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Heavy Awning

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15 minutes ago, AndersG said:

 

An air awning still needs to be pegged out and in the awning rail so how can it be easier?

 

For us certain aspects are easier but not necessarily quicker. Putting the poles up, especially in the wind was a challenge on a large awning. My wife is quite short so we sometimes struggled if it was windy. With the air awning this problem is removed. So for us it's sometimes easier but not quicker.

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Edited by GaryB1969

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24 minutes ago, AndersG said:

I can't understand how it can be quicker.

 

For us the air awning is easier ( probably quicker too) is not having to handle the poles.

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2 hours ago, AndersG said:

I can't understand how it can be quicker.

Pegging out the Isabella takes a long time. Sliding it in the awning rail takes some time. The frame is the quickest and only takes a few minutes.

An air awning still needs to be pegged out and in the awning rail so how can it be easier?

we have a 3.5 x 2.5  outdoor revolution air awning. It has one pump up thing, so it's out of the bag , through the awning rail, one pump up which takes 26 pumps and peg out. With the old awning, first I had to get the poles lined up to put in, that used to take me ages,  through the awning rail, put all the poles in,  then once pegged out we had to put the windows in, it was just all too much faff and it did take us a lot longer to do . When taking it down , we can have it down and away in 20 minutes.  I will admit that on some hardstands it takes us longer to  put up because when pegging out , it's like going through concrete on some sites. 

Edited by joanie
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I have a Sunncamp 390 Air.  The awning itself is fairly weighty at around 26Kg. Having said that I reckon that’s no more than just the canvas of a full size (17) poled awning.

 

First thing to do is to spread it out on the ground near to the awning insertion point so the beading is reasonably straight, that way the “feeder” doesn’t have to wrestle with the weight whilst trying to feed the bead into the channel. Threading it through the awning channel is, realistically, a 2 person job. One to pull and the other to feed the beading into the slot. Once threaded it’s a doddle, connect the pump, switch on, 4.5 minutes later fully inflated. Peg it down (less pegs than a poled awning) Job done.

 

I was VERY “anti” air for a long while until I watched someone actually putting one up from start to finish, I was then convinced, vastly quicker than a “divorce in a bag” 

 

If I had health issue with lifting things I might feel differently but at the moment the two of us (both 65) have no trouble at all “getting it up” :) (or down!) My one tip would be to go for a single point inflation system not multi point.

 

The trick I think is firstly to make sure the awning rail is clean, apply a bit of silicone spray occasionally to the whole length,  do the job with 2 people and DONT try to rush it. 

 

Andy

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As Andy says, make sure that awning rail is free of silicone-common to Baileys etc and with the new 'screwless'construction, Then don't rush-we have a porch awning-really easy single person job and a very large Outdoor Revolution full awning-it is doable on your own-feed it up as far as you can then move along and pull feed and pull etc-really you are not lifting the whole weight of the awning at any point as long as it's all pile below the entrance ready to go. Another thing I was told was feed it from the front-it's harder to get it round the sharper curvature at the rear of the van! And if you have a Bailey, it can get stuck on those sticky out side lights-lift the air beams over those as you feed it along! Benefits of air far outweigh the weight issue. 

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16 minutes ago, Jezzerb said:

As Andy says, make sure that awning rail is free of silicone-common to Baileys etc and with the new 'screwless'construction,  ........ And if you have a Bailey, it can get stuck on those sticky out side lights-lift the air beams over those as you feed it along! Benefits of air far outweigh the weight issue. 

 

Yes before first time on Bailey make sure the awning rail at the roof strap join that rail is clean of the sticky sealent mine was full of it at that point.

Regarding feeding from the curved front that is good usually but the side running light isn't helpful, I'm going to try from rear next time to see which is easier.

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We have a Kampa 390 grande, so it's quite a heavy lump. The Kampa awning pulley makes it very easy to fit the awning starting at the front of our Bailey 462. While I use the pulley my wife guides the awning into the rail. It really is very easy. The pulley works in the same way as an engine hoist and reduces the effort needed to drag the awning through the rail. As the awning rail on our old bailey has a sharp 90 degree bend at the rear of the van which stops me from mounting the pulley bag horizontally, I just slide it up the rear vertical rail and keep it in place with a rail stop below it.

John

Edited by johntog

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14 minutes ago, David 38 said:

 

Regarding feeding from the curved front that is good usually but the side running light isn't helpful, I'm going to try from rear next time to see which is easier.

 

Don't bother!  

Been there, tried that!

 

It is MUCH harder to feed it in from the back as the curve at the top is very tight in comparison so the beading won’t ‘flow” around it like it will do around the front curve which is much less severe, you have to “feed a bit” then “pull a bit” then “feed another bit”  and so on because you cannot just pull it. Stick to going in from the front.

 

I do agree in regards to the high level  running light being in the way, but there is no simple cure other than to lift the airbeam(s)

over it. 

 

As for using the awning pulley that’s great but ONLY if you have an inbuilt “pulling” eyelet in your awning, I think it’s only Kampa that fit them. If fitting one yourself you will need some reinforcing around the eyelet or it will tear.

