Awnings...are they worth it?

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Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by newforester on Tue May 31, 2016 2:52 pm

Having just purchased a 1998 Peugeot Boxer harmony Auto Sleeper, I'm getting it fixed up for doing some trips. It doesn't have a fitted awning although it seems that it might have had one at one stage as the holes are there (filled) .  I haven't contacted anyone about fitting an awning yet but I would be interested if anyone else had gone through the expenence and whether they found it a good investment. If anyone knows of anywhere in Hampshire or Dorset that might install an awning, I would be interested to at least get a price from them.  Thank you.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by rogerblack on Tue May 31, 2016 3:15 pm

We certainly find a pull-out awning useful for several reasons:

my wife likes full sun, I can only take so much before needing to seek shade, so on open sunny pitches (more so in France than here!) it gets used every day;

when sitting out in the evening, as dusk comes and the temperature drops, it can get quite dewy and sitting under the awning protects you (and any chairs, loungers etc) from the descending damp;

I like to cook outdoors whenever possible, using the gas BBQ and/or electric inductance hob, since this prevents the inside from overheating in warm weather or steaming up in cooler seasons/climes, also this avoids cooking odours from fried foods, curries etc. inside the motorhome. The awning means that I can still cook alfresco even when it's raining.

So we would not want to be without a pull-out awning.

Sorry I can't help with price or recommendations for fitting as this was done by the dealer (Marquis at Chieveley) as part of the purchase deal, along with the bike rack, back box etc.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by nuevoboy on Tue May 31, 2016 3:21 pm

Conversely, we've decided our next 'van won't have an awning.
Ours came pre-fitted and we've used it on two occasions (out of 400 plus nights away).
On both occasions it poured down with rain and blew a hooley, despite the weather forecast being fine.  shrugg

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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by burlingtonboaby on Tue May 31, 2016 3:35 pm

Depends on your own personnel preference, we shade the side of the van the sun comes in, it also provides extra space when folded out with a Windblocker shade attached. 
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by boxerman on Tue May 31, 2016 3:46 pm

And to balance things up again, like Neuvoboy, our van came with it fitted and we hardly ever used it.
It depends on whether you want to settle in for a few days in one spot or be on the move most of the time.

It's a personal thing.

Frank
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by Bad Penny on Tue May 31, 2016 4:04 pm

I think a sun awning is great, but does have it's drawbacks. Wind is it's biggest enemy and having lost two over the years through wind, I now make sure it is anchored down with straps every time, or if the wind is severe, roll it back in.

When abroad in the sun is when it comes into it's own, even when touring it takes very little time to set up.

 Rose Awnings based in Poole supply and fit and do a good job. Check around your area for others.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by fenderbender on Tue May 31, 2016 5:01 pm

Used mine many times in the pouring rain for barbecues, as Bad Penny says make sure it's pegged down and roll it away if it gets windy.
Personaly if it was my van and had the holes there for an awning I would have to get one, they are not cheap but I think they are a good selling point if you ever come to sell the van.

Dave
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by daisy mae on Tue May 31, 2016 8:57 pm

When I bought my van I asked Spinney to fit an awning as it had never had one on, worst money I have spent in my view, had it out once at the Weeting Steam Show last year, lovely when it was out, had storm straps and tie downs on it, had to have help with it, defeats the object to me when they say take it in when it rains, as I travel on my own and I cannot pull it out or get it back in on my own, wish I had just a C rail on and used a separate canopy, which I had on my Topaz.

When at Willersey saw a Sherbourne in for repairs after an awning went over the roof.

Thought of selling it but as it has the brackets it would now spoil the van, so stuck with it, this is just me, not suitable for me and as I tour about not worth it, depends how you use your van and if you can cope with it, I can`t.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by newforester on Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:55 am

Thanks, guys.  All good input.  Hmm...I'll enquire about costs (thanks for the Poole tip)  and have a think.   smile!
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by Bmwdumptruck on Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:34 pm

Having just aquired our Clubman, that hasn't got one, we're looking now at getting one too.  So I'll look into the Poole option. 
We picked up a Fiamma canopy for our caravan about two years ago, and have used it every time we've used the van since.  It's so easy to set up and provides just the extra cover that's needed at most times. I always add storm straps anyway, but have retracted it when it's got too windy.   We really wanted one on a MH, but our clubman was too good to refuse just because it was missing one.  A towbar was as important and has been a bigger saving already being there.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by RML on Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:04 am

They're not just for sun.  It's nice to have a dry patch outside the van but always lash it down securely, even a light breeze will pick it up and wrap it over the roof.
Rich..
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by Greyhound on Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:33 am

newforester wrote:Thanks, guys.  All good input.  Hmm...I'll enquire about costs (thanks for the Poole tip)  and have a think.   smile!

