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Thread: Awning Reviews

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Canungra
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    126

    Default Awning Reviews

    Hi Folks

    We also are currently looking at buying one of these great looking space maker dome awnings from Roy in the next week or two and would really like some feedback from people who have either styles, and have tried these awnings in various conditions. Positives, time to put up, weights,length when packed ,storage.Problems with moisture rain wind etc. Have looked through most of the threads. So far all the information that I have read has been positive, is one brand and style better then the other why?Easier to erect etc?

    We have also looked at the oz tent, 30 seconds to put up, plenty of attachments etc however very expensive these are not purpose made for the kombi, would really appreciate some honest feedback from users of various types both positive and negative.


    Regards Glenn

  2. #2
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    Jun 2007
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    Beautiful Mt Nebo, QLD
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    Hey Glenn,
    We bought a Space makers awning, and they are a typical tent... not the easiest to put up. You have the usual this bit has to go into that bit, and slide into the thingy ma bob over there (and pray there is no wind while you're trying to juggle all this). I'm sure once you've done it a few times it may make it easier, but it's no 30 second job. Good awning for the kombi, just a pain in the butt to set up.

    Ash x

  3. #3
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    Oct 2005
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    Bungendore, NSW
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    We have a Fiamma roll out awning fitted to the side of the camper. It is dead easy to put up as you simply roll it out and peg it to the ground. Takes less than 5 minutes to have erected and the same to put it away. The modifications that have been done is a set of walls made by my wife to give extra protection in the really bad weather.

    One thing to keep in mind is how the awning attaches to the vehicle. I have fitted and aluminium strip between the tent casing and the pop top and sealed it with caulking compound. We found in bad weather rain would find its way between the awning and the vehicle. This meant keeping the door shut or have rain run inside the van. Just recently up at 3 Mile Dam still had a few spots of rain seep through where I sealed. Wasn't bad but meant we had a wet spot the size of a saucer on the corner of the bed. I guess I will be up there with the caulking gun again.
    ---------------------------------
    '89 Syncro Caravelle - Baloo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Canungra
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for your thoughts folks, I have reviewed the oz tent site, and also looked at the equipment, seems very positive the only real negatives I have been able to find is that sometimes a small amount of moisture can get into the tent if a fly is not used. However the fly is more for protection than anything else. Once fly is up ths seems to stop that.

    These tents also come with, an annexe, ground sheet and side panels, however they are about two metres in length so would take up a lot of room in the camper. They have been used by a lot of touring companies out west and in centrral australia with good reports.

    For me the cost is still an issue the RV4 the one I am looking at is about $1000 dollars, then with side panels, ground sheet and fly this pushes it up to about $1500 dollars.

    If I look at the cost in comparison to the space makers, I can get a spacemaker awning and a good 35 litre Engel or Waecco portable fridge for about the same cost. Does anybody in the club have and use an Oz tent? Peple who are using the spacemaker dome tents how are these holding up after a period of time. Cammo kombi if you are out there you do a lot of touring what do you use for ease of setup? At the moment I still like the idea of something that is purpose built for the kombi, but dont like the idea of heaps of poles and stuff to lug around.

    Regards Glenn

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hobart, Tasmania
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    244

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    Glenn,

    Take alook at this it is a simple but very effective awning - keeps you dry and you can even fit velcroed sides to keep the wind out. And of course very cheap and easy to carry.

    GCP

    Shifter

    VW Transporter Dual cab T5 (128kW) 4 Motion.
    Specialized FSR XC
    Mirage 580 Kayak

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Canungra
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    Default Thanks Shifter

    Thanks Shifter

    How is the awning connected to the kombi? is it using suction cups or a rail / track configuration. What was the cost? and were did you get it from. Looks like a pretty simple setup and effective. Love the colour coordination with the van. I am thinking we could probably get something like that up here in Qld at BCF or any good camping store.

    Glenn

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SW Vic ++
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    If you're keen on the really simple option like that one, then consider the BCF awning as endorsed by all and sundry at Old Bar.



    99 clams well spent, if you ask me.

    I myself own a very elaborate annexe-style awning, custom made by a caravan specialist upholsterer/trimmer. It's HUGE, and just the bees knees, I guess, if I ever want to stay put for a week or so. But you need another vehicle since it's not drive-away friendly. I call it the dining room. It has 3 walls - the 4th being the Kombi itself, and is solid enough to provide comfort in case of Armageddon. I believe the canvas can withstand gamma rays.



