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Porch Awning / Canopy

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Post by gpilky on Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:04 am

Hi all,

I'm looking for a porch awning or canopy for around the door to have a place to change muddy walking boots and wipe down the dogs on wet days. 

Originally I was planning to make a "cosy corner' using the Thule Smart Panel system but after reading all the scare stories about wind and Thule / Fiamma roll out awnings / canopies i'm not sure this is the best option. As an alternative I've been looking for something else. For example, Sunncamp do a variety of canopies, but these are for caravans and only suitable for rail heights of 2.5m (mine is 2.7m) and I've no way of putting a separate rail at that height at it will go over the habitation door.

I have found something that is made for a motorhome but the only width is 2.6m which will then go over the lounge window meaning I won't be able to use it. I could do with something that is 2.4m or less wide, and for a rail height of 2.7m.

Has anyone got or seen something that might do as my searches so far haven't found anything.

Cheers

Gary
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Post by Paulmold on Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:42 am

Can you confirm that you want something with side walls and not just a roof, something like an open-front porch awning?

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Post by gpilky on Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:04 am

Paulmold wrote:Can you confirm that you want something with side walls and not just a roof, something like an open-front porch awning?
Hi Paul,

That's correct - something like this >> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] or this >> http://www.sunncamp.co.uk/products/show/1748

Gary
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Post by Gromit on Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:15 pm

gpilky wrote:Hi Paul,
That's correct - something like this >> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Gary
If it's any help Gary, friends of ours who also have a Broadway, just got exactly that model of awning and are delighted with it.

Big enough to swing the proverbial moggy, but goes into quite a small bag and is easy to erect.

Dave
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Post by gpilky on Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:28 pm

Gromit wrote:
gpilky wrote:Hi Paul,
That's correct - something like this >> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Gary
If it's any help Gary, friends of ours who also have a Broadway, just got exactly that model of awning and are delighted with it.

Big enough to swing the proverbial moggy, but goes into quite a small bag and is easy to erect.

Dave
Thanks for the info Dave,

Its size, light weight and simplicity were what caught my eye.

Problem is, is states its height is 235-250cm, and the height to my Omnistor is 270cm above the habitation door so I'm worried it won't fit. I can't see how to add a rail either as that would either goes through the awning light or the habitation door at the height range frustrating

They do a 260cm wide one for motorhomes (up to 265cm which I'd take a chance with) but this would go over the lounge window and the locker door. 240cm wide would be ideal but I can't find one.....

Gary
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Post by Gromit on Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:35 pm

I'll ask my friends for the exact model number of theirs.

Dave
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Post by Gromit on Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:28 pm

Info has arrived.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Thanks go to Alison. She looks in occasionally.

Dave
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Post by gpilky on Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:08 am

Gromit wrote:Info has arrived.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Thanks go to Alison. She looks in occasionally.

Dave
Thanks Dave (and Alison!),

This the one I was looking at, but unfortunately the awning will cover the lounge window and the front locker on my model (making access awkward / difficult?). We tend to have the window open a lot so it would mean we can't do this if we fit this awning. It might be a compromise we have to make eventually if we can't find something with the perfect fit.....

Gary
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Post by Caraman on Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:24 pm

Have you ruled out the Thule Omnistor Quickfit Awning Tent?  I understand the rollout awning is less affected by the wind when the awning tent is fitted.  A neighbouring motorhome owner with the Omnistor reported to me that an additional rafter helps with the wind by tensioning the rollout awning.
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Post by Bad Penny on Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:27 pm

Perhaps you could look at a free standing storage tent.
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Post by gpilky on Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:55 am

Caraman wrote:Have you ruled out the Thule Omnistor Quickfit Awning Tent?  I understand the rollout awning is less affected by the wind when the awning tent is fitted.  A neighbouring motorhome owner with the Omnistor reported to me that an additional rafter helps with the wind by tensioning the rollout awning.
Hi......

I have 2 rafters on order anyway for extra stability when the roll-out awning is used - and storm straps - but still hear tales of serious wind damage and Thule doesn't suggest that the rafters make this any less likely. I have looked at the Quickfit tent too, and the Thule info on this actually states its good up to 6 on the Beaufort Scale. I suspect that the roll-out awning is susceptible to wind damage because of its large surface area - effectively making it a sail - so the forces on it from the wind can be immense. The tent prevents the wind getting clear access to the canopy and diffuses the force I expect, and the extra tie-downs help too.

Unfortunately the smallest Quick-fit tent is also 2.6m wide so suffers the same problems as above in terms of covering the window and the locker. It is pretty expensive too. I could go bigger but we don't need a huge awning - just something small (like a porch) to cover the door area and perhaps sit in on wet / windy days. 2-2.4m is ideal, but just doesn't seem to exist for a motorhome.......

