So you want to buy a tent?

Discussion in 'Camping Community Board' started by mamaloya, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. mamaloya

    mamaloya <font color=blue>Blows hard and hot and boils us<b

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    OK everyone, there have been so many threads about tent types, etc. Lets start a thread to end all threads about buying a tent. Feel free to cut and paste replies from other posts.

    Now, what I would like from you guys to all who view this thread in the future.

    1) What brand/model tent do you have?
    2) What size?
    3) Cabin or dome and why you prefer one or the other.
    4) How many in your family?
    5) Do you use cots, air mattreses, sleeping pads, bags, etc and how many can you fit in your tent and would there be room to spare?
    6) Did you seam seal or dry coat it and did it keep you dry?
    7) Do you use a fan, a/c or heater and how is it set up?
    8) Do you use a screen room and what brand and size?

    I think that about covers it. We have had threads on what rigs people have and why they like them, etc. Now it is the tenters turn.

    BTW, I am going to buy a tent because of the cost of gas and lugging my trailer long distancI am going to buy a tent because of the cost of gas and lugging my trailer long distances. We used to tent but now have more kids and the kids are bigger, 4 kids no longer fit on one queen mattress. DH has given me the go ahead to find a tent.

    There will be 6 of us, sometimes 7. I have a small 7x7 tent that could be used by ds17 when he tags along or even for dd12 sometimes, or just for storage if need be. I want a cabin tent. I may look into buying the bunk bed cots from cabelas to save on floor space.es. We used to tent but now have more kids and the kids are bigger, 4 kids no longer fit on one queen mattress. DH has given me the go ahead to find a tent.
     
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  3. Rhonda

    Rhonda <marquee><font color=red>Quote of the Day: <font

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    Me first, me first!!

    It's just DH and myself (and Barclay, if we're not at FW)

    We have a 15x20 dome tent - Coleman.
    It has a little "Doggie room" attached to the side of it, but we use it for a closet. Barclay would laugh at us if we told him to get in there.

    We use a Swiss brand queen-size air mattress. It's really tall, so easier to get in and out of. We have A LOT of room left over, so we have plastic "dressers" that we use for clothes, instead of suitcases. Plenty of room.

    We use sheets & blankets instead of sleeping bags. Less bulky, and more comfortable.

    We have a small fan, and a small electric heater. We just run an extension cord from the outlet through the "front door", and zipper it up around it. Make sure it's a thick cord, with a ground prong.

    We never use a seam sealer/waterproof spray and we've never had a problem. When it rains at night, just stay away from the sides, and it won't leak.

    We have a 10x10 screen tent (cheapy from Walmart) that we set up over the picnic table. We put our Coleman Kitchen in there too, with our refrigerator, coffee maker, crockpot, 2-burner stove, and other junk in there.

    I hope this helps! :)
     
  4. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    Just curious, do you have any pictures of the air mattress and you plastic dressers?

    We had to get rid of our pop up camper (long story), but we still have our tent.....BUT we are almost 50 now, and I need a more comfortable 'bed' to sleep in when I camp than I did when we camped in our 30s.

    DJ
     
  5. djblu883

    djblu883 DIS Veteran

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    well I have tents in all sizes depending on my needs as I camp in all kinds of situations. I have a 2-3 man tent for single motorcycle trips...sold the bike so its just sitting there...never sealed it...stayed dry...Coleman Brand ...fit a single sized air mattress fine with a small bit of room to spare for clothes/gear, next a Wal Mart Special for 6...yet to be used ...bought for this fall for an upcoming series of camping trips where I don't want to haul the camper for short weekends...will spray and seam seal it...will easily fit my high profile mattress and gear for 2 easily(49 bucks), tent 3 is a Swiss Brand Cabin Tent...We put it up right before a storm on the coast....seams leaked....dried it out and sprayed/seam seald it...another storm...we stayed high and dry...big enough for 2 high profile queen size air mattresses but little else....would fit 4 singles and have room for little else...or 2 doubles and some gear(was 299.00 then got reduced to 65 bucksas a Sam's Club closeout) ..Screen Tent...another Wally world special...goes over the picnic table...be sure it's tied down well...keeps the bugs out and has lasted several seasons....I've had many tents over the years and have been most happy with dome tents for easy/quick assembly as well as quick-n-easy to take down...good 3 season tents...the one I loved most (also coleman)had a moon roof...friends loved it so much they borrowed it and kept it when I went on the road lol
     
  6. Pinkee77

    Pinkee77 Mouseketeer

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    Jumping on the wagon.....

