Southern Cross Touring tents

Submitted: Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 22:12
ThreadID: 97895 Views:9948 Replies:7 FollowUps:12
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What is the best pick of the Southern Cross Ultimate single pole tent range for two people. ? They offer a ultimate 9, a 10 and a 11 model. The specs suggest the pack up size is much the same with a few kilograms difference between the models in weight.

I would like to be able to pack the tent up easily when travelling alone as well. Any Southern Cross single pole tent users with a opinion on the best compromise in size tent to look at ?
Cheers Peter
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Reply By: Farquo - Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 22:23

Friday, Sep 07, 2012 at 22:23
I think that ours is a 10' square southern cross that is about 25 years old. Can just jam a double swag in on one side with plenty of room on the other side for bags.
AnswerID: 494463

Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:22

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:22
Thanks for the reply. What do you usually do for shade when camping ?
FollowupID: 770137

Follow Up By: Farquo - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 12:44

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 12:44
An Akubra ;D
Seriously though, had not used it for years till the last couple and have been using it in the outback in winter so we have not had a need for shade any more than our hats.
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Reply By: Member - Ian W1 (QLD) - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 05:53

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 05:53
We have a 3m X 3m Southern Cross about 15 yo...still going strong with no water leaks. We did change the centre pole for the poles that go up the heaps more free floor space. We haven't used ours for some time as we 'graduated' to a campertrailer, but I could highly recommend the build quality of the SC tents
AnswerID: 494467

Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:20

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:20
Yes the build quality is good. What did you do for shade when you were using yours ?
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Follow Up By: Member - Ian W1 (QLD) - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 15:46

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 15:46
We really didn't worry too much. The ventilation is very good. On occasions we did throw a tarp over the whole tent as a fly but didn't need to do that very often.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 06:15

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 06:15
I got the 11 x 9 model because it has better windows and flow through for summer. It also allows an additional person if you need it.

I regularly use it by myself and it is not too bad to pack up. The biggest issue is that they are pretty heavy and you need to use it a fair bit to get the bulk down when folded.
AnswerID: 494468

Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:18

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:18
Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me what you mean by better windows ?. They appear the same although I believe on your tent two of the windows open from the inside where as the other models all windows open from the outside.

I am not sure how this works when its raining with the sloping sides. By that I mean I would think the windows would need to be open a bit to avoid condensation when sleeping inside while it is raining outside. Sounds like you are happy with yours. There is not much difference between the models in price.
What do you do for shade when camped ?

Cheers Peter
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:55

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 11:55
It's explained in this clip.

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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 16:33

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 16:33
Hi Peter I have a centre pole tent but not Southern Cross. Shade out the front is from the main door flap which pulls out and supported on a couple of telescopic poles and stays. Trouble is it's only as wide as the door. What I now do is erect the tent close to the car and then pull out the car awning so that it just touches the tent. Better protection to the tent door flap and more shade.

The centre pole doesn't bother me or my mate who I do most of my travelling with, but my wife prefers our old dome tent as there is more room.

Biggest issue I've found is that if you use a cot to sleep on then it will push the tent sides out. Also the canvas tents are susceptible to condensation in cold weather and the canvas retains heat in really hot weather even with all the flaps open.

Just borrowed an Oz Tent for my last trip and the square sides and very wide front awning was great not to mention the set-up and pack-up times being so much faster. Downside is they are relatively heavy, veryyyyyyyyy long (2.1m), and pricey from new.

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Follow Up By: philw- Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 18:01

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 18:01
I have an Ultimate Trekker with the zip on awning attachment. I dare say, no one has built a better touring tent. This tent will be still be around in 20 years time,when the Chinese manufactured rubbish is landfill. Oztent Schmozztent.
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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 01:43

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 01:43
Hi Dunc, I meant to ask how long does it take to pack up just the single pole tent. I understand getting them up is quick but not many speak about the pack up.

If you get a OZ Tent you could well find out what real condensation is Some use a Fly, only nine extra pegs and two poles to reduce condensation while others don't seem to have issues but I believe the Oztent material does not breath as well as heavy canvas and so more condensation.

The awning on my Oztent was dripping in the morning where as the canvas awning on my vehicle was damp but no beading and dripping of moisture.
So the Oztent goes up fast and so does the single pole/ The Oztent is quick to pack up without the fly but how much slower is the single pole tent ?

Cheers Peter
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Follow Up By: philw- Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 11:07

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2012 at 11:07
It takes me around 15 minutes to take down my Southern Cross tent plus awning and pack it on the roof rack. You're right about the breath-ability issue,but then I don't classify the Oztent as a true canvas tent. It is poly-cotton.
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Sep 30, 2012 at 17:15

Sunday, Sep 30, 2012 at 17:15
Hi Peter sorry for the late reply to you. Just got home from a week away with Australasia Safari.

The centre pole tent takes about 5 minutes to fold up if not wet.

