Dome & extensions vs Frame tent





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  1. #1
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    Default Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    Hi there

    Swambo and I used to camp a lot when we grew up and love it. We think the kids are now old enough for us to get back in the camping game. Intention is to do around 4-5 trips a year on weekends with one of those trips being 4-7 days in and around the western cape (including by the sea) and some of the national parks (incl KNP)

    I've tried to search and read through all the threads on tent advice but please point me in the right direction if I've missed a thread that answers my questions.

    Almost all the advice seems to be pointing to 3 options:

    Nylon/polyester dome and frame tents - lots of advice rule this out due to sturdiness issues in the wind, strength of fabric, excessive condensation issues and heat inside tent. I've ruled this out due to these reasons - any opinions that feel strongly otherwise or could suggest excellent frame tents?

    This leaves canvas dome + extensions or canvas frame tents.

    Canvas dome tents

    Most advice I see points towards canvas dome tents and to start with a 3x3 or 2x2 (like junior wanderer which is easier to pitch but I'm 1.9m so not too worried about pitching aspect and I will have beer by my side). Most recommendations point towards:

    Tentco senior wanderer 3x3 https://www.tentco.co.za/index.php/q...ow-tent-detail
    Tentco safari bow 3x3 https://www.tentco.co.za/index.php/q...ow-tent-detail
    Campmor safari bow 3x3
    http://www.campmoroutdoor.co.za/safari-bow/

    I'm leaning towards the tentco safari bow given the inside and outside window closures and heat vent. The campmor also seems to have a heat vent but not sure about inside and outside window closures.

    Canvas dome extensions

    When we were young, we were just running around the campsite all day but now that we're older, it would seem that a dome tent on its own wouldn't necessarily provide a great living experience - need for kitchen area/shade for "kuier" area? We would therefore be looking at purchasing extensions or gazebos. Depending on whether we go with the campmor or tentco, we would probably look at one of these extensions:

    Tentco senior deluxe extension
    https://www.tentco.co.za/index.php/q...e-combo-detail

    Campmor safari bush extension
    http://www.campmoroutdoor.co.za/combo-senior-2/

    I am fully aware of how bulky they are but the first room of the extensions could probably also double up as a room for the kids while they are young as 3x3 would seem tight for 4 people? The 3x3 is probably big enough to store all the mattresses, clothes etc during the day and our kids also sleep pretty well so could put them to bed in 3x3 and move to first room of extension when we go to bed (or we could just sleep in that room) - this would free up the entire extension for shade during the day?

    Are these extensions overkill for a weekend - not a lazy person but do you get to a stage after a few camping trips where you feel it isn't worth the hassle to set it up or do the benefits largely outweigh the efforts. Can you achieve the same with sturdy gazebos? (but then wouldn't be able to sleep in first area adjacent to dome tent)?

    Canvas frame tents

    Looks like either the Tentco sahara deluxe
    https://www.tentco.co.za/index.php/q...r-te091-detail

    Any thoughts on T Door vs D door?

    or Tentco bush shelter

    https://www.tentco.co.za/index.php/q...r-combo-detail

    The frame tents seem very big and would probably provide the best sleeping experience but I'm guessing you don't spend much time in sleeping area? And the veranda seems small so wouldn't necessarily be enough for kitchen and kuier?

    Any thoughts from your vast experience on whether dome plus extensions vs frame tents would make the best setup would be highly appreciated. (Also thoughts on the campmor vs tentco dome options)

    Many thanks
    Last edited by ER82; 2020/02/26 at 01:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    Have a Campmor Frame tent tent is about 3.6 by 3.6 and veranda about 2.4 by 3.6. Also Have a King gezebo I use as an extention for longer stays. Moved from a Canvas dome setup to this.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    I have a couple of tentco domes as well as the dining shelter and roof top tent. I also have an old coleman frame tent.

    Dome tents are a lot quicker setting up. Especially the tentco compared to the Coleman . And to me thatís important. Setting up and taking down. Itís fine getting there and setting up on a Friday, but the time spend taking it all down on the last day, thatís the part that I try to minimize .

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    My wife and I can set up or brake up the campmor frame tent in about 15 minutes...

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    Hi,

    Our set up when we do not use the caravan: 2 dome (3mx3m) tents and one extension (the frame type).

    When we sleep for one night we can pitch one dome and sleep 4 in one dome easily. Not comfortable but this is when we literally sleep en travel further the next day.
    Two nights we use dome and extension for kitchen and more space.
    Three and more we pitch the domes and extension, gazebo, wind breaks and the kitchen sink....

    The domes and extension just gave us a bit more options. When all three are pitched we have more or less 9mx3m under cover
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    we also came from the Tentco Senior Bow & Baobab (senior ) Extension. 2 people are a must to erect this, but fairly easy once you get used to it.

    If you do go this route and buy the extension deal, rather upgrade the tent. Standard extension give you the wanderer tent. Senior bow is much better ito the windows and roof vent as well as a small verandah that you setup if only the tent is used without the extension.

    We have just away from this setup as we have 2 kids and instead of buying another dome canvas tent @ R6k we sold ours and bought Tentco Family Trailer top with the added bits.

    Canvas tent fold up easy, but eish they take up alot of space

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    Quote Originally Posted by GK Ruger View Post
    Hi,

    Our set up when we do not use the caravan: 2 dome (3mx3m) tents and one extension (the frame type).

    When we sleep for one night we can pitch one dome and sleep 4 in one dome easily. Not comfortable but this is when we literally sleep en travel further the next day.
    Two nights we use dome and extension for kitchen and more space.
    Three and more we pitch the domes and extension, gazebo, wind breaks and the kitchen sink....

    The domes and extension just gave us a bit more options. When all three are pitched we have more or less 9mx3m under cover
    Agree here. Im also new in the camp thing. We have a senior wanderrer bow tent me and my 10year old set it up in +-15min no issue. But yes its good for sleeping if you want to live you need more. For the Tentco gazebos you have extra sides you can add. The Tentco Bush Shelter is based on a large gazebo.

    Im getting a 3x3 gazebo next. Then im thinking of a second bow tent with the double bow extention.
    https://www.tentco.co.za/index.php/q...tension-detail
    This is my 2sent also want to fastest and easy setup. The other setups look to heavy to handle.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    If you plan for anybody to sleep in the extension, just keep in mind that those extensions usually don't have a floor, unlike the dome tent.
    A good option would be 2 dome tents connected with an extension.
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Dome & extensions vs Frame tent

    Something to consider for a flexible setup:

    3 m Dome Tent + Gazebo Dome Connector + Senior Gazebo - A bit more compact and versatile than an Extension Combo

    or

    3m Dome Tent + Double Bow Extension + 3m Dome Tent

    Then there is the awesome Tentco Dining Shelter, with integrated sides and mozzie nets.

    A lot of choice these days.

    For the Cape, in particular, canvas material and steel poles are what we recommend

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