I am going to be relocating to the Colorado desert for a long-term research project and need a portable shelter. The only one I've found so far that will conform to my needs in the turtle tuff shelter found here: http://turtletuffshelters.net/
Being 6' tall, I'm a little worried about getting claustrophobic in the 16' model, but the 24' model seems a little.... huge. I go camping regularly and if I'm going to drop thousands of dollars on a tent, I would like to be able to use it after my project is done (edit: per the comments I should clarify that I usually go camping 3-4 weeks out of the year for 1-2 week periods at a time. I'm not looking for something for weekend trips). However, I've never camped in a tent this large and I'm not sure if something this size would be allowed, or would even fit in most campsites. Does anyone have any experience camping in a tent this large? Or can someone recommend another tent that would give me a little more head space, but would still meet my needs (listed below)?
Must be sufficient for 1.5 to 2 years desert living
Must be (reasonably) sand proof and able to withstand high winds
Must be at least 200 sqft with at least 100 sqft I can stand in (I'm going to be spending a lot of time in this tent)
Must have some sort of insulation/ventilation system or the ability to keep electronics and people reasonably cool (I'm going to have some solar panels with a swamp cooler or other form of air-conditioning to help with the heat, but my budget is pretty limited so passive methods of climate control need to be used wherever possible).
(I know I'm going to catch a lot of flack on this one) Must be a secure shelter for a domestic cat (Edit: I think I should also clarify that I'm not looking to take my cat on recreational camping trips. I can find a sitter for those. But, I need a way to care for her during the 1+ years I'm gone). I know it isn't a good idea to take a cat camping, but I have a cat with some medical conditions and special needs and I haven't found anyone I would trust to take care of her who is actually willing to put the necessary time and effort into caring for her. Due to the extended time period of my trip, I don't see many options short of dropping her at a shelter or putting her down. My definition of "secure" is that I can leave the cat alone in the tent for a few hours during the day and not have to worry about her baking alive, tearing through the siding and escaping, or other animals getting into the tent and eating her. Obviously no shelter is 100% safe, but (to give an example) I believe the turtle tuff would meet these needs as it has very strong siding which would prevent the cat from getting out, and would most likely prevent any other animals from getting in. Worst case scenario, the height and strong frame would allow me to hang a high platform the cat could escape to if a coyote or something did manage to break into the tent. Any other suggested shelters would have to give me the same level of comfort about the safety of my pet.
Thank you very much for reading this, and any advice you can provide.