What to do with-New U.S. Army Tent

Well, my 100th post! I need ideas on what to do with this monster U.S. Army tent. Laid out it's about 14' wide and 24' long, reminds me of a GP Medium, but it's much different.

The material is heavy tan colored canvas with an interior coating that is light gray and looks like a PVC coating. The end doors are at the corner, not in the center of the end walls.

There are no windows, but I have found window kits. The material coatings are rather special, fire proof to some standard and can block thermal imaging (handy if I go camping in Ukraine). I bought it from a friend who had a large surplus store that his family closed down. They loaded it with a forklift! Rolled up, it's about 40" in diameter standing almost 4' high. It probably weighs at least 275 pounds, wouldn't be surprised if it was over 300!

What I found odd was there is no stitching in this tent, all the seams overlap and are glued. It appears to be very strong material.

Here is a picture of a similar tent, again mine is without the windows. I was told it was an isolation/surgical tent. The tent doesn't have a floor, I think it was to go over a hard flooring system. I'm sure the tent was designed to use a metal internal frame, but they didn't have the frame.


So, I have a 6x14 V nose cargo trailer that is being converted to camp in and haul my trike (1800 Honda VTX). It has a ramp door that I'm putting legs on to use it as a patio.
I'd like a tent on the back end of the trailer over the patio. It would also be nice to have some alcove, I already have an 8' awning for the side door.

Another project might be a truck bed camper. A frame could fold down off the back of the F 150 for a few feet of tentage on the ground and extend to cover the truck bed.

I don't think I'll ever use this tent the way it was made, it would make a great base camp on a built up platform, but I don't have any country property.

So, let's cut it up, use the material and build a custom tent. I also have a frame for a portable garage, pipe and fittings that could be used.

I like tunnel tents, they seem to be the choice for true expeditions. The problem is the set up time is too long. I'm afraid I'll be stuck with a wall tent design unless I can get arches made that could sit on top of the trailer.

Hope I can get suggestions on a tent style, hopefully something where the erection is quick with little effort.

What would you do with this Big Top?
LOL, yes it would make a good one, out on a farm. In this city the neighborhood Nazis would never allow it to stay up for more than 3 days.

Waiting for someone to say, sell it and buy lighter material, I know that's an option.

Dirt Rider

Active member
Nobody does tents better than the US army, I think current tents like the base x or drash are incredible
Based on the army needed to set it up…

I would donate it to a scout troop, church group, homeless shelter, etc…. Messing around with that much weight while camping will get old 1/2 way through the first attempt at using it.
Already considered that any not much interest without the frame. Our American Legion might end up with it, need to see what other options there are to use it or part of it.

A smaller tent could be made by taking the middle section out are attaching the ends to a smaller center area.


Well-known member
Based on the army needed to set it up…

I would donate it to a scout troop, church group, homeless shelter, etc…. Messing around with that much weight while camping will get old 1/2 way through the first attempt at using it.
THIS ^^^, this is a base for a homeless kitchen or......

Definitely reach out to those needing a roof to operate from.
Totally impractical for overlanding in todays world of convenience.

Might make a good shower shelter for the homeless.
@billiebob @NatersXJ6 @Dirt Rider

After careful consideration, seeking excellent council, deliberating prayerfully, toasting with Wild Turkey, researching all possibilities, options and alternatives, attentively decided, subject to the final approval of my partner in all that I do, will then execute the following strategy:

Since this is a brand new very high quality tent, it needs a good home and to be put to good use.

I will check with several humanitarian non-profits, homeless shelter/kitchens/veterans groups to see if they can use it in their mission.

While some of that would make a nice tent for the truck bed and cover on a smaller utility trailer, I hate to destroy that tent for such meager causes.

Thank you all for your suggestions and I'll report the final disposition (y):rolleyes:
OK, there are five organizations, not counting every other church on every other block that serve the homeless, none have a use or interest in such a large tent.

Several problems, first, city ordinance limits any tent structure being erected and standing for more than 3 days. An exception for disaster relief by organizations authorized to provide relief, like the Red Cross.

Then, the large organizations have kitchen and/or bath facilities in trailers and one provides those converted storage containers.

My brother-in-law was a local bigwig in the City's Emergency Planning Board with FEMA, he says they use trailers, steel portable offices or storage containers, not tents.

So, it looks like this tent will be used by the American Legion in support of veteran events supporting disabled veterans, homeless veterans and other events such as the traveling Vietnam Wall. We are discussing the framing required, finding an OEM frame or building one from wood or pipe.

It's turned into another project after all.


Sometimes when I grab free stuff or something that I just “can’t pass up”… it turns out to be more work than it’s worth.

As far as frame goes, I’m pretty sure that Tractor Supply stocks all the galvanized pipe and frame fitting bits for tarp-type pavilions and they could be adapted?


It makes you feel good when you're able to help others.

Funny story: While in the US ARMY in Germany, I bought 2 pairs of Klipsch speakers in 1982. 1 pair of Heresy's ($700 pr) that I still have and rock out. And a pair of Lascalla's ($1700 pr). Because the Lascalla's were so efficient/loud (105 db @ 1 watt/1 meter) and I knew I would get in trouble for cranking them up, I donated them to the high school music department. They had them mounted in the corners by the ceiling. They are still being used today. But I recently looked them up and almost fell over. Small ones are now $3198 pr & the Lascalla's are $12,274 pr !!! . Crazy price increases. It made me feel great knowing that they have gotten over 3 decades of use and they are still going strong.