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Subject Topic: Why should I Upgrade to a Trailer Tent? Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by acesup150430/7/2013 at 8:47am
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I sure its been asked plenty of times.

But after 2 years of "normal" camping, I have often cast an envious eye over to the trailer tents.

So what do i need to look for plus and minus in the second hand market.

Any advice that can be offered towards helping a possible purchase would be most hopeful


Message posted by Funky30/7/2013 at 9:19am
Outfit:  Sunncamp 400s Trailer Tent     Location:  Harrold Bedford
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We have just gone the trailer tent route after decades of tenting, caravanning and motor homing. The reason is that I have had to give up driving and my wife isn't comfortable either towing a caravan or driving a motorhome. She drove our new to us TT 100 miles back home last weekend with out Focus and had no problem.

As for pitching. The guy e bought it off showed us ho to do it and since then we have done it twice in the yard. Slow but sure at the moment. about 25 minutes trailer only. We haven't attempted the awning yet apart from sussing out the frame.

All in all, I think it will prove to be a good comprimise

TT's seem to be selling at very reasonable prices on Ebay at the mo I paid 454 for mine and it's like new

Message posted by aahbarnes30/7/2013 at 9:47am
Outfit:  Sunncamp 350se 2009.     Location:  Wirral
Joined: 10/7/2006
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We've had a tent and a caravan, now we've got a trailer tent for this season.

There are bargains to be had, it seems many people buy a new trailer tent, use it a few times, decide it's not for them and then it goes on ebay. We got a 2009 Sunncamp, bought new for over 3k, use 3 times, for 600 quid.

First time took us about an hour and a half to get it up. Now after 3 camps we've got it down to 45 mins.

The advantage is you're up off the ground to sleep, on a decent bed, although our mattresses are very thin and need sorting. The canvas fabric breathes properly so you don't get that damp feeling.


Message posted by Funky30/7/2013 at 11:27am
Outfit:  Sunncamp 400s Trailer Tent     Location:  Harrold Bedford
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Same as above Mine is a sunncamp 400s. 2009 and been used twice. Cheap as chips at the moment. If you buy new and you don't like it, you will lose loads when you come to sell. However buy good and cheap you can afford to sell cheap.

Message posted by acesup150430/7/2013 at 11:32am
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Cheers for the replies.

So what should i be on the lookout for make wise? Something that will hold 4-6 people ( 4 adults and 2 kids max), but most probably 2 adults and kids


What pitfalls should i keep an eye for? What makes a good trailer tent condition wise?

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Message posted by NickH30/7/2013 at 1:03pm
Outfit:  Bailey Unicorn Valencia S3     Location:  North Surrey
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Make sure you fully inspect it.
Check the canvas, make sure there are no tares or mould, make sure all the poles are there.
Check for signs of rust on the trailer, check tyre conditions, etc.
Ask buy face to face why they are selling, easier to lie when writing, but not so f2f.
Ask for a full demo.
Do you want a braked trailer - can carry more weight and helps in heavier braking should the need arise.

We have a Raclet Safari (2013 model) and very happy with it, sleeps 6-8.

-------------
Nick

2017
April - New Forest(9)
May - Dorset (9)
August - Camping Le Pin Parasol, Vendee (18)
October - East Mersea (8)
and five nights in the one man tent!


Message posted by paulyk7431/7/2013 at 11:23pm
Outfit:  Raclet Globetrotter     Location:  Mancunia
Joined: 27/4/2013
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Do not go and check TT in the rain, you want full demo so expect to see the unit packed up when you get there. Ask for demo, as you want to see if you can manage it and all works.

Check the canvas for repairs/wear and mold stains. Use your nose and have a good whiff you can smell damp from a mile off. Check all poles for kinks or repairs, check underneath and check the wheels/bearings for play if you can (more so on older units).

Ask if they've ever waterproofed it, canvas is naturally waterproof so if its been done, then its a job that's a b4ll ache and you will have to keep up with it, so personally I would avoid one thats been waterproofed.

Check the mattresses and bed boards for mold staining, check ALL seams and zips to make sure they are intact. If it has a kitchen on-board, ask to see it working, take your own gas bottle if needs be - i took the one from our bbq and worked perfectly (let it cool down before you pack away).