For a bit of guidance on price I had one fitted last weekend - we had the Fiamma F45 S 260 and fitted it came in at around the mid £650 mark (£400ish for the awning and about £250ish for fitting).

If the holes are already there and you're a bit handy they are fairly basic things to fit, you just need a couple of people to hold it up when fixing and plenty of Sikaflex to seal everything.

Personally I really like having them. It's probably more psychological, but I feel like it extends the vans footprint when setup and gives an area to naturally sit under in the sunshine or shelter in the rain. Without the awning I feel a bit odd sitting next to the van as if I'm "detached" from it, and when in a group I've noticed everyone seems to socialise under someones awning.

It's definitely a personal thing, and if not sure you can get a sun canopy for under £100 which just feeds into a C-rail and is effectively the same thing once set up, but just not as convenient as winding one out.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by meanchris on Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:18 am

We've just been travelling with some caravan pals who were impressed with our wind out awning, and replaced their original tent style caravan awning with a bagged roll-out awning after seeing our Fiamma F45.

His new roll-out is very impressive - easy to deploy - lightweight - stylish - and around £275.

If we didn't already have the Fiamma I might be tempted to go down this route.

Our two Execs have had the typical monocoque awning problems, the door is too high in the shell and the aft end of the awning has to be set far too high so that the door clears the aft rafter, which means that the forward end has to be set low to avoid water pooling in the canopy and folding the rafters in with its weight.
I'm considering 'investing' in a "Rafter Pro" to solve these problems.  confused3

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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by newforester on Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:24 am

meanchris wrote:We've just been travelling with some caravan pals who were impressed with our wind out awning, and replaced their original tent style caravan awning with a bagged roll-out awning after seeing our Fiamma F45.

His new roll-out is very impressive - easy to deploy - lightweight - stylish - and around £275.

If we didn't already have the Fiamma I might be tempted to go down this route.

Our two Execs have had the typical monocoque awning problems, the door is too high in the shell and the aft end of the awning has to be set far too high so that the door clears the aft rafter, which means that the forward end has to be set low to avoid water pooling in the canopy and folding the rafters in with its weight.
I'm considering 'investing' in a "Rafter Pro" to solve these problems.  confused3

Thanks for the info.  £275 is within my budget.....was that the "Rafter Pro" you were talking about?  or did I misunderstand your post?
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by newforester on Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:26 am

Noggin wrote:
newforester wrote:Thanks, guys.  All good input.  Hmm...I'll enquire about costs (thanks for the Poole tip)  and have a think.   smile!

For a bit of guidance on price I had one fitted last weekend - we had the Fiamma F45 S 260 and fitted it came in at around the mid £650 mark (£400ish for the awning and about £250ish for fitting).

If the holes are already there and you're a bit handy they are fairly basic things to fit, you just need a couple of people to hold it up when fixing and plenty of Sikaflex to seal everything.

Personally I really like having them.  It's probably more psychological, but I feel like it extends the vans footprint when setup and gives an area to naturally sit under in the sunshine or shelter in the rain.  Without the awning I feel a bit odd sitting next to the van as if I'm "detached" from it, and when in a group I've noticed everyone seems to socialise under someones awning.

It's definitely a personal thing, and if not sure you can get a sun canopy for under £100 which just feeds into a C-rail and is effectively the same thing once set up, but just not as convenient as winding one out.

I hear what you are saying, Noggin and tend to think pretty much the same way. However, cost is an impediment. I will research further Meanchris's suggestion above. :)
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by steamdrivenandy on Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:29 am

We had a 'bagged' Fiamma awning on one of our Eriba caravans. 

