Do you buy a screen tent to go over the picnic table?

mrootes

2009 Rockwood Freedom 1940LTD
Mar 4, 2009
223
Noblesville, IN
Hi friends, have a question - sometimes the kids go to bed early, so we can't play cards/games in the camper once that happens.

We're thinking of buying a really good screen room that's large enough to fit over the picnic table and have room to spare. Does anyone have any thoughts? I see from the web that everyone loves the Coleman GeoSport Screen Room for its size and durability. And apparently the price on Amazon is very goood right now. (15x15; $139 w/ free shipping)

We first thought a pop up canopy would be nice, but then this baby came along - does anyone recommend anything?
THANKS!

2047384570105208708S600x600Q85.jpg


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009PUQFK/ref=asc_df_B0009PUQFK1031385?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=yahoo-sg-20&linkCode=asn&creative=380341&creativeASIN=B0009PUQFK
 

Island Ranger

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2006
880
United Kingdom
Well from what I have seen you mostly use these type of tents in the US. We seem to camp differently in the UK as most of us use a drive away motorhome awning with or without bed annexes, maybe due to a lot of rain here, as weather is very changeable. But good luck hope you find something suitable
 

MissLou

Active Member
Jan 1, 2003
205
We've had a couple of different models, though not as nice looking as the one you show in your post. The weather is quickly changeable when and where we camp so we've decided not to use anything other than our awning due to the wind/rain problems we've experienced in the past. It is nice to have the shade over the picnic table but our screen houses didn't do that good a job in keeping insects out.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,754
Albuquerque, NM
Have seen these, or square or rectangular versions, in some campgrounds. I'd suggest finding how they are staked down, since that is a pretty large area for lift. We found that the stakes that come with canopies and tents, so I assume screen houses are the same, are not up to the job. We bought relatively large, heavy, metal stakes at a surplus place, for our table canopy and pup awning.

The frightening thing we've seen has been people seeming to use screen houses, attached to pups and RVs, or free-standing, as a safe place to leave food out - in grizzly country, as well as places with various determined rodents and birds!

[Most of the areas we camp, the bugs are not usually a big problem. If they were we'd have converted to pup camping fully & earlier; probably have a screen house, too. We have had 3 table canopies, however, as much for sun as for rain in some places, so we've learned about wind and rain issues. The first one was not stable at all, though we see people using them. Even a light wind was a problem, and it gathered rain instead of shedding it, so the best use we got from it was deciding we wanted one that actually worked. The next 2 were designed better, and once the current one gets a bit more sun-aged, we may clone it, since it is no longer being made.]
 

MrCamper

Member
Jan 20, 2008
17
I had a screen tent it was ok, but now I have a First up gazebo the screen curtain and the wind curtain are seprate I think this will work much better for me. [2C]
 

gkosel

Fargo, ND (Next Trip - ?)
Jan 15, 2008
492
Fargo, ND
Here is a picture of the screen tent that I bought last year. It is a 14X12 sized unit and work really well to protect from the sun. I only set it up twice since buying it. It is pretty easy to set up with two people and takes about 15 minutes or so. I am thinking about upgrading to First-Up type screen room this year as I think they are a little easier to set up. But the downfall would be that most in my price range are only 10X10, so I would be taking a hit on size. I am still debating on what to do. This tent just sets up like a typical dome tent that most of us camped in before upgrading to our PUPs.

I definitely agree with kitphantom about upgrading your tent stakes. I bought heavy duty steel stakes and during the trip from the pic below we had quite a bit of rain and wind and it didn't leak a bit and had no problems with the wind.

You can kind of see the cord in the corner that ran up to a power strip that I velcroed to one of the cross bars. We used the power strip to run our crock pots and electric skillets for preparing meals as well as a clip on light that I hung in the center of the tent for evening visiting and card games.

One thing I would recommend is having some 2X2's or 2X4's or some other heavy objects to hold the sides down. If the grass is tall or the ground is uneven as in the site from my pic below, the bugs can still sneak in under the walls unless you have something holding them tight to the ground.

I bought mine at Sam's Club last year, but I do not see them offered there anymore. Here is a link to the same model sold at Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/SwissGear-Elite-Camping-Screen-House/dp/B002N3ETWC/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1266252788&sr=8-5

IMG-2671.JPG
 

EHirning

Member
Jul 21, 2009
47
Arizona
We use one to go over the folding table we bring for our "food prep" area. It's not big enough to fit over the picnic table at the campsites. We usually just sit next to the fire & talk.
 

Kenpopup

Member
Sep 13, 2009
63
A screen room is a must with my family 5 kids 4 grand kids and friend come along we bought a $40 dollar from wal-mart this year it is 13ft by 9ft we got two picnic under it ,my wife and son are magnet for bugs i don't get bit that often so do not matter to me, i buy mine cheap because the kids tend to be harsh with them.if we camp where we have outlet i bring clamp light or use laterns.i try to find brick or logs to hold sides dowm,if windy make sure you get good stakes i had to retrive my a couple times.
 

Flyfisherman

Super Active Member
Mar 4, 2003
3,682
Shallotte, North Carolina
Looks about like the one I have. Have only used it a few times (like maybe three times), but when we have it was sorely needed!

