My Experience with Cascadia Vehicle Tents [Spoiler: Not great]

#1
Hi all,

So here's the bottom line up front. I'm not exactly pleased with this purchase. I'd love to come up with some redeeming qualities (the tent sucks but the customer service is great, or vice versa), but I just cant. Here's my story, I've removed some line breaks to make it easier to read, the text is otherwise unchanged:

5 March 2014: Ordered the tent as part of the group-buy.

Sometime in early April 2014: Notified CVT that I was about to move across the country, and asked them to delay shipping until I had a new address

12 April:

Good morning Joseph,
Will do. Please have a safe trip on your journey.
Thank you,
Bobby

23 April:

Hi Bobby,
Earlier today I missed a call from the freight company notifying me that my tent was ready for pickup in NC, it sounds like it slipped out your door contrary to our prior talk. Is there anything you guys can do to recall it? I'm currently in Minnesota with no intention of heading back east. Let me know if there's anything I can do from here.
Joe

2 May:

Hi Bobby,
Just wondering if this issue with my tent has been resolved of if there's anything I need to do.
Thanks,
Joe

3 May:

Good morning Joe,
We are waiting to get it back. They took the tent and shipped it after we had told them not too. It is on their dime. So to answer your question there is nothing you need to do. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Have a great weekend,

29 May:

Hi Bobby,
I finally have a good mailing address after a cross country move, it's:
[redacted]
Thanks again for your flexibility, I cant wait to get some camping done this summer.
Joe


[The whole month of June passes.]


5 July:

Hi Bobby,
I just wanted to touch base with you folks and see if there's an updated shipping status for my new address. Hopefully you all were able to sort out the accidental shipping to NC, and hopefully you're managing a madhouse of purchases this summer.
Joe

9 July:

Good morning Joe,
Lol...Yes we got it sorted out. We will be shipping it out to you next week. Let us know if anything changes.
Cheers,
Bobby

30 July:

Good morning Joseph,
Are you ready for a tent?
Let me know.
Bobby

30 July:

I sure am. Just to double check, my current address is:
[Redacted again]
Joe

12 or 13 August: A woman from CVT calls me, apparently the freight company was trying to schedule delivery and couldnt get ahold of me, I gave her a good phone number and the freight company called me later that day.

14 August: Tent Arrives

14 August:

Good morning Joseph,
The shipping company has been trying to get a hold of you but I guess we have the wrong number. Could you please send us your new phone number and I will get it to them.
Thank you,
Bobby

15 August:

Hi Bobby,
The tent came yesterday, a woman from CVT called me the day prior to fix the phone number issue. Everything looks good with the exception of a bent aluminum hoop that supports the annex extension, I'll send you a picture over the weekend so you can have a look.
Thanks much for your flexibility on shipping for me, I appreciate it.
Joe


18 August:

Hi Bobby,
As I mentioned last week, I got my tent and everything looks good with the exception of this one piece, the hoop that props up the annex/extension. I'm not sure how it was bent with everything else being ok and how it's stowed, I'm guessing it was just an oversight when everything was being put together.
What can be done to get a replacement?
Joe




10 September:

Hi Bobby,
Any ideas on this yet?
Joe

15 September:

Good morning Joseph,
Are you able to still use it? I am afraid to ship one in the mail...lol. Let me know what you want to do.
Thank you,
Bobby

15 September:

Hey Bobby,
It holds for now, but as crushed as that one corner is I think it's only a matter of time until it fails in the wind. I'd still like a replacement at some point, whether that means meeting you sometime when you're down this way or taking a chance with the mail. Thanks
Joe

23 September:

Hi again Bobby,
So today I got the tent flipped over to begin the mounting process, and there was also damage to the tent floor. Again, the shipping carton was undamaged, so I'm mostly letting you know so you can dropkick whoever does your quality control. Or fire them. Or both. Also, I'm a little confused on how the mounting rails are supposed to be mounted. The instructions make it look like they just screw in with the tent closed, but there are bolts and nuts (which are not even on the inventory in the instructions), so is this supposed to be done with the tent open somehow?
I apologize if I'm losing some patience, but it just seems like one thing after another. Shipping craziness, bent hoop, bent floor, crappy instructions. I know it's a (relatively) cheap tent, but I'm getting close to my wit's end. I lost everything I owned to a moving truck fire early this summer with the exception of what was in my truck, and I've really been looking forward to working off some of that stress in these vast western parks, but this tent is adding to my stress rather than relieving it.
Joe




24 September:

Good morning Joe,
Do not apologize, I am sorry you are feeling this way. When the tents leave us there is no damage. The boxes are also perfect. We do not use a forklift either unless they are on a pallet. This is definitely shipping damage.
Yes open the tent so the mattress is showing to the side and the bellow (doors) at the other. http://youtu.be/VefB1colzks
I am sorry for all your loss. Please see attached instructions and video done by a customer. If you have any further questions please let me know. You can reach me most of the time on my cell at [redacted].
Where would you like for me to send the new bar too?
best regards,

25 September:

Hi Bobby,
Thanks for your understanding. My address is:
[redacted]
While you're at it, I also need two new mounting rails. Both of the ones included have a hole off center, preventing the nut from being concentric with the bolt (picture attached). In each case the offending hole is the closest to one end of the rail, like the rail may not have been set securely in the jig when drilling. Also, I've seen on your website that offering a new/replacement tent floor is in the works. Would you be able to put me on the list for one of those when they are available? I understand that the dent may have occurred during shipping, but I'd still like it fixed even if that's something I have to pay for.
Joe



And that was now over a month ago. Prime camping season in the high desert and I have an expensive tent sitting on the floor of my garage. I'll keep any further opinions to myself for now, but I wanted to vent a little and let you folks who may be in the market see one guy's experience so far.
 

newhue

Adventurer
#2
I'm sorry to hear your story. You are a patient man, far more than I. Down here retailers are always complaining because we buy so much from overseas instead of using them. Often the service is faster, politer, and cheaper off shore, but I guess some people are just unique. I'd be screaming from my money back and moving on.
good luck!
 
