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Camp/tent set up ideas

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  • Camp/tent set up ideas

    I'll try this here, people are a little brighter and less opinionated here than where I put it originally

    Hi all. Wanting to hear some opinions and ideas.

    My usual arrangement for a while now has been a 2.4m gazebo and throwing a small dome tent down the back with tarp angled over it, with some side walls to keep out some wind and blowing rain. Don't trust the tents in decent rain, and I like having somewhere dry to hang out and put gear etc. I like simple dome tents because they're small, free standing/don't need pegging down etc. This whole system is pretty quick to set up-dome tent is like 5 min if I stand around talking for most of the time, and gazebo is around 10-15 min given the pegging plus putting a few walls on it to keep wind and blowing rain out. Simple and easy is what I really like.

    The gazebo I've got is one that packs up small, legs are in 3 sections instead the usual 2 that have one section stupidly longer than the other, so doesn't take up much room and is around 1m in length, a bit less I think. This length is a limiting factor for fitting things in the car.

    The small dome tent I've currently got has moisture coming through the sides if it gets misty type rain that gets everywhere, and I've noticed a lot of condensation issues in colder weather from my breath in the night. The fly also doesn't go down far enough, leaving gaps where water runs down the fly and goes through the mesh getting gear wet inside.

    Given the gazebo needs to be pegged down with lines run etc I figured maybe I could look at a better tent and running a tarp off that. The idea of those easy up tents came to mind, then tarp and poles for one end, other end held on/up by tent. Not like trying to set up a tarp with 4 poles on your own which is like pulling teeth.

    I specifically considered the Coleman swagger tent. Size is fine for me and maybe the wife on the odd occasion she comes away. Looking at the packed up specs though it is 1.2m long and much bigger diameter than the gazebo I've got. Hard to fit with the way I've got things set up. Just going to take up to much room in the car for something that doesn't really do the full job.

    I then considered one of those gazebo hubs, but the only one available for 2.4 gazebo doesn't get good reviews for waterproofing and needs a tarp over the top. It's then just a heavy and expensive frame for running a tarp over and doesn't really replace the dome tent idea I'm already doing.

    So, I'm putting all this out there to try and get opinions from others on good ways of going with my set up.

    What I'm hoping to get:
    Reasonably small packed down size
    Quick/simple to set up
    Not overly complicated

    As I'm normally on my own I don't need heaps of room. Most gear stays in the car, and I just have bed and bag with some clothes and things I need at night. Tubs of gear go in the gazebo area if I'm not taking then with me when out hunting for the day etc.

    Maybe I'm better staying with what I'm doing currently, just get a better dome tent. Just thought I would put this out there to see what thoughts others have in what way I should go.

    Appreciate any thoughts you guys could offer.

    *just to note-while I'm sure the RV tents are great, they are just too long and really well outside my budget (every second person suggested the RV tents on the other forum, even after I said they won't fit in the car and not what I'm looking for. Shouldn't whinge, I asked for opinions, people there just don't seem to actually read what you wrote. Unlike here)

  • #2
    I have a Coleman instant up 6 man tent. It has a fly over it. Only used it twice. Now they must be 6stunted dwarfs to fit in. I,d say fine to lay a swag , small table for cooking in it. Not the lightest tent either. I think the best thing you can do is get onto say, Snowy,s camping site, Tent world and you-tube to really see what is available that matches your needs. In 50= years of camping I,ve never found the perfect setup as our wants and needs are always changing. Very hard for someone to suggest anything. Dont rush your buy and as your doing now...research thoroughly. Good luck. I would have suggest thr RV but they are heavy.
    Dicko. FNQ

    2014 NW with all the usual stuff plus more.
    Some days your the dog...other days your the tree!!

    Telegraph X camper


    • #3
      What about a hiking tent? Pack up very small and are light weight.
      2012 NW DiD Activ


      • #4
        Not sure of the correct name, always known them as bus tents. Pyramid shaped with a single pole in the centre.

        Really quick to put up, usually canvas so pretty durable and you can stand up in it. Packs up reasonably small.