    Ok, as some of you know, I'm new at the camping thing. :rolleyes1

    I bought an Ozark Trail 3-in-1 dome tent from Walmart. It's lightweight and easy for one person to set up. However, I think next time I'd get a cabin tent so it's easier to get in and out.

    So far, it's just been myself with a 7 and 5 year old. In the main tent, I used a queen size air mattress and there was still room for backpacks, etc.

    I had tested it in the backyard, it leaked, I dried it out, sealed it, it rained again, and it was fine. When we got to The Fort, there was a downpour and it leaked. However, this was most likely because the kids had shoved some stuff in the corner and was touching the sides of the tent.

    I used two Coleman ceiling fans (the ones that run on D batteries). That worked well enough to keep the air circulating (at The Fort in July) and kept the tent comfortable. Although, next time, I'm thinking I'll bring a portable AC.

    I have a First Up 10x10 canopy with screen walls (which needs to be water-proofed).
     
  7. BigDaddyRog

    BigDaddyRog <font color=red>Ask me about my cartoon pitch<br><

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    I definately prefer the cabin tents vs dome. I like to get dressed in a standing position.
    I have a 19x10 Magellan tent. I love its size when I have the family in there. It DOES NOT have a tub floor...which Im not crazy about. But it did just fine at the FT even during a couple of rainy days.
    I do have a portable A/C because Im to fat to sleep and sweat at the same time(that translates to "My wife would never have camped without A/C).
    We use blow up matresses. My Coleman matress doesnt lose a lick of air, the other is Targets brand...its raised and nice, but does require a middle of the night refill...not a big deal for me...when its low on air, I feel like Im in a hammock!!
    NOTE: Air matresses will sweat pretty badly if youre using an A/C. You'll never know its sweating till you put your feet on the floor!
    We use cheap screen houses that are on sale...I rarely spend more than $35-$40 for one...and dont expect a whole lot of life out of them. The bigger the better, and I usually use a tarp as flooring. I use a fan in the screen house, as well as a 2 burner stove and all the coolers,camp chairs,etc.
    I never use a tent for anything except sleep and changing clothes. If I wanna stay inside, I rent a hotel!
    I also use painter's plastic to cover ALL THE FREAKIN SAND at the Fort...I HATE THAT SAND!!!!
    The metal "nail like" spikes will usually penetrate even the hardest of ground, and I highly sugest purchasing these from walmart or someplace. Thei very inexpensive and worth every dime in the aggravation they can save you.
    I also bring a 13" television with dvd player to keep my kids company at night or during a rainyday. My laptop gets a healthy use if the TV doesnt make the trip.
     
  8. Rhonda

    Rhonda <marquee><font color=red>Quote of the Day: <font

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    Here is a dresser:
    [​IMG]

    Here is the mattress:
    [​IMG]

    (I can't figure out why the mattress won't show up. But if you click on it, you'll see it)
     
  9. djblu883

    djblu883 DIS Veteran

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    Rhonda>>> I use those in my camper for my canned goods and spices in different sizes...good things to have to keep things organized!!!
     
  10. OK GRUMPY

    OK GRUMPY <font color=darkcoral>And that is some useless chi

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    I have a Great Lakes dome tent with screen room attached. I sealed the seam and sprayed the tent and went down to FW in April it leaked! I was pretty disappointed in the tent but not ready to give up on it. So I called the manufacture and the were kind anough to sent me some patches. I set the tent up in my back yard so when it rained I could repair the leaks. Well it never rained and last week I went and took it tent camping and it didn't leak. I think what might have happend at FW was the tent was not pullled out far enough.
    I perfer the dome tentfor me they are easier and I like having a front & back door with windows on both sides and a rain fly that comes down & around the window at an angle. I had a Gander Mountain tent that lasted 15 years! Great Tent.
     
  11. clkelley

    clkelley <font color=purple>I squealed really loud!!<br><fo

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    I've got several tents.

    My big tent is a 13x13 L-Shaped Coleman Dome. I use it for me, myself, and I. I only set it up for extended trips at the Fort.

    I used a double high air mattress, and had a set of plastic drawers, a hang bar, a collapsible laundry basket, a small chair, a couple of bins for nightstands, and a portapotty inside.

