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Old 11-20-2019, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default Tent/canopy recommendation

We are gearing up for our first long term trip in Florida (Dec-February). We are going to buy a tent/canopy to relax outside during the evenings. Sunset at 5:00 plus possible buggyness has us thinking lighted, big screened tent like we've seen from other RVers. Outdoor gearlab online usually has pretty reliable reviews and they recommend Clam Outdoors Quick Set Up Escape and REI Screen House.

Any recommendations for a canopy and accessories like lighting to be able to read? Thinking a bar cart would be nice but not sure if I can get that approved
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:56 PM   #2
msmolow
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Default Re: Tent/canopy recommendation

I have the CLAM and am happy with it. You can't grill inside it. The bug mesh keeps the no-seeums out but also keeps the smoke in. I found out the hard way.
It is very easy and quick to set up and take down, but it does not have a ceiling strap from which to hang a LED light. You could easily fashion one to the ceiling hardware. We have a small plastic table and set the light on it.
The biggest downside is that it packs into a six foot "bag" and so we can't put it in a storage bin. We carry it either across our hitch basket or inside on the floor. We have a Unity Corner Bed.
Be sure to buy sand stakes.
I would purchase again.
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Old 11-20-2019, 08:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tent/canopy recommendation

Concur with msmolow. We have the clam. It stands up in the outside closet just fine in our Wonder. Should be the same in the MB closet. They make a couple different sizes. We have the smallest square unit.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tent/canopy recommendation

I got a pop up screen room that wasn't so big and bulky and has a floor, https://www.ebay.com/itm/Viva-Active...edirect=mobile or https://www.amazon.com/Viva-Active-S...343182&sr=8-25. Takes up very little room to store and super easy to setup. I use tent pegs to keep it from blowing around but you could also just put heavy items inside to keep it in place. There is also a 6x6' and 9x9' version. I find the 7.5x7.5' one perfect for a couple of people and their dogs. It would even work for kids to sleep in when camping. The floor is what I really like, no ground bugs to bother anyone either.
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Old 11-21-2019, 12:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tent/canopy recommendation

One advantage of no floor is that it can be lifted and placed over the picnic table.
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Old 11-21-2019, 01:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tent/canopy recommendation

Thanks to all for the replies. We normally camp in state and national parks and space can be tight. There are multiple sizes for the screen rooms and looking at 9' and 12' width options. Have you had any problems with fitting in the campsites? Also, for the clam, has anyone used the wind panels and if so, would you recommend?
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tent/canopy recommendation

I have the 12 x 12 Clam. (see above for the picture). I also camp often in state parks with mosquitoes. I bought that size to put it over a state park picnic table. I prefer to eat outside when possible. I don't have wind panels and so can't comment other than to say the mesh is so tight that wind has not been an issue. My suggestion is to try without first.

My two issues were trying to grill inside it and not using sand stakes in sandy soil. For the first I quickly turned the CLAM into a smoke house. Big mistake. For the second, while at Delaware Beach State Park (shown in the picture) a squall came thru with 45 mph winds and pulled all the supplied stakes out of the ground. Fortunately I had it tied to the picnic table so I didn't have to chase after it. In retrospect, if I had just pushed the ceiling down I think I would have been OK. I did thereafter purchase sand stakes.

It's not cheap, but the quality is good, one person can easily set it up and take it down and it is quite roomy inside for two people and two 45 pound dogs. It took a real beating during the squall and survived. I have not had a problem finding space to set it up in any state park.

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Old 11-21-2019, 03:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tent/canopy recommendation

We have the wind panels for ours. Used them. They work. For a buck or two more I would have them.
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