camper tents

Submitted: Friday, May 09, 2003 at 20:50
ThreadID: 4815 Views:4909 Replies:9 FollowUps:28
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The debate rages, Oztent gets + for ease of operation but - for shoddy materials. I like the idea of annex and side flaps for our highland winters when I can back the ute in and seal off the cold. Does any other tent have this feature? What is the best camper tent, and has there been any new design developments lately?
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 21:00

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 21:00
Ive been lookin at the Freedom CAmping tents, and Southern cross tents.

the southern cross look 100% better made.

www.freedomcamping.com.au
www.southerncrosscanvas.com.au

http://www.southerncrosscanvas.com.au/tent_ultimate.htm
Ultimate Trekker is what I looked at, and their range of awnings is GREAT! You can have a complete room or just a small awning.


Search the archives, there was a big thread on this 2 weeks ago
AnswerID: 19539

Follow Up By: Albyw - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 22:30

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 22:30
I have had a Southern Cross tent for 4 years. It gets regular use and shows no sign of wear (apart from red colouring from dust). Four pegs and a pole and its up. Too easy.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Raymond - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 08:03

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 08:03
Hi Truckster
We have two Freedom tents, now over 10 years old with no problems, have stood up to downpours and cyclonic winds. They are similar design to Southern Cross, but are alittle lighter to pack. They usually have show spoecials at each 4X4 or camping shows. We have a minute tent (one minute to erect) and a family tourer (three minutes to erect, plus about 5 more if you want the annex as well). We have a rule that 10-15 minutes setup time is the max if travelling before the billy is one our we are enjoying a clod one
Ray.wanderin' in retirement. victor 2010
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul- Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 09:25

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 09:25
Can't comment on the Oztent, but we have a Southern Cross ultimate 10 we have renamed a minute tent. 4 pegs 1 pole. Up & down in a minute. After using a camper trailer for years it's a pleasure to have this tent (which we have had now for 2 yr's.) My experience an excellent tent for quality & ease of setting up.
but you do pay for it in $$$. I guess you get what you pay for! Where to next time??????????????
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Follow Up By: Member - Paul- Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 09:29

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 09:29
Oh. 1 thing I forgot to mention was Southern Cross's after sales service backup. They really do stand by there product. We also have one of their roof bags & had a small problem with a couple of the tie downs coming away fron the bag. 1 phonecall & no hesitiations to take the bag back for repairs. They even payed for the frieght to & from.Where to next time??????????????
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Follow Up By: Bill - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 09:55

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 09:55
Thanks Truckster et al,
I am having a look at Southern Cross. All this talk about camping makes me want to pack up and go.........................
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 15:51

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 15:51
Bill,

As Ray says, most people I talk to in our club that have Freedom/SCross tents have had them for 5+yrs, some 15+yrs, and all LOVE them, and swear by them... Canvas is the way to go.. Ive seen the light.

theres a Freedom Family Tourer forsale in our club mag, $1200 wih canvas annex if your interested, contact me I'll pass on the details.

Personally, I like the SCross better than Freedom.

YMMV.
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Follow Up By: Bill - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 06:10

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 06:10
Truckster,
I live in Vic (Wangaratta) and would like to have a look at the Freedom advertised in your mag, if you can pass on the details please. I will also be looking at SCross. Bill mrdot@bigpond.com
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 21:52

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 21:52
Bill you have mail......

Im not the seller, its someone else from the clubs.

Good luck
Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris (W.A.) - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 19:43

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 19:43
Bill,
Just in case you haven't already try the website www.oztent.com. I believe there is a 30 second video clip you can download from there showing one of their trial runs on the Canning Stock Route (Victorian one). If it's not there I can email it to you.

Regards
ChrisLove the bush.
Chris
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Follow Up By: Bill - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 20:07

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 20:07
Thanks Chris, I have just shown the video to Her Indoors and she has been convinced. OZtent have emailed details of the improved range, (code for more expensive.) They boast something caled 'polycanvas' which I will have to look at . How do you rate the fininish of your new tent?
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Reply By: macca - Friday, May 09, 2003 at 22:39

Friday, May 09, 2003 at 22:39
I agree with albyn, our Southern cross lives with us and it is too easy. Quality is first class and not had any probs..we also carry the side poles too just in case someone needs a cuddle :-)
AnswerID: 19550

Follow Up By: Bill - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 18:02

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 18:02
Thanks Macca, why bother witha camper?
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Reply By: Michelle from ExplorOz - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 00:20

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 00:20
Bill, we have used a heavy duty canvas Nomad Van-Tent for years. It is designed for backing your vehicle up into an annexe with a rear entry into the tent. The annexe seals with a flooring that comes up to the underbody of the vehicle so that no dirt, bugs, creepy crawlies under the car can get into the annexe. The side walls of the annexe tie off to the side windows of your vehicle too so its totally private when standing at the back of your car. Our 80 series has a tailgate which I love for this configuration and you can leave the doors open all night - handy. We've also used this same tent with a 75 series with barn doors and it worked well too.

