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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've just part-exchanged our 200 model for a slightly longer 400 which does not have a pull-out awning. We didn't use the one we have very much - not at all in winter in fact, and are wondering about a lightweight gazebo instead eg from Argos catalogue:

http://tinyurl.co.uk/zej7

Does anyone have any experience of using one ? We reckon it can be left on site ( very well pegged down) when we go off and can be used either side of the van depending on the sun. It might also be the right height to drive up to if it is raining.

G
 

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Hi,
I have always used a gaxebo when tenting, Caravanning and last year in Spain I bought another one. The only probelm is if the wind gets up if the one you buy is a light weight one. They are very good for extra shade and can be left if you go out for the day. I am cheating a bit as I still have a wind out but because I dont have sides for it the shade is limited. I wanted to buy some of that shading matting you see in Spain but there was none left to be found when I was there in August. I will get some of this at some point for when I am next in Spain as you can cover a big area by hanging it from the trees.
Mike
 

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Hi Grizzly,

My last Autosleeper did not have an awning so I bought a robust "quick erect" gazebo complete with detachable sides from a local garden centre (£70). Very handy - only takes about 4 minutes to put up and the same to take down. The only draw back is it's quite a weight (about 50 ilbs) and rather awkward to manhandle when it is packed up in its sack (5'x 1'6"x1'6"). However the advantages are that 1. Very versatile 2. More shelter than a conventional awning 3. Can be left erected when you go out for the day - as you say make sure it is well pegged down. I now have an Autocruise with a fixed awning and safari room but I must admit that I prefer the gazebo. It's all down to personal choice.

Aaronsdad
 

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Hi Grizzly

Bought a 3mtr x 3mtr gazebo in France 2 years ago, as I did not wish to fit an awning to the MH, with hind sight, wish I had bought the 4mtr x 3mtr one, they came with 2 sides, but you can get additional sides, only thing is the height is 3 mtr in the centre, but only just over 2 mtr at the sides, so the MH door will not go under the gazebo, but the side windows will open under the gazebo roof, a few extra pegs is all you require, and has been well used in the last 2 years.

Colin R.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all...you've reassured me that a gazebo is a good thing. I'll have a look at the one in Argos and see how lightweight it actually is. We have a steel poled one that weighs a ton as well as being quite substantial when packed and have never even though about taking it with us. I hope this one will be smaller and lighter.

G
 

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we took an gazebo down to cornwall and ending up having to buy a tent cos it blew down!
cons- not robust enough in exposed areas
can't keep extras(people or equipment) in there as not as secure/waterproof/warm
LOTS OF SITES CHARGE EXTRA - i have seen loads of sites which charge extra for gazebo when an awning is included!

pro's - cheap and generally lightweight

we have a freestanding awing which is quite heavy and bulky to carry with us - if you are just on site for a day or two it seems a lot of work to put up but it probably doesn't take much longer to put up than a gazebo - we have also used it as sleeping space and becuase it is fully wetherproof can also set up electric items in there or put clothes to dry etc
bowever it was very costly over £500 new

this year we plan to go to europe and would like to get someting to provide shade - we do not want to put a windout on yet as we plan to trade in in a year so but have fund a produt by suncamp which fastens to the awning rail of caravans and prop up on tent typpoles so may try one of these
 

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Gazebo ?

infernal (sic) space taken up
Weight
Durability or lack thereof
Time to set up and take down
Bringing wet item into van, dont forget to dry it out when you get home otherwise it will rot and smell awful next time

Windout wins hands down, I cant see one advantage except price, you pays your money and lives with your choice.
 

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Have you thought of the Fiamma Caravanstor the 'awning in a bag'.
We bought one for our previous van as we knew that we would change it.

You need to have a length of awning rail added to the side of the van and once the awning is slid onto it it can stay there as you travel or be removed if you wish.
There info here: http://partners.fiamma.it/en/homeng.asp with a video of one being erected.

We bought a 3m for the Swift but last year we bought a new 4m one for £120 on e-bay (normal retail about £175) to fit onto our mobile home in France.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another bright idea shot down in flames ! We've just been to look at the so-called "lightweight" gazebo at Argos. It weighs a hefty 22kg and is as tall as I am. Definately not an option. It had steel poles not the carbon fibre ones I was expecting for it to qualify as lightweight.


Fair points George but, having lived with a wind out awning, we decided not to replace it as we have not got enough use from it to justify this.
We do not put it up in winter as it is not up to the job and in summer it gives shade only when the sun is overhead. We used it in conjunction with a light French tarpaulin last year but spent a lot of ime re-fastening that and designing ways to attach it more firmly. We worried about it's durabilty in wind too -having heard horror stories of van sides being ripped open. We have a full safari room for it but have not even unpacked that as it is too heavy and awkward to warrant taking away.

A gazebo still seems like a good answer to the need for shade which is the thing we will want it for in Europe. We don't usually leave things outside anyway.

I'll keep looking

G
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
autostratus said:
Have you thought of the Fiamma Caravanstor the 'awning in a bag'.
quote]

I've not seen these Gillian -they look like an excellent idea. One of our worries with the regular wind out awning is the question of how stable they would be- even with a tie down strap which we have- in sudden winds as happen on the continent. This looks like it addresses that as presumably the junction of the van and the awning is a weak spot and the whole thing would fall off first - ?

