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New Owner, Some Advice?


zaria123
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Firstly thanks for all the replies to my initial post about looking for a small lightweight caravan.

 

We have just bought one, its a Compass Echo 340/2 and we managed to track down an old (1991) but beautifully looked after one owner example.

 

I have a couple of questions as a novice Im not up to speed on.

 

It doesn't have a built in toilet so we need to buy a porta potti for the little washroom. My question is - can they be secured to the floor for when the caravan is moving? If not is there advice on how to secure it to prevent it from moving around when towing?

 

Secondly I am looking for a small awning to be able to bring a couple of friends along now and again to stay over night. As this is a very small 'van, what determines the type of awning I buy? What dimensions are relevant to buying an awning? I believe imperial size approx 11ft long.

Obviously its a budget caravan, so any suggestions on value for money new awnings?

 

Any help as always very useful

 

Thanks in advance.

Alan

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Hi Alan, first of all you cannot screw it down, you have to split the 2 halves to empty the bottom container :( . As for keeping it steady whilst, moving, you will find that your aquaroll and wastemaster will probably stop that anyway. My Father-in-law had a Compass. Don't forget to remove the screw in water filter, take out the carbon crystals and the cup that holds it, detach the screw part and put this bit only, back. .......Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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Firstly thanks for all the replies to my initial post about looking for a small lightweight caravan.

 

We have just bought one, its a Compass Echo 340/2 and we managed to track down an old (1991) but beautifully looked after one owner example.

 

I have a couple of questions as a novice Im not up to speed on.

 

It doesn't have a built in toilet so we need to buy a porta potti for the little washroom. My question is - can they be secured to the floor for when the caravan is moving? If not is there advice on how to secure it to prevent it from moving around when towing?

 

Secondly I am looking for a small awning to be able to bring a couple of friends along now and again to stay over night. As this is a very small 'van, what determines the type of awning I buy? What dimensions are relevant to buying an awning? I believe imperial size approx 11ft long.

Obviously its a budget caravan, so any suggestions on value for money new awnings?

 

Any help as always very useful

 

Thanks in advance.

Alan

Try here http://www. a2zcamping. co. uk/blog/how-to-measure-for-a-full-caravan-awning. html

or Here http://www. bradcot-awnings. co. uk/index. php/4-easy-steps

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In one of my caravans of the past the previous owner had made a wooden frame around the base of the portapotti to stop or prevent it moving around, plus a hook at either side on the back wall with a bungee cord strapped around it. We still have an old small caravan and are seasonal so don't need to tow but this set up would come in handy if we did.

 

There's a good few awnings out there. Also with it being small a porch awning may be good. The size doesn't matter if it's a porch awning and some porch awnings you can even fit a table and chairs in and / or a bed.

Compass Shadow 1988

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Thanks for the advice, some great ideas, and the links too.

 

I have been looking at the porch awning, and I think it does look a respectable size.

 

If I want to use the awning to sleep in (in the summer) so I also need an inner tent?

 

Mechs The idea of a very neat wooden frame around the base sounds a bright idea, I'll find myself the best look, and opt for that idea, that and the waste and water tanks in there would secure everything nicely.

 

I have to figure out the water system (I was kind of spoiled before having a motorhome with built in tanks). It seems the system here is a pipe that plugs in to the water and electric on the side of the 'van with a submersible on the end.

 

Peter, where do I find the screw in water filter?

 

Thanks so much or the advice to date.

Alan

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Hi alan isn't this your van layout with a toilet. your van photo seems to show a hatch @the rear to take atoilet cassette.

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I don't think you need the inner tent to sleep in an awning, we've had the kid and a guest sleep in an awning a while back and no problems although if it's the thinner porch awnings you tend to get and that I use you may need an inner tent as they're quite draughty unlike the thick canvas full awnings you get.

Compass Shadow 1988

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Hi Alan, It's next to the bit where you plug in the submersible pump in the same housing. You will probably need an adjustable spanner to undo the filter, it's about 50mm long and 5mm thick and was designed to be unscrewed by hand but you never can unless you have strong fingers. ..Peter

Peter and Sandy pulling a 2016 Coachman VIP 565 with

2016 Ford Kuga 2. 0. 180 ps. Titanium Nav.

Retired and loving it.

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What a cracking little 'van!

 

Congratulations!

 

Have you considered a toilet tent. .. it would give you more room inside the 'van.

 

As for an awning you measure from the ground. .. all along the awning rail. .. back to the ground,

 

This is then the size of the awning you require.

 

Keep an eye on eBAy. . awnings are always coming up on there. . and it's a cheap time of year to buy one.

