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 > First try at tent camping, but with a twist....

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GeorgeNJ

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Posted: 07/12/12 03:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've been TT RV'rs for many years now, but wanted to try something new, tent camping, but beyond that, we wanted to try and do it on our pontoon boat. I searched for months about tent camping on a boat, but found nothing. We just got back from 3days, two nights down the NJ shore in Barnegat Bay, we had the best weather possible & it turned out great! Once we left the marina we didn't touch ground till we got back to the marina.

Before our trip, I removed a couple of extra couches for more room (being that it was only the five of us for the trip). I hit Wally-world for a 9x7 $40 dome tent, something that would stand on its own without stakes.

We packed plenty of food, drinks for the trip, even a camping potty.

It was certainly different staying on the water for more than the usual 6 or so hours. The only thing that I would do different is bring an air matteress, the foam rubber matteress topper didn't cut it. The kids thought it was "the best" camping we've done so far.

It wasn't the first time boating on tidal salt water, but the first time wondering if our anchors would hold overnight with the tide going in and out. We did wake up in the same place, just turned around due to the tide change.

We will do it again next year.







dahkota

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Posted: 07/12/12 03:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like a great trip! Nights on the water are amazing. We used to camp on weekends with our c-dory before we bought the tt. I definitely miss it! Great pics.


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PapPappy

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 07/12/12 04:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great idea
Did you take down the tent every morning? I would guess you did, so you'd have room during the day....or did you leave it up as the "head" (bathroom) for privacy?
Did the kids sleep with their life-jackets on?
Crabs looked great....just watch out.....they bite with their feet

Thanks for the pix...


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Jeff10236

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Posted: 07/12/12 08:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like a terrific idea and it sounds like it was a lot of fun. Like the previous poster I'm thinking about what to do if a storm came up. Maybe next time you might want to find a place on the boat to tie the tent down using the loops for the pegs as a tie down on the tent. Anyway, I love the idea and would love to try something like it someday.


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Tents: Boulder Creek Hunter Ridge 4 (cheap 4-season tent from Bass Pro Shops), Alps Mountaineering Vertex 4, Kelty Grand Mesa 6, Big Agnes Fairview 4

GeorgeNJ

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Posted: 07/12/12 05:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dahkota, This is an attempt to soften up the wife to the eventual purchase of a towable houseboat I keep telling her it's like having a TT on the water, etc... Everything already there when you need it.

PapPappy, We took down the tent in the morning, took about twenty minutes for the change. The head we left in the back set up, a towel was used for the modest among us . The kids slept in their life jackets, the new ones are thin enough that there was no complaint about it.

* This post was edited 07/12/12 06:03pm by GeorgeNJ *

Sloop Smitten

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Posted: 07/12/12 07:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The only issue I can think of is if a thunderstorm blew up at night an unanchored tent could be a huge issue. And of course the waves that could be generated. Probably survivable but it could make for a short trip. Keep a sharp weather eye and have a plan for how to act if such an event comes up. If its not raining do you really need a tent? Maybe insects are an issue. That being said sounds like a grand idea.


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JLTN_James

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Posted: 07/18/12 12:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm thinking a pontoon-popup hybrid could be pretty neat!


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GeorgeNJ

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Posted: 07/12/12 09:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, we checked the weather reports, I have the weather band right on the marine vhf radio which I checked through out our time for any changes. You couldn't have had any better weather than we had, we waited for that. If something would've went bad, we were close enough to marinas that we could've docked to find shelter there. Why a tent? For the same reason people tent in the woods in nice weather, the feeling of shelter, BUGS, keeping the kids coraled, night/morning dew. There was plenty of dew as it turned out, we left a roll of paper towels out, it was soaked halfway through from the dew.

The tent had a floor, so I felt there was no need to anchor it further once we were in there with some gear, which was right away. Only a small portion of the aerodynamic dome was above the boats sidewalls, even a big wind wouldn't have moved it.

At night, the wind subsides and the waves go away, no other boats came around to "wake" us, we stayed away from the main channel for that. The water was like glass and the steady water made for easier sleep. I did sleep harder the second night knowing that it went well the first night, didn't have that light sleep / on guard feeling.

At least I didn't have to worry about black bears on the bay

Lowsuv

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Posted: 07/15/12 10:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Outstanding
I am a boater first and a camper second.
Thank you for posting this and the pictures were great

lgarcia

West Virginia

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Posted: 07/18/12 11:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We don't have any shade on our boat - that looks great.


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2012 Dutchmen 814RB; 2011 Dodge 1500 Hemi; 2012 Sun Dolphin Sportsman; 2003 Tracker Targa V-18


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