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Fiamma Caravanstore Zip


AJR
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Hi.

 

We are first time caravanners having reently purchased an Ace Jubilee Aristocrat which we collect and take off for a weekend next Friday.

 

We have upgraded from tents to a trailer tent and now to a caravan. A big negative to the trailer tent was the challenge to put it up but especially the prospect of packing it away when damp. This often led to us always having an eye on the weather and leaving site early to avoid possible wet weather.

 

The dealer is providing us with a Pyramid Tuscany awning but I worry it will be much the same as the trailer tent hassle and therefore not get used unless we are away for a week or two which will be rare. So I have looked at the porch awning option but to have both seems somewhat excessive and today have researched the Fiamma Caravanstore which appears very easy to put up and also offers us all the flexibility we might need. ..

 

There are the three of us to "house" - me (Amanda), David (husband) and Max the labrador. So it's about adding to our living space, storage and housing Max's cage.

 

Any reviews or advice on what might suit us best? The dealer is being helpful in terms of up or downgrading from the supplied awning. ..

 

Thanks, Amanda

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Hi there,

 

We have just bought a Caravanstore Zip off ebay (hope to collect it this weekend).

 

Much the same reason as you quote really, the full awning is too time consuming for a weekend (especially if the weather looks iffy) and a porch awning is still in need of drying, although easier to put up.

 

I read a load of users comments both positive and negative befor we took the plunge, but still thinksit's going to be worth it for us.

 

Good points

It's made of a waterproof type material so it can be put away wet

Most of it is already attached to the caravan saving time putting it up

It can pretty much be put up single handed in approx 15 mins.

Door is reversible so can go either end

can be used as a sun canopy, or with front 1 or 2 sides attached.

 

Bad points

Some comments about ensuring it is strapped down firmly on windy days! To be honest Fiamm now do a tie down kit or worse case scenario it doesn't take long to put it down!

The really big ones 4. 1m, 4. 4m may need two people to roll up the canopy to put it away

 

We think it's going to be great for what we want, extra space for us and the Dogs on short stopovers, which is genrally when we use the van (long weekends at dog shows), when we don't have the dogs with us it'll be plenty big enough for two.

 

Take a look at the videos on the Fiamma site.

 

But make sure you get the Zip version as the others are very fiddly (lots of ties), drafty and not as thick a material.

 

Watch Ebay for bargains!

 

Good luck

Regards

Carl

 

My Outfit

2007 Mondeo ST TDCi Estate & 2002 Bailey Senator Arizona

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Hi there,

 

We have just bought a Caravanstore Zip off ebay (hope to collect it this weekend).

 

Much the same reason as you quote really, the full awning is too time consuming for a weekend (especially if the weather looks iffy) and a porch awning is still in need of drying, although easier to put up.

 

I read a load of users comments both positive and negative befor we took the plunge, but still thinksit's going to be worth it for us.

 

Good points

It's made of a waterproof type material so it can be put away wet

Most of it is already attached to the caravan saving time putting it up

It can pretty much be put up single handed in approx 15 mins.

Door is reversible so can go either end

can be used as a sun canopy, or with front 1 or 2 sides attached.

 

Bad points

Some comments about ensuring it is strapped down firmly on windy days! To be honest Fiamm now do a tie down kit or worse case scenario it doesn't take long to put it down!

The really big ones 4. 1m, 4. 4m may need two people to roll up the canopy to put it away

 

We think it's going to be great for what we want, extra space for us and the Dogs on short stopovers, which is genrally when we use the van (long weekends at dog shows), when we don't have the dogs with us it'll be plenty big enough for two.

 

Take a look at the videos on the Fiamma site.

 

But make sure you get the Zip version as the others are very fiddly (lots of ties), drafty and not as thick a material.

 

Watch Ebay for bargains!

 

Good luck

 

 

By no means is it my intention to put anyone off these awnings, but i remember reading a thread somewhere re the weight and drag these awnings create on the rail that sometimes they may contribute, i say may, to water ingress at the rail. I seem to remember someone being asked the question at the dealers when reporting this ingress, if they used such an awning and kept it on the rail whilst towing.

 

Just something to keep an eye on, and i stand to be corrected, but that is what i read.

 

 

Phil.

Light travels faster than sound, thats why some people appear bright, until you hear them speak.
Mine : Mercedes GLC 250d AMG, Lunar Clubman SB, Rockwood 5th Wheel Trailer, La Manga Spain.

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Amanda, we have a 3 metre Fiamma. Easy to put up and easy to keep clean. We are thinking of selling ours as we have a small tunnel type awning, better for storing bikes in our opinion. Overall, a good piece of kit.

 

Regards, Mikey :):)

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I have had the Caravanstore and now the Zip for several years

The biggest drawback is condensation on the inside and rolling it up

I have to do it on my own but with 2 people it would be easy

Putting it away in a high wind would not be enjoyable

Its important to guy the corners immediatley as they are programmed to lie upside down on the van roof at the hint of wind

I now use it on the offside on our long holiday with the Omnistor on the door side permanently

We have had no problem with awning rails

 

Caravan2008005.jpg

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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Guest John KS

I agree about the condensation. Also a terrible fiddle to get the zips together. We had one but now only have the Caravanstore pull out with no sides. Much easier although things do get wet. Just put them in the car if it rains. I am not the best judge as I hate awnings of any type really.

