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THECDs

Damage from Isabella Awning roof poles

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I know there is some old threads and posts in here about this but wondering what people's advice is. 

 

Caravan (Buccaneer Aruba) is just over six months old and Isabella Ambassador Dawn is about two months old. We are on a seasonal pitch and travelled down to Hampshire for a couple of weeks so took down the Isabella for the first time. After erecting the awning following the instructions and YouTube videos to the letter, the roof poles have all left dents in the side panel on the Aruba.  We used an Isabella roof pole tensioner (as recommended)  so in summary. We bought what we were told was the best awning. We erected it as instructed and it's damaged our new caravan. 

 

I'm angry. I'm gutted. And I don't know what to do for the best. 

 

Can anyone help me please? 

 

Many thanks in advance 

 

Michael. 

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We have owned a number of awnings over the years, but we have found that Isabella are DEFINITELY the best.

 

From your description seems that you have tensioned the poles that are against the caravan way too tightly causing the damage.

 

It might help for the future if you click HERE and look under AWNING & then how to put up.

 

May I ask what actually rests on the caravan? Is it a round circular plastic disc or is it a large type rubber sucker? The rubber suckers are the best because they help to spread the load.

 

If its any help, I had a friend who once left dents in his caravan as you did but he looked at them and remarked that it was handy because it marked the position for the poles when errecting the awning in future times. One way of looking at it I suppose and if they are only dents, is it so bad? I'm sure you can live with it with the right frame of mind.

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Posted (edited)

I had the same problem in 1994 on a Compass, since then 10yrs with a Bessacarr then 9yrs with a Swift Bessacarr then 6yrs with a Swift Conqueror and now with a new Bessacarr all with a Isabella awning. My present one I used a Hercules tensioner for our last 9wk holiday, all ok although our new van has GRP sides.

I always assumed that the Compass did not have any support where the awning brackets sat. In the case of your Buccaneer I think I read they were using a thinner aluminium panel.

Edited by solarpower

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Is there any need to use a tensioner other than when it is really necessary such as weak fingers? I think the OP is a lesson learnt.

 

Any aluminium panel on the side of a caravan can be dented with ease as many of us know already.

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Posted (edited)

With an Isabella awning the roof poles usually locate in FIXON pads. Every Isabella awning we have had has anyway. These FIXON pads are clipped to the secondary awning bead and hang down under the awning  roof panel. The pressure of the roof pole is pushing partly against the caravan side panel via the FIXON and partly against the secondary awning bead. I cannot imagine how this could damage a side panel even with a pole tensioner. The side panel is reinforced at the edge where it joins to the roof.

Edited by Ern
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Its important to realise how flimsy these panels are. Not sure if the Buccaneers have a GRP skin or an Alu one, but the thickness is less than 1mm and there is only  stiff insulation underneath which can and will deform under pressure leaving the marks as described. 

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I erected as instructed. I used the tensioner as I was told to use one. It seems that the aluminum sides on the Buccaneers are way too soft and awning poles can cause damage. Dealer is coming to view end of the week. 

On 18/08/2019 at 09:49, BOAC said:

Is there any need to use a tensioner other than when it is really necessary such as weak fingers? I think the OP is a lesson learnt.

 

Any aluminium panel on the side of a caravan can be dented with ease as many of us know already.

I was following advice from my dealer to use a tensioner. 

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I've used a tensioner on my Isabella awnings with both aluminium and GRP sided vans and not had a problem so I guess that you are either over tensioning the poles or that the van sides are abnormally soft or thin.

 

I can't imagine the dealer taking responsibility, neither will Buccaneer or Isabella because it was down to you.

 In the end there's probably not a lot that can be done about the dents, you'll probably have to live with them and be a bit more careful in the future. 

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Sadly there is now nothing you can do about the dents other than learn from the experience.

The cost of getting the dents removed will probably be totally prohibitive so, as has been suggested, treat them as reference marks to locate the poles next time, 

 

Andy

 

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7 hours ago, THECDs said:

 

I was following advice from my dealer to use a tensioner. 

 

Its a pity the dealer did not mention the fact that you could have damage if you tension the poles excessively . :unsure:

 

You could mention that to the dealer.

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We have a Crusader storm 2016 which I believe has the same side panels, we also have a full Bradcot awning, which I also believe fits similar to an Isabella, I actually stand on a platform and use quite a lot of my own strength to REALLY tighten the tension on the poles, had no issue at all, I’m assuming the power from the tensioner is quite excessive and needs to be used carefully, I was thinking of getting one, but not so sure after reading your post.....

 

hope the dealer can sort something for you, the technology around removing dents has really come on over the last year or 2 so hopefully something can be done...

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You could always permanently attach pole brackets and just pretend that you wanted them and never damaged the caravan.

 

https://www.towsure.com/awning-brackets-3-pack

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