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Hi all

We've just purchased a new to us caravan and are now looking for an air awning. I don't want the hassle of poles so it must be "Air Only" The width of it must be between 3.8 and 4metres so as to miss windows and lockers. What do you have and what do you recomend?

Alan

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Sunncamp Air Extreme 390  Excellent quality of material totally waterproof (tested to the absolute extreme over the last few days in Norfolk) It has a “Bay Window” at the front which gives a lot more space. 

If you are considering a Kampa Air Awning do your research carefully as many (Including members on f this forum ) have had issues ref waterproofing (there are a lot fir sale on eBay. There’s a reason for that I suspect) 

 

Edited by Mr Plodd

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

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It depends how much you want to spend/waste. There are cheap & cheerful (Starcamp, lightweight & easy to put up but not particularly robust), there are expensive (Isabella Cirrus, heavy, expensive but extremely well made).  Then there are the ones in between (Kampa, a lot of money but low quality materials). I’ve had all of them, I still have the Isabella………

 

You will find fans and critics of all makes but sadly my experience of a Kampa air awning and Kampa themselves isn’t great.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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Try and physically look at as many as you can so you can see the quality of the materials and manufacturing. They vary a lot ! 

 

 To a great extent you tend to get what you pay for, which is why you need to look at them.  

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

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Poled awnings are not hassle if you do it right.

We've had both air (Kampa and Bradcot) and poled (Isabella) and believe me, the Isabella is most definitely no hassle at all.

A Magnum would fit the bill perfectly and will outlast any of the  air awnings currently out there.

Might take a few more minutes to put up but it's not a race and from experience it's a nicer place to spend your time than a pop up bus shelter.

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9 hours ago, Cumbrian caravaner said:

Thank you. I will steer clear of the Kampa. I've been tempted by outdoor revolution??

I wouldn’t! Our present Kampa awning.

260 PRO poled awning has done over 800 night!

Note the ‘PRO’.  Indicates far heavier material!
Wouldn't touch any make of Air awnings. Too heavy to put up and too many horror stories of bladders bursting! 

2019 Bailey Platinum (640) Phoenix from Chipping Sodbury caravans, towed by our  2017 my Discovery Sport!

 

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2 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

Poled awnings are not hassle if you do it right.

We've had both air (Kampa and Bradcot) and poled (Isabella) and believe me, the Isabella is most definitely no hassle at all.

A Magnum would fit the bill perfectly and will outlast any of the  air awnings currently out there.

Might take a few more minutes to put up but it's not a race and from experience it's a nicer place to spend your time than a pop up bus shelter.

 

OP has clearly already decided that he wants an Air awning not a poled version ! So why not provide the information asked for rather than trying to change his mind? 

 

Having owned both my experience is that an air awning is much easier, and quicker, to put up. Isabella poled are, without doubt, the Rolls Royce of poled awnings, at  a Rolls Royce price. One to fit my Caravan is over £3000 

 

 

Edited by Mr Plodd

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

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We’ve always been very pleased with the quality of Vango awnings.

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I think the main reason why so many people seem to ditch air awnings is the weight. 

If possible, try to find a Dealer where you can place the air awning you want against a poled awning alternative and check the weight of them both.

My son has two air awnings (small porch and large porch) and he swears by them, but he advised me against an air awning because of the weight (said at my age air was too heavy). His warning wasn’t necessary because I am in the poled camp, but it demonstrates the point.

 

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I would just point out that it is not necessary to lift the entire weight of the awning in order to thread it into the channel. 

 

Its also possible, if you want, to remove all of the zip out panels and thus reduce the weigh considerably.

 

My air awning (390) weighs in at around 25kg. We have no problem threading the whole thing in. Mrs P guides it in and I pull it, but I do make sure the awning rail is clean and I squirt some silicone into it every so often. Takes us seconds, in fact someone timed us  (without our knowledge) once as they were thinking of getting one and wanted to compare erection times between air and poled. Apparently it took us 4.5 minutes from taking it out of the bag to it being fully inflated (12v electric pump) which shows it’s hardly a time consuming or difficult job. 

 

Each to his own and the “Hard core” pole brigade will never be convinced that air awnings are becoming the norm now. I wonder how sales figures compare for the two varieties. 

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

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We have the vango varkala 280 and have been very happy with it,  the quality is excellent and it is very waterproof.

Because it is only the 280 it is not that heavy so don't need to unzip the panels.

 

The only drawback with air awnings is that they can be less forgiving than poles when pitched on sloping ground as there isn't the same adjustment but as of yet we haven't had a problem with this.

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Have you ever been near a van with an air awning erected on it when one of the bladders explodes, and I mean explodes not just deflates.

I think everyone on site though a van had gone up in a gas blast.

That chap threw it in the bin, went off in his car and came back with a Dorema poled awning, saying never again.

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2 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

OP has clearly already decided that he wants an Air awning not a poled version ! So why not provide the information asked for rather than trying to change his mind? 

 

Having owned both my experience is that an air awning is much easier, and quicker, to put up. Isabella poled are, without doubt, the Rolls Royce of poled awnings, at  a Rolls Royce price. One to fit my Caravan is over £3000 

 

 

OK Andy , back on topic....

We had experience of a Kampa Fiesta AirPro.  Like most things Kampa, quality is mediocre to poor. Had no end of problems with pooling, condensation and inability to sit squarely on anything but a perfectly flat pitch.

Subjectively we didn't like the intrusive feel of the airbeams or the lack of headroom towards the front of the awning. The many guy lines needed to pull it into shape were a real annoyance as we have two dogs on tethers who were constantly getting tangled up. Not used to guy lines they were trip hazards as well.

