Thursday, August 28, 2008

Greetings all,

The last quarter of the year is now coming to a close rapidly and for the first time since returning from the Expedition, I feel somewhat caught up.
This unfortunately will be short lived as Angelika and I will be leaving next week from Sept. 3rd to Sept. 12th to Turkey where we have a 3-Tent Pavilion to setup.

The Tent Villa’s we supplied for Sir Richard Branson’s Morocco Retreat, which is part of Virgin’s Limited Edition Portfolio, are mostly setup but still have to have the interiors and landscaping completed.

We got very sad news of one of our oldest clients in Mexico, who this month had his young 14 year old son kidnapped and then murdered.
I hope you all can share in thought, your best wishes for a family having to go through such a dreadful and senseless grief.

Of interest and great excitement to us, we have come up with a new variation to the Kingfisher, Kambaku and Fish Eagle Tents.
Essentially what we have done is to reduce the size of the tent body which then allows an additional area for a covered verandah.
As you can see from the rendered drawings above , the tents are put together in the following fashion:

Kingfisher tent frame with Bateleur tent body - 30 m² / 323 Ft²
Kambaku tent frame with Kingfisher tent body - 40 M² / 430 Ft²
Fish Eagle tent frame with Kambaku tent body - 48 m² / 518 Ft²

For quotes on these new tents, please contact Jake Dinkel at:

Please keep in mind that the factory will be closing for a month around the 12th of December for the year-end holidays.
So any orders received after September, may only ship out after the factory reopens in January 2009.

Unfortunately once again we must notify you all that we have been forewarned that the Steel Prices will be going up again at the beginning of September. If anyone needs to have quotes revised, please let us know.

We just heard back from one of our clients in Florida whose tents recently got inundated by Hurricane Fay. He told us that they had 18” (457mm) of rain in a 24 hour period with high gusting winds with 50 year flood levels at the site.
He commented: “The tent itself is absolutely fine. The wind and rain had no effect, other than to deposit debris. It also looks like a few critters took refuge on the deck during the storm. Amazingly, there were no leaks in the tents at all”

One last thing, we will be adding a few new items to our Safari Range of furniture – keep checking the Barefoot Interiors website as we will be adding the new items shortly.
Pic: The new Kalahari Table

Just as a sidebar, Jake, Zane and Anders will be playing in concert on September 1st with the ‘Misfits’. We will not be in office on this day.

Take care
Paul and the motley Exclusive Tents Crew

PS Elsie should have her new HD radiator installed today and once again she will be on the road but only after a required inspection by the motor vehicle dept.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More about the blog

Greetings all,
Thanks to you all who spent the time following our adventures and misadventures together with us.
So we are back and trying to play catch-up on office and expedition follow up work.
We worked out that we covered a total of 16,621 Km (10,327 miles) with 'Elsie' during the expedition.
In mentioning Elsie, we will soon start making permanent repairs to her where we had to make temporary repairs along the way, she also need a new radiator and a few other other parts that we will start replacing.
We still have to find the source of the vibration that followed us the last two weeks of the expedition - so we have quite a lot of work still to do on Elsie before we will be happy and start riding her around again.
Just to update you on the last day of our journey back into the USA, we did a solid 16 hours on the road with Elsie tending to overheat at times so we nursed her along.
We passed through the entirety of Mexico and all the Federal and Military road blocks without once having to show our passports (we do not even have a Mexico stamp) ore even Elsie's papers.
On arrival at the US Border at Nogales, we sat in this long line of vehicles clearing Customs into the USA and Elsie had overheated to a point that the radiator developed a leak and as a result the diesel was percolating air into the fuel line, forcing Angelika and I to jump out, lift the hood, add water to the radiator and bleed the fuel line and back in to move a few inches forward before the engine died again - and so it wnt on for almost an hour before we cleared Customs into Arizona.
Our passports were checked but again not Elsie's papers, they were more upset about us carrying 2 Jerry Cans of Diesel int the USA than a foreign registered vehicle.
So we limped to a gas station and poured 2 cans of 'Stop Leak' into the radiator and waited for the leak to seal before we trundled the last hour back to Tucson with regular stops to check water levels and temperature (remember that none of Elsie's gauges were functional).
So now that we are back I have decided to keep the blog updated from time to time about news and what is going on with us here at Exclusive Tents......
This weekend I am expecting one of our Mexico clients to be flying into Tucson to meet and discuss the selections and layouts of a unique 5-Star Boutique Tented Lodge with us.
Dates are not firmed up yet but it looks like I will be going to Istanbul, Turkey next week to set up a 3-tent pavilion - I will confirm the dates but I should be out of office for about 10 days.
I am also waiting on a client in Italy to decide if they are going to set their tent up themselves or have one of us go over and do the job.
The Tent Project we did for Richard Branson in Morocco, is progressing very well and looking absolutely stunning at this time and they have not yet even started on the landscaping or interiors.
I gotta run off to a meeting so I will end off here but please do keep on checking back for new postings.
Take care

