Camping Gear Review Series – Oztent RV5, Peaked Side Panels & Tag Along Tent

Why do I pick gear that has lots of words. Someone thought these long names up. Must be good. We’ll this is the creme de la creme of tents. It is top of the line and boy is it worth the $1800 price tag for a portable go anywhere home. This tent goes up with all the attachments and pegs in about 15-20 min with two people, the main tent takes just 30 seconds to erect. It’s what is known as a touring tent. Ripstop canvas construction, light weight aluminum frame and midge proof mesh bits. Canvas tents have come a long way since my childhood. Gone are the days of heavy poles that rust up and requiring Popeye level muscles just to get the tent out of the bag which it never fit back into.

Much like the OZtrail leisure Mat, it is one of our big pieces of gear, measuring in at 2m long for the main tent (the other bits are smaller) it will live either on a roof rack or on top of the tradies trailer we are fixing up for the trip back west. There is even a roof basket by rhinorack for the oztent. I could seriously go overboard with gear if it wasn’t for my teeny budget. Speaking of which there are a few reasons why we chose a tent over our original plan of a camper trailer one of the biggest being cost.  This tent may sound expensive but it’s brand new and cheaper than a second hand camper trailer. Sure it has less room but we don’t take up much space anyway. We decided that the risk of something going wrong with a second hand camper wasn’t worth it and to go new for that was gonna cost us the earth. We also didn’t want to go with the light weight tents that have a habit of turning a your bedroom into a pool when it rains (found that out on the last 11000km, 3 month trip). A touring tent was middle ground, faster to put up and serves all the purposes we need.

The three kiddos here (will be 12,8,4 years old) will be sharing the main tent (can be closed off entirely from the other rooms) on an oztent gecko stretcher and oztrail bunk beds, (more about them later) with enough room for a play space in the middle. The doggie Katara will have the center section at night surrounded by the PSP and two tents with no floor, unlike most other three room setups she has grass and her travel box to hang out on/in, (better than trying to scrub a tent floor for doggie mess lol). Then we have our bed (wanderer zip together stretchers and the leisure mat) in the tag along. It just fits length ways but we have a space at one end to get dressed or set up the laptop for a movie of an evening (alone if we like as this tent closes off from the doggy room also.)

One thing that needs to be considered when camping under canvas is ventilation. It’s a heavy fabric and while one side is waterproof ie. condensation just beads off, the other side is not and if not properly ventilated (opening vents and pegging out the window awning) you are going to get moisture inside. We have resolved to the fact that because of the grass in the middle, there will be water on the inside of the center room in the morning, not a huge issue as all of our gear fits in the car or inside the bedroom tents under the stretchers, but something worth mentioning.

Another super amazing thing (that most would consider minor until injury) we found about the tent is the groovy guy ropes. Not only do they have cute little pockets to live in on the tent to make pegging them tangle free but our kids and our overzealous Staffy don’t clothesline on them because they are fluorescent orange. (That’s slang for running at the ropes neck first and… well… the rest is up to your imagination) we had a fair few problems with guy rope injuries on the last trip, grown ups included. If any part of the tent breaks you can get replacement joints or patches for a low reasonable cost from oztent directly. This means the tent has a long life expectancy and will be used well after this big trip.

There are other attachments and sizes that you can purchase in this design range, it’s entirely modular for everything from a two person set up (rv1) to a group of 12-20 (with the inclusion of the foxwing awning and additional RV5 Oztents.)  In short it will suit us for a very long time to come because it is easy to use, flexible in layout and reliable to keep the rain off.

I hope you have got something out of this review, if you have any questions about this set up please feel free to ask in the comments. 🙂

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