    The other thing I like about the big Coleman is it has these small zippered air vents at the bottom in the inside corners (like mini doors). They are great for running electrical cords in and running the locking cable out to lock my footlocker to a tree.

    My smaller tents are the Wal-Mart 9x8 domes. I had three of them, one each for me and my boys during our Scout camping days. They also slept 1 person only, with a single height air mattress, and just a weekend's worth of clothes.

    I seam sealed each one thoroughly when they were new and spray the orange-lid stuff from Wal-Mart on all of them about every 6 months. (The big one only got it once a year, since I only used it once - twice a year).

    I use the EZ-Up type shelters, whoever had them the cheapest, at the entrance of the tent and only put chairs underneath. I didn't cook while tent camping at Disney, and when with Scouts, the troop has full camp kitchens and the SMs did all the cooking for the adult patrol.

    I chose the dome style cause even with the great big one, I can set it up by myself.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. VACAMPER

    VACAMPER <font color=blue>We make the kids walk and strap b

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    You guys make these tents into little homes. If we tent camp its just a bunch of sleeping bags thrown around everywhere.
     
  13. GOBA Mom Lynn

    GOBA Mom Lynn Mouseketeer

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    Well, we have been using a Northwest Territory Simpson Bay tent from KMart the last 2 years. It is 12x17 and includes a screened in porch area that does not have a floor. It is a low (+/-5'5" at peak) dome style. It has worked well for us on our bike trips with 5 people. It is advertised as sleeping 6-7, but they would have to be stacked like sardines! We could comfortably fit 2 queen sized air mattresses, then there was just enough room for DS to sleep on a backpacking pad in between. The footprint of the tent is not rectangular, which makes it harder to fit, but having the screened area was just right for us to put all our luggage in. If it was going to rain, we just covered the bags with a tarp. For our trip to FW it will just be the 2 of us, so it will be plenty big enough. We will use a 10'x10' "easy up" canopy as well.
     
  14. TheGreatGonzo

    TheGreatGonzo Mouseketeer

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    Remember this rule of thumb: Take the number of people the tent says it will sleep and divide by 2. I think they only allow about 20 to 24 inches per person when they calculate this.
    I have a Eureka Sunrise 11 which you can see here: http://www.eurekatent.com/filterTool.aspx?cID=6
    It's about half way down the page. I've had it for about 10 years and have never had any problems with it. I use it about 5 or 6 times a year on Scout trips. I water proof it at the start of every season. The rain fly is large and covers the windows so I can keep them open unless the rain is blowing hard. I use a Slumberjack XL military style cot in it with an inflatable sleeping pad for a matress. I put the little coasters made to protect wood floors from being scratched under the legs to protect the floor. I usually use the tent alone so I have plenty of room for a chair, small table and other amenities in the tent too.
    I always pull the PUP to the Fort though. I'm on Vacation and want a little more comfort.
     
  15. Tent Camping Mom

    Tent Camping Mom <font color=blue>Sleeping Under the Stars<br><font

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    1) What brand/model tent do you have?
    Several but our largest Family Tent is the Eureka Copper Canyon 1512.
    (I'll base the rest of my answers on this tent)


    2) What size?
    15 x 12

    3) Cabin or dome and why you prefer one or the other.
    Cabin because we have more room for standing up and getting dressed.

    4) How many in your family?
    3

    5) Do you use cots, air mattreses, sleeping pads, bags, etc and
    how many can you fit in your tent and would there be room to spare?

    Air mattresses fitted with sheets and sleeping bags as our blankets (since
    these stay with all our camping gear anyway). We have 3 Twin XL that fits
    with walking space around every bed and probably enough room to fit 2 more
    with walking space around top and bottom. We originally had a Queen for DH
    and I, and a Twin for DS. But after the first night, every time DH would
    rollover, I would flop out! Next day, I went and bought us separate Twins.
    They are great! We purchased the Ozark Trails cheapos from Walmart last
    year. DS uses them for sleepovers too and not a one has sprung a leak.
    Here it is:

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5079291

    6) Did you seam seal or dry coat it and did it keep you dry?
    Yes, always! We seam seal about once a year and always use a dry coat
    for every trip. Haven't been through a major storm with this
    particular tent but did stay dry last Memorial Day when we had a constant
    sprinkling all day long.


