User Tools

Site Tools


tents for long term camping


  • those traveling around Australia for 6 months or more will probably opt for some type of caravan or a rooftop tent
  • and while most other campers go camping for short periods and have the luxury of returning to our usual accommodation there are an increasing number who either choose to camp long term or are forced to by the lack of affordable rentals (and if you do not have a steady income, such rentals are very hard to attain) or public housing (which can be undesirable)
  • for those who are homeless in urban areas, tents are generally banned by councils as this is regarded as “camping” and not being homeless, and many councils ban overnight sleeping in vehicles except for a short rest during a long trip - for those who decide to stay in urban areas as a homeless person, a swag may be the only secure shelter
  • this page is mainly aimed at those who need long term shelters in addition to their vehicle when they are unable or unwilling to get other accommodation such as rentals or public housing
  • these tents do need to be more storm resistant than normal as taking the tent down in adverse weather may not be a ready option
  • synthetic, polycotton and cotton canvas tents will NOT last long in prolonged UV light - they start to deteriorate quickly, especially after 200 days in strong sunlight
    • most canvas tents are now a mix of polyester and cotton “polycotton” which makes them more waterproof and lighter
    • 100% cotton canvas has low inherent UV and water resistance and requires additional treatments for weather resistance
    • polycotton has moderate UV resistance especially when treated with UV resistant coatings
    • polyester has relatively good UV resistance, nylon has poor UV resistance
    • polycotton tents should be cleaned daily!
      • polycotton tents also need to be regularly cleaned with a damp cloth as the cotton is more fragile than synthetics (do not use solvents on tents!)
      • polycotton tents are also more likely to develop mildew than synthetics which makes early stain removal important eg. bird droppings (use soapy water), tree sap (when sap is dry, cool with ice cube then scrape off) and dust off dust with soft bristle broom
    • polycotton tents should be sprayed with waterproofing spray (that is compatible with polyester) each year as the waterproofing layer gets worn easily
  • ALL tents should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible - consider protecting it with a cheap tarp, or have it under other shade (as long as a tree is not going to fall on it or drop fruit or sap onto it)

Standing height tent options for long term use for one person with a vehicle

polycotton canvas with excellent UV and storm resistance

  • Oztent RV-3
    • this seems to be a popular option and is reasonably discrete but it packs up LONG so you need a van or roof rack to transport it
    • fast set up 8oz Ripstop Polycotton Canvas with strong aluminium poles should withstand most weather conditions if guyed out and protected from 80kph+ winds
    • 21.5kg; 240x200x190cm plus a 240x200cm awning and packs to 202(L) x 27 x 21cm - YEP it is 2m long packed!
    • there are larger versions of this tent also available see
  • Black Wolf Turbo Tent 300
    • if the OzTent is too long to transport, then this tent might fit the bill
    • Heavy Duty Ripstop Polyester Cotton Canvas (there is also a heavier (35kg), larger version with a rear vestibule)
    • no gussetted windows in this version; strong 25mm aluminium poles;
    • 26kg; 300 x 300 x 210cm; standing height of 200cm; packs to a more manageable 140 x 32 x 28cm
    • ~$AU1199

heavy duty synthetics with excellent storm resistance

medium quality much lighter synthetics with good storm resistance and a stove jack

  • sometimes long lasting is not as important as weight - if you struggle to lift a 20kg+ tent (and more if it is wet), or you lack space, then a lighter, less bulky tent may be the best option even if it does not last as long
  • the stove jack allows for lots more options for heating, boiling water, drying clothes and cooking while kindling can usually be found to provide free fuel for a wood stove which should last many years - assuming you can light a wood stove and fire restrictions are not in force for the region or weather conditions
    • PU 2000mm 75D 210T polyester; 13mm aluminium poles; 4 doors and two become awnings and one can have optional TPU but no gussetted windows;
    • stove jack for wood stove;
    • much faster than the Black Wolf options to set up and much easier to transport than either Black Wolf or Oztent tents, much lighter, less bulky, 3 more doors and thus more ventilation, but lacks standing height for taller people and will not last as long in the sun - so aim to keep it shaded as much as possible - a good option for those who are always on the move and having to set up and pack up every few days.
    • the optional clear plastic TPU front door adds a very nice option for cooler weather especially if raining or windy.
    • 7.5kg; 320×240×180cm; packs to 63x30x22cm;
    • NatureHike Sand Dune hot tent ~$AU500 on slow boat from China (you will need a fixed address to have it mailed to)

Smaller synthetics as an adjunct to van living

  • many prefer to mainly live in a van, but want to have a small tent with small packed size bulk to reserve their site and to provide the option of a change in sleeping arrangements from the cramped van
  • there are many such tents and usually a budget 3P size one is chosen as this is less likely to be stolen and is not expensive to replace when it does become damaged
australia/tents_longterm.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/15 17:34 by gary1

Donate Powered by PHP Valid HTML5 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki