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Will We Ever Find Our Perfect Porch!


Dab1209
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Ok so thinking ahead to our first trip of the year in a few weeks I'm wanting to get (another) awning in the hope we will love it and not regret as we have with the others.

Now this is only our third year of caravaning but have purchased a few porches that never seem right so we sell or stick in shed so never really get the hang of putting em up to perfection as it's nearly always a new one, cue loads of stress, bickering etc not to mention embarrassment!

My husband seems to be the only man that over tensions the guy ropes making awning a horrible shape and insists its fine grrr.

So we are looking a largish porch, no guy ropes, I want proper curtains and must be easy/quick to erect as will mainly be used for short breaks.

 

Ideas???

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We have a smallish Dorema porch.

 

Quite quick to put up single handedly except for feeding it into the awning rail (which takes two for ease with the alu-tech awing rail).

 

It has easy fit curtains for 3 sides, and zip out panels.

 

No guy ropes but we do attach the Dorema supplied storm straps if the weather is less than perfect. .

 

Can't remember what it is called but they do a 'Magnum' sized version at significantly lower cost than a Magnum.

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Quest Elite Kensington - curtains, no guy ropes and fairly simple to erect and tis a good size.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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We like our Isabella Magnum, easy to put up single handed and well framed with thick enough fabric to look "crisp". It can be used guyless in all but the worst winds.

 

They and their cheaper version the Ventura Marlin are expensive new but well worth looking at second hand, they age with very good grace ours is a 2002 and still looks good.

 

If at all possible seek a friend with one and borrow it to see if it is for you as its value would make it an expensive mistake.

 

A bit of care is needed to check how it fits with respect to your windows, that's a common issue with all porches.

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Thanks for suggestions, will have a look at them all. What about seal to caravan do they have poles like in the kampa etc?

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The Magnum/Marlin have substantial poles with padded "seals" to abut the van sides.

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Kampa air no good? They bought out a couple of new models for this year, we opted for the 390 which is fairly roomy, neither of us are in the best of health although only in our 40s so needed something easy, once slung in the rail you can pump it with electric pump and use a cordless drill to peg it down with screwfix bolts

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We've got a Panama Weekender by Towsure which is light and easy enough that I put it up on my own this time. The fit is a tad weird on our Bailey Orion in that it has to block at least one window but the back poles have enough give that they don't seem to mind. It does have four guy ropes though so might not suit you? And it makes a hell of a racket in high winds if all the pegs aren't properly bashed in (oops!).

 

There's a photo of ours here: http://stephjb. blogspot. pt/2013/08/back-to-golden-cross-to-try-out-porch. html

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We have a used once kampa 390 but as we changed van it's coming down window and hasn't got a snug fit so a 390 too big.

We also have a Denver 260 very like the Panama which is ok but bit too small and draughty.

I much prefer the traditional awning look hence wanting curtains infact if our van was not as big probably just would have went for a full awning.

 

Really like the isabella magnum (are they really so much easier)and have came across the inaca mercury?

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Really like the isabella magnum (are they really so much easier)and have came across the inaca mercury?

 

Easier than what?

As they are not made of ultra light weight fabric the weight on the rail whilst threading the bead through is more difficult than would be the case with the light weights. However by removing the front and side panels the weight can be reduced and the bead length is relative to a full awning short so I dont struggle. I have this philosophy not to struggle and de-hassle all I can with caravans as well as other things. I do believe in spraying the rail once or twice a season with a silicon based polish.

But if it was not for the use of heavier fabric, then the whole crisp taut look I believe you are seeking would not be there.

 

With the fabric draped from the rail and correctly positioned along the vans length, pole end blocks snapped in place, we come to the real secret of "easy" awning erection. That is simply as the first move to place the centre ridge and its front vertical in place. Everything now is self supporting and the gable rafters can be added one at a time, followed by the corner verticals and roof side poles. Leaving everything at that stage slack the canopy spurs and rafters are added and the all the poles extended using the easy single action Isabella clamps integrated on the telescopic poles. Then it is add the "against van" side poles and I pin these with a nail type peg taut to the van side, the pole foot having holes to achieve this.

Then zip in front followed by sides and peg sides at van end. The front poles then can be eased to there natural position where the appropriate side is taut and the front correct; might need a revisit to the first set front corner but so much easier to do than to type out. Then of course, simply peg down, choosing peg to suit the terrain, the wire nails for hard the plastic for soft; no sense in struggling with the wrong type.

I don't find this at all difficult to do all by myself in anything but windy conditions, where then my wife holds the center vertical till I get temporary pegs on the two front corners. The lady of the house can after making my cuppa then put in place the "drapes", things look so much more right with curtains.

Taking down is the reverse and the secret again is the central ride supported by its front vertical being the last poles to come out so up to that time it is all self supporting and stable.

 

Awning erection and taking down is all about technique. Isabella recommend the fabric goes up and down in a single piece, that I have to differ with them on because as described above it increases the weight and therefore frictional drag on the awning rail.

Edited by JTQ
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Thank you so much JTQ, yes a crisp taut finish is what I'm after and of course ease to erect.

My main worry is poles that's where we get anxious (took us 3 hours to put up a kampa!!) Having watched the YouTube video it does seem easy enough and can relate to your explanation.

 

As for the Ventura marlin is there many differences to the magnum?

Northern Ireland has only two retailers no stockists so can't see one in the flesh

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None of the more traditional porch awnings will be as easy to or as quick to erect as say the Kampa Rally so I think you will have a compromise there.

 

What about Kampa Rally Pro 330 - may be right size, thicker heavier material which gives a crisper look but I guess no real curtains

 

OK just seen your other post - I honestly doubt you will find anything easier to put up than a Kampa Rally which i assume is what took you 3 hours :o

Edited by sunshinetours

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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Magnum or Marlin all the way for us. as already said they still look great after years of use, not many other makes still looking good or even being used over 10 years old!

