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Index : Camping Information and Tent Reviews : Cabanon Stratos - by Markcrook

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Cabanon Stratos

Cabanons latest trailer tent is a modern looking dome, with integrated/zipped in ground sheet which uses only 3 poles. It comes in a standard version, the L without a kitchen, or the DL with kitchen. It comes with the option of a brake and storage box for the trailer and also an additional sun canopy for the awning.

We collected our Cabanon Stratos trailer tent at the beginning of April 2006, after a slight hitch (forgive the pun) – none of the electrics worked on our newly installed tow bar, they were fixed the same day but it meant that we didn’t get the TT until a day later than planned. Casey’s Camping near Chester gave a full demonstration of how to erect and then pack away the trailer then ran through and gave some useful tips on how to erect the awning.

We had the L model (without the kitchen) and without a brake – we have all our camping equipment including stove etc from our days in a tent.

Towing

Having never towed before I was slightly anxious about how it would feel and what difference it would make to the cars performance. But I needn’t of worried – after a few minutes I practically forgot it was there and had a shock a couple of times, when catching a glimpse, in the rear view mirror, of this large green thing tail gaiting me.

The only time I have really been aware of it was when trying to do hill starts while going over some of the passes in Snowdonia and needing to rev a bit harder to pull away.

The trailer is stable, doesn’t bounce around much or appear to sway with the wind or at speed.


Pitching

The instructions provided by Cabanon are concise and simple to follow but don’t include details of how to erect the Stratos awning – just the frame style awnings. Though, after an email to Cabanon and a quick response, we had some very good instructions including some clear photographs.

The trailer is simple to erect – first remove the tarp cover, light board and the awning canvas (which is stored flat on top), and seat cushions. Then level the trailer and drop and secure the four corner supports, open up the frame with the canvas attached and then slide the frame to its full height (at this point you can either pull the canvas down or leave it up while you open up the beds). Adjust the leg supports on the beds, clip up the bedrooms and roof lining and peg it all out including the two rear guys.

This takes two of us about 10 minutes to get it fully erect and pegged out and is very straight forwards.

Now lay out the ground sheet and attach it to the trailer with the two buttons (like on a duffel coat!) on each corner, the ground sheet then gets pegged out starting with the corners (tip - don’t peg it to tight). Then the two hoped poles with feet are joined together, these are linked with shock cord, and then laid on the ground sheet – the instructions recommend that these are laid the same way but it is easier to put them in if one hoop faces the trailer and the other outwards.

Next lay out the awning over the ground sheet and hoops and start to zip it to the trailer – at this point we have found it easier if you also attach the zips to the ground sheet and zip those around a few centimetres, then continue to zip it all the way up to the top of the trailer (may be difficult for the vertically challenged! But you can stand in the foot well) this is done from underneath the awning. Then zip the awning to the ground sheet.

Assemble the last hoop (but not the spiked feet) and thread it through the sheath in the porch ensuring that the ties are either side of the pole and then attach the spiked feet and then loosely guy it with the central webbing strap.

Then go inside the awning and zip the two hoops (the one nearest the trailer first) into their sheaths while walking them into position.

Back outside and peg it all out – easy! It takes us about an hour from arriving on site to sitting down and having a cup of tea (or a beer!) and being fully sorted.

Living in it!

The Stratos provides first class accommodation; the bedrooms have plenty of room even with two adults in and the foam mattresses are suitably thick and comfortable, there is plenty of headroom, there are also windows/vents that open into the awning (or outside if you don’t erect the awning). There are seat cushions all around the outside of the foot well of the trailer which cover ample storage lockers and two reasonably sized draws at the back of the trailer. While stood in the foot well there is ample head room.

At the back of the trailer there is a large vented window with fly screen and privacy flap. It also has vents that can be pegged out on either side of the bedrooms so plenty of ventilation if required.

The trailer and beds feel very stable and solid with no movement once put up.

The awning is spacious and light, thanks to its light coloured ground sheet and three large widows. The windows all have built in fly screens and fold down, zipped privacy flaps which tuck into pouches at the bottom when opened – and no curtains! The front wall of the awning can also be completely folded back.

The awning has plenty of room for chairs, table, kitchen (or stove) and still does not feel claustrophobic with four adults sat around on a wet day. The built in ground sheet provides additional protection from the worst of the weather. But there is plenty of opportunity to open it all up to cool down. Next to the door flap there is a small zipped flap for EHU cable.

The porch is fantastic (we have cut a piece of ecomat to fit in here) and use this space for cooking as it is sheltered from the wind – in fact it is a sun trap.

We also use the under bed areas for storage, a surf board and mountain board under one side and an under bed tent is used for clothes and bags etc. under the other.

When packed up all our camping equipment goes into the trailer (except the cold box and a box of food which go in the boot to be re-stocked) this includes the stove, folding picnic table, gas cylinders the list goes on and on – but we can get it all in, in either the foot well or the storage lockers.

As you would expect from Cabanon the quality of the fabrics and materials used is very high and the manufacturing is first class. The cotton canvas is very thick (and heavy) so provides some insulation against the elements, and there were no signs of leaks, it also dried very quickly despite a good soaking. It is very stable in the wind, we all felt very secure sleeping in it and it was much warmer than sleeping on the ground.
 

Cabanon Stratos

 

 

Cabanon Stratos

 

 

Cabanon Stratos

 

 

Cabanon Stratos

 

 

Cabanon Stratos

Overall

The Stratos is a fantastic new concept in the trailer tent market with its revolutionary new design and fitted ground sheet; it looks great in the blue and beige colour scheme and provides superb accommodation. It is straight forwards and easy to pitch, though it is a two person job.

It is well put together and made of top quality materials and fabrics and therefore should have a good resale value in the future. We have also had excellent customer support from Cabanon.

The down side – we can no longer put a car in the garage as that is where the TT lives, we had to change our ferry to France as we are too long to go on speed ferries! And you have to think carefully if stopping off somewhere on the way to and from a site as parking can be a problem with a trailer.

We bought our Stratos on a spur of the moment decision after seeing it on display and falling in love with the concept and design and have not regretted it for a minute.

Where can I get one from?

You can find out more about the Cabanon Stratus and the available dealers from their website


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Index : Camping Information and Tent Reviews : Cabanon Stratos - by Markcrook



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