Air awnings (again)

31 posts in this topic

Posted

I know this has been discussed many times, but we're seriously considering getting rid of the full and porch awning and buying one of these: https://www.kampa.co.uk/air-awnings/rally-air-pro-390-plus

Our full awning is good (Kampa Carnival) but it takes a lot of effort to put it up and to be honest is too big for our needs (it's a 1025cm model).  I had a look at the Air-pro 390 plus at Tamworth Camping the other week and they look very good, complete with single inflation point, my only slight concern is the weight (33kgs) and trying to feed it round the awning rail.

So, air awnings have been around for a while now, anyone got any comments?Rally_AIR_Pro_390_Plus_LH_2.thumb.jpg.0d

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Posted

I have an old pre-air Kampa Awning and it gets used every year. I did look at an air replacement but amongst the caravanners I have spoken to there does appear to be a worry,as yours, about weight. Yes they do go up quickly, although that isn't always seamless! but the weight of them often means that it isn't a one person operation....

To me the jury is still out.

geoff

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Posted

 

To me the jury is still out.

geoff

Thanks Geoff, this is pretty much where I'm at as well.  I think the small (porch) type are probably easy enough, but when you start to get bigger, the weight climbs.  We were at the Brighton CC site last week and walked round the site trying to find someone with a larger air awning to get an opinion but couldn't find any!  My wife is only 4' 10" so struggles to help feeding it round the awning rail leaving it a job for myself.

I did have a good look at them at Tamworth Camping Supplies and they have certainly improved over the last couple of years, it's just the weight/feeding it in the awning rail which is nagging at me........  And the price!

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Posted

Indeed, it could be an expensive mistake.

geoff

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Posted

We had one of the kampa 390 air aw nings first thing is you have to use them on level ground as there is no way of adjusting the legs and the time it takes and the weight make it quite an effort to put up hope this helps you Gary we would not purchase another one but hey each one to there own .

regards Martin

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Posted

:wine:

We've got a Vango Varkala 420, it's pretty heavy and it has a a number of separate air cells which I find advantageous. It's not too bad to thread through the awning channel - I'm only 5'6" and Jackie is much shorter but we get it done easily enough (As long as the dog doesn't make a fuss !)

:wine::wine::wine:

:England:

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Posted

Hi

I totally agree with Martin and have already mentioned on here before that I have 330 Kampa Air pro I find it heavy and hard to put in awning rail and pull around. Really needs even ground mine holds rain water in top. Would not buy another.

Lots of money wasted.

Happy Caravanning

Monty

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Posted

We had the Air Ace but sold it after using it about 5 times.  We found it was too heavy to pull through the awning rail.  The other very big issue was water pooling on the roof which was a big problem as it stretches the material so the next time it collects even more water!  Lastly it is made in China.  Need I say any more?

We have now got an isabella Magnum Coal awning and we can manage it quite comfortably and it takes just as long to erect as the air awning.  However having said that for the winter months we have a "Kampa" 220cm air awning which cost us £160 brand new.

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Posted

We had the Vango Varkala 420, although a bit heavy to put through the awning rail, it was the best awning we ever had, never had any trouble with pooling water or leaks.

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Posted

Update.

After a lot of research, wondering and gentle talking to my wallet we have gone for one of the Kampa Rally Air-pro 390 plus awnings.  I managed to find someone selling them for £875 (most others have them for £1,100 and refuse to budge on price).  We're not away again until October so I pulled the caravan out yesterday and put the awning up to see just how easy/difficult it was.

  • I agree with other comments on the weight, but I estimate that it isn't as heavy as our full awning plus poles, however, the whole thing packed away in it's bag really is a two-person job to carry.  The carrier bag would have been a lot better if it had a pair of wheels on one end and a handle on the other.
  • Unpacking the awning (very well packed, it won't be getting re-packed as neat as that again!) it was re-assuring to see that it's carrier bag was very generous to accommodate it being re-packed in a less neat manner.
  • There is an eyelet in the end of the beading that feeds through the awning channel to allow a rope to be attached to help it be pulled through by someone as another feeds it into the rail.
  • I managed to feed it in by myself once I'd unraveled it properly and was pleased how easy it slid through the awning rail.
  • Connecting the pump was easy, inflating fully took a couple of minutes, I was impressed how sturdy it was once fully inflated, there was a bit of wind but it didn't move.  Having one inflation point is a big bonus.
  • All zips seem to be of a good quality and there are plenty of hooks & Velcro inside for attaching lights and other accessories.  I notice that Kampa have lots of matching bits & bobs for their awnings to try and attract folks to buy the "complete package", but you can buy similar for cheaper elsewhere.
  • Draught skirt, pegs & curtains are included.
  • Taking down was as easy as putting it up, but due to it's size it takes a bit more thought on rolling it up to go back in it's bag.

