What are they made from?
Our tents are made from 360gsm Waterproof, and fire/ rot resistant canvas - it's seriously good stuff, and it's the primary reason our tents cost more than other Bell Tents (plus there's a heck of a lot more fabric in our tents, so they're much bigger on the inside even with the same size floor space). The groundsheet is made with 540gsm pvc. Your tent will come with everything you need to put it up, including the groundsheet, pegs, poles, guy ropes, and even a mallet!
Where can I see one put up?
If you are in the Haliburton, Ontario area - send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a viewing of one of our tents or perhaps one of our happy customers! If you are unable to meet us here there are photos all over the internet! Check out our social media accounts and have a look at how people have been decorating their Lotus Belles!
How much space will I need to pitch it in?
Ideally you'll have about 7.5m diameter space to put up the 4m tent, 8.5m to put up the 5m tent, but it can be smaller if you adjust the toggles inwards, around 6m/ 7m minimum. It's ideally used in fields or large gardens, at festivals or in the wild, not so good for camping on your front lawn!
Will it fit in the trunk of my car?
Yes! Woohoo, hurrah, finally, an almost-yurt that you can actually travel in a normal size car with! It folds up and fits in to a large green/ white holdall, It measures 110cm x 40cm x 40cm max for a 4m/ 128 x 40 x 40 for a 5m, So there's even room for your sleeping bag (and perhaps some clothes too if you're lucky).
Will I be able to carry it across a festival site on my own?
No, they're heavy, you'll need to get one of those lovely people with a golf cart to drive it to your campsite, although you might be able to manage a 4m tent using a dolly if you're feeling fit.The 4m tents weigh 55kg, 5m tents weigh 66kg.
Can I fit a burner flue in it/ does it come with a flue hole?
Yes you can fit a burner, its easy to fit one yourself with the addition of the flashing plates provided with the burner kit (or sold separately if you don't opt for the full kit). We don't currently stock stoves in Canada, but we are working on it!
How long does it take to put up?
The first time we put one up it took us an hour but now we can do the whole thing in 45 minutes, and It's really easy to put up on your own. There are two methods of putting the tent up - roof first or walls first. It is easier to put the walls up first, but if its raining when you put it up, then roof first is better. (also - if you leave the wall poles in the canvas, you can put it up in 15 minutes). If you are planning to use your tent(s) for festival hire, or any kind of business that involves putting up and taking down the tents regularly, please ask about our 'banana bags' ($140) and enable you to fold the tent away, whilst keeping all the wall poles in place, and come with four carry handles for easy transport.
How do I put it up?
NB: Your tent will come with pictorial instructions, but in case you lose them, here's a reminder of the order in which to do things...We have a video tutorial on You Tube which can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MnA4R-xwMY
With every tent purchase you also get laminated pictorial instructions to help with assembly.
How do I clean my tent?
For tents left up permanently/ semi permanently you may find algae builds up on your tent (this isn't the same as mould, it's a greenish growth on the surface of your canvas, it's often worse when tents are pitched near trees) we have had customers recommend 'Path Clear Patio Cleaner,' - the manufacturers have assured us it is safe for use on Canvas. There are other similar algae removing patio cleaning products available that may also work, but we would recommend checking suitability with the manufacturer first, and reading the guidelines for use thoroughly before using on your tent. Mix up as per instructions on box into a garden spray bottle and spray regularly when you start to see the green appear.
- For muddy patches: You can have your tent cleaned professionally, but check that the proposed cleaning method is suitable, i.e. you need to make sure that it will not involve machine washing, as this can cause up to 10% shrinkage, and if your canvas shrinks, the poles wont fit! The best method we know of for cleaning off muddy patches yourself is to first of all hose down any dirty areas to see if it shifts. If there is still muck stuck on your tent, use natural soap flakes and a soft bristled/ child's hairbrush, try to brush off as much muck as possible before getting it wet, then scrub gently with the natural soap flakes and luke warm water with the hairbrush. Avoid using a cloth to clean your tent as this generally just pushes the mud around in circles.
- We are experimenting with steam cleaners and pressure washers but we do not yet have advice to give on whether this is a good idea or not - if you try it on your tent please do feed back your findings to us, we'd love to hear from you!
- For more ingrained mould and rot patches (the tents are rot resistant, but in particularly damp conditions or if left up for a very long time, there is still the potential for rot and black patches to appear) we recommend clove oil. Mix the clove oil up 1 part clove oil to 5 parts water, and spray on to the affected area to kill the mould spores, then leave for a few hours and spray away. If you have a particularly stubborn patch then you can increase the amount of clove oil and leave for longer.
- Your canvas is treated to be waterproof, flame retardant, and rot proof. If you wash your tent thoroughly and regularly, you will wash off some of the treatment, and as such you will need to re-proof it with waterpoofing solutionas described in your 'how to look after your Lotus' information page. You dont need to do this every time you wash the tent, just one coat at the end of the season will be fine. Nikwax Solarproof will help reproof your tent to guard against water and UV penetration, Grangers Fabsil Waterproofer is also a good waterproofing solution).