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Author: Subject: Beach camping: Suv with tent or Popup tent camper
PeregrineA1
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 12:05 PM


I will second the thought that a set-up independent of the vehicle is preferred. Breaking camp to go get supplies or sight see is a pain.

We have, on occasion slept in the back of the truck. It's plenty comfortable, but have migrated to almost 100% tent camping. I can set up the tent in 5 minutes, take it down in 10. The truck acts as a secure storage area in dicey places.

Also did the slippery slope of RV's for a couple of decades. Started with a tent trailer-nice, but really not much better than a tent and you have to drive in the right two lanes. Two slide in campers-see above about breaking camp, plus it limited where we could go due to being top heavy. Travel trailer-nice and comfy, very limiting on where we could go, plus the lane restrictions in CA. We may look at a 4 Wheel Pop-up as a compromise as we age, but I'm still leery about the lack of mobility once set up.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 12:05 PM


Quote: Originally posted by sd  
A risk I see is you are out sailing and your camp is taken away by someone who wants your stuff.
I have done tent and kayak, so much fun. I have been lucky, no thefts.


That has crossed my mind. It's a reason we figure we will just need to pick about three/four campsites overall that have others around. Hopefully willing to keep a watch? We find this in the sailing community but don't know this community. Thoughts?
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 12:24 PM


I would go with a tent like David has. I used to have one, set up and take down is so easy. Air mattress and sleeping bags. If you loose it, not much lost.
Yes, I think your idea to camp with others is best for security. There is a charm camping in your own space, BUT, once you leave a camp unattended it will be gone while you sail.

Keep it simple.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 12:26 PM


The pocket that slings over the suv can be buttoned up so you can take off. What I hear is the biguest drawback is when you come back and parking it just right to slip it back on where you had it. You do bring up a solid point we have been wondering - will it be too small, the suv sleeping arrangement. We are building the platform in a week or so and will know better then.

Thanks for sharing your experience with each, that is just the kind of feedback I'm looking for.

Quote: Originally posted by PeregrineA1  
I will second the thought that a set-up independent of the vehicle is preferred. Breaking camp to go get supplies or sight see is a pain.

We have, on occasion slept in the back of the truck. It's plenty comfortable, but have migrated to almost 100% tent camping. I can set up the tent in 5 minutes, take it down in 10. The truck acts as a secure storage area in dicey places.

Also did the slippery slope of RV's for a couple of decades. Started with a tent trailer-nice, but really not much better than a tent and you have to drive in the right two lanes. Two slide in campers-see above about breaking camp, plus it limited where we could go due to being top heavy. Travel trailer-nice and comfy, very limiting on where we could go, plus the lane restrictions in CA. We may look at a 4 Wheel Pop-up as a compromise as we age, but I'm still leery about the lack of mobility once set up.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 12:35 PM


Personally, I would prefer having a tent that stays in camp, especially if you are going to be in a camp for more than 2 days. Nice to have the extra room around you that a standalone tent gives you, too.

A simple rule of thumb on how wind resistant a tent is involves the number of tent poles. If a tent stands over 5 feet high, interior height, then you want AT LEAST three tent poles. When a tent this high has only two poles, there is going to be significant side area that isn't directly supported by poles. This is the area prone to flattening and shuffling in strong winds.

Sometimes the third (or even fourth poles) are simply short sections that create small arches between the main poles. That's fine. Sometimes the third (or even fourth poles) run continuously through sleeves or clip systems along the entire length of the sides. That's even better.

Here is the tent I am currently using. I am done backpacking, so a little extra weight is acceptable for car camping or utilizing a pack station. Note the short side poles near the top. This is an ingenious system that uses a clip system and convex arching to force the tent sides outward; giving maximum volume inside. It also resists shuffling on the exposed sides. So many tents have sides that just hang limp between the two main poles.

This is considered a four person, three season tent. Not suggesting you get this tent as it is not cheap. But see if you can find a similar tent design for in the 200s or so.