        This one's been around for a long time, but there's plenty to choose from

        2016 NX GLS Factory alloy bar, Provent 200 catch can, Boos bash plates (full set), Stedi light bar, 40 litre Waeco, Titan fridge slide, Kings springs, Dunlop ATG3s, Auto-mate, Ultragauge, Uniden 8080s, more to come...


        • #5
          Thanks guys.

          Yeah 2bad4u , hiking tent is basically what I'm using now. It's not a literal hiking tent, but similar size, weight etc. It works, size is fine etc, but just trying to work out if I have better options. Have to stick it half outside the gazebo basically to give enough room for sitting out of the rain under the gazebo. I guess I pondered if getting one of the more solid tents, then running tarp off that for some outside shelter instead of the gazebo was a better option. Replace the gazebo mass and size with better tent type of thing.

          ​​​​​​​I have kind of come to that conclusion also Dicko. never seems to be a perfect solution. Each time I think I've settled on something I want to change something else!

          One thing that I think would work well for what I have in mind is similar to one of those gazebo hubs. But it wouldn't have poles like they all seem to have, and actually be good and waterproof which they don't seem to be.
          Be right angle triangle shape. Front part hangs vertically and clips onto gazebo poles. Rear part just a straight angled line from gazebo top down to the ground 1.5-2m out from gazebo. Tent would replace the need for ropes from gazebo top, angle of the roof would shed water better, and no poles would mean it packs down nice and small. Heaps of room in it.

          ​​​​​​​The available gazebo pods don't get good reviews in the rain, meaning I would need to run a tarp over it, and then I'm really no better off than where I am now


          • #6
            My daughter just bought an "awning tent" which is free-standing but can also connect to her awning. Seems a decent option if it works but wouldn't expect it to be very waterproof? They upgraded from a swag which they set up under the car awning.


            • #7
              Posted while I was Two Emms

              Can you get that style a lot smaller? I've only seen big ones while looking around at all the camping sites. I really only need 2-3 man tent size

              If I had that style, I would want the top wider so running a tarp I would only need poles on one end of it, the tent would support the tarp on that end.

              I do keep coming back to the idea that what I'm doing now seems to suit still. Just trying to find out what other ideas are out there


              • #8
                I've seen them 2.4 x 2.4 (from memory) so not real small but enough room if your wife is with you. I currently have one that's 2.7 x2.7 and it packs up to a cylinder shape about 300mm diameter by 900mm long, poles and all. BUT it's not canvas, just heavy duty synthetic so a canvas one would be a little bigger.

                Don't know about connecting a tarp to it but one I had (late eighties, so a while ago!) had an oversize door flap which sort of gave a similar result.
                2016 NX GLS Factory alloy bar, Provent 200 catch can, Boos bash plates (full set), Stedi light bar, 40 litre Waeco, Titan fridge slide, Kings springs, Dunlop ATG3s, Auto-mate, Ultragauge, Uniden 8080s, more to come...


                • #9
                  Awning tents are both great and bad at the same time.
                  good things:
                  setup is really quick.
                  The car on the one side is super solid and will never blow away.
                  It's big and spacious enough for two with stretchers and space between.
                  You can stand up and get changed easily enough.
                  You can disconnect from the car with brackets and extra couple of poles and guy ropes.
                  Half the tent is carried on the roof.
                  If you already have an awning then you already have half your tent (assuming you can get a tent to fit it)
                  Bad things:
                  Water pooling on the awning can bend awning poles. I'm working on a solution for myself on this.
                  The walls can push in with wind and push against your face. If there is only one of you then just sleep on the far side of the wind. I got my daughter to sew some loops in the middle of the walls so that I can peg them out.
                  My tent doesn't have loops to hang anything on inside. Again for my daughter to sew some on.

                  If I can solve the water pooling I think it will be fantastic. Unfortunately I'm not there yet. It's also untested for me in really strong winds.

