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Thread: What's your opinion of Eureka tents

  1. #1
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Twin Cities - MN

    I've got one...

    I'm not a person that camps all the time, but I own the Eureka in your link. I paid quite a bit less for it through Amazon, so for the money, it's a decent tent.

    Mine has only been used 3 times, but all 3 times has seen some rain and performed admirably. It packs small, is light, and I think a good choice for bringing along on a motorcycle.

    I'll defer to the more experienced campers, but this is just what I've experienced.
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

  2. #2
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Jeeeeze....bombproof, huh? I sustained an acorn bombing one night.

    Well, you know, when it's blowing rain sideways for four hours and the tent doesn't leak, that sort of thing.

    One of the things we like about our four season tent is that the vestibule is big enough to cook in, without having to get out of the nice, warm tent. You can sit at the edge of the tent, in your sleeping bag, and operate the stove to make some coffee/tea/oatmeal in the morning.

    It's especially wonderful if it's pouring rain out. Have a little breakfast, then lay around the tent for a while and read or listen to music. It's heaven.

    Honestly, though, when it comes to tents and rain, it's all about setup. Even the best tent will leak if you set up in a depression or don't have the tent properly rigged for rain. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people with tarps sticking out from under their tent. The tarp works just like a funnel, collecting runoff from the tent and inserting it under the tent. Similarly, I've seen people with great tents, but with the rain fly all slack and flopping around or unstaked. This allows runoff from the rainfly to get on the tent body, or allows rain to drip off the rain fly right next to the tent. The reason rainflys have staking points is to allow water to drip off the fly away from the tent.

    And finally, many people don't seam seal their tent. This one hour process, where you turn the tent inside out and seal the stitching on the seams (same for the fly) is crucial if you want to sleep dry. There's a product called Seam Seal that is just for this purpose and only costs a few bucks at your local outfitter. Do it before you even set the tent up for the first time.

    So, Dave's Points for Sleeping Dry:

    - Don't set up in a low spot. Look for evidence of previous puddles or waterflow before you set up. This can be problematic in fairgrounds, but if you look at the ground and see areas where little grass is growing and the ground is pretty sandy, chances are, it's a low spot.

    - Your ground cover should never extend beyond the edge of your tent. Make sure there's no way for water to get funneled under the tent. The best way to ensure this doesn't happen is to use the manufacturer's footprint. Similarly, that canoe bag you're using as a doormat on the way in the tent is going to collect water. When it overflows, it'll send water under your tent.

    - Make sure your rain fly is properly tensioned so water is diverted away from the tent body and the rain fly doesn't touch the tent body. Be aware that as your tent gets wet, the panels will relax, so after it's been raining a bit, go around and re-tension the fly with the little pulls the manufacture provided. If your tent has no way to tension the fly, plan on getting wet or buying another tent.

    - Seam seal your tent and fly. It'll keep water from wicking in through the stitching on your tent.

    - Do not camp next to campfires. Every once in a while, a campfire will send up some embers, which will invariably land right on your tent, right where the fly likes to puddle a bit before ejecting the water. The teeny weeny little hole will allow water to drip on you all night long, slowly driving you insane enough to wake up at 5am, pack up in the dark and leave. DAMHIK.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  3. #3
    Unregistered user norton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Plano, TX
    As an aside, I have a 4 man Timberline that's over 30 years old. I needed a few parts to keep it going and did some research. Eureka is owned By Johnson Outdoor products, and has a retail outlet that sells parts. They have been very helpful keeping the old tent going. If you need some parts they are an excellent source.

  4. #4
    Chairman of the hoard wmubrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Kalamazoo, MI
    I have a Eureka tent that's 10 years old now and still works great. I haven't used it a lot in the last couple years in favor of a Northern Designs tent I bought because it has a vestibule, but I still loan out the Eureka once in a while. Both have been very good, zero trouble.
    John A. Brown - Kalamazoo MI
    '09 K1300S 'Zoot' (Wicked, bad, naughty, evil, Zoot!)
    '94 K1100LT 'Desert' (the horse with no name)

  5. #5
    I've used Eureka tents for the last 28 years & have had no problems with them. It didn't hurt that I used to live half an hour away from the outlet store and used to hit the closeout/factory 2nds sale. I could never find the defect(s) that made them factory 2nds.

