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Posted: 1/5/2003 1:53:31 PM EDT
My wife and I have decided to buy some more camping gear and take the family a few times yearly.  There are 4 of us, the kids are 4 and 7.

I am looking for a big tent with seperate rooms for a reasonable price.  I am a poor SOB, so no $600 tents or anything like that.  Where is a good place to buy equipment online and what brands should I look for or avoid?


Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:06:02 PM EDT
What about getting two seperate tents?  One for the kids, and one for you and the Mrs.

I've never seen a tent big enough to have different rooms, but camping in my family means walking into the backcountry carrying what you'll need on your back.  

Maybe an army surplus-type store?
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:15:26 PM EDT
I have seen them on ebay with 2 and 3 rooms, but I'm not familiar enough with brands, styles, and fabrics to make a decision.  I went o a gunshow today and bought a few smaller camping things, but the only tents they had were shelter halves.  There are no surplus stores in my area.

Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:25:53 PM EDT
If you want to stay on the cheap side Coleman makes some really big assed tents for under $200 that have multiple rooms.  I have one of the Field and Stream 4 room tents that ran about $180.  I basic 9x9 dome tent will cost you closer to $300 from Kelty and some of the better names.  Check out the Eddie Bauer and Colman's at Target.  They will suffice if all you are doing is car camping and not really entertaining anything other than summer camping.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:29:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 2:32:38 PM EDT by EdAvilaSr]
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:45:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By EdAvilaSr:
With a 4 y/o child...and even the 7 y/o.. I would want to make sure [b]I have control of them leaving the tent[/b] (ie. one tent instead of 2)
View Quote

It's obvious I don't have any kids, isn't it? [:)]

I hadn't really considered the "late night egress" aspect of two seperate tents.  I'm used to packing up and walking into the mountains alone for a couple of days of peace and quiet (and fishing).

Sorry Balming.  I'm not much help on this for you.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:51:41 PM EDT
I made the mistake of a one room tent. No [sex] when the kids are with us. Shoulda thought of that before buying...
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:53:07 PM EDT
We bought a Field and Stream Yellowstone 36001. It was in between $100-200. My wife bought it and doesn't remember the exact price. It's a 3 room tent. With the partitions down we can stick 2 queen sized air matresses inside with room to spare. I don't know the dimensions, but it's big, and probably about 20 LBS.

The tent itself seems to be good quality for the price(whatever that was).

The first time it was missing a rainfly buckle. The second time it had a section of seam that wasn't sewn right. About 6" running along the floor. The third tent worked O.K. The cinch straps are crap and broke right away, replaced them with 1" canvas military straps. The duffle bag only lasted about 4 times, zipper's screwed up and seams blown. It was just a touch too small for realistic use. I need to get a bigger bag, one that'll hold my ground tarp, also.

With a 4 and 7 yearold, I'd want them in the same tent as me. Ours are 3 and 8. I like knowing that they're right beside us.

If you're going for a low or midpriced tent, you may try to buy it locally. We got ours at a Sam's discount store. Since it took 3 trys to get it right, it was worth dealing with a local store.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:58:59 PM EDT
i have a 2 room cabin style tent. dont remeber the brand, sometihng you can get at walley world. it was cheap, its cake to put up, and all around fine for my purposes. it even survived 80mph straight line winds. well, it survived in the sense of still being usable. no cabin tent in the world could have withstood that mess. the next day the ONLY tent in the whole area standing was a artic dome style tent. several campers were also destroyed. it was fun as hell.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 2:59:56 PM EDT
Eureka makes a good tent, IMHO.  Well thought out, tough and affordable.  Try [url=http://www.campmor.com]Campmor[/url] for good deals.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 3:09:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 3:28:09 PM EDT by FireControlman]
[b]Hey bud I have two boys ages 3 and 4. My wife and I did our camping/outdoor purchasing last year. Our first big trip was camping on the beach in Baja California. We got the tent, sleeping bags, stove, lantern, ice chest, fishing rods all at Wal-Mart. I'm not sure but I think the tent is Coleman, it's big. It has a big dome with two (sort of) compartments on each side.[/b]

With bears and the likes out there in the woods I'm glad we are in one tent. The tent is so dang big for under $200. The sleeping bags were about $59 and were of the mummy type..nice and warm.

