What kind of tent do you have?


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OldZX11Rider
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What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:18 pm



As I think about the trips I hope to take this coming summer, I can't help but think about last summers rides.
One memory is sitting up in the middle of the night, from about 11:30 PM to almost 3:30 AM, holding the top of my tent up. It was an awful thunderstorm, rain, lightening and wind.
Wind would blow the rain fly up and blow the rain in! I spent the night, in my tent, in a rainsuit! Everything got soaked. :roll:
I got what I paid for. It was one of Wal-Mart's cheaper 2 man tents.
Before traipsing off across the country this year, I'd like to get a better tent. A tent I could stay dry in a Kansas downpour, but would also have good ventilation for those hot, muggy nights.
Do they make such a tent that can be hauled on a bike and not break the bank?
:D
What brand, model tent do you use?


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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby Fiberthree » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:52 pm

Wait... Wasn't Kansas where Dorothy was from? :shock:
You might need something that can withstand more than a downpour!
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby dingdong » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:14 am

Off hand I don't know the brand of mine. I suggest that whatever you buy that it be tall enough to stand up in. Very inconvenient to sit or stoop to pull your britches on. ;) It is also large enough for a queen size air mattress and a couple of chairs in case it rains.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:59 am

Yep. Dorothy was from Kansas. It was a night just like the one that took her to Oz, without the tornado. :D
The night the tornado hit, I stayed in a cement block restroom on Keystone Lake in Oklahoma. That was a few years back. Those electric blowers for drying hands will actually warm up one of those restrooms if you got your 10 year old son standing there continually punching the knob. :lol:
I can't stand up in the tent I've got but I haven't found getting dressed in the morning a problem, yet.
The main problem during a storm is wind. The next night, after the storm, it rained almost all night, but after about the first 30 minutes, the wind calmed and I slept good and didn't have to spend the next day at a laundromat. :cry:
Maybe I'm just asking too much from a tent. Stay dry in a storm yet ventilated well enough to let any breeze blow through on a hot night.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:17 am

Maybe I should add I only use my tent as a place to sleep. What I mean is I don't go some place, set it up and use it as a home base, taking daily rides in the area of my tent.
I put it up and take it down everyday. Have a good supper somewheres then find a camping spot. Get up, get dressed, pack it all up and then go get breakfast and coffee. :D
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby koyote » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:04 am

I have 4 kids. This is actually a big deal as they end up using "last year's tent" as a semi permanent camping base out back (we live on 3 acres).

So, I buy the cheapest medium sized ("3" person) tent that is sturdy enough for a summer of rain and wind. And a hammock. (I'd prefer to hammock camp in general, with a light tarp. it's better in the rain, too)

I have a friend who is a major Iron Butt rider (she's currently collecting her SS1000 for EACH STATE), who uses and REI passage backpacking tent and gets really good use out of it. Easy setup and the vestibule is a life saver (or a gear saver)

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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:31 am

Thanks, I'll check out those REI tents.
Never thought about a hammock. I'll take a look-see at those too.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby Dusty Boots » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:45 am

Keep in mind the larger a tent is, the longer it will take to set up and it presents more of a 'sail area' to catch strong/gusting winds!!!

I do a lot of touring/motocamping, where I just stay 1 night and move on the next day. Great way to see the continent inexpensively! ;)

I use either a 2 man, or a 4 man tent from the same Canadian company that have aluminium poles, clip attachment and a full coverage rainfly.
Both of them have 2 doors with vestibules, so you can off load the gear strapped on your bike and keep it covered under the one vestibule, while you use the other to exit/enter the tent.

2 man version ....













The 4 man version is very similar, only larger with enough headroom that I can stand up stooped over to get my pants on and am able to have a chair inside.













If you are looking for a fairly spacious 2 man tent, then I would recommend the REI Half Dome 2 Plus

For a 4 man tent, take a look at the REI Half Dome 4 tent.

Make sure you get the custom footprint/floor saver to fit under the tent to save the tent floor from wearing out!

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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:10 pm

I like that 2 man tent. Because I'll most likely be traveling alone, it appears to have plenty of room.
Have you ever been caught in a storm? How is it on a hot, humid night? Can you feel any little cool breeze that comes up?
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:37 pm

I went to Trailspace.com and read the reviews on the REI Half Dome 2. From what I read, the only problem most people had was with the rain fly, but it was just learning how to put it on right.

