Perceived Weakness in OZTents

Submitted: Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:12
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We are building up our auto 4800 GU Patrol camping setup.

We have a 4800 manual setup which we believe was hard to beat but with this second car I wish to try something different.

We thought we would try an Oztent RV3 - the biggest problem people report
is simply that its to long and needs to be roof rack carried.

However after annoying some camping shops we got to put one inside our car and yippee it actually fits when laid lengthways (we have centre console and seats removed).

So we thought there would be no issues , however our local BCF store refused to give any discount on the $1000 price tag so we left.

Then thinking about it over a Barcadi and coke I realised that the long arms that make up the tent mean that you probably can't clean the underside of the floor before packing it away.

This is question I wish to ask - how do you clean the floor of these tents on packup ?

In a dome tent you just drop the tent, then you can grab one side of the base and fold it over in half such that 1/2 the PVC floor is now on top and we would normally brush this side then let the sun dry it out for a few minutes then turn over the tent and brush the other side.

I.E. No part of the tent except the underside of the floor is left on the ground.

The Oztent can't be folded over on itself to be cleaned.

We once had a pyramid style tent which we dumped, it had the same issue to a lesser extent as these tents can have about 1/3 of the surface folded over onto the middle square frame, hence that third can by brushed and dried.

The above problem can of course be minimized with a ground sheet, but in many of our camps mud/grass does stick to the underside of the floor and can be a significant issue.

Robin Miller

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Reply By: rm - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:41

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:41
Hi Robin,
I have a RV 4, I use a 2.4 x 4.8 shadecloth ground sheet under mine and this helps keep the bottom of the tent clean. When packing the tent away you roll it up so it fits into the bag, the bottom of the tent ends up on the outside of the roll. As i do this i have a rag handy to wipe the bottom of the tent clean if it needs it. Hope this makes sence.
Ron.

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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:55

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:55
Hi Robin,

I'll second that! Use the stuff for all manner of ground sheet applications. Mud is a pain but you could consider a plain tarp which can be hosed off.

Kind regards

Theo
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 12:47

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 12:47
Hi Guys

Agree shadecoth is good mostly and in sand.

We use it in other situations but mud does get thru.

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Follow Up By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 17:28

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 17:28
Hi Robin
We had a special canvas ground sheet made up to fit under the tent, the eyelets in the sheet correspond with those of the tent, we also had it extended to make a floor for the awning extension of the tent. Like previously stated a rag is used when folding up if necessary.
When we arrive home, by laying the tent (erected on the lawn) on it's front the bottom can then be cleaned properly and when dry packed away for next trip. LOL
Cheers
D


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Reply By: Member - Anthony W Adelaide - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:53

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 10:53
Hi Robin,

We have an Oztent RV4 and when we purchased ours we also got the Oztent ground sheet to suit. I think they call it the floor saver from memory.

When we pack up we put the tent away by folding it up on the ground sheet so excessive dirt etc is never an issue. If there is any moisture it is always on the underside of the ground sheet so we just turn it upsidedwown for 10 minutes to dry off before rolling it up.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 12:49

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 12:49
Thanks Anthony , you are using the groundsheet like we do with the base of our cheap dome tents.
What is their floor saver , is it a strong Pvc or type of shadecloth ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Anthony W Adelaide - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 17:23

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 17:23
Their floorsaver is a strong woven PVC type of thing, non porous materiel. It never lets any moisture through.

Its the same size as the tent + awning too so its handy on set up to give a footprint of where tent,awning and poles are all positioned if space is restricted.

I would have thought shadecloth would be of most value where it would be walked on, not as a moisture barrier
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Reply By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 11:03

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 11:03
Hi Robin,
We had a similar problem on our trip in 2010, I had a Blackwolf Turbo tent & my cousin had an Oztent, with the Blackwolf I set it up on a tarp and found when packing it up on the tarp I would just wipe it dry if any moisture had got between the tarp and the tent floor, then I would fold the tarp in half and brush the top side clean, (I would do this for each fold I did of the tarp, much easier to brush clean the tarp than the bottom of the tent).

