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Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?
userMike Culver
Posted: 18 January 2005 9:10 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Evening all, we hope to take delivery of a Auto sleeper Duetto in March, we have caravaned but this our first motor van and are wondering whether first, its worth thinking about a free standing awning and secondly if it should be one on the side or at the rear, I should add that we are having a Omni fitted on the nearside. All advice will be welcome on this or on any matter, one thing that amusies us is the letters we've read about whether you wave/flash to other motorvanners, we think its good as long as you don't use both arms.
userDavid Powell
Posted: 18 January 2005 9:34 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Evening Mike, Why not wait a while and see if you really need one. After a few trips you will know better than anyone else if you do,or not. Depends how you intend using your Duetto. Long or short stop-overs, how much loose equipment etc, etc.
Posted: 18 January 2005 9:48 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

We have and would have again a roll out awning (Fiama or Omnistor) and a Safari room that you can use as little or as much as you like. When both sides and front are fitted it is fully enclosed. If you chose this route then it has to be a side fitting.
Good luck
userMike Culver
Posted: 19 January 2005 5:09 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Thanks to you both David and Clive for your very welcome advice, come March a lot of our 'questions' will be answered by trial and error but its always nice to have some imput, something that has raised its ugly head is the 'silver screen', be it inside or out, this motor vanning seems to be hard work !!! we wish all well, again thanks, roll on March, can't wait!.
Posted: 19 January 2005 8:31 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Wouldnt have a pull out awning if it were to be given to me
I preffer the drive away type That can be left on site when you go out
You can always roll up the front and sides if you want it open
You can also enlose it as a store room at night, adding extra warmth on chilly evenings
Also we find it more stable in winds than the roll out type
Posted: 19 January 2005 10:56 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Awnings - horses for courses. Our van is bigish and we carry two small motorbikes on the back, so the need to "pop out with the van" doesn,t arise.

Silver Screens.
This is a subject I have very mixed feelings about, here are some thoughts.
I know of two companies make external insulating screens, Silver Screens and Taylor Made. Of the examples I have seen (last week) the Silver screens essentially only covered the glass. The taylor Made screens covered the entire "nose" of the motorhome.
I have had my ear bent on a previous occasion by a salesman on the Silver Screen stand at a show and was put of by him slagging off the competition rather than selling his own product on its own merrit. It would be fair to say I didn't like the bloke!.
Most of our camping is in the summer around the Mediteranean and I have my own home made internal screens that clip inside of the screen and side windows. These are made of stiff cardboard with some of the adhesive backed aluminium faced foam sheet normally sold to put behind domestic radiators to reflect the heat forward. They are fine for this purpose.
BUT last week we slept in our van and it was about freezing outside. Front curtains were closed and we were quite snug. But in the morning I took several cloth fulls of water off the inside of the front and side windows of the cab.
The other mornings were not so cold and the condensation levels were much less.
That smug lot parked over the way with carefully lined up and precision levelled Hymers with fitted Silver Screens did not have this problem. Was it the screens or the fact that they all had mains hookup? I have to say I suspect this is where the outside insulating screens justify their existance.
Later however lots of people took lots of time wiping off wet insulating screens and drying them off before packing their not inconsiderable bulk away in some locker.
So I guess you need to consider if you intend to camp much in the winter and how valuable is your storage space.
We haven,t got an external insulating screen yet and have had our existing van 7 years, but it got close that one night! Thankfully that salesman was not at Shepton Mallet so perhaps I saved some money.

userDavid Powell
Posted: 19 January 2005 10:58 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Good evening again mike-Silver Screens-'inside or out'? is as debatable as what type of awning. Outside is quicker to put up, but if it is raining when you take it off to leave the site you have a wet Silver Screen to bag up and stow. People who have inside Silver Screens have told me they are not as efficient as outside ones,as the glass will still freeze, and they are fiddley to put up.But at least they are sitting inside in the dry, handling dry Silver Screens.
Posted: 20 January 2005 7:57 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Hi David,

As the Guys say you have to decide whats best for you. We use outside ones, they do not stop condensation inside, but then we do not have heat on all night, even in the winter. We have some inside screen that I made, similar material to the foil that goe's behind radiators indoors, thse are useful if its wet outside, also in the summer when we have sun we can put them up to help keep cool, ah ah. Well it gets hot in France anyway, 42c at Clermont Ferrand last September. If you know anyone with silver screens the sort you might need ask if you could try them for a night or two.


userMike Culver
Posted: 22 January 2005 8:35 PM
Subject: Awnings, the benefits of side or rear?

Evening all, Thanks David,Clive and Pete for all the advice and I will take it all on board, I'll report back to my site manager and then do as I'm told !! roll on March, thanks again, be lucky. Take care Mike.
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