Check the corner steadies are sturdy and wind up and down properly and that's all i can think of. Sounds a lot but you can do all that really quickly, any genuine sellers won't mind giving a demo, but the weather at the minute is your worst enemy.

As for make and model, then that's more of a personal thing, I LOVE our Trigano unit as it has great head height, I went to see a Sunncamp and felt it was not high enough for me at 6ft 2". The colour of the canvas was important to me, I found some of the older raclets and sunncamps really dark.

Good luck with your search, there is no rush to buy one so visit some dealers, then go look for private sale, you will save a fortune.

If your kids are at the younger age, then underbed pup tents are great, if they are in their teenage years, they may find them a squeeze so go for one with a larger awning where they can sleep (or annex) and try and find one with a front box included, they are invaluable, but expensive to buy separately.

Pauly

-------------
As a child my families menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.

Message posted by acesup150402/8/2013 at 9:20am
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Thanks for replies.

Looking around 400-500. Is that enough to drive away with a decent one or do i need a bigger budget?

Message posted by Valk_scot02/8/2013 at 9:33am
Outfit:  Conway Camargue Lots of Vangos. .      Location:  Scotland.
Joined: 19/6/2004
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If I was selling my old but very good condition Conway Camargue (I'm not, but if) I'd only be expecting about 250 for it because it is very faded and has a few marks. Yet it's still got 5-10 more years of life in it, the canvas has been taken care of, the trailer body has been maintained with servicing and new tyres, it's got brakes and every extra ever made for it, from sun canopy to the tablecloth that matches the curtains, lol. It would make a fabulous starter TT for anyone but as it's old I wouldn't be expecting 500 for it, not by a long way.

So for 500 I'd be expecting the same but newer. Look for the top names like Cabanon, Conway, Trigano, Raclet etc, the Sunncamps are good but they were made to a lower price point and though they're absolutely fine when new they won't last as long as the canvas isn't quite the same quality. It's a great time to be looking for a TT btw, they're half the price at the end of the summer compared to what they were in May.

My 6'2" rugby prop son still sleeps in a Conway undertent btw, they fit one adult or two small children.

Message posted by mattsurf02/8/2013 at 2:17pm
Outfit:  Sunncamp 550se     Location:  Wiltshire
Joined: 13/6/2006
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At the moment, 500 will go a long way. You will get a really nice trailer tent with a "frame tent" awning. Most new TT have either a quick errect awning or a dome tent awning - the advantage is that they are quicker to put up and usually have a Zip in Ground Sheet (ZIG). With Older style Trailer Tents the Awning is a big frame, that you errect first, then pull the canvas over the top, this takes a bit more time, however, once up will be just as good as a new tent. The big disadvantage of older TT is the lack of ZIG, this does make the awning much more useable, less prone to dust or groundwater coming up through saturated ground

As per previous post, older style tents are now absolute bargains. Do not let seller fob you off. Sunncamps are perceived to be worse quality, as a result they are much better value - a 2009 Sunncamp 400 will probably be within your budget. or you could buy a 2006/07 Cabanon or Conway. Having owned a Cabanon and currently have a Sunncamp 550SE, just go with condition, Sunncamps are fine, whilst certainly slightly lower quality, the difference is not that big.

Make sure that you are getting a TT with kitchen attached to the back, this is one of the biggest advanages of a TT, why anyone wants to buy a TT without attached cooker is beyond me


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Message posted by NickH02/8/2013 at 2:37pm
Outfit:  Bailey Unicorn Valencia S3     Location:  North Surrey
Joined: 07/6/2010
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Have to agree with Matt on the kitchen. Ours now stays fully loaded with everything and all we do is unhoock and away we go, no need to build anything, unpack anything or organise anything and we have running water which is a bonus to wash hands etc whilst cooking. Ours is designed also so if you are doing long journeys you can use the kitchen with it attached to the back of the trailer, just lift up a bit of the transit cover

-------------
Nick

2017
April - New Forest(9)
May - Dorset (9)
August - Camping Le Pin Parasol, Vendee (18)
October - East Mersea (8)
and five nights in the one man tent!


Message posted by acesup150402/8/2013 at 3:14pm
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Cheers for the continued replies.