It seems to be exactly what I'm looking for. Thank you very much! I knew this was the place to come.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby Dusty Boots » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:54 pm

OldZX11Rider wrote:I like that 2 man tent. Because I'll most likely be traveling alone, it appears to have plenty of room.
Have you ever been caught in a storm? How is it on a hot, humid night? Can you feel any little cool breeze that comes up?


I don't own that particular tent, but have a friend that does and he's happy with it.

Yes, I've weathered out lots of storms in my tents. That's why I recommend one with a full rainfly and vestibules, for better weather protection and more 'living space' when inclement weather strikes.
You have to learn how to ventilate your tent to minimize condensation build up.



Also, I use a small battery operated fan hung from the overhead gear loft and directed at my prone body, which does wonders to help cool you off on those hot, sultry nights!

If you need a good, compact sleeping pad, then I can highly recommend the Synmat 9 Pump DLX, especially if you are a side sleeper. It may seem like a lot of money, but it's worth every cent for a great night's sleep!! (save 20%/$31.99 by using the code SAVE20 at check out at the above site!) Much more comfortable and compact than a Thermarest pad!


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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby themainviking » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:18 am

Same place Dusty Boots got his sleeping pad, you can study tents. They have about five pages of them.

https://www.campmor.com/c/s/gear/tents/ ... king-tents

I use what is called an "Instant Up" tent with a fly that securely fastens to it. It is just okay for venting, but stands up pretty good to storms as long as I stake it down. I have a footprint for it, so the bottom stays pretty dry in inclement weather. I made the footprint tho, as I could not find one to fit perfectly.

http://www.coleman.com/product/instant- ... sXSXWf2ZEY

not expensive, and is really quick to set up.

I also bought an extra fly that goes over the whole tent. I do not see it available for the one shown in the link, so it may have been discontinued.

I also have a relative of the bunkhouse tent trailer, that sets up really quick. I use it a lot if I am going to be on the road for a while. Tents are for quick trips, as ground sleeping is not my greatest pleasure anymore.
Last edited by themainviking on Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:20 am

I'm just looking for a better tent than what I've got. I've got my sleeping bag(s) and a sleeping mat.
Just need/want a better tent. I've had this Wal-Mart cheapie for about 3 years now and it actually has been a pretty good tent except for those occasional storms. The rain fly just really sucks if there's any wind while it rains. :roll:
So a tent with a full coverage rain fly really looks good to me. I do like the "tub style" bottom of my tent also. When dirt and sand get inside, it's not a big deal to shake it out when you put it up and take it down every day.
I really like that REI half dome, but I've still got a little time before my first planned trip. :D
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby Dusty Boots » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:24 am

The trouble with those 'instant up' tents is their packed length!!! Too long for comfortably packing on just the bike!

Sleeping on the ground doesn't bother me, as I camp either off the bike, with either a tent ...



or, using a tarp (minimal style of motocamping)



using a small cargo trailer to haul more comfort items and get the weight off of the bike.



or, using my Aspen Sentry camper. (more for regional hauls/camping events)




For long distance touring, my preferred style is with the cargo trailer as I can carry more comfort and cooking gear, set up and take down is quicker as things are easier organized for packing, plus it takes all the weight off of the bike, onto that other axle of the trailer.

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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby themainviking » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:13 am

Dusty Boots wrote:The trouble with those 'instant up' tents is their packed length!!! Too long for comfortably packing on just the bike!

Sleeping on the ground doesn't bother me, as I camp either off the bike, with either a tent ...

4163244006_972631dd79_z.jpg


or, using a tarp (minimal style of motocamping)

15113748585_d536d4f4b0_z.jpg


using a small cargo trailer to haul more comfort items and get the weight off of the bike.

11175047406_3be0e28c07_z.jpg


or, using my Aspen Sentry camper. (more for regional hauls/camping events)

15464174046_e891a66ddc_z.jpg



For long distance touring, my preferred style is with the cargo trailer as I can carry more comfort and cooking gear, set up and take down is quicker as things are easier organized for packing, plus it takes all the weight off of the bike, onto that other axle of the trailer.


