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Message posted by Monty1516/10/2021 at 12:05pm
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Two criteria to consider, the straight/horizontal length of the awning rail dictates the max size porch awning you can fit. Many awnings have a little triangular extension fillet at the roofline/bead, extending the stated length by a 30-40cm or so overall, sometimes that will happily sit on the curve of the rail, others will need to be on the straight, so allow for that in choosing your awning.
And then you need to decide if you are prepared to have the awning sidewall run across windows and/or lockers, its perfectly OK to have an awning wall running across windows and lockers (BUT NOT vents for fridges, cookers etc. where it will obstruct essential air flows! - Doesn't matter if vents are fully inside awning), BUT obviously you can't open them once awning is in place, so especially with lockers, make sure it's not one you need access to whilst using the van (battery/EHU, Gas, Toilet etc.). You will also get a little bit of gapping where wall crosses window/locker which in theory lets a draft in, but it IS an awning, it's hardly draft proof at every other point it meets another surface, so it doesn't bother me or plenty of others, and so long as both the awning and window are clean and grit free you shouldn't get any scratching of the window as I'm sure some will cite as reason NOT to do it, 3 years now and there are no marks on my window from the awning!
You will almost certainly have to take a tape measure to your own van to get the measurements for yourself (unless some kind soul with same van does it for you), they are never published (only the full awning/rail length is ever published, which is no help whatsoever and irrelevant for a porch awning!).
Measure the straight run of rail between the 'corners' at front and back to get the max size possible. With the caravan correctly levelled, use a plumb bob line (a bit of string with a small weight on bottom end) to judge clearance position for windows and lockers if need be. Don't forget each awning wall will need around 15-25cm width (inside stated length) to allow for draft flap to fit against van side. The height of the van rail from ground tends to be fairly standard on modern vans, but whilst you've got tape in hand, you may as well measure and note it (awnings have a little bit of latitude on rail height, but do also often come in high and low versions to suit pop-top vans and campers, so you will need to know the height at some point)
Porch awnings regardless of brand tend to come in 'standard' lengths, typically 2m, 2.3m, 3.3m, 3.9m etc., so you may have to compromise on your 'ideal' length with maybe a shorter one that clears windows etc. of suffer it crossing a window if you want/need the space.
It's not half as daunting as above makes it sound, just few measurements and a bit of consideration as to how you want it to fit.
When choosing awning, also consider the weight/size when packed (both as to what you can comfortably lift/carry AND how it impacts on your vans loading if transporting in van! - or car for that matter! Some of the bigger air awnings are real monsters!), and how/where you are going to dry it if you have to pack it up wet (that's a when not if, it WILL get wet!), they need drying thoroughly within a day or so otherwise they go mouldy which is not just unsightly, but can ruin the fabric and destroy waterproofing!