 

HTH

 

G.

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Hi Again thanks for the info.

 

Langers8 - I might have confused things about the van as I used a library picture, and then realised after pointed out that it is in fact a slightly newer version (looks the same) with a cassette toilet external access door which mine doesn't have. My van is this layout, its just it doesnt have a fixed / integrated toilet, merely space to put one.

 

Mechs - thanks for that, I would prefer a more useable awning perhaps than the thinner porch types, as it would be good to get more use out of it in different weathers, so I will investigate options.

 

Peterjohn - thanks for that, I hadnt looked in detail yet, as we dont get the van until wednesday, but yes I noticed under the flap there was the connect and something else. great info.

 

Chapmag - yes I had considered a toilet tent, as I was initially looking at a Freedom Sunseeker, without a toilet compartment. However we think we will initially be using the van for day trips and 1-2 night stop overs, so wanted the option of having it sitting ready to tow and park up with minimal set up, and then with the option of an awning to use if bringing friends. I'd say most of the time we would use site facilities, and really the van bathroom for those times when you don't want to be leaving the van in the night for little visits. As you say this seems to be a good time of year to invest in extras as the business is quieter and there is a lot of stock on 'sale'. I have looked on ebay at awning, but as I didnt really know what I was looking for it was a bit overwhelming with different shapes, styles, prices, and easy of putting up.

Thats how I came across this on sale and got a good price:

I have now looked at and bought a Thetford Qube 335 - which had the facility to secure it to the floor for marine use, but simply unclips to remove / empty. Its also small, and light which suits.

 

So ref the awnings:

Am I right in thinking a Porch Awning doesnt attach to the full length of the track round the roof of the van, but has two poles which butt up again the side wall of the van leaving part of the side wall exposed? Whereas a full awning leaves virtually none of the side wall exposed and is of heavier duty?

 

Obviously our little van is a budget van so spending a lot of money on an awning to fit it wouldn't be a very sensible. Is there a particular make, model or style I should be looking for if I want a small but good weatherproof awning to actually sleep in?

 

I have looked on ebay at:

http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/390662944514?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984. m1423. l2649

Which is a porch awning and looks like a good price. But is it really suitable or substantial enough for what I want?

 

Or should I be looking for more of a small version of this type:

http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/Apache-Kensington-840-New-full-awning-blue-steel-frame-EX-DEMO-NEW-LOWER-PRICE-/221326397305?pt=UK_Campervan_Caravan_Accessories&hash=item338814cf79

 

Thanks again

Alan

:)

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If you want the possibility of people sleeping in the awning then the 2nd example is the one you want.

 

I would also go for an inner tent too!

 

It gives added protection from the elements but they are also zip in so they help keep any nocturnal bugs and beasties at bay!!

 

HTH

 

G.

Edited by chapmag
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Thanks for that chapmag, I thought that'd probably be the one.

 

So, are awning all around the same prices, or are there budget brands?

 

Ive been searching online and the cheapest I can find in the 725-750 sizes is about £449 + postage. quoted as 'Winter massive discounted sale'

 

Ive seen Dorema, Herzag, Kampa, around this price range.

But Ive also seen a listing of New but 2012 model Gateway Leisure Sherwood 750-765cm for £285

http://www. bowenawnings. co. uk/awnings/gateway-leisure/sherwood. html

 

(Apparently identical to the Pyramid Tuscany models - if that means anything?)

 

Any thoughts?

 

Cheers

Alan

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Have a look here http://www. nrawnings. co. uk/products/awnings. html

 

for a good example of budget, touring and all season full awnings and their descriptions and usages.

 

If I were you I'd ring around the dealers/keep your eye on eBay/Gumtree etc etc for a good second hand one.

 

Some awnings get little use and then are sold.

 

Good luck,

 

G.

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As the van is around 3. 4 metres long and around 2. 4 metres high the awning rail will hover around 800 cm from ground to ground. As there is a draught skirt on awnings this allows a variation of plus or minus 10 cm to allow them to be used on vans that dimensions do not fall exactly within the length of the awning. Acrylic awnings are more epensive and a little heavier but dont have to be totally dry when pulled down so can be packed away instantly and dried later on. Cotton awnings can get mildew and rot if treated like this. As for the toilet, a small frame made from 20mm x 20mm wood can be screwed to the wooden floor. I seem to remember doing this on one of our ealy vans but actually it should not move very much in a confined space and it should always be empty when travelling.

2004 Citroen C5 2. 0ltr diesel auto VTR and 2011 Bailey Orion 430/4

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