Trailer or Tent to Camp

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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LeonardPotato
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Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by LeonardPotato » Mon May 01, 2017 2:08 pm

Happy May peoples,

I currently have a small trailer rented that I would pick up about 1/2 way to BRC (Coming from IL). It is just a bed on wheels that I would tow with a Ford Edge. Costs would be rental, cleaning, decreased fuel economy, etc. Scheduling would have to be tighter so I could pick up and return on a certain day.

Option to buy a tent would obviously be cheaper. The cost to buy the tent would be less than the rental fee alone.

All else being the same, am I going to regret giving up a hard sided shelter with a kitchen counter on the back and a bed inside to save the added cost? Or will my trip be ruined staying in a tent to save a few hundred dollars.

I can make myself perfectly comfortable in the tent so really it is just the structure I am debating.

The best potato,

Leonard Potato
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BBadger
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by BBadger » Mon May 01, 2017 2:32 pm

Both can be nice, but having a sealed up trailer is a nice luxury. I use a tent, but that is mostly because I don't have space to store a trailer or a vehicle suitable for pulling one realistically. I'd definitely consider a trailer otherwise, especially owning one. It makes it a lot easier to pack up your stuff, keep your shit in order, and possibly keep stuff less dusty.

If you go with a tent, you need to ensure that you're bringing a shade structure or it will not be pleasant unless you always sleep at night. Hell, you might need one for your trailer too if it traps heat.
Last edited by BBadger on Mon May 01, 2017 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon May 01, 2017 4:45 pm

I'd absolutely do the trailer, for reasons too numerous to fit on this entire website.
Last edited by Captain Goddammit on Mon May 01, 2017 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JayBobBoy
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by JayBobBoy » Mon May 01, 2017 5:15 pm

TRAILERTRAILERTRAILERTRAILERTRAILERTRAILERTRAILERTRAILERTRAILERTRAILER

Imagine the endless flapping of loose fabric in the wind!

It is worth every penny to have solid walls as an escape from the wind and dust!

If you can make it work safely, do it! Don't think twice about it.
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Papa Bear
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by Papa Bear » Mon May 01, 2017 7:13 pm

I'll offer the opposite view - I'd take a 7x9-ish tent, a Costco carport, and a small folding table to set up inside the carport to use for a kitchen. That's still likely to be far less than the cost of the trailer rental, and less worry about cleaning charges. The carport will dramatically reduce the dust you deal with in the tent, and you can make it even nicer by layering an opaque tarp or radiant barrier under the roof.

Yes, it does take a bit more time to set up and take down, but we're talking a matter of a couple of hours. Not a big deal unless you are also planning a lot of time setting up a theme camp, art car, or art installation.

Besides, if you try it that way and decide you would prefer the trailer next year after all, you can then use the carport as a "front porch" - a nice and shady place to hang out with passers-by. All too often, I see RV dwellers sequestering themselves inside during the day, and in doing so missing out on a lot of the burn.

I actually use a Mongolian-style yurt out there now, which is a bit more work to set up and take down than the carport and tent combo. I've never regretted not having the hard sides, save once - the "aw crap, this isn't a faraday cage" thought in the lightning storm in '14. But that was pretty unusual, and the car wasn't far away.

We may consider a trailer next year depending on this year's experiment with bringing the kids, but that falls under the same category of planning to spend a lot of time on something else.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon May 01, 2017 9:08 pm

Here's something major that you don't know until you've been there: when you arrive in BRC, you've been on the road for hours and hours, then you are in the entrance line for four, six, maybe twelve more hours.
You're tired, it's probably late, and the dust is usually blowing hard.
It really, really, really sucks to now have to begin building your shelter. I mean, it really fucking sucks.
Having instant living quarters (i.e. the trailer) when you finally get to your spot, ready to crash in, fucking rocks.

Bringing a Costco 10x20 carport (and appropriate overkill tiedowns) to set up in front of or over your trailer, the next day, is an excellent idea and you'll be very glad you did. You really need sheltered hangout space.
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Papa Bear
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by Papa Bear » Mon May 01, 2017 10:11 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Here's something major that you don't know until you've been there: when you arrive in BRC, you've been on the road for hours and hours, then you are in the entrance line for four, six, maybe twelve more hours.
Very good point. I've always been out early enough in build week that I'm used to not having any kind of wait to get in. Spending a bunch of hours in line would definitely make a difference.

With the right tent, you could probably just set it up in a few minutes and wait for the next day to put a carport/other shade structure over it, but even that could be a pain if you'd had a long wait at gate.

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LeonardPotato
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by LeonardPotato » Tue May 02, 2017 10:01 am

Thanks everyone for weighing in!
I really appreciate it. Still not settled on which way I will go, but the shade structure is what I am working on now.
To days of inspiration, playing hooky, making something out of nothing. The need to express, to communicate. To going against the grain, going insane, going mad. To love and tension, no pension. To more than one dimension

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DeanisGatsby
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by DeanisGatsby » Sat May 06, 2017 9:50 pm

I'd say it all depends on the wind that year. When there is no wind and therefor little dust, you'll be very comfortable in your tent under a shade structure. But when there is a lot of wind, your tent will fill with dust; the more wind, the more dust will collect inside your tent. And the dust goes it but doesn't go out, so it gets worse over the week. On a trailer, you'll put masking tape around the windows to help keep dust out in wind storms, as the tiniest openings will allow dust to pile in. When there are wind storms, you'll sleep infinitely more comfortably in a trailer.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun May 07, 2017 9:43 am

You say you can make yourself perfectly comfortable in a tent, but have you tried to do that on Black Rock Desert in a dust storm?
You'll regret it.
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Papa Bear
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by Papa Bear » Sun May 07, 2017 8:59 pm

I think that may depend on the tent and the shade structure more than the wind.

My first three years were in cheap tents inside a shade structure. Despite some pretty good dust storms, I never had it fill with dust and it was, in fact, perfectly comfortable at any time outside of the afternoon heat (but at that time, anything that doesn't have either AC or a good breeze is stifling).

The key factors as I see it were that the tents I used had no mesh, and that the shade structures had full walls that were dropped down whenever a dust storm kicked up. Some dust winds up floating around inside the shade structure, but since the brunt of the wind's force is being taken by the structure's walls, the wind isn't forcing dust into the tent through the fabric.

Zubeneschamali
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Re: Trailer or Tent to Camp

Post by Zubeneschamali » Tue May 09, 2017 3:29 pm

Me? trailer. I gave up on tents a long time ago. The past few years a tent would have been fine maybe even enjoyable. But I remember the bad years.

In my opinion hauling a trailer from wherever is a major pain in the ass, I don't care what anyone says. But the pros start before you even get there. Not to mention, sealed up a trailer is going to outperform a tent any day against dust and wind.

I'd rather live in a uhaul cargo trailer than any 4 season tent. Anything with a bed and counter is a step up from that. And having your own fridge and shitter is downright lux baby! Plug and play can kiss my dusty crack!

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