Question about popup tent trailers..

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Question about popup tent trailers..

Postby shiznicks1 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:51 pm

Hello all! Ive been watching craigslist for a used popup tent trailer and you can get smoking deals on them, around $400 for one from the 1980's. It would be nice since theres a sink, stove, beds, and table all in one small trailer. However, I am a bit worried if the canvas and mesh windows will be able to withstand a dust storm without ripping. Has anybody ever camped at BM in a popup tent trailer and had a bad experience? A good experience? Is this a good way to go, or too good to be true? Any feedback is always appreciated.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:56 am

A camp mate of mine (Blizzard) camped in one and it worked out quite well for him. I was a skeptic before that.

If it has super small wheels you will want to have at least 2 spares. Better yet put some larger wheels on it to help with the durability. Just make sure they don't rub as the suspension works.
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Postby teardropper » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:32 am

We had one in our camp, a Starcraft. It's a high end unit that had gas refrig, shower and toilet. And large wheels. It did just fine, but we didn't have any high winds to test it. I think she may have covered some of the screen/vents. If yours has the small wheels resist the urge to load it too heavily. Carry a spare, or as suggested, two. You're coming from CA, get your water in Reno. Save a little weight for most of your trip.
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Postby mudpuppy000 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:01 am

I saw one on the road last weekend that looked pretty new, and had solid walls vs the mesh/cloth walls. That seems like it'd be pretty awesome to have, although I'm guessing it was $$$
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Postby Fire_Moose » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:03 am

I took a Protoss Pylon out there once...
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Postby shiznicks1 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:12 am

Thank yall thats good news and good advice! Those little tires are cheap, so having two spares is a good idea. And im taking a 15passenger van out there, so most of my weight will be loaded in there, and waiting till Reno for water is another smart idea, thank you all for the feedback.
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Postby jella » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:53 am

We borrowed an older one last year and for the most part it was fine one tip though...once it's all set up use duct tape along the bottom of the slide outs where the canvas pulls over the beds or first dust storm will fill it :roll:
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Postby zenchild24 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:06 pm

We also borrowed an older one last year. The door was kinda hanging off it's hinges and didn't shut all the way and there were rips in the canvas, but the dust only really got bad if we forgot to zip up the screened walls when we left and there was a dust storm while we were out. By the end of the week everything had a nice layer of dust, but no more than a tent would, and it was very nice to have 2 double beds, a stove and a sink! Not to mention all the storage space for driving down. We strapped our bikes to the top, but put a u-haul blanket or pad down first because everything was tied down so tight we made little dents on the top :-)
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:59 am

If you're still looking and haven't committed to one yet, avoid buying a small-wheel one. Not only do the tiny tires not have much load capacity, but they will have to spin extra fast at freeway speed behind your van. That heats up the bearings and the tires, causing trouble on long trips to hot deserts.

You might consider staking it down with rebar and lines like you would a tent.
And yes, seal every possible dust-entry seam with tape, or whatever.

I also had friends who brought one... you'll like having a little house out there!
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Postby unjonharley » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:34 am

Wounder if a tent trailer would fit under a 30x30 North Pole shelter..

If you end up with those small wheels... Change the tiers out for six ply. Pack the bearings with food grade grease.. It will stand higher temps.. Been at the side of the road broke down....
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Postby sambojones » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:07 am

last year i brought a hexayurt with a small honda genny and a small window airconditioner that worked super awesome and was thinking about expanding and building one more hexayurt this year but one of these might work just as well

do these pop up trailers really hold up to the wind pretty good? if there's no issues of parts bending or getting tore up by the wind I may think about getting a cheap one for this year since the last time i priced a full size hexayurt in my area it would cost around $400 or so to build. a nice used pop up would also come with a table, stove, beds, and maybe some other lil nice things

i do so love building my own stuff tho i'll have to mull this over a bit :D
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Postby newt » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:43 pm

sambojones wrote:do these pop up trailers really hold up to the wind pretty good? if there's no issues of parts bending or getting tore up by the wind I may think about


I live in N. Nevada. I have had winds of around 45mph snap the center poles in my (retired) Coleman tent trailer twice.
If I was gonna buy a beater tent trailer, I'd bring a couple 2x4's that were long enough to fashion supports from just in case the aluminum ones failed.
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Postby Boijoy » Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:18 pm

orrr. bring the 2x4's & use them WITH the aluminum ones.. as extra support.
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Postby Bob » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:25 pm

Agreed, if you don't stake down a tent trailer it will start wandering in short order.
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Postby Thecatman » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:34 pm

If the wind is strong and you're concerned, you can always fold the trailer up and ride the storm out in your tow vehicle.
I've thought of a pop-up tent trailer too.
Sure beats a camper shell like I've used the last three years.
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Postby shiznicks1 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:52 pm

the 2x4's are a great idea as additional support! thanks! still just keeping an eye out for a good deal but I think this will be the way to go this year. Thanks again for all the great feedback
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Postby Kinetik V » Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:15 am

I'm reading this thread and thinking that when the winds come up all bets are off. I've taken a popup to Burning Man. Between Jungo Road, the wind, and the pounding it took on I-80, when we got back to Missouri with it all we had left was an overglorified bike and cooler transport. It was scrap. We had canvas shred, we had bent struts, we even had it collapse 2x and that's while I was on the playa. And this is with staking it down and doing all the stuff people recommended.

There's no way in hell I would take a popup to Burning Man again unless I could anchor that thing inside a cube of RV's and had a shade structure over the top of it that could deflect the wind and even then I would visit my local religious authority and ask for divine oversight before I headed out. YMMV.

I mention Jungo Road because somewhere along that road is what's left of a rim. Our 12 inch tire got so mangled....we had to cut it off with a torch just to get the spare on. Small tires at 75 (or Utah's 80 mph stretches of I-15) is risky business. If you take a trailer like that to BM...you've got some serious balls. Good luck. You'll need every bit of it.

Oh and safety chains. Beef up your chains between the trailer and your tow vehicle. We snapped the factory chains. They suck.
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Postby Sail Man » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:09 am

Another benefit with the larger tires is better tracking and less sway at highway speeds.
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Postby EspressoDude » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:34 am

shiznicks1 wrote:Thank yall thats good news and good advice! Those little tires are cheap, so having two spares is a good idea. And im taking a 15passenger van out there, so most of my weight will be loaded in there, and waiting till Reno for water is another smart idea, thank you all for the feedback.


be damn careful with loading the 15 passenger van..only put light stuff in the ass end, cuz if ya don't it will likely swap ends on the winding roads with just a second's inattention. Every summer we read about forest firefighters rolling one with disasterous consequences. New heavy duty tires at rated pressure helps.

towing trailers only makes them more unstable.
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