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Camp-Right Avalanche Tent Not For Single Handed Campers

Cool Rod

Full Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2003
Messages
348
Location
Miami FLA
I purchased a Camp-Right tent for my Avalanche and I thought I'd share my experience.

The tent is designed specifically for the Avalanche, it's not a one size fits all tent.

The advertising shows one girl installing the tent in the back of a pickup, and I found that to be misleading.

http://www.rightlinegear.com/trucktents_setup.html

I set it up a couple of times with some help from my brother, then tried to set it up another time by myself. For one person it was extremely difficult to do, in fact I couldn't do it and tore off one of the straps trying.

One problem is that the fiberglass poles snag as they are slid through the mesh fabric guides that keep them in place. There is a lot of unsnagging to do, and it involves moving from one side of the truck to the other over and over.

Once the poles are in place, the really big problem is that you need to put pressure on them to make them arc up into position. It needs two people, one on each end, to do that and it's not easy even then. Again, if you're by yourself you'll have to go from one side of the truck to the other many many times and in all likelihood you won't be able to do it. And you need to do that over and over for all four poles.

If you can do that then the rest is simply a matter of securing it in place with adjustable straps.

I emailed the manufacturer and told them I was coming to their area to camp and asked them if I could come to their office and get the strap sewn back on and also get some tips on single handedly putting up the tent. They were nice about it and said to just give them a call in advance to set up a time, which I did.

I drove to their office in Candler, N.C. and the owner came out to the parking lot. He saw my AV and said the Avalanche model was the hardest to put up (they make other tents) and that he had never put one up himself. He started off confidently, but within just a couple of steps he needed my help. He wasn't able to bend the poles by himself, we each had to take an end. We found that one of the cords was made too short to work the way it was supposed to, and it was a critical cord that holds a piece of fabric over the area where the plastic part of the Avalanche joins the roof to prevent water leaks. So we had to tinker with that, and it required one person at each end of the cord that runs over the roof and attaches on each end to the truck.

When the tent was finally in place, which took us about 30 minutes, and we were both drenched in sweat, he said "There you go" as if he had done it all by himself!

I thanked him for his time and left. They couldn't sew the strap back on either, since they don't have the equipment. The tents are made in China.

So this tent is really a two person operation, not useful for an individual camper. That then means you're going to be sleeping with another person in the truck bed, which wouldn't be too comfortable. It's fine for one sleeper, but two will be tight.

One other important thing to realize is that you can't drive to another place with the tent assembled, it needs to be taken down every time and then put up again when you get to your new campsite. It's such a pain for one person to struggle with that it's impractical. It's only useful if you're going to stay in one place for a while.

I just ended up sleeping in the truck bed with the panels in place and the midgate down, which was fine.

Overall I not only don't recommend this tent, I have to warn you about it.

Not worth the money.
 

dorelse

Full Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
124
Perfect timing!  (I've only had my Av for about 3 mos. now.)

Mine just arrived yesterday, and I need it for this weekends camping trip.  I concur about really being a monster to put up.  My first attempt was last night.  I agree with you on all points.

Here's my 2 cents.  The poles are too long by about an inch, I hate the sound of fabric stretching & seams tearing as you stretch the thing beyond its limits just to get the darn poles into the slot.

I wanted this model as it doesn't require you to unload all your gear to put it up, and the sewn in floor on the other models just seems unnecessary.

Instructions are so generic that they're essentially useless.  I'm also not sure how this won't end up scratching my truck if its windy...

Oh...and mine came stained (looks like blood), and 1 strap was already torn.  (I suspect I got a previously returned one.)  I have e-mailed customer service requesting a new one overnighted to me, or a substantial discount on this one.  Otherwise, I'll just return it.  I also agree that it would be so much easier to just sleep with the panels in, with the midgate down.  I suspect that a lot of folks do just that...bummer, I was excited about this tent.

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dorelse

Full Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
124
Just a follow up.

Lakeland Gear has been very responsive to my issue, and I was essentially given a number of options ranging from overnighting a replacement, returning it completely, or finding a discounted price that would work.

I've been very happy with their handling of this issue. 

I'll report back after this weekend on how the tent does, but for now, I'm going to keep it.  The discount was enough to justify having it around for soccer tournaments for the kids, etc.

 

RENORCR

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Full Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
2,888
Location
On the road between Los Angeles, CA & Las Vega
That is one thing about the Camp-Right Tent. You do need two people.

The GM tent I have been able to put up by myself.  It is similiar to a three man dome tent.

