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Awning blew up and is damaged

M

Mike Jenkins

VIP Member
Messages
13
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Similar thing happened to us two years a go. We had an overnight stay at a campsite in Oban prior to taking the ferry to Mull.

Sunny early evening, awning out, beers, new puppy curled up on front seat. I was feeling just a tiny bit smug and started to FaceTime my daughter Meg when a squall arrived out of nowhere. I could see the awning legs hovering 6” above the ground (that’s SO cool I thought) .…then all h*ll broke loose. The awning took off and wrapped around the van’s roof. I dropped the phone but not the connection - Meg said it was like watching Dorothy’s house lift off in The Wizard of Oz. “My parents have just been blown away!” she told her boyfriend.
In the background she could hear a man shouting at her Mum - in my defence there was a massive spider with metal legs dancing on the roof of my van.
The squall left as quick as it arrived. Puppy found shaking in passenger footwell. It was genuinely scary and several lessons were learnt:
  1. Calis are great, but don’t get smug.
  2. Never EVER shout at your partner.
  3. Secure your awning. Always.
 
Soton Campers

Soton Campers

Southampton Campers
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Trade Advertiser
Messages
377
Location
Southampton
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Me too, I won’t leave mine unattended and won’t even bother winding it out if there’s anything more than a gentle breeze.

Can I ask - does the Comfortz Awning Room reduce the risk? I guess it does because it’s pegged down all round and stops the worst of the wind getting in and under the awning canopy.
Take it from me, it doesn't!
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
19,136
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Question.
Would you put a pop up tent or drive away awning out without carefully pegging it down?
If the weather allows the roof up, then my awning is out, but it is properly pegged down with Rock Pegs that have to be inserted with a hefty mallet.
2 pegs for each leg and each at an angle. Then a Brandrup guy rope fixed in the awning channel around the rear of the leg and set at 45o to the leading edge and secured with 2 Rock Pegs, once again at an angle into the ground. One guy for each leg. Then the awning is tensioned against the pull of the guys.
At night or if raining you can do one of two things. Drop both legs and adjust guys so that the awning slopes away from the awning cassette or just one leg so the awning is angled towards the direction the wind/rain is coming from.
No flapping of awning or pooling of water and this is because the awning fabric is tensioned there is no way the awning can be properly tensioned without using suitable guys to provide a counter pull.
 
Beachbum140

Beachbum140

Messages
34
Location
Cape Town
Vehicle
T5 Beach
What is the point of having an awning if up have to pull it in every time there is a breeze? We learned the hard way with our awning being blown over thebroof of the van. Now whe we stop i put two guide ropes on each leg, and two diametrically opposite pegs in the feet. For good measure I hang two sandbags over each leg to weigh it down. Sorted!
 
Chilly Cali

Chilly Cali

VIP Member
Messages
38
Location
Under the big skies of East Anglia
Hard lines, finding out what the wind is capable of on such a new van.
We had similar incident early in our lives with ‘Connie’, but caught it just in time. I looked at the tie down kits, but actually just use some good old heavy duty para cord and a couple of massive pegs. You don’t need to tension it down at all, it’s just to stop the awning lifting - the wind will provide all the tension! When it’s not blowing, the cord just needs to be taught enough to stop any fretting at the pegs.

I had seen the ‘one short leg’ trick on plenty of awnings for years before I ever owned the van, always perplexed me until I woke up one night to the sound of half a tonne of water tearing through a neighbouring camper’s awning. I employ this trick every time, but I still bang my head at least twice a day…
 
Hardi8901

Hardi8901

VIP Member
Messages
56
Location
Warrington
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Just thought I would share a photo of the Thule tie down straps in place, highly recommend this easy to use kit. This photo was taken at Hawes CAMC site last week and with the sudden downpours and occasional gusts kept the awning safe. We bought the kit following a very costly mistake on our first trip in Dec 2019 when high winds during the night totally wrecked the awning support arms which resulted in a new awning being fitted at our cost. We have used the Thule kit in high winds (40 mph), which were not expected and had no damage. But totally agree with all the comments about not putting the awning out if high winds are forecast even with the tie down kit.

6A427B6F-CCC9-402A-81BB-0A1B1BFB317A.jpeg
 
J

Jenny H

VIP Member
Messages
500
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
Just thought I would share a photo of the Thule tie down straps in place, highly recommend this easy to use kit. This photo was taken at Hawes CAMC site last week and with the sudden downpours and occasional gusts kept the awning safe. We bought the kit following a very costly mistake on our first trip in Dec 2019 when high winds during the night totally wrecked the awning support arms which resulted in a new awning being fitted at our cost. We have used the Thule kit in high winds (40 mph), which were not expected and had no damage. But totally agree with all the comments about not putting the awning out if high winds are forecast even with the tie down kit.

View attachment 78555
Can I ask how the top attaches to the top part of the leg?
The awning worries me somewhat so havent used it - appears quite flimsy & easily damaged - need to get a tie down kit so just wondering the difference between the Thule & the Brandrup?
 
Hardi8901

Hardi8901

VIP Member
Messages
56
Location
Warrington
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Hi, I can only comment on the Thule awning tie down kit as I haven’t used the Brandrup one.
All the instructions come with it in the box and the Thule one is designed specifically for the Thule Omnistor Awning that is fitted to the California.
I have attached a photo of how the strap attaches to the top of the awning legs (both of them). It is very simple and quick to use.
As I have said this kit has been great and we have secured the awning with it is very windy and stormy conditions without any issues.