The setup is excellent for privacy, warmth and functionality - but in designated campgrounds requires too long a campsite than is usually supplied (we usually bush camp so this is not a problem). In this case you simply tie back the rear annexe.

Having said all that however, we tend to lift camp nearly every day for a major portion of our trips and setting up a tent is getting a bit tiresome - although we've got it down to just 10 mins from turning off the ignition to relaxing. Anyway, we're going to give swags a try now and for the Canning this year I've already asked a few companies if they'd like us to supply us some for review so hopefully that will eventuate.ExplorOz
AnswerID: 19559

Follow Up By: Bill - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 10:17

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 10:17
Michelle, Thanks, I'll follow that one up. I like the idea of being able to seal off if nesecarry, I also like the idea of being in the open when the weather is good. Otherwise I would sit at home and watch a video of a campfire.
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Reply By: Member - Cocka - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 00:27

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 00:27
Bill I'm a bit surprised to hear what you have to say about the OzT materials. Things must have changed because we have been using one regularly for abt 4 yrs and its never let us down. Had a big night in the alps a couple of years back with cyclonic weather - awnings ripped of caravans, tents flattened, wet campers etc we were te only one who survived the night unscathed, we felt quite proud and had a few admirers of our setup. I wonder what changed.
Carpe Diem
AnswerID: 19560

Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 00:48

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 00:48
I just had a look at the Sthn Cross setups. The cabin tents are fine if you want to stay put for a few days but are bulky and slow to erect. Other than closing the windows I don't know how you keep the rain out of the ones with sloping walls but they are easy to erect.
Because of good awnings front and rear we keep good ventilation in any weather in the OzTent. I always throw the fly over cause if you get a heavy dew or worse just unzip it, give it a shake its dry and so's the tent. It takes me 15 min to complete camp set up before I'm having my first amber ale taking in the view, that means bed made kitchen in place etc Carpe Diem
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Follow Up By: Bill - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 10:22

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 10:22
Thanks Cocka,
I think that oztent was made under license for a while by a contractor and the quality wasnt so good for a while.
From drivers seat to stubby in 15 mins sounds about right to me.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 15:55

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 15:55
Cocka, I agree... Cabin tents in any brand are mongerals. YMMV, but the ones we looked at today, the Coleman Nth star, has more poles than Poland. the exoskel was insane, 20 odd poles! Oh thats gonna be a blast in the rain!

the Ultimate range of Scross have 1 pole, 5 mins and your in.
4 pegs, 1 pole, in.You can get a second pole, and then have one on each side to remove the pole from the center of the tent which Im gonna get, the idea of 1 pole in the middle aint for me.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris (W.A.) - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 13:11

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 13:11
Hi Cocka,

I was suprised at the "poor quality" comment on Oztent material as well. We'll be heading down to Perth in a week to puchase the Ranger with side walls and screen room which totals just over $1200 and last thing we need is poor quality canvas. Is the canvas on your oztent waterproof? If so, is it still better to put a tarp over it? - and can you remember warranty length on it?
Advice appreciated.
Love the bush.
Chris
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Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 16:56

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 16:56
Chris I can't remember the warranty time but they have been excellent on my follow up Q's additional purchases etc. Ask them.
I have never had to use a tarp however I sometimes throw a fly over which you can buy separate. The fly helps to keep the tent clean (bird sh1t etc) provides extra cooling shade by day, keeps rain and dew off the main tent & therefore saves you hanging around next day waiting for the tent to dry before you pack up. The fly sides extend beyond the tent walls providing extra cover for outside items. Tip- Sometimes I put the fly on after the tent has gone up, there's a big zip across the top edge of the tent for this. I throw the fly over, connect the zip then push it across with the extra fly pole. Takes extra 5 mins.
Sometimes I don't use the fly (lazy) and it has rained at night, never had any leaks, but if your awning is out lower the corner pole to allow run-off or else you'll finish up with a smimming pool dumping on top of you. Good luck with your Home sweet Home
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Follow Up By: Bill - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 18:11

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 18:11
Cocka, I am leaning towards an Oztent although I havent seen one. I like the idea of a full width annex, sides if you need em, and above all ease of errection. Your experience with them sounds good o. I have a tray so no stowage problems. Cant wait to get on the road again.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris (W.A.) - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 20:31

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 20:31
Bill,
I don't actually have one yet. Will be getting one next week when we go down to Perth. We've been looking at them for a couple of years and have had our hearts set on one for sometime hence finally saving up enough for one.
I've set them up a few times though - I'm like a magnet to them whenever we visit ARB. Although bulky they fit in my rack no worries.
RegardsLove the bush.
Chris
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Follow Up By: Bill - Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 08:11

Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 08:11
Chris, You might like to look at the upgrade, the side panels now have inscet screening in the doors, I am thinking about putting a zip-in screen front to the annex to save putting up a screen room when the mozzies descend. Did you see Cocka's annex floor idea in this thread? If you see the new model Oztent in polycotton canvas can you comment please? mrdot@bigpond.com.
Ranger is now $999, 2 panels $259 so your $1200 is good value.
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Follow Up By: Member - Chris (W.A.) - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 12:29

Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 12:29
I got a fairly good package deal as I'm also buying suspension from the same mob.ARB's (Osborne Park - WA) prices at the moment without discount are as follows; Ranger $849, Screen room $224 and Sidewalls x 2 are $255.
In regards to the mesh in the doors it's brilliant but we still like the screen room idea. It gives us another room to eat in, store stuff, and keep the dog in providing it doesn't spot a rabbit - it's a Burnese mountain dog. Obviously while touring we wouldn't bother with it but it gives a more "homely" feel when staying somewhere for a few days.
Definitely considering Cocka's floor idea. As we're doing Gibb River in July we don't really have the time to organise it but will when we get back. When we go to Perth this weekend I'll see if they've got the new ones and check them out for you.
After owning two dome tents we really want to get a 100% canvas one as I think it will be thicker than the polycotton ones hence better insulation from the cold elements and possibly hardier. As much as we think we'll love the far north I think we'll be doing alot more camping in the cooler climates. As you've probably heard W.A. is often referred to as "Wait-a-while" so we may encounter another problem with having to wait too long for the new version prior to our trip in July:)
regardsLove the bush.
Chris
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Reply By: Bill - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 10:56

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 10:56
Look like Ill have to see the tents in action. When is the next camping expo in vic.?
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 15:55

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 15:55
it was last month the caravan show....
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Follow Up By: Member - Cocka - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 19:36

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 19:36
Bill I think every tent on the market has been recommended to you.
I might post this idea as a separate thread, for what ever tent you decide to get, we use a big piece of use shade cloth to spread out in our annex area and tuck it under the edge of the tent. It's a great way to help keep the tent clean, it forms a mat that keeps you above the grass, sand etc and any dirt that you have on your feet falls through the holes.
One gourmet night she (WMBO) wanted to strain some delectable delight but did we have a strainer - No. Muggins bright ideas cuts a chunk off the shade cloth and Voila - it goes with us everywhere now. Good luck with your decision.Carpe Diem
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Follow Up By: Bill - Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 06:08

Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 06:08
Cocka, I have just trialled "Cocka's Creative Camp Map" down the back beside the shed where it is dry, dirty and leafy. It works a treat. In the past I used blue tarp which I was forever sweeping, and if it rained then one corner sticking out meant a lake in the annex. You should post that idea, nay patent it and forever tour on the proceeds.
Gourmet nights on the road. There is nothing better than a fire, a good cook up and a few beers with friends.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 10:49

Tuesday, May 13, 2003 at 10:49
There is nothing better than a fire, a good cook up and a few beers with friends.


you forgot a leg over.. ;)
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Reply By: leighh - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 21:37

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 21:37
Bill, I struggled with all the hype on which is best and so on. Having looked at a couple of Southern Cross tents which were well used and observing the integrity of these old units I concluded the quality was worth the extra $$. Certainly have not been disappointed. It goes up about as quick as a respose from Truckster (compliment!!) and the side pole kit is good value if you're wanting to sleep a few in the tent. Folds up well and easily packed flat which can support tying down a load. The problem then becomes, do I take the swags or the tent??

Cheers
AnswerID: 19638

Follow Up By: Bill - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 18:01

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 18:01
leighh, I am coming from 'decided on a camper, thought about tents' After everyones comments tents is the way to go. Truckster summed it up. 'A camper is only a tent on a box trailer' Swags............I have to get my wife used to the idea.
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Reply By: Phil P - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 23:03

Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 23:03
The COI brand of tents is similar design to Freedom & Southern Cross but much cheaper. Made from Australian Canvas. I purchased mine from Aussie Disposal's.

http://www.primus-aus.com.au/intro.htm

AnswerID: 19648

Reply By: Rognet - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 21:46

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 21:46
We spent over a year researching what tent to buy? The Oz tent seemed to lightweight, the southerncross has a pole in the middle of the floor area, we decided in the safari BOW and Extension from GreatOutdoors, very heavy duty, 4 pegs and a few minutes to erect for an overnighter, an additional 20 minutes for the extension for an additional 3mx3m for longer stays. Highly reccomended we love ours.
AnswerID: 19699

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 19:58

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 19:58
You can get a kit to put move the center pole to the side on the southern cross. I think it should be std, but everyone wants a "SINGLE POLE" tent...

Oz Tents, there were 3 at the club property of different sizes the other day, was good to see them all. Bloke with the small one wished he had the larger size, but none had any complaints.


YMMV
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Reply By: Steve - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 22:51

Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 22:51
Wondering if any of you have any experience / comments on an Aussie Traveller Roof top tent ...? Would you recommend them ?
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Follow Up By: Bill - Monday, May 12, 2003 at 10:09

Monday, May 12, 2003 at 10:09
Never seen one Steve, I like to set up camp and have the option of using the vehicle. Bill
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