I really like the amount of breathability it has, due to large sections of no-see-um netting along the top and sides of the tent AND the fact that it has two doors. I like breathability. So many tents get too hot to nap in, during the day.

You might also consider simply renting a good tent for the trip. REI has good tents and I assume they are reasonable, but dont know, as I have always owned tents.


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Sailorv
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 12:52 PM


Hook that is a nice tent ya have.
Here are two suv tents, 3 season, between $250-$350 or so.
http://www.rightlinegear.com/suv-tent.html
www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0094FMCTE

When you can pick up a popup for a grand on craigslist it makes these tents seem pricey. But we want to give car camping a try to stay more stealth for more cheap/free cali camping options by the water (sans dog, just us uprights). Having the suv tent will allow us to sleep in the car and dog in the tent, nearby us or the option of all of us in the tent. I tend to stay up later, so if my hubby sleeping in the suv I can be in the tent portion reading, eating, etc without disturbing him.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 01:02 PM


Just remember that two more tires and two more sets of bearings need to be watched, with a tent trailer. Then, there's the storing of it when you get home.
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Sailorv
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 01:31 PM


Quote: Originally posted by sd  
BUT, once you leave a camp unattended it will be gone while you sail.

Keep it simple.


Really? Gone like that?!
Also, would it be acceptable to leave our dog in the tent while out on the boat or is that a no-no? She is very well behaved and on board the boat (big one) she never leaves, never tries to jump ship, she sleeps a ton. People always remark how chill she is. However, I wouldn't want to put her in any kind of danger...
This will help
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 01:32 PM


My Instant tent survived a short hurricane-like cloudburst at Bahia Concepcion in July 2015. The rain was coming in sideways! Just the gear inside holds it down fine, I generally never stake the tent or just the four corners to help it set up 'square'. The poles (or frame really) are strong, metal not fiberglass sticks like the dome tents use.

I have bungeed the corners to my truck or a palapa or a sandbag to reduce wind-caused sagging or squashing.

It is just a simple to use, easy to set up, inexpensive alternative to the pricey REI stuff... Coleman is quality to me and my style of camping. I have Coleman Instant Sun Canopy, too.. chairs, stove, all Coleman.




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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 06:55 PM


If there is a blow, a tent inside a palapa (with walls - 3 sided) would be an option you'd want to take advantage of. Many tents with full rainflys also have a vestibule - maybe the dog can sleep there - bring a piece of carpet for comfort. Take extra guy-lines and tie the tent to your car, bushes, large rocks if it's going to be windy. You just need to be prepared for a variety of conditions (including sites with no palapa). A disadvantage of a large, high tent, is that it doesn't warm up with body heat - just too big. Check Campmor, OutdoorOutlet, Eureka, Sierra Trading Post - all online - for gear.
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 07:05 PM


I am a tent fan as well as they are so versatile and pack into a small space but must it be low profile. I dont bother with stakes but do make sure there are some big mother rocks I can roll or carry over to tie my tent down...or tie to my truck.

There is nothing like waking up at dawn and looking out your tent door at the ocean with whale spouting in front of you....oh yeah....dont miss camping at the ejido campground at Laguna Ojo de Liebre just south of Guerrero Negro...and they have palapas you can set your tent up in too and the dawg can just be there in the palapa beside the tent or in your truck.

I also have a camper shell on my truck but I hate having to empty stuff out to sleep there which is why the tent is nice but if you cant tent due to bad weather you can still sleep in the truck.

I also have a little trailer for long term camp outs like months in the lagoon with good solar set up, propane fridge....the ritz!!!




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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 07:17 PM


Thanks David, Wild and Shari!
David, so you seem to advocate the lower cost tent. Something 100-200 right? That would sure help the budget vs the 300 suv kind that's for sure.

Wild, yep scouting out for the 3 walled ones for sure.