#3
Well, I was considering a tent from them but I'm having second thoughts. I can get an ARB in town for a bit more money, and having a local guy to deal with issues like this seems like a plus at the moment.
 

Box Rocket

Adventure Fan
#4
Well, I was considering a tent from them but I'm having second thoughts. I can get an ARB in town for a bit more money, and having a local guy to deal with issues like this seems like a plus at the moment.
I'm local for you to if you consider a Tepui tent. I can help you get one of those.

OP bummer you've had to go through all that hassle.
 
#5
I bought mine on that same group buy and remember hoping not to have to deal with shipping damage. I understand with everything in life laying down cash for RTT is a major purchase. It was three years of saying I was going to do it before I finally did.
Another person posted about the experience of shipping damage after his wait and needing it for a planned trip. He was able to file a claim with the shipping company, purchased another RTT, keeping the damaged one. It is unfortunate that this may not be one of those situations.
 

Box Rocket

Adventure Fan
#6
I won't speculate on the delays that occurred with CVT, but now that I've been selling tents for a while one thing I can tell you is that it doesn't matter who the shipping company is, there are occasionally ones that get damaged. It happens with FedEx, it happens with UPS, in happens with Conway and any of the other companies. I don't know if you can pin it on any one factor other than carelessness. It's unfortunate. In my experience it seems like there might be more problems in certain areas of the country. I mean, there seem to be certain depots who's workers are not as careful with items.
.
It sucks because I'm confident that the tent companies take the utmost care with their products to do all they can to get it to you in pristine condition, whether it be ARB, CVT, Tepui, Eezi-Awn it doesn't matter. Once the shipping companies pick it up everyone is at the mercy of their workers and how they handle the packages. When shipping damage does occur, the tent companies often don't have the authority to offer refunds on behalf of the shipping companies when damage occurred during shipping. That's why it's very important to inspect the package as best you can and check for any visible damage before you accept the shipment. I know we recommend that with Tepui Tents, and if you think there is damage to the contents you should reject the shipment. Once the shipment has been delivered it becomes more difficult to sort it out.
.
In the case of the OP it would have been impossible to see the damage, so I can empathize with the frustration. I hope you are able to get it sorted out.
 
#7
In retrospect, I really wish I had pictures of the box. Aside from some scuffs it looked perfect. My initial thought was actually that it was damaged on its way to NC, returned, reboxed, and shipped again.

I totally get shipping damage, and I'd have even settled for a "That sucks, but we can sell you a new hoop for $25 and a new floor for $100" type response. The lack of communication was finally what drove me to post here. Bobby seems like a decent guy, but I get the idea that he's just overwhelmed there. Maybe it's time for a growing company to grow.

Also, the misdrilled holes are definitely not shipping damage, just poor quality control, and for me that invalidates any other claims of great quality control out the door.

Last, an update. I commented on one of CVT's Facebook posts and got a reply pretty quickly asking how the new hoop and rails were working. There are no new hoops or rails. CVT has offered to buy the tent back from me, and I'll be calling Bobby tomorrow to arrange that.
 
#9
I opened my CVT before I accepted shipment. It does suck when your at the mercy of the shipping companies. I will add that my tent has been incredible and I look forward to buying from Bobby again.

Hope you find something that works better for you! Once you get it sorted there is no better way to camp!
 
#10
I had a nightmare of a time getting our ARB tent sorted as well. First one had a manufacturing defect (holes in the canvas), the second one was damaged in shipping, and the third one had some small damage but was fine enough for me to keep it. I would definitely recommend people buy their tents locally if they can. Its worth paying tax and maybe a bit more because these things are hard to ship well. And when you receive it, open it up and inspect it yourself! The box may look fine but it could still be damaged. For the last one I made the guy wait while I opened the tent and checked it thoroughly.
 
#11
Update: Nothing has changed. I haven't received any parts, Bobby offered to buy the tent back on Facebook but didnt reply to a text while he was relatively nearby at SEMA to coordinate. No phone calls, no emails, no messages. I'm picking up a Howling Moon on Saturday.

Anybody in CA want a tent to use for parts? I'll give you a really good deal.
 
#12
If you used a credit card (hopefully), you have up to 1 year to file a dispute-of-charges. That's the only way you're going to get the results you want... and need.
 
#13
CVT has offered to give me a refund once again via email. We'll see if it works out this time.

In the mean time, I purchased a Howling Moon tent and it is awesome.
 
#14
this is simply my opinion....

I think these forums are great for notifying others of good and bad experiences with vendors. Get it out there and let everyone know the deal.... but then move on. I mean move on in that either you have resolution or you don't. If you don't then take other avenues like law suites or BBB, but that's just my opinion.
 
#15
I can feel for the op since he's clearly getting the run around. I apreshiate the info since Chinese tent middlemen are everywhere and the prices are not that far apart to deal with things like this.
 
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