Awning Reviews

Discussion in 'Camping Australia' started by jangle63, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. jangle63

    jangle63 New Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Canungra
    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. MISS VDUB

    MISS VDUB New Member

    Messages:
    947
    Location:
    Beautiful Mt Nebo, QLD
    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. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Active Member

    Messages:
    2,066
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    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.
     
  4. jangle63

    jangle63 New Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Canungra
    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. Shifter

    Shifter New Member

    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    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

    [​IMG]
     
  6. jangle63

    jangle63 New Member

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Canungra
    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. Dingostrategy

    Dingostrategy New Member

    Messages:
    4,327
    Location:
    SW Vic ++
    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  8. mish13

    mish13 Active Member

    Messages:
    3,243
    Location:
    Gold Coast "Parkwood"
    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.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Shifter

    Shifter New Member

    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    Mish,

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

    Shifter New Member

    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    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.
     
  11. ruby6689

    ruby6689 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,076
    Location:
    Nimbin
    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:)
     
  12. Shifter

    Shifter New Member

    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Hobart, Tasmania
    Thank you for your prompt reply.
     
  13. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Active Member

    Messages:
    2,066
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW
    Thought I would post a couple of pics of the Fiamma awning without and with the homemade sides and rolled up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  14. Puddinbutt

    Puddinbutt New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Melbourne
    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 :lol:

    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
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Zozo

    Zozo New Member

    Messages:
    133
    Location:
    Victor Harbor
    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. mish13

    mish13 Active Member

    Messages:
    3,243
    Location:
    Gold Coast "Parkwood"
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  17. melissa

    melissa Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    12,130
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    I commented that it didn't have a box when you came out Adam.
     
  18. baydougal

    baydougal New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Griffith NSW
    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
     

    Attached Files:

  19. bay76

    bay76 Member

    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    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. Kombi Dad

    Kombi Dad Active Member

    Messages:
    2,066
    Location:
    Bungendore, NSW

    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.
     

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