Tips for a pop-up tent trailer

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Tips for a pop-up tent trailer

Postby m506460 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:13 pm

It's our first year - we've read the first timers, we've found you wonderful folks here, and we're nose deep in our planning lists.

What we haven't found is tips/advice on bringing a tent trailer. Camping is not new to us - our previous mode of transport is a VW van so we're used to tight quarters and minimal cooking. The tent trailer is a new beast.

We'll certainly take it out and get all the bugs worked out before heading to the playa - but what about when we get there? 1) Looking for best ways to secure it 2) ways to minimize (not eliminate) dust 3) any nuggets of wisdom you have from your own experience.

Thanks!
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Postby oneeyeddick » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:11 am

Buy a piece of aluminet or something to completely cover it in shade.

Those little fuckers get really hot inside.

Be prepared to have the cloth sides destroyed after only two years because of the alkali.

You might have an easy time getting it up when you arrive, but putting it down can be problematic(depending on how long it is up).

Be sure to have jack stands for all four corners or you could end up with a teeter-totter when you sleep.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby teardropper » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:15 am

A friend wanted to bring one. I got curious and researched a little, got on a pop up forum and asked. You have to prepare for the worst, which is up to 70 mph winds and blinding dust. No one thought a pop up a good match. I would think that if you provided extra guy rope staking so it didn't fold up in the wind it might be better. There was one in our camp last year and she did fine. But there was no bad weather. Pray for good weather... And bring a back up tent.
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Postby Leo » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:18 am

I attended Burning Man Last year and used my pop-up tent trailer with no problems. I kept the door closed and the zippered window openings closed whenever I was away from my camp. When I was sleeping, I only had one zippered window (the one closest to my head) open for ventilation. As a result, I didn't have much dust inside. I didn't see the need to add any guy lines or stakes. The dry weight of my trailer is about 2400 lbs, and with the water and gear I was packing, I had plenty of weight on board. The set-up time is about 30 minutes.

It did get hot enough inside the tent trailer by 9:00 am that I would be awake and ready to start the day. I don't spend a lot of time at my camp, I'm just there to eat, sleep, clean up, and change my clothes. If I was more of a "couch potato", I would most likely prefer a hard-sided trailer or motor home with all of the amenities.

The beauty of the tent trailer is the towing aspect. With the low profile of the tent trailer, I have minimal wind resistance and a modest increase in my fuel consumption. With the roof racks on the trailer, I can carry up to 4 bikes and still have plenty of room in the trailer and truck for the food, water, gear, etc. Going over the mountain passes, I'm traveling at highway speeds, rather than crawling in 3rd gear.

With tents, hexayurts, tent trailers, and motorhomes, everything is a trade-off, so select the shelter that works with your budget and your comfort zone.

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Postby Token » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:22 am

Don't guy wire them down. You will only accelerate their destruction. They are not designed for the scale of vertical load guy wires impose.
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Postby teardropper » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:40 am

Look, I'm only going by what 6 or 8 folks responded in two different forums devoted to pop up campers. A couple of guys said to guy them, that they did, and no one thought they should be in the worst the Black Rock can throw at them. We haven't had those extremes lately. YMMV and pray for continued good weather. And good luck, really, with your camper.
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Re: Tips for a pop-up tent trailer

Postby EmilyD » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:40 am

m506460 wrote:It's our first year - we've read the first timers, we've found you wonderful folks here, and we're nose deep in our planning lists.

What we haven't found is tips/advice on bringing a tent trailer. Camping is not new to us - our previous mode of transport is a VW van so we're used to tight quarters and minimal cooking. The tent trailer is a new beast.

We'll certainly take it out and get all the bugs worked out before heading to the playa - but what about when we get there? 1) Looking for best ways to secure it 2) ways to minimize (not eliminate) dust 3) any nuggets of wisdom you have from your own experience.

Thanks!
Hi m506460 it's our first year as well and we're bringing our hardside popup trailer (it's an A-frame style no fabric walls but much smaller and probably hotter in the daytime. We've purchased shade structure to go over it: http://www.formandreform.com/wordpress/?page_id=2576 and 80% shade cloth to go around it: http://www.gemplers.com/shop/shade-cloth-b. We will be putting guy-wires around the shade structure.

We figure we'll be napping out under our shade in the daytime and bundled up inside the trailer during the cold night. We have four stabilizers for underneath and that's certainly going to be enough. If possible we'll be keeping it hitched to the car for extra stability but it's not really necessary.

I've gotten feedback from several people who have brought popups to the Playa and all have reported no major problems. There's a thread on Tribe about this here: http://bm.tribe.net/thread/5f28c450-900 ... 07a34a687b

Hope this helps. We've done lots of camping in our popup and love it dearly! It's the perfect inbetween, more than a tent, less than an RV.
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Postby trystanthegypsy » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:21 pm

Just pop it down every day :D
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Postby m506460 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:46 pm

Thanks much Leo! Great to get your first hand experience.

Emily - thanks for the links - I'll check them out!

Thanks all for your input, all good things to keep in mind!
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