VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would post up and share my own self-designed Prototype Awning cum Porch design that I recently had made for the van by a local firm. It still needs some tweaking but we took it away on a weeks trip to the Scottish Highlands recently and worked pretty well.

Bit of background first to explain the rationale behind the concept as I/m sure it will provoke some feedback as being impractical for others etc. But like most things what "one mans poison, is another mans gravy"....

So already own a large Kyham Drive away awning which is a great bit of kit but isn't exactly the smallest to carry around or easiest of things to put up and take down (well I don't think so anyhow). Brilliant if your staying in the same lace for a few or more days but not much use for touring and moving around IMHO.

Also own a couple of the Sun canopy style awnings that are basically large bits of materiel that come off the side of the van and provide a certain amount of shelter, however they don't handle the rain very well (as found out last year in June on a 2 week trip )or offer protection from the wind - yep I know you can use wind breaks to "close off the open ends) and we have done but its yet another bit of kit (or two) and not exactly "sturdy" unless you go for the guyed to the hilt versions (which we have) but then again a lot of pegs and guy lines involved as well as a bit of a balancing act to get put up

But in both cases they are made of tent materials fabric which if your out in the "typical" British weather at ...well anytime of the year! you will need to dry out when you get back home otherwise its goes mouldy and rots over time which can be a right PITA.

And with having recently fitted an Eberspacher Airtronic heater to the van we have decided that we will be going away at the cooler (read wetter) times of the year in the future to make the most use of the van all year around. Also we prefer the "quieter" months outside of the School holidays when the camp sites are a bit more "peaceful". I:

So using a company (Sheer Speed Shelters) I had come across through my work in the past, I approached the owner and asked if he would be willing to make up an awning cum shelter cum porch to my own design using what I already knew was a good commercial grade product that is used to make Police forensic tents and the little railway and roadside cabinet tens used by Network Rail and Telecoms companies. There web site is here if anybody is interested http://www.sheerspeedshelters.com/.

The material used is 100% rot resistant but its doesn't breath (but that's not an issue for my design) very strong and pretty light although I did go for the heaver grade of the fabric for my design.

As you can see my design provides a sheltered section to stop rain snow/hail from entering the van if the side door is open, it also offers a small cooking/sitting area and protection from the prevailing wind (as long as you park head first into it of course).

After a week living with it and putting it up and down 5 times (i.e. five location stops) my wife has christened it the "Easi-Peezi Porch".

The tweaks that now need doing are that we realise the leading edge of the lighter roof section sags a little bit too much, but then it does have a 13mm fibre glass folding pole threaded through its leading edge to add weight (helps it from flapping about too much and ensure rain runs off) so a new pole (which I must post a picture of the single one supplied as its "awesome") is going to be used. The 2nd but last picture shows this in blue.

Also we have decided we want another panel with a window in it that will go between the original pole and the new pole I refereed to above to just give a little bit more wind protection. This is shown on the same photo as the new pole location.

It also needs just a couple of new guy line attachment points on the red shelter section just to provide some extra tension to the fabric and stop it from blowing inwards when its facing into the wind.

There are a couple of other things we want to change such as the guys lines used to hold it to the van, swap them out for webbing strap material as opposed to the standard "string" style as the tensioners are really easy to sue and it will minimise the risk of damage to the vans paint work or Silver Screen protector.

It did stand up very well indeed to a windy and rain lashed night the other week when we were in Scotland with no drama.

Anyhow the pictures taken at the Glencoe Caravan & Camping Club site:-














 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,836 Posts
can you do handed versions as i would prefer it at the rear side enclosed so i can still use the passenger door etc, i too thought of doing something similar with this a larger version of this with awning strip sewn into the top flat,, i hate the ways that nearly all awning etc foul the passenger door
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,836 Posts
i just brought one of these as pictures below and i just made small wind break for each end, that if need can be put up but it would be good if the said picture had half the sides covered so kids could exit through the side even if just one side but it provides good rain protection for the sliding door etc with out fouling the door also you can peg the front part and roll it up if you want more front view sunny weather etc, where your awing is tappered at the top giving less weather protection etc

sorry bout the drawing ran out of beer mats to write on lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seems decent, rough sort of cost for the new modded version
Well firstly I'm not manufacturing them, f you wanted one then you will need to contact the company that made it for me, and so far its cost be about £300, which I suspect will put a lot of people off.:eek:

But it is bespoke and also the material used isn't cheap.

