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Subject Topic: Tent or trailer tent
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Message posted by Raddaran on 20/4/2010 at 12:25pm
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Hi all, I have just sold my monty looking to buy a bigger tent. however I am liking the idea of a trailer tent. I was hoping you lot could tell the reasons why to stick to tent and not get a trailer tent. Many thanks

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Message posted by jascon on 20/4/2010 at 12:49pm
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Storage.....60mph limit when towing,.... takes ages to get anywhere,,,,, and towing in general! Having to open it all up to dry it out when wet when you get home., unlike a tent you can't exactly drape it over the stairs!

However, I loved my folding camper when i had it,and would love another... but i would still have a 'weekend' tent.


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Message posted by Safeway56 on 20/4/2010 at 1:00pm
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I've just got shut of my caravan because of the 400 quid storage charge...It would cost the same for a trailer tent...Unless I had the room at home I'd never get another one.

Message posted by Camping nutcase on 20/4/2010 at 1:17pm
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We have had two trailer tents, both of which we stored on my parents path.   Towing them was no problem.    OK yes you are restricted speed wise, but is that really that big a problem?
I got rid of the first one, because, although it was a lovely tent, I could not lift the kitchen section off single handed - even Richard struggled.   Second one - kitchen unit totally differnt, easy to lift off etc.   We only sold it because we were looking at folding campers, and by chance we had a buyer at the same time as being able to pick up a folding camper at the right price.  For us, one of the big advantages of the trailer tent (and now camper) if that Richard sleeps off the ground, which means that his arthritis does not kick off after a couple of nights.
You can store stuff in them from trip to trip.   During the season we kept some non perishable food, in.
Toys etc as well as other bits lived in all year round.

On both of ours, the canvas came off the frame, so had the need arose, we could have dried it indoors.

Saying that I still love my tents - and although I would now have to tow as I only have small car, leaving aside the fact that my car would not pull the camper that we have, I still want to tent camp.


Message posted by HEJC72 on 20/4/2010 at 4:44pm
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We sold our TT as it never got used.
I couldn't pitch in on my own so got several tents in varying sizes instead.
Have also recently bought a tiny caravan too!!

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Message posted by mkn9139 on 20/4/2010 at 5:10pm
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We started with a trailer tent, then got a caravan, then a trailer tent, then a caravan....hmmm, pattern forming here!
Last year we camped in tents and the caravan didn't get used, so we're selling it, and maybe buying a trailer tent again. I'll still camp in our smaller tent/s with the kids, and we're not getting rid of our frame tent because we love it too much.
I like the fact we can keep a trailer tent packed and ready to go, towing isn't a problem after having the caravans, and if we go for any length of time with the frame tent we'd need a trailer anyhow.


Message posted by tikka72 on 20/4/2010 at 6:04pm
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stick with the tent, storage costs, tyres, speed restrictions on motorways and A roads. Invest in a better tent, polycotton maybe. If your going to tow might as well get a caravan. 

Nice Outwell Norfolk Lake for sale in classifieds


Message posted by littler on 20/4/2010 at 6:14pm
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forget the tt just get a fc , so easy to tow and set, we just love connie to bits



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but i can't remember the question !!!

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Message posted by Bloodstone on 20/4/2010 at 7:47pm
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Quote: Originally posted by tikka72 on 20/4/2010

stick with the tent, storage costs, tyres, speed restrictions on motorways and A roads. Invest in a better tent, polycotton maybe. If your going to tow might as well get a caravan.

Nice Outwell Norfolk Lake for sale in classifieds




They don't pack up very small, ours takes up pretty much the whole boot of our VW Touran, which means one may have to tow after all.

Message posted by Valiant Son on 20/4/2010 at 8:48pm
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I always smirk when I see comments about reduced speed limits when towing. The speed restriction when towing is 60mph. In other words non towing vehicles can legally travel 10mph faster than you on dual carriageways where national speed limit applies and on motorways. On single carriageway where national speed limit applies the maximum permitted for towing vehicles is 50mph - again 10mph lower than for non towing vehicles. On all other roads the same speed applies to vehicles that are towing and those that aren't. Add to this the fact that rarely does traffic move at a uniform 70mph even where it is permitted. On average traffic on largely uncongested roads moves at less than the speed limit. I do wonder therefore how many people who worry about a 10mph reduction in speed limits normally exceed the speed limit anyway!

 Travelling 100 miles at a constant 70mph (a vritual impossibility and ignores time accelerating to that speed and decelerating to stop) would take 1 hour 25.47 minutes. Doing the same journey under the same theoretical conditions at 60mph would take 1 hour 40 minutes. In other words you save just over 14 minutes by travelling 10mph faster over that distance - hardly a massive saving.

The impact on fuel consumption is significant, however: Travelling at 70mph reduces fuel economy by around 1.5mpg for every extra mph of speed, i.e. 15mpg less from your car at 70mph than at 60mph. At this point I'm sure many will say that towing adds significantly to fuel consumption. This is not actually true. It depends upon the weight of the vehicle being towed, the gear being used, torque of the car, and drag due to wind resistance. In actual fact a low trailer tent weighing only a few hundred kilograms, driven in high gear adds only a few mpg to the performance of the car's engine (my experience is it reduces my mpg from around 55 to 52) - significantly less impact than driving without a towed vehicle at 70mph compared to 60mph. Given the inexorable rise of fuel prices you are actually better off driving at 60mph anyway (I do drive at 70mph when I'm not towing, but I tend not to cover as great distances as I would if I were going to a campsite).

