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Two adults and a child - how much boot space for tent & accessories?

(36 Posts)
Machadaynu Wed 13-Mar-13 15:00:19

I hope this will be the year we finally get to go camping again. Before we had DD we just used to take a 3 man tent, a one ring stove, a pan, two forks and - the best camping discovery of all time - an airbed with our proper duvet and pillows. We used the boot of the car as the 'wardrobe' and spent a lot of time walking, in the pub, or in bed.

Anyway, forget it all that. It will be different with a three year old. I'm thinking a tent with two rooms and space to play inside on wet mornings, plus room to cook under a roof, if not inside walls. And such untold luxuries as a table, chairs, maybe a cool box, a two ring hob, some toys, some books, a scooter ...

You get the idea - my question is, how much car does all the equipment to have a nice time camping in the UK with a three year old take up? Do you have huge cars, or trailers, or roof boxes, or all or none of those things?

Obviously it depends on how much stuff we take, but I want it to be reasonably comfortable and not miserable for the kid if it rains, so if you could give me an idea of how much stuff you take in relation to a car boot, that'd be fab. I'm thinking that we might as well get a used trailer tent as we'd have to buy all the equipment and the car already has a tow bar, but if we can fit it all inside that would be easier as I have nowhere to keep a trailer tent smile Thanks in advance.

crazymum53 Mon 24-Jun-13 08:47:11

We manage camping for 2 adults and 1 child with a Peugeot 207 with bike rack on the back for 3 bikes. We use the boot space and the spare seating space in the back. We have 3 man tent with 2 rooms and small pop-up tent that sleeps 2. 2 x 1 ring cookers, small folding table. Camping stools take up less space than chairs. We take enough food with us for 1-2 days and buy the rest on arrival.
On one camping trip to France the other people staying at the site were watching us very carefully - they couldn't believe that we fitted everything in!

ShoeWhore Fri 21-Jun-13 22:59:18

We have 3 dcs and fit everything in with room to spare in a grand scenic plus roofbox. I think you'll be fine - the picasso boot is fairly roomy isn't it?

ArthurSixpence Thu 20-Jun-13 14:35:03

Luckily our 'new to us' car came with a rather nice tow-ball already fitted. I do love a second-hand car with a tow-ball; they're often cheaper because they put people off, and it has saved me the time and bother of having one fitted. A rare win-win smile

Quenelle Thu 20-Jun-13 13:51:47

We have one DS and manage with a Renault Scenic and a roofbox. We were full to bursting when we packed for our two weeks away last year but have a smaller tent this year so hopefully a bit more space.

We are lucky to be able to borrow a roofbox from DH's work colleague so we don't have to find anywhere to store it and only had to buy the roofbars.

hillbilly Thu 20-Jun-13 12:08:18

I don't know Arthur but def need something. First we have to get a towbar fitted......

ArthurSixpence Wed 19-Jun-13 23:00:04

Oh I dunno what it is - it's at least 25 years old, but it has been kept in a garage all it's life so there isn't a hint of rust anywhere; it's like new. It's a metal frame with wooden sides, it's 5ft by 3ft, it has a max load of 850lb (385kg) and it only cost me a nifty smile

I might build some side extensions to make it a bit taller at some point, but it's more than enough for now - very pleased for less than the price of a roof box smile

What are you looking at?

hillbilly Wed 19-Jun-13 20:55:08

Looks like we will be going the same way Arthur! What do you have?

ArthurSixpence Wed 19-Jun-13 16:33:59

Yeah, so I've bought a trailer ...

Machadaynu Tue 19-Mar-13 09:24:49

Weighed the new tent this morning - canvas and poles together comes to 63kg shock

Machadaynu Mon 18-Mar-13 23:15:10

Get a bak-rak - they look good - you can use your existing bike carriers on it - they just bolt on - or you can just use it as a flat load area to strap a big box to, or, well, whatever you like.

Picked the tent up tonight. It's hucking fuge. The bag of canvas is 80cm tall, and I can just about get my arms to meet if I 'hug' it. And there are three bags of poles. Already thinking we will need more space for longer trips, but for short trips I think we'll be ok - canvas can go on a seat and wear a seatbelt smile

hillbilly Mon 18-Mar-13 22:16:47

However we are thinking of getting a new bike rack that attaches to a tow bar so all our bikes will go on it. That is how we intend to travel to France this summer.

hillbilly Mon 18-Mar-13 22:15:06

Yes but we only use the bike rack for the kids' bikes - ours won't fit.

Machadaynu Mon 18-Mar-13 16:29:13

So you have stuff on the top and the back, hillbilly?

I've actually been looking at thee bak rak since I started this thread, as the car already has a tow-ball and I don't have anywhere to keep a trailer.