We then borrowed a Bradcot Aspire Air. Far superior quality to the Kampa but we had the same issues re headroom and the intrusive airbeams. Also when pitched between the door and front side window the top of the door fouled the adjacent stream.

That's when we went back to our Isabellas, both secondhand but in good condition,  both less than £500.

 

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Probably over inflated in hot weather? Our sailing club have had a number of trailor innertubes burst due to heat expansion.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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We are definately in the air brigade, we currently have 3, 1x150 Vango,1x220 Sunncamp and 1x420 Vango,previously had a 390 Gateway,the Gateway was excellentt but no longer available, it depends how long we are away on which one we use, the 420 has 5 zip out panels so not heavy to pull through the awning channel. We bought two of ours from JR Leisure website, they offer big savings by selling previous years stock, quick delivery and good service.

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5 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

OK Andy , back on topic....

We had experience of a Kampa Fiesta AirPro.  Like most things Kampa, quality is mediocre to poor. Had no end of problems with pooling, condensation and inability to sit squarely on anything but a perfectly flat pitch.

Subjectively we didn't like the intrusive feel of the airbeams or the lack of headroom towards the front of the awning. The many guy lines needed to pull it into shape were a real annoyance as we have two dogs on tethers who were constantly getting tangled up. Not used to guy lines they were trip hazards as well.

We then borrowed a Bradcot Aspire Air. Far superior quality to the Kampa but we had the same issues re headroom and the intrusive airbeams. Also when pitched between the door and front side window the top of the door fouled the adjacent stream.

That's when we went back to our Isabellas, both secondhand but in good condition,  both less than £500.

 

 

The early air awnings did  have beams that were a constant curve from caravan to the ground and did indeed restrict head room etc. That changed a few years back so I would suggest that at some point you have a look at a modem air awning erected at a dealership. I think,you will bevsurprised

 

I was highly sceptical until I saw my current awning displayed at the NEC show. It just ticked all the right boxes for what I wanted. A 390 awning suitable for touring (pitched for 7-10 days at a time) 

 

We did have a Dorema full sized, soon got fed up erecting that beast!

all the poles to sort out and then tension once the canvas was draped over it without denting the side of the caravan with a wayward roof pole. Then there’s the multitude of pegs needed. Current air gets pumped up ( just a few minutes) and sides pegged down. Never yet needed to peg out any guy ropes or storm straps. It stays rigid and maintains its shape even in gale force winds.

 

 Sunncamp say max inflation pressure is 7psi. I never go above 5.5  it stays in shape perfectly (and the bladders dont burst) 

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

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Our Isabella Cirrus has all the interior room of a poled awning as it follows the poled style/shape.  Yes, it's heavy and expensive but (for us) it's ideal.  Although we use the annexe, you don't have to have one, it's really plenty big enough without.

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2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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Beam shape on mine is the same, plenty of headroom. 

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

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We have an Outdoor Revolution Eclispe 325 Pro 800HD Air Awning. It has a release valve if the awning is over inflated or over heats in the sun  it lets the air our. It weights 23KG we take the end panels out to make it lighter.

 The one we have is a 2019 model it has zipped in curtains/blinds , I was really sceptical but they are great, no more faffing about putting curtains up, best thing I bought goes up a dream, comes down just as good .

Edited by Connie
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31 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

Our Isabella Cirrus has all the interior room of a poled awning as it follows the poled style/shape.  Yes, it's heavy and expensive but (for us) it's ideal.  Although we use the annexe, you don't have to have one, it's really plenty big enough without.

IMG_2440.JPG.ffdf9591cd5c0a36b84aacfb31664a8e.JPG

 

IMG_2441.JPG.e7764e986fafa7da584b7c0ced234746.JPG

 

IMG_2436.JPG.b015e465a29e2c2d942ac3259eb8e323.JPG

Gary ...I can't believe you have left your draft skirt in such an untucked fashion-surely you should have dealt with this oversight before allowing a picture to be taken ;-)...........said very tongue-in-cheek and in no way meant to offend :-)

Very nice "king of awnings" though!

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Looks like I will have to brace myself for the inevitable leak and/or explosion which must be due soon as our Kampa Air Rally Pro 200 hasn't put a foot wrong over the last three years of use. Being small it isn't that heavy and doesn't suffer from slopes as badly as larger air awnings.

I must also be slow on the uptake as for Summer use we also recently bought a Kampa Sunshine Air Pro 300, which has also been great. 

What I will say is that I have regularly seen folk put up an air awning and then add a bit more air, then a bit more and a tiny bit more for good measure....

The black fabric on the Kampa will act as a great radiated heat absorber and will get hot on a sunny day and increase the pressure in those bladders quite a bit.

Hey, Kampa, why not produce a retrofit safety valve to replace the ordinary inflation valve plug?

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1 minute ago, Ukzero said:

 

Hey, Kampa, why not produce a retrofit safety valve to replace the ordinary inflation valve plug?

 

Can you add Sunncamp into the circulation list of that memo please? 

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

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4 hours ago, charlieboy2608 said:

Gary ...I can't believe you have left your draft skirt in such an untucked fashion-surely you should have dealt with this oversight before allowing a picture to be taken ;-)...........said very tongue-in-cheek and in no way meant to offend :-)

Very nice "king of awnings" though!


I put it up on my own on a very hot afternoon, the hard standing was resisting the rock pegs going in and I was getting short on patience! It wasn’t until I took the photo that I noticed the draught skirt but I’d opened a bottle of wine by that point!!!

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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39 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:


I put it up on my own on a very hot afternoon, the hard standing was resisting the rock pegs going in and I was getting short on patience! It wasn’t until I took the photo that I noticed the draught skirt but I’d opened a bottle of wine by that point!!!

In that case a nice cool one is well deserved :-)

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