Free standing shelter: Compact junior - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-06-2008, 10:56 PM   #1
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Okay folks, I've just spent a couple of hours reading posts about awnings and canopies and I'm not sure I am any further ahead. With a compact junior and the door out the back I want a free standing shelter that is going to stand up to weather but is not going to weigh lots. We have looked at First ups but they seemed very heavy. I think I want something that functions like a First up/Ez-up but lighter and do not know if something with aluminum poles will stand up. Something that can have screen sides would be nice or the screen sides that roll up if bugs are not a problem. I was really intrigued by one persons posting of a Columbia condor canopy but it looks like Columbia no longer makes it and I do not know if it can be self-supporting, the same with the Kelty Carport Are there screen rooms that some one would recommend. Years ago a friend had a screen room from Eureka with poles about 2-3 inches in diameter, but again it appears Eureka no longer seems to make something like that. And I have the fun of living in Canada so the sources are not the same. Do I need to spend $200 for quality, or something in the $100 range?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:29 PM   #2
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I want a free standing shelter that is going to stand up to weather but is not going to weigh lots. We have looked at First ups but they seemed very heavy. I think I want something that functions like a First up/Ez-up but lighter and do not know if something with aluminum poles will stand up. Something that can have screen sides would be nice or the screen sides that roll up if bugs are not a problem.
Well, you are right about First Ups and EZups. At one time I bought a shelter from Target for about $70 that had three, rather than two, piece poles and set up like an ezup but was lighter weight. I took mine back after one use as another friend had hers crumple in a moderate wind.

For free-standing you might go with something like a screen room, built like a tent, but it won't fit over the trailer so you'd still be going from one to the other. Something like this maybe:

http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys/North...13/product.html

That could be staked down to hold up to wind and might actually work well with a trailer like yours and mine.

But I think you'd want one with two doors- one to go from trailer to shelter and one to get out.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:33 PM   #3
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I would think that "Standing up to the weather" being what seems to be your concern.. an EZ UP is your best bet.

I had a free standing shelter from wally world that did fine in the rain, but got whipped in the wind.

I'll let ya in on a secret.. a dirty truth most traditional awning folks don't let on to..

If there is wind.. you will see RVers the world over scrambling to stow them. I myself have awakened in the nite to quickly toss on shoes and no socks to wrestle with mine to prevent certain disaster. (Ask anyone that was at quartzsite last year.. they all got a view of how fast I can move in my underwear )

We ponder when leaving the campsite for a day trip as to whether we should stow the awning "Just in Case".

Oh sure, you can stake and deflap and otherwise try to support, but in the end, what you have is a kite attached to the side of the rig.. if nature wants, she will send it sailing regardless.

A free standing shelter would be the same, just more of a pain to set up and tear down.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:33 AM   #4
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(Ask anyone that was at quartzsite last year.. they all got a view of how fast I can move in my underwear )
Wow! Are you going to post pictures? LOL

My experience is: we had a dining fly for many years with our tent. So then we decided to spend the extra money for a screened one. Well, it turned out that screened ones TRAP all the bugs. We had more bugs flying at the top of the thing trying to get out. And me without flypaper or vacuum cleaner to suck 'em up. <_<
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:22 PM   #5
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Kent,
We use a Greatland Easy-Set Gazebo from Target. It is light weight and easy to put up. We've used it for 3 years. If we put it up against the rear of the Compact, I place a 4x4x1 block under the two legs closest to the trailer so that the top of the door clears the edge of the canvas. I doubt it would hold snow but it sheds rain well as long as the canvas is tight. It has been up on the beach in Galveston 3 different times for 168 hours and still functions though it's getting a little tired.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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If there is wind.. you will see RVers the world over scrambling to stow them. I myself have awakened in the nite to quickly toss on shoes and no socks to wrestle with mine to prevent certain disaster. (Ask anyone that was at quartzsite last year.. they all got a view of how fast I can move in my underwear )
I thought the 4am Awning Scramble at Quartzsite last year was a planned event by the organizers as part of the fun..