You can add bike carriers to it, or just strap bulky luggage to it. I get the tent tonight, so I shall see how much boot is left for bed, bedding, food, cooking equipment, footwear, clothes, chairs etc etc smile

hillbilly Mon 18-Mar-13 01:17:12

Dh, dd, ds (7 &5) and I fit into a golf plus with roof box. Outwell Oakland XL tent, pup tent, windbreak, big cool box, hamper, table and chairs, cooking grill plus all the usual bedding etc stuffed in the gaps. Kids' bikes go on a bike rack. We never seem to be as efficient at packing the car to return home even though we have less!

Machadaynu Sun 17-Mar-13 19:29:43

Bought a tent on eBay today - will collect it in the week and find out big it is packed up smile

Machadaynu Thu 14-Mar-13 17:47:27

and the tarp idea is definitely one I'm going to use. I have a l poundland one in the car in leiu of a picnic blanket already, it 's a much more sensible size, and takes up no room.

Machadaynu Thu 14-Mar-13 17:46:26

Thanks all. I think we'll be ok. We got enough stuff in terms of food, shoes, boots, waterproofs, clothes, books, toys and cameras in the old car - and this one is much bigger so we should easily have room for a tent, a stove, some pans and some sleeping stuff.

Just looking out for a tent now. I'm thinking a frame tent is sturdier? We live not far from the Peaks, so it's just occured to me today that we could put the tent up there for a week and just live in it; we could still go to work and take DD to pre-school on the days she goes but we'd spend the evening in the tent smile

Quenelle Thu 14-Mar-13 14:11:10

It's easy to get carried away, thinking you might as well chuck X in and Y might come in handy. But we plan to minimise the stuff we take this year as much as possible for a more relaxing experience. Less to cram in the car, less to trip over in the tent, less to pack when you're ready to leave.

We have the Decathlon tarp and it is very handy and indeed folds up very small.

Blu Thu 14-Mar-13 13:52:24

I used to do it in a Fiat Punto, but it was stuffed to bursting. Things carefully stashed under the seats, the footwell under DS's feet crammed, stuff under the passenger's legs... Took tent, mats, sleeeping bags, real pillows, two ring burner and calor gas cannister, BBQ, coolbox, folding chairs, roll-top table.

A topbox would have made it all so much easier.

You'll be FINE in a Picasso!

I don't think you need an enormous tent, or one that takes up loads of space packed up. Look at the Decathlon family pop up tents. For cooking under cover (I never cook in the tent, not even under the porch) you could look at a Decathlon tarp, which folds down so small you could fit one on your handbag.

NightmareSpoon Thu 14-Mar-13 00:35:53

There's 3 of us too - we have a ford fusion and fit everything in the boot, and all the soft stuff like sleeping bags and airbeds on the seat next to DD. And stuff like folded up chairs crammed into the back footwell.

Can't remember what tent we have (it's old) but it's a 4 man one.

We used to have a Clio and still managed to go camping several times. DH had a special technique for packing the car - it had to be done a certain way or it wouldn't fit. And he was very economical with space, even wellies had rolled up clothes stuffed inside so the space wasn't wasted grin

Quenelle Wed 13-Mar-13 23:33:10

DH, 3yo DS and I fill a Scenic with two seats removed to the gills and a roof box. We have a six berth Royal Houston tunnel tent which when packed up is the size of a small sofa. It goes at the front of the boot because it's the first thing to come out.

We have down sized to a Vango Icarus 500 for this year because the Royal just takes too long to put up when one of you is wrangling a preschooler who's been cooped up in a car for hours and has just seen the playground.

If I left the Kampa Khazi behind it would be less of a squash but I'd leave DH behind before going without my loo-slash-coffee table.

Piffpaffpoff Wed 13-Mar-13 21:30:49

I have a Vango Icarus 600, take a massive coolbox and all other essentials (chairs, airbeds, sleeping bags, pillows etc etc) and I get all that, plus DH and two DCs into a cMax. Just!

UniS Wed 13-Mar-13 21:09:20

We still fit fine in a toyota Corolla. but our tent packs down tiny. Only a one room plus fly tent. but it suits us, big enough to sit in the fly porch if its drizzly evening. Otherwise DH and I stay outside .

Wolfiefan Wed 13-Mar-13 21:06:16

Just give in and get a trailer!

Machadaynu Wed 13-Mar-13 21:00:28

We have a Quechua 3 man tent and one of the sun shades, but the larger ones weren't tall enough for me to comfortably stand up in apart from in the very centre when I tried them - I think anyway - we looked at a lot of tents on the same day at the end of summer, I get confused!

I like the sturdiness of the frame tents now I've started looking at them, and they seem to have usable height over most of their area.

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