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Any caravanners given up on awnings? Alternatives?


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21 minutes ago, johntog said:

To anyone else struggling with a heavy Kampa air awning (we have a Kampa 390 grande) treat yourself to a Kampa awning pulley. They are worth the £30 and make threading the heavy lump ridiculously easy. I'm 72 and have arthritis and a torn bicep tendon but with my wife guiding the awning into the rail while I just use the pulley it's very easy. I know people use dog leads etc to drag the awning through the rail but the pulley system reduces the effort by a huge percentage. All I want now is someone to invent pegs that knock themselves in as I still ache for a day after hammering them in myself. :blush:

John   

Hammering the pegs in is not a problem it`s just the getting of the ground afterwards.

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In our current setup we have 3 options.

  1. Thule fixed roof mounted  wind out sun canopy
  2. Full size Isabella awning with carbon poles
  3. Smaller Kampa air awning

The sun canopy is obviously available all the time but we decide which of the Isabella or Kampa awning we carry depending on the nature of the trip. The sun canopy is quick and easy and good enough in warm weather to provide sun shade and minimal weather protection. The Isabella is fantastic once up as it effectively doubles the size of our van and offers great protection and flexibility but it does take significant time to put up and down so it is only used if we are expecting to be pitched for 10 days or more. The Kampa is the intermediate solution. Its smaller and easier to manage than the Isabella but still offers good protection and flexibility. 

However any awning rail solution is inevitably quite hard work and I'm seriously considering ditching the 2 awnings and investing in a Panorama room i.e. sides and front for the Thule canopy which would cover all eventualities. Jury still out though!

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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1 hour ago, junglejim said:

Well, you've put me off that idea!

 

I'd think again if it's because of the comments about weight or the lack of physical join - the roof zips to sides and the front slots in to the main rail. They aren't heavy either - at least not compared to a proper awning. When you factor in the time and effort saved by not having to thread the awning they could be a good option for you

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3 hours ago, JTQ said:

 

It is a more  "convivial" world sat out and can be lovely, with good company & good drinks if able to keep warm as with a wrap etc, and in these Covid times our only socialising option is outside.

 

As already pointed out we are all different in our many ways, not least awnings.

 

 

Hi, totally agree with your comments. We prefer to be outside but the awning is the second best and only sit in van if we had no awning, and only then if it’s necessary and practical.

As you mention Covid this has already prompted a decision that we will use our large awning on our 2 two week rallies as there will be no issues giving people that extra bit of space that may make them more comfortable.

I have suggested increasing the alcohol intake so you don’t feel the cold but apparently this is not an alternative!

Fingers crossed then for similar weather to that when the pic was taken

3E782A89-5091-469C-AA80-2FC6D3A02C88.jpeg

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thank you so much to all for your comments. Lots of options to look at.

 

We have a vango 390 air awning.  it is a ***** because we cannot zip out the front or the sides, and therefore it is all or nothing - you can only open them.

"junk" includes bike helmets and other kit, inflatable swimming rings when abroad, wet towels, picnic mat with toys, table, 5 chairs etc etc.  We do need it to be secure (from wind etc), we wouldnt sit in it in the cold

 

I'm quite happy to rule out a fixed canopy, I'm tempted by a sun canopy plus pup tent for the junk.  We dont often stay more than 4 days, which looks like the line for many people - it just doesnt seem worth it to put up a big awning (also we sold one last year after using it once....)

 

I guess, like everything we want something different for different scenarios.

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We have a sun canopy (inflatable), boots and stuff go on storage boxes under the van.

 

This weekend we give our inflatable porch awning it’s first airing, we’ve had it since October last year but it’s not been out of the bag yet.

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On 20/04/2021 at 23:17, Silversurf said:

Can I add a number 3 Mr. P ?

A canopy type thing won't prevent your wellies or shoes turning into goldfish bowls during a wet and breezy night or day😉

CF1D5BB7-71C9-4334-80C6-84153491EE9B.thumb.jpeg.1b82594859b60add110fee70c0b1a570.jpeg

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On 21/04/2021 at 11:21, KnausCol said:

In our current setup we have 3 options.

  1. Thule fixed roof mounted  wind out sun canopy
  2. Full size Isabella awning with carbon poles
  3. Smaller Kampa air awning

The sun canopy is obviously available all the time but we decide which of the Isabella or Kampa awning we carry depending on the nature of the trip. The sun canopy is quick and easy and good enough in warm weather to provide sun shade and minimal weather protection. The Isabella is fantastic once up as it effectively doubles the size of our van and offers great protection and flexibility but it does take significant time to put up and down so it is only used if we are expecting to be pitched for 10 days or more. The Kampa is the intermediate solution. Its smaller and easier to manage than the Isabella but still offers good protection and flexibility. 

However any awning rail solution is inevitably quite hard work and I'm seriously considering ditching the 2 awnings and investing in a Panorama room i.e. sides and front for the Thule canopy which would cover all eventualities. Jury still out though!

The new Thule veduta is worth a look 

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We used to use a porch awning when we had a family as it was useful to store things and a good sunshade when we needed it. Now there are two of us and a slightly bigger caravan the awning is rarely used as we just cannot be bothered with it and two of us fit nicely in the caravan. Admittedly as the numbers inside reduced the finances allowed us to invest in larger caravans.