Agree with you about the condensation on the Oz tent. This last week we had some really heavy dews and the tent was saturated. Fortunately it dries out quickly when we set it up again. Unfortunately this last week we were up at sparrows and on the road by 7.30 latest.

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Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Sunday, Sep 30, 2012 at 21:03

Sunday, Sep 30, 2012 at 21:03
Hi Duncan, sounds like you are a happy centre pole user. I like the 5 min pack up. Can I ask what size is your tent ? I figure a a 9 x9 or 2.7 x 2.7m is about 7.3 sq metre base where as the 10 x 10 tent or 3 x 3m is a 9 square metre base and was wondering if the difference in tent size affected the pack up ?

I have a 3m x 3m two pole canvas tent with a dual T bar roof rods. It goes up in 5 mins but there is a bit of stuffing around getting it flat and folded up, probably 15mins. It seems to take longer when I am doing it. I was thinking the single pole tents might be a compromise between a OZtent and what I have at the moment. The single pole tent already has a tried canvas awning of decent size as a extra.

Cheers Peter
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Reply By: Bobjl - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 19:41

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 19:41
I have a 13 year old Southern Cross 10x10 with centre pole and also the optional coat hanger bit with side poles to allow [in certain circs] more efficient use of the floor space area.
Southern Cross also made me a shade annexe about 12 feet long that is simply a rectangle canvas piece that zips into the front of the tent and uses several poles to support it, I can have it out in a horizontal position or drop the sides down to create an extension of the tent where three sides are effectively sheltered. Works well. Bit of extra weight using canvas but maybe they can use a lighter material for the annexe. Good camping - Bob
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Reply By: Cole - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 21:45

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 21:45

Always thought this would be a great easy solution tent for touring

I have the ultimate tracker 3m x 4m. This is not the single pole option as it has the bit extending out the rear. Easy to set up. Just tent

Bulky to pack up approx 1m sq x 200 mm thick, heavy to handle due to weight & shape. When packing up in rain the tent becomes very heavy & saturated as you have to fold it in on it self which traps all the rain water which can run out in your vehicle when packed. Have large canvas tarp which attaches to front on zip- this tends to undo in wind & generally pulls the tent forward due to the tarps rope pull. Canvas tarp in my opinion too heavy for tent. Also would be better if tarp had eyelet that hooks over a centre pole, with tarp extending beyond eyelet so that rain water would run off to rear of tent. The set up time is no longer quick when you need the tarp set up for shelter

Will be keeping this tent for anuall holiday rather then touring & changing the tarp set up.

For touring will be looking for a lighter tent option that can be quickly shuvved in its bag in any conditions. Still looking

AnswerID: 494523

Follow Up By: Member - kwk56pt - Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 23:44

Saturday, Sep 08, 2012 at 23:44
Thanks for the reply. I did wonder about the awning how much effort that wouls be. I was thinking of using a awining off the vehicle for a overnight stop and a 2.4 m oztrail gazebo for making a base camp along with a single pole tent that could also be used on its own for touring but of course I dont know how it will work in practice hence my questions about the tent and what people were doing for shade with their tents.

I did have a Oztent. Interestingly the awning was dripping in the morning with condensation while the canvas car awning I had up at the time had moisture present on the underside but not droplets or dripping. The interior of the oztent was dripping just like the awning which sugested to me that the canvas breathes better than the lighter poly canvas on the Oztent and that the condensation is not just a ventilation issue in the tent.

I appreciate lots of people are happy with their Oztent. I did buy the fly which solved the condensation issue but it required 9 pegs, 2 poles and a zip to attach and presented its own issues when windy. I am thinking 9x9 Ultimate for two people and the Oztrail awning for longer stays might be a working solution but then again I thought the Oztent would be good. After all the tent is really just to sleep in and long as one can stand up to dress and store a bag the least canvas to pack up the better
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Reply By: Peterbilt - Sunday, Sep 09, 2012 at 07:39

Sunday, Sep 09, 2012 at 07:39
I've had an Ultimate 10 for 5 years, very happy with the quality and workmanship. Yes, it was expensive but it will probably last 25 years or so. Other cheaper tents seem to have a limited life if you use them a lot. I still have 2 other tents (small hiking tent and large 2-room for extended stays in one location). Canvas seems to breathe well so no problems with condensation. It also seems to retain warmth in sub zero temperatures. It took awhile to learn how to pack up the SC and a slightly larger carry bag would help when the tent is wet. When packed, it's a square metre and 130mm high. Also had to work out the best place to store it in the vehicle.

For shade, I've just bought a separate tarp which I attach to the front of the SC and down two sides. One downside to touring tents is no shelter over the door when raining. Tourers are great for fast pitching and reasonable pack away. I'm preparing dinner when others are still pitching their tents. I use centre pole for overnights, side poles when staying 2+ days. I also use a shade cloth underlay under the tent; although I check for rocks and sharp objects, the shade cloth generally prevents them cutting through the tent floor. Hope this helps.

Regards, Peter
AnswerID: 494539

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