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Living With A Sun Canopy - Any Tips?


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Hi all, I was following this topic when it was first live at the time had just bought a used awning to use as a canopy  while in south France & a porch awning to use for long weekends in England but really now want  a 5m Isabella shadow or similar  , just want to know 2 years on how are you good folks getting on with your canopies.  Thanks pete

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We use a 3. 6M Shadow with 3 poles on our Swift Challenger 480. We have the net front which we find great for giving extra shaded sitting space. I always use 2 pegs and 2 heavy duty guy ropes per po

We will be getting an Isabella  shadow 500 soon, we used to use owe awning with the doors zipped out will away in south France, we use green house netting  , I bought 6m x2m cut in half and use cabl

The "proper" Shadow front net is aluminised over the actual netted lower half probably to reflect the heat better, however, I agree like all Isabella kit it comes at a premium price.   The vision thr

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Still love our 3. 6m shadow - think a 5m one would be perfect. We’ve used the canopy more than our Magnum awning.

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2017 Coachman Pastiche 565.

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We love our 3. 6M Shadow. We’ve sold the Magnum and now use either the Shadow or nothing. The Shadow is so light and compact it lives in the caravan all the time, and we use it when we fancy it, as a sun canopy or a shelter.  Best decision ever!

 

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Ern

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Essential bit of kit for us during our long French holidays. use as a canopy only on overnight stops and as a sunshade once we're on site. During the day we roll the side panels right down to the floor while not actually removing them and hang the front panels over verandah poles.

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Thanks for the quick replies, we wanted to buy 5m Isabella shadow but was worried about really strong winds especially while in south France  , it's ok to say take it down but what if we are out for the day & a storm moves in  , how does your shadow perform in such conditions, pete

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2 hours ago, dustypete said:

Thanks for the quick replies, we wanted to buy 5m Isabella shadow but was worried about really strong winds especially while in south France  , it's ok to say take it down but what if we are out for the day & a storm moves in  , how does your shadow perform in such conditions, pete

It performs very well - it’s all to do with the pegging. We use two guy ropes on the end poles - pulled at right angles and always ensure that the poles are pegged down through the feet to stop them lifting. Ours has withstood some strong winds, but it’s a little annoying at night in the van because it tugs on the awning rail and creates a flapping noise.

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2017 Coachman Pastiche 565.

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Do use ours quite a lot, but don't think we would do so if I hadn't got the tectum fittings for the upright poles, 3 roof poles and two front cross poles.  

Recently got an e-bay bargain for my son - a 3m shadow, like brand new, for £31. Now making up roof poles and a crosspiece for that too.

Removes any issues with tensioning the canvas.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, hp100425ev said:

Do use ours quite a lot, but don't think we would do so if I hadn't got the tectum fittings for the upright poles, 3 roof poles and two front cross poles.  

Recently got an e-bay bargain for my son - a 3m shadow, like brand new, for £31. Now making up roof poles and a crosspiece for that too.

Removes any issues with tensioning the canvas.

 

 

 

 

We have thought of doing that - are you using Isabella poles (expensive) or substitutes?

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2017 Coachman Pastiche 565.

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26 minutes ago, Glen and Les said:

We have thought of doing that - are you using Isabella poles (expensive) or substitutes?

Isabella poles.

Mine are Isabella carbon x, made from a mixed batch of poles and part poles bought on ebay for about £30, with the tectum fittings bought through local Dealer.

My sons will be IXL, made from a set of poles from an Isabella Combi awning, bought on ebay for £10 (actually bought 2 awnings for £20, one an Isabella Minor, the other the Combi).

Any poles could be used as long as the tectum hooks can be fitted to the end of them.

The tectum hooks are different to the roof pole hooks; tectum are a right angle rather than the "bent" ones for the roof poles.

