Just bought one of the Explorer Side Tents (as seen on www.eurocampers.com) but got mine off of eBay. Was wondering if anyone else had one and had any suggestions about best process for taking it down and getting it back into the bag. All the directions are in German so I'm kind of winging it here.
I HAVE A ANDRIA III SIDE TENT AND MY FRIEND HAS A EARLY SIDE TENT AND HE SHOWED ME TO FOLD SIDE UP AND OVER THE ROOF .THEN DO THE BACK AND FRONT.FOLD IN 3ERS LEFT OVER RIGHT /RIGHT OVER LEFT .AND ROLL DOWN THE CENTER .ALL THIS IS BEING DONE WHILE MOUNTED ON THE FRAME.I DIDN'T USE THE OE BAG IT MAKES IT HARDER TO PUT AWAY.I BOUGHT A LARGE CANVAS BAG WITH A ZIPPER . EVERY THING FITS INSIDE THE BAG. I ALSO USE A SMALL CANVAS BAG FOR THE STAKES .
Susan and I came to the conclusion that Hving a side tent for the synco would be nice. I ordered a Adria 3 from Gowesty. It came right away and it was beautiful. The only problem is that it is just too big! We decided for the kind of traveling we do, a small permanent awning with a screen room might be a better alternative. I have sent the Adria back to gowesty. (Big kudos to Gowesty, they will take it back, no questions less 5%, which, given the fact that we erected it is more than fair)
So if you are looking for a side tent, think long about what you are looking to achieve. If you stay in one place more than a night or two, or you travel with more than two people the Adria is a very nice product.
On the other hand, if you are like us, just two ouf us, long transcontintal trips, latenight pulloffs in the bush, loaded to the gills, then the 15 minutes to put it up, 20 to fold and store and the loss of space and 41lbs, think it trough.
I am now on the hunt for the best awning with screen/privacy room I can find. Any ideas?
I have much the same attitude about the side tent with it's major set-up that you do. I rarely camp in the same spot more than a day or two. It's a lot of weight, storage space consumed and time to set up/take down.
My A&E 2500 awning has been perfect but does not have the side net. I understand that you can get side nets for awnings from the RV industry -- or for that matter would be easy enough to make with netting from Eureka. They may not be as bug-tight as a full factory enclosed 'patio', but we've found running one of those mosquito coils hanging from the awning (in the holders you can now get) keeps the bugs at bay even without the net. One hanging in the camper and the one from the awning have keep us mosquito-free inside & out even in the tundra of NW Canada.
I usually find that hanging a single lightweight tarp with some clips on the windward side keeps rain out sufficient for our purposes -- the evening libation and dinner before bed and moving on the next day.
Morning take-down is about 3 minutes and inside storage consumed is a bag the size of a ½-gal. Ziplock for the tarp.
I just bought a carefree of colorado sidewinder II awning. $300us plus $60 for the vw brackets. The powder coated brackets simply clamp to the gutters, the feet are covered with rubber so that they don't mar the paint. Very secure, 15 minute install, 30 seconds to take off to store if you wish. Comes in 8' or 9' or 10'lengths. I got the 8'. The unit is very easy to unroll and roll up. Stores in a water tight aluminum case. Light weight, 24lbs. All in all I am very pleased. I'm going to make my own screen/privacy surround for it.
My local rv dealer(Vacationlandd it for the same price as factory on line. No shipping charge either. As alway, I prefer to give my local guys the business even if they are a bit more expensive. While it is so easy to order things on line and save a nickle or two on the big ticket items, keeping your local suppliers in business keeps them there for the little things as well. Just my little soap box speach.
Truth be told, we have erred on the side of simplicity. We decided that the screen enclosure creates most of the privacy we needed. The screen is a 84" fibreglass screen. (very hard to find in that width.) If you can't find it, you will have to sew pieces together. The main enclosure is two pieces, each starting at the car, running out to the front of the awning, and half way across the front, with each piece overlapping 6" or so. No zippers, less hassle. The screen attaches to the car with sewn in round magnets, and to the awning with spring clips. We sewed in weights along the bottom to hold it down. By making it a bit overheight, it runs along rough ground. The tricky part is the piece under the door. A piece of screen running under the door, but cut to cover the rear tire, covers under the car (kind of a odd "T" shape). This magnets over the rear fender well, and with a sewn in bungee, strings between the jack points. The corners clamp with spring clamps to seal the piece under the car with the pieces on the side. The key to all of this is to make all the pieces oversize to allow for rough ground, strange angles etc.
