Author Topic: I would appreciate some input on camping tents - specifically large ones.  (Read 4997 times)

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Offline CollectivismMustDie

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A little background:

I'm no stranger to camping. I'm an eagle scout, was an assistant scoutmaster, and spent many a night in a wall tent at camp Tomahawk in WI, and many other nights in a tent here or there all over America. That was before they beat the boy scouts with the gay bat  :argh: but anyway...

Things have changed since those days. Its no longer I, its "We". Myself, the wife, and at least one of the girls (dogs). A decade and change ago our first Christmas together was camping themed. Sleeping bags for all, a new tent for the wife and I, one for our daughters, an airbed, etc. Our daughters grew up, and moved away, but we are still in our ten year old tent. Its a Coleman Durango 7 x 12 dome tent, and while its been a great tent, its getting worn out. I figure that ten years of use was pretty decent for what we paid for it. We've also outgrown it. We have far too much gear now, and neither of us get up off the ground or stoop over quite like we did when we were younger. Plus we have dogs that...well, at least one comes with no matter where we go. Between the gear, the dog, and the fold up frame airbed we need something bigger.

We tried the airbed in our tent, and there is just no way. A dome tent has great space at the floor level, but for every foot you go up off the floor, you lose room side to side. We borrowed a friends 13 x 11 Coleman dome, but the airbed was tight in there as well. We had our hearts set on the Coleman evanston elite with the built in lighting and the hinged door, but its just not going to work. So a dome design is out of the question, which leaves the strait (ish) wall design types.

The criteria is as follows:

Floorplan of at least 12 x 12. We have a lot of gear, and I do mean a lot of gear. So much that we carry a small 4 season dome tent with internal pole design as our pantry and cook gear tent. Inside our "sleeping/sitting" tent we will have neoprene floor tiles covering the floor to protect it. We picked them up at harbor freight when we picked up the trailer , but we will likely pick up more so that we can cover roughly the entire floor of whatever tent we get. Also inside will be plug in cooler, some sort of lighting system, inflatable night stands, a table at the end of the bed for the laptop, the laptop, clothes, a small wastebasket, collapsible clothes basket, the emergency bag, and a big bag of "just in case" junk, in addition to ten other things I'm probably forgetting. We're looking for a squarish floorplan rather than a long and relatively narrow strip.

It must be capable of "single room" configuration. I've seen a lot of the larger tents with a nice floorplan, except the sewn in room dividers, and those are a dealbreaker. The bed has to fit with room all around it. We both get grumpy when we sleep too close to a wall and wake up wet from touching it at some point in the night.

Lots of standing room. Neither of us get up off the ground easily anymore. The wife has spinal arthritis and fibromyalgia, and I took a crate of hardwood flooring in the back a few years ago that about crippled me for a while. Plus I was...never very smart about the abuse I put my body through in my youth. I personified the phrase "stupid human tricks" when I was young and careless, and thought myself invincible.

Price. Looking at what some of the canvas tents go for these days, one could make a house payment easier than buy them. 450 at the highest is what we are looking to spend, but preferably a lot less than that.

Features. I was hoping to get a Coleman with the hinged door, its such a nice feature. Coleman does not make a tent of the size and shape I'm looking for though, so that's out. Decent venting for summer, but decent weather resistance and semi decent heat retention (as tents go) for those times it gets cool. Electrical cord port. We more often than not camp where theres water and electricity, and have an inverter for the car for those times we don't. The car could idle running the inverter for days and not use much gas.

Difficulty of setup is not a huge factor for us, within reason, and from reading, I get the impression that none of them that are made these days are terribly difficult to set up.

Brand. I'm not terribly brand loyal when it comes to camping gear, however, I am not a fan of the cheapie brands. More often than not, when you spend money, you get what you pay for, and I take that to heart when it comes to monetarily large long term purchases. A brand that at least has some degree of customer support and the ability to provide replacement parts/decent warranty service should it be needed.

I've been looking for maybe...5 months now. And this is what I came up with:

The eureka copper canyon 12



Its a bit bigger than I was looking for, at 12 x 14, but eureka doesn't make the 1312 anymore (13 x 12) sadly.

I'd be grateful for any information anyone has, about any brands/models that I might have missed or overlooked.

We want to get it right the first time.