Back when gas was much cheaper and long distant hauls were more common, we made a fishing trip up to northern Michigan. When we got there we set-up camp like we do everyplace else only this time we were in time for those biting black flies! Those scudders can bite right through your clothing! That was an educational trip for having a screen room and insect repellents! Another spring trip into the boonies of North Carolina brought out a troop of mosquitos and gnats.

Not sed too often but it's always carried in the pup for those "times"
 

Bearikens

Starlight and firelight ... lighting my way
Apr 5, 2009
180
Centennial, Colorado
I have experiences using a screen room and wanted to pass them along.

We had an Ozark Trail 13x10 screen room that was rectangular and it was large enough to cover a standard size picnic table. There was also barely enough room to walk around the table with the screen walls zipped (the walls slope upwards to the 10x10 roof). Bugs were able to get in, but it did keep a majority of the bugs outside (and out of our hair). Gentle rain wasn't a problem, but heavy rain did come in through the screens and pooled on the roof. Wind was another story...even with heavy duty stakes the screen room would blow violently and even has blown over a couple of times. Breezes were fine.

I found that an overhead light works better for gameplay than using my Coleman propane lantern sitting on the picnic table which shined the light right into our eyes. Using a light outside the screen room was fine for the campsite, but didn't shine enough light for playing games into the screen room. I've got an aluminum work clip-on light equipped with a bug light bulb that I clip onto the screen room overhead frame.
 

gkosel

Fargo, ND (Next Trip - ?)
Jan 15, 2008
492
Fargo, ND
Hi Bearikens,

I have the same clip-on work light that you are talking about (I think), but what is a bug light bulb? Does it really work?
 

Bearikens

Starlight and firelight ... lighting my way
Apr 5, 2009
180
Centennial, Colorado
Bug light bulbs are yellow and they do help reduce the attraction of bugs to light. I saw that the companies now offer one in compact floorence (spelling) version the other day in our local grocery store.
 

eroyle

Active Member
Aug 9, 2009
114
Maryland
We use the First Up canopy and add either solid or screen walls. It is available at Wal-Mart. Walmart also has weights for the legs and string lights for the inside.
 

Dusty82

Super Active Member
Jun 23, 2008
3,511
Northern Nevada
We got 2 Ozark Trail screen houses from Wally World for less than $50 apiece and use them - one over the picnic table and another for my hammock and our chairs if the bugs get too bad. Bugs get pretty intense at night in the desert when you're the only light source for 10 miles in any direction - most of them don't bite, but they're sure a nuisance.

The screen houses we got are shown here, but for some reason they're not listed on Wally World's website:

http://sharedreviews.com/garden-tools/gazebos-shelters/ozark-trail-15-x-13-screen-house

They're very easy to set up and collapse (about a 10 minute job by myself) and so far we haven't had one blow down. Sustained winds of 30 mph with 45mph gusts are pretty common here, but we generally don't camp when it's that windy.

I'm thinking about a 10 X 10 First Up with the screen panels too, but haven't decided yet. For the last 3 years our $50 screen houses have performed perfectly, so I'm not in a big hurry to replace them.
 

gkosel

Fargo, ND (Next Trip - ?)
Jan 15, 2008
492
Fargo, ND
My biggest hang-up with the 10X10 First-Ups is whether you can fit a picnic table under one with the screen sides attached. Can anyone comment on whether they can typically get theirs to fit over a standard sized picnic table?

My 14X12 tent fit over with not a lot of extra room on both sides. However my tent has angled walls, so the base is 14X12 and the roof is much less than that. Correct me if I am wrong, but the first-up's are 10X10 with straight walls.

I guess I am going to have to measure one of the picnic tables the next time I go camping because I have no idea how long they are.
 

outdoorokie

Member
Jan 18, 2010
28
We bought the same screen tent gkosel has last year at sam's club. We used it one weekend and took it back. We must have got a defective unit because during the course of that weekend with no wind and no rain three seams came apart. It also seemed to be better suited at keeping the bugs inside than keeping them out.

We've been thinking of getting an ez-up, but will see how we like the pup awning and screen room this year.....we were tenters last year.
 

Albert and Melanie

The "pup" Palace
Mar 30, 2009
1,041
Oklahoma
We have 2 of the first up canopies from Wal Mart ($87 ea), and 2 of the screens you attach ($30 ea). We don't always use both, and we don't always use the screens, but they're durable and easy to put together and take down. Here's a pic with both in use. To put them together w/o a screen separating them Albert just unzips one screen panel and removes it.

04-26-09030.jpg


Here's a side view, and yep, the dog got in trouble for being on the table, LOL!

04-26-09031.jpg
 

mrootes

2009 Rockwood Freedom 1940LTD
Mar 4, 2009
223
Noblesville, IN
Thanks for the input!

The amazon.com reviews of the screen tent say that this Coleman screen room will do very well for winds.

So I went to amazon and bought it! The nice surprise is that for some reason, I got a promo discount and it was only $119.

I am SO READY to pop up the pop up!!
 




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