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Sunnyb

Large Awnings in Europe

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I was hoping some of you may be able to offer some advice. We are looking to buy a large awning; probably 3 mt deep and wondered if they can be problematic on European sites?  We'll be touring mainly through Spain and France.  Also, I understand that a lot of of the sites don't like twin axle vans and wondered if this is true, and if so, why this might be? Any help would be much appreciated as this will be our first time abroad with the van.

 

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Outfit 2003.jpg

Campiong du Letty, Bénodet - Img0257.jpg

We have taken this (and several other large outfits) to France over the years. As you see, it is a twin axle, and the awning is not small. I cannot speak for Spanish sites but in France we have experienced no problems, providing the sites are aware of the outfit size before arriving - the advice therefore is to book ahead if you need a larger pitch.

Some sites have a twin axle (double essieu) restriction to prevent "nomades" from using their site but even they will often accept a T/A if booked in advance.

Gordon.

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Good post from Gordon - on some sites there is plenty of space.   Others differ. 

 

 But if it is for summer use you may find that all you need is a canopy for a sun screen.  If you are touring you may find a big awning is a pain to put up and take down repeatedly,  but if you are on a long stay site the awning will be more useful.  

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I have a large caravan (it's 2.5m wide), in Spain I put a 2.8m deep Awning in front of that and a small Kids tent in front of that, Sun loungers, large 4x4, several bikes and a gas BBQ all fit on my pitch (Various different sites on the Costa Brava).

 

In France we just use the wind out Thule Omnistor, never any issues on any sites.

30 minutes ago, Gordon said:

nomades

lol

The Regimented Rules (which I like), with specific gaps, the position and direction of your car and caravan etc that some UK sites have don't apply in France or Spain, it's more a 'fill your boots, do what you like' attitude.

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Thanks guys for all your helpful comments. I think a roll out canopy is a must, but I guess every-time a  permanent fixture is added you have to consider your payload, and being that we're hoping to travel for sometime we're going to have rather a lot of stuff! Decisions, decisions......

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Whilst in the UK an awning is generally essentially we find that it is  more of a pain in France.......... and only rarely used!  Living outdoors is so easy, with everything under the sky - so we have used our full awning only once in the last two years!  Even then it was mostly used as a sunshade with the side panels out.  We have met lots of Brits who have looked on in horror when they first arrived, but after a week or so have said 'I can see why you don't bother with an awning...........'.  Take it, try it, and then decide if it's essential.

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We put the roof and side panels up in Spain, we don’t even bother taking the front panels with us.

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A full awning in sunny climes can provide some welcome shade and with the panels out it's more like a sun canopy, but with the option to get more protection from poor weather if needed.

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Unlike Borussia, we have a much smaller, Folding Caravan aka Gobby the Gobur, where space is at a premium. We're returning to Scotland today, via a couple of stops at Beaumont sur Sarthe and Clent Hills, so will take the Isabella Sun Canopy for shade and some outdoor space. The full canopy and half of the cupboards + endless cushions will stay in France until our Autumn return.

We do attend weekend rallies in Scotland, but tend not to use either the sun canopy or the awning; makes it all a wee bit neat, though. Or even 'bijou pied a terre' if I'm in Hyacinth Bucket mode ...

We could probably park Gobby inside Borussia's awning and still leave him room to get in and out of his carvan unimpeded!

Meanwhile, back in reality, we hope to be in Spain for Winter, so shall definitely be using the full awning for all of the kit and caboodle that seems to be required. I do need to be more disciplined with the packing, and to stop the 'I'll just throw one more in, just in case ...'. Last winter, Mrs Marchie did the unpacking when we arrived in Spain and posed 2 questions; 'Do you know that they do sell deoderant in Spain?', followed by 'So, for less than 3 months, why did you feel the need to pack 7 of them?'

'Just in case', mumbled reply, sotto voce was all I could think of as a response :D.

Steve

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Always take the big awning plus shade when we go for our long holiday in France, never had an issue with our TA’s apart from Beaumont sur Sarthe  where madam was more than happy to take us in once she ascertained we were not nomadic parasites 

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We have occasionally deployed a sun shade in France with our previous MH but hardly ever use one with our current MH.

image.png

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We have progressed from a 3.5m deep awning when we first went to France to just the fiamma pull out canopy.

 

Admittedly we go further down south than when we started but no longer see the need (or the time and effort in putting up and taking down) for a big awning. 

 

The canopy works just fine for some shade and a cover for a fridge etc. 

 

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