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Old 07-01-2020, 05:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trailer vs Tents: it's all about effeciency

So this year for obvious reasons, we (not just me) are going camping more this year. At least once a month, although sometimes every couple weeks. Frequency varies and is random, it is however, frequent.

So I've complained about trailers in the past. Example annoyances include:

- ongoing Maintenance, something always needs fixing.
- lugging around a big loud ass generator. It occupies it's own rack behind the trailer and is loaded up when we go, put down on the ground when we get there, put back on its rack when we leave, then offloaded again and into the garage.
- Getting the fridge ready. Turning it on, shoving in ice blocks so it cools faster.
- Loading the trailer with food, clothes, etc. (we originally thought we could leave everything in the trailer. That isn't really the case, things eventually find their way out and need to be loaded again.)
- Trailer "preflight". Kingpin lock, tire covers, rear stabilizers, battery water and charge, check propane tank, dilute some bleach in the fresh water tank to prevent that sulfuric funk, and anything else I'm forgetting, you get the idea.
- Black tank, and everything associated with dumping, and flushing.

etc, etc, list is probably longer then what I'm writing.

So.. tenting it, I think it can be made A LOT more effeicient, then a trailer.

First things first, you gotta make the wife happy. My wife needed four things:
1. A comfortable bed
2. A place to sit and do her business and not squat.
3. A heater
4. Neat and tidy storage.

We already had a little buddy heater. I think of it as a placebo. The rest should be obvious:

cot:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

pad:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Outhouse: (I've an old ameristep outhouse blind im using with this)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


So I'm now digging a hole instead of dumping tanks. -1 on efficiency there. However, I don't have to dump and flush when I get back. So +1 on efficiency there. So poop is a wash on trailer vs tent. However, "Mamma" has been made happy, AND she gets a "room with a view", which she has grown to enjoy much more then 4 cramped walls.


That out of the way, this leads me to all the stuff.

I remembered a rapid mobility concept called "increments". Which is basically keeping things into ready to go kits by type. For my purposes:

- Kitchen, box, assorted, 1 each.
- Food, box, 3 man, 3 days, 1 each
- Field, Utility, box, 1 each.
- Personal bag, 3 day, 3 each.

The idea being, "Grab and go". Tupperware boxes from wallyworld work great for this. Had some I bought last year. Things go quickly, if you load your truck bed the same way every time. Increment boxes, sleeping pads, bags, cots, etc. Tetris it all in the same way every time, make it standardized, and put the things you'll need immediately (such as the tent) towards the tailgate.

Then there's the tent itself, now this is key. GET A FREAKING SPRINGBAR DESIGNED TENT. Either Springbar, or Kodiak canvas, doesnt matter, it's the tent design that is what is important. Right now we are rolling one of those Cabel's outfitter type tents and it is the most inefficient tent to put up. While I'm on this subject, I think with certain tents you can camp in places you can't put a trailer. The larger the tent footprint the less options you have available to you. Ive come to think that a 10X10 tent, is perfect for 3 people on cots.

I feel I've almost got this nailed down. Just need to iron out a smooth system. I'm also bored, and tired of "E scouting" which I do for a couple hours every freaking morning.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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been using Springbar tents for years. Over 30.

One suggestion, if you want to use cots in your tent get some carpet squares for the feet. You can ruin your floor pretty quickly if you don't have something under the cot feet.

my 10x10 fits two full size air mattresses which makes a really nice bed for us (2 adults / 2 kids).
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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been using Springbar tents for years. Over 30.

One suggestion, if you want to use cots in your tent get some carpet squares for the feet. You can ruin your floor pretty quickly if you don't have something under the cot feet.

my 10x10 fits two full size air mattresses which makes a really nice bed for us (2 adults / 2 kids).
Yup, Your right. I've been running a 10 X 10 tarp inside (and under) the tent. Major floor saver. Though, now that I think of it more, carpet square probably offer more protection between the cot legs and the tent floor, and probably more effecient then a second tarp. I might try that later if I get my hands on some scrap carpet.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Trailers are nice, no disputing that fact. In the past, we have had a 15' bumper pull trailer, a tent trailer, a 25' 5th wheel and a 24' bumper pull trailer. I liked the tent trailer the most because of it's compact size, ease of use and simple towing. It had plenty of room and was just plain comfortable.