For additional privacy, we simply carry and clamp 7'x7' tarps on any side we need to protect from either the weather or other eyes. It all stores in a small bag. I'm sure you could sew up a privacy/screen enclosure that is more elegant, but this works well, and is easy to set up and take down. Each side piece is the same size so it doesn't matter which goes where.
The final thing I did was to rivet 1/4" industrial rubber on the back side of the awining case (ala Capt. Mikes plexiglass) to seal the water and the bugs from between the case and the rain gutter. The advantage of the rubber is that it is cheap ($5 or less), and it doesn't scratch or squeek.
At some point I'll figure how to post some pictures. Hope this helps
We have a side tent (love it) got it from busdepot.com. We also have a awning that we use for day trips, I made a shade screen for it using canvas painting tarps sewn together that I attach to the awning "roof" with velcro fasteners. The "walls" hang down and keep the heat out when we're surfing at the beach or motorcycle riding in the desert.
AHA!!! Sorry I kept misposting in the camping forum! Thread purity has never been one of my strong points! ;-)
Now, I am actively in the market to get me one of the bright colored circus tents for my 87 Westy for my BRC camp next year, Big Top, Westy Side Tent, Sundial Awning, etc.
Q?- Will tents designed for say a Baywindow style bus work on my 87 sliding door model? With little or no modification?
They all seem to attach via the raingutters, with a big opening for the door, and being that they are freestanding seems like there shouldn't be a problem BUT...I have been told by some folks that I've tried to purchase from that they won't work. ANY info small or exacting would help in my quest! THANKS!!
After years of traveling in a Westy and hundreds of camping spots ranging from sweltering southern heat to wet pacific snow, I've finally realized the beauty of an awning. I didn't want a heavy bulky fixed mount awning and wanted it to be versatile enough so I could adjust for extreme weather as well as adjust to any location on my van (like working on my engine during thunderstorms). I purchased a lightweight Kelty Noah's Tarp 9 for about US$50.00 and installed two permanent waterproof U-bolt assemblys (from West Marine) on both sides of the poptop fiberglass where the existing strut support rod exists. I attach 5mm cord to 12" rebar stakes to stabilize the pop-top in high winds and also act as guy lines to set up my Noahs Tarp.
Is the the tent BusDepot has listed for $399? Does yours also have the 'private room'? I'm considering buying one and would love to hear what you think of it's quality, durability, ease of set-up, and fit (we have an '87 Westy).
Kind regards, Pete
We have a 1987 Westy and own one of the "big top" tents you're talking about. It's orange/yellow & blue with an external frame. We use it on all camping trips. It doesn't really fit to the Type 3 Westfalia, but as you point out it is made to stand alone so we just but it up to the bus as closely as possible and it's fine.
[Mod. Note: There was no Westfalia Type 3 (Squareback & fastback sedans) camper. Presume you mean Vanagon, which was still an internal Type 2 designation.]
There are a number of pics of original Westyfalia tents via the links posted. This tent in pic #1 does not look like any OE I've every seen nor the ones in the manual. I'd question the brochure. VW would not have photographed a used Westy in a sales brochure. (Look at the wheel wells -- this is a Westy that has seen plenty of road miles). I don't think VW would have left all the clutter into the picture that looks like aftermarket vendor stuff. It looks more like a local dealer's brochure or a a tent seller's brochure. There were a lot of tents made that fit the Westy that are not VW OE.
Of the OE tents I've seen, I've never seen one with mylar windows, with color-anodized poles, or alumnized window treatments. In fact, I think those features didn't come into common use until after the Bay Window era it's pictured with.
We have an original tent, purchased in '85 with the Westy Vanagon. It has seen some use over the years and can use some sprucing up. Is there a source for parts? I am looking for the plastic hooks that attach to the exterior frame and the blue stake loops that seem to be glued to the "bathtub" floor.
There are a few minor tears in the canvas pockets for the door, but these can be dealt with readily.
Malcolm & Audrey
St. John's, Nfld
[Moderator Note: See posts above & PARTS & Vendors forums. Post #5 above gives a manufacturer that sells many parts -- the tent construction was fairly generic.]