And the figure I have quoted isn't including the new panel and pole but does include some alterations/small additions as it is a prototype and that's what the boss of the company offered in the price.

Will be obviously going back to him soon to get my alterations and additions sorted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
can you do handed versions as i would prefer it at the rear side enclosed so i can still use the passenger door etc, i too thought of doing something similar with this a larger version of this with awning strip sewn into the top flat,, i hate the ways that nearly all awning etc foul the passenger door
http://s426.photobucket.com/user/karlos1/media/TEN298Green_zpsb84a593b.jpg.html
Sorry I'm not going to start producing them as I'm not a manufacturer, although I like your idea of adapting the windbreak (I have a similar one myself).

What I would suggest is try and find out who some of the ore "serious" independent camping shops (and I don't mean Millets, Blacks, Go-Outdoors or Cotswold leisure) are in your local area, give them a ring and find out who they may know or use for tent repairs. Then approach one of these companies with your idea.

Or Equine (aka ponies & horse) Tack manufactures will sometimes do alterations or maybe interior auto trimmers/car hood makers should able to sort you out.

What you need is somebody with a industrial type sewing machine and willingness to do something a little different for a change. I find that as in my case they will do it for you at a reasonable price as its just breaks up the monotony of what they normally do day in day out. Oh and go visit them in person as sometimes a pleading "lost puppy" look on your face will get you the answer your looking for rather than a curt "no we don't do that" over the phone, where your not a real person just a faceless "oike" asking (in their opinion) a waste of time question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i just brought one of these as pictures below and i just made small wind break for each end, that if need can be put up but it would be good if the said picture had half the sides covered so kids could exit through the side even if just one side but it provides good rain protection for the sliding door etc with out fouling the door also you can peg the front part and roll it up if you want more front view sunny weather etc, where your awing is tappered at the top giving less weather protection etc
Yep we have one of these and after a night of rain in a Cotswold camping site last year the centre of the roof section had a nice "pond" in the centre of it and was about 12" closer to the ground. i.e. it bulged downwards. This has stretched the fabric and although I would say its great for the odd light shower it wont stand up to some heavy weather IMHO, remember we want to go away in the more "inclement" British seasons.

But this type would be our first choice too if we were going off in the summer months no doubt about it. T: I would just prey it doesn't rain too much.

I would agree that in my design the sliding door does touch the furthest part of the roof section where it goes back in to meet the vans awning rail, and I was concerned about it prior to going away the other week. But in pratice I would not call it a "foul" in the normal sense of some damage occurring, as the door just glides underneath the leading edge and the material (+ the glass fibre weighting pole) just moves up out of the way. There is no risk of it snagging as the material is just too slippery and robust.

It didn't let in any rain last week up in Scotland as I'm pretty confident that there is enough of a overhang over the sliding door to prevent rain driving in....as long as it doesn't go horizontal and if that happens I personally think we will be looking for the nearest Travelodge LOL:but only time will tell, in a years time after a full season using it I may report back it was one of my "errors of judgement" and "oh why did I think I know better then the awning manufactures !" I:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
l'm awaiting delivery of a 3m Reimo Palm Beach with side part for under £200 T:
That's like this one isn't it ? Has fibre glass bracing poles that go from corner to corner. But the REMIO comes with a side panel ?

Which this version I got from Just Kampers can have as an option....if they stocked it any more, which they don't, Grrrrr

Yep that's another of our choices for the summer months, but if I'm honest I cant see it staying put in gusty winds and again it s sold as a sun/fair weather canopy. Made my own custom brackets to affix it to the awning rail.

Be great for meets to shelter from the rain though just not sure about the Highlands of Scotland in February with a force 5 blowing ?





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
I think these are all a great idea - I went away the other weekend and took my kyham sunshade and a bivvi tarp - I didn't use them, but my idea was to put a "side" on the sun shade to enclose it a bit, like Karlos' above, and then maybe have it so it was "free standing" and driveaway - somewhere to leave cooker/chairs etc.

The op's one - if you had a flap/door across the tent piece it could be closed to make a small tent like area, and opened to form another side to the a
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top