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I think this is one of the best bits of kit you can add to your caravanning experience and have had a 3 pole for a good few years.   I was always a bit wary when it was windy that the poles would lift and launch themselves at the side of the caravan.   To overcome this I cut 3 bits of pipe that the foot of the pole would fit in and be a nice tight fit then welded pegs to the bottom.   So I now fit the shade, observe where the pole is and knock the pipe/peg into the ground then lift the pole into the pipe.   The pipe is  only 50mm deep but it means the pole would have to lift that distance to become free.   It has been up in some very windy conditions and has never budged.

Alan

Swift Challenger 480 and a Nissan X Trail Teckna 2016

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We bought the Eclipse rather than the shadow as it gave us more options; either direct off the awning rail or as an attachment to our Capri Lux. Have used it in all configurations and in all weathers with no problems (3 pole model), so long as you set your angles correctly no problems! Takes a little longer to assemble than the shadow due to the extra poles, but worth the extra time.

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Nothing new to report. Still use it and it failed twice on us this year.

First time a windy day and the pegs came loose but we hadn't expected issues.

Enhanced pegs but a huge storm in Croatia again pulled the pegs out. Driving a peg into a wooden tree trunk and securing to a rock helped.

In future, use two guide ropes per pole and try to use other than pegs. Tie around a tree or a rock. The "sail" effect is a brilliant peg puller!!!!

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I use two guys per pole for anything but clam periods, I also step the  base of each pole out just further than its length and peg its base. Doing this the pole foot can't "walk" in high winds and if the sheet does slip off the pole the pole end can't hit the van when falling.

I think it was 2002 we purchased ours and its use has been massive, both as designed on one or other sides of the van and also contrived as an extension to the Magnum on longer stays. I learnt the hard way in the very early days the wisdom off pegging the pole bases set away; it threw a pole one day when out and some gusts blew up, leaving me with a dent on the lower stable door.

For the last 7 odd years we have two, typically deploying them in France on each side of the van. The newer one is the 4 metre and was purchased with the silver front net. That net is very useful but is only deployed when needed and is not left out unattended, too easy for me or others to take off and quite a sail if it becomes windy

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13 hours ago, hp100425ev said:

Isabella poles.

Mine are Isabella carbon x, made from a mixed batch of poles and part poles bought on ebay for about £30, with the tectum fittings bought through local Dealer.

My sons will be IXL, made from a set of poles from an Isabella Combi awning, bought on ebay for £10 (actually bought 2 awnings for £20, one an Isabella Minor, the other the Combi).

Any poles could be used as long as the tectum hooks can be fitted to the end of them.

The tectum hooks are different to the roof pole hooks; tectum are a right angle rather than the "bent" ones for the roof poles.

I am struggling to understand your description of  the fittings you have used.

Our Shadow has the Tektum donuts on the top of the 3 vertical poles, and 2 telescopic horizontal poles with "bent at 90deg" hooks each end.  I'm thinking of adding 3 roof poles as you have done. Should the roof poles have the same "bent at 90 deg" hooks?

Ern

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54 minutes ago, Ern said:

I am struggling to understand your description of  the fittings you have used.

Our Shadow has the Tektum donuts on the top of the 3 vertical poles, and 2 telescopic horizontal poles with "bent at 90deg" hooks each end.  I'm thinking of adding 3 roof poles as you have done. Should the roof poles have the same "bent at 90 deg" hooks?

The roof poles have the standard hooks on one end to go into the fix-ons, and the tectum 90deg hooks on the other end to go into the tectum fittings.  When fitting the roof poles, I find it easier to tilt the uprights in towards the van slightly to engage the tectum hooks, and then straighten them again.

Even with all the poles, you do still need the guy ropes of course.

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On 10/12/2017 at 12:42, hp100425ev said:

Do use ours quite a lot, but don't think we would do so if I hadn't got the tectum fittings for the upright poles, 3 roof poles and two front cross poles.

I have found when using perimeter poles around my sun canopy that in heavy rain they increase the likelihood of puddles forming in the canopy. Dropping the legs a few centimetres helps any rain run off.

John.

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31 minutes ago, John19 said:

I have found when using perimeter poles around my sun canopy that in heavy rain they increase the likelihood of puddles forming in the canopy. Dropping the legs a few centimetres helps any rain run off.

John.