    Seal the seams on the ten & fly, set up a proper camp & you'll do fine. Biggest issue is the setting up of a proper camp. KBasa has it nailed so need for more suggestions from me

  6. #6
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Sechelt, British Columbia
    Have both the Backcountry 2 and the El Capitain 3 and use them according to if I am alone or 2 up. Well made product and easy to set up. No rain problems with either. The vestebules on the 3 are are a very nice feature.
    Ufda happens..........

    Need your R11xx Hall sensor rewired? PM me.

  7. #7
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Back in the day, this was a common story among BMW riders. How am I going to find U at the BMW MOA National. The answer, I'll be the one camped out in the green Eureka Timberline tent with a black BMW parked next to it. They make a good tent, I own several.

  8. #8
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Calgary, Alberta

    Pinnacle Pass's all about setup....Kbasa


    One of the main issues is tensioning the fly so that water does not run on to the tent wall. I use spaghetti bungies and have extra stakes to tension the fly bottom away from the tent base. I have experienced horizontal rain and huge winds in the Canadian Rockies without ever getting wet, in my 30 year old Eureka Meridian.

    Now, looking at the Pinnacle Pass photos, the concern I would have is that the tent end walls have more exposure to rain than with other models. You want as much fly overlap as you can get.

    There are dozens of excellent tents out there now, but the set up is still everything. It's an anal exercise that's perfect for BMW riders.


  9. #9
    Honestly, though, when it comes to tents ... it's all about setup.
    Ever try the self erecting tents? (no jokes) Pull 'em out of the bag and toss 'em in the air. >poof< set up.
    Great sometimes... Not all the time.
    I have 4 tents for the type of camping, or who's with me... Male/Female = BIG factor.

    If you haven't looked... Try looking at CampMor. They have everything! They've been around forever too! Great prices!!

  10. #10
    Use the Pinnacle 3XTA and love it.
    Mearas Luhn
    If my mind wanders, should I follow it?

  11. #11
    one of the best points for uereka is their customer service and parts . just a phone call, if its their fault replacement is done no questions if you need a part its the same (but you pay, better than getting a new tent) most parts even for older tents are in stock.

  12. #12
    Registered User Altritter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    DC suburbs (Fairfax, VA)

    No Problem with Old Eureka Timberline

    I have an *old* four-person Timberline that was a gift to me about 15 years ago. It hasn't had much use, but the few times we used it were positive experiences.

    Not even certain the Timberline is still available. If it is, I think the two-person model would be better for a rider. (The four-person is a bit bulky for packing on a bike.)

  13. #13
    Ninja Hippie smammon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Casper, WY
    Eureka seems to manufacture good quality. I've had quite a few nights in their tents - the only problem I ever had was with a design where the fly did not go all the way to the ground. In sideways rain the sides of the tent (and your gear in the vestibule) can get wet. Also I've seen several tents with a partial fly turn into really good kites in the middle of the night.

    I think all of the major tent brands make a good product - but I always advise a rain fly that goes all the way to the ground on all sides and can be staked and tied.

  14. #14
    2014 R1200GSW Rich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Killdeer, ND
    I've got the Timberline, and it stayed nice and dry through the storms at Gillette. Any tent that would do that is great as far as I am concerned.

    Nice easy setup too.

  15. #15
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Big Sky country (Montana)
    Another tip about keeping dry in a tent is to ensure nothing inside is making physical contact with the tent fabric. You may not have a dripping leak, but your sleeping bag, clothes or backpack will absorb water right through the shell like a sponge, or create a point that will wick up any condensation you're generating inside the tent directly off the tentwall. Having your feet inside a damp sleeping bag inside an otherwise non-leaking tent is no fun.

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