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Reluctant Purchase Of Air Awning


Durbanite
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We have a Ventura Marlin porch awning which is as easy and quick to erect as any air awning, however there is an issue. In the past when we have not erected the awning, I have had no issues with my shoulders as I suffer badly from arthritis all over.

Generally after erecting the awning for the next two to three days I am in a lot of pain and have to triple my intake of steroids to manage. We now think that it may be the stretching above shoulder height that is causing the problem.

We are now thinking that an air awning may be a solution to our problem, but finding one where quality is equivalent to the Marlin is difficult as basically air awnings are still new and not really proven. Also if the air awnings are so wonderful why aren't any of the better known brands making them?

We are off to the NEC in October and with a bit of luck we may be able to buy a decent quality air awning if such a thing exists. :D

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Also if the air awnings are so wonderful why aren't any of the better known brands making them?

 

If Isabella etc can still sell new awnings for anything up to,say two grand, why would they want to lower their profitability?

 

Just come back from 2 long rallies where my standard Kampa Rally was in the minority, there were at least 40% of the porch awnings in Air form and all I spoke to had nothing but praise for their speed of assembly. beat mine by an hour!

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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If you do then buy an electric pump to save on bending to inflate. Anything to make it a little easier for you.

 

You just have the pegs to contend with then

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Hi Ian

Take a look at the Vango air beam range its what I settled on after looking at the others, comes complete with every thing needed including 2 wheel arch covers for twin axles, the Varkala I purchased has thicker material then the others and not as many guy ropes as some, and they state its been wind tunnel tested for high winds.

 

Steve

Steve

2017 Dethleffs Globus I1 Motorhome.

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Hi Ian

Take a look at the Vango air beam range its what I settled on after looking at the others, comes complete with every thing needed including 2 wheel arch covers for twin axles, the Varkala I purchased has thicker material then the others and not as many guy ropes as some, and they state its been wind tunnel tested for high winds.

 

Steve

Thanks Steve. We will have a look at the Vango range. We already have a RING compressor so that would help with inflation. We also use an electric drill to put in the pegs. Hopefully deflation is as simple.

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Deflation is really easy I just unscrew the valves on the 6 crossbeams and then just walk along unscrewing the four uprights as I go and just walk out the other end it then goes along with all supplied items back in the back it came in.

The pump it comes with is pretty good at inflating the cross beams take 3 to four pumps each, and each of the uprights about 8 to ten pumps to inflate.

Vango also do it on 6 months interest free credit.

Steve

2017 Dethleffs Globus I1 Motorhome.

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Sorry to hear about the problems with your shoulders. A friend of mine has an air awning, but still struggles to feed it through the channel because of the weight.

 

My neighbour however had a wind out awning fitted on her caravan, she only had to zip the sides on. Dont know how these compare, but just thinking of ease of use in erecting.

"Mavis" 1992 Elddis Force 2 towed by 2011 Vauxhall Meriva 1. 7 CDTi - Just me and my dog

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog; it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs, your heart is very big." Erica Jong

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We have a Ventura Marlin porch awning which is as easy and quick to erect as any air awning, however there is an issue. In the past when we have not erected the awning, I have had no issues with my shoulders as I suffer badly from arthritis all over.

Generally after erecting the awning for the next two to three days I am in a lot of pain and have to triple my intake of steroids to manage. We now think that it may be the stretching above shoulder height that is causing the problem.

We are now thinking that an air awning may be a solution to our problem, but finding one where quality is equivalent to the Marlin is difficult as basically air awnings are still new and not really proven. Also if the air awnings are so wonderful why aren't any of the better known brands making them?

We are off to the NEC in October and with a bit of luck we may be able to buy a decent quality air awning if such a thing exists. :D

I have a Kampa 390 Air, up most weeks ends all last season in total around 140 nights including gale force winds and snow, still looking virtually new no fade etc. highly recommend.

 

The only down side is the weight, if you have health problems forget it, I suggest you try one if you see one on a rally.

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Like PatP mentioned

 

Perhaps with your condition you might be better getting a Fiamma Caravanstore roll out canopy and then getting the zip in sides to make it into a awning. It has the advantage of been a canopy or a awning then. And you would only have to contend with sliding it into the awning channel. Im not sure but i think you can leave them rolled up in situ whilst towing?

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Like PatP mentioned

 

Perhaps with your condition you might be better getting a Fiamma Caravanstore roll out canopy and then getting the zip in sides to make it into a awning. It has the advantage of been a canopy or a awning then. And you would only have to contend with sliding it into the awning channel. Im not sure but i think you can leave them rolled up in situ whilst towing?

