Review: Oztent RV5 Touring Tent

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Thirty seconds. That’s all you need to set up the Oztent RV5. They are quick, simple, and have changed the way many people camp. Gone are the days of struggling with tent poles, fly orientation, and having just enough room to crawl in and go to sleep!

We’ve had our Oztent RV5 for around 4 years, and have spent over 125 nights in it. It’s been all over Western Australia, in every condition imaginable. I reckon that gives us a pretty good idea of whether they are worth buying or not.

About the RV5

Released in 2006, the Oztent RV5 is the biggest in the RV range, and is designed to sleep, 5 people. It would be a tight fit though! They are made from 8 ounce ripstop poly-cotton canvas, with a heavy duty PVC floor. I’ve been seriously impressed with the attention to detail and quality-of-build in my RV tent.

There’s plenty of examples of this attention to detail. The guy ropes are conveniently bright orange so you can easily see them – and they’re thick, very strong, and tuck away into little pockets. Compare this to the average guy rope and the difference in quality is obvious. The main zipper is made by YKK, who make over half of the zippers in the world – top quality. The canvas is lightweight but durable, and 100% waterproof. And the list goes on.

RV5 Guy Rope Pocket

How’s this for attention to detail? Each guy rope has its own little pocket so it can be tucked away neatly.

Setting up the Oztent RV5

It takes only 30 seconds. Can it really be that simple? Once you have the tent out of its bag, you can easily fold it out and stand it up in 30 seconds. It takes me longer to get it off the roof rack of our Land Cruiser and out of the bag than it does to stand it up. From there, you bang in a few pegs and a couple of guy ropes (depending on how windy it is but always a good idea) and you’re good to go.

Setting up the Oztent RV5 tent in Western Australia

Showing you how it’s done. The quickest tent of this size to set up? You betcha.

We run the mesh floor saver too (to protect the bottom of the tent) which adds a bit of time to the process. But, you can easily have the floor saver down, tent up, and pegged out in under 5 minutes with two people. We are always set up and relaxing before others. When you do it for 35 nights in a row through the Kimberley, you need a tent that is simple, easy, and reliable.

Is it functional?

Right, so it’s all well and good to have a tent that you can set up quickly, but does it actually work? Absolutely.

I don’t reckon you can go past an Oztent for comfort and practicality. For overnight stays, we flick it up with a few pegs, then load our gear inside. If we are staying for more than a night the awning comes out, and sometimes the front and side panels.

Oztent RV5 with front panels and side panels on the BBQ at the front

Throw on a front panel and some side panels and you extend your living area by a heap. Perfect for those occasions when you want to set up in one place for a while.

There are 5 windows/vents that can be opened up in various ways to improve airflow (and alleviate condensation), a little opening to bring an electrical lead into the tent, intelligent tie-back setups for the front door and awning, along with a whole realm of additional accessories you can purchase should you want to go all out. These include a fly, tagalong tent, awning connector, ground sheets, and side and front panels to add extra room.

There’s nothing worse than not being able to stand up inside a tent. I’m 6”6 and struggled immensely to find a suitable tent that I could stand in. The RV5 allows me to (in the tallest section) near the front door, which is a huge win.

How does it fare in bad weather?

Western Australia’s coastline is beautiful, but it can also be unbearably windy. We spent 5 nights at Gnaraloo Station in 2013 and experienced the worst wind while camping in our lives. We had 20kg limestone rocks securing our gazebo in each corner, as the tent pegs kept getting ripped out of the ground, and our 4WDs were even parked to block the wind. If it weren’t for the amazing coastline we would have left much earlier!

Two Oztent RV5s set up next to each other

Double vision? Nah, just must be a couple of serious campers at this camping spot. 

I was expecting to see our Oztent broken every time we drove back to camp, but it suffered zero damage. For 5 days the wind was relentless, and the Oztent just took it in its stride. We saw multiple tents break in various ways, but no RVs! They are tested in up to 100km/h winds and are shaped so the wind blows over the top without catching anywhere.

As for rain and hail, we’ve spent several nights in the Oztent while it bucketed down, and never had any problems with water ingress. The sewing and canvas are brilliant. I woke up one morning in Bremer Bay, to find about 20kg of water pooled in the middle of the awning, due to my lazy setup procedure the day before.

The only damage we have done to our RV is a tiny hole in the PVC floor. We normally take the time to sweep away anything that could damage the bottom of the tent before setting up, but something must have evaded us – it even put a hole in the mesh floor saver. Aside from this though, we’ve had no damage – it’s really well built.

What are the limitations?

The RV5 fills a certain niche, and it does it very well. However, this means it’s not suitable for some camping applications. The main limitation is its physical size and weight. Packed up, it’s 2 metres long by 45cm wide and 20cm tall. At 23kg, it’s not the sort of tent you’d be able to take hiking, or put in the back of your little hatchback.

Oztent RV5 on the Roof Rack of Toyota LandCruiser 4WD

The RV5 doesn’t exactly pack down small – it takes up the length of the roof rack. But hey, easy pitching and quality come at a price. 

They are also not cheap. Expect to pay anywhere from about just over a grand for an RV5 from Snowys. However, you know what they say – a poor man buys twice!

Overall

Oztent has been around for over 20 years, producing a variety of camping shelter options, and camping furniture. Their tents can be seen all over the world, and have changed the way we camp. We are extremely pleased with our Oztent and have had many enjoyable times with it.

If you are looking for a quality tent that is simple and quick to set up and can handle harsh Aussie conditions, look no further than the Oztent RV5.

Why did you buy an Oztent RV Tent? What’s your favourite thing about it?

About the writer...

Aaron Schubert

If it involves four-wheel driving, Aaron loves it. When he isn’t writing for his blog, 4WDing Australia or the Snowys Blog, you’ll find him camping and driving around Western Australia.

Joined back in July, 2016

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