This spring we picked up a Kodiak 10x14 Flexbow tent. We do many of the things you have mentioned with the storage of items and gear for "grab & go". We also load the truck as you described, makes things easy when you get to your spot. We picked up a Lifetime 77 quart rotomolded cooler that is freaking awesome. (never had a good cooler before) we also got a Buddy heater for those cold campouts. We have been very comfortable so far in the tent. I will say that I'm happy we went with the 10x14 over the 10x10. We get 5 of us in there and not much room to spare. If it's just me and my wife, it allows us to put a table and chairs in there if need be.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Buy a cargo trailer then you got the best of both worlds, hauls your stuff and 4 wheelers then sleep in it. tents suck in a storm. Slept in tents my whole life and no more.
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Having been scout master for quite a while, I inherited several Springbar tents that were in absolute despicable repair.

The #1 issue I had with those tents was holes in the floors due to not using a tarp / footprint for the tent.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here guys, but for the love of everything that us holy - put a tarp down before you set up your tent! You spent a lot of money on that Springbar / Kodiak. Take care if it!
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Buy a cargo trailer then you got the best of both worlds, hauls your stuff and 4 wheelers then sleep in it. tents suck in a storm. Slept in tents my whole life and no more.
Cargo trailers are nice but you need to do quite a bit of work on them to make them comfortable. The big thing is that you need to insulate them or it will be like sleeping in a refrigerator if the wind comes up on a cold night.

I have a couple of friends who purchased them and did quite a bit of work to get them the way that they like. Folding bunks and tables along with a door, windows, and vents along with the insulation on the floor, walls, and ceiling.
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Regarding trailers.....

Those dangnable things, for me, the root of all my problems lay in 4 wheelers. What started me on this path of trying to make things more efficient, was a 4 wheeler. The instant we bought one, the one 21 ft 5th wheel we've been using suddenly was an even bigger pain because now we had to get a hitch installed on my wifes SUV, and now when we bring the one trailer out, we have to take two vehicles, and both of us dragging a trailer.

So lose the 5th wheel, pack everything in the back, drag the 4 wheeler trailer. A lot cheaper then looking for a toy hauler that will fit in the driveway.

The idea of a cargo trailer did cross my mind, my thing is, im getting tired of dragging trailers in general, though I realize there's no getting out of it. I've grown too accustomed to zipping down roads on my own in a small 4X4, which goes A LOT faster then dragging a trailer. Skyline drive has become agonizing to me, because I'm tired of dragging trailers on it and roads like it. But.. i know i'll never get out of it. (EDIT: as an aside, where I live, my house is easily identifiable. Just look for the big freaking permanent dirt patch the size of a truck on the street, that's how often I'm out )

Another thing that cross my mind, was the true beauty of a jumping jack trailer, but those things are Waaaaaayyyyyyy too expensive. You could almost buy a toy hauler for as much as they charge for those. If I saw one for 1 or 2K (which will never happen), i'd be begging my wife for the go ahead to buy it in the most pathetic manner possible.
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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... we also got a Buddy heater for those cold campouts. ...
Buddy heaters are great. W2U usually brings his on our campouts. But another solution that works really well is just your gas (or propane) lantern. In the morning we'll just light the lantern and hang it inside the tent. It provides good light, and warms things up pretty quickly. Same thing when we're getting ready for bed. When it's time for lights-out, we shut the lantern off and then set it outside on the ground.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 7MM RELOADED View Post
...tents suck in a storm.
As mentioned before, we've used Springbar tents for a long time. Rain, snow, wind, hail...they've been through every kind of weather. And we still use them. There have only been two occasions where we had issues. One was because we moved camp, and rolled up the tent when it was already wet. That's a big no-no. When we set it back up at the new site the same day, it couldn't keep the water out. Lesson learned. The second issues was leaving the windows down. It rained, and of course got things wet.

We've used the Springbar on our Canada trips too, where it rains solid for a week. If you take care of your Springbar, it will hold up.


the only real negative is using the Springbar at Powell in July / August. They do tend to get rather hot.
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone_Hunter View Post
Regarding trailers.....

Those dangnable things, for me, the root of all my problems lay in 4 wheelers.
This is the conundrum for most of us. side-by-sides are even worse. my boat won't fit in a toy hauler. And, unfortunately, my boat struggles pulling the camp trailer (jumping jack, tent trailer, etc.) up to Good Hope.


A toyhauler just isn't an option for me.


The real solution is to invest in a motorhome (class B / C). Someday I'll seriously look into a small one that I can hook either my boat or ATV trailer behind and go where we want to go. Too bad you can't find many 4x4 RVs. That would provide more peace of mind for me -- our property near Kanab has a lot of sand, and I would prefer to know that I can make it up the drive!
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