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Subject Topic: Outdoor Revolution SpaceLite Porch Awning Post Reply Post New Topic
Message posted by gadair14922/1/2009 at 7:52pm
Outfit:  Bailey Ranger 550 6     Location:  Nr Glasgow
Joined: 05/10/2008
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Hi, Looking for views on this awning as I am thinking of buying one...would be grateful to hear about:-

Ease of pitching

Strength / stability

Practicalities of storing on the side of the van

Any other thoughts.

Also, is the techlite just a smaller version?

Cheers

Gail

 



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Gail

Message posted by Returnee22/1/2009 at 8:21pm
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Hi, I've got one, and am thinking of buying another one while they're still around.

The Spacelite is the biggest 'porch' type available - 4.5 metres at floor level - so there is plenty of room.

The material is only *OK* - doesn't come close to a 'proper' cotton or acrylic anwing, but neither does the price.

It's very easy to erect, and the single hooped pole means no rafter poles to damage the van in the event of a storm.

That single pole is the Spacelite's strength - and also its weakness.

No rafter poles means that the roof is difficult (read 'impossible') to get nice and taut.  It's not too bad, but it will never be really tight and will always flap about a bit in the wind.

On the plus side, the pole is flexible, and 'gives' when a gust of wind hits it, before springing back - which helps it survive some quite stormy conditions.

Stiching is reasonable, pegging points are a bit weak imo.

You need a fairly high van to avoid excess length of matrial on the sides - ours is German, quite high, and we have yet to use more than the first two stages of the ladder pegging rubbers.

Finally - don't leave the awning mounted on the van when it's not being used.  The bag will allow water to wick in through the stitiching and will cause mildew if left wet for more than a few days.

Having said that, it's very easy to slip the bag on and off before you travel, and when you get home again.

All in all, good for the money (around 130)

The Techlite is a smaller version that is *supposed* be a bit more rigid due to the smaller and higher hoop - again, no rafter poles to damage the van.

There are a couple of alternatives that have much thicker fabric, like the Quest Lounge - but, again, these have rafter poles that are not particulalry well fixed to the van, and which could well cause dents if the worst came to the worst.

My choice is a saggier, but safer, awning - your mileage might vary.

 

 



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Message posted by D S B23/1/2009 at 1:54am
Outfit:  Bailey Unicorn III Valencia (LR Disco)     Location:  Polesworth Warwickshire
Joined: 06/8/2004
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The Spacelight awning is fine for what it is.  We purchased one last year, but have only used it once, during the autumn half term week.  The first time up it took a lot longer than I thought to pitch, but there were problems.  Having just had a replacement shoulder joint I had to rely on my wife to do the majority of the work.  I suspect it will get much easier with practice.

We were also pitched on a hardstanding so it was a little awkward to peg out.  An awning like this depends on good pegging out for stability, so being on  hardstanding, and with the situation as it was, we were at a disadvantage.  We did have some quite windy weather and the awning just about managed throughout, but we gave way in the end and took it down a day early.  I think if pegged out firmly, it may have run the course.  We did not roll it back into the bag as it was wet.  It slept for a night underneath the caravan and we took it home in the back of the car.

When the awning was dry and we came to fold it up, we found it a difficult job even in a largish conservatory where we had enough room to lay the whole thing flat.  Perhaps it will be easier next time.

We did not travel with the bag on the side of the van for a number of reasons, but it was quick enough to slide through the channel.  It was easier than an ordinary porch awning to pull through as all the 'canvas' is in the bag and not loose or awkward to deal with.  Reasons for not travelling with the awning on the van in the bag:

(a) We were still very cautious about this, and although very light in comparison, opinion about this amongst the caravanning fraternity was still divided.  We were just cautious.  It could be that with more use and experience with this awning we will throw caution to the wing.  Time will tell.

(b) The retaining grommit did not easily slide in our awning rail ant it would have meant bending out the awning rail at the point of fixing the retainer.

(c) We wanted to try the awning in different positions in order to find the best place to fix it on our van.

The awning will not fit as tight as a 'traditional' awning/porch.  It was a little floppy, and I suspect this was not down just to poor pegging.  Some of the ropes/ pegging points had elastic type ends which made it less tight to put up.  Because of the design the guy ropes really need to be fitted.

The gradient of the roof at the sides tends to come down more gradually than an awning with poles attachd to the van.

The material used is, I think, good for this 'light awning type' - better that most and it is larger than most 'porch awnings' - if you could call it that.

All in all it is a good awning for the money we paid for it, but I probably wouldn't have paid the full price.  We paid about 130 from Tamworth Camping - they had an offer on at the time.  I would really need to try it more (good excuse for an outing) before giving it a full seal of approval, but I know there are many here who will have used it more than I.  Please understand these are my first impressions.  Perhaps in another 12 months I would be a little more clear about my thoughts.

When I was thinking about buying a Spacelight, I had a good look through this forum first, but to be honest, like many of us I had already made up my mind! :-)  I don't regret doing it.  As best we will us it a lot.  At worst, we have it as another option if required.  If you don't get many replies for this thread, try a search for Spacelight (I havn't tried it), but I know it has been discussed before.

Hope this is of some help.

P.S. The Techlite is smaller than the Spacelight but looks a little more stable.



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David

Message posted by D S B23/1/2009 at 2:09am
Outfit:  Bailey Unicorn III Valencia (LR Disco)     Location:  Polesworth Warwickshire
Joined: 06/8/2004
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By that way, if you do buy one and take it off the van, mark it or devise some method of remembering which way to thread it back on the next time.  If I remember correctly, the zip on the bag is slightly to one side.  This side of the bag needs to be on the outside - not against the van.  You'll know what I mean when you see it.  Beware, the instructions don't tell you which way it fits on.

Best wishes and best of luck with your decision.



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David

Message posted by Ratty23/1/2009 at 8:25am
Outfit:  Lots of tents and a 72 VW Camper     Location:  Hertfordshire
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Have you seen here http://www.ukcampsite.co.uk/membershop/bd_spacelite.asp

Cheers  Ratty



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