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Index : Camping Information and Tent Reviews : Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth Tent - by langleys

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Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth Tent

The Sunncamp Marathon is a very large and very stable dome. It isnít the easiest of tents to erect, but with a bit of practise, you should be able to have this fully erected and pegged out in about 80 minutes. It has a fully sewn-in-groundsheet and comfortable sleeping arrangements for 16 people. There is an EHU entry point on each side.

The Tent itself arrived in 2 bags, both fairly heavy, weighing just under 50KG in total. One was the fabric and the other the poles.

I wasnít that impressed with the bags, as the compression strap snapped as I was opening it. It made me wonder if the tent was going to be bad luck for me.

But upon opening the rest of it, everything seemed to be in order and the tent felt like it was made of a good quality material. When I looked at the number of pegs that came with it, I knew there was going to be quite a bit of work to do ( over 100 pegs ).

Pitching

To be able to pitch this tent properly, you will need an area of grass at least 10metres by 9metres. This includes space for pegging down the guy ropes.

Unpack the tent and separate the inner and flysheet. Put the flysheet to one side.

Begin by unfolding the inner tent and laying it out on the grass ( make a note of how it was folded ). Make sure it is the correct way round. The front of the tent has a porch groundsheet attached to it (Fig. 1).

Once the inner is laid out, make sure the zips are closed and then begin pegging it out. First do the front left pegging point ( just to the left of the porch groundsheet ), and then pull the front fairly taught and peg out the right side ( donít put too much stress on it because it can rip ). Now go round to the back of the tent and do the same there with the 2 pegging points. Make sure it is pulled fairly taught in all directions, but not over stressed.

You can now begin pegging down the bedroom pods. Make sure you straighten these out as you peg each point otherwise the groundsheet will not be flat after the tent is erected. Obviously, you can always make small adjustments after. You can then peg down any additional points now you have the inner tent to the correct shape.

Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

 

Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

 

 

Fig.1 Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

Fig. 2 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

 

Fig. 3 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

 

Fig. 4 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

 

Fig 5 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

 

Fig. 7 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

Once the inner tent is pegged down you can insert the poles. There are 3 straight poles for the living area part of the tent and 1 shaped pole for each bedroom pod. The poles are elasticated and just snap together. Out the 3 straight poles, one is longer that the others. This goes across the tent from left to right. The other 2 shorter poles go diagonally over the tent. The poles are colour coded, as are the sheathes they go into. Put all the poles in place. For the 3 straight poles, make sure they go through the loop in the centre of the tent (Fig. 2). I didnít notice this on my first attempt, and the tent will sag in the middle if you donít. Then you have to take the whole tent down again and slide out the poles to do it correctly. It is optional whether you put the bedroom pod poles in at this point, but I always do.

Now the poles are in place, get someone to go inside and lift the centre as high as they can above their head (Fig. 3). You can now go round and put the poles into the ring and pin system. As soon as you have connected a couple of poles, the person holding the tent will no longer be able to reach it ( Unless they are over 7feet tall ) so can let go. All the straight poles go onto the middle pin of the ring and pin system. If you didnít put the bedroom poles in then do it now. At the front and back, the bedroom poles connect to the outside pins of the ring and pin system. The inner tent is now erected. This whole process usually takes me around 20 minutes. You can now go into the tent and make sure the sewn-in-groundsheet is flat. If not, now is the time to make a few adjustments to the poles. The bedroom pods especially need checking.

It is now time to put the flysheet on. This is best done from the side of the tent. Doing it from the front or back is very difficult unless you are both over 7feet tall. It does require 2 people to do this.

Unfold the flysheet and make sure it is the correct way round ( porch at the front ). From the side lift it over 2 of the bedroom pods and then the 2 of you just walk to the other side whilst holding onto it (Fig. 4). Once you get to the other side, the flysheet is on. If you walk underneath the flysheet you will see small straps that can be tied onto the poles. I replaced all my straps with Velcro to make it easier and quicker to attach to the poles.