I usually set the roof at the back end of the caravan where the door is, with as much fall as possible just avoiding the door rubbing. The other two legs are set lower and lower. We’re not tall people so it’s fine for us. With the canvas we’ll tensioned I don’t usually get pooling.  

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Ern

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These things are sold as "sun" canopies. Not to be used in strong winds and heavy rain!

That said, we have a roof mounted Fiamma wind out sun canopy. We dont use it much in the UK cos of the bad weather but it gets lots of use in the better weather on the continent.

If really bad weather is forecast we only have it wound out about 1 metre then it is great for a rain canopy over the door.

 

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Having read this thread with interest have just purchased the Shadow 240 with shade. I was advised to buy the Isabella peg storm straps at £20 each to secure in inclement weather. Anyone use these or indeed any other types? 

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1 hour ago, Doris said:

Having read this thread with interest have just purchased the Shadow 240 with shade. I was advised to buy the Isabella peg storm straps at £20 each to secure in inclement weather. Anyone use these or indeed any other types? 

We just make sure that the feet on the poles are pegged down as well as the canopy - we have the 3 pole version and put 2 guy ropes on each outer leg. It will withstand a fair amount of wind, but it’s annoying in the van when it flaps around. If it gets too bad it’s a quick job to drop the poles and whip the canvas out.

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2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2017 Coachman Pastiche 565.

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No I don't and I would not.

I double up the heavy duty guys and up till now with nearly 16 years of using my two Shadows that's been adequate and that technique has not resulted in doing any damaged them.

If the weather gets "silly" and we can't stand the noise we take them down, a few minutes job. That way the noise of them flapping goes away and so does any risk of damage.  

If going out with risk of heavy rain or hail I would typically lower the centre leg so ice etc sheds, with the short 240 Cm with just two poles I would drop one corner nice and low; again a few seconds job to set and reset. I don't leave the front "net" up if not about and rarely overnight as this wind-wise is the weaker link.

I peg the poles feet down as they can walk about in heavy weather, I ensure the feet are pegged down further from the van's side than they are long, just in case  the sheet ever slips over the pole letting it fall. So avoid van side dents.

You will I am sure become a fan.

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3 hours ago, JTQ said:

No I don't and I would not.

I double up the heavy duty guys 

I peg the poles feet down as they can walk about in heavy weather, I ensure the feet are pegged down further from the van's side 

You will I am sure become a fan.

Thanks JTQ! Do you mean by heavy duty guys the storm Sash guys? Do you use rock pegs to peg the poles down?

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38 minutes ago, Doris said:

Thanks JTQ! Do you mean by heavy duty guys the storm Sash guys? Do you use rock pegs to peg the poles down?

 

I use the Typhoon Storm sash guys, doubling up on those supplied with the Shadow; so on each pole I use two rather than the supplied one.

These are shown on page two of the spares pages; second line right hand side:

https://www. isabella. net/uk/accessories/spare-parts?GroupID=&PageNum=2

I use some long  thick rock pegs on each guy and a thinner rock peg through one of the holes in the pole feet.  

My Shadows both came with  some extra heavy duty plastic blade like pegs, these are fine on soft ground and there are the better choice, but on most occasions, the ground is too stony to use these.

Edit: those plastic pegs are on page one left side, third line: part # 90006003

https://www. isabella. net/uk/accessories/spare-parts?GroupID=&PageNum=1

Edited by JTQ
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18 minutes ago, Doris said:

Does anyone use the side shades? 

We use a 3. 6M Shadow with 3 poles on our Swift Challenger 480. We have the net front which we find great for giving extra shaded sitting space. I always use 2 pegs and 2 heavy duty guy ropes per pole. The large Isabella pegs are good on soft sandy ground or ordinary grass. I use large rock pegs on hard ground. Always set the roof with maximum slope to give best drainage should it rain. We have stopped using an enclosed awning since getting the Shadow (we sold our Magnum), finding this simple and light enough to be permanently stowed in the caravan at all times when not in use. We also use an Isabella wind breaker at times and this with the Shadow is great.

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Ern

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