My cousin didn't use a tarp to set his Oztent up on, so when packing up there was usually some dirt/grass etc on the underside of the tent floor. When we had got the tent folded up to the point of having it ready to roll up we would use a brush to clean off any dirt, as we rolled the tent over a bit more we would brush the dirt off until we got to the point of carrying the tent to the tailgate of the car to place it in the carry bag, there was always that last little bit of dirt that had to be brushed off before we placed it in the bag which we did on the edge of the tailgate.

We did that every time we packed up the Oztent for our 7 week trip, he did say that next time he was going to get a tarp to set the tent up on as he realised it was much easier to clean the underside of a tarp than the underside of his Oztent.

Regards, John
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 12:55

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 12:55
Hello John

I was reading about the advantages of the barn doors in the new 200 series but no tailgate for getting the tent ready would be a pain from what you said.

I think the catch is that when rolling your Oztent up the floor is not smooth making the cleaning process harder (At least on the RV3 - as it folds to 2m note its 2.4m width.

Seems like having a Tarp is almost mandatory.

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Follow Up By: Members Pa & Ma. - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 14:45

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 14:45
Hi Robin,
John has said what we'd say.
We have an older OZTent and we sweep the inside floor out with the dust Pan & broom . Then fold the "B" side over & sweep & then the "A" & sweep.
If there is moisture on the underneath we have a towel.
We have a good tarp, for underneath mainly for BIG BURS! It's cleaned as we fold too. With Dust pan & broom or the towel.
Caravan Parks prefer shade cloth.
Take care, safe travels.
Bye for now Ma.
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Reply By: Member - Shaun & Sarah N1 - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 11:53

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 11:53
We swear by our Oztent!! We are travelling around Oz in it and wouldn't have it any other way! We put a tarp underneath our Oztent always!
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:46

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:46
You guys sounds like happy campers - pretty sure I will go down same path.
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Reply By: Dust-Devil - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 13:02

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 13:02
Mr Miller

I am gobsmacked that a 'missin-nissan true believer' like yourself would in the first instance ask such a question, and then answer it in the last sentence of the subject thread. Which I might add has been fully corroborated by all those that have replied.

What intrigues me more though, is how much does this RV3 sucker weigh, and how have you accommodated the extra weight in your setup, knowing full well your eccentricities on the subject of weight.

You haven't ditched SWMBO to accommodate this new sleeping partner , have you. (LOL)

Also, please elucidate how you intend to fit the 'now required ground sheet', into the vehicle which from memory didn't have room to fit a fly in last time I looked.

DD

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 13:41

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 13:41
Now DD , I will tunnel thru to the heart of your post and explain some more.

It seems that most agree that the Oztent requires a groundsheet unlike throw away cheap dome tents.

This adds cost weight and time , but probably is a wize investment.

I removed the passenger seats from this Patrol saturday and was pleasantly surprized that the Oztent would fit more or less out of the way right down the centre of the car.

As you know, we are not big on accepting performance compromises and the fact that the tent can be carried internally and low down opens the way for a change of setup.

The removed seats weighed 51kg so the 21 kg plus a couple I guess for a ground sheet still leaves nearly 30kg for other internal mods.





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Follow Up By: Dust-Devil - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 21:04

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 21:04
Refresh my memory if you would as don't recall observing back seats in the setup that you showed me at the Pyrenees.

From memory you had a 'flat deck' up to the front seats and everything that you carried had to fit into that area. Very neat fit to I might add.

Point being, the Oz3 may not weigh that much, however they are a tad bulky.

So, did you have to sacrifice anything to fit it in, and do you still run that flat deck arrangement.

DD
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:29

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:29
Hi DD

Different car, I have 2 4800's , the one you saw I didn't think I could improve apon however I am forcing myself take a different approach with setting up a new car , with a more long term camping view.