Gary
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Post by gpilky on Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:56 am

Bad Penny wrote:Perhaps you could look at a free standing storage tent.
Thanks for getting back to me. I haven't considered a storage tent - I don't really need the storage but a porch that covers the door. I've assumed that a free-standing tent won't do this but could be wrong. I'll take a look - thanks for the suggestion.

G
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Post by Caraman on Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:07 am

gpilky wrote:
Caraman wrote:Have you ruled out the Thule Omnistor Quickfit Awning Tent?  I understand the rollout awning is less affected by the wind when the awning tent is fitted.  A neighbouring motorhome owner with the Omnistor reported to me that an additional rafter helps with the wind by tensioning the rollout awning.
Hi......

I have 2 rafters on order anyway for extra stability when the roll-out awning is used - and storm straps - but still hear tales of serious wind damage and Thule doesn't suggest that the rafters make this any less likely. I have looked at the Quickfit tent too, and the Thule info on this actually states its good up to 6 on the Beaufort Scale. I suspect that the roll-out awning is susceptible to wind damage because of its large surface area - effectively making it a sail - so the forces on it from the wind can be immense. The tent prevents the wind getting clear access to the canopy and diffuses the force I expect, and the extra tie-downs help too.

Unfortunately the smallest Quick-fit tent is also 2.6m wide so suffers the same problems as above in terms of covering the window and the locker. It is pretty expensive too. I could go bigger but we don't need a huge awning - just something small (like a porch) to cover the door area and perhaps sit in on wet / windy days. 2-2.4m is ideal, but just doesn't seem to exist for a motorhome.......

Gary
Yes - the wind is a problem.  I will be interested to know how you get on with the rafters.  I use metal plates around the base of the poles and 4 guys but when the wind gusts it still flaps and creaks.  I have noticed on the site we are on, which is very exposed, that quite a few motorhomes use wind breaks.  The ones with rigid struts rather than guys (Kampa make them) are very popular.  It doesn't help with the rain but it creates a sheltered sitting area.
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Post by gpilky on Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:27 am

Caraman,

I was originally looking at the Thule Smart Panels >>> [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] <<< as you can use a side and a front panel to make a 'cosy corner' that blocks wind and rain. These are easy to fit and take no time at all which is a big tick for me. Unfortunately, not sure if they help with the wind issue and I don't want to fit something then be taking it down all the time.

There are other options such as the system from Lillypad >>> http://windblockers.net <<< that I've looked at too - same issue though.

Frankly, I'm wondering why I have the roll-out awning at all. Its 30kg off my payload, and as about as much uses as a chocolate teapot in the windy UK.......

G
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Post by Dbvwt on Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:12 am

Gary, I realise that this isn’t exactly what you are after but it works brilliantly for us as a simple shelter.
I have also had it up in pretty strong winds that I wouldn’t have considered with the wind out canopy.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Post by Caraman on Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:16 am

gpilky wrote:
Frankly, I'm wondering why I have the roll-out awning at all. Its 30kg off my payload, and as about as much uses as a chocolate teapot in the windy UK.......

G
The same has crossed my mind as the opportunities to use it are few and even when its up it doesn't provide much shade (mine is smaller than yours).  We've recently bought some flexishades https://flexishades.co.uk/ to improve the shade.  We quite like them and it creates a bit of a room effect but it doesn't help much if its windy.
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Post by gpilky on Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:54 am

Dbvwt wrote:Gary, I realise that this isn’t exactly what you are after but it works brilliantly for us as a simple shelter.
I have also had it up in pretty strong winds that I wouldn’t have considered with the wind out canopy.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Thanks for this.

I had seen a similar one on the Sunncamp website that said it would fit all heights but would just mean a bit less depth. Is this the same? Do you think it would attach to an awning rail at 2.7m high? Might be worth thinking about - especially if I could get a panel to close off one side to protect from wind / rain.

G
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Post by gpilky on Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:59 am

Caraman wrote:
gpilky wrote:
Frankly, I'm wondering why I have the roll-out awning at all. Its 30kg off my payload, and as about as much uses as a chocolate teapot in the windy UK.......

G
The same has crossed my mind as the opportunities to use it are few and even when its up it doesn't provide much shade (mine is smaller than yours).  We've recently bought some flexishades https://flexishades.co.uk/ to improve the shade.  We quite like them and it creates a bit of a room effect but it doesn't help much if its windy.
I'd seen the Flexishades too - similar to the Lillypad in many ways, but Lillypad will do side panels too, and additional rain deflection option.

G
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Post by Gromit on Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:04 pm

This might be useful Gary. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Have a look at the extender kit at the bottom of the page if your van is a bit too high for the awning to fit perfectly.

It looks like a bit of a pain in the ar$e to fiddle with, but I guess once you had the hang of it there wouldn't be a problem. It's meant to be a drive-away kit, but if it does the job for you . . .  content

It might make the difference between getting the awning of your choice, or having to settle for second best.
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Post by Dbvwt on Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:12 pm

gpilky wrote:
Dbvwt wrote:Gary, I realise that this isn’t exactly what you are after but it works brilliantly for us as a simple shelter.
I have also had it up in pretty strong winds that I wouldn’t have considered with the wind out canopy.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Thanks for this.