A Zip in ground sheet would be great. Any models I should keep an eye out for?

Message posted by NickH02/8/2013 at 3:27pm
Outfit:  Bailey Unicorn Valencia S3     Location:  North Surrey
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One of the reasons we chose the Raclet Safari was because of the ZIG. Also the sprung slatted king size beds, with nice foam mattresses and the shear size of it (5m wide). Not sure of the SH market though as we bought ours new - we spent about 6 months researching and in the end knew this was the one for us for keeps and has been true so far

-------------
Nick

2017
April - New Forest(9)
May - Dorset (9)
August - Camping Le Pin Parasol, Vendee (18)
October - East Mersea (8)
and five nights in the one man tent!


Message posted by Valk_scot02/8/2013 at 4:46pm
Outfit:  Conway Camargue Lots of Vangos. .      Location:  Scotland.
Joined: 19/6/2004
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I don't actually use the groundsheet over the entire awning so a ZIG would be wasted on me. I dislike having groundsheet in the cooking area, it gets slippy and greasy in my experience. I fold the groundsheet back to give a clear area of grass in the front half of the awning. The only time a ZIG would have made any difference to me on wet ground I was packing up at top speed before the rising water undercut the legs and wheels of the trailer!

With older modular TTs you have the option of putting up just the cabin section for overnight stops or, depending on the model, the standard awning, the awning + extension section awning, all of the above + sun canopy or cabin + sun canopy. Some models have movable front walls too. A modular setup also means you can dry off wet canvas inside as it breaks down into sections small enough to handle, I've got the cabin canvas of my Camargue drying off over the stairwell as I write. With many other designs of TT you have to dry the canvas by erecting the TT or taking the whole canvas of in one piece.

Also watch out for the pack-up method, if you have a TT that folds the canvas down onto the beds before the beds fold into the trailer you run the risk of wet canvas making the beds wet, even with wet pack-up sheets. With other models the beds fold in first then the canvas folds down onto the back of the beds, this keeps them separate.

Models where the kitchen swings out on a hinge from the trailer are easier on the back than models where you have to pick up the kitchen and move it off the back of the trailer. Definitely a two-person job! You can put wheels on the kitchen legs of course to assist with moving it.

Wind down steadies are the norm on younger models, drop down steadies are perfectly usable though.

Having owned both a braked and an unbraked TT I'd say braked every time, I still remember the odd feeling of the car being nudged by the TT when stopping. And brakes mean you're far more secure when pitched, especially on a slope.

Of all the extras you can get with a TT I'd say a sun canopy is the most desirable. You should also have as many undertents as you have spaces to hang them, a quality undertent can cost 40+ and many TTs only came with one rather than two. Replacing inners in general is an expensive job btw, there are a lot of different sizes and you usually have to buy for your exact model ...difficult if it's discontinued. Ditto curtains.

If you're setting up from scratch you can often inherit a lot of kit with your TT...my first one came with table, chairs, kitchen unit (it didn't have an integral one), two gas bottles, cooker and a vast number of small items. I'm still using the table and kitchen unit in my other tents! So it's worth getting this sort of deal if you're short of kit, don't pay over the odds for it if you don't need or want it though.



Message posted by 2011finley03/8/2013 at 1:25pm
Outfit:  2012 Sunncamp Holiday 240s      Location:  Birmingham
Joined: 23/6/2013
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The sunncamp holiday 240s is a very nice trailer.It is a 4-6 birth and has a 2.4m awning.The set up time is around 30 mins.It is a fantastic little trailer and can be set-up by one man.

-------------
2018 1.4tfsi Audi A1 Sline(150ps) and
2012 Sunncamp Holiday 240s

Message posted by mattsurf05/8/2013 at 3:35pm
Outfit:  Sunncamp 550se     Location:  Wiltshire
Joined: 13/6/2006
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I never cook in the tent, so not an issue having a ZIG in the cooking area. If you can afford the extra, a ZIG is well worth having

I have seen some early Cabanon Stratos TT for under 1000 - these do have a ZIG. A few Sunncamp 550's also close to 1000, but most do not have a kitchen

The only packing we have to do, when going abroad is clothes and food, all the rest lives in the tent



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