    It's a pain in the neck but another option to consider. I have to take a second vehicle to carry it in its folded state. Surprisingly, it's really only a 5 minute job to put up, it being a simple box, and all. 4 of those minutes are simply walking from one side of it to the other. That's how big it is.
    Check out your fuel efficiency and carbon load at this thread
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    Counter-sueing for sausage loss, and googling Brazilian boxes since 2008.
    "If I had a dollar for every time I was ready to sell my Kombi - I'd have bought another one."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Gold Coast "Parkwood"
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    At the moment we have two, the grey one that Adrian made which is good if we dont want to move the kombi anywhere. It is attached by a few stay puts that are on the metal strip under the pop top roof. The second one is one of the BCF ones, if you get this one make sure it is the delux. We had it up at Old Bar in a huge storm and it didnt move, plus you can take it off the van and peg it to the ground and drive away. Where are you located, can you update your profile.

    Michelle & Adrian
    74 Camper "Wilbur"
    71 Dual cab "Fog Lamp"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hobart, Tasmania
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    Mish,

    How does the BCF awning secure to the van?? Looks great. Is it the RV shade deluxe bcf??
    Shifter

    VW Transporter Dual cab T5 (128kW) 4 Motion.
    Specialized FSR XC
    Mirage 580 Kayak

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Hobart, Tasmania
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    244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jangle63 View Post
    Thanks Shifter

    How is the awning connected to the kombi? is it using suction cups or a rail / track configuration. What was the cost? and were did you get it from. Looks like a pretty simple setup and effective. Love the colour coordination with the van. I am thinking we could probably get something like that up here in Qld at BCF or any good camping store.

    Glenn
    Made from canvas and fits in to a track secured to the side of the van - for additional height you can secure the track to the pop top. Costs, well, when we had the pop top done he threw in the awning. Made in Tasmania.
    Shifter

    VW Transporter Dual cab T5 (128kW) 4 Motion.
    Specialized FSR XC
    Mirage 580 Kayak

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Nimbin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifter View Post
    Mish,

    How does the BCF awning secure to the van?? Looks great. Is it the RV shade deluxe bcf??
    I can answer this one, that's 'Molly' next to Michelle's 'Wilbur', they fix to the roof with just two suction caps, the BCF we have are the deluxe with tie up / drop down sides, the one on the rear of the other kombi is not, it was an earlier model I believe.

    The other good thing about them is you can just peg them down to form a small dome type tent when you drive away
    Lorraine

    HAPPY NOT HIPPIE
    '77 Bay Single Cab Ute 'Monty'
    '76 Bay campmobile 'Molly'
    '67 Splittie Panel 'Blue Bus'

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Hobart, Tasmania
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    Thank you for your prompt reply.
    Shifter

    VW Transporter Dual cab T5 (128kW) 4 Motion.
    Specialized FSR XC
    Mirage 580 Kayak

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Bungendore, NSW
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    Default

    Thought I would post a couple of pics of the Fiamma awning without and with the homemade sides and rolled up.







    Note no storage is required for the annex in side the camper as it rolls with the poles in to the carrier on the side. I have since the first photo taken to towing a trailer when camping to get rid of the clutter off the floor to save unpacking and packing especially for an overnight camp.
    ---------------------------------
    '89 Syncro Caravelle - Baloo

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
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    3

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    Hi all,

    my wife and I have recently camped using our new 2008 Spacemaker. We are inexperienced in the camping world, let alone putting up a tent of this size; we have two children also. Hence the reason this took us about 3 hours to put up all together

    But once it was up, it certainly made a wonderful addition to our Kombi. This particular time, we chose not to put up the inner room, thus giving off the feeling of open plan living.

    On our last day of camping the winds got up to about 40k and we did have some concern as to the stability of the awning (and our securing of it), but apart from the bend in the poles, it seem to manage ok.

    When we packed it up, it only took us about 15 minutes all up.

    In packed state it weighs about 20kg I suppose, and the awning carry bag measures about 90x30x40cm and the poles about 80x20x12cm (all measurements are rough – I was measuring in cramped, dark conditions).

    We haven’t been rained on, so we’re not sure how it goes in the wet weather. It attaches to the Kombi quite easily and sturdily.

    Overall – a big thumbs up.

