View Full Version : How Big is the 12-man?

12-12-2004, 02:09 PM
Hi everyone, new to the forum. I've got a different use for the 12-man tipi in mind if it's large enough. I have an '87 Toyota cargo van that I'm turning into a little camper. I've been looking at van sidetents made for old VW's but they're a hassle to set up and not sure about the durability. I ran across the Kifarus on the 'net and got the idea of setting the 12-man over the Toyota which is 14' long, 5' or so wide, and not quite 6' high. Is this feasible? I'd like to be able to stand up outside the van and be out of the weather. I'll use a Honda generator for power and was hoping it could be inside the tipi too but have enough ventilation to not worry about carbon monoxide. Any advice appreciated!


12-12-2004, 07:33 PM
Wow, that's alot of links! I have the Lofty Shelters brochure and may yet go that route. But I like the Kifaru concept. Maybe a 6-man tipi next to my van would be better. The 12 man model does have a huge footprint. I was just wondering if there's enough room to tuck my little van between the center pole and sidewall.

12-12-2004, 07:42 PM

Nope, not enough room between center pole and tipi wall. Reason I know is because I own an '87 4WD van like yours myself. They don't make 'em anymore. Just like model 600 Remingtons. Which is why I'll keep my little van running as long as possible. Great little "indoor pickup", if you know what I mean. Nobody builds a 4WD van with low range anymore. A pity.

12-12-2004, 10:06 PM
Oh well, thanks Patrick. Do you do any customizing? Something like a sleeve that would attach to the van and lead into the tipi?

12-13-2004, 04:43 AM

I fiddled around quite a bit with "connections" between the tipi and my little van--never found a a way to affix anything well in wind/rain. Best car camping scenario turned out to be parking the van right beside the closed-up tipi. Going a very short distance between the doors, in other words.

12-13-2004, 05:41 PM

How about something like this?

<a href="http://cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jhtml?id=0014948515423a&amp;type=product&amp;cmCat=se arch&amp;returnString=No=40&amp;hasJS=true&amp;Nty=1&amp;Ntx=match all&amp;Ntt=tent&amp;N=4887&amp;QueryText=tent" target="_blank">http://cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/...;QueryText=tent (http://cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jhtml?id=0014948515423a&amp;type=product&amp;cmCat=se arch&amp;returnString=No=40&amp;hasJS=true&amp;Nty=1&amp;Ntx=match all&amp;Ntt=tent&amp;N=4887&amp;QueryText=tent&amp;noImage=0&amp;_D%3A hasJS=+&amp;_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fcommon%2Fsearch%2 Fsearch-box.jhtml.22&amp;Ntk=Products&amp;returnPage=search-results1.jhtml) &amp;noImage=0&amp;_D%3AhasJS=+&amp;_DARGS=%2Fcabelas%2Fen%2Fc ommon%2Fsearch%2Fsearch-box.jhtml.22&amp;Ntk=Products&amp;returnPage=search-results1.jhtml</a>

12-13-2004, 06:31 PM
That same company makes a tent that attaches to the back of vans and suv's, but you have to leave your van open with it attached. I have a van so the truck bed tent won't work. I really hoped the 12-man would work, would've been a great solution. Paha Que makes a 12'X12' screenroom with 6'6" high sides. That would get most of the van inside but I'd have to take it down in a storm and UV would degrade it pretty quick. Alaska Tent and Tarp makes an expedition tent called the Artic Oven that looks promising. I could clip the roll up door to the van's raingutter and then drape a tarp over it to form an entrance into the tent. They have the portable stoves also. The 12-man over my van would've been awesome though!

12-13-2004, 10:44 PM
That's one of those "Why didn't I think of that" ideas! Maybe rig a brace that attaches to a Yakima rack. Just went out and paced off 20'X17" around the van. Appears doable but Patrick would know best.

12-15-2004, 01:14 PM
Well dang! anthracitic thinks outside the box, for sure. Biggest problem at this point is what to do about the stove. I'm going to assume you want heat for the whole shebang. Or, since this is a car camping issue, you could simply use new generation propane heater(s). That should do the trick, in fact.

I'm willing to sell you a tipi on spec--see if you can get it pitched tautly and satifactorily atop your van. If not, send it back. If you CAN it'll be truly a weatherproof deal, compared to draped tarps off the side of the van and so forth.

Kevin B
12-15-2004, 02:37 PM
Maybe you've found the niche for the 16 man Patrick. Maybe van can give you a chance to work up the production model, maybe not.

12-15-2004, 07:11 PM
Patrick, I'll take you up on that eventully. Appears my transmission needs to be rebuilt. Wish it had started acting up a week ago. I'll be in touch and good to now you think it'll work.

Wade Kilpatrick