Of course the Coleman stove and lantern. We have since our first outing camped in Sequoia National Park.


link to Coleman website -> [url]http://www.coleman.com/coleman/images/products/9279B127_500.jpg[/url]
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 3:19:01 PM EDT
Here you go.

[url=http://www.campmor.com/webapp/commerce/command/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=19378951&prmenbr=226]Eureka Sunrise 17XT[/url]


Capacity 8
Min. Wt. 24 lbs.
Packaged Wt. 25 lbs.
Dimensions 17 ft. X 9 ft.
Area(sq. ft.) 148
Interior Ht. 6 ft.
Pack Size 12 in. X 35 in.
No. of Poles 4 + 1 fly rod
Pole Size 11 mm
Pole Material Fiberglass
No. of Doors 1
Hooded Fly Yes
No. of Windows 4
Gear Loft Optional
Floor Material 70 denier, 1.9 oz. Nylon taffeta w/ 1800 mm coating
Fly Material 70 denier, 1.9 oz. Nylon taffeta w/ 1800 mm coating
Roof Material 70 denier 1.9 oz. breathable nylon
Netting 40D No-see-um
Color Fly: Adirondack blue and gray; Floor: Adirondack blue
Style Modified Square Dome
Activities Family Camping
Use 3 Season
[size=4][red]Special Features 3 Rooms, 4 Windows, removeable dividers [/red][/size=4]

Link Posted: 1/5/2003 3:29:44 PM EDT
Great!  Thanks for the help so far guys.  

All ideas and/or suggestions regarding camping are appreciated.

Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:01:28 PM EDT
[url]www.Campmor.com[/url] has some great prices on everything you could possibly need.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:04:30 PM EDT
Yeah get two tents from Wal Mart.  That'll do you just fine and you won't spend a fortune!

Let the kids have their own!

Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:13:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 4:15:10 PM EDT by DiggityDank]
I have seen some great Coleman tents at Target for a very reasonable price. I am sure there is somebody that carries a bigger line of Coleman than Target. Growing up, my parents had a 6 person Coleman that we used to death and when the zipper finally blew, we bought another. Much of my camping gear is Coleman and I have never had a problem with any of it.

I also have quite a bit of L.L. Bean gear. I know people that swear by Leon Leonwood's  tents. They are a little pricy, but I am sure you can get a very nice one for well under 600$. The nice thing about Bean is the lifetime warranty. It just seems that everytime I get something from them, they release something much better a month later.

I now have a North Face tent. They are usually pretty pricy, but I bought it a couple years ago as a previous years model for 60% off. It is only a two man (or hopefully it will turn out in my case sometime soon to be a one man, one woman tent). I am really not sure what they have in 4 person tents, but I am sure you would be just as well off buying a cabin somewhere because they would cost about the same.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:14:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 4:21:50 PM EDT by Boomholzer]
Sportsman Guide has some really good deals on tents and other camping equipment. I spent the $60/year to get 10% off all purchases.

Cheaper Than Dirt has a few camo jobbies that are good for the cheap price.

If you not hiking and dont care about weight, a Coleman, Texsport or other cheapo tent will suffice. With kids and pets it does not pay to invest in a really expensive tent. The Eurekas in my opinion are much better constructed.
Although I have about 20 camping trips in a cheap $25 2-person Walmart special, and the seams are still intact.

Hell for $600 you can buy a pop-up trailer.

