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Subject Topic: Advice Needed! Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by wannabejclassnomad on 21/9/2017 at 8:50pm
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Next year I’m planning a 3-4 week overland trip. I’ll be in a Fiat Panda 4x4 and the route will be mostly surfaced roads, but is also likely to include some rough and unsurfaced sections.

We’re regular car-touring campers in a 2-seater convertible, so used to travelling light and making use of every last bit of space and every Kg. So we could just take our normal touring gear. But:

• We’ll be doing a lot of miles, moving on every day. So we need very quick pitch/strike.
• There will be three of us (not two) so we’d need extra gear and possibly a second tent.
• We may not always have the luxury of a ‘proper’ campsite, and there may be some wild camping and probably some quite rough ground.
• We’re around 60ish, so standing room for dressing etc, and decent protection from the elements (incl. insects) whilst eating and socialising are important.

So, I’m looking at other options, with the current front-runner being a small quick-setup trailer tent like the Combi Camp. (The ones that fold open front-back not at the side). They also benefit from better canvas than typical modern polyester tents, so will be better suited to the likely range of temperatures.

Does anybody have experience of trailer tents on rough roads? Are they likely to fall apart from the vibration?

Any thoughts on the suitability of a 1.2L Panda being able to haul a 400Kg trailer tent? (It’s a pretty tough go-anywhere little thing).

Any comments or suggestions, including possible alternatives (such as lightweight roof tents, rugged ground tents, etc) would be most welcome.

Final point – the budget is low! I’d be hoping to pick-up a cheap but adequate trailer tent on ebay for £2-300.

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Message posted by blackrex on 21/9/2017 at 9:17pm
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A combi camp will not be suitable for your trip due to the fact that it only has 400x8 wheels and requires fairly level ground when pitching. Fitting larger wheels is not possible. Hope this info helps.

Message posted by Claydoncamper on 21/9/2017 at 10:45pm
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I would imagine that something in your price range will need to be treated carefully and rough roads aren't going to help it survive. I'd say you want something you don't have to tow.

Message posted by Kelper on 22/9/2017 at 5:58pm
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The Australian market offers some rough terrain trailers ... but that's probably an expensive option!

However, see here; Here;
and here ...

Message posted by phathamster on 22/9/2017 at 6:11pm
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Maybe knock up a basic teardrop trailer?


Failing that what about just taking a Quechua popup tent? A base second as living and little 3 man for sleeping?

Message posted by wannabejclassnomad on 22/9/2017 at 7:14pm
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Thanks blackrex and claydoncamper for your comments. I do agree, small wheels are a potential liability off the black stuff and avoiding towing at all would have many advantages.

Kelper, those off-road trailers are amazing, but are definitely out of budget, and most look like they’d probably weigh more than my tow-car!

Phathamster, Teardrop’s are cool, but for this trip would have all the disadvantages of a trailer tent (except maybe wheel size) without the advantages of height and space. Popup tents chucked into a roofbox are definitely one of the options being considered though. Thanks.

But I haven’t given up on the Combi Camp just yet. There are some worthwhile benefits if (with a bit of planning and maybe adaptation) it can be made to work. The UK website has a nice brochure showing a 4x4 with Combi Camp in tow, powering through a river crossing, and (on P5) the text “Many experiences begin where the gravel road begins; where there are stones in the road and the puddles grow larger”. http://www.combicamp.co.uk/files/Combi-Camp_2009_low-res_UK.pdf

On the .com Combi-Camp website I found a report of a tour of Iceland in 2014, with a Combi Camp trailer towed by a Hyundai Tucson 4x4 https://combicamp.com/downloads/reisverslag/ (you’ll need to do a page translate).

The videos at the bottom of the webpage show some off-road action, including pretty rough river crossings. I’ve emailed the author with a few questions on the setup, problems, suggestions, etc.

My confidence of a reply isn’t super high (but will share anything that comes through), so would appreciate any further comments and suggestions from the many knowledgeable contributors on this forum.

Many thanks.

Message posted by nicolaburns on 23/9/2017 at 5:25pm
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I think the Camplet Savanne is designed for off road use but does open up with the beds either side, not the way you describe the combi camp opening. Probably out of your price range but maybe worth a look if there are older models available.

Message posted by SGThomas on 23/9/2017 at 5:45pm
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Have a look at the Holtkamper Flyer... large wheeled off road versions are available. Easy to erect,lightweight, fantastic canvas.
Secondhand units, even 10 - 15 years old are very good value.
Look on the Dutch Marktplaats or contact Jelle Holtkamper at the factory. He speaks very good English and has done a lot of off roading in Iceland with the trailer tent.

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Stuart
April-July 2018   Somewhere in France
August-October 2018 Somewhere else in France

Message posted by Rob and Tina on 23/9/2017 at 6:02pm
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The Holtkamper would be ideal Stuart but the OP has a budget of £300.

Rob

Message posted by SGThomas on 23/9/2017 at 6:29pm
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oops I read that as £2,300

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Message posted by navver on 24/9/2017 at 8:49pm
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Have a look at a rear entry Dandy, dart, Delta or Designer in newer ones or 4, 4/5 or 5 on older ones.

Bullet proof, mini wheels and braked, veeery important for a small car.

pitch on uneven ground, very wind and water proof. Insulated PVC not canvas so warm in winter and cool in summer and can be packed away wet and left wet for a long time. Also the inside stays dry while packing away in the rain.

Like these http://www.rivadandysales.co.uk/category/campers-for-sale/page/2/

There is a 1990 Designer there

Alternatively look on ebay or preloved etc

A delta here on ebay would be ideal

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dandy-delta-trailer-folding-camper-/292268064608?hash=it........

Post last edited on 24/09/2017 20:53:29

Message posted by wannabejclassnomad on 25/9/2017 at 12:54pm
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions of ruggedized trailer tents - out of my price range for this trip unfortunately.

Navver, the Dandy looks good, and they can definitely be picked up at a price that works for me. I'll keep an eye on the one on ebay. Thanks.

Dandy's look like they have interior space and uneven ground advantages over the Combi Camp, though the Combi Camp looks like it can be ready to use in around a minute; perfect for the way I'd expect to use it during this trip.

I did get a reply regarding the Iceland off-road trip mentioned above. The model used was a Combi Camp Venezia with 10" wheels. There were no problems on the trip, including the rough stuff and river crossings. However he recommends 14" wheels for really rough ground, and waterproof bearings if a lot of river crossings are envisaged (which they aren't).

I think my conclusion from all of this is that a pretty standard trailer tent (if chosen and maybe adapted carefully) is going to be up to the job and I can get one within budget.

The deciding factors now (as compared to just taking regular camping gear in a topbox) are back to the usual towing issues; speed restrictions, less convenient in towns, etc, and balancing all these against the benefits.

All your input much appreciated!


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