PUTTING UP THE CARAVAN TENT

To take the frustration out of putting up your tent follow the instructions below.  The concept is simple and easy to do.

  • Spread out the ground sheet in front of the caravan and then spread out all the poles nearby, but not on the ground sheet, as this is where you will lay out the basic framework of the tent.
    Do not try to slide the tent roof bolt rope yet into the tent channel. Only attempt this after you have the tent poles figured out. 
  • Figure out which pole you think goes where. Normally the poles are colour coded as in the illustration below.  The colour coding will be by means of paint marks or insulation tape wrapped around the pole.  The whole pole is not coloured as in the illustration, that was only done for easy reading.  Over time the colouring might get faded or the insulation tape gets damaged or peeled off but following the steps and looking at the illustration you will get it right.
  • Lay them out on the ground sheet so that you have what you think are the centre roof section, the roof side sections and what you think could possibly be the uprights.
  • The roof centre poles will be adjustable poles, and so will the two side poles be that connect to the pole sockets at the front and rear of the caravan side. These adjustable poles are so that you can tension the roof tent.
  • Identify the side upright poles. There will be four poles of the same length and they will be shorter than the two centre uprights. You can easily identify these poles by the rubber grommet at the bottom of each pole. The side upright poles are of a fixed length and the two centre upright poles is made up by two pieces to be adjustable, also with a rubber grommet at the base of each pole. They are both the same in length.
  • By now you should now have a bit of a Floor plan laid out of all the main poles.
  • There is also several two, three, four and five-way pole connectors. Place these pole connectors where they should go on the floor plan.  Refer to the illustration above. On the illustration the position is indicated in red as 2W, 3W, 4W and 5W.

On some tents the connector is a plastic connector and the poles fits inside the connectors, on others it is a steel connector that fits on the inside of the poles.  See the pictures below.

The two-way connector is for the short roof pole that goes into the bracket fitted in the centre on the caravan’s side. This will be for the tent centre ridge roof pole and will form the peak of the tent.  As with the other connectors, these might be plastic or steel connectors and might vary from each other, but they all fulfil the same function.  See the pictures below.

The five-way connecter is for the tent roof centre pole that also holds the centre upright pole, and the one section fits through the roof front for the centre pole of the awning. There will be an opening in the tent roof for the one pole connector section to go through to hold the awning roof ridge pole.

The four-way connectors are for the side roof, upright and awning poles. Again, there will be an opening in the tent roof for the one pole connector side section to go through. There will also be one for the awning centre pole.

The three-way connectors are for the outside awning side and upright poles.

Once you have got all the roof tent poles and connectors laid out, and you are satisfied that they are correctly laid out, you can start putting the tent up.

  • Pull the tent roof bolt rope through the tent channel on the side of the caravan.
  • Make sure that the side walls are not attached to the roof. If they are, un-zip them. It will be easier to fit them later once you have got the roof up with the correct tent poles in place first.
  • Make sure you have the roof top-side-up and that the small weather flap extension is on the outside (topside) of the roof. This extension forms a weatherproof cover over the tent extrusion where the caravan and tent roof meet. You can now pull the tent through the extrusion with someone helping you. The one person pulls the tent through while the other feeds it into the extrusion.
  • Ensure that the reinforcing strip in the centre of the tent roof (this is at the centre pitch of the roof) is aligned with the centre socket where the short roof tent pole and the two-way connector fits, and that the sidewall zips on either end of the roof are both the same height from the ground.
  • Position the weather flap in place over the top of the caravan and pull the canvas roof tight. Now peg the weather extension guy ropes in place on either end of the caravan.
  • Lift the roof centre of the tent and insert the short centre pole (with the two-way connector at the top) into the bracket provided on the caravan’s side wall.
  • Fit the centre ridge roof pole to the short upright with the two-way connector and connect the centre upright pole using the five-way pole connector on the other end. Do not tension the roof centre. Keep a small bit of slack in the roof. It makes it easier to handle. One section of the five-way connector must go through the slit in the tent roof to meet up with the patio centre roof pole on the other side. Adjust to a semi-raised height and tighten the bottom of the upright pole to lock in position. You can raise the roof to its correct height later, it just makes it easier to work with for now whilst at a semi-raised height.
  • Fit the side roof poles into the sockets on the side of the caravan, with the poles passing through the sleeves at the side of tent roof.
  • Fit the four-way connectors on the other end of the roof side poles to connect the side pole legs and inner apex poles. The inner apex poles join up to the roof side poles and the roof centre pole on either side of the centre pole. One section of each of the roof side pole four-way connectors must go through the slit in the roof to meet up with the patio side roof pole on the other side.
  • Assemble the inner apex poles by passing them through the sleeves in the tent. (One either side of the centre upright pole.) Connect the apex poles to the roof ridge pole (that is to the centre five-way connector) and to the roof side poles (the four-way connectors that also hold the side upright legs).
  • Fit the patio centre roof pole to the centre five-way connector. Fit a four- way connector to the roof patio pole to hold the front patio pole upright (leg) in place.
  • Fit the patio end poles to the four-way connectors of the roof side poles with a three-way connector on each end to hold the front patio side poles and uprights (legs) in place.
  • Fit the patio front poles to either side of the centre patio pole four-way connector to the side pole three-way connectors to create the rigidity required.
  • Fit the tent side and front walls, and then pull the tent tight. You can adjust the tent centre poles and side poles by releasing the tension of the pole, extend the pole as far as possible, and then twist the pole to secure. Thereby pushing the tent roof tight.
  • The tent centre pole can now be adjusted so that the centre of the tent roof is at the right height and nice and level.
  • Peg down the sides of the tent using the rubber rings supplied as they will increase the strength and will improve the tension of the tent.
  • Securely fasten the tent guy ropes holding down the tent upright poles.

Now your tent is complete!

Follow the same basic procedures when setting up the rally awning.