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tent Specials and Other News from Exclusive Tents

Serengeti Tent
Kingfisher Tent

Greetings All,

After a long 3-½ months on the road, the Central America Expedition is over. We drove for over 16 hours yesterday and finally returned safely home last night. Even though the Expedition was an exciting adventure, nothing compares to returning home to family after being separated for so long.

If you didn’t have a chance to keep up with us on our journey, it’s still posted on our blog at There you’ll find stories from the road as well as tons of pictures that we took along the way.

End of Year Manufacturing

The time is rapidly approaching to get orders in for the end of the year! Our factory is closed for most of the month of December, so to ensure that your tent will ship this year, orders MUST BE PLACED BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER. Any orders placed after September may not ship until 2009.

Serengeti Tents in Stock

We currently have 9 Serengeti tents that are ready to ship immediately. The manufacturing time is usually 8-10 weeks on these tents, so these won’t be available for long! There are two different combinations of the tents that are available and they’re listed below.

We have 6 of these tents available:

6 Leg Mild Steel Frame
4.6 m x 3.5 m Canvas Body (Olive Exterior, Sand Interior)
Olive PVC Rain Fly
Olive Shade Fly
Body Poles
Tensioning Chains
Square Tubing

We also have 3 of these tents available:

6 Leg Mild Steel Frame
5.2 m x 3.5 m Canvas Body (Olive Exterior, Sand Interior)
2.1 m x 3.5 m Canvas Bathroom Extension with Shadenet Roof (7.3 m x 3.5 m total Canvas Body)
Olive PVC Rain Fly
Olive Shade Fly
Body Poles
Tensioning Chains
Square Tubing

We’re currently selling these tents at a discounted rate, and remember that they won’t be in stock long! It’s first come, first served so please contact Jake at for pricing information.

Kingfisher Special

The Kingfisher tent (40m2 or 430 ft2) is currently being sold at a special price as well. This tent functions perfectly in a variety of applications ranging from luxury accommodation to reception areas and art or yoga studios.

We’ll be running this special through the end of September. Contact Jake at for pricing information.

In Closing

It was a great pleasure meeting those of you whose paths we crossed along the Expedition. Your hospitality was superior and meeting with you made the expedition an exceedingly enjoyable experience.

We will be doing another newsletter shortly with more of a focus on the Expedition. We will also continue to update the blog ( with continuing developments from projects in Central America.

For those of you we couldn’t see or those not in Central America, we hope that soon, you too will become part of the Exclusive Tents family. As always, if you have any questions regarding any of our products, please do not hesitate to contact us at or at our phone number listed below.

- Paul and Angelika

Exclusive Tents
35 West James L. Sullivan Street
Vail, AZ - 85641
USATel: +520-762-9293
Fax: +520-844-1271

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mexico ends

Greetings again...I think this is close the 50th blog posting we have done to date.
So we have been trucking up the pacific coast as best we can with the worn pinion gear in the rear differential and also had to work on Elsie's brakes.
Today we passed through some truly amazing wetlands close the Mazatlan and soon thereafter the region changed rapidly to a more arid drier type environment and a lot more crop agriculture.
Many Agave (type of sisal plant) are grown in the region for the production of tequila which is readily available wherever one goes.
We hope to be back in office by Wednesday.
Take care
Paul and Angelika

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Elsie again.......

Greetings all

This posting is for ‘Elsie’ as she is sure testing our endurance and patience these days.

We still have air somehow getting into the fuel system that we have to bleed air out every morning before heading out and for the heck of me I cannot fathom where the air is bleeding from.

Just before getting to Acapulco, this strange sound came from under the hood and on closer inspection found that the arm tensioning the alternator had cracked and as a result loosened the fan belt so we ducked into the local welder (soldadora) and patched that up.

On arrival in Acapulco we that found that the one radiator support had broken loose and suspect it was from the frigging speed bumps (Topes, reductores, vibradores or velociraptors as we call them).

We also fixed an oil leak at the oil pump which had one washer instead of two as normal.

