RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Tent Question

This will be my first RAGBRAI. I have a question regarding tents. I will be riding solo, staying in the RAGBRAI campground area. I already own a 4 person tent for when my family goes camping roughly 8’x10′. Is this tent too large? I realize space may be a premium and I don’t want to be a reason for the problem but at the same time I don’t want to spend another couple hundred on a different tent.

15 Replies

Michrider !!!, March 25, 2017 at 8:21 am

Cory Rood: This will be my first RAGBRAI. I have a question regarding tents. I will be riding solo, staying in the RAGBRAI campground area. I already own a 4 person tent for when my family goes camping roughly 8’x10′. Is this tent too large? I realize space may be a premium and I don’t want to be a reason for the problem but at the same time I don’t want to spend another couple hundred on a different tent.

You probably will have enough room in the 4 person tent for you and your bike. Many riders take their bike inside the tent. Keeps it safe and dry!!!
BTW, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!!

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Brian Wallenburg, March 25, 2017 at 12:37 pm

Probably more important if it packs up nice and tidy and doesn’t weigh a ton. Also, if you’re riding by yourself, you’ll want an easy setup and takedown tent.

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Cory Rood, March 25, 2017 at 6:20 pm

So I wouldn’t be an asset by taking this tent alone? I was concerned that I would upset some people with being the only person in a 4 person tent

#1241991

Brian Wallenburg, March 25, 2017 at 7:39 pm

No one would care if you had a 12 person tent!

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Amanda, March 26, 2017 at 1:02 am

4 person tent for one person is pretty common. I am taking a 6 person tent for just me this year,

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SFC JKL 2, March 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

You’ll be fine with what you have. If you would like to get something smaller, it’s only for a week. You don’t need a Cadillac tent. I bought an Ozark Trail tent for $40 and ended up sleeping in it for over a year (365 days) before I replaced it.

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jwsknk, March 27, 2017 at 8:28 am

If you are putting your bag in the Register semi remember they have a weight limit. And will check it. Plus you may have to carry it a bit farther than you would like to and from the truck parking lot.

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KenH, March 27, 2017 at 9:17 am

No one said boo to me last year about being alone in my 7×9 foot three man tent. It was not atypical for one or two riders to use a tent that size.

My “favorite” online tent review was for the tent I bought or a very similar three man tent I was considering at the time. The reviewer blasted the tent because it was too small for one person! How could this be, I wondered? Later in the review he mentioned that in his opinion a one man tent should be able to hold his inflatable queen sized air mattress with room to spare! The occupancy ratings of tents is based on users who like to sleep sardine style with their traveling companions and so they have to be used with care but this reviewer was being completely unreasonable.

But not completely atypical. I saw quite a few people dragging large air mattresses over to the phone charging station my charter provided last year so that they could blow them up using their internal 110V inflators. You need to us a fairly large tent for you occupancy rate if you want to do this but neither I nor anyone else seemed to think less of them for taking up extra space.

Having said that, jwsknk raises a good point. Well before RAGBRAI do a practice packing of all the gear you intend to bring along. The size and weight of that may, or may not, suggest to you that you downsize your tent and other take alongs! The Register limit is fairly tight and absolute. Whatever alternate team or club charter you may use will have their own limits, usually more generous, but in the end you will have to haul your gear so consider your own limit too!

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Ken Reed, March 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

This is an incredible tent:
https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-2000014781-Parent-Pop-Up-Tent/dp/B00V85DRXI

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tacook, March 28, 2017 at 6:12 pm

The year my husband couldn’t go and I went alone, I still used our six person tent (He’s 6’2″ and has a rule about being able to get dressed standing up). Lots of individual riders use a 4-person tent. As long as it’s something you are comfortable putting up and taking down alone, go for it!

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Robert Rosofsky, March 28, 2017 at 6:32 pm

I’m planning to take my 8pound backpacking tent, rated for 3 adults, but really more comfortable for 2. As the only person in it, I’ll feel like I’m staying at the Ritz Carlton. And I’ll drape something over my recumbent outside of the tent to keep it dry.

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Robert Rosofsky, March 28, 2017 at 6:33 pm

I’m planning to take my 5-pound backpacking tent, rated for 3 adults, but really more comfortable for 2. As the only person in it, I’ll feel like I’m staying at the Ritz Carlton. And I’ll drape something over my recumbent outside of the tent to keep it dry.

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barb, April 1, 2017 at 12:15 am

I went with this tent last year. The poles are attached so there’s none of that
business to deal with.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-9-x-7-Instant-Dome-Tent-Sleeps-4/49332945

#1254755

Gypsy Rose, April 1, 2017 at 6:51 am

As the saying goes, “Run what ya brung.

What you already own for a tent will be just fine for RAGBRAI. As far as footprint is concerned, whether you set up a two person tent with your bike lying outside and adjacent to your tent, or, if you bring a four person tent and keep your bike inside, you’ll be taking up the same amount of space.

Space to set up camp, however, is at a premium on the ride. If you don’t already have a tent and are looking to purchase one for the ride, it might be a good idea to stick with a size that does not exceed that minimal (rider plus bike) footprint.

Cheers,
~ Kevin

#1254871

Carl, April 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

I assume that since you are riding solo and staying in the RAGBRAI camping area you are also using the RAGBRAI trailers. If so just remember that they limit the total weight of your bag to 50 lbs, and they do weight them.

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