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Anyone out there ever use a truck tent?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by fatamos33, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. fatamos33

    fatamos33 Oregon Member

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    I am looking at getting a truck tent and a truck air mattress(an air mattress that fits to the bed of your truck) i was wondering if anyone has ever used either of these products before and if they are worth buying or should i just stick to a normal tent and mattress? A few links for examples of what I'm looking at getting:
    truck tent:
    Napier Backroadz Universal Tents - Free Shipping on Napier Back Roads Universal Camping Tents for Trucks, Minivans & SUVs

    Truck mattress:
    AirBedz Original Truck Bed Air Mattress

    Thanks in advance
  2. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I have not used those, but I generally spend about 2 months/year living "outdoors". I have slept in several kinda of tents, in vehicles, in campers, under plastic sheet, ext.

    Depending on the temperature sleeping in vehicles can be very cold, even compared to just a simple tent. With a vehicle you have a large chunk of metal that quickly soaked up whatever temperature its. On top of that air is able to circulate under the vehicle causing it to be even colder. Same principal where the roads may just be wet as high as 40*, but bridges can be icy/frozen. So with all that said sleeping in cool/cold weather can be much colder in the rig then on the ground.

    With all that said one of my favorite vehicles I had for "camping" was my suburban. One of the things I did was some minor insulating and it REALLY helps. Basically what I did was cut up the closed cell foam sleeping pads to fit in the rear 6 windows. Then I used one full one that basically separated the front of the cab from the rear passenger area. It was reasonable to sleep in there, especially if not alone, down to about 40*. It was a bit chilly waking up, but not bad. Nice thing with this set up is you just leaned forward, started the rig, cranked the heat and got back in the bag till it warmed up. If I recall correctly I had a "Full" mattress which inflated very snugly between the walls. It was a very comfy set up.

    Unless you really want to sleep in your vehicle, for the price I think you would be much better off with a good tent and a good mattress.

    I was using the cheep "Walmart" style ~$30 Coleman mattresses and 12v air pump. It seemed like I was buying a new one about once a year. They would get to a point where they just would not hold air all night and you wake up on the floor. It sucked. Also on night 1 the mattress would lose some air, but topping it off the next day would keep it nice and firm until you deflated it. Then you would have to start all over. When I got my new set up I decided I would look into a "good" mattress but I was only willing to spend up to $100. There are quiet a few options on the "double" thick mattresses in that range, that are meant to go on the floor. Well I had a bed frame and that was just too high for me. I finally found, Coleman Aero Dual-Comfort Sleep Queen Airbed Sleeping This mattress has been great and I am on my 3rd year with it. It is the most comfortable one I have ever used. One difference is it comes with a 120v pump that builds a much higher pressure then the 12v ones. It does not lose air and it is as firm on night 1 as on night 10+. I think right now the longest straight time I have spent on it is 22 days. One thing I don't like, that is not just on this mattress is the oval shapes they use so it will keep shape. So on this one I did add a "topper", Mainstays Foam Mattress Pad: Furniture : Walmart.com

    Here is an old pic of my current set up. It was taken during version 1, but it is still the same bed frame and mattress. I just have 2 different set ups depending on if I am using it for work or for diving.

    My favorite feature is the programable heater. I can sleep nice and cool, yet it comes on about 20 min before I have to be up and starts blowing nice hot air making it easier to get up on those cold morning.
  3. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I had a tent trailer built in 1976,,,It sucked on all levels
    I had solo camp experience a;ll como straight no bubblegums
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Like NWCID I also spend a huge portion of my time outdoors, I've looked into vehicle tents before and frankly I'm woefully unimpressed. They offer all the headaches of sleeping in the car, with all the headaches of setting up and taking down tents. While the tent is up, and it's all set up for "sleeping" you can't really drive anywhere, while you're sleeping, you now have to go through the uncomfortable procedure of getting out of the car to pee.

    I have about 5 different tents I use for different things when I camp, typically I camp "expedition style" so we've got a base camp that may move every few days, and then we take trips out from there. For weekend car camping, I have a small 3-man tent (I think it was a big-5 or wally world special) that I use for that. If I've got a big group, and it's cold outside, I'll bring out the GP-Small military tent (sleeps 10) along with the wood stove, if I don't have at least 5 people, or it's just me, and I'll be there for a while I take my coleman classic, which while not waterproof without a tarp over it, is pretty warm once the propane heater gets going.

    As for airbeds, I've had really good luck with the current generation of coleman airbeds, when sleeping on rough ground they do occasionally get holes but spending the time to find the hole and fix it with a patch kit is much cheaper than buying a new mattress. I think most of my mattresses were purchased between 2008 and 2010, and they're still going (I've inherited a few from my in-laws that got attacked by cats and needed patching).

    If you're really set on sleeping in a pickup, a lightweight aluminum shell is probably a better purchase given the price of those tents. I had one on my old pickup, and after putting reflectix over the inside of the cover, and putting some underneath the bed-liner it was a quite warm place to sleep, and even in my little mazda, it still fit a twin air mattress.

    Alternatively, you might look into a wall tent or a surplus military tent if you want the utmost in comfort if you're going to be anywhere for a while.

    Also, if you're camping, and have a pickup, firewood will most definitely end up in the bed of your truck, if you have a tent in there, that means firewood will end up in your tent.
    Nwcid and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Benihaus

    Benihaus Portland American

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    if you go with a canopy, which is my recommendation. I would certainly go with barn doors, trying to lower a tailgate from the inside is the suck.
  6. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    +1 on just getting a canopy. Works fine and you can just get up and go.

    Alternatively, you can find cabovers for free sometimes. That's home style camping and you can still just get up and drive. Comes with bed, table, sink, fridge and battery power!

    I have one and I love it. Lived in it for a week solid once and never felt a lack of comforts.
  7. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I like a canopy also. You don't have to toss everything out of the bed onto the ground to set up a tent in the bed to sleep/get out of the elements. You can also bring a regular tent (or twelve) with you.
    I kinda like the tailgate style canopies though.. they provide a great task bench/seating area.. protected from the rain by the hatch. Get a tall one though.. or at least a stepped one with a tall lift hatch area.. easier to get in and out of.
    Oh, and I like a foam mat and horse padding style wool "carpet"/blanket for over or under you, depending on what's needed.