Towing is not a major problem with a lightweight trailer tent. Many of them are actually narrower than the car that is pulling them and they don't really add to air resistance because they sit lower than the car anyway. Caravans are more difficult and do add to resistance, as well as generally being wider, which leads to problems on narrower roads and more issues on lane positioning. Suggesting that, "If your going to tow might as well get a caravan,"  is not really true. Apart from the aforementioned issues a caravan will normally require a more powerful car. You can tow many trailers with pretty much anything. (Some very small cars would struggle, but most superminis have no issue).

Equally the cost of tyres is pretty limited. They won't get the same wear as the tyres on your car because they won't do the same mileage. Therefore they need to be replaced less frequently. It is likely that you would need to replace them every 4-6 years because of UV causing them to degrade. You can see this happening because the tyres begin to show cracks. They will cost around 30 each to replace - so assuming a 4 year wear cycle you are looking at a cost of around 15 a year in cost. Not exactly that much when compared to the kind of money that gets wasted on all sorts of stuff, including gadgets for camping that prove to be pretty pointless.

Storage for a trailer tent could be a problem for some. Access to a garden for it is ideal, or a garage. They are easier to store at home than a caravan. However, some don't have the space and don't have friends or family who are able to help out. At that point storage does become a financial issue, but only you can know whether this applies to you or not.

The canvas used on leading brand trailer tents like Camp-let is as good as it gets (tencate and manufactured by Isabella). Canvas is more durable (lasting easily 25 years with appropriate care), more breathable and more substantial than polyester. People will say that they are difficult to dry out. This isn't necessarily true. If you can put it up when you get home (in the garden or on the drive) for a couple of hours then it will dry out without issue. If this isn't possible then most will allow you to remove the canvas and do exactly what you would have to do with a wet tent - drape it over the bannisters.

Advantages are many and explored in recent threads in the trailer tent forum:

http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/chatter/display_topic_threads.asp?ForumID=10&TopicID=213387&PagePosition=1

Go and have a look at some trailer tents and some larger tents. (if you decide against a trailer tent then I'd suggest giving serious consideration to a good canvas frame tent). Speak to the staff at the different dealers. If they aren't very helpful then they don't deserve your custom in the first place. A great place to see trailer tents is Camperlands in Manchester. They also stock a reasonable range of tents. Staff are very knowledgeable and thorough. (No, I don't work for them). I know they're a fair way from you, but you could combine it with a camping trip to the North West.

 

N.B. Edited to correct a couple of typos.



Post last edited on 21/04/2010 00:51:20

Message posted by Alphonso De Lard on 20/4/2010 at 11:21pm
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What a great post Valiant Son.

I've not gone down the trailer tent route yet, but I know I will in time for either the 2011 season but most likely 2012  - I want to get some more use out of my Bear Lake first.

I already tow a small trailer, and I've just updated it to a large box van trailer so we can take yet more gear with us... Towing is great! I always bombed everywhere at 80 90 mph... I stick to 60 with the trailer on the back... mpg is good... And it's quite a chilled way to travel...

Can't really add anything useful following Valiants post. Only that he talks a lot of sense...



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Message posted by John Preece on 21/4/2010 at 12:24am
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trailer tents are harder to dry if wet (Due to having to faff to get it off the frame and then put it back on after its dried).

Apart from that they are pretty similar in my opinion and nowhere near as expensive as caravans.

whatever you decide make sure its right for you.  Maybe hire/borrow a TT before you take the plunge and see if the setting up is ok for you compared to a normal tent?

have fun with whatever you decide.



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Message posted by mkn9139 on 21/4/2010 at 9:11am
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One thing to consider when drying is the size of the awning, for most trailer tents the main unit is the same size, and if you have a drive or garden you can open it in then you won't need to remove the canvas. If it's a huge awning that's when it gets difficult.
With our last trailer tent we made the mistake of going for cavernous awning for lots of space, but having to dry it in the house was hard work.

Message posted by Daves mate on 21/4/2010 at 9:23am
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Quote: Originally posted by John Preece on 21/4/2010

trailer tents are harder to dry if wet (Due to having to faff to get it off the frame and then put it back on after its dried).

Apart from that they are pretty similar in my opinion and nowhere near as expensive as caravans.

whatever you decide make sure its right for you.  Maybe hire/borrow a TT before you take the plunge and see if the setting up is ok for you compared to a normal tent?

have fun with whatever you decide.


I really don't see what the issue is with drying a tt. To dry the cabin section just open it up wherever you store it. We take the awning out and hang it over the kids' trampoline to dry, no more bother than a large, canvas, family tent.



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Message posted by Raddaran on 21/4/2010 at 12:58pm
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Thanks everyone. I will get a TT but still have a tent to take my oldest boys for the weekend. Now it's a case of finding a dealer near Swindon .

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Message posted by Daves mate on 21/4/2010 at 6:59pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Raddaran on 21/4/2010


Thanks everyone. I will get a TT but still have a tent to take my oldest boys for the weekend. Now it's a case of finding a dealer near Swindon .

Try Attwools down by Gloucester. Pretty sure they had a trigano and a cabanon in last time I was there.

Failing that BCH in Trowbridge get the occasional secondhand tt in.



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Chris


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