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Old 01-05-2019, 07:24 PM   #1
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Name: Barclay
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Pop up canopies

We have a 13 ft Scamp and are looking at a Gazelle pop up canopy. We wondered if anyone has run into a problem at campgrounds not allowing them? We are looking at the Gazelle 5 or Quick Set Traveler. Any advice will he appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #2
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I'd be interested to learn where you heard that this might be a concern. Not a problem at any Nat'l or State park we've ever camped at. I can see they might not be permitted at a fancy class A "resort" park, but that's purely speculation.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:52 PM   #3
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We won’t be staying at Class A resorts so it may not be a problem on our trips.
That said, is there
advice as to which size to get?
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:56 PM   #4
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I know that the Escapees RV park just south of Port Townsend WA only allows a canopy that is physically attached to the RV. No doubt there are other RV parks with that same rule. I suspect that it is related to trying to keep some distance between people as the parking spaces are sometimes not all that wide. So perhaps it is about keeping someone from putting their canopy up right against the lot line. Or it might also be about not wanting the wind to pickup and blow the canopy into another persons rig and cause it to be damaged. Of course some places do not allow tents of any kind.



So there are three valid reasons why it is not always permitted. How common is there a rule forbidding it? I don't know, I guess you could try doing a sample survey of the rules and regulations of the kinds of places you are attracted to and see how many of them ban the use of tents. When I was tent camping I did find some RV parks that forbid them. Canopies are tents, screen rooms are tents, popup canopies are tents too.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:06 AM   #5
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biggest problem with a popup is if the trailer parking space is paved, you can't stake it down properly
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:12 AM   #6
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I think if you plan to spend many nights in the "RV park" sort of place, an attached awning might be the way to go. Often all you get is a paved pad and a paved patio space next to it. If it's just once in a while, then the freestanding awning is fine. You'll just have to do without on those few nights where its use is impractical or restricted.

As an aside, know that premium "RV resorts" sometimes have trailer restrictions. Older, smaller, and/or non-self-contained units may not be allowed. (Public campgrounds are more likely to go the other way- no big rigs allowed.)

Arizona state parks typically have paved spots for the vehicles, including the trailer, but plenty of space off the pad to set up a freestanding canopy and no restrictions about doing so.

Not familiar with the Gazelle or the Traveler, but side screens (for bugs) and wind panels (for cold and wet) are a good thing. I'm familiar with the Clam, which offers both.

If you want to cover all the bases- attached and freestanding- the Shady Boy is a compact, wind resistant, and less expensive alternative to a roll-out case awning. It is self-supporting, so it can be used on pavement.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:35 PM   #7
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Hold-downs on pavement, sand, etc.

We saved up a number of bleach jugs (we started with empty miok milk gallons, as we emptied them a lot faster than bleach gallons) and we fill them with water, sand, gravel, or whatever is easily and freely available at the campsites. We never stake things down as I cannot properly see the guy wires and have tripped on them due to low vision.


This way we can hold down our canopy even on a beach or parking lot. the system goes up very fast.

We use long bungees with those big plastic hooks, slightly wrapped around each leg, hooked to the jug handles and a couple of corner braces above. You can use one jug or two per leg, or even more if you're really worried about it. We haul the empty jugs in the back "pontoon;" they are very light and easy to handle. We have never had a leg so much as lift an inch using this method (so far, we only use one jug per leg).


Size: whatever size you can lift and maneuver best, combined with whether you need to cover a park picnic bench or not. If you can't lift an 85-pound canopy, it shouldn't be your first choice!


We got cheap Z-Shades at KMart, two 8x8s and one 10x10. I find we use the 8x8s more, or one of them, anyway, as they are lighter and easier to maneuver. They still fit over a normal picnic table, and can be set up anywhere.


But the 10x10 has white piping on the crayon-blue roof, so it's sportier. But that's here nor there.


Good topic, always. We've never yet run into a park that said, "No," but we stay at mostly State Parks. There have been a few times we wish we had a Clam with its built-in mosquito screens, but oh, well! Perhaps another season.


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Old 01-06-2019, 12:45 PM   #8
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I always position my CLAM where I can have at least 3 tiedowns. I've used my Scamp for a couple of ties if on pavement. Tied 2 together if you need one longer to reach into the grass on another side. My Clam is the 12'er and it covers most of any paved/concrete spot I've stayed in. You CAN improvise as others have mentioned with "water" or blocks etc.

For enhancement, we bought a Harbor Freight tarp for the floor and "wrap" it in with the sides of the CLAM. We also have panels for ALL sides of the Clam making it private in the late afternoons...although we dont sleep in it.

We love the Clam now going into it's 3rd year and would NOT be without one with our 13' Scamp. We notice more and more how much we DONT use the aggravating awning now.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
biggest problem with a popup is if the trailer parking space is paved, you can't stake it down properly
You can get weights that allow you to anchor a tent or popup.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:23 PM   #10
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having seen many a 10x10 popup fly away at the golden state star party on windy afternoons, those would need to be some serious weights. I use either 12" spikes or 3/8x14" lag screws on all 4 corners of the popups (I have two), and I've never lost one yet.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:25 PM   #11
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Late last summer we got the 6x6 Clam with the side panels. If you get one of these, be aware the non-tan colored ones don't have a channel on the top to help wick away water from the side panels. This was pointed out to me when I attended the Bandon rally last year. Thanks to whomever told me that!



While I haven't used it while camping, we did use it twice at dog events that I vended at (outside events). We were able to fit both of our Cabella camping chairs and a small table in there, along with other stuff. I did put down a tarp since the grass was wet, but that was a PITA to deal with and I kept tripping over the thing since it didn't lay flat. Need to improve that method.