So, all in all, I'm impressed and would happily recommend one, but I would exercise caution on the weight side if anyone would find this a problem.

 

kampa1.jpg

kampa2.jpg

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Posted

There is virtually no saving in time between erecting an air awning and a traditional porch awning as both have to be pegged down.  The one big advantage with the traditional awning is that you car erect it even if the ground is sloping.  Air awnings do not like sloping ground as you cannot adjust the legs. 

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Posted

There is virtually no saving in time between erecting an air awning and a traditional porch awning as both have to be pegged down.  The one big advantage with the traditional awning is that you car erect it even if the ground is sloping.  Air awnings do not like sloping ground as you cannot adjust the legs. 

Agreed, but most of the "Club" sites we've been on are flat, as we don't use CL's any more it isn't so much of a problem.  Time to put up was indeed on par with our porch awning, but was far easier than our full awning. 

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Posted

As said although we were not happy with our Air Ace we bought the smaller 220 awning to use during the cooler months.  One thing to watch out for is water pooling on the roof.  If it happens just once, it will continue to happen as the material has been stretched there.  Agreed a lot easier to erect than a full awning.  We gave up on full awnings several years ago. 

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Posted

I think when our daughter stops coming away with us we'll drop down to a smaller awning, at the minute we seem to take away every coat/pair of shoes in the house!

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Posted

Enjoy your new awning Gary, though it looks to be no smaller than a fitted one !

Strangely enough we are at Youlgreave C&CC in the Peak district this next weekend ( haven't been for years ) the last awning we owned part of the deal on a Eccles in the '95 caravan show we gave to the then wardens Jack and Eileen Gatland, a lovely couple.

Happy caravanning, indoors.

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Posted

Enjoy your new awning Gary, though it looks to be no smaller than a fitted one !

 

The floor area isn't far off our full awning, but the problem we have is that trying to put that one up is a 2-person job and with my wife being 4 feet 10 (and a half!) inches tall, it is difficult, the inflatable one removes all of that (hopefully!).  

Never been to the Youlgreave site (the reviews on the approach road put me off a bit) but my parents used to go there regularly & loved it.

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Posted (edited)

" Never been to the Youlgreave site (the reviews on the approach road put me off a bit) "

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by indoors

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Posted

Hi Gary

Awning looks nice but definitely more than a one person job.  I am going to give mine a couple of more goes at putting it up myself and then get rid of it if to hard.  The only thing I begrudge selling it as will loose lots of money.

Let us know if you get any rain water pooling on top.

Bags like a Tardis you think it will never go in then find room to spare.

Happy caravanning

Monty

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Posted

We have the two-section Air Pro and bought it at the NEC about three years ago.  There were two different traders selling Kampa awnings.  Both were selling at the same price but the one we bought from was including extras: storm poles, inner canopy and awning mat/carpet.  We found we cannot use the inner canopy (this is used to prevent condensation dripping on your head) as when you open the caravan door it fouls on the canopy. 

Most of what has been said in previous posts is correct.

The awning is heavy when you offer it up to the awning rail.  This is because of the air tubes.  Conventional awnings are lighter because the poles are added later.  We have found that cleaning and putting a bit of polish the inside of the awning rail before each trip makes a big difference. 

We have never had pooling on top of the awning but this may be because ours is only a two-section.

The doors at either end are very, very tall and there is no way that I can open them fully.  I'm 5'2".

It's difficult to get the awning to sit correctly as you cannot adjust the legs.  Don't fool yourself into believing that ALL caravan site pitches are level. 