 

Personally we mange pretty well without, but I can see some struggling if they have dodgy shoulders, or of course are a bit short and cannot reach that high. I am nearly 6ft but still need to use the caravan step! 

 

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd
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Thanks to everyone.  WE are 74 but fit but we are now looking seriously at  the Camptech Starline 260 or 300  Inflatable Air Porch Caravan Awning. The 260 is 16kg and the 300 19kg. 

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6 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

As for using the awning pulley that’s great but ONLY if you have an inbuilt “pulling” eyelet in your awning, I think it’s only Kampa that fit them. If fitting one yourself you will need some reinforcing around the eyelet or it will tear.

 

 

 

 

Andy


Vango have an eyelet too. We use a dog lead to pull it through the rail.

nanamel

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Having had an air awning for three years I find it just only slightly harder to get through the rail than my pole awning. The problem is not so much which awning I'm using as the rail joints (Swift) which are very restrictive even after some attention with an electric burr. The only aid that has worked for me is using a step ladder (tip given me by other campers much younger than me (74)). This also has the added advantage of being able to clean the solar panel beforehand LOL.

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We have a Kampa 400 Ace Air awning , yes its heave but I can carry it myself, we lay it out before putting it in the rail I start it off then wife feeds it in while I pull it threw, I use a decorators folding platform to reach the top, once its in position I peg the rear sides down, about 20 pumps & its up ready to peg down, wife sorts the inside of the van & gets the coffee on while I peg out & fit the ground sheets, time all in about 1hr , we wouldn't go back to a poled awning,  & we are both in our 70s     

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On 06/02/2020 at 15:48, joanie said:

but it's so much easier and quicker with an air awning. 

And an Isabella poled awning will last much longer, won’t spring a leak in a pole and will always look better when erected cos you can adjust the height of the poles - which you can’t do with an air awning. 

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6 hours ago, The road toad said:

And an Isabella poled awning will last much longer, won’t spring a leak in a pole and will always look better when erected cos you can adjust the height of the poles - which you can’t do with an air awning. 

 

I have used both so speak from a position of actual experience and rate an air awning as superior for touring. For longer term continuous, or seasonal, then I would agree with you that a poled awning would be better. Each are made with fairly specific usage patterns in mind. 

 

Have you ever used an Air awning? Or are you making assumptions 

 

Andy

 

 

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5 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

I have used both so speak from a position of actual experience and rate an air awning as superior for touring. For longer term continuous, or seasonal, then I would agree with you that a poled awning would be better. Each are made with fairly specific usage patterns in mind. 

 

Have you ever used an Air awning? Or are you making assumptions 

 

Andy

 

 

I suppose if your caravan usage is literally that, touring,  spending a couple of nights at one spot then moving on and regarding the awning as just a bit of extra space then I’d reluctantly agree with you that a very small air awning makes sense. If, like us, the awning is the place where we spend most of our time when away even for a long weekend the fit, useable space, aesthetics  and the quality of the ‘accommodation’ (if you like) becomes paramount. The air awnings we have used (Kampa Fiesta Air Pro and Bradcot Air Aspire) just don’t cut it. The Kampa particularly was just a thoroughly unpleasant place to spend any time in due to the horrible great air beams, condensation, water leaks and generally flimsy poor quality materials. The thing always looked “squiffy” apart from once when we were on a perfectly level, flat pitch. The Isabella is far superior in every respect. Once you have mastered the method of erection the poles don’t need colour coding as it’s intuitive how it goes together and it’s ridiculously easy to put the thing up. Plus it doesn’t need the myriad of guy lines (trip hazards) pulling it into shape to hold it up.

The  only area where I get any difficulty is on those hard standings where driving in a peg is a Herculean task. Same for both poled and air.  

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My son has the Kampa Air Ace Pro 400 and has told me he would never go back to a poled awning. He puts it up himself and has an electric pump but has never used it as the the hand pump is quick enough. Having seen his awning in use I have just bought the 300. The awning  is heavy to lift but so was the pole bag on my previous awning. I have yet to use it but as others have aid will try to reduce the contents of the bag to reduce the weight. Will let you know how I get on after using it.

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I bought a Camptech Starline 300 air awning at the NEC show last week which was delivered yesterday.

It arrived in a carton measuring 120cmX40cmX26cm which weighed 17.5kg.

I live in a first floor flat accessed by 15 steps to the landing.

I was able to get the carton to the bathroom by pushing it up the stairs.

Inside the carton was a holdall containing all the awning components. I checked all the loose components leaving the main awning which was wrapped and sealed in sturdy paper in the holdall.

After checking I removed about 3kgs of loose components and slid the holdall down the stairs. I am in my early 80s but was able to carry the holdall, probably weighing 12.5kgs, to my estate car 20 yards from my from front door by supporting the long carry handles on my shoulder.

My caravan is stored some distance from my home and in ten days I will be staying in a nearby site to try erecting and dismantling the awning before using for real two weeks later.