Might go to Pyrennes this weekend , come to think of it.
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Reply By: Wilko (Parkes NSW) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 16:11

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 16:11
Hi Robin,

I use a tarp underneath mine always to save the floor and keep it clean. It extends out the front of the tent so it can stop dirt from being tracked in and when I'm packing up, I can push the tent over (on its front) to clean the floor.

Cheers Wilko

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 13:03

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 13:03
That pushover idea is something I have learnt from this post Wilko - obvious after someone tells you and I take take point about tracking dirt inside.
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Reply By: Bravo Man - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 17:24

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 17:24
Hi Robin

I have just lived in my Oz Tent for 18 mths while travelling around Oz.

The answer is simple. I use a ground sheert to help protect it but the way to clean and dry underneath is once its empty and you have removed all the pegs from the corners you just grab the strap centre top of door(the one you use to erect it) and pull it forward which tips the whole tent over till the door is on the ground and the floor is now like a wall.

When I set it up I try and have the back of the tent facing east so in the morning the sun dry's the back and roof and then when its tipped forward the sun is on the bottom of the floor. Did it that way everytime I packed up and never had a problem. Also makes it easy to clean inside as all the dirt or sand falls to the front and when you put it back down its easy to sweep it out

Another good trick is if your not using the awning out the front use it as a fly to stop the condensation inside on cold nights,just throw the awning over the back and put 2 poles at the rear corners.

Regards Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 18:19

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 18:19
Spot on Peter. This is what I have done from day one. I am amazed that no one else has replied with this answer.

Leave the tent erected pull out the pegs and tip it onto its front, leaving the floor vertical and easy to clean.

We also use a ground sheet.

If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:33

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:33
Thanks Guys , thats the sort of lateral thinking one hopes to get from posts like this.
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Reply By: putrol - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 18:04

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 18:04
as everyone has said a ground sheet works fine but befor you part with your $1000
hard earned have a look at this http://www.pinnaclewholesalers.com.au/product/566/30_SECOND_TENT
at $300 each you could buy two & still have some change
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:50

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:50
Fascinating Putrol.

A knock off copy and probably good value - darn thing folds to 2.2 m apparently which is just over max length I can get inside car - definately worth a look though.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 19:02

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 19:02
Robin,

If you check out the Oztent web site, you will notice two options for a floor saver (ground sheet).

The standard floor saver for each size is a non-porous ground sheet. We have one of these for our RV3 but found after a heavy bout of rain during one camping excursion, pools of water congregate on the floor and it is easy to track both water and mud into the tent itself.

We have since invested in the mesh floor saver and this is a much more practical product for water and dirt/sand with all simply passing though the mesh, rather than pool on the surface.

An excellent accessory for the Oztent, as is the Peak side panels we have.

One other bit of advice mate.
If you can find the extra $100 or so, my recommendation would be to buy the RV4 which will give you that extra bit of width inside the tent.
With the Bride and I in our swags, there is only a narrow gap of about 600mm to 750mm and once you place your bags, etc. inside, things are kind of "cozy".

We find it adequate and love the RV3 when we use it, but the RV4 would be more practical even for two people with the extra width over the RV3.

Oztent Accessories

A great choice in a tent anyway Robin.

Bill


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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:39

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:39
Thanks Sandman

Do you sleep with head at front of tent , feet at rear or sideways ?

I actually first wanted the RV2 but RV3 at 2.4m wide seemed better because a car could be more easily backed into it , and also I imagine that the rain coming in from the sides would get your feet wet with a 2m wide awning.

We mostly sleep inside the car so an RV3 looks huge to us.

We are trying to keep weight and size down , but will have a second check of RV4.

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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:58

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:58
The trick with waterproof ground sheets is to make them slightly smaller than the floor of the tent. When it rains and water runs down the sides of the tent, it runs onto the ground and not on to a waterproof membrane and then under the tent.

This does mean that you will have to clean a small strip around the edges of the floor, but is a much better solution than being water logged.

A mesh ground sheet is good, but it does not stop condensation from the ground gathering underneath the tent floor.

If we have room we carry both.