Edited by John KS
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We have the Caravanstore Zip, have had for a couple of years and are, on the whole, very pleased with it. We sometimes use it as just a canopy and sometimes as an awning. Not had any problems with the zips, although being tall helps.

 

We like the way that, in the rain, you can take the sides down, towel them dry under the canopy and put them away without worry.

 

 

The only downside for us has been that ours got damaged when left out as just a canopy in heavy rain. I had left it too level and not put the centre rafter up, the rain pooled on the canopy and under the weight one arm eventually buckled. A replacement part cost around £40 if I remember correctly but was an easy fit.

 

One big negative now though, is the price. Being made in the Eurozone (Italy) the exchange rate has pushed the prices up from what was already a high level.

Edited by olderbutnotwiser

Jim

 

VW Passat Estate 2. 0TDi SEL + Adria Adora 532LT

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We have the Caravanstore Zip, have had for a couple of years and are, on the whole, very pleased with it. We sometimes use it as just a canopy and sometimes as an awning. Not had any problems with the zips, although being tall helps.

 

We like the way that, in the rain, you can take the sides down, towel them dry under the canopy and put them away without worry.

 

 

The only downside for us has been that ours got damaged when left out as just a canopy in heavy rain. I had left it too level and not put the centre rafter up, the rain pooled on the canopy and under the weight one arm eventually buckled. A replacement part cost around £40 if I remember correctly but was an easy fit.

 

One big negative now though, is the price. Being made in the Eurozone (Italy) the exchange rate has pushed the prices up from what was already a high level.

 

Plenty of CStore Zips on Ebay. At Easter we tried a porch awning that we bough a couple of years ago so that I could photograph it to re-sell. What a pain to erect and take down. We have a 3. 6m 2004 model and find it excellent although the 2005-on model has poles down the 'van side which provides a better seal but makes packing/storage more of a problem.

 

For ensuring security in windy conditions you can get foot plates to use 4 pegs for extra security (we use a cut down Steadibloc element).

 

One problem that can occur is that the 'van wall can get scratched where the poles push against it. The solution is to use some clear plastic on the 'van (like anti-chip plastic panels on the rear wheelarch of some cars) where the poles sit. Freezer tape from Wilko @£1 works well.

 

Buy one!!

 

Mike

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If you decide to get one, a few personal tips . .. :)

 

1. Always have 2 folks to put up the canopy, one to hold while one pegs the legs IMMEDIATELY. The thing can act like a giant sail in even a light wind.

 

2. Always make sure one corner is slightly lower than the other, and the canvas is quite taut. If you don't you will have a huge puddle in the middle in any sort of rain. This has a tendencty to stretch the canvas and cause leakage at the sewn seams.

 

3. Go around the sewn seams with an old-fashioned bees-wax block to reduce leakage in the rain

 

4. When fitting the sides always slacken off that end support, and the leg, a bit, it makes putting the zip together much easier as you are not straining against any tension. Once all zips are done up, then retension.

 

5. If it looks like rain, and you've not waxed the seams . . take the curtains down. The seams will leak and the curtains will get sopping.

 

6. The only thing we haven't found a solution for is the condensation. This can be quite high and causes a degree of dampness in anything left in there. Because of this we have developed the tendency to leave one "end" off in all but the worst weather. If you do this check that the wind is, and will remain, on the closed end.

 

Overall we are very pleased with it

 

HTH

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If you decide to get one, a few personal tips . .. :)

 

1. Always have 2 folks to put up the canopy, one to hold while one pegs the legs IMMEDIATELY. The thing can act like a giant sail in even a light wind.

 

2. Always make sure one corner is slightly lower than the other, and the canvas is quite taut. If you don't you will have a huge puddle in the middle in any sort of rain. This has a tendencty to stretch the canvas and cause leakage at the sewn seams.

 

3. Go around the sewn seams with an old-fashioned bees-wax block to reduce leakage in the rain

 

4. When fitting the sides always slacken off that end support, and the leg, a bit, it makes putting the zip together much easier as you are not straining against any tension. Once all zips are done up, then retension.

 

5. If it looks like rain, and you've not waxed the seams . . take the curtains down. The seams will leak and the curtains will get sopping.

 

6. The only thing we haven't found a solution for is the condensation. This can be quite high and causes a degree of dampness in anything left in there. Because of this we have developed the tendency to leave one "end" off in all but the worst weather. If you do this check that the wind is, and will remain, on the closed end.

 

Overall we are very pleased with it

HTH

 

Agree with everything you have said but couldn't you just unzip the side with the flynet in it?

 

Mike

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Agree with everything you have said but couldn't you just unzip the side with the flynet in it?

 

Mike

 

We don't know why, but doing that does not seem to stop the condensation problem, especially overnight.

