Well, I think it’s time I do a real review of my OzTrail OR375 tent. In my travels, this tent is what I get asked the most about, by far. Folks love the footprint, construction, and ease of setup, so let’s look at it in detail.
So who is OzTrail?
Make no mistake, Australian take their camping VERY seriously. There are some amazing, and amazingly expensive setups coming from our friends across the water. OzTrail, as the name suggests, is an AU based company. Their products are built to withstand the extremely harsh conditions often found there, and due to that, are excellent for the rigors we here in the US put our gear through. Their North American team does a great job getting the product out both directly, and through select partners.
Tent Specs & Construction
There is no need for me to go through all this when OzTrail does a fine job here.
While it was called the “Outer Ridge 375” when I bought mine in 2012, it is now called the “Outer Ridge Venturer”. I can’t see any dimensional differences, and if you look at the link above, the web page even references the OR375 in the url. They may have upgraded the materials a bit, and provided more insulation on the roof, but neither was a must have item. But, you have to love a manufacturer keeping their products updated per their customer demands.
Why this Tent?
My reasoning was simple. Aside from the excellent quality and reputation OzTrail is know for, you can’t fit a pack and play in an RTT. Yeah, it’s that simple. Then, try to find a trailer tent that will accomodate the higher bed height of an offroad trailer like my CDN M101. Based on those 2 criteria, and the fact I will NEVER go back to a ground tent, the OR375 was just about my only choice. As bad as that may sound in terms of reasoning, the tent is absolutely amazing and I consider it one of my best purchases ever. Let’s go into why…
What is Included?
The main tent comes with the following:
- Awning and poles for sunroom
- Guy wires
- Tent stakes
- Lift struts (for opening on the trailer)
- Lock-downs to secure the lid on the trailer
Now, I have also added the sunroom walls and floor which do come at additional cost.
Hinges, lift struts, closing fasteners.
There are really 3 separate aspects to the setup of this tent so let me walk you through them.
First, you need level ground. Because of how it is still attached to the trailer, and needs a particular height to properly stake down, a level spot id more critical than with a simple RTT.
The second step is deploying the main tent. This is done by removing the cover and accessories off the top, unfurling the tent over the side, stretching out and staking the 4 corners, then extending the interior poles to their final lengths. Simple. With a little practice, steps 1 and 2 can be completed in 10 minutes or less.
Now, step three is the “I must live like a king” step. I have the optional sunroom with full walls and floor. Deploying it gives you a HUGE amount of essentially indoor space to occupy. If I am staying anywhere for more than a single night, I usually go ahead and set this up. Setup involves me grabbing a beer or two, and patiently setting up the awning roof, walls, then flooring. Nothing difficult, it just requires patience and a little time. This step usually takes me about an hour because those around me have seen what I am doing and want to come by to chat. That’s cool, I love talking about my setup, just don’t expect to be done in 15 minutes for a variety of reasons.
I already talked briefly about space, but here’s the deal. For 1 – 2 people, gear, and a dog, the main tent is plenty spacious. I love having a place to stand up that is sheltered from the heat/cold/sun/wind/rain etc. That is worth it’s weight in gold. Now, set up the full sunroom and you have a place to comfortably sit and drink, play cards, whatever your little heart desires. And the walls can be opened up as probably 75% of the actual wall surface area are windows you can open at will.
Obviously having a large area protected from the elements can be a huge benefit, but that mattress! The stock mattress is one of the most comfortable non-home units I have ever slept on. My wife was sold on camping after the comfy mattress in our old RTT, but this one is an fine upgrade past that. To put it in perspective, my 3 year old and I recently spent 5 nights camping in this tent, and after that time, my back was still good to go. Now, I am not saying I normally would have issues, but the fact it was comfortable for 5 nights speaks bounds about its quality.
No product is flawless, and I have had a couple minor issues with the tent in the 2 years this has been in-service.
- Minor hole in floor near door support – When the tent is deployed, the support near the door is actually detached from the main hinge and moved down so as not to block the door. Over time, I have developed a very minor hole in this vinyl pocket. However, I am confident that it is an easy fix with a basic vinyl repair kit.
- Loose Aluminum Tent Frame – Over time, the frame that secures the tent to the base has come loos in a couple spots. It is aluminum, and was installed with rivets, but could be fixed with just a bolt.
So, what about the tent would I change? Well, as much as I love it, there are a couple things so here goes:
- Zippers that fully close the windows – On most of the windows, the bottoms are held shut by velcro. While it is good velcro, in very cold conditions it is a bit of a challenge to prevent significant heat loss through the gaps. A fully zippered window would prevent drafts from the velcro area.
- Better locking clamps on the poles – After extending the interior poles, they are locked in place with friction clamps. Sometimes these clamps slip a little. While not a big deal, it bugs me. There are easy fixes out there but let’s just fix the factory ones to work a tad better.
- More insulation on the roof – This may have been fixed with the latest model. For mine, on a sunny day, the roof does get warm. Now, while this is welcome in cold weather, in hot weather you had better plan on opening some windows. Not a major issue at all, but a change would be nice.
- Condensation – Now, this is no fault of the manufacturer, but if you plan on camping for a few days (or more), or are using a propane heater like a Mr. Heater unit, then having an anti-condensation mat to go under the mattress would be a great idea. This allows the base and mattress to remain dry even during high humidity or times when you have condensation buildup.
Buying a RTT is no small investment, and a true trailer tent is even more so. With the quality and versatility the OzTrail OR375 brings to family or even solo camping, it is easily one of the best purchases I have ever made. I cannot recommend it highly enough so if you have been on the fence, just go do it.