Frames for Canvas Tents
Hunting Tent Frames:
I recommend an internal frame as it provides the most roof support. Frames that do not have rafters, such as the A-Frame, lodgepole and traditional frame, put much more pressure and weight under snow loads on the tent ridge and eaves where guy ropes are tied to the grommets or D-rings. Wall tents with significant snow loads have a much higher probability of tearing or splitting when an frame is not used.
Another major factor for deciding which type of frame is best for you is the ease of set up and time required. One person can set up a 12x14 wall tent in 30 minutes very easily. Two people can set up a 12x14 in around 10 minutes. Personally, I don't like going to a camp site and then start looking for lodge poles and then cutting them to fit my wall tent. Too much work and too much wasted time.
Most internal frames have two piece rafters and two piece tent lengths. If you have an 8' bed on your pick up, tape the 2 pieces of your tent frame lengths and rafter together. Taping together the two pieces of the wall tent lengths and rafters together reduces the number of poles in half and significantly reduces tent set up and take down time.
Frame bags make transporting and storeing tent frames much easier. You don't have to count the poles for completeness as you put the poles in the bags from the last camping trip.
Place something under the legs if you fold the wall tent's sod cloth to the inside of the tent so the legs will not wear a hole in the sod cloth. WE SELL RUBBER CAPS JUST FOR THIS.
A tent should never fit tight on a tent frame. A tight fit puts pressure on the seams and zippers and will eventually cause damage. If your door zipper does not zip easily it is usually caused by rafter being too long. Cut the rafters down from 1/2'' to 1'' depending upon how hard it is to zip the wall tent zippers.
Snow loads. Canvas tents are not designed for heavy snow loads like a wooden structure. Houses have rafters every 2 feet to carry the weight of snow on the roof. If you plan on leaving your tent set up during winter you need to have at a minimum rafters every 2 feet.
Even with tent rafters every 2 feet it is still possible your roof will cave in during heavy snow loads.
Remove snow daily from the roof or every couple of days depending upon snow loads..
You must also have a fly/tarp on your tent. A poly fly allows snow to slide off much more easily than canvas.
The tent roof and fly must be very tight to prevent snow, rain and ice from collecting in the eave trough. The more water and ice accumulates in the eave trough the deeper the eave trough becomes. Ice and water in the eave trough can collapse a tent.
Leaving a tent set up for extended periods of time. Water can collect on the roof in an "eave trough". The trough is the area at the bottom of roof just before the side horizontal tent frame poles. Canvas roof should be very tight on tents set up for extended periods of time and a fly used. Fly should also be tight to avoid water and snow in an eave trough. Canvas saturated in water will rot and mildew regardless of water mildew protection applied. There is no warranty for eave rot.