The material and window design is slightly different on the marlin compared to the magnum.

Although expensive to some, it would be better to spend £500 on a 2nd hand Isabella or Venturer than a new one of another make in my opinion. The magnum and marlin retain a good after sale market because they last and still look good.

I have had both and they are equally very good porches.

My magnum hasn't been used for over a year and don't know when it would be used again but I know if needed it will come out of the bag and look great!

Shazjag, Hubby, 2 Kids, Swift Challenger 590SE 2014,

Mercedes Ml 280cdi SE Bristol

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Yip three hours to put up the kampa rally sunshinetours! Ok was our first attempt and half of that time was repegging and fixing to get the shape right but still far too long :blush:

 

Shazjag- as you have used both could you tell me if the seal to caravan is as good on the marlin? Have found a new marlin for £300 cheaper than the magnum and just trying to see if the magnum is worth the extra £s

 

Alexbee- good point about the door,mines at the front also so will have to get a measure of our van to ensure it will fit. If ours looked like that once up id be very happy.

 

I

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If its any help, its 3. 4 m long and 2. 3m deep

3. 4m at floor level, but tapers to 3. 13m between poles at roof height (according to Isabella website),

 

Shazjag- as you have used both could you tell me if the seal to caravan is as good on the marlin? Have found a new marlin for £300 cheaper than the magnum and just trying to see if the magnum is worth the extra £s

 

I

The basic fit of both awnings is exactly the same. They are both both made by the Isabella group. We have the Magnum but would have been just as happy with the Marlin, except we weren't keen on the colour being offered at the time we bought ours. Although it's easy to put up (about 30 mins), it's not a lightweight like the nylon material ones - so be sure of what you want before you make this major purchase. To answer your posted question - no I don't think there's one particular awning that suits better than others. It's all a matter of personal taste - and budget! Good luck in your quest.

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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Many thanks Glen and Les, Now I know that the fit of both is the same I'm thinking of the marlin as could maybe get the annexe with the savings which would be very handy for longer trips.

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Hi we have a Dorema Safari XL, love it, easy to erect, looks good even with the annex, but if poles are your problem you're probably best getting yourself a Kampa Air, they don't have poles at all, up in minutes. Just make sure you get the correct size, fitting over a window can cause problems and it doesn't look good.

Phil

Edited by Phil O
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The Ventura Cadet is virtually identical to the Marlin - it's made by Isabella. We got one last year and we are very pleased with it. Have a shufti at the Isabella website or even YouTube and there are videos on how to put up a Magnum (which is a larger version of the Marlin/Cadet) - one thing though, the Magnum has a centre pole at the front whereas the Marlin/Cadet doesn't. I've bought a spare pole for use as a centre pole to aid erection and it makes it a doddle. It's got padded rear poles which fit snugly to the van sides and the quick-release fibreglass poles (carbon fibre on the Isabella) are a piece of cake to assemble

 

heres a piccy of it on our Unicorn

post-11298-0-80701900-1389911374_thumb.jpg

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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The Ventura Cadet is virtually identical to the Marlin - it's made by Isabella. We got one last year and we are very pleased with it. Have a shufti at the Isabella website or even YouTube and there are videos on how to put up a Magnum (which is a larger version of the Marlin/Cadet) - one thing though, the Magnum has a centre pole at the front whereas the Marlin/Cadet doesn't. I've bought a spare pole for use as a centre pole to aid erection and it makes it a doddle. It's got padded rear poles which fit snugly to the van sides and the quick-release fibreglass poles (carbon fibre on the Isabella) are a piece of cake to assemble

 

heres a piccy of it on our Unicorn

The Cadet is the Ventura version of the Isabella Minor, not the Magnum. The Marlin is the equivalent of the Magnum and does have the centre pole. I'm not sure if it had the veranda pole though. Edited by Glen and Les

2019 Ford Kuga 2. 0 (150 bhp) AWD Manual and 2022 Coachman Acadia GTS 565.

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With the Cadet and Minor that don't have a centre pole the trick I would think is to use initially one of the van side poles to do the job. Clearly temporarily till the structure is up and the pole is needed. Then on taking down, where one of these poles comes out first put it on a centre vertical to make the rest of the job less hassle.

That was the technique I used for the years I had a Combi which like these awnings has no centre vertical, it saves a lot of hassle, needing arms with the spread of an orangutan and facilitates single handed use.

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Searching around google this years 2014 Ventura Marlin model is in and around the £700 mark,I can also get the 2012 one for £600 hmmm

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The 2012/2013/2014 Marlin is the same thing, I cant remember there being any changes whatsoever and I work on behalf of Ventura at Various shows, there is also a green model which is not shown in any catalogue which retails at £599 inc vat and is made of acrylic rather than the coated polyester, overall a better material but in green which is not as popular as blue .

Steve

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Yip three hours to put up the kampa rally sunshinetours! Ok was our first attempt and half of that time was repegging and fixing to get the shape right but still far too long :blush:

 

Shazjag- as you have used both could you tell me if the seal to caravan is as good on the marlin? Have found a new marlin for £300 cheaper than the magnum and just trying to see if the magnum is worth the extra £s

 

Alexbee- good point about the door,mines at the front also so will have to get a measure of our van to ensure it will fit. If ours looked like that once up id be very happy.

 

I

The seal, poles and padding are the same in the magnum and marlin. only difference is that the actual clamp tightner will be different on the pole end.

Shazjag, Hubby, 2 Kids, Swift Challenger 590SE 2014,

Mercedes Ml 280cdi SE Bristol

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