Shari, we we're thinking of hitting a pacific side spot for some friendlies. What camp site do you recommend out there we WE have beach access (would prefer to scope out the whales via our awesome boat vs a panga).
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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 07:53 PM


We got the 6 person Coleman Instant Tent at Target. That was 6 years ago so I don't recall the exact price, but close to $100.



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[*] posted on 12-6-2017 at 10:49 PM


If you plan to camp in the tent get one like Peregrine's dome tents. Don't buy a tent like David's for camping in the winter/spring time frame. I've owned several tents like David's and had to replace them due to wind damage. But the one quality dome tent from cabelas I bought 15 years ago has been my last purchase. The dome tents shift and sway with the wind. The rigid tent's frame just bends and stays bent. If you straighten a hollow aluminum rod it fractures.

Chances are you'll never be in a wind storm but if you are, it's quite an experience. You can help by setting up the tent close to the downwind side of a cliff or even a high dune.

Forget the tent trailer idea.

A good tent is an investment. If this is your yearly vacation why take chances by saving $100?

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[*] posted on 12-7-2017 at 06:28 AM




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[*] posted on 12-7-2017 at 07:14 AM


don't leave your dog in the tent alone. when some tweeker opens the zipper to rip you off, sh!ts himself when he sees the big dog and runs away, hopefully your dog doesn't go exploring and gets lost.

regarding the boat. you can't launch it in the lagoons to watch whales. it's a restricted activity reserved for the locals. if you feel confident take your boat a couple of miles offshore and maybe come across traveling whales but finding a suitable launch ramp will be tricky. in other words, make another plan!

and finally, have you ever done any camping? it's the same the world over only the views change. buy local produce and goods in the small markets you come across. it keeps the money local, not with the mega chain stores. you can keep ice for at least 3 days without even trying. go ahead and hit the road!




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[*] posted on 12-7-2017 at 07:36 AM


Fishbuck, if I ever get another camping trailer, it will probably be a toy hauler. They are the single greatest design innovation in the RV industry in the last 10-15 years. Not crazy about the bunks that fold out from the walls, though. But so versatile. I think someone is making toy haulers that have a queen bed that descends from the ceiling on a track, much like the Trek RVs used to have.

Sailrv, I, too, have seen how the Coleman's hold up in wind.........they dont. For a decent moderately priced mfgr., you might see what Eureka! is making these days. They were always a decent dome.

Wilderone's suggestion about Sierra Trading Post is a great one. That place is the best outdoor discounter I have come across. They are part of the Marshall's, TJ Maxx corporation.

I still love my truck camper, but for traveling light in mild temps, nothing beats waking up in a tent. So many great air mattresses out there. It really IS camping; everything else is degrees of glamping (glamorous camping). Still worry about tents in grizzly country but black bears are nothing.
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[*] posted on 12-7-2017 at 08:15 AM


Stand alone tent would be my choice. Doesn't require to be hooked to your vehicle and you might find a sweet place to set up your tent that is a few feet short of being able to get your vehicle to. Would be a pain unhooking to make a ice or beer run as well!:biggrin:
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[*] posted on 12-7-2017 at 09:00 AM


TENT all the way.
I use a Eureka 8man tertagon, solo of with my girl.
queen size double thick air mattress allows for great sleeping.
Screen top is great for ventilation.

I need the truck for fishing, kayaking and stuff.

Look into a trailer camper. They have a kitchen and high tent.
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[*] posted on 12-7-2017 at 09:06 AM


Lots of good advice here, Sierra trading ett. all will save you money and offer great value. The wind will be the issue with the possibility of a little rain, second. When it gets windy, the large sidewalls will act as sail and at best will be noisy. With the wind you can not have to many ropes staking it out. In the sand wrap ropes around rocks or something flat, burying it away from the tent and tie it to the tent poles or fly.Try to sleep with a tent that laid flat because it of the wind, not fun.

If you leave the dog in camp tied up, he will be a deterrent if the bad guys see him.

[Edited on 12-7-2017 by MMc]




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