After a long search, many nights messaging back and forth with a tent maker in China and a little work to put it all together I finally have the tent I have wanted for my Off-road tent trailer.Â The tent is of the basic design used in much of Australia.Â I had a few different requirements for mine as well as features the US market may want.Â This first tent was also a good learning experience for international trade, ocean shipping and importation.
Camp Bug, this is the name to the entire tent trailer project by my son.Â He has heard the story and seen the pictures of the boat I build with my father when I was about 10.Â It was a remake of an older boat my siblings had used.Â The boats original name Sea Bug and we christened the newly built boat the Sea Bug II.Â Here are a few pictures of the Sea Bug II.
Back to the Tent and Camp Bug I.Â After much work, a little retrofitting and a little beefing up I was able to attach the tent to the trailer.Â It uses three hinges to hold it to the trailer.Â It has two left handed and one right handed lift off hinges.Â The right handed hinge is in the center and acts as the lock.Â Half of the center hinge is bolted to the trailer.Â The rest of the hinges are welded to the trailer and tent base.Â This makes it possible to remove the tent from the trailer if need be.Â To hold the folded tent up while loading I started out with two 120 lbs gas lift struts.Â This works once the base is completely extended, but does nothing to help lift it.Â With the tent and base weighing in and near 350 lbs I think I need a little help.Â I will try a pair of 200 or 250 lbs struts and see if that does the job.
The tent wasn’t difficult for me to set up by my self the first time, but two people will be helpful.Â I started by removing the cover, removing and setting aside all the poles, guide lines, stakes and awning (annex) walls.Â Next I pulled the tent off the trailer spreading the PVC floor out as tight as I could.Â This also pulled the two ground length internal poles off the trailer.
Once the floor is staked down, I went inside and put the ground length poles into their pockets in the walls.Â The poles are extended until the roof is tight.Â The two poles that are attached to the base also need to be extended.
The annex uses it’s own set of poles. Setting this up was the hardest part of the setup. It helps to have a second person to hold one of the poles as you attached the rest of the structure. Four poles attach through the tent wall to the inside pole structure.
The tent comes with a ladder to get up onto the bed.Â The bed consist of a 3″ thick foam pad roughly the size of a queen sized bed.Â Under the bed are two hatches for easy access to items that are stored inside the trailer.
The walls for the annex are as simple as attaching the three panels together and to the tent with their Velcro strips. Â Fully deployed, the tent has two windows with rain covers and six windows that can role up.Â All windows as well as the two doors have mosquito netting to keep bugs out.
The Kitchen slides out through the opening in the tent panel at the back of the trailer.
The roof vents, there is one in each outer end of the tent.
And the tent stakes. There is a set of the standard size metal stakes as well as an extra heavy duty style that is about 3/8″ thick.
The tent can be mounted on most any trailer smaller than 90″ long x 66″ wide.Â A custom mounting frame may be needed.Â For questions or more information on the trailer tent, please contact me or submit a post on the East Olympia Cruisers website or download the Trailer Tent Brochure (1009 downloads) .