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Quality Differences In Porch Awnings


Mickyblueyes
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Looking for a bit of expertise on the above.

 

Background is that we have a cheap lightweight porch awning which we use every trip, we inherited a full one which we never use and passed onto a friend as it fitted his van, but we are looking to get a large(er) better quality porch awning and had been doing a lot of surfing on the above.

 

Having browsed various models on t'internet as difficult to see in the flesh locally settled on the;

 

Isabella Magnum (carbonX) - Very expensive but seem to make good money second hand on flea-bay ?worth the extra?

Ventura Marlin equivalent - Cheaper ?old Isabella model?? less well made?? Don't understand???

Bradcot Portico XL - Hybrid slotting down the rail further at the front or rear of the van ?? quality?

Bradcot Atrium 35 - Worth the extra over the Portico XL??

 

Then there is the Harringtons one Discover do, oh there are just too many options. :o

 

Anyway we are looking for a little bit of info/guidance and personal experiences if possible of any/all of the above.

 

I am happy to spend the £900 on the Isabella if it is worth it as we will be using it exclusively, but only if it is worth it or is it just a label. I will pass on the cheap one we have, and we are looking for a big porch as it will fit pretty well any van we are likely to get.

 

TIA

Mike

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We have had an Isabella Magnum with fibre poles for several years and find it a very good awning which we use all year round and in all weathers. It fits the van very well at the sides - there are pads which clip onto the poles to keep the awning tight in to the side of the van. The poles have stood up to heavy falls of snow, the awning to gales and storms - a blizzard in Braemar soon shows the awnings which are sturdy.

 

We tried one of the cheepo awnings that stay on the van but they are useless in our opinion and condensation problems mean that you can't leave cushions etc overnight, in fact we even had condensation in the thing with the front left off!!

 

If your budget doesn't run to a 2nd hand Isabella then go for the Ventura - they are made for Isabella and the quality standards are the same it is just the material that is slightly lighter.

NE Scotland

 

Unicorn Valencia pulled by Merc E280 cdi sport

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If you are thinking about the lightweight quick-erect type, take a look at the new Kampa Rally 260. We've just had one to replace a taditional-type porch to give us more space. Tried it for the first time last week - very pleased with all aspects of it. Here it is on the Kampa website: Kampa Rally 260 I bought the optional rear legs - it was worth it.

Jonathan.

2004 Swift Challenger 550 SLE

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I would also go for an Isabella because of the quality.

 

Are all porch awnings the same height ?

 

Recently a friend of mine lent me a Ventura porch awning and it was 3 - 4 inches shorter than I would have liked on my caravan (2006 Bessacarr).

 

Bill

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I don't know about the porch awnings but I had Bradcot Classic full awnings for many, many years with steel, easy alloy and carbon fibre poles. Excellent awnings.

 

After some very severe storms on the Atlantic coast of France 2 years ago a lot of awnings were damaged beyond repair. My Bradcot was badly shaken but okay. Most of the Isabella awnings looked like they did before the storm. Completely untouched.

 

I had a good look at the quality and detail of Isabellas last year and decided to buy one. They do cost an arm and a leg but they are, in my opinion, without doubt, better than the others in terms of fixtures, features, detailing, reinforcement, etc.

Volvo XC60 Momentum Pro D4 pulling an Elddis Crusader Mistral

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Aaagggh this decision is driving me crackers! We are first time caravanners and collect our lovely new home from home this Friday - super excited :D

 

The dealer is providing an awning as part of a free starter pack - the Tuscany Pyramid (I think) but with previous experiences of large frame awnings on our trailer tent we want something that is easier to erect and take down and less affected by packing up on rainy days (seems common place for us!).

 

They had some porch type awnings on display and we have almost decided on the Royal Windsor 260 (the 390 apparently too large for our caravan). I have seen reviews on it which vary and in the main the issue seems to be that the bag it is stored in isn't waterproof enough and can hang over the door a little. We can live with both of those issues and plan NOT to leave it in situ when not in full use.

 

So now what bothers me is the condensation problem I keep reading about. Why is that so bad when surely it's just the equivalent of a regular tent?? Before the trailer tent we had many happy times in a dome and tunnel tent and never felt condensation was an issue unless you left things against the side of the outer walls. ..

 

Any advice from the experts? Budget isn't really the issue as having invested so far in a lovely caravan we don't want to scrimp on the awning and it would be a false economy anyhow if we weren't happy with it. The key thing is to be able to put it up and take it down quickly and easily with the minimum of fuss especially as most of our trips will be for 2-3 nights only.

 

Thanks and sorry for hijacking this thread :huh: - Amanda

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The budget and lightweight awnings are made of material which doesn't breathe so no ventilation and so you get co sensation.

NE Scotland

 

Unicorn Valencia pulled by Merc E280 cdi sport

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I can highly recommend the Kampa Ralley 260 as a great easy erect porch awning. My husband put it up all by himself and I took it down by myself too. The proper porch awnings are absolutey gorgeous and if I were to choose, not looking at price, I would have an isabella. We've got a Bradcott Active full awning and it's absolutely superb but I'll always dream of my Isabella!!!! I've had no problems with condensation in our Ralley 260 so far.

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Hi

 

I currently have a Bradcot Atrium 35 and do like it because it is different however it does take a little longer to put up because of the extra poles and side panels. It is very sturdy when up and the quality is good and the easy alloy poles are great.

 

I have had an Isabella Magnum in the past and must say they are the best quality around. I bought this second hand and sold for the same price on Ebay.

 

Regards

 

Steve

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I'm sure that there will be loads of people that disagree but we have always found, by and large,that porch awnings are more difficult to put up than full size awnings !!

 

Bill

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I have a Ventura Marlin which is used when we stay for more than a couple of days - excellent porch awning and does not cost so much as an Isabella. Having said that, if, for any reason we were to loose the Marlin I would be sorely tempted to buy the Isabella equivalent.

 

Gerry

2005 Kia Sorento 2. 5 Auto towing 2011 Conqueror 645

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Me again :rolleyes:

 

So - back to the condensation problem which I am trying to understand. Is it because there is just the outer waterproof layer of fabric which by its nature to keep the rain out also doesn't let any moisture escape and hence it builds up inside? Now I'm guessing that in our tents that hasn't been such an issue as they have the inner "liner" which is breathable having no need to keep out the elements?? So any dampness is on the inside of the outside layer??!!

 

Sorry but struggling to make a decision so trying to get all the necessary. ..

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Me again :rolleyes:

 

So - back to the condensation problem which I am trying to understand. Is it because there is just the outer waterproof layer of fabric which by its nature to keep the rain out also doesn't let any moisture escape and hence it builds up inside? Now I'm guessing that in our tents that hasn't been such an issue as they have the inner "liner" which is breathable having no need to keep out the elements?? So any dampness is on the inside of the outside layer??!!

 

Sorry but struggling to make a decision so trying to get all the necessary. ..

 

You've got it. On awnings such as Ventura or Isabella you only really get condensation problems if you are heating the awning in freezing conditions and you can get a roof attachment for the Isabella to ease this problem.

 

Good luck with your decision - if your budget allows I would go Isabella.

NE Scotland

 

Unicorn Valencia pulled by Merc E280 cdi sport

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You've got it. On awnings such as Ventura or Isabella you only really get condensation problems if you are heating the awning in freezing conditions and you can get a roof attachment for the Isabella to ease this problem.

 

Good luck with your decision - if your budget allows I would go Isabella.

 

Thanks very much Jan you have been very helpful. I get the feeling the extra for the Isabella quality would be money well spent as we could easily buy a cheaper one and regret it.

 

Back to the dealer to do a deal then !!

 

Amanda

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Thanks very much Jan you have been very helpful. I get the feeling the extra for the Isabella quality would be money well spent as we could easily buy a cheaper one and regret it.

 

Back to the dealer to do a deal then !!

 

Amanda

 

The beauty of the Isabella Amanda is that it lasts for years - one of those awnings that can be used on almost any van. The beauty of the large porch type awnings is that they are not van specific so you don't have to change your awning if you change you van.

 

good luck with the bargaining- we got ours from our dealer complete with carbon fibre poles and were very happy with the price.

NE Scotland

 

Unicorn Valencia pulled by Merc E280 cdi sport

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  • 2 weeks later...

hi,im a newbie & just read your post,we have just brough a dorema hacienda new model for 2009 1000-1025 with fibretech poles for £667. the quality looks good,have set up once at home & i find it easier than the dorema hilton porch awning that came with our van,great quality porch awning but a pain in the butt to put up(1 awning pole dent in van so far).I have been told that the dorema hacienda is a pretty good bet being made in the EU(avoid the chinese models)ask where they are made. Cant comment on isabella but you are looking at over a grand for a large sized one

The really frightening thing about middle age is knowing you'll grow out of it.

Pegusus S2 Rimini /Honda CRV

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. .. easier than the dorema hilton porch awning that came with our van,great quality porch awning but a pain in the butt to put up(1 awning pole dent in van so far).

 

Yes! Our experience too! Looks good, fits well, but oh those poles. ..

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I'm sure that there will be loads of people that disagree but we have always found, by and large,that porch awnings are more difficult to put up than full size awnings !!

 

Bill

 

I've found the difficulty in putting up a porch awning is that you get the canvas nicely positioned in relation to door, windows etc, but by the time you're ready to start pegging out, the whole thing has slid along the awning rail by about a foot. But I've just come across a neat piece of kit to solve the problem - awning channel locks. Two little metal bullets which slot into the rail; put them up against the beading and tighten them with an allen key. They work, I suppose, like a curtain rail end-stop. Bought them but haven't used them yet.

Jonathan.

2004 Swift Challenger 550 SLE

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