Choosing a tent

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 11, 2001 at 00:00
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We will be travelling for about a year and a half so need a good quality tent. We are myself, my wife and our two one year old twins (with a folding baby cot each). What suggestions or experiences does anyone have?

We are looking at large dome tents as well as car tents. Idealy we would be looking for a tent with a large sleeping area (or two sleeping areas), a living area and an open shade area.

rgds Craig
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Reply By: Mark Wilson - Friday, Oct 12, 2001 at 00:00

Friday, Oct 12, 2001 at 00:00
Craig, it depends upon how often you are going to be setting up your tent. Dome tents are fine for additional area and pack down pretty compactly however they can take substantially longer to erect and pack up. They are also a little suspect if the weather gets extreme particularly with regard to wind and rain.
Conversely, the square floor set up like southern cross cannvass and similar styles is quick to erect, weathers better BUT takes up more room and is heavier. I'd encourage you to go to as many outlets as you can and have a good look before you buy. Another factor is price, Dome tents will be cheaper but might not last longer. Talk with friends who camp who also have similar family make up as yours and see what they say.
Regards mark
AnswerID: 1204

Reply By: Ray - Wednesday, Oct 17, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2001 at 00:00
Hi Craig,

This is one of those subjects where every individual would have a different answer. We also intend to travel for 12mths++ in the future and have a couple of friends who will be doing so in 2003. This subject has been discussed well into the night over a few drinks by us for some time and while we still don't have a final answer know that we won't be using a tent. I had thought of this option due to cost, not having to tow etc however after putting up our swag everynight for our 4-6 week annual leave trips each year I've had enough by the end. I think putting a tent up and down over a year would drive a saint up the wall and stain the relationships. I then decided on the roof top tents which there are many different designs but again there where just to many negatives for an extended trip, mainly having to pull it down everytime you want to drive somewhere. Which left us only with camper trailers or caravans. Caravans are much to cumbersome or fragile or costly depending on the type for the travel we intend to undertake. We intend to get to as many out of the way places as possible and keep off the black stuff where possible. This has left us with the only option suitable for us, a camper, the next question is which camper. That's another huge question and we have spent sometime disucssing this and travelled to a couple of 4x4 shows to look at the different models. However it's an individual choice and you may still think a tent is the way to go. If so with a family in mind and the length of time you'll need the best you can afford with plenty of room to get out of the elements, sun, extended wet, dust etc. Give me an email if you would like any info on the campers we have found.

AnswerID: 1229

Reply By: Liam - Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00

Wednesday, Oct 24, 2001 at 00:00
My partner and I are in the processes of planing a 6 month trip also, We'll be heading off in may/june 2002. I have done a bit of research, a lot of talking, and a lot more thinking on the issue of tents etc. We are currently going to go with a tanami touring tent because of it's head space and portability ($900). The Oztent looked good but it packs away to over two metres long and less floor space anyway. If your in the budget range of 5000 - 25000 and byond a 4*4 camper trailer is the way to go. A rised bed, seperate floor space (for the little ones, And the choice of an extra enclosed annex. Think though if you mind towing or not.. Best of luck. I'd would be interested in any other aspects of you trip. Drop us a line if you wish and we could compare notes.
AnswerID: 1268

Reply By: John - Monday, Oct 29, 2001 at 01:00

Monday, Oct 29, 2001 at 01:00
Craig, we recently bought a Serengeti dome tent 3x3m, and found it to be very quick and simple to erect and pack during a 3 week trip covering 7,000k. Very robust and comfortable in 39c heat. worthwhile looking at.
AnswerID: 1298

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Wednesday, Oct 31, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2001 at 01:00
We've done 2 yrs intensive travelling before we had our baby (now 1yr old) and now that she comes with us the whole bed/tent camping thing has taken on new meaning. I've just read all the replies and in consideration of the length of time you intend to travel and how your family needs will change over that time I would have to strongly agree and recommend the camper trailer option. Main reasons for your particular situation are:1. toddlers need a few days rest when travelling hard and the camper trailer is by far more comfortable and luxurious than a regular tent.2. on long trips everyone needs a break and having the trailer fully setup means there is no restriction to dad going off in the vehicle for fishing further down the river whilst the kids get their daytime nap or whatever.3. you can still camp without the trailer if you need to do an overnighter somewhere by taking the portable cots and parents sleep on thermarests. Most northern/inland areas are just gorgeous for outdoor sleeping.4. a trailer is just so much more convenient for long trips you can pack so much stuff and eveything has its home, thus reducing stress at packup time.5. errecting a tent, no matter how quick gets pretty annoying after a few months when the novelty wears off - most camper trailers can be setup without any poles or pegs or frustrations about hard ground.As mum and an experienced long term traveller these are just my thoughts having BTDT. Good luck, Michelle
AnswerID: 1312

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