I do agree with you Dusty Boots on the length of the instant up tents. I bungie them to the front forks and the length no longer remains an issue. It looks like your camping pretty much parallels mine. I also have a small cargo trailer that I can put a two burner stove and all the other essentials for long term stays, such as a 10 by 20 tent for true space, lawn chairs, camp cots, etc. I pretty much only do this if I am going to remain set up for a spell, as putting up that large a tent is a PITA.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:50 am

Maybe some day I'll get a trailer be able to haul a few more luxuries with me, but for right now a small, 2 man tent is just fine.
My old Wal-Mart tent has a lot of miles on it. For a tent that cost me less than $50 three years ago, I can't complain too much.
It just has one big deficiency, it's no good in wet weather. Correction, stormy weather. I've spent a half dozen or more nights in it when it was just raining.
Never had a problem concerning space and now, with a Goldwing, that will be ever better. Just lock everything up! :D
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby harvey01 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:59 am

You should be able to find pretty much whatever you need at most camp/backpack stores. REI and Campmour both have great selections in many price ranges. Local stores may also have the items so you can touch them and see them erected.

I have found that stores that handle backpacking goods have the best stuff for motorcycle camping.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:57 pm

Been wanting to checkout that campmor site. Hopefully I can do it this evening. Been working on the bike and it seems the more I work the more work I find that needs done! :roll:
Just stopped for a bite to eat. Got to get back out there now. :(
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:03 pm

I have to say, having spent many a comfortable night warm and cozy in my Aspen Sentry trailer, I can't ever see myself going back to a tent. I love this thing! And it creates instant conversation every time you pull into a campground. The people with the huge trailers watch a motorcycle pull this little thing in that transforms into a (relatively) large living space, then have to come by and say hello and look at it.

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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:50 am

That's a nice looking rig. Is that the one that has a "carport" to park the bike in?
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby pfalinski » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:20 pm

2005 Wing with a Hannigan Tricar. Pretty heavy rig that likes to overheat even without pulling a trailer. Then again, we live in Tucson where we run for the sweaters when it drops below 80 degrees. Have used the Aspen Classic for 15 years behind a BMW K1100LT with California Friendship III sidecar, 2007 Wing with Dauntless Liberator sidecar and now the Tricar. My wife and I love the setup and teardown plus carrying capacity of the Aspen but also really like our Taj Mahal, as we like to call out tent, 10x14 plus 6x14 screen room bought at Wally World back in 2010. Takes a good 15 minutes to setup, leaks if it rains for more than 30 minutes and can't handle more than about 25 mph winds staked down. But when the weather looks like it might be nasty we motel it. Still love camping. Maybe it's the coffee and breakfast outside in the morning. Looked at some tents at Costco this past year. 4 man Coleman supposed to handle 35 mph winds and set up in a minute. But if the bugs are out there's no place to sit except inside the tent.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:58 pm

I love looking at all these photos. Bikes, tents, scenery, makes me want to live where it's still 50° when people complain it's cold. :lol:
Can't hardly wait until spring gets here!
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby Scanjo » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:31 pm

dingdong wrote:Off hand I don't know the brand of mine. I suggest that whatever you buy that it be tall enough to stand up in. Very inconvenient to sit or stoop to pull your britches on. ;) It is also large enough for a queen size air mattress and a couple of chairs in case it rains.


Standing up to pull on britches is a plus, but the taller any tent is, the harder it is to keep it up in a big blow. There is no "perfect tent" that I know of. It's all a trade-off. You have to decide what's most important to you and then do the best you can for the rest.

I personally want to be dry. When I was tent camping I had a small 2 man tent for me and the wife. It was large enough to sleep in. We got dressed while laying down or did it in the restroom. It had lousy ventilation but weathered a storm really well. We always had a piece of plastic we could lash over it for added protection from rain.

We had larger tents before that one, but none of them could withstand strong winds or heavy rain. I'm totally done with trying to dry everything I own and repair my tent poles after a storm.

We have a popup camper now (an older Roll-A-Home) and it's better than a tent, but we still have to be careful with heavy rain (plastic is my friend).

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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby OldZX11Rider » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:43 am

I reckon I'm looking for a tent just like the one I've got with a couple extra features.
Its a pop up that packs down to a roll less than 2 feet long and maybe 5 inches in diameter, at the most. Its easy to set up with the fiberglass, shock cord poles.

Its has a heavier plastic bathtub style floor. The sides come up maybe halfway for privacy, and the top is all netting material for ventilation.
The problem is the rain fly. It only comes down past the net a few inches all around. Wind blows it up and blows rain in. Maybe I'll just figure out a way to stake down a plastic tarp over it. I'll have to think on that a while.
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Re: What kind of tent do you have?

Postby Scanjo » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:07 am

We had a screen top tent once. Used it for only one trip. Had to set it up in the rain one day and the inside was soaked before we could get the rain fly over it. It's now in the corner of our shed out back being used for moth food.

Waking up wet is bad. Being wet before I lay down isn't happening again.




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