CMD






« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 01:53:08 AM by CollectivismMustDie »
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams

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Offline catsmtrods

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If you want to stay dry I highly recommend Cabela's Alaskan guide model. I have had one for many years and been thru many storms that would have drown a lesser tent. We have 6 person and a queen size mattress, a dog bed, a cooler and tv all inside. In the vestibule fit a love seat and the rest of the gear.
"Liberalism is an essentially feminine, submissive world view. Perhaps a better adjective than feminine is infantile. It is the world view of men who do not have the moral toughness, the spiritual strength to stand up and do single combat with life, who cannot adjust to the reality that the world is not a huge, pink-and-blue, padded nursery in which the lions lie down with the lambs and everyone lives happily ever after."


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Offline Wineslob

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We have a tent very similar to this one:  http://www.costco.ca/Coleman%C2%AE-Bristol%E2%84%A2-8-Tent.product.100102786.html

Plenty of room for all the gear and a blow-up bed.
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Offline JohnnyReb

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I've had all kinds of tents but if you plan on camping way south where they have No-see'ems....buy a Eureka tent. They are the only ones I've found with window netting that is fine enough(small mesh) to keep the No-see'ems out.
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Offline CollectivismMustDie

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If you want to stay dry I highly recommend Cabela's Alaskan guide model. I have had one for many years and been thru many storms that would have drown a lesser tent. We have 6 person and a queen size mattress, a dog bed, a cooler and tv all inside. In the vestibule fit a love seat and the rest of the gear.

I've been looking at those on and off, and a covered vestibule is something We'd LOVE to have, but...its a dome.

Standing room is fairly limited.

We're looking for a tent thats more like a small cabin than a tent.

CMD
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams

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Offline Wineslob

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“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

The unobtainable is unknown at Zombo.com



"Practice random violence and senseless acts of brutality"

If you want a gender neutral bathroom, go pee in the forest.

Offline DefiantSix

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Not necessarily, Wineslob.

When my wife and I were first married, lo these many years ago, we got an Ozark Trail tent (kinda half dome/half cabin tent) as a wedding gift.  Sucker had a 10'-0"x18'-0" footprint, and we used it through more than our share of gully-washing thunderstorms in the Northern Arizona and Colorado areas.  About 4 years into it's service we installed stove jacks in the tent roof and rain fly for a wood stove, and we arranged it so we had a couple of cots that would form into a king bed on one side, and a cot for my son on the other.

In this configuration, that tent lasted us through 10 years of hard service - including a 4-1/2 month span in which we were living full time out of it - before we had to replace it.
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Offline Wineslob

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Not necessarily, Wineslob.

When my wife and I were first married, lo these many years ago, we got an Ozark Trail tent (kinda half dome/half cabin tent) as a wedding gift.  Sucker had a 10'-0"x18'-0" footprint, and we used it through more than our share of gully-washing thunderstorms in the Northern Arizona and Colorado areas.  About 4 years into it's service we installed stove jacks in the tent roof and rain fly for a wood stove, and we arranged it so we had a couple of cots that would form into a king bed on one side, and a cot for my son on the other.

In this configuration, that tent lasted us through 10 years of hard service - including a 4-1/2 month span in which we were living full time out of it - before we had to replace it.


Well, you could go Army Surplus...........
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

The unobtainable is unknown at Zombo.com



"Practice random violence and senseless acts of brutality"

If you want a gender neutral bathroom, go pee in the forest.

Offline catsmtrods

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I've been looking at those on and off, and a covered vestibule is something We'd LOVE to have, but...its a dome.

Standing room is fairly limited.

We're looking for a tent thats more like a small cabin than a tent.
I have the 6 person and can stand and walk around. If the 8 person is bigger and it must be, I would think it would not be a problem. I bought a new one last year and would never consider another tent and I have had many! Cabin tents will get you wet! I don't care who makes them. I have been in my guide model in a campground when a tornado went thru and every other tent camper there was soaked! Not us we were cozy as could be laying in bed looking out the window at everyone trying to pack up their wet shit and get dry. I was once in the Adirondacks at a fly in destination when three days of thunderstorms kept the pilot from coming to get us. I am sure that tent saved my life! I won't go into the wild without it! Worth the money! Every penny! 

CMD
"Liberalism is an essentially feminine, submissive world view. Perhaps a better adjective than feminine is infantile. It is the world view of men who do not have the moral toughness, the spiritual strength to stand up and do single combat with life, who cannot adjust to the reality that the world is not a huge, pink-and-blue, padded nursery in which the lions lie down with the lambs and everyone lives happily ever after."