A0850358-3515-46E8-9F5A-8C66FBD2234C.jpeg
 
J

Jenny H

VIP Member
Messages
500
Location
Essex
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
Hi, I can only comment on the Thule awning tie down kit as I haven’t used the Brandrup one.
All the instructions come with it in the box and the Thule one is designed specifically for the Thule Omnistor Awning that is fitted to the California.
I have attached a photo of how the strap attaches to the top of the awning legs (both of them). It is very simple and quick to use.
As I have said this kit has been great and we have secured the awning with it is very windy and stormy conditions without any issues.

View attachment 81828
Thank you for sharing.
 
Ozzy Pete

Ozzy Pete

Messages
232
Location
Carmarthen
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
This is the same for Awnings. Roof lowering. Closing of glass tops. Opening and closing of sliding cupboard doors. Turning of front seats. All should be done methodically and Slowly. Because you can guarantee if you don’t something is going to fail. The biggest problem is complacency and oh that’s never going to happen to me..
Believe me if you do everything at warp speed it will happen to you.
 
M

Mike Jenkins

VIP Member
Messages
13
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
The Thule tie-down strap has a shaped piece of metal at the top end that slots into the top of the awning leg (where there is a pivot joint for altering leg angle etc). It forms a very secure attachment that is easy to ‘undo’ quickly.
I have no experience of Brandrup ties. Great piece of kit
 
MeltedGoldfish

MeltedGoldfish

Messages
87
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
I believe the Brandrup ones slot into the kador
strip C-channel (which I guess means you can’t use the channel for anything else at the same time), and seem to be relatively thin guy-rope style tie downs. We’ve recently got the Thule Storm kit, which is like a thick ratchet strap with huge ground spikes and feels like it would be enough to strap down a tank. As others have said though, ironically I would never have the awning out in a storm…gentle breezes only!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Explorer

Explorer

VIP Member
Messages
57
Location
England
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
i am looking at the thule tie down - but my awnig legs dont have the flap for the hooks to sit in....do these come as part of the tie down kit?
 
kurienp

kurienp

VIP Member
Messages
1,572
Location
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
A funny thing about the tie down straps such as Thule. At a campground I have witnessed a husband asking his wife to hold the strap to the ground ... while he stepped back and verified that it was at a 45 degree angle to the ground and then going in and pegging it in. It gives me the giggles every time I remember that scene :D (and he did that possibly because the manual that came with the tie down strap says so) - the drawbacks of RTFM. :)

Peg it closer to the leg and lesser the chance of it getting in your way around the van :thumb
 
SusiBus

SusiBus

2-pedal power Peppa Pig trike
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1,295
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Watford,Herts
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Looking to buy
I dont get this whole obsession of always having to have an awning out. To my mind, it's a sun shade. If it's not sunny, it then makes the van darker inside, then there's guy ropes to walk around, or trip over. I go on holiday to sit out in the sun, if it's raining, sit in the van, and if it's windy, put the awning in it box.
 
MeltedGoldfish

MeltedGoldfish

Messages
87
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
i am looking at the thule tie down - but my awnig legs dont have the flap for the hooks to sit in....do these come as part of the tie down kit?

There is no “flap” - there is a long thing angled plate at the end of the strap and this fits into a slot at the top of the leg as described by Mike above. It looks like a hook but it’s all one piece. Held in place by a geometric lock once the straps are tensioned.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
MeltedGoldfish

MeltedGoldfish

Messages
87
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
I dont get this whole obsession of always having to have an awning out. To my mind, it's a sun shade. If it's not sunny, it then makes the van darker inside, then there's guy ropes to walk around, or trip over. I go on holiday to sit out in the sun, if it's raining, sit in the van, and if it's windy, put the awning in it box.

I know what you mean…I’d had similar thoughts but now trying to make better use of it, since it’s there and I’m carrying it around (yes, I know I could remove it). It does help make it “feel” like the space immediately outside the van is a little more private (even though it isn’t!), and useful in wet weather for being able to strip off boots and coats etc before clambering into the van. Will see how we get on….I might yet change my mind!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
ArunAlec

ArunAlec

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Messages
2,903
Location
West Sussex
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T5 SE 180
This is the same for Awnings. Roof lowering. Closing of glass tops. Opening and closing of sliding cupboard doors. Turning of front seats. All should be done methodically and Slowly. Because you can guarantee if you don’t something is going to fail. The biggest problem is complacency and oh that’s never going to happen to me..
Believe me if you do everything at warp speed it will happen to you.
Spot on!
Cali’s are not for the heavy handed.
 
Elly Swanson

Elly Swanson

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1,747
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East Midlands
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T6 Ocean 150
I used my awning with the comfortz room a couple of weekends ago. It was a pretty gusty pitch but suffered no mishaps with it pegged all around.
I was surprised how much water collected on top of the awning though!

To the OP glad there wasn't toomuch damage to your Cali.
If you want to stop rain pooling set one leg shorter than the other so the water runs off. If you use an awning room it would be a bit lopsided though.
 
Elly Swanson

Elly Swanson

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T6 Ocean 150
And don't drop the leg at the door end like I did last night. The ground is now a boggy mess just where you need to walk.:headbang
Better that than an awning that splits with the weight of a load of water!
 

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