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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've just bought a T4 LWB with a pop top. My wife, me and our 2 year old daughter will be camping in it soon, but we're wanting to have an awning so the adults can stay up a little longer after our toddler goes to bed. We'd want a midge free area to relax in the evening. We have never used an awning before so are looking for advice on what to look for and how other families deal with the same situation. Our van has an awning rail fitted, but no awning came with it.

Also are they all the same size? Will caravan ones fit? Are they all good? or are some terrible?

Thanks in advance for the advice
 

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What Kevin said, above....

We got a barely used Vango Kela 4 (I think) blow up awning thing. Goes up quick, fits in the bag when you take it down, can be driven away from and stands on its own, even in the wind.

Your van already has a rail, so that’s good, you’d also need a little joiner strip to make the awning joining bit properly ‘drive away’. If you don’t need to drive away, ever, then awning just attaches to the van for the weekend, but it’s nice to have the flexibility.

It’s the joining bit of the awning that’s matched to the van height, so if you shop for them at places like Just Kampers, and the like, you can see pictures of them on T4/5, etc. They are not all the same size and spec, but I wouldn’t go massively large, unless you really need to have a party in it.

Have fun shopping - an awning is a great extension even if you haven’t got a family: I routinely throw loads of things into it from the van, just to get them out of the way!
 

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Caravan awnings are generally too big and tall for a van .
Blow up are imho the way to go but normally more experience.
If you can find something that allows you to have the slider all the way open while still covering the aperture and the end of the open sliding door then thats the one i'd go for .
 

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Mine is a T4 motorhome, so have the height for a caravan awning, it's the side door on my van that's the issue. Blow up awnings are expensive I paid £100 for mine 2nd hand but hardly used and mint, look on the selling sites shpock, gumtree etc.

Sent from my I3312 using Tapatalk
 

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Problem you will have is availability, everyone and their milksman hamster are buying transporters and holidaying in the uk so everything is low stock or out of stock.
Stick to the main suppliers:
Funky Leisure
Just Kampers
Purely Outdoors
I bought a poled one and it's perfectly fine, I can pitch in 10 minutes and it's just me.
 

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ZGZ mentioned the Vango Kela - we have one too after downsizing from a frankly enormous Khyam Motordome Sleeper. It'll do all the things you want it to whilst providing somewhere to dump stuff if you unhook and go out for the day in the van (saves packing the van up each time), packs down quite small and is dead easy to put up.

Pretty sure it'll be the same for the T4 but for a T5, you need to look for a "low" attachment one if looking at Vangos - quite often see high ones etc but they're for taller motorhomes etc.

This is ours to give you an idea of the size - after going through a few awnings, its the one we've settled on and agreed that its perfect for us (2 adults, 11 and 8 year olds and a dog).

Kela III by DaveyBoyWonder, on Flickr
 

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Nice looking set up there Davey (y)
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Caravan awnings are generally too big and tall for a van .
Blow up are imho the way to go but normally more experience.
If you can find something that allows you to have the slider all the way open while still covering the aperture and the end of the open sliding door then thats the one i'd go for .
That's a very good point about the sliding door that I had not considered. Thank you for that insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So forgive me if it's a stupid question, but with the air awnings, I understand how they are quick to put up. But putting them down again? Do you have to roll all the air out? Or can you reverse the pump to suck it out?
 

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The air awning things typically come with their own upright pump; they’re directional, so you can pump the air out very quickly if you want.... you can roll it and squeeze the air out with the valve open, and that works too, of course, but I’ve found it a bit quicker to pump it down.

And yes, you need a ‘low’ attachment for this kind of van, forgot to mention that, thanks Davey.

A top tip if you get one like Davey and me (top steelies and lowering, btw mate) is to take the inflatable mid roof beam out and collapse it just before you collapse the rest of it: Have now lost count of the amount of times I’ve left it in and forgotten until it’s too late... but that’s camping and hangovers for you :whistle:
 

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take the inflatable mid roof beam out and collapse it just before you collapse the rest of it: Have now lost count of the amount of times I’ve left it in and forgotten until it’s too late... but that’s camping and hangovers for you :whistle:
We've all done that :LOL:
 

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We've just bought a T4 LWB with a pop top. My wife, me and our 2 year old daughter will be camping in it soon, but we're wanting to have an awning so the adults can stay up a little longer after our toddler goes to bed. We'd want a midge free area to relax in the evening. We have never used an awning before so are looking for advice on what to look for and how other families deal with the same situation. Our van has an awning rail fitted, but no awning came with it.

Also are they all the same size? Will caravan ones fit? Are they all good? or are some terrible?

Thanks in advance for the advice
I'm a newbie T4 owner ('89 Lwb). After many camping trips with my kids, staring at everyone elses van, I treated myself ! One thing I absolutely needed was an awning for extra beds. The driveways all seemed quite expensive considering their size. So I opted for Vango airbeam 'Tent extension' it works exactly like an awning - pitched over the van- and I was able to add 2 x inner sleep pods giving me 4 extra berths. Without the pods, it works as a great place for evening sitting, a great place to keep the bikes and/or boards if you driveaway. £149 new Vango targa extension 2 x sleep pods @ £10 each. Providing you are not bothered about colour matching (its green) it looks and acts like a driveaway..... I'll post pics if I can work out how !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm a newbie T4 owner ('89 Lwb). After many camping trips with my kids, staring at everyone elses van, I treated myself ! One thing I absolutely needed was an awning for extra beds. The driveways all seemed quite expensive considering their size. So I opted for Vango airbeam 'Tent extension' it works exactly like an awning - pitched over the van- and I was able to add 2 x inner sleep pods giving me 4 extra berths. Without the pods, it works as a great place for evening sitting, a great place to keep the bikes and/or boards if you driveaway. £149 new Vango targa extension 2 x sleep pods @ £10 each. Providing you are not bothered about colour matching (its green) it looks and acts like a driveaway..... I'll post pics if I can work out how !
I have a pop top so can't really pitch anything "over" the van as it gets pretty tall. But a good tip for people on a budget.
 

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I have a pop top so can't really pitch anything "over" the van as it gets pretty tall. But a good tip for people on a budget.
Ahhhh yes, you did mention the popup ! 🤭
I'd attach awning beading to the pitch over and use your awning rail then. If you are handy with a sewing machine ? If only I could post a pic....
 

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You just open the valve and when start to roll them back up they lose any leftover air.
I struggle to get all the air out of my single airbed, reckon I'd have a right mare with an air awning 😂
 

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I think the added weight of the awning canvas helps expel most of it as it collapses. Didn't have too much problem packing up the Galli 3 (other than being in near gale force wind conditions!!)
 

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I’m a newbie and as was mentioned earlier awnings are very sought after at the moment. We decided to go with a poled one to start and found the Vango Cairns Low fitted what we wanted. Giving it its first outing this coming weekend.
193899
 
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