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Lesson Learned, warning to newbies & advice please

Discussion in 'Wind-out Awning' started by Bill R, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. WelshGas
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    WelshGas Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life. Top Poster VIP Member

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    Mine can. Remember VW is German.
     
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  2. Amarillo
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    Amarillo Tom Top Poster VIP Member

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    Wow! I crept up to 140 kph between Dresden and Bielefeld, and I thought the van might take off. I cannot imagine what it would be like to drive at 195 kph!


    Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu
     
  3. andrew bazeley
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    andrew bazeley VIP Member

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    I get huge aesthetic pleasure fron angling the awning to follow the line of the roof when up! But this also seems to be the ideal slope to get rid of rainwater. I lower the back leg so that the spring just starts to pull the lower half of the leg up again. You then need to hammer in some pretty sturdy tent pegs to stop it springing up. This has always worked for me, even in pretty awful conditions. The old trick of winding the awning back in a bit to maximise the tension in the fabric helps too.
     
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  4. hirsty
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    hirsty Two Seat Beach DSG

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    I’ve posted before about the wind getting up & under my awning, flipping it vertical & shearing the front bracket completely.

    It’s more accurately referred to as a sun shade - but I’m still too lazy to wind it in unless there’s a clear & present danger ...
     
  5. soulstyledevon
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    soulstyledevon VIP Member

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    What about tying the awning down with the straps and having it higher slope back towards the van with both legs...?

    I have always done the one leg lower trick personally.
    However last night I was cleaning mine and thought the run off wasn’t the best in that position.
     
  6. ejmoore
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    ejmoore 2008 California 2.5 SE VIP Member

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    We were down in north Devon a couple of weeks ago. Left the van with the awning out, well tied down with the straps & stakes, & went out walking on the South West Coast Path. Lovely day, until 15:30, when suddenly a ferocious thunderstorm came on, when we were at just about the most remote place on the walk. We got soaked to the skin despite waterproofs, & it took us a couple of hours to get back to the campsite.

    To my horror, the awning was all twisted-looking with a massive ponding of water in the middle, despite having left it with one leg dropped a bit. I don't know how it hadn't collapsed under the strain - probably due to the super-strong staking-out. With some difficulty we managed to get the water to tip out without soaking ourselves, but the awning looked stretched & baggy. However, after a day or two it went back to normal & is now fine.

    I found this quite reassuring, actually - it's stronger than expected. It's all very well to say always wind the awning in, but if you've got the awning sides up, as we had, that's a major exercise. Also half the point of having the awning is for rain protection.

    I don't like to drop the leg down too far, as it must put a strain on the struts. I suppose the best thing is to get one of those bracing poles to reduce the risk of ponding.
     
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  7. cwriggy
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    cwriggy VIP Member

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    Just as a note on it being a sun screen rather than a rain protector. As you wind out the screen you will no doubt have noticed there is a join where the material is welded together. If you leave your sun shield out in the sun it can split at this join. There are a number of posts about this on the internet including a letter someone got from thule admitting there was a problem. It seems this mostly happens above 30 degrees possibly more 35 ambient temp. So not massively likely to happen in the uk. But did happen for us in the french alps after a hot trip down.

    So don't use them in the rain, wind or sun but at least it does make the Cali look the part :D

    I and several others (according to google) have had the awning replaced under warranty for this.
     
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  8. johntowers46
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    johntowers46 Top Poster VIP Member

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    We have a Fiamma awning, it doesn't split as it is one piece material.
    Done 104mph in ours fully loaded on A71 in France
     
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  9. Victor
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    Victor VIP Member

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    If the wind out awning is not designed for rain then why do Thule make a dedicated safari room for the California awning ?
     
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  10. Rich20
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    Rich20 Living the dream VIP Member

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    Same account always. R &D do not test in the real world, they leave that to the buyers and then offer a warranty when it goes pear shaped.
     
  11. WelshGas
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    WelshGas Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life. Top Poster VIP Member

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    No problem with my VW awning with the seam. Survived 3 summers in Italy with temperatures significantly above 30c.
     
  12. WelshGas
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    WelshGas Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life. Top Poster VIP Member

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    Basically because they can and people will buy.

    Still doesn't alter the fact that that the VW awning, in fact all makes of awning similar to it, are in fact fair weather awnings.
     
  13. andyinluton
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    andyinluton VIP Member

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    When the safari room is fitted it adds an awful lot of structural rigidity with additional aluminium supports, the fabric of the blind is also clamped for the full length of its sides.

    With those extra bits a central roof rafter and a couple of storm straps at 45 degrees from the front you end up with a very strong structure with no where for the wind to get underneath.

    In my view the comfort sides actually add more load to the awning without increasing the strength.
     
  14. ejmoore
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    ejmoore 2008 California 2.5 SE VIP Member

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    The awning sides are quite heavy and the added weight would reduce the risk of the awning lifting in winds. But if there was a wind strong enough to stand any chance of lifting it, as in Skye & Lewis recently, we wouldn't risk the awning at all - partly because if the wind direction changes, it's useful to be able to reposition the van - it was that bad!
     
  15. hirsty
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    hirsty Two Seat Beach DSG

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    There's no way any conventional "awning" (as we understand it) could ever be engineered for every scenario from a Hebridean winter storm down to a Mediterranean summer heatwave without being so heavy that it'd tip the van over.

    All things in moderation is the answer as usual, but speaking as an dimwit / 'victim of a misfortune' I think these occasional reminders are useful to newer owners that some care is needed to avoid trouble.
     
  16. ejmoore
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    ejmoore 2008 California 2.5 SE VIP Member

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    Absolutely. Be careful, but don't panic!
     
  17. ejmoore
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    ejmoore 2008 California 2.5 SE VIP Member

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    Actually our key reason for using the awning (with or without sides) is just to stake out a bit more private territory, rather than sitting outside the van just in a field. We then sometimes end up sitting out away from the awning to get the sunshine! In Britain, that is.
     

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