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Thread: canvas tent frame

  1. #1
    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Default canvas tent frame

    I just recently ordered a BSA Scout tent. The dimensions are 9 feet wide on the opening, 7.5 feet deep on the walls and seven feet in height at the peak with 3 to 3.5 foot walls. There have been different reports on the wall height. I was originally planning on building in interior frame using chain link top rail. I am now noticing that the problem with this thought is the angles of this tent are not a standard set of angles. The walls to roof angles are between 128* and 132* and the peak comes out to be between 96 * and 104*. The closest I can get for the walls is 120* and the closest I can get for the peak is 90* or 105*. Are these angles close enough that they will work?

    I have not actually received the tent itself yet so I will double measure when I get it.
    Last edited by natertot; 11-29-2014 at 12:51 AM.
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Canvas wall tents are not usually set up using an internal frame.

    You use an upright at front and rear with a solid ridgepole between them.

    The sides are held up by separate rail systems or individual uprights.

    It all depends on the way the tent is set up, position of the loops, height of the walls and such.

    All of the poles must be cut very precisely to fit the application.

    At least that is the way they have been set up for a few thousand years. It works pretty well once you get the system worked out.

    When it comes in give me a yell and I will come up and we can work on it for a day.

    I have known a bunch of people that tried to do the internal frame on a canvas tent from metal or PVC and it never works out for them for the exact reasons you have already discovered.
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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Thanks Kyrat. I actually got two of them. I figured I could use one as a 2-man "expedition" tent. I could then butt the second one up to it and convert it into a family tent.
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  4. #4

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    Plans may come with tent.
    Last edited by sjj; 08-29-2015 at 05:17 AM.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Nate - here's the tent you bought that has been set up with an external frame.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/inkexc...e/12090647765/
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    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The external frame is best used when one can cut poles on the spot due to the larger number of poles required and the length they must be for that set up. But it does look great when done that way.

    Using two uprights and a ridge pole internally takes only three poles, the longest being 7 feet, and a setup to hold up the walls. That can be one long pole threaded through the side loops and held up by corner posts or many short uprights along the side. I think that is the way Hunter sets his rig up. I have used both systems and either works fine.

    2x2 poles are selling for $1.59 at Lowes right now. Stored in your garage they will last for years.

    Your vehicle should carry the 7' poles on the roof rack with no problem. I have carried up to 15 2x4 tent poles on my roof racks and they survived. For that tent you will not even need 2"x4" poles. 2x2 should work fine and they will be lighter and easier to handle.

    One thing that can be done, if you bought two tents, is to use three uprights and two ridge poles with the front of one tent overlapping the back of the other. Where they overlap shares a single upright supporting the two ridge poles stacked on one another.

    I have used that setup several times and it can make a great big shelter. Mine ran 28 feet long and had an additional 15 foot porch. We actually set that one up for the Son and DIL and the grand kids while the wife and I used another shelter tacked onto the other side of the porch.

    As the kids get older and want their own space, setting up the tents on each end of the porch gives them a separate tent but they are still close by.

    Be aware that setting up a wall tent requires a certain order of operation and two people. And you do it almost in the reverse of what one would expect. You spread the tent with the doors tied shut, set up the corners, then set up the ridge pole. After that you tighten everything up and get it straight. The ridgepole part is what requires help.
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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Most scout tents that are set up with an internal frame are on a permanent platform....allowing the frame to be assembled or even left there....when the canvas is installed or removed.
    The problem is uneven ground.......and attempting to making things level and square.....needed when dealing with cut angles.

    Have seen a couple wall tents with a purchased "pole set" and seems to work pretty well.
    I use individual up rights and actually have take down ridge pole so as to have shorter poles........
    Although they haven't been taken down for a long time....trailer is long enough to transport as is.
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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    Crash, thanks for the lead btw. I have seen that pic and thought that the external frame idea is pretty neat. I thought about maybe making an external frame like that out of the chain link fence top rail. The ridge angles on the ends would be either 90* or 105* three way pieces with a four way in the center where the two tents meet. About five feet from the bottom would be "T" shape pieces on the ends with a "+" shaped piece where the two tents meet to make the pole that would get the wall corners. Just not so sure about have a steel frame on the outside of my tent should lightening ever show up......

    Kyrat. I like that 3 upright and 2 ridge pole with the tents overlapping idea. I had a thought along those lines myself but passed it up because the top foot or so of the doors are sewn together and wasn't sure that running a pole through there would work.
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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizz123 View Post
    Thanks, I'll pass at that price though........
    ”There's nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.” ~Johnny Rotten

  11. #11

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    You could use adjustable angle speed rail fittings. You'd have to change your pipe diameter though to make them more affordable.

    The wall tent I grew up with had two inner poles holding up a ridge pole, then 8 smaller poles with tapered ends outside that fit into grommets along the upper edge of the outer wall and held up with one or two guy-ropes each.
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  12. #12

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    Hey Nadertot, I recently bought a scout tent also and found a frame angle maker in ebay but I have yet to set it up. Hopefully I can set it up real soon and post some pictures. By chance do you have any pictures of yours?
    Last edited by Bcelect; 05-02-2017 at 12:40 AM.

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