Don't you have to zip in the sides of a Fiamma Caravanstore, but will have a look anyway? The wife can probably feed it into the awning rail, but was erecting the other poles and stretching up to apply clamps that seem to be the issue. I can do a bit without too many ill effects. Just trying to minimise that bit. :D

Edited by DeltaTIowner
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We looked at the various air awnings at the nec last year and decided on kampa 390 pro for two reasons, they appeared to be the best quality in terms of material and stitching, and secondly they only have one inflation point.

 

I have ME and the wife has MS which leaves us somewhat lacking in the strength and stamina department, we do find it a fair effort to get the 390 in the awning rail but once that is done, we have the electric pump to pump it up - just keep the hand pump for emergencies it'll kill you otherwise, then peg down - I too use a drill - if you're not expecting any great breeze you can just do the four corners and four straps.

 

The single inflation point is a great selling point IMHO, the whole frame is one rigid structure, if for some reason you do develop a fault in a tube then each tube can be individually isolated. Ours has been up in strong winds and was very sturdy with no problems in reported 50+ gusts. We have suffered from quite a bit of uv fading - though it's been up for 5 months this year.

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We looked at the various air awnings at the nec last year and decided on kampa 390 pro for two reasons, they appeared to be the best quality in terms of material and stitching, and secondly they only have one inflation point.

 

I have ME and the wife has MS which leaves us somewhat lacking in the strength and stamina department, we do find it a fair effort to get the 390 in the awning rail but once that is done, we have the electric pump to pump it up - just keep the hand pump for emergencies it'll kill you otherwise, then peg down - I too use a drill - if you're not expecting any great breeze you can just do the four corners and four straps.

 

The single inflation point is a great selling point IMHO, the whole frame is one rigid structure, if for some reason you do develop a fault in a tube then each tube can be individually isolated. Ours has been up in strong winds and was very sturdy with no problems in reported 50+ gusts. We have suffered from quite a bit of uv fading - though it's been up for 5 months this year.

:goodpost: Agree with all above. Excellent sturdy awning but. ........................................................................................................

please check you can pull it through the awning channel.

 

We have struggled this year because our new van only has an entry point at the end - about 15 inches from the ground. My wife really struggled to feed it in because of the weight and I struggled to pull it through as it kept getting jammed. When in place erection is a doddle.

 

We are having a new entry point at around shoulder height which I trust will make the job very much easier.

Santa Fe 7 Seater Premium Manual towing Swift Eccles 480 plated to 1500 kg. 

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Like PatP mentioned

Perhaps with your condition you might be better getting a Fiamma Caravanstore roll out canopy and then getting the zip in sides to make it into a awning. It has the advantage of been a canopy or a awning then. And you would only have to contend with sliding it into the awning channel. Im not sure but i think you can leave them rolled up in situ whilst towing?

We too suffer from ill health a little and had a Fiamma Caravanstore and although we had it for 3 years and used it a lot we eventually found it too heavy to roll up into the bag. No good if you have shoulder problems.

We used to have a MH which had a wind our awning. That was brilliant but I haven't found one that will fit on a caravan.

Edited by Jslocks

Sadly no van anymore but 35 years was a good run

John

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We now think that it may be the stretching above shoulder height that is causing the problem.

 

Are you sure it's not pulling the van around, or do you have a mover?

Olympus II 620-6 & Mitsubishi Shogun

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  • 2 weeks later...

I find the Sunncamp Ultima 390 to be excellent, but it is well worth paying for two sets of the storm bars. Still involves some overhead stretching but not nearly as much as a conventional awning. Also worth looking at the Sunncamp Mira which only has one high pole to tension.

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I find the Sunncamp Ultima 390 to be excellent, but it is well worth paying for two sets of the storm bars.

 

Snap - have used ours in very strong / gale winds. No ill effect. I've also got 2 sets (4 bars) to use in mine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried one from a friend on another forum and it was excellent but very heavy and took a lot of pumping up by hand. It was a 3 section one so quite big . Much as I liked it I am sticking with my Isabella,at least it breaks down to reduce the weight

Bailey Indiana S. 6 and Hyundai i800 auto

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Like PatP mentioned

 

Perhaps with your condition you might be better getting a Fiamma Caravanstore roll out canopy and then getting the zip in sides to make it into a awning. It has the advantage of been a canopy or a awning then. And you would only have to contend with sliding it into the awning channel. Im not sure but i think you can leave them rolled up in situ whilst towing?

 

Rolling them out is quite easy, but rolling them back up can put quite a strain on the shoulders! I'm 6'1" and we had a 4. 1M Caravanstore Zip and I'm pretty fit but still found it hard going rolling it up!

Edited by kiaman
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Slight lateral thinking but as a surveyor with 45 years experience of pushing against plaster ceilings to check them I have a similar 'reaching up' problem.

 

I solved it by buying a taller stepladder so that I am now closer to the ceiling surface. I know space is limited in a caravan but could be worth a try.

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