Have you got the side panels for it ? Are they interchangeable - ie can you buy one and use it either on the right or left according to the sun ?
Perhaps the safari room we have would fit on one side.

Thanks

G
 

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Hi Grizzly

Not sure were this "they are not up to it in the winter" comes from, I have used a wind out year round, yep you need two people to wind in if the weathers rough, but try taking a gazebo down if the winds up (definately worse than a wind out!)

Tied it down and you will have no probs. Even on the continent
 

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we have both and I find them great. We would normally not put up the gazebo unless we are staying more than 4 days. I would position it if possible near to the motorhome so that when we wind out the awning they meet. It is useful it the weather is very sunny to give you shade and if it is wet more area to walk around in without getting wet. Also when you go off for the day no need to pack up all your tables and chairs just pile them in to the middle of the gazebo, along with anything else you do not need to bring with you. Awning is very handy when you are stopping for short periods, i love sitting under it if it is raining outside, something therapeutic about, like I know it is raining but i am not letting that stop me going outside. It also keeps the area outside the motorhome dry, therefore less wet going inside. In the new m/h the awning is 5.5meter long so there should be loads of space to sit in. If I was getting a gazebo i would make sure that the top is waterproof. Downside of just having a gazebo is that they are not tall enough to cover the door of the motorhome so you have to leave a gap to open the door.
 

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Grizzly said:
I've not seen these Gillian -they look like an excellent idea. One of our worries with the regular wind out awning is the question of how stable they would be- even with a tie down strap which we have- in sudden winds as happen on the continent. This looks like it addresses that as presumably the junction of the van and the awning is a weak spot and the whole thing would fall off first - ?
The bag ie the part which contains the awning is mounted on the van just as an awning is slid into the rail on a caravan.
The bag is unzipped along its length giving access to the rolled up awning.
The straight rail we had fixed to the van had screws at about 30cm centres along its length.
Any awning will be susceptible to wind if it isn't properly anchored down. I know from experience.
Grizzly said:
Have you got the side panels for it ?
No we haven't got side panels.
At the time we bought the one for the Swift there were no side panels available.
Grizzly said:
Are they interchangeable - ie can you buy one and use it either on the right or left according to the sun ?
Providing you have a suitable rail on both sides then the Caravanstor is interchangeable.

Grizzly said:
Perhaps the safari room we have would fit on one side.
If the safari room you already have is intended for a mechanical roll out awning then it will have been designed for that purpose only. Fixing to the 2 awnings is quite different.
 

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Hi Grizzley

Family and friends who camp regularly year round here and abroad, we have had only one blow over and that was the chaps fault, he tried to wind it in alone in an awful gale, it would have been better to leave it out, everyone else did and they all survived. (mind you the next day people were collecting gazebo's from far and wide, one had to be recovered off the top of a large campervan) I bet between us we have more camp nights than any recereational user will get in a lifetime, tie it down, it wont go anywhere.

If there was bad weather on the way, I would take it down (purely for noise reasons the flapping sounds awful in bad winds), if bad weather hits unexpected I would leave it up.
 

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Gazebo ... not always welcome

HI all,
Loads of interesting stuff on Gazebos. If I can chip in with a couple of points. Some sites do not allow them....big sign up at the entrance at a couple we stayed on . Heard also that you may get charged an extra fee same as if you had a seperate tent on your pitch. The argument being that if it ain`t attached to your van then it ain`t an awning.
Cheers
Haggler
 

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we took an gazebo down to cornwall and ending up having to buy a tent cos it blew down!
cons- not robust enough in exposed areas
can't keep extras(people or equipment) in there as not as secure/waterproof/warm
LOTS OF SITES CHARGE EXTRA - i have seen loads of sites which charge extra for gazebo when an awning is included!

pro's - cheap and generally lightweight

we have a freestanding awing which is quite heavy and bulky to carry with us - if you are just on site for a day or two it seems a lot of work to put up but it probably doesn't take much longer to put up than a gazebo vs awning - we have also used it as sleeping space and becuase it is fully wetherproof can also set up electric items in there or put clothes to dry etc
bowever it was very costly over £500 new

this year we plan to go to europe and would like to get someting to provide shade - we do not want to put a windout on yet as we plan to trade in in a year so but have fund a produt by suncamp which fastens to the awning rail of caravans and prop up on tent typpoles so may try one of these
Hello. New here. sorry to bother you. I'm in the market for a gazebo or awning. I want to get one with the side walls to enclose it if necessary. The idea is to give me shelter at the bakkie while preparing food etc The awning is attached and quick to pull out The gazebo can be positioned at the rear over the tailgate to form a room at the entrance to the bak. I'm new to "ou toppie" organised camping. Please give me some guidance.
 

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Hi and welcome

Can I ask what motorhome you have?

Many motorhomes can have a wind out canopy or awning attached to them. Then it is possible to buy the sides which can be attached to it when it is wound out. These used to be/are known as safari rooms. The benefit is that if you just want a shaded area you do not need to attach the sides. The sides would have to be stowed somewhere on board which takes up room and payload.

Alternatively you could buy a Drive Away Awning (just google that term). which may suit better.

I can't help on gazebos I'm afraid.
 

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I don't know what ou toppie is but if you're new to MHing I'd try without either a safari room or a gazebo. Quite a few folk have bought safari rooms/full awnings etc n find they're too much hassle n sell them on.
 
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