I tied the radiator down with inner tube as a temp fix unto we found a welder today who kindly patched it up for us and then we went looking for a mechanic to look into a vibration that has been haunting us these last few days when we start approaching 70 km/h.

Before getting that far we had to find and get a look at the famous cliffs in Acapulco which in their own right are quite insane as they are very high and the drop off is into a rough ocean ‘canyon’, not to mention that the cliff slopes back a lot making hitting water a real challenge indeed.

It was also interesting to learn that the public are no longer allowed to dive, it is all done by one family who perform daily from about 1pm until 10 pm (under flood lights)

We finally made it today (August 7th) to Ixtapa and Elsie attended to discover that the the pinion gear in the rear diff needs replacement – bad news is that there are no such parts here so we had them do an oil change and have decided to risk the journey back as we are and hope the gear will hold up.

As of today we are close to 12,000 km that we have covered on the expedition and with a few thousand yet still to do.

We are staying tonight in a converted 2-car garage with AC, microwave and fridge (yes also another cold shower) but it is clean and comfortable and will afford us a good nights rest after a long intense and hot day.

With a candle burning beside me and Angelika asleep already, I bid you all a good night/day from Ixtapa.

Take care and stay well

Paul and Angelika.

PS we are in San Blas tonight August 9th

Monday, August 4, 2008

More Mexico

Greetings once again,

We are here in Chiapas tonight and all I can say is that the roads are so bad but it is truly beautiful here.

Once again, sorry for the lapse in updates but we have been dealing with Elsie as well as moving quite some bit this last while.

In Villahermosa we stayed with Roberto A Pérez Díaz at his Best Western Maya Hotel as his guest – this guy is another rare but true gentleman.

Elsie was losing oil out of the 4x4 transmission box but in short order, Roberto had arranged for a mechanic to come check her out, yea the dude came out to see Elsie and not vise versa as usual.

We left him to his devices with Elsie and we headed out to look at the Pantanos De Centla National Park which is an amazing wetland that encompasses the confluence of three major rivers just prior to exiting its massive body of water into the ocean.

Pantanos is truly an amazing place but very difficult to gain access to without the right water craft – the area also has some rare and unusual birds and fish species and I am sure some yet to be discovered.

Tobasco state is really beautiful and the next day Roberto took us south to Kolem Jaa to look at an adventure tour operation run by his uncle – the location is truly beautiful with jungle, river and lots of water falls and twenty rooms.

Back in Villahermosa we met with the Secretary of Tourism who also had an interest in the tents.

For a government official she was truly an amazing lady with her openness and enthusiasm about her job.

In Roberto we both know we had met another fiend for life and know we will be seeing again sometime soon.

True to his word when it came time to leave yesterday, Elsie was all patched up again and ready to roll on towards Palenque where we were to meet Carlos and Lyndia who we visited in Merida when we were there.

Palenque is a little known Mayan City Ruin but it so breathtaking and amazing in terms of the detailed architecture that was not evident in Tikal – as with Tikal, it is a very expansive ruins with only about 5% excavated.

The only drawback when we visited the site was that there were so many local tourists crawling over and through every orifice of the ruins – it is holidays here and thus lots of folks are on vacation.

A thing of interest in Palenque was that we saw about 6 new cars adorned with ribbons driving through the town honking their horns, they were on some path and passed us by three times – later Carlos and Lyndia explained that the ‘drive through’ was to announce the arrival on the new cars in town and obviously available for immediate purchase.

We also visited their site where they intend building a tented lodge close to the ruins – this boutique lodge when completed, will be so truly unique to the region.

After visiting an very beautiful waterfall and having a few ales, we headed to a small farm (finca) that they knew of with two cabins overlooking, yes more water and rapids.

There was the constant sound of water on the rapids and the howler monkeys creating the greatest cacophony we have heard to date and this was how went to sleep later the night though the monkeys crashed before we did.

Tomorrow we head south and hope to reach the Pacific by the end of the day.

One last thing of note about Mexico, wherever you go there are police and army bristling with automatic weapons and many stopping one on the road checking for whatever they are looking for.

Also, I will be so happy if I never see another speed bump in my life again J

Truth be told, as much as we have been worried about these security stops, we have only been treated well by them and hope this is the case for the rest of our journey through Mexico.

Take care

Paul & Angelika

PS: We have just arrived in Juchitan, a town very close to the Pacific Ocean, after a fantastic ride from 8000’ down through the mountains of Chiapas – The Chiapas is truly a beautiful state in Mexico.