your search.
FollowupID: 11388

Reply By: miker - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 14:29

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 14:29
This is one of those issues that 100 replies will give you a hundred opinions. I've tried a few in the last 18 months thanks to 1. wearing out 2. stolen 3. a bushfire (Stradbroke Island) at Xmas.

Canvas too expensive and too bulky for my needs. Tried a Coleman Northstar 8 (you see them advertised a fair bit) , great tent. Initially looked too complex for overnighters but I took the plunge and it's turned out a very quick fix (8 - 10 min), well engineered and made. Plenty of "real world" features & 16kg in weight. A hy-brid tent its a cross between a dome and a conventional. Went through a couple of ripper summer storms with only a broken elastic tie.

Anyways...worth a look as you hunt around. $600. (not fireproof)

AnswerID: 18091

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 15:10

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 15:10
Thanks for the idea Mike, agree on the 100 different ideas!

Ive looked at the NorthStar on few websites...

I think this time I'll go canvas, I like the idea of single pole erection, literally 3 mins and its up. The Dome I have now is less than 2 yrs old, but has never been any good. I think the fly that came with it is wrong, but the store swears its correct even though Ive shown him pics of it so far out its like putting a 44x18x15inch on a stock Halflinger... He wouldnt put it up in the store either for me to show him now wrong it was...

One of the things I hate about Domes, is the poles, and having to thread them thru all the material.. You always end up with the poles comin apart, even with the elastic in them. bleep in annoying as hell when your tryin to packup in the rain too...

$600 for a dome, $100 more gets canvas, and not much more weight, or space..

The only thing with Canvas, is the accessories, like Awning etc, are $$$... :(

Take care.
FollowupID: 11347

Reply By: Jack - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 14:36

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 14:36
Hi Truckster:
I have an Oztent (Ranger model) that goes up in no time at all ... takes longer to nail it down than to set it up. Only problem that you may have with it is that it folds up as a long "parcel" .. my Ranger (2.4m.x.2.4m) takes up the full length (but not width) of my roof rack.
When I take it down I roll it up, slip a velcro strap around it middle (not supplied by Oztent) and slip the bag over the top and pull the bag down .. pretty simple.
You check out their website at www.oztent.com.au, and also keep an eye out for good second hand buys at Trading Post. Saw a couple of "doozies" there about two weeks ago.
Good camping, safe travelling...
AnswerID: 18092

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 15:25

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 15:25
Again thanks for the reply.. They all help, if not me, they help others.

When ya do a hyper link, its not like normal, you dont include the quotes" "... which takes some gettin used to!
OzTent link

yea been lookin on Tradingpost online but as the wife said, who knows what your getting. There are a couple of tents there, but nervous on what your actually getting.. :(

"I'd like to hose your tent down to see how waterproof it is Mr before I buy it."

I want to know if its water proof before I get it! Thats one problem with this one.

Repairs on Canvas.. anyone know of costs if you did get a second hander with damage or leaking stiches?
FollowupID: 11349

Follow Up By: Jack - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 16:16

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 16:16
Thanks for the tip on hyperlinks ... you are right, it does take some getting used to ...

Thought I'd make it easier for ya ... better luck next time : )

FollowupID: 11356

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 16:19

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 16:19
yea I had to ask Dave about that..

Seems the more I look into these tents, the more confused I get, and what makes it worse is that there arent many places around here that have display models to physically look at...
FollowupID: 11357

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 11:23

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 11:23
Truckster, repairs to canvas are pretty simple, and cheap (and if the canvas isn't too heavy, can be carried out at home). I'd bet they'd be stronger than repairs to nylon dome tents too. Re-water-proofing is childs play with a heap of good products available. I did mine with a paint-on liquid about 15 years ago, after a repair, and haven't had a leak since (despite the occassional scubbing to remove soot stains).Be good, or be quick.
Rohan (Sydney)
FollowupID: 11657

Reply By: Phil P - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 15:58

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 15:58
Hi Truckster,

After purchasing a 5 Man Dome tent (2 Adults & 2 Kids), I got sick of not being able to stand up in it when all the bedding was set up. It was a Ray's Tent City Brand that cost $120 on special. I had no problems with leaking or if I was out when it was windy I used the side ropes for extra stability. The tent was only a couple of Kg's and took 10 mins to set up & pack up.
Positives. Lightweight, small size when packed up.
Negatives. Fragile, hard to stand up in, a bit cumbersome to set up & pack up.

The Canvas tent I decided on was the COI brand (Primus), I looked at all the tents available. The COI was by far the best value for money without compromising quality. (Heavy Canvas, Good Zips & Flooring)


Lightning Extended Touring Tent - cost me $880 with side poles.

