Pvc Pole frames

3:28 p.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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Im looking at a campany called CEC for one of their large basecamp tents. The thing is that they use pvc poles for most of their frames. I have no knowledge of their strength and durability in that application- especially in high wind enviroments like back home in Colorado. Have any of you out there had a tent with pvc poles before, this brand or others, and what was your take on it?

4:01 p.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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i'm not familiar with the company or how the pools look or work, so that is  a big caveat.  another big "if" is that "PVC" might describe a very wide range of physical properties, so it's very hard to tell what properties those tent poles have.

But, if we're talking about PVC poles that are similar to PVC pipe material, i would have concerns.  PVC has a little ability to flex, but not much.  PVC pipe is pretty rigid.  when PVC piping is flexed beyond where it is meant to go, it can shatter because it is so rigid.   

i would think aluminum, fiberglas, and carbon poles all have a better ability to flex and rebound in windy situations and would at the same time be much more resistant to overflexing and shattering than PVC, though i would have worries about some carbon poles i have seen, too - there are a lot of ways to make carbon poles.   i would think this issue becomes a greater concern for larger tents - more surface area to absorb the wind, so more force being exerted on the poles.

that's my two cents. 

4:52 p.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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I would also be concerned about PVC's ability to flex in cold harsh high wind enviorments.  Once pvc is bent an in place before it is cold it seems to be stable as long as it has not been pushed beyond (or right up to) it's limits in the first place.  Once you hit sub zero conditons with high winds I'm not so sure I would trust it.  I would do an exhaustive Web search as well as contacting the company to see what they have to say.  You did not state what the use of the "Base Camp" will be? 

After looking at their web site I myself would not even consider buying one of these tents myself.  There are many proven family style tents that  use conventionl poles that have been proven for many year and have good solid warrantys.

One of the main reasons I've said what I've said comes after reading their Guarantee page.  Read and judge for yourself.  A guarantee is much different than a Warranty.  Once you get the item and decide that it is fit for use it appears that you are then on your own.



Again I ask.........What are the situations that you are buying this tent for?

5:20 p.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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Im mainly considering this tent for use in the Mountains for periods of around a week or two at a stretch. I dont intent to use it in the winter months but mid spring through mid fall. I travel a great deal so theres no telling where I may end up when I decide to use it.

I agree, im concerned about the possibility of the poles basically grenading when they reach their stress limit. Not to mention that guy lines appear to be ill placed and insufficient in count.

However, we do like the size and European feel to the tent. I actually emailed them asking if they had any models available but with a preferred steel or aluminum frame.

We have also looked at the Black Pine tents as well but they too had questionable reviews regarding the pooling of water over the room areas in a heavy downpour

Are there any tents that anyone may be able to suggest along the lines of the ones from CEC but with better frame components?

5:54 p.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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Hmmmm, my 1st thought is that if the PVC route was a solid option that there would be quite a few other companies out there doing it. 

Snow is one thing to possibly consider.

My biggest worry would be wind.

Regardless of where ya are wind is wind. This could cause substantial stress on the structure/framework.

When you add in cold temps to the mix this could be a serious recipe for a bad time. 

Now granted my thoughts are not based on scientific testing etc. Just experience. 

If ya want a solid structure that will last ya from years to come stick with aluminum. 

Aluminum is time tested and true. Its one of the many reasons so many companies utilize it in the design of their structures. 

6:35 p.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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I would go to this site to get an idea of what is avaliable in quality European style tunnel tents.  From all I've read and seen American made European style tunnel tents are not even close to the quality of the European style tunnel tents made in Europe.  http://www.campingworld.co.uk/

Some good names to look at, do include, but are not limited to.







Remember you get what you pay for, but with that being said, I believe that you get much more out of you money from what is being produced in Europe in regards to what is being designed in the US (and made in China)IMHO.

Remember the larger and more high profile your tent the stronger it will need to be.  It is worth saving up a few extra $'s and doing it right the first time.  Your main limiting factor on were you can set up your tent will depend on how strong it is and how it can stand up to the elements.

9:01 p.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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I bought a Easy Camp Baltimore 400 from them. It got here in 2 1/2 weeks. Now you have to remember that if the tent has a flaw you might be stuck fixing it. This was true with the tent we got. There was a 1/4 inch area on the main zipper that didnt get sewn together. I tucked in the outer skin and sewed it.

We have used it a couple of times. And I'll tell you the thing is a monster. It says that it is a 4 person tent, but you could easly put 8 in there. The Europeans Get alot of fowl weather, so they make alot of living space. The Baltimore 400 kinda looks like the Easy Camp Galaxy.

8:26 p.m. on March 8, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for all of your informantion guys. I ultimately ended up calling someone from a company in the UK- singeroutdoors - to discuss the options with them. They told me if I were sent a defective product I would be responsible for shipping back across the pond to include import fees. As well made as the Euro models are I couldnt justify the possibility of that much added expense.

So I decided to go with a Canvas tent from Springbar made right here in the USA. After watching the video on youtube of it withstanding 70+ mph winds my wife and I decided it couldnt be beat for the price...

2:38 a.m. on March 9, 2012 (EST)
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6:15 a.m. on March 9, 2012 (EST)
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Good for you Tom. I hope you will get years and years of use out of it. Buying from over seas has its draw backs as far as returns.

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