~ Dr. William Pierce


 

"How many more times are we going to cower under tables and chairs, whimpering like mindless dogs, thinking that someone else has the responsibility to save and protect us?"

Offline catsmtrods

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I see they don't sell the deluxe Alaskan vestibule any more? Too bad! Both mine have it. I have a 25 year old one that will beat any tent you could buy today. When I bought my new one they were giving the deluxe vestibule free! I wouldn't give them up for any $$! they are my bug out gear.  

A cabin tent.


My tent.


"Liberalism is an essentially feminine, submissive world view. Perhaps a better adjective than feminine is infantile. It is the world view of men who do not have the moral toughness, the spiritual strength to stand up and do single combat with life, who cannot adjust to the reality that the world is not a huge, pink-and-blue, padded nursery in which the lions lie down with the lambs and everyone lives happily ever after."


~ Dr. William Pierce


 

"How many more times are we going to cower under tables and chairs, whimpering like mindless dogs, thinking that someone else has the responsibility to save and protect us?"

Offline catsmtrods

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I can't stress enough how happy I am with this tent. I have been tent camping my whole life in some of the most wicked weather you can imagine in some of the most remote places on the north American continent. Deep woods of Alaska, Canada and the Northeast. I am 59 years old now and have not been wet since I bought my first one 25 years ago. B4 that it was normal to get wet when tent camping if just for dripping walls even when it wasn't raining! I LOVE this tent! I still use it and I even have a conversion van these days.
"Liberalism is an essentially feminine, submissive world view. Perhaps a better adjective than feminine is infantile. It is the world view of men who do not have the moral toughness, the spiritual strength to stand up and do single combat with life, who cannot adjust to the reality that the world is not a huge, pink-and-blue, padded nursery in which the lions lie down with the lambs and everyone lives happily ever after."


~ Dr. William Pierce


 

"How many more times are we going to cower under tables and chairs, whimpering like mindless dogs, thinking that someone else has the responsibility to save and protect us?"

Offline CollectivismMustDie

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Leakage has never been a problem for us with any tent we've ever had, and I attribute that to thorough preparation. Every year a week or three before our first trip, we set them up. First we check the internal seamtape and replace if necessary.

Then we soak the tents down, and check for leakage. After they dry out, leakage or not, they get fresh seam sealer, with no stitching left uncovered.

We hate getting wet lol.

We also pay careful attention to the weather patterns where we camp, and orient the tents accordingly.

One other thing we've learned and been repeatedly reminded of over the years both from our mistakes and the mistakes of others, is that tents have guy lines for a reason. Alot of folks set a tent up, and get lazy about half of them. Particularly with dome tents. The folks we camp with, made the mistake last year of not using them on their dome tent. We tried to warn them, but we weren't going to get pushy about it. When the storm came up, they wore the walls, got soaked and ended up sleeping in the car. We also cut and bring with us 16 inch wooden tent stakes, because the thin wire ones are junk, and doubly bad if you're in a place that is even remotely sandy. A 16 or 18 inch stake even in the sand, is far more solid and secure.

None of the above is a cure for a tent with a bad design, but with out that stuff, even a good design is going to fail a good percentage of the time. Good preparation on the other hand, can make even a bad design function a little better than its design would otherwise allow.  Good and thorough preparation makes everything its applied to work better. And it leaves you open to far fewer surprises in the unpleasant category. Thats something we try to live by as much as we can.

We have been looking at used cabellas alaknak tents on craigslist. I've camped in one before, and they are nice, particularly if you have the vestibules and the floor for them. Though we are strongly leaning toward that euraka, at this point we still aren't sure what direction we will go on it. Theres still 4-6 weeks before our first trip this year.

Everything else is finished now. Trailer is done, tail light converter and wiring out to the trailer is done, the hitch is done, and the car is put back together. The camping gear is gone through, and packed away in the trailer.

A tent is now the last thing on our list.



CMD
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams

Hillary Clinton will never be the President of the United States.

Offline CollectivismMustDie

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I see they don't sell the deluxe Alaskan vestibule any more? Too bad! Both mine have it. I have a 25 year old one that will beat any tent you could buy today. When I bought my new one they were giving the deluxe vestibule free! I wouldn't give them up for any $$! they are my bug out gear.  

A cabin tent.


My tent.



It looks like you, too, follow strict protocol about your guy lines.

Thats one very nice looking setup, and an even better looking location.

 :cheers2:

CMD
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams

Hillary Clinton will never be the President of the United States.

