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Tent size and campsite limts?

(15 Posts)
ZoeC Thu 11-Sep-08 12:05:02

I am new to the idea of camping, went a few times in my teens but never since but really like the idea of going camping and the dd's are really keen, as is dh. We usually do static caravans.

We are going to look at a couple of tent shops this weekend, having overwhelmed myself looking online at all the tents available - some are truly lovely, although there will be a limit dh will enforce on price I imagine grin.

Now, what has surprised me is the sheer size of some, well quite a lot, of the tents around. Does this cause much of a problem when booking sites, and is there a sort of rule-of-thumb that is considered a 'normal' size and what would exceed this?

Any guidance would be appreciated as it will help when we are looking if there is no point considering anything over a certain size.

Specific recommendations would also be good... tentatively, I would probably want 6 berth (could do 4 but the extra space sounds usefu tbh, and we may go for a week at a time), but with the option to have the sleeping areas merged as the dd's will probably want to bunk in with us at first, but may want to be in their own 'room' later. I have been told to go for a sewn-in-groundsheet, and I suppose the higher HH the better.

bigTillyMint Thu 11-Sep-08 15:26:47

We have one that needs a pitch of 7x5m, and have not had a problem yet! That's in many French and some English sites

I would go for 6-berth as the spare room is great for all the bags, or you can split the DD's up when they get older, if necessary! Yes to groundsheet and high HH, but also look at height and size of "living" area - particularly important in bad weather!

ZoeC Thu 11-Sep-08 16:04:33

Thanks. Yes, I want one we can stand in. Also I'd like to be able to fit two double airbeds, and some of them don't have the space in the sleeping areas.

tarantula Thu 11-Sep-08 16:14:10

We were at a campsite last week and two of the tents in the field were too big for the pitches so the guide ropes were in the 'roadway'. We were chatting to the staff who said that next year they would be enforcing new policies on tent sizes due to this problem.

Cant see the need for so much space myself tbh grin but then we have a vango spectre 300 and no car so I guess tis what you get used to.

bigTillyMint Fri 12-Sep-08 12:13:32

Space is great if the weather is bad, only need sleeping space if it's sunny!

Helsbels4 Fri 12-Sep-08 12:27:22

We seem to have an uncanny knack of choosing our camping breaks whenever it rains, so I am glad that we bought a large tent that has a big living area!

Our tent is supposed to be 12 berth but it has four bedrooms that you can only get a double airbed into, so 8 berth if you ask me. We have

only ever had to pay a premium once for having a large tent. I just don't know what people do with all their bags and gubbins if they don't have

space inside their tent to put it and I couldn't camp if I couldn't stand up in the tent. I would go for a sewn-in-groundsheet too!

surprise Fri 12-Sep-08 16:42:17

I would say go for the tent with the biggest living area you can find! If you're camping somewhere hot and sunny then you don't need much space, but camping in Britain means rain, rain and more rain so you need:

1. a space for the DCs to play in
2. a space to cook in
3. somewhere to put all your bags etc

We found that with a smaller tent you end up spending much more if it's wet, because you can't cook outside, therefore end up buying food and also the children get bored very quickly in a tiny space, so then indoor play areas beckon....

We have had no trouble with ours, which is 6 x 5 m (4m x 5m is the living "room"grin grin). Always check first though. TBH, I hate staying anywhere that has formally marked out pitches - much rather have a big field and "pitch where you want" policy!

ZoeC Fri 12-Sep-08 18:20:23

I presume that's 6 x 5m plus the extra space for the guy ropes? I certainly like the idea of space, and we have had nothing but rain all week so am seeing the need for it grin.

dustystar Fri 12-Sep-08 18:26:21

Tunnel tents tend to have smaller footprints and so have less problems with pitch size than dome tents.

I'd also go for a larger tent than you need as its so much nicer when the weather is crap to have space to move around without falling over each other.

What sort of price range were you thinking of.

surprise Fri 12-Sep-08 21:16:49

Zoe, yes it's extra for the guy ropes. It's a Vango Amazon (you can get an 800 or 600) and they also do it in polycotton, but call it something else. Check out the Vango website as I'm sure they have all the spec on there.

ZoeC Sat 13-Sep-08 17:26:15

Went today and got a Vango Vail 500, plenty big enough and as it is last year's (replaced by the Nile this year) then it was cheaper grin .

Only question atm is: footprint groundsheets. Can't get the correct one - does it actually matter? Could I get one for a different tent that was about the same size (or larger)?

ZoeC Sat 13-Sep-08 17:47:48

Never mind, googled harder and, fingers crossed, have one ordered.

Flutterbye Sat 13-Sep-08 22:20:10

We're pretty new to this camping malarky, but have been 4 times though so not bad. My favourite combination is a smaller tent (tunnel type we've got a Vango Orchy 600 for 4 of us) and a sun/rain shelter to cook and eat under - got a fab one from Aldi this year that did us proud the other week. If it's due to be cold/rain all day we go out for the day and get back for tea time.

nannyL Sat 13-Sep-08 23:35:52

if you want a foot print ground sheet (which IMO if you have a SIG is essential of camping in england) then it needs to be the same size or slightly smaller (NOT bigger) than the tent

I too have a vango orchy (love it) but its not a tunnel tent smile

it is essentila to have a tent that will keep you dru so make sure the fsbric has a HH of at least 3000

(lots of the tesco / argos / halfords own brands dont.... but when it rains and pours you will be very pleased that you did smile)

ZoeC Sun 14-Sep-08 14:26:26

The tent is 5000mm HH so hoping that should keep us dry. Have the right footprint groundsheet on order, I'm just never certain whether to trust stock on-line with smaller retailers, and they are not in so I can't ring and check. Have another place that may have one so I will make a couple of phone calls tomorrow and hopefully sort it out.

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