After using the COI, I found that it only takes 2-3mins to set up, is very stable, quite dark inside , heaps of room inside (4M * 3M) & only takes 2-3 mins to pack up. The side poles are not really required (so you could save $25)

The downside is the size & weight. 1m * 1m * 10cm & 20Kg.

Freedom Camping have made a plywood box that sits on the bottom of your truck. You can store the tent inside the box and put all you other gear on top of the box. Not a bad idea !

Good Luck !
Phil P

AnswerID: 18101

Reply By: david - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 18:03

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 18:03
if your planning on using a tent make sure you take plenty of viagra with you ,un pack tent ,place in 1 viagra go for 5 minute walk when you get back tent will be erect
AnswerID: 18113

Reply By: tristjo - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 20:45

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 20:45
I would highly recomend the COI Lightning centerpole touiring tent. Very robust, takes about 3 minutes to erect, and in a GQ patrol, will fit standing on it's side against side windows, with rear dickie seat removed, therefore takes up bugger all room, but best of all, they have been on a recent special up here in Qld for $499!!! An absoloute bargin! I have been Using the same, but the extended version for about 4 years, and really cannot fault it. I would defineitly go canvas, it is just so much stronger, and even when abused, will scrub up like new again with no trouble.
AnswerID: 18125

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:36

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:36
name of the place having the sale?!!!
FollowupID: 11381

Follow Up By: tristjo - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 13:49

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 13:49
A joint called Camp Mart up here, dunno if you got em down south. Biggish franchise, so you can haggle between stores, and you'll always get a bargin. You say that a roof rack killed economy and performance in your GQ. What motor does it have, cause my bro was toying with the idea of putting one on his RB30 GQ, and was worried about the economy and performance trade offs. Tristjo.
FollowupID: 11408

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 13:52

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 13:52
Thanks for the name will look for website.

I have a TD42 but didnt have turbo back then, in a GQ, 33's 4-6in lift, etc...

On a 3.0ltr I couldnt think of anything worse, they are horrendus for economy as it is, and not exactly rockets...

He can buy my roof rack if he wants one :)~
FollowupID: 11409

Follow Up By: tristjo - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 14:10

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 14:10
My bro reckons he gets around 16ltrs/100km in town, same with combination of offroad and h'way, and has had it as low as 11ltrs/100klm on the highway, which included the run up the Toowomba range, with the aircon on!! Not bad, i reckon.
FollowupID: 11417

Reply By: Member - Chris (W.A.) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:23

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:23
Hi Truckster,

I'm dead keen on the 30 second tent but as you say it takes room hence my roofrack. Don't get a dome - bloody useless and tear hell of alot easier than canvas.
For your info these are the prices through ARB- Ranger Version $849, Side walls x 2 $255 and a side screen room for $224 which is very appealing to us as it will help avoid the sandfly plagues when we go to the Kimberley in July. Just 'trying' to save up enough dough in time. I have a video clip showing the trial of it if you're interested - it goes for about 20 seconds. If you want it let me know.
RegardsLove the bush.
AnswerID: 18129

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:27

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:27
Ahhhhh so you need a roofrack just for the tent?

thanks but no thanks!!! Roofracks are like parachutes..

will check ARB, never thought of them for tents, Southern wouldnt have them I dont think

thanks anyway!
FollowupID: 11378

Reply By: Zita - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:25

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:25
Don't muck with the cheapies. Buy a Southern Cross or Freedom dome tent and you will never look back.
It takes us 5 mins when we reach our camp site to lay out a shadecloth mat, erect our Southern Cross 10 x 10 dome, remove our folding chairs and sip on a cold beer from our Engel.
AnswerID: 18130

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:34

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 21:34
Ok, 10x10..
Mate has offered me his one at 50% retail price...

Now how many can ya fit in it comfortably?

I would like a awning like something to keep the sun and rain off of you if setting up for base camp.....

Any pics of it in action??

FollowupID: 11380

Reply By: awill4x4 - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 23:27

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2003 at 23:27
Bruce, the one thing I prefer with the Southern Cross tents compared to the Freedom tents in the 13'X10' range is that the S/Cross tents are higher at the rear in comparison to the Freedom.
This gives extra room to move around in.
Regards Andrew.
ps If you want to have a look at our S/Cross tent, I'll put it up one weekend if you like.
AnswerID: 18145

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 10:51

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 10:51
Yea you put on the BBQ and we'll come see :-D

I'll also help ya fit that new Radiator you made.
FollowupID: 11401

Reply By: jaap - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 08:58

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 08:58
Can recomend southern cross.3X4 m
For 1. quick erection(no pun intended)
2. Canvas
3. Side pole kit recomended no center pole
4. Can stand up inside
5 Power cord inlet etc
1 Size when folded
2 need to find a place for the poles

In general a very good product and we have had one for 7 years. Still enough room for wife, 2 kids 10 & 12 and self.

