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Hello and Happy new year to you all.
I am thinking of fitting a Fiamma F45S Motorhome Awning to my Renault trafic high top campervan,but I have a few questions.
Are the awnings water proof or just showerproof,can the awning be left out overnight and do they come with fittings.
Outfit: Adria Twin 640 SPX Location: kent Joined: 30/5/2011
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Certainly if the weather is good we leave ours out overnight - - with a good tie-down kit - - but if there is a chance of wind we put it away. I would never have a MH without one, we use it all the time, but they do rattle a bit in light winds which tends to keep us awake.
Outfit: Autotrail Imala 620 Location: East Midlands Joined: 22/5/2011
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Roll out awnings are very good. We use ours mostly to stop the sun 'inside' the van. We do not leave ours rolled out overnight ever. See no reason as they are easily rolled back out if required in the morning. We have lock in pegs for each leg of the awning, and strong tie down straps. I know a fella who lost his satellite dish, and other things from the roof of a 6 berth Swift Bolero in not a really bad wind in the UK. It is possible that pooling water could run down the side of the van where the awning is fixed.
You are right to question the efficacy of them for sun protection though, as to sit shaded by them at certain times of the year they do need to be almost as low as it is possible to let them 'down' to. (The legs having a little adjustment) I do not think we would not want to be without the option.
We have had them on every van we’ve had and have replaced them on two as they had not been looked after and we’re damaged.
They come with all the fittings but you may need to reinforce the fitting points on the van side/roof (depending on exact fitting required) as they are very heavy. It is possible to fit them yourself but I would advise either getting them fitted by an expert or taking advice as expensive mistakes can be made.
We do leave ours out overnight in the right conditions but take it in at a hint of heavy wind or rain. As has been said they are easy to wind in and out so no point in taking chances.
They are described by the manufacturers as sunshades rather than rain awnings but they are waterproof and do offer protection from the rain which can be useful in a campervan when the side door is usually the main way of access. However the fittings do make the awning stand a little proud of the van, some more than others, which can allow water to fall into the doorway. You can buy rails and gutters to stop this.
Another thing to be aware of is that water can pool on top of the awning if it rains heavily. The solution is to drop one end one the awning slightly to allow water to drain away.
We do this as a matter of routine after getting up one morning after heavy rain and seeing the van opposite’s awning completely destroyed with the canopy ripped and one of the legs completely buckled (it was a write off). Sad thing was the van was a borrowed one and the owner, and us, had specifically advised the occupants to take precautions. The owner was not a happy man.
You can also buy rafters that lift the centre of the awning up to reduce the risk of this. We use both, belts and braces.
Having said all that we use ours a lot and wouldn’t be without one. Just use it sensibly.
We had an awning fitted to our new van. After reading horror stories on here we immediately purchased the tie down strap and OH fettled the fastenings on the struts so they would be better. We do leave the awning out in light wind, but have been known to get up in the middle of the night to put it away if it's windy.
During rain, as someone has said, you drop 1 corner to allow the rain to run off, and we also more recently purchased the central rafter, and the rubber seal to stop water dripping between the van and the awning.
One showery time, we clipped a tarp along the side and back of the awning to keep the rain out. Worked quite well, though you can buy purpose made sides at a price.
The awning comes into it's own on washing day, you can hang washing all round, and tie a line criss cross the centre too.
Outfit: La Strada Avanti Location: Mansfield Notts Joined: 18/4/2007
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We also have a wind out awning, looked at the prices of a centre rafter and eventually bought a Beldray clothes prop from B&M for £3 which is perfect for the job, it clips into place and is adjustable.