I like the idea mentioned in a post above about non-staking methods. I do have some weight bags from my EZ Ups so might take those along, just in case. Hadn't thought of that before - thanks!



I do know that some of the campgrounds I stayed at in the past it wouldn't be feasible to use, but I figure there's enough I can use it at that it was worth the purchase price. I look forward to sitting in it and doing some crafting (coloring stamped images that I can use later at home for making cards with).


While I was able to set it up on my own, it's definitely easier with two people. I don't think I'd be able to put up a larger one on my own.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:11 PM   #12
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I have an ARB awning mounted on my roof, it has a tarp that makes one wall.

If I use my 'pop up', I place it over the picnic table and tie down to that.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:41 PM   #13
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We have the Clam brand of the same sort of screen tent in two different sizes, as the brand you're referring to didn't exist when we got the first one, and the windscreens work on both. The first one we got was the 140" x 140", which is big enough to fit over a standard (i.e., long) campsite picnic table, and has worked really well for us. We have the wind panels, and find that keeps it usable in all but a deluge, and, as the side with the door isn't blocked, we can still cook in there.

We got the traveler size not because of any problems using the larger one, but because we can fit it in the back of the truck cab, or anywhere else for transport. We had a really full load of stuff to outfit our Casita when we went to Texas to pick it up, so space was an issue, and we knew that coming home by way of the Gulf coast to Key West and back up to New York, we'd more than get our money's worth out of it.

We've stayed in state parks, and private, super groomed places, and while we didn't always use it, it was not an issue anywhere we did.

The Traveler size is limited. With a tiny table in there, we can also fit four adults in normal, comfortable chairs, and space is a wee bit cramped, but when you're visiting with friends, it's a good size. With the large size, we can also get a couple of comfy camp chairs in, but we can't walk around the table quite as freely as one might like.
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Old 01-06-2019, 09:49 PM   #14
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I have a Paha Que that I've had for about 10 years and I think I've put it up about 3 times before I took right down. Winds are biggest factor also if something like that up you tend to do all of your outdoor living under it.
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:42 PM   #15
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Talking Gazelle

WE bought the five-panel Gazelle and used it at most campsites last season incl
2 weeks boondocking in VT state parks. Love the thing. We always tie it down..sometimes to the trailer and the picnic table too etc..whatever is available. Only time we don't use it is when we r overnighting..staying only 1 nite.
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:30 PM   #16
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We have the 6 sided CLAM and the lighter smaller 5 sided Gazelle. For the two of us I think we prefer the Gazelle. Easier to transport. It just feels handier. the Gazelle is newer and has not been used as much. Never had restrictions anywhere we have camped. I do keep a bug zapper handy, something always finds its way inside. Nancy
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:46 PM   #17
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Second thoughts on Clam Traveler

Having used my Clam shelter for 4 years now, I have some reservations. It was absolutely necessary the first year due to an infestation of yellow jackets. Last year I used it when camped near a lake in Idaho with lots of biting insects. I found that it was too hot in the sun. The screens restrict air flow and you need at least one wall panel for shade. I'll probably bring it with me next summer when I camp in same spot, but I'll find a place in the trees for it. Another thing, probably typical of all screen houses, is that after awhile there seem to be just as many bugs inside as out. I guess I should bring a cooler bag inside and force the dog to stay in with me. I haven't found the bugs in the SW to be much of a problem, but shade is important at times. I have a sail shade for that. Smaller package and very easy to set up.

So, we all have different needs and the Clam is a well made item. But for me, it's not worth bringing along most of the time. I do think it would make a decent shelter in the rain set up with 3 sides. However, it rarely rains in a NW summer and when it does, it's not warm. Luckily, I have a trailer.

One final note: the stakes provided are really cheap for such an expensive product. Get some good ones.


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Old 01-07-2019, 04:23 PM   #18
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Gordon is right about the air not flowing through the screening. Also the dark green CLAM does get hot. I am hope the light tan Gazelle will not absorb so much heat. I also carry a battery fan if i need it. I would much rather have a Gazelle than none. We have a 13 and it gets really small for two people.

The trailer bench seating is not comfortable. I sit in the screen room in comfortable chairs with my feet up on another chair. Nice spot to sit and read.

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Old 01-07-2019, 04:34 PM   #19
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Just noticed the OP mentioned the 4 sided CLAM vs the 5 sided Gazelle.

Personally I prefer the Gazelle because it has a bit more room. People do like their 4 sided CLAMS. Just a bit too confined for the two of us. Maybe I am just a round peg not liking square holes.

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Old 01-07-2019, 08:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjkj View Post
We have a 13 ft Scamp and are looking at a Gazelle pop up canopy. We wondered if anyone has run into a problem at campgrounds not allowing them? We are looking at the Gazelle 5 or Quick Set Traveler. Any advice will he appreciated. Thanks.
If it has sides then it might be considered a tent. Many (most?) places do place limits on the number of RVs, vehicles and tents allowed on the camp site. For example NYS Parks says, "Each site allows for either two (2) tents OR one (1) unit of hard wheeled camping equipment + one (1) tent." SC State Parks are similar, "Campers are allowed either a maximum of one trailer/RV and one tent, or two tents per site." In other words, a RV with a tent and a shelter that is considered a tent would NOT be allowed. Except to say that I don't see this enforced, even when the third tent on a site is only a couple of feet from my camper. If someone objects you can remove the sides so its no longer a "tent" or take down the shelter altogether since its not needed for sleeping.
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