                  I'm thinking of making a cover from a tarp or similar to go over the car (roof racks) and going over the tent. This will stop water from running between the car and the tent. This would give me dry access to the car in the rain. This is nothing more than a thought for me so far though.
                  07 NS GLX 3.2 DiD Auto - Bushskinz bash plate + custom bash plate - Rocksliderz - factory bull bar - Pirelli scorpion ATRs - Ironman awning - Rhino Pioneer Luggage tray - Chip it race pipe - Home made breathers - 2" (Bilstein/Lovell) - No Limit Chip - Torque Pro for Android


                  • #10
                    Hi mate, pay once and buy once….
                    I would recommend oztrail compact fiesta 3x3 gazebo. Packs really small as well as it does not have that internal roof structure and is waterproof, I have two of them.
                    For tent I would suggest one of those tunnel shape Hilleberg tents, they are 4 season tents and require minimal time to set up and pack up really small. They are bentley’s of the tents mate .. heaps of youtube videos on them. Whack that tent next to gazebo, no need to put fly over, or you can if you want …

                    Or use swag on a stretcher under gazebo, swag can be transported on a roof-rack.
                    NW 2013 MY13 GLX-R, auto, OME lift kit, ARB bullbar, electric brake controller, GME UHF, the rest is still work in progress


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys.

                      I've got the Coleman equivalent of the oztrail gazebo, packs down heaps smaller than normal ones. Even sounds like the frame is the same-nothing down low at the height I would hit my head constantly except the very outside. Funny though, they wouldn't supply one to my mate who owned a shop when I was buying, said they were exclusive to some chain

                      The Hillman tents look good, but I might buy one when I've paid a lot more than the tent price for my car! At it is now, the tent would be around twice my car cost. Just out of my range of affordability

                      Swags are basically the equivalent of what I'm doing with the dome tent, but I got sick of swag a while ago. Just too big and heavy, can't throw a bag in with me, harder to get dressed in the morning etc.

                      Awning tent sounded alright until you said all that jemsquash! I am often heading off in the car first thing in the morning, making the awning idea a bit more awkward.

                      From what I'm finding and hearing from everyone, it sounds like what I'll doing currently might be the best for what I'm looking for. One of those Swagger or a small easy up tent could work if they packed down smaller and shorter. Might just invest in a better quality small dome for the moment that has more ventilation to reduce condensation in the cold temps


                      • #12
                        tent wise, the Macpac gear is also worth looking at. We have the plateau version which is supposedly 3 person, but would be one hell of a stretch. The good thing about it is that it has space at the back to store gear like bags, and clothing. It can be accessed from inside the inner tent, or outside as well. These things can withstand pretty much anything Australian weather would throw at them and I have used ours in the high country, in blizzards as well as summer camping trips. Still pricey, at around $1k, but on my own, I have no problems, and it can take a double mattress for when the missus graces me with her presence.

                        The pack down size is not a lot bigger than a sleeping bag, and as it designed for multi day walks, is pretty light. We have used it for a few walking trips across the vic high country- Feathertop and the like, Wilson's Prom, and even a number of places like the Pyranees and the Otways.

                        The not so great thing about it is that you cant stand in it, but I generally dont need to, I am still comfortable to lie on my back to put on me pants... not sure if I will be in a few years time though. I have an awning with 2 side walls I can use if I really need privacy, but there is the hassle of packing up when I plan to move on.
                        A proven alpine expedition tent, the Aspiring supports three people across all four seasons.
                        92 NH GLS Pirahna dual battery system, Lightforce Blitz240 hid spots, cibie spreads, Bilstiens each corner, Lovells rear coils, custom drawer system, ARB roofrack, side awning, ARB twin jerry holder, MSA drop slide, GME TX3440, custom wiring harness for second battery.


                        • #13
                          Cheers. Macpac tents are just a wee bit out of my budget!

                          I have found something along the lines of what I had in mind. Baker tent is the name. If you take away the awning it's exactly what I had in mind to clip to the gazebo. Could keep the awning and ditch the gazebo.

                          Did find this lighter weight option, but reviews aren't good as for its ability to handle the rain. Figured for the price it would be better than what the reviews say


                          • #14
                            Doesn't matter what you do...give it 12 months and you,ll want something a bit different!!
                            Dicko. FNQ

                            2014 NW with all the usual stuff plus more.
                            Some days your the dog...other days your the tree!!

                            Telegraph X camper


                            • #15
                              Very true!!


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