Got my awning through trading post second hand alternatively some of the silver tarps are the same size(and much cheaper) and then just sew the zip on
AnswerID: 18155

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 13:53

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 13:53
Thanks for the recommendation.
Called them but closed until after ANZAC weekend.

The poles, will they fit behind the middle seats across the car? (assuming its a GQ?)

Take care.
FollowupID: 11410

Follow Up By: jaap - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 14:46

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 14:46
Not sure but would be close.
Triangular bit for the side poles fits in the bag with the tent
FollowupID: 11422

Reply By: Yo Sam - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 09:04

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 09:04
Some more info may be required. How many people? Uses, do you prefer short stays, long stays, on the move, etc... I bought a rooftop tent 2 years ago. Best thing I ever bought. Sleeps 2 adults and 1 child comfortably or you get a slightly bigger one that sleeps 2a + 2c. I have used it in the wet and even in windy conditions. Doesn't take long to setup or packup, stores all your bedding, donnas, pillows, blankets etc.. So it frees up heaps of space inside the car. All comes down to what you really want and how much you are prepared to pay. These go new for around $2000, and I think is great alterantive to towing a trailer. I can go anywhere with my truck, and all I have to do is park it level and get a great nights sleep. Just something more to think about.

Yo Sam
AnswerID: 18157

Follow Up By: rors101 - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 09:55

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 09:55
If you get a Shippshape roof top (& aussie travler i think?) You can add a bloody big annex to the main roof top area for the family or friends. You dont get wet climbing the ladder either.
As far as easy to errect and pack it is my choice - you dont even need to stuff the seeping bags - the doona and pillows stay up top ready to go.
Although being mounted on the roof they dont do much for fuel economy although less impact than I 1st thought and less again than any trailer.
FollowupID: 11396

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 10:55

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 10:55
Thanks for the idea, but $2000 is too much to start with, and I have bung legs, and arm from a bike accident, so ladders are a bit dodgey for me, even when sober ;)

The other thing I dont like, is you cant sort of setup a base camp. Then again if it stores all the sleepin gear inside (I didnt know this) it would have more positives.

Rors has a good point, I had a roofrack on my car, and it killed it stone cold dead. Fuel economy was rediculious, and the car hated hills more than it does now.. So with $2000 purchase, and roofrack, its not going to happen!

Thanks for the idea, and the more info on them though that they store the sleepin stuff in them when travelling.
FollowupID: 11402

Reply By: Member - Scotti - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 23:39

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003 at 23:39
Hi Truckster,

We have a 2 yr old and and 10 mth old(other 2 kids have own tent) and we bought Sunshine Wanderer 10'x9' with awning.Plenty of room inside for 2 adults,2 littlies, porta cot and gear out of weather.Biggest downfall is poles but we prefered this tent because of strength and room inside.Last thing we need when rain and wind is cramped in small tent with 2 unsettled children who have no room to move.Easter fun down Nannup!!
AnswerID: 18248

Reply By: Member - Alpaca (SA) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 22:50

Thursday, Apr 24, 2003 at 22:50
G'Day Truckster,
We had a Freedom Centre Pole tent for about 7 years still got it and it was dead easy and quick to erect. Biggest PITA was the night and morning ritual with the bedding. I made up my own drawer system which allowed me a 100mm open fronted false floor which is where I could slide the tent in and out of without having to unpack everything. Also kept shadecloth ground sheet and 20 x 20 heavy vinyl tarp in there. The pole stored across the floor behind the seat. Sorry I don't have piccies but I could E-mail you a drawing if you are interested. It worked well for us but have updated truck and now mounted fridge on slide so have just finished new drawer system. Also gone to a shippshape because of the bed thing.
AnswerID: 18319

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Apr 26, 2003 at 23:10

Saturday, Apr 26, 2003 at 23:10
Funny aint it, with all the suggestions, and ideas, and stuff Im no closer!

Looked at Freedom tents, their Family tourer.. NICE!!! but with fly its $2000! ($1498 tent, $500 poles and fly!)

I nearly soiled my pants on the spot...

*sigh*.. why are things so hard...?
AnswerID: 18453

Reply By: Ronnie - Monday, Apr 28, 2003 at 18:56

Monday, Apr 28, 2003 at 18:56
Check out the Safari 2000 from Ray's Tent City.Mine cost me $199.00 last June. used it lots including Canning Stock Route
AnswerID: 18615

Reply By: twandy - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 23:22

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2003 at 23:22
We have a 10yr old Freedom (3 minute I think it is called). One pole in the middle. One person to erect and quickly. However, it would appear that you need to write down YOUR requirements, need to stand (not stoop), two adults to sleep, maybe have a small table if raining, to fold up to fit ?? space in the car, within ?? price. Take a tape measure with you so that you know what floor size you are looking for at least. Start with the phone calls. Good luck.
AnswerID: 18764

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