At the bottom of the flysheet, there are valances that tuck under the inner tent and can then be pegged down. The porch poles can then be inserted and put onto the ring and pin system. All that is left is to peg any remaining pegging points down and the guy ropes. Be aware, that in total there are 102 pegging points for the whole of the tent. To get this far, usually takes me between 70 and 80 minutes. Most of which is pegging down.

You can now start putting any beds and appliances into your tent and enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Now it's up!

The Marathon is truly massive. It is the biggest dome tent I have ever seen. You can comfortably sleep 4 people in each pod (Fig. 5) and there is enough room in the living area for a 3-piece suite, and you would still get a table in there and have room to walk around. You can stand up in any part of the tent and in the main living area, even with you hands above you head, it is a struggle to touch the top. For some people, it may be very difficult to reach and open the sunlight window in the roof. The floor plan on the left shows the dimensions of the tent (Fig. 7). Unfortunately, the bedrooms are fixed, so there is no variation you can do with the pods, but with so much living space, who would want to.

How it Handles!

The tent itself is a pleasure to stay in. It was definitely worth all the work of putting it up. It is pretty bright inside and the space is fabulous. I have been in it a couple of times when there have been really strong storms and it was hardly affected at all. Considering how big it is, I was expecting the wind to have a big impact on it, but in-fact, it handled a lot better than a lot of smaller tents I have owned.

All the doors have mesh on them. You can either have the doors solid or see-through, and still keep all the bugs out.

The porch is absolutely massive, we have our camp kitchen in there, a bin, and also a toilet tent. There is still room to walk around and get by.

 

Problems and Quality!

In the year I have had the tent, I did have a couple of problems. These seemed to be manufacturing faults. First of all, after a couple of weeks the material started to fray around the zips. This was repaired under warranty. Straight from delivery, a compression strap clip snapped and 2 of the guy ropes had the luminous cover peeling off. After these were rectified, I had no further problems.

Putting it all away!

The first time I attempted to put this tent away, it took me in excess of 4 hours. Most of this was working out how to get it back in the bag. I finally developed a method, and now I can put it away without too much trouble.

First of all remove the porch poles and all the pegs and untie all the straps that are underneath the flysheet connecting it to the poles. Then walk the flysheet off and put it to one side. Do this carefully just in case you have left any pegs in. You can now carefully remove the poles from the ring and pin system and once the tent is on the floor, you can slide them out and put them away. The poles simply pull apart as they are on elastic. Now remove all the pegs from the inner tent and put them away. The inner tent and flysheet need to be folded a specific way to get them back into the bag.

Fold all the pods and attached porch groundsheet inwards (Fig. 8). Then fold it at each side to make it into a sort of square shape (Fig. 9). It can then be folded 2 or 3 times until it is about 75cm in width ( Fig. 10). Then fold the flysheet exactly the same way ( Fig. 11).

When you have got to this stage then put the inner tent on top of the flysheet and fold it at alternate ends squeezing the air out of it each time. This will be the right size to go into the bag (Fig. 12). You can now do up the compression straps, but donít do them too tight as the plastic clips really are not that strong.

Conclusion

I was very impressed with the tent. It handles the weather very well and is a pleasure to be in. It is fairly bright inside.

It is not really a short stay tent or for people that have to erect it on their own. It is especially difficult to erect if you are very short but can be done.

There are lots of storage pockets both in the living area and in the bedrooms, and the porch can easily act as a utility tent. If you really wanted to, you could have the porch at the back and use it as a utility room, as there is another door that you can enter and exit from.

I did have initial problems with the quality of the tent, but hopefully that was just a one-off. I have not had any problems since. Even in severe storms, it didnít even seem like it was going to have problems and we all stayed completely dry.

There is plenty of space in the tent for anyoneís home comforts and a lot to spare as well. I have never struggled to find a pitch to put this on, but I would imagine that you would be restricted to some extent on sites, as the tent is extremely large and really needs 100 square metres to be pitched properly.

Fig. 8 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

Fig. 9 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

Fig. 10 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

Fig. 11 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

Fig. 12 - Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth tent

Where Can I get them From?

You'll find big discounts on all Sunncamp tents here


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Index : Camping Information and Tent Reviews : Sunncamp Marathon 16 Berth Tent - by langleys



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