I had seen a similar one on the Sunncamp website that said it would fit all heights but would just mean a bit less depth. Is this the same? Do you think it would attach to an awning rail at 2.7m high? Might be worth thinking about - especially if I could get a panel to close off one side to protect from wind / rain.

G

The Sunncamp one looks very similar but has the fold up sections whereas the Wigo doesn’t. To be honest I don’t think I would ever use them, mine is put up when we just want a simple shelter.
I also like the fact that the 3 poles on the Wigo slide completely inside the canopy, makes it feel very solid.

My Symbol rail is 2.5m so I think it would be fine at 2.7m, as you say just a bit less depth.
The guy at the caravancanopyshop is brilliant, he would know for sure and may also have other suggestions that might work for you.
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Post by gpilky on Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:52 pm

Gromit wrote:This might be useful Gary. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Have a look at the extender kit at the bottom of the page if your van is a bit too high for the awning to fit perfectly.

It looks like a bit of a pain in the ar$e to fiddle with, but I guess once you had the hang of it there wouldn't be a problem. It's meant to be a drive-away kit, but if it does the job for you . . .  content

It might make the difference between getting the awning of your choice, or having to settle for second best.
Hi Gromit,

I've seen this. Unfortunately most caravan awnings are 2.5m, and I need 2.7m so a strip like that would need to be 20cm wide. I think those are more like 20mm so not big enough. Thanks for the suggestion though.

It is frustrating - I've seen loads of porch awnings (about 2m wide) which would be just what I want if they were tall enough. The smallest they make "tall" for motorhomes is 2.6m, which is just not a good size for my Broadway.

The search goes on......

G
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Post by Dbvwt on Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:35 pm

I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult to get a 20cm strip made up.

My mum was in the sewing/upholstery trade back in her working days and even now would easily be able to sew a couple of beading strips into some suitable material.
I’ve had many bespoke cushions etc.. made up by local companies over the years and a strip would be a simple job.
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Post by Paramedic on Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:54 pm

gpilky wrote:I'd seen the Flexishades too - similar to the Lillypad in many ways, but Lillypad will do side panels too, and additional rain deflection option.

G
Hi gpilky, is the Lillypad design of interest to you?

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Post by Caraman on Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:45 am

Just received this advice from Thule:

  • If you leave your vehicle, secure or close ALWAYS your awning.

  • Use the optional “Hold Down Kit” or “Side Strap Kit” as much as possible.

  • If you cannot secure your support leg to the ground, use the brackets on the side of the vehicle (unfortunately not possible with a tent).

  • When it is raining, ALWAYS lower 1 side of the awning (by lowering 1 support leg) in such way that the water can run down the fabric.

  • The use of an optional “Tension Rafter” increases the wind resistance > 1 in the middle or even better 2 on the sides.

  • When you use the awning when there is too much wind, the fabric can tear apart or the awning can be blown up. This will damage your awning and/or vehicle. 

  • If you use a tent, you will have the advantage, that the wind is mainly or totally blocked by the tent under the awning. In this way your awning is more secured.

  • In case of a strong breeze, a storm or a thunderstorm ALWAYS CLOSE THE AWNING ! So, certainly onwards 6 Beaufort!

  • Most dangerous are the wind gusts. Even with e.g. 4 or 5 Beaufort, one can have locally much stronger wind gusts. So, one has to BE ALWAYS CAUTIOUS !

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Post by gpilky on Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:31 am

Caraman wrote:Just received this advice from Thule:

  • If you leave your vehicle, secure or close ALWAYS your awning.

  • Use the optional “Hold Down Kit” or “Side Strap Kit” as much as possible.

  • If you cannot secure your support leg to the ground, use the brackets on the side of the vehicle (unfortunately not possible with a tent).

  • When it is raining, ALWAYS lower 1 side of the awning (by lowering 1 support leg) in such way that the water can run down the fabric.

  • The use of an optional “Tension Rafter” increases the wind resistance > 1 in the middle or even better 2 on the sides.

  • When you use the awning when there is too much wind, the fabric can tear apart or the awning can be blown up. This will damage your awning and/or vehicle. 

  • If you use a tent, you will have the advantage, that the wind is mainly or totally blocked by the tent under the awning. In this way your awning is more secured.

  • In case of a strong breeze, a storm or a thunderstorm ALWAYS CLOSE THE AWNING ! So, certainly onwards 6 Beaufort!

  • Most dangerous are the wind gusts. Even with e.g. 4 or 5 Beaufort, one can have locally much stronger wind gusts. So, one has to BE ALWAYS CAUTIOUS !


This is pretty much where I had got to, but having actual wind speeds they can tolerate is really useful. Well done and thanks for your help  smile! I have the rafters and tie down on order already so I'll see how it feels when these are on and I'll report back....
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