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    Urge of the day

    I am still looking for a roof tent. But earlier, I was looking at these and I got a bit excited:

    http://soulpad.co.uk/sanctuary/image...lery/web22.jpg

    Everything in that picture costs about £1000, so an enormous tent with built-in woodburner is actually a cheaper option. I suspect it would be a bit too much of a faff to set up in practice (I loved the way I could just pull over and flop into the Romahome), but they do look quite fun.

    Has anyone slept in a bell tent before? Do campsites object to them? Just idly curious, really.

    #2
    can't see why anyone should have a problem with these tents - have def seen a few at festivals. I think also at standard sites as well. Not slept in one though we did have a holiday in a yurt once (very snug!)
    Carpe diem! :)

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      #3
      yes I have slept in an ex army bell tent years and years ago.Perfectly ok,although my ex said that as a girl guide she found bell tents drafty,probably not nowadays and they weigh a lot,or did then.
      It looks great fun and I have seen several on C&CC sites.They do look such fun.
      Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

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        #4
        Originally posted by chris667 View Post
        I am still looking for a roof tent. But earlier, I was looking at these and I got a bit excited:

        http://soulpad.co.uk/sanctuary/image...lery/web22.jpg

        Everything in that picture costs about £1000, so an enormous tent with built-in woodburner is actually a cheaper option. I suspect it would be a bit too much of a faff to set up in practice (I loved the way I could just pull over and flop into the Romahome), but they do look quite fun.

        Has anyone slept in a bell tent before? Do campsites object to them? Just idly curious, really.
        When I was in the scouts we slept in bell tents a lot, we slept with our feet against the central pole! so we looked like spokes on a wheel! just make sure you don't get the spot under the lace-up doorway, unless you like rainwater on your face whilst in bed !! I can smell that canvass now.

        derek b
        derek b and Babs

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          #5
          Mmmmm think I like the idea, more than I would enjoy the reality!! The 8ft walk from the drivers door to the back door, pausing only to open a locker and turn on the gas suits me just fine!!
          Does look great though and I'm loving the woodburner installed.... Happy to help you put it up Chris, in return for a warm around the woodburner.
          Happy trails to all!
          Andyvan:so happy:

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            #6
            It does look fun, I must admit that after spending a week in a yurt, I did come home and start researching prices, no surprise there then. I do have a Cath Kidston tipi that looks good, not put it up yet.
            MS.RoMiNi

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              #7
              A lot of members on another forum have them and seem very happy with them. They have bought tarps for the entrance for an extra shelter. They mentioned that the lack of windows was a problem until they got used to it!

              I haven't seen any threads anywhere on roof tents, they are certainly not popular enough to be discussed on any of the camping forums!

              The movelite drive away awnings seem to be the most popular attachment to any van or romahome!

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                #8
                I bought an Argos Tipi a couple of years ago -- sort of a cheap and nasty poor man's version.

                It was very quick to erect even on my own and I loved the ambience of being in a round tent, but the single skin and synthetic canvas gave big condensation problems. Also the sides were straight to the ground rather than having a sidewall which cut down the useable area dramatically.

                Love the idea of the Soulpads but apart from being out of my price range I doubt I could lift the canvas.

                Have seen quite a few at festivals and on normal campsites.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by jayjay View Post
                  I haven't seen any threads anywhere on roof tents, they are certainly not popular enough to be discussed on any of the camping forums!
                  From what I've seen, roof tents are extremely popular with overlander/expedition driver's, rather that camper's, possibly due to their high costs.

                  I've seen some ingenuous conversions using a RRT (roof top tent) to make a rising roof camper, and have considered doing the same.

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                    #10
                    They're not common in this country, but seem to be a reasonably popular option in Germany.

                    I suppose in an ideal world I would buy another Romahome. But much as I love mine, I don't think good ones are worth the money they go for. They're great, but a bit of a liability. And a hell of a thing if you damage it! The roof tent, although a vastly inferior option, is a much smaller initial outlay, plus when you leave it off you just have a normal, plain van.