I had a First Up but the weather had been so beautiful that I neglected to stake it down when I set it up, otherwise, I would have been able to sleep through the scramble with no issues. Although, I did enjoy the early morning view....
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Old 11-08-2008, 03:09 AM   #7
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I saw one of these up at Chaco Canyon where the wind was fairly gusty at times. It seemed to do just fine. http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___23932

Doesn't appear to have screen, though.
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Old 11-08-2008, 03:56 AM   #8
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Doug and kathy Roach had a nice shelter at the cradle of forestry a few years back , screens and rain flaps ,, maybe they will chime in on how it has lasted over the years.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:00 AM   #9
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Our FirstUp does work best with two people setting it up, but it keeps Mama happy. It gives us more space; we stay out there most of the time. For us, it keeps out a lot of the bugs too, another thing that keeps Mama happy, as they swarm at her.
I don't know how it works with a Compact, but for us, it clears the door. Finding one that did was tough. Our first one from Walmart was light, but it was harder to set up, with all the poles to connect. And the first good windstorm took it down. Our FirstUp seems much more able to handle the wind, plus it is easy to find replacement parts. We got the roll-down sides from Hutshop, the weights from Dick's Sporting Goods, and a spare top from the clearance isle of a different Walmart. I appreciate this versatility, except it tempts me to buy an Iowa Hawkeye top to go with it too

CindyL

PS: The first one of the screen houses blew over a couple of days after this picture. We replaced it with the FirstUp a few weeks later.


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Old 11-08-2008, 11:54 PM   #10
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We have two screen rooms. Both do a good job of keeping out most of the bugs. The first one came from Wal Mart & cost less than $40. It's pretty good as long as there's no rain. It's not rainproof and water collects on the top, causing it to sag & requiring frequent "push ups" from underneath to make the water roll off. Very messy! But it is quick & easy to set up.
Screen room number 2 cost a lot more but is really nice & sturdy. It's a Paha Que 12' x 10'. It has two sides that zip open, rainproof flaps on all four sides that can be rolled up, staked out on poles to form awnings or left down to keep out wind & rain. When the flaps are down, it's as private as a tent. It's very waterproof and has held up well during a storm. We take it along if there's any chance of rain or whenever we plan to camp more than 1 or 2 nights. It takes a little longer to set up than the other.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:33 AM   #11
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I used this screen room around our hot tub, it has been set up for over a year, and still in great condition, has weathered well. Only $40 at Wally. Packs down small like a tent and is light weight.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8571848

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:18 AM   #12
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We have used a 12 x 12 screen room with roll-up sides, as our kitchen/livingroom, for about 10 years or so. [this is our second one]. The sides can be left down for privacy or against the wind and rain. Roll them up to ventilate or stake them out to provide shade. Rolled down at night time, for privacey, it's a great place to keep the potty and eliminate oders inside the trailer. It can be placed about three feet from the trailer with one flap covering the space between or free standing off to one side, depending on how we use a particular site. Staked out properly, wind has not been a factor.
I think that the ultimate would be an awning, attached to the trailer, with the option of addind a full screen room with zip in window coverings. But for $125, I'll stick with this method.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:01 PM   #13
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James Kent: could you share the brand name and source?

Any one have experience with an REI Alcove with wind walls?
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:46 PM   #14
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We have used a 12 x 12 screen room with roll-up sides, as our kitchen/livingroom, for about 10 years or so. [this is our second one]. The sides can be left down for privacy or against the wind and rain. Roll them up to ventilate or stake them out to provide shade. Rolled down at night time, for privacey, it's a great place to keep the potty and eliminate oders inside the trailer. It can be placed about three feet from the trailer with one flap covering the space between or free standing off to one side, depending on how we use a particular site. Staked out properly, wind has not been a factor.
I think that the ultimate would be an awning, attached to the trailer, with the option of addind a full screen room with zip in window coverings. But for $125, I'll stick with this method.
Hi...What brand of screen house do you have?We have one much the same made by Colman..It is very servicable and we have had it about ten years.However it only has screen sides.We would like to purchace one like it that has roll up/down sides for wind protection.So far I have not been able to find one.Hope you can give us a lead to what brand you have and where you purchased it.... Pat
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