One person can put one up with ease. Just my 2cts.
 

dorelse

Full Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
124
Ok, so far, I've had to sew back on 2 straps on the Camp-Right, and I shortened the fiberglass tent poles 2 inches.  I also had some  spare buckle guards from my boat cover and added them to the buckles on the Camp-Right.  There's just no excuse for having buckles positioned where they can scratch the paint.

I also had to switch the straps around over the midgate section, the long straps were attached to the long string, short straps to the short sting...too much strap on one, not enough on the other...now we're good on both.

Anyway, I did get mine up by myself tonight.  Its not a fast process, but it can be done.

I like the tent, I do, well, I want to like it at the very least.  Its just overly complicated IMO, but I do like that there's no floor to mess with I guess.  I'm clinging to that for now anyway.

The quality control is just lacking.
 

dorelse

Full Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
124
Well, I can report that the tent was a complete success!  We all love photos right?  (I posted this in the Intro to IA members thread, but wanted to finish off this specific tent review thread as well.)

My official take is that the tent is a winner, IF, you make a couple mods.  1st, the poles are too long by about 1-2"...I shortened them, being EXTREMELY careful not to cut through the string that holds them all together.  Then I cut the end knot off, took off the 2" section I'd cut, and retied it.

That 1 little mod takes this tent from a total PITA to setup to really not very difficult...its a huge difference.

The other thing I didn't like is that the quality of the stitching to attach the straps was lacking.  Straps weren't sewn in properly, easily (and I mean without much tension at all) pulled out of the tent.  I'll be resewing them again before I use it next time.  It was simply not done properly.

Otherwise, its a good tent...for the money though, they need to address the items I've listed above.


Video of the campsite:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAOeAYt1ibQ

And...a couple photos:

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I use 2 of the bed cover panels as a table...

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SurvivalFreak

Full Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
730
Location
Edmonton Alberta CANADA
Sweet!  Good job making it work for You.  (y)    AND i totally love the idea of using the bedcovers as a table, so simple yet it never ever crossed my mind.  Happy Camping! 
 

uly442

Full Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
18
That thing sounds hard to use,that is why I made my top.  :wave:
 

Djurre-Avalanche

Full Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
272
Location
Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Nice trucktents guys!

I have the Napier Sportz tent III.
I have slept over 2,5 weeks this summer in this tent on several campings in France.
I like it very much!!!!
It even survived a storm without any pain.
Only thing i am not happy about are the poles.
They are made of fiberglass and they suck.
One pole broke several times, a few the other ones are gonna break the next time i use them.
I will buy new aluminium poles, they are much stronger.
It would be cool if everybody post pics of their Avalanche with a tent here!!! (if topicstarter agrees ofcourse)

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camaroz1985

Full Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
565
Location
Carlisle, Pa
I don't think aluminum poles will work.  The poles need to bend.  Fiberglass is ok for this, aluminum will be bent permanently.

You might just need better quality fiberglass poles.
 

Kaznasty

Full Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2007
Messages
51
Location
Centerton, AR
Here is a picture of my tent. This is a GM specific tent. Got it off Ebay for $160-ish. Works great and i can set it up with one person as i did in this pic, just takes a little patience.
 

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Oberloh

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Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
52
Location
Northern California
I don't think aluminum poles will work. The poles need to bend. Fiberglass is ok for this, aluminum will be bent permanently.

You might just need better quality fiberglass poles.
I realize that this is 11 years later, however some folks might appreciate more info on the poles. While I don't use one Napier's truck tents on my Avalanche, all my North Face 4-Season and Expedition Tents (VE-24, VE-25, and Pole Sleeve Oval since 1976) have come with aluminum poles with no bending problem even leaving them up for weeks on end in blizzard conditions. I would think that no decent aluminum poles with have a memory that holds the bend in the shaft.
Don
 

camaroz1985

Full Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2009
Messages
565
Location
Carlisle, Pa
I realize that this is 11 years later, however some folks might appreciate more info on the poles. While I don't use one Napier's truck tents on my Avalanche, all my North Face 4-Season and Expedition Tents (VE-24, VE-25, and Pole Sleeve Oval since 1976) have come with aluminum poles with no bending problem even leaving them up for weeks on end in blizzard conditions. I would think that no decent aluminum poles with have a memory that holds the bend in the shaft.
Don
The only experience I have had with aluminum poles are straight sections. I wasn't aware they made bendable aluminum poles. That said, it looks like the VE 25 is a $750 tent. If you spend that much for a truck tent maybe you will get aluminum poles that would work, or better quality fiberglass poles. I don't have any experience with the specific tent in this thread, only the GM Accessory one. I don't recall having any issues with the poles or issues setting it up myself after the first time. Of course I sold my Av and tent 8 or 9 years ago, so I may only be remembering the good times.
 
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