                    Also - dont laugh! - my with the roof tent is to use it on the roof of my boat as a guest bedroom. People will have to be careful getting out, of course, and it will be a bit choppy, but it'll work. No-one wants to visit me in the winter anyway!

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                      #11
                      Well, six months after purchasing it the bad weather and other commitments stopped me using it. However, I did take it to Wales last month for a ukulele festival.

                      In a word, Soulpads are ace. I put it up for the first time on my own in rapidly failing light, after spending all day driving. The tent was up in ten minutes and I was in the pub after fifteen, happy that it was all ready. This is more time than the pop-up tents which seem to be popular now, but less than the lightweight tents I have used for bike touring (most recently a North Face, but I have had several with prices ranging from £10 to about £450). It seems a lot more solid and confidence inspiring than any of these including the high end ones, although there is an iffy bit of stitching on mine. The zips are particularly heavy and satisfying.

                      The interior is very light and airy, but there isn't as much space inside as I thought there would be. My (big) airbed (an American Coleman, bought from Ebay) and duvet took up half of the floor area, leaving ample space for my disorganised packing. And a big bonus is being able to stand up. Standing up is good; it makes getting changed so much more civilised. You need to stoop a bit to get through the front door though.

                      I woke up dry and comfortable, opening the door out to Snowdon. Only the very, very rich get the same experience from a house. And they can't move!

                      The second night would have been great, but my friend and her daughter who had never really been camping before and bought shocking quality tents from Tesco had such miserable nights, I let them sleep in it and moved into the best of their Tesco tents. I woke up in the morning soaking wet from the condensation. The Tesco tent was £24.99 and very bad quality, with the stiching coming apart on the ties that hold the frame to the poles. It was taken back after the trip; if the weather had been bad, this would have let whoever owned it down badly. Not so the girls, who slept beautifully.

                      So, the Soulpad is a good tent. But not perfect.

                      1. The tent is HEAVY, and even in its carrying sack it would fill the boot of a small car. I have the smallest one, the 3000-lite. It weighs 25kg dry, and would weigh about half as much again had it rained.

                      2. There is a bit of iffy stitching on the top, which is not really on when you consider it is a premium price item.

                      3. It will take an age to dry out when you get home. You will need a dry room to store it in for at least a few days. And it's a big piece of canvas, so if you have a small house, that has to be a consideration.

                      4. This is nitpicking, but I find the trendy aspect of their website a bit irritating and false. They are mass produced in the far east like everything else, not by members of "the Soulpad family". Look at their website to see what I mean.

                      Still, it's a good tent, and even though it cost ten times as much as a Tesco tent, it will easily outlast ten of them so is much better value. It's a viable alternative to a Romahome, and arguably more comfortable; there's far more room.

                      Still, I'm glad to get my Romahome back.
                      Last edited by chris667; 31-05-2012, 09:33.

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                        #12
                        I agree they are nice looking tents,but I dont know about SOUL pads,they look more British Army in India to me as sold in Army and Navy Stores or by Headquarters and General in days of my callow youth!
                        But like you I find weight an issue,I bought a brand new Romahome awning approx £400,and the weight nearly kills me,I hardly use it now.

                        A Romahome is SO easy!
                        Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

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                          #13
                          That's another good point, Ian. You can buy European ones from Army Surplus shops. And they're probably better quality. Never tried one though.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Ian STOCKLEY View Post
                            But like you I find weight an issue,I bought a brand new Romahome awning approx £400,and the weight nearly kills me,I hardly use it now.

                            A Romahome is SO easy!
                            Ian, Sell it to someone young and strong and get yourself a movelite square! Lighter and easier to put up than anything else I've seen.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jayjay View Post
                              Ian, Sell it to someone young and strong and get yourself a movelite square! Lighter and easier to put up than anything else I've seen.
                              j/j whisper it quietly,but I havn`t seen anybody young in a roma yet!
                              Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

                              Comment

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