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Erecting An Awning


Al K Seltzer

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Having just obtained our first awning and being relatively new to "Caravan Chat" I may well have missed useful tips on erecting an awning. The part which we find most difficult is pulling it through the awning rail. Apart from starting from the front where the angle is more gradual and using two people - one to feed it in and one to pull it through is there anything else we could be doing. By spraying furniture polish onto a curtain rail - admittedly plastic, it makes the curtain slide much easier. Would a spray of polish do the same in the awning channel or is this likely the clog it up. Before using it for the first time we did clean out the channel, it is not a new caravan.

 

Brian

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The advice I give to anyone erecting an awning for their first time is to erect the frame, without the material, at home first.

 

This can be done leaning against a wall or garage. I gives you a good idea of where all the poles will go and if any need to be marked up. Left, right, centre, etc.

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Spray the channel with silicon spray the type that you use on the car dash,

dash dandy etc, they are much cleaner

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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The part which we find most difficult is pulling it through the awning rail. Apart from starting from the front where the angle is more gradual and using two people - one to feed it in and one to pull it through is there anything else we could be doing.

 

Brian

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When feeding the awning through the rail, (you may have discovered this already) rather that feeding it in from ground level start from the openings in the awning channel, IMO it's easier to work from the opening just above eye level at the rear of the van.

 

Starting from this point feed the awning through until the piping is a couple of centimeters in advance of the opening The tail end of the awning will now be at eye level and fully located in the channel and the front end of the awning will be overhanging at the far end. To finish simply pull the whole awning in the rail back on itself down to the required ground level. .....easier done than said :o

                                                           Fiat Rimor Europeo 69P Motorhome

 

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1 Pitch next to a really well-erected awning, preferably with a CT2 sticker in the window.

2 Leave a crate of good quality lager or beer in a conspicuous spot outside the caravan. Wine might do the trick, if no ale available.

3 Empty the awning bag and poles out on to the ground.

4 Walk around the awning etc, scratching your head and sighing a lot.

5 Open a bottle of Duff or whatever, and sit on the caravan step, looking helpless.

6 Cross your fingers and wait.

 

It's worth a try!!! :lol:

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We always seem to have fun with ours :)

 

We did erect it against our garden fence at first, and then colour-coded the poles with tape. I've also bought some decent pegs.

 

Phillip

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Having just obtained our first awning and being relatively new to "Caravan Chat" I may well have missed useful tips on erecting an awning. The part which we find most difficult is pulling it through the awning rail. Apart from starting from the front where the angle is more gradual and using two people - one to feed it in and one to pull it through is there anything else we could be doing. By spraying furniture polish onto a curtain rail - admittedly plastic, it makes the curtain slide much easier. Would a spray of polish do the same in the awning channel or is this likely the clog it up. Before using it for the first time we did clean out the channel, it is not a new caravan.

 

Brian

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As well as lubricating the awning rail with furniture polish and making sure there are no sections of awning rail that have got closed up a bit, here are a couple of my tips. Firstly, remove all panels then slide the roof of the awning into the awning rail. Next assemble the middle section of frame and attach to caravan with the awning draped over it. The awning will hold the middle section in place until you assemble the rest of the frame.

 

As others have said, there's always someone willing to help if you get stuck.

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Maybe we're lucky or maybe cos we have a new Isabella, but having only put the awning up about 3 times now, we've never had a problem. I sprayed the channel (not the awning) with silicone spray. Insert the awning from the front of the caravan at the bottom and just feed it in. It seems very important to use 2 people - one to feed it in at the bottom (gathering up the slack and lining it all up) and one to pull it through further up the rail. Once equally on the rail, we put the middle pole up first, then the 2 ends etc etc. Leave the zip in panels out and put them in at the end. Zipping these panels in is the only bit that gives me hassle. Everything else is totally idiot proof and dead easy. I'm chuffed that we seemed to have bought a well designed awning as others seem to have awful problems and I'm sure its not all down to lack of skill.

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It seems very important to use 2 people - one to feed it in at the bottom (gathering up the slack and lining it all up) and one to pull it through further up the rail

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Matt, have you tried feeding your awning from one of the entry points further along the rail, it eliminates the problems of snagging and lining up and can be easily carried out by one person on a average size van.

                                                           Fiat Rimor Europeo 69P Motorhome

 

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with an 05 bailey 510/4, I'm pretty sure we ain't got those seperate openings. I think Roadrunner said the same about his 05 Louisianna.

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The '04 Senators don't have eyelevel openings either. Pity 'cos I found them useful in the past.

 

Malmont

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As bigdrinks said above, have a trial run at assembling the frame to make sure you are familiar with it first. Colour coding each joint so that they can be easily identified helps. The memory goes as the audience grows. Our NR came with strips of various coloured tape for that purpose and helps even after a few erections, can't really say that can you. Become familiar with the frame to van attachments, they vary a bit.

 

Make sure you have enough room to accomodate the awning + annex if necessary on the pitch, its a bit of a bummer moving the van 6" after the event when the awnings on. Place beer at a convenient position, makes you look super chilled. The awning slides roughly into position first then the frame goes in under. Remember that shaped panels go in different positions generally the front whilst the sides are rectangular. Done that before. Don't put it up for the first time if it is more than a light wind. Try to get the outside to the outside and not the inside, has been done. Locate the roof poles onto the caravan with the fixings supplied these vary a bit so follow their instructions. Fully peg down once all the poles & panels are in and the shape is about right. Get some rock pegs if you are going on a hard standing. Assume a sense of humour because you will make a complete balls of it especially if you have an audience or are in a hurry. She who must be obeyed can be very helpful and kids can act as temporary supports for poles etc and for keeping the awning off the floor, also keeps them occupied instead of taking the mickey or handing out conflicting multiple instructions.

 

Dorema had instructions on their website which seem to be common for most awnings, apart from specific manufacturers attachments etc they are all pretty similar I guess.

 

This is just one of the many activities associated with caravanning which can be daunting until you have done it a couple of times ranks quite highly with reversing onto the pitch also a bit of a bottle job first time. You will soon get the hang of it and be handing out your own advice in a very short time.

 

Good luck.

 

Cheers

 

Bob

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