From what I have read in this topic and my experience with a Dorema pole porch awning, which the Camptech awning will replace, I am confident that I will be able to erect and dismantle the Starline much more easily than the Dorema. Although I have always fed the Dorema awning from the rear of the rail through a right angle on the caravan body, the Starline may need to be fed from the front as AndyPlod has suggested.

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9 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

I have used both so speak from a position of actual experience and rate an air awning as superior for touring. For longer term continuous, or seasonal, then I would agree with you that a poled awning would be better. Each are made with fairly specific usage patterns in mind. 

Have you ever used an Air awning? Or are you making assumptions 

Andy

Speaking from experience with an Air Ace, we would never ever consider buying another large air awning.  As said our Isabella looks a lot smarter and can be adjusted for sloping ground.  We do have a small 220 air awning which we only use in the winter however no matter how hard we tried it always looks untidy when erected.  I don't think there is any air awning on the market that goes up flush against the side of the caravan like our Magnum awning.

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1 minute ago, Durbanite said:

  I don't think there is any air awning on the market that goes up flush against the side of the caravan like our Magnum awning.

I have no idea on your Magnum nor other air awnings but my Kampa 200 for which I bought the optional rear poles to hold it against the caravan body for me they do the job OK.

As for overall looks I think I do a better job each time I use it, of course the flatter and level the ground helps any awning look better.

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We have a Dorema winter awning and the poles for is a pain and takes a while to assemble.

The summer awning is an Isabella and it takes a while to erect it but most of the time is taken by pegging it out. The poles are very quick and very easy after you done it once and I can't figure out how it can be easier with an air awning. It still has to be pegged out.

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AndersG

I think there might be a trend amongst us that for air awnings we tend to be most of us using smaller awnings of the porch variety or not full thus less pegs.

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Mine is a 390, so not exactly what you would call  small, it provides ample space for up to six when we wish to entertain. We tend to stay in one place for a week to ten days before moving on and our (Sunncamp) provides a very pleasant enclosure, but it’s certainly not as big as a size 17 which is what we would need for our van. 

 

I think some of the reticence people have relates to the first generation air awnings which were frankly rubbish! My current one has shaped air beams that give full head height over the entire roof area. It fits well against the caravan but of course it’s impossible to get the same fit as using the entire awning rail, but, with rear poles the fit is very good. 

Condensation I don’t get.

As for pegging out an air awning is much easier because the air beams go rigid and, due to the fact there’s are all linked around the base on the awning, adopt the correct shape without having to move the corner poles around like is necessary with a poled variety.

 

This is clearly a “Marmite” subject and I will admit to being a VERY vociferous opponent to air awnings. That was until I watched a chap erect one, I was then convinced and sold my poled version prior to purchasing an air variety. I am aware that there are a fair few Kampa owners who are less than impressed with the quality and waterproof abilities of theirs. I am exceedingly happy with my Sunncamp Airvolution, excellent quality material that IS waterproof and holds its shape well.

 

Andy

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17 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

This is clearly a “Marmite” subject and I will admit to being a VERY vociferous opponent to air awnings. That was until I watched a chap erect one, I was then convinced and sold my poled version prior to purchasing an air variety. I am aware that there are a fair few Kampa owners who are less than impressed with the quality and waterproof abilities of theirs. I am exceedingly happy with my Sunncamp Airvolution, excellent quality material that IS waterproof and holds its shape well.

Andy

Our biggest issue with our Air Ace was the weight of the air awning and as you say quality for the price paid was poor.  They are no quicker to erect than a traditional awning of the same size as both need to be pegged out.  If we ever had to venture back to air awning, it will not be as big and definitely will not be a Kampa.  :D

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1 hour ago, Durbanite said:

They are no quicker to erect than a traditional awning of the same size as both need to be pegged out.  

 

Thats certainly not my experience,  I can erect my air awning in vastly less time than I ever could the poled beast. For a start there are NO poles to sort out and fit together. Even when carefully colour coded (by me) it takes a fair time to physically fit them together and then drape the awning over them etc.

Air awning.......

 

1. Out of the bag

2. Pull through the awning rail (no real difference in time there) 

3. Inflate, now this is where a big saving is made, connect 12v pump and its 4.5   minutes, even less with the manual pump, but I’m lazy!  

4. Peg out, less pegging points AND because there is a connection all around the base the air beams are always in exactly the right place so there’s no faffing around trying to make sure all the poles are in the right place before pegging down, then realising one is not right so having to adjust all the others etc etc. I bet that resonates with many pole awning owners! 

 

Like I said, Marmite, but the “They are no quicker than a poled awning” argument simply isn’t true (in my experience and I haves owned/used both varieties)

 

Like many other things connected with caravans it’s down to personal choice, a bit like fixed/non fixed beds, centre or rear bathroom, Blown air or Alde heating, microwave or no microwave, Alko or other make of wheel lock, sleeping bags or duvet etc etc.

 

Andy

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I'd agree with Andy-huge difference -much easier to get set up-and more importantly take down-quick release of the air and it's nearly done-we wouldn't go back to our poled awning-they're a bit lighter but not that much that it makes a real difference!

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