There is one area where we find it's better than a conventional awning: If I help to guide the awning into the rail, my husband (5'8") can do all the rest on his own.  This is a boon for us because I am now unable to help like I used to.  He could not do this with an awning with poles, 'cos he's definitely no spring chicken either.

 

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Posted (edited)

We have the two-section Air Pro and bought it at the NEC about three years ago.  There were two different traders selling Kampa awnings.  Both were selling at the same price but the one we bought from was including extras: storm poles, inner canopy and awning mat/carpet.  We found we cannot use the inner canopy (this is used to prevent condensation dripping on your head) as when you open the caravan door it fouls on the canopy. 

Most of what has been said in previous posts is correct.

The awning is heavy when you offer it up to the awning rail.  This is because of the air tubes.  Conventional awnings are lighter because the poles are added later.  We have found that cleaning and putting a bit of polish the inside of the awning rail before each trip makes a big difference. 

We have never had pooling on top of the awning but this may be because ours is only a two-section.

The doors at either end are very, very tall and there is no way that I can open them fully.  I'm 5'2".

It's difficult to get the awning to sit correctly as you cannot adjust the legs.  Don't fool yourself into believing that ALL caravan site pitches are level. 

There is one area where we find it's better than a conventional awning: If I help to guide the awning into the rail, my husband (5'8") can do all the rest on his own.  This is a boon for us because I am now unable to help like I used to.  He could not do this with an awning with poles, 'cos he's definitely no spring chicken either.

 

Hi

Agree with every thing you say.

Wife finds it dif to help not sure she be able next time she is getting worse.

Water pooling on top happens mainly when it rains with no wind to blow top up and down.

Still not happy about purchase.

Purchased inner lining but have never put them on.

I'm 6ft tall and find it dif to undo door zip alway round so don't I have arthritis someone  fit will probably have no problem if tall enough in first place.

What are storm poles. The only poles I have are the poles that keep rear pads against van.

Happy Caravanning

Monty

Edited by MONTYSA
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Posted

Okay, first time out with the air awning and a few comments. First the bad:

They are heavy, but no heavier than a conventional awning WITH poles, but the size of the air awning packed is considerable and won't fit in my roof box.

The single inflation point is great but you must ensure all drain valves are closed before you stand there for ten minutes trying to inflate it!

They will be a challenge to use on a severely sloping pitch.

The good:

Excellent quality from ours (Kampa), everything had a quality feel.

No pooling of water on the roof. The design of this one prevents that and we've had some rain here!

Very solid. In my opinion a lot more sturdy than a conventional poled awning especially in high winds.

Easier to put up, once fed through the awning rail the weight meant the it wasn't flapping around like a wind sock. This wouldn't be so easy for someone less mobile.

My conclusion is that they are not as easy to put up as some will have you believe and they take the same amount of time to peg down, but for us it's great. The "limpet" fasteners for holding it to the side of the caravan are also very effective.

IMG_3790.JPG

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Posted

Condensation on the inside of the roof seems to be on-par with every other awning we've had though 

IMG_3803.JPG

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Posted

We bought one of the first air Kampas and quality was a bit of an issue but not really a concern.  One of the main issues we had with our Kampa Air ace was the weight followed by water pooling on the roof no matter what you did and of course condensation.  We sold it and got the Magnum Coal 250.  Lighter , no pooling and no condensation.  As you say time wise both take about the same time to erect. 

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Posted

Friends who have had two air porch awnings have recently gone back to conventional Isabella porch.......too heavy and unwieldy they find.

Comments above on Kampa Limpets...reports on another Forum,in depth,of people who have found them leaving rings on the 'van,or pulling decals off. I have some but as yet unused as didn't put an awning up this year.

 

geoff 

 

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Posted

Putting the awning away this morning was done in the rain! Wrestling it into its hold-all bag made easier by using luggage straps to pull it in and make it smaller. I'll put it up at the weekend to dry it out and to try and clean the bird muck off it......

The limpets wouldn't work on the decals on our caravan, only the painted surfaces. I'm going to buy one of the hole punches to move a couple of them as they fell directly where the side reflectors are.

So, after five nights away, would I recommend an air awning? Yes, but I'd point out their short comings and stress that they are not as easy to put up as some would have you believe 

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