    7) Do you use a fan, a/c or heater and how is it set up?
    Fan and heater. I have a small oscillating fan with auto-off on tip-over
    and also the heater has an auto-off on tip-over with a thermostat. The fan
    stays at DS's corner the heater stays at my corner. (We have been known to
    use them simultaneously) :laughing: .
    NOTE: Definitely get an auto-off on-tip over and a thermostat with your
    heater for safety purposes.


    8) Do you use a screen room and what brand and size?
    Yes, Eagle's Peak 15 x 15. I like it because it has two "closets." We
    purchased it at Sam's on sale a few years ago.
     
  16. mamaloya

    mamaloya <font color=blue>Blows hard and hot and boils us<b

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    Exactly what I was looking for. Let's keep this up and hopefully new tenters coming here can find this topic and get some info. If you have any other tips for newbies to camping, go ahead and add them as well.
     
  17. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    I haven't yet been to FW, or even WDW, but we like camping. After a bad, hunched over experience with a 2 person tent and 2 people in it, we decided that we would always get much bigger than the camping industry thinks we need. :)

    So with me and DH and our 4 year old, we have a Coleman Montana 7 person tent. :goodvibes We have not sealed it, and it has done fine in the Pac NW summer rains. We make sure nothing touches the sides, and we're sure to use tarps underneath that don't stick out from under the tent, b/c that can pull the water underneath the tent to soak up.

    We used ThermaRest-style sleeping pads before, rented from REI, but when it came time to buy them, it was just too expensive. I found a King sized Coleman brand "quickbed" with airpump combo for under $50 including shipping, so we bought that. At the same time we had the bad tent experience, we had a bad Aerobed experience where we froze all night long. Finally realized (from reading here) that it was b/c we didn't have any sort of insulation under the bed or between us and the bed. So when the air inside got cold, so did we. It was possibly worse than waking at 3am on a waterbed when the power has been out for hours. BRR.

    So last weekend we put fleece sleeping bag liners on the mattress, and put the sleeping bags (zipped open and together) on top of us while sleeping, and we were fine. :goodvibes
     
  18. westjones

    westjones <font color=blue>Mother of Two <font color=deeppin

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    Thanks! We need to look into those doubled up type air mattresses. We always had the regular ones (that was 7 years ago when we last tent camped). This looks much more comfortable.

    DJ
     
  19. Murrlene

    Murrlene Earning My Ears

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    Thank You, Thank you, Thank You for this thread.

    We have come in a pop up and in tents, and it looks like next year will be a tent and we are shopping now for one. We have had Dome tents and we are big people and need that extra room to stand up and such so we have been looking at Cabin Tents.

    The last time we came down to the Fort we left our tent there in the garbage. It was horible. Of course the door we wanted to use kept getting stuck in the zipper, But, My hubby hooked up a small air conditioner in the other door and then taped around it. Let me tell you we kept cool, good to sleep with.

    We use 2 queen mattresses (Walmart) we each sleep with a kid. So we are pretty comfortable. We usually each have a laundry basket to keep organized but I love the idea of the dresser.

    We also use a first up screen tent. I place the picnic table and a extra folding table in there so I can use the crock pot, toaster, and Microwave. We slide the big cooler under neath it. This time we have decided since we are not gonna do the dinning plan we are gonna bring down the smoker. I have been looking at grabbing a little frig. since they should be on sale now for dorms, does anyone use one while tent camping???

    I love all the info, I am such a big lurker because these people with all these beautiful campers. One day, we will go back to a camper. But tenting is sometimes just more convient for us. My hubby races at our local raceway and then this way we can haul the car and bring the camping gear all together.

    Thanks again.:cool1: :cool1: :cool1:
     
  20. mamaloya

    mamaloya <font color=blue>Blows hard and hot and boils us<b

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    I have decided on which tent to get. I am going with the Coleman Tucana 16x10. It is as Target. http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=9277-161&categoryid=11020
    [​IMG]
    It is not a full cabin, but taller and roomier than a real dome. We alrady have a Coleman Mountaineer Dome 8x8. We love that it has the tub floor. I like the Copper Canyon 1512, but want a tub floor.

    I just bought an Ozark Trail 15x13 screen room from walmart for $40. We already have air mattresses and will pull the plastic drawers from my camper. Most of the stuff in the camper can be used tenting as well.
     
  21. mamaloya

    mamaloya <font color=blue>Blows hard and hot and boils us<b

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    Hey, I posted a pic. I have never done that before. I didn't know that I could. Yay me!!!
     

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