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Thread: What tent would you use...

  1. #1
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    Default What tent would you use...

    I'm on a seemingly-endless quest to determine what tent to get. I keep going in circles from one make/brand to another, to another, and back to the first for another loop around. Nothing is a "perfect" setup, and I'd like more opinions on pros/cons and ideas.

    I rarely stop anywhere for more than one night, so quick & easy setup/teardown is absolutely critical. 99% of the time it's just me and the dog, so I don't need (or particularly want) a very large tent.

    Options I've considered:

    1. An "instant" flip-open tent like OZ Malamoo.
    - Quick setup, but must be staked down which will require some hassle.
    - Relatively affordable.
    - Awkward to store due to shape/dimensions.
    - Still very reminiscent of a backpacking tent (what I currently use), and I'd like to move away from that feeling.

    2. Something like Coleman's instant tent.
    - Cheapest option.
    - Decent setup time, but still somewhat hassle-prone (I've set one of these up in person).
    - Requires a separate rain fly, which is a headache in both hassle and time.
    - I have concerns about long-time use/quality.

    3. Kodiak tents.
    - Very high quality.
    - Canvas is great, but is tough for me to dry since I don't have a backyard to set it up in (condo living).
    - Not freestanding, so absolutely must be staked down, which is a hassle and limits where I can camp (in some places staking down is not practical or possible).
    - Longer setup time than I'd like.
    - Reasonable prices for the quality.

    4. OZ Tent RV-series.
    - Expensive. Way expensive for a ground tent. Cheaper clones from Alibaba and Top-Tent don't look appealing.
    - High quality.
    - Seems to be the most practical/quickest setup.
    - Freestanding, but will still probably get staked down in most cases.
    - The smallest model (RV-1) is the only one that can fit into my truck's 6ft bed. All other models are over 6ft in length and must be carried on the roof rack (I don't want to even try cramming it in diagonally in the bed - that'll be a nightmare for other storage). This is a headache, but everyone who owns these tents seems to do it this way. I'm worried about theft and would have to purchase some kind of cable locks, which would cut into setup/pack time. Taking the tent off the roof and out of the bag is more setup time wasted. The bag is supposed to be waterproof, but even so, I'm worried about it being exposed to the elements for weeks/months at a time.
    - Depending on the thickness of the tent when packed, I may not have enough clearance in my parkade and would have to put it on the roof (and take it off) outside, which would be a bit of a headache.

    5. Roof top tent.
    - Expensive, but I'd do it for the convenience.
    - Dog would have to sleep in the truck, which is kind of an inconvenience (I like having the dog by my side at night), but doable. Upside of not having dog fur/dirt in the tent.
    - I've looked into absolutely all options and none will clear my parking garage. Would have to be carried from storage locker (on a dolly), to the truck, and installed outside. Reverse when coming back home. Headache, and possibly not doable solo due to weight/bulk of tent. Lightest tent I can find is FrontRunner's featherlight at 88lbs, and while the weight in itself is not a problem, the bulk of the tent is. That will be very tough to lift & balance single handedly.
    - Slimmest tents I can find are just under 8". Low-profile mounting brackets to attach the tent to the roof rack would be at least 1" heigh. My roof rack isn't on yet, so I'm not 100% sure how much vertical room I'll lose due to the rack, and I'll also be putting new leaf packs in the truck which will raise the rear end further. All said and done, I figure I'll probably have about 5-7" of total clearance above the roof rack.

    ---

    Right now I'm leaning towards an OZ RV3. The idea will be to use bicycle cable locks to secure the tent (from theft) on the roof, a padded cot inside the tent (with a sleeping bag I'd keep in the cot when folded) for quick setup, and stakes w/ a hex head so I can use a portable impact driver to drive them in (speed, efficiency). A ground tarp/footprint would be required to keep the tent's floor protected, which will further cut into setup time (applicable to all ground tents).

    While I haven't seen an OZ tent in person, reviews are all great, and the long dimensions is the biggest problem that I have with it. From looking at a million setup videos, I believe this limitation is due to the three full-length, horizontal metal poles that make up the structure/frame of the tent. I am hoping that it will be possible to cleanly remove these poles, and find a solution that will allow each pole to fold in half on some kind of hinge, while still getting "locked" into a straight line when the hinge is closed. Theoretically, this should be doable. In practice, I can't find any examples of anyone having done this.

    ---

    Which direction would you go in?

  2. #2
    OLC Member Yopofun's Avatar
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    What kind of tent are you using at the moment? I have a MEC Tarn 3 and have been using it for the past 8 years with no issues and can have it setup by myself in under 5 minutes. I have never used a ground tarp for it, as it's essentially built in. Take down takes a bit longer, but I like to make sure it's packed up as small as possible. Not sure how critical those extra 3-4 minutes are for setup...maybe just put the peddle down a little bit more on your way to the campsite

    With the dog, a ground tent seems like the best option, compared to the RTT.

    The OZ RV3 does setup quickly, but it looks like you'd still want/need to peg it down? Especially if there was any wind. Looks like it would just catch the wind with the big flat entrance. Also the around 1K price tag seems steep for tent, but that's just me.

  3. #3
    OLC Member Nd4SpdSe's Avatar
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    In all honestly, your choices are all over the place in terms of type and style of camping. I've done it pretty much all, and I do love my RTT, especially it now being on a trailer, but that's my preference.

    What I want to ask you is what is your camping experience. Where do you want to go and what do you want to do? What is your end goal?

  4. #4
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    Current tent is a Sierra Zolo 2. I can set it up in under 5 minutes, but I hate the crawling around.