The lightweight back-packer's tents are very expensive, if you hike alot they are worth the extra investment.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:19:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:21:01 PM EDT
You can also catch some good camping deals on UBID.com sometimes.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:26:45 PM EDT

Since you mentioned other suggestions, here's a couple thet I use for the tent.

Get a plastic tarp for a ground cloth. The cheap blue ones(mine is green , other side brown)from a hardware store. Make it oversized, so you have a front and side porches. Great place to store a cooler, stove,etc. Also a great place to take off shoes, especially for kids. Set the shoes inside the door in a neat pile.

Set the ground tarp up on flat ground in your backyard. Set up the tent on top of it, position it so you get your porch. Mine is flush with the tarp in the back, 3' overhang in the front. Punch your tent stakes through the tarp. I used a grommet tool and grommets( #4 x1/2"id) to strengthen all of my piercings. I used some spare tarp material cut into 3"x3" squares as a backer. When setting up your tent on uneven ground, these may not line up exactly, but it's good enough.

For the ground tarp, I just made some stakes out of 3/16" galv rod cut about 8" and bent with a 2" leg.

I carry vise-grips in the bag to pull the stakes out. I use my hatchet/hammer to put them in. I've seen too many bent by pressing down with the foot.

I also have a large tarp rigged with grommets and cord to use as a super rainfly. It's secured across the back of the tent with the tent stakes. It just stays rolled up on the ground, but secured by that back edge. In a moments notice, I unroll that the tarp over the top of the tent and down the front. I secure the front and sides of this tarp with pre-measured cord that has loops in it. I secure these loops to whatever stakes I need to. When the rain beats down, it's noisy, but so is the thunder. This thing doesn't completely enclose the tent, so a little air can circulate. It's only for use during a severe thunderstorm, but it has been used.
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:31:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2003 4:36:22 PM EDT by Zardoz]
For a stove, I use a Coleman 2-burner propane model; they're quick and easy to set up, and don't cost too much. They're set up to use disposable 1lb cylinders, but I use a 20lb tank with mine. If you use a non-disposable tank, you can get a "tree" for it that has 2 (IIRC) outlets, so that you van run the stove and a lantern from the same tank.
Edit: if you really want to get "experimental" on the chow side, coleman also makes a folding oven that sits on the burners in the stove........
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:37:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DarkNite:
Eureka makes a good tent, IMHO.  Well thought out, tough and affordable.  Try [url=http://www.campmor.com]Campmor[/url] for good deals.
View Quote

I bought this Eureka Equinox online from campmor in 2001 and am completely satisfied so far.  I (6'2" tall) can stand straight up in the tent without hitting my head.  I can also set up this tent without any helpers.  The first two times I went camping the weather got very nasty...high gusty winds and rain.  The tent leaned a little, but never gave me any fear of collapse.  No leakage either.  

Link Posted: 1/5/2003 4:46:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zardoz: If you use a non-disposable tank, you can get a "tree" for it that has 2 (IIRC) outlets, so that you van run the stove and a lantern from the same tank.
View Quote

I bought one of those "trees" to hook onto a large propane tank.  It's one of the best camping investments I've ever made because much of my camping is during deer season when cooking is done during hours of darkness.  The propane lantern at the top of the "tree" lights up the picnic table while the stove runs off the same gas tank.  Very convenient!
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:06:54 PM EDT
Well, after a few days of price shopping before I posted this thread, and based on what you guys have advised, my wife bid on and won the following:



It should serve our needs quite well as long as it's as advertised.

As a "survivalist" from way back I already have a good bit of gear for cooking, eating, shovels, axes, sleeping bags, etc. but only had a few shelter halves for a tent.  With the wife and kids though I had to upgrade.  I would LIKE to go camping 10 times a year, but will probably go maybe 4 or so.  It will be good quality time teaching my kids to hunt, fish, respect nature and also make for some good memories.

Keep the ideas coming if you have anything to add.

Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:53:51 PM EDT
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