We found a number of issues:

1. When opening the bag zipper we got drenched as it somehow filled with water. We only got drenched once and quickly learned to stand at arms length so it emptied, but not on us.
2. Where the bag rested on the bodywork it rubbed the paintwork.
3. As with all awnings with 'legs' they can be whipped away or bent by dogs on tie-outs. The ones where the legs fit back to the lower van body look as if they get over the dog problem but seem v rare in the UK.
4. We had the optional Fiamma sides and front to make an enclosed awning but the smell from the plastic fabric they make them in made it unusable, especially in hot sunlight.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by meanchris on Thu Jun 23, 2016 11:47 am

newforester wrote:Thanks for the info.  £275 is within my budget.....was that the "Rafter Pro" you were talking about?  or did I misunderstand your post?

A little misunderstanding - the "Rafter Pro" is the missing bit of the Fiamma F45 that should be supplied as standard in the first place IMHO.

It's an extending curved pole that fits in the centre of the F45 (and others) to raise/tension the canopy fabric and stop water from collecting in the middle.

Ironically, Whistle1 , it carries a warning not to use it in strong sunlight, as it can then over tension the canopy.

A snip at £55 ish, to make your awning work as it should in the first place? confused3 Whistle1

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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by steamdrivenandy on Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:42 pm

Am I right in thinking that it is supplied as standard over a certain size of awning but those sizes are much larger than you'd use on an A/S, more like an RV or twin axle caravan awning.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by meanchris on Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:44 pm

steamdrivenandy wrote:Am I right in thinking that it is supplied as standard over a certain size of awning but those sizes are much larger than you'd use on an A/S, more like an RV or twin axle caravan awning.

You could be right, I haven't researched that far, except that Johns Cross' description is telling, in that it describes the Rafter Pro as preventing water pooling and flapping noises due to poor canopy tension. shrugg

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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by newforester on Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:13 pm

Ok..I guess I misunderstood.  So you were talking about a "bagged" version of the Flamma F45?  I'm guessing that ebay isn't the best place to look for one...:)
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by steamdrivenandy on Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:17 pm

meanchris wrote:
steamdrivenandy wrote:Am I right in thinking that it is supplied as standard over a certain size of awning but those sizes are much larger than you'd use on an A/S, more like an RV or twin axle caravan awning.

You could be right, I haven't researched that far, except that Johns Cross' description is telling, in that it describes the Rafter Pro as preventing water pooling and flapping noises due to poor canopy tension. shrugg

I'm sure they probably do, but in using two F45 wind-outs, an Omnistor pull-out and a Fiamma bag awning I've never left them out in any wind or rain.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by meanchris on Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:35 pm

newforester wrote:Ok..I guess I misunderstood.  So you were talking about a "bagged" version of the Flamma F45?  I'm guessing that ebay isn't the best place to look for one...:)

It's one of these, you obviously need to choose the correct length for your needs, and it requires a piece of awning rail to be mounted to. up!

Ooops! forgot the link:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fiamma-Caravanstore-Awning-Canopy-2-8m-Deluxe-Grey-Caravan-FREE-DELIVERY-/272014027136?hash=item3f554ca980ⓂmcJvtXr3X2TbK21id5hPm2w

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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by Bmwdumptruck on Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:03 pm

The Caravanstore one is what we've got on our caravan, but I'm thinking that one would sit way to high on the clubman, I have to use the caravan step to unroll it as it is, I doubt that would be enough to reach it on the clubman?? I would have thought a windout one would be essential.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by steamdrivenandy on Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:08 pm

Bmwdumptruck wrote:The Caravanstore one is what we've got on our caravan, but I'm thinking that one would sit way to high on the clubman, I have to use the caravan step to unroll it as it is, I doubt that would be enough to reach it on the clubman?? I would have thought a windout one would be essential.

That's a good point Beemer, our pull-out and Caravanstore awnings were on the awning rails of Eriba Tourings with their poptop roofs. That meant the awning rail was at about 2m off the ground so you didn't have to reach up too far. On a motorhome they'll be about 8ft off the ground which will make them that much harder to manage.
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Re: Awnings...are they worth it?

Post by meanchris on Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:18 pm

Yes, good point. In fact our friend's wife requires an 'enabling device' (a folding step) to reach their roll-out, even on a caravan.

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