 

It might be that the airflow simply does not circulate, or that the rest of that "side" is another surface for the condensation to form on.

 

Certainly on warm, dry nights that solution works . . but on cold wet ones it appears not to. Our experience also shows that with all the sides on we tend to leave more items in the area . .. coats/cushions etc, that get badly affected by damp. If we leave a side off we tend to remember to take these things in !!

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I made some feet recently

I had some metal plates 6in X 4in approx that came from a school Tv stand (school closed in 1982 -waste not etc!!)

I cut out a U shape in one long side just big enough to fit round the Omnistor or Caravanstor bracket on the end of the leg

I found them really good when I used them for the first time last week as when the wind got up it was possible to slide the leg out sideways and leave the plate on the ground (solar marker lights)

When the canopy was re erected the plates were still there and the legs just slid under and a tap on the pegs was all that was needed

The reason for making the plate was to avoid distorting the feet as then on the Omnistor they were difficult to get into the slot for storage and the advantage when the wind got up was a bonus

The corner guys were used as well :D

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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We don't know why, but doing that does not seem to stop the condensation problem, especially overnight.

 

It might be that the airflow simply does not circulate, or that the rest of that "side" is another surface for the condensation to form on.

 

Certainly on warm, dry nights that solution works . . but on cold wet ones it appears not to. Our experience also shows that with all the sides on we tend to leave more items in the area . .. coats/cushions etc, that get badly affected by damp. If we leave a side off we tend to remember to take these things in !!

 

I always said that I wouldn't like to sleep in the Caravanstore or Omnistor because of the condensation

BMW X3 X Drive and Swift Challenger 580SE

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OH made pegging plates to go round the legs/feet out of an old plastic chopping board.

 

We have not had any condensation problems so far, but have only use the Fiamma in April/May/June/September/October. Is it worse at certain times of year?

 

We had plenty of ventilation in ours as we did not have a skirt on the van, but now OH has made a wheel arch cover with attached rail, we can fit one. Will this encourage the condensation?

Jennifer

 

Sterling Elite Searcher, Volvo XC90 SE D5 Auto

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We have just bought a new 4. 4m Caravanstore Zip. We find it much less hassle than a full awning or a tunnel awning.

 

WE have had a little bit of water in on the seams but just keep stuff away from the egdes.

 

Overall, easy to erect / put away. Good useable space. New model with in built clips to take storm straps. I have also bought the spreader plates for the feet for extra security.

 

We are delighted with ours.

Scarlet 'till I die. ...

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Having looked at the zip and the privacy room i cannot see the justification for the zip price over the privacy room price.

 

Ive examined them both closely and found not much difference in the way they do the job. The zip "zips", the privacy room clips. Both are fully sealed round the edges, same material, same size, twice the price on the zip over the privacy room.

 

I always thought the zip overpriced, but after looking at a PR last week, i went out and bought a 4. 1 fiamma which now sits on my van. Im now hunting the best price for the PR.

In Consilio Sapienta

 

tn_gallery_1122_263_6791.jpg

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  • 1 month later...
Having looked at the zip and the privacy room i cannot see the justification for the zip price over the privacy room price.

 

Ive examined them both closely and found not much difference in the way they do the job. The zip "zips", the privacy room clips. Both are fully sealed round the edges, same material, same size, twice the price on the zip over the privacy room.

 

I always thought the zip overpriced, but after looking at a PR last week, i went out and bought a 4. 1 fiamma which now sits on my van. Im now hunting the best price for the PR.

 

Have you got your privacy room yet?

 

I'm looking at the 4. 1m Caravanstore and Privacy Room as a cheaper alternative to the Zip model and cheapest so far new is £355. 01 (inc. VAT) delivered.

Bailey Ranger 510/4

& Skoda Octavia Elegance Estate 1. 9TDI

 

Various010-1.jpgmedia3_cropped-4.jpg

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Is your caravan 2. 29m wide? If so, when fitted the overall width will exceed 2. 3m. Doesn't that have implications when towing with a car?

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that 2. 29m reading is taken not on the body width but on what protrudes the most on a trailer the marker lights

my caravanstore fits flush with these so it is not sticking out past the lights plusi have 1mm to play with

 

and when travelling it stays flush to the caravan and no effect on stability

 

203-3.jpg

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We have the longest version, which is used for short stops. The Isabella goes up for long stays.

 

I have found it to be a super bit of kit. Keep the zips lubricated with some polish ( Mr Sheen etc ) and always erect it with the leg, not at the door end, shorter than the other one so the rain runs off the roof, and you will have no problems. Stability is not an issue with ours and I can't see its weight being carried on the awning rail a problem. When in Jersey we had the Isabella up in a gale and the strain on the awning rail, by comparison, must have been huge.

Edited by SuperMike

Regards

SuperMike

together with

Management and Lady Faith Finesse, who is a Black & Tan Cavalier KCS - Gorgeous Girl, and my wife is as well.

Sedona 2. 9TDi - Swift Conqueror 645 LUX

CAVALIERS ARE LIKE SUNSHINE, THEY BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY.

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