Camper Trailer Tech Tips

Ken & Renee's Turbo Lite tent









   The turbo tent did the job perfectly. We already had one of the Southern Cross-style touring tents which I bought to use on scout camps and for the kids to use when we're away in the Kimberley Kamper. It's quick set up but the centre pole does
limit its useability for more than two. I know you can get kits to do away with the centre pole but I've always found that the sloping sides also limit the useable standing room, particularly for two or more people, and also leave the door exposed to bad weather. I had been looking for a good buy on an oztent (didn't find one!) but in the end got the turbo lite.

   At 12kg, the (polyester) lite is a good 5 kg or so lighter than the equivalent poly/cotton version. It's packed size is more convenient than the 2m long oztent and fits in the back of the Prado along the cargo barrier or neatly in the roof
basket. Basic set up takes a minute or two: the tent inner is attached to the four poles which fold in three and are connected at a central hub; the fly is separate.

   Take the bundle out of the bag, unclip the strap, pull out four corners and peg, lift the elbow of each pole and they snap lock, step inside and push up the centre hub and it pops up like an umbrella. We sometimes didn't bother pegging the corners - with someone standing on a couple of corners you can push up the hub and with gear inside, the tent stays put well enough. We also didn't use the fly until the end of the trip - it throws over and clips on each corner and then requires a four piece pole to be inserted to hold the small awning part out. Pack up is the reverse procedure and takes a little longer to roll the bundle neatly and strap it to go back in the bag. We now leave the fly attached to the tent/poles and roll it all up together.

   My impressions: its a great tent and easy to handle/ use. It's as quick to set up as a centre pole tent or the oztent. I think the turbo has more useable standing room than both the centre pole style and oztent and this is what swayed
me most. Neither of the centre pole style or oztent have a fly. Pack up is the same as for a centre pole but the oztent is probably a little easier to pack (because it doesn't fold as small) - but really, for any of them, its an under-5 minute job anyway.

   My only criticism is that the poles for the fly-awning anchor into straps which join the tent to the poles - this tends to stretch the tent a little at the door opening so that the zipper doesn't run as smoothly as it does without the fly on. I am changing the metal poles for a folding fibreglass pole which I'll anchor to small holes in the tent poles - hopefully this will remove the strain from the tent entirely.





 replacement fibreglass pole

original aluminium pole



5 Easy steps to set-up

1. Remove tent from carry bag and loosen buckle
2. Fold down the four legs and peg down each corner
3. Straighten the four legs and lock knuckle joints
4. From inside the tent push up the centre hub
5. Throw outer fly over the tent. Fasten inner velcros of fly and attach guy ropes




setting up

viewed with windows media player

file size:778kb

pack down

viewed with windows media player

file size: 602kb


 information & photos by Ken McGuinness.