If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:37

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:37
Robin,

We sleep with our heads at the front as there is more headroom when you enter.


Rob,

You make a valid point, but the problem with pooled water was experienced when rain entered from the side, onto the ground sheet under the awning area at the front of the tent. We were not using the side panels at the time.

We also take both ground sheets now. They don't take up much room and fit in the basket we use on top of the vehicle.
The Oztent fits nicely alongside the basket, sitting on the roof racks.

Bill


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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 20:25

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 20:25
Hi Robin

You will always get into debates with tents, just like vehicles and fridges.


Having said that, we have the RV 4 and it is by far the best ever tent that we have ever owned, including, Australian and New Zealand made quality tents.

Regardless of what tent, a ground sheet like all have said will keep the tent clean, not always dry. Drying the underside of the tent is dead easy when putting it away.

After letting the tent down, you then have to bring the B & A sides up, one at a time of course. With the first one folded, use an old towel or the like and wipe and dry the first side, then repeat the same when the second side is folded back into place. This then gives you the envelope look and when rolling the tent up over the 2 folded side, continue to wipe the rest of the damp floor. With the securing middle strap in place, the tent can then be rolled over for a final wipe if necessary.

To help fit the tent back into the waterproof carry bag, we have found the most easiest way is not to move the tent, but in fact place the carry bag over the tent. When the cover is in place, roll the tent/bag over and zip the bag up and how easy is that.

Gone are the days of trying to squeeze the tent back into a bag, and our way wins easy every time, even with the fly still attached.

Pay the extra $100 for the bigger tent, it is still the same length in its bag, but with extra room inside.

Either way you go Robin, you will be getting the best tent around by far.

Are they waterproof, you bet 100%. Over on KI last March, we coped 110mm of rain in one night, it just would not stop raining. We were the only tent, including camper trailers, and pop top caravans that had not one drop of water inside our set up. Their tub floors are true to fame, as we had a 30mm water,grass mark up the side of the tub floor, which in simple terms meant that we were in an mini lake in the caravan park.

As you know, I am in no way affiliated with Oztent, just one very happy owner that is prepared to debate the issue any time it is asked.




Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:17

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:17
What he said :) I use shade cloth as my ground sheet. When packing up it goes in the rubbish bag on the spare wheel.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:59

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:59
Thanks Stephen and John

There are no real issues normally , its only when the ground turns to mud etc that little things become bigger issues.

The idea of a seperate ground sheet that takes the load seems like its worth the time - espically if one stores it such that getting it muddy is no issue.



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Reply By: Member - Murray R (VIC) - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 22:40

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 22:40
Hi Robin
I've got an OZ tent also and as Bravo man & Rob D have said, with the tent unpegged roll it onto its front exposing the floor and wipe clean. I have not yet had to set it up in mud so a ground sheet would be good. Money well spent even at $1000.

Murray
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:48

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 12:48
Yep thanks Murray - I think that is way to go for when we stay longer than a day , even if it has a couple of compromises.
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Reply By: Rockape - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 22:51

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 22:51
Robin,
Just use a piece of visqueen cut to size as a ground sheet. Cheap as chips, light weight and can be thrown away after each trip.

RA.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:43

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 09:43
Suspect thats a good idea Rockape - I was thinking of the cheap paint splash tarps .

Haven't heard name Visqueen what is it ?
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:48

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 10:48
Robin,
it is the plastic they lay on the ground before pouring concrete. It comes in a roll and I can't remember the exact width, about 1.8 or 2 metres wide that is 2 layers thick so it folds out to 3.6 or 4 metres wide.

It is quite strong and any hardware store will cut what you want off the roll.

RA.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 13:04

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 at 13:04
Got it thanks RA
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Reply By: Member - Jack - Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 23:52

Monday, Mar 05, 2012 at 23:52
Tip it on its side and hit it with a hose if you don't want to buy something to put under it. I do that occasionally, despite the fact that I have it on annexe matting when it is in use. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill.
Can't get anything simpler.
Jack
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