    Cheers, Robbo
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Victor Harbor
    Posts
    133

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    To those that bought BCF Deluxe awnings:

    Did they come with the pegs/suction cups, or were they an option extra, we bought one yesterday, but it was just in a bag, rather than a box, so we arent sure if we are missing pieces, all we got was the Awning, 2 flexi-poles and a bag for the poles and a bag for the lot. No instructions, no pegs, no ropes, no suctions cups?

    Should we be returning it?

    Thanks
    - Adam and Zoe

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Gold Coast "Parkwood"
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    3,240

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zozo View Post
    To those that bought BCF Deluxe awnings:

    Did they come with the pegs/suction cups, or were they an option extra, we bought one yesterday, but it was just in a bag, rather than a box, so we arent sure if we are missing pieces, all we got was the Awning, 2 flexi-poles and a bag for the poles and a bag for the lot. No instructions, no pegs, no ropes, no suctions cups?

    Should we be returning it?

    Thanks
    - Adam and Zoe
    Yes take it back, it should have come with everything, suction caps, pegs ec.t I think we had instructions but we must have lost them.Not sure if it had ropes if it did they are now mixed up with our other ropes that we had.

    Last edited by mish13; 12-01-2009 at 03:37 PM.
    Michelle & Adrian
    74 Camper "Wilbur"
    71 Dual cab "Fog Lamp"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Newcastle NSW
    Posts
    12,033

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    I commented that it didn't have a box when you came out Adam.
    62 Splitty "Little Red" 75 Deluxe Bay...now the daily drive 2004 Touareg "Reggie" 1997 Mk3 Golf.

    "A few seats short of a Microbus!" - Quote: Syncro, 2013.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Griffith NSW
    Posts
    34

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    Glenn this is our set-up with the oz tent. If you buy all the extras like we did( fly,floor saver,front panel, side panels ) , it'll stand you in around 1500. But well worth it, the best tent I have used. Only downside is the length when packed up ( over 2 metres ), but I made a compartment in the kombi it slides into to keep it neat. Well chuffed with it though
    cheers

    phil
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sunshine Coast
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    57

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    Hello Phil,
    Is your Oz tent a RV-4 size?
    And is that just the front flap from the deluxe front panel over the top of your bay.
    Thanks!

    Have been thinking about a fiamma for a while 2, but I am put off by stories of fiamma's not standing up to wind or rain well? (An average queensland rain depression and coastal wind and you have to roll in your Fiamma?)


    Anyone have or seen an "Aussie Traveler Coolabah" awning? (designed and built in Aust.)
    How are they?

    Thanks in advance Jen.

  20. #20
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    Oct 2005
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    Bungendore, NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by bay76 View Post
    Have been thinking about a fiamma for a while 2, but I am put off by stories of fiamma's not standing up to wind or rain well? (An average queensland rain depression and coastal wind and you have to roll in your Fiamma?)

    Don't know where your information came from but our experience is very different.

    Our Fiamma awning has been through gale force winds and stayed there. I think it depends how you put it up. If you do what the salesman says and attach it to the weak brackets on the side of the vehicle then I think a good gust of wind will do damage. I make it a habit to use double guy ropes at 90 degrees on the outside poles i.e like a tent corner. This is not standard as Fiamma expect the awning to be held to the ground by a tent peg through a hole in the foot of the pole. Yeh right. The other thing I have done is stay the edge of the awning material to the ground if wind is likely. This just stops the flap.

    The awning will leak if you let water pool on it just as any canvas will. I normally slope it away from the van and lower at one end. I also invested in a centre rib pole. It is an optional extra but does give an extra slope to stop pooling.

    As far as camping in the rain, I camped in the wet that flooded Newcastle a couple of years ago. I was on the road at the time. We shipped no water though there was plenty outside. What I did find is that in very heavy rain I would get just a little come in between the van and the awning as the awning is mounted rigid and the '82 curves ever so slightly. I have fixed this with some aluminum L section and sealant. No rain now comes in there.

    As mentioned above we have come through some pretty nasty weather and only once did I roll in the awning. That was up in the high country in gale force winds when the van was rocking so severely that I was not sure if it was going to stay upright. My mates dome tent wound up with broken poles and torn tent material that night. Needless to say we came home the next morning.

    Bottom line is. I am very happy with the Fiamma awning. Dead easy to put up. Does not take up space inside the van. Down side is once it is put up you can't drive away. That hasn't stopped us in the 250,000km we have put in so far.
    ---------------------------------
    '89 Syncro Caravelle - Baloo

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