Offline Gina

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Hubby (ass scoutmaster) says he would recommend the cabelas lodge tent (12x12) :-). It's what we use and it's super easy for him to put up himself while I supervise.

We have a shower, bathroom, and dining tent, lol

http://reviews.cabelas.com/8815/514192/cabelas-outback-lodge-tent-12-x-12-reviews/reviews.htm?page=3&sort=submissionTime&dir=asc
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 11:09:47 PM by Gina »






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Offline DefiantSix

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Well, you could go Army Surplus...........

We had one of THOSE when I was a kid. 

No thanks. :runaway:

Anyway, this is pretty close to what we were using for all those years.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2014, 09:59:20 AM by DefiantSix »
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Offline CollectivismMustDie

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We pulled the trigger on a Eureka Copper Canyon 12.

During the time the cave went down, we found one on craigslist, and drove to rapid city to check it out. It had been set up one single time previous to being set up for us to check out in their back yard. They bought it but never used it.

This is one stout tent, provided you use the guy lines. And roomy.

We had decided on that model tent and had been hesitant at the retail price of 400ish or more plus shipping. This thing weighs 40 or 50 pounds. We paid 210 plus fuel up there and back, and we had wanted to take a day trip anyway. So for better or worse, we're into a new tent. The day after we got back home with it, we set it up and seam sealed everything. Time will tell.

I got to packing and reducing our gear, and came to the conclusion that we needed more storage capacity, and to make better usage of whatever capacity we can manage to maximize, which led to tinkering with the trailer:













I built the propane carrier out of an old s-10 skid plate which is 3/16 aluminum plate, 2 13 inch pieces of square aluminum tube, assembled it with stainless hardware nyloc nuts and thread locker. I used a heater hose cut down the side as a "seat" for the propane tank, by slipping it over both sides of the metal on the edge of the hole that is the tank "recess" area. When I cut the plate, I left one of the mounting tabs on it, and on that tab, is where the old ammo old can is mounted. I took the handle off it and made it permanent. Its for straps, bungies, hitch cover, trailer wiring dummy plug, hitch ball lube, etc. The whole works is u-bolted to the trailer tongue. The purple straps ends were from an old set of straps I had laying around.

We haven't towed it since before I added it, but it should be secure and quiet, and tongue weight with a tank on it is right where it should be. I'm glad to have it done, because single tank propane carriers to fit how I needed were few, far between, and expensive.

CMD









"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams

Hillary Clinton will never be the President of the United States.

Offline Wineslob

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Nice. I like it.  :cheersmate:


Cats got me thinking. I brought home an old tent that I used as a teenager in the 70's. I remember my father bought two of these because they were cheap..........and heavy. That was my "back packing" tent. However, they never leaked even in HEAVY rain with a small creek running under them. Essentially they are the two pole "pup" tent with the heavy blue plastic bottom orange nylon top and plastic rain fly.

I should set the thing up and take a pic. Yes, they are as ugly as they sound.
“The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.”

        -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC (106-43 BC)

The unobtainable is unknown at Zombo.com



"Practice random violence and senseless acts of brutality"

If you want a gender neutral bathroom, go pee in the forest.

Offline CollectivismMustDie

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We spent two nights camped in Grand Marais last month, in the Copper Canyon 12.  Both nights we had storms roll through, the first night being pretty heavy weather, heavy rain, 40 mile per hour winds,etc.

This tent performed excellent. No leaks or drips. And it held up really well in the wind. Really stout and solid.


CMD
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams

Hillary Clinton will never be the President of the United States.

Offline Eupher

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It's really terrific when good old-fashioned American ingenuity can attack a problem and solve it. Great job, CMD! and h5!

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Offline CollectivismMustDie

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It's really terrific when good old-fashioned American ingenuity can attack a problem and solve it. Great job, CMD! and h5!

Thanks man!

The trailer has undergone some revision since the MN trip. It looks like this now:



The box under the cargo carrier and the locking hasp on the ammo box were added, and the propane tank carrier was rotated 180 degrees. It was apparent after the MN trip, that we needed space for the larger things. Chairs, stove stand, spare lantern, the "pantry" tent, camp kitchen setup, etc. The inside of the trailer box is lined with neoprene anti-fatigue floor mat material to minimize bouncing effects.

The hasp:



An 11 pound propane tank is in the works, and will replace the 20 pounder.


CMD
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." - John Adams

Hillary Clinton will never be the President of the United States.