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One of the issues these days is the term “Porch Awning” which seems to cover a multitude of sizes. I have two items, both called porch awnings.

One is a small very lightweight item that’s about 2m square and cost about £80 I think. It’s designed for occasional use when the weather is a bit inclement.,

The other is a beast of a thing measuring 3.9m by 3.75m and costing about £1K  that can stay up for a week or two, even in high winds

So If I ever want to refer to either they are both advertised as “Porch Awnings” so how do I differentiate between the two sizes?, and how is anyone else to know what size I am talking about??

 

Perhaps there should be 3 categories??

1. A “Full sized” or “seasonal” awning the definition of which we all understand to be a large item made of pretty robust material designed to extend the full length of the caravan, provide a lot of internal space, be left erected for weeks or even months, on end.

2. An “Intermediate” awning that although doesn’t cover the whole length of the caravan is still a pretty large and reasonably robust item (like the “usual” 390 type ones on offer from various manufacturers such as Kampa, Sunncamp etc) We always refer to ours of that size as the caravans conservatory :) which seems so sum it up both in size and usage 

3. A “Porch” awning that is exactly that, something that’s pretty small and is not designed for anything other than a small space to store coats, boots etc and not big enough to sit in with any sense and not for use for extended periods or in high winds etc. In other words, it’s  a Porch! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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On 20/04/2021 at 21:43, reedyontour said:

We went away this weekend and remembered that we are really falling out of love with our awning. It is not very big, and barely fits all 5 of us in and the piles of junk that we carry around with us.

But we have always shyed away from really big awnings as we dont have the patience to put them together, and never really find it worth the effort. We actually don't often sit in it, but of course we might if we liked it more. It is also very dark and makes the van dark inside.

We are thinking about a canopy type thing instead, and the wishlist includes

- not dark
- somewhere to put shoes on etc coverd
- somewhere to leave shoes etc out overnight and not worry about them getting soaked in unexpected rain.
- somewhere with shade for continental travelling
- possibly somewhere to sit and eat, although we struggle to eat with bugs/wasps around and often therefore eat in the van, unless we had a totally sealed unit.
- something that will withstand some weather - we are fair weather travellers but of course get caught out, and have been in some whopper storms in france which the current awning has dealt with fine.

Anyone else had this decision?

Thanks

From my perspective

I have a Thule Omnistor 1200, which stays attached most of the year.

To answer your questions (from my point of view)

 

1) Very light in use

2) +3 As only three of us our shoes go into one of the "wetlockers"

4) Why I have it, gives us all the shade we need

5) We sit under it when eating unless we fancy full sun ( never had a bug problem but that doesn't say we won't!)

6) I keep an eye of the weather and if the wind is forcast to pick up it can be packed away very quickly (we do have storm straps)

 

I have given up on awnings full stop, sold my Air 400 and Air 200 as in the summer  I found them to get "sweaty" and smell of the material they are made from (spent enough time in tents) When I go away I want to be outdoors as much as possible and as SHMBO said, "if you dont wanting to go tenting why are you attaching one to the side of an expensive caravan" Fair point I guess?

 

Works for us but horses for courses  ....

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We have a big dog.!!

Awnings (for us) are essential in summer and when it rains. Nuff said!

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On 22/04/2021 at 20:50, Alfie T said:

The new Thule veduta is worth a look 

If only someone could lucidly explain the difference between the G3, Panorama and now Veduta. The choice just gets wider and more complex !!

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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The veduta is made for the Thule 6200 or 6300  only and for caravans only 

it has a Sloping front like a traditional awning all the panels are Removable with  mesh fly screens and clear windows  one panel has the door panel which you can use one or two doors Anywhere all the panels are zipped Together and interchangeable so go any ware  on the awning you can use it as a awning or sun canopy with front or sides as wind blockers as needed it has a double mud skirt at the bottom you see no pegs

it looks good to me but as with all Thule products it comes at a cost

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So, just to come back to this thread - we have bought a sun canopy thing and a utility tent for the poor.  Will give that a go a couple of times and see how we get on with it.  We might then sell the awning if we  dont feel like we need it.

 

I think this will be worth it for trips to the continent.  The question is about uk trips - but we are fair weather campers at heart so with a bit of luck it will work fine

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An awning comes into its own on iffy days! Somewhere to sit out whilst avoiding any wet stuff from the sky and even more importantly any cooling draughts. When the sun is cracking the heavens we just zip all the panels out and we have a large sun canopy. 

 

We view ours as being “a conservatory” for our caravan, and use it in a similar manner to the one at home. Certainly wouldn’t be without it. 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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1 hour ago, reedyontour said:

So, just to come back to this thread - we have bought a sun canopy thing and a utility tent for the poor.  Will give that a go a couple of times and see how we get on with it.  We might then sell the awning if we  dont feel like we need it.

 

I think this will be worth it for trips to the continent.  The question is about uk trips - but we are fair weather campers at heart so with a bit of luck it will work fine

Hi, Just come back too-so thanks fir the compliment! It was at Camping Sablons and €20 a night.

That awning is referred to as ‘the ballroom’ and our Isabella Magnum as the............., well, Magnum.

Just bought a Sunncamp Swift 260 for £35 on Gumtree for our UK tour where we will be a max of 4 days on any one site.

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