    Camping experience? Lots, since a fairly early age. I backpack with my Sierra tent, and use it when I go out for weekends or longer stretches, but it's a hassle. Most frequent is vehicle-based overnighters for 2-4 nights in a stretch. Upcoming 2017 trips will have me camping for a month in spring, and two months in autumn. There's no way I'm using the same backpacking tent for a month+ long stretch.

    If I'm on the ground, I want room for a cot (preferably two) and the fastest setup possible. Five minutes is really not a lot of time, but it's a hassle to do when you're doing it day in, day out, and detracts from the overall enjoyment. The closest possible option to "park and sleep" is the goal.

  5. #5
    OLC Member Nd4SpdSe's Avatar
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    So in the end, a good camping solution for daily setups, that can accommodate your dog.

    Camping long term, like a month or two, I have a hard time suggesting regular tents. The problem I foresee from moving every day is if the weather is bad, is the inside of the tent and the bedding getting wet from setup or take down, and especially if it rains for days non stop, not having a chance to let them try....it can make a very miserable time. I went to look up what you drove, and saw you had a Tacoma. I was going to suggest to make your bed your sleeping area, but you've setup that up with gear, so unfortunately that idea doesn't seem viable. I have a friend with an 05 that used to sleep in the bed. He got an RTT this year.

    The dog makes the RTT idea harder to do. Personally I wouldn't like a wet dog I my tent.

    I don't know if it exists, but maybe a type of vehicle awning with an integrated sides to use as a tent? Unless there's a way to mount and store the OZ tent outside of the vehicle like an awning, and have it deploy from the truck? Like an RTT with the Annex, but without the RTT...
    Last edited by Nd4SpdSe; 11-25-2016 at 01:25 PM.

  6. #6
    OLC Member Nd4SpdSe's Avatar
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    I'd say something like this, but I'm not sure if it exists in a 1-step setup, but mind you, at least the awning gives you shelter to setup the rest in the rain. Install some permanent LED's in the awning to setup with night setups
    https://www.kakaducamping.com/products/4x4-awning-tent

    or this
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/G-CAMP-MOUNT...-/111002525686
    Last edited by Nd4SpdSe; 11-25-2016 at 01:26 PM.

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    I actually already tried sleeping in the bed (had made a custom set of carpeted drawers w/ sleeping platform on top) and it didn't really work out for me. The bed is 6ft, and my height is 6ft - I was very cramped. Plus, I'm a very light sleeper, and with my fridge being in the same bed, I suspect it'll keep me up at night. I could make this work in a pinch, but not for an extended period of time.

    If I end up with a RTT, the dog will sleep in the cab. There's no way I'm hauling 80lbs of dog up a RTT's ladder .

    The awning-tent is an interesting idea. I had seen it before, but never really considered it seriously. I'll do some more research into that. One immediate concern I have is being limited in terms of tent placement. Some of the trails I've recently camped at required putting the truck and tent inline, as there simply wasn't enough room for a side-by-side setup. That doesn't happen often, but it does happen, so having some more flexibility here would be nice. I'll think about it.

  8. #8
    OLC Member Nd4SpdSe's Avatar
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    Maybe the Rhino Rack Base Tent? Works with the awning, or by itself for those situations where your space is restricted. Also would mean easier mobiliy if you need a base camp?
    http://www.rhinorack.ca/products/cam...ent-2500_32119

  9. #9
    OLC Member binrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0210 View Post
    I actually already tried sleeping in the bed (had made a custom set of carpeted drawers w/ sleeping platform on top) and it didn't really work out for me. The bed is 6ft, and my height is 6ft - I was very cramped. Plus, I'm a very light sleeper, and with my fridge being in the same bed, I suspect it'll keep me up at night. I could make this work in a pinch, but not for an extended period of time.

    If I end up with a RTT, the dog will sleep in the cab. There's no way I'm hauling 80lbs of dog up a RTT's ladder .

    The awning-tent is an interesting idea. I had seen it before, but never really considered it seriously. I'll do some more research into that. One immediate concern I have is being limited in terms of tent placement. Some of the trails I've recently camped at required putting the truck and tent inline, as there simply wasn't enough room for a side-by-side setup. That doesn't happen often, but it does happen, so having some more flexibility here would be nice. I'll think about it.
    Not sure if you have a topper on truck or not but I have a tent unit that fits over the topper and and tailgate. I have a bed mattress that fits the bed perfect. The dog (80lbs) sleeps on the tailgate while we sleep on the mattress. Works great.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nd4SpdSe View Post
    Maybe the Rhino Rack Base Tent? Works with the awning, or by itself for those situations where your space is restricted. Also would mean easier mobiliy if you need a base camp?
    http://www.rhinorack.ca/products/cam...ent-2500_32119
    Pretty cool, but too much hassle in setting it up. And that price is pretty close to the OZ Tent offerings, so at that point might as well get the OZ.

    Quote Originally Posted by binrat View Post
    Not sure if you have a topper on truck or not but I have a tent unit that fits over the topper and and tailgate. I have a bed mattress that fits the bed perfect. The dog (80lbs) sleeps on the tailgate while we sleep on the mattress. Works great.
    I do have a canopy/topper, and a ton of gear in the bed, so bed-based tents are out.

    --

    I forgot to the mention the smaller OZ RV1 tent that I've also considered. It still sets up as easy as the larger OZ RV offerings, but packs down in a smaller size (1.6M) that will easily fit in my bed.

    Not the most informative video, but here's some info about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neHw1P8jp4s .

    And a real-life setup video (with some extra accessories that I wouldn't get): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXayRK40uEs

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