We supply you with the van a full awning that will look something like this
Putting it up for the first time can be a bit daunting, but it is pretty easy for 2 people for your first time it is best to have a practice run, find a quiet corner of a field on a calm day where you potter around without being the ‘entertainment’ for the rest of the campsite 🙂 you will no doubt find however that most people with awnings will happily put you straight or help if you are struggling for the first time.
Here is a video that shows you how to put an awning up.
And a useful article on caring for your awning from canvaslove.co.uk
Care for your awning
If a good quality awning is well treated it will provide many year’s trouble free service. However you do need to look after them. This brief guide gives advice on what to do and what not to do.
It is important to try and keep your awning clean, as over time bird mess, mud and tree sap can all leave unsightly stains. There are several “dos and don’ts” you should take into account.
DO wait until the awning is dry before cleaning – usually you can simply brush off dirt, especially mud.
DO only use clean, luke warm water if the marks prove to be more stubborn.
NEVER use detergents such as washing up liquid; this will damage the waterproof properties of the canvas- your awning will leak!
NEVER put any sections of the awning through a washing machine.
NEVER clean your awning with a high pressure hose.
NEVER use sterilising products like Milton.
If the marks cannot be removed easily you may find that you have to use a specialist awning cleaning product such as Isabella Alpha 1-2-3 or Grangers Fabric Cleaner. Be careful which you use as for example the Alpha cleaner requires you to reproof your canvas after use. It is very prudent to try any product on a small area first to ensure there is no adverse reaction with the canvas.
Over time some awnings will require re-proofing to keep them water tight. This is far more the case with older cotton awnings then with modern polyester and acrylic material. You are not likely to need to do this unless the awning is left up for very long periods of time other several seasons.
It is quite common for even the most expensive new awning to leak. Do not panic – the fibres in both the stitching and the canvas need to be rained upon a few times. This makes the fibres swell up and become water tight.
There are various re-proofing products available such as Fabsil.
If an awning requires complete re-proofing then it is usually best to erect it. This is normally only required in cases where the awning has been extensively used in all weather conditions. If only a small area needs to be treated simply spread it out in your back garden.
Re-proofing products are flammable so no smoking or naked flames! This applies until the solution has completely dried.
For the best results you need to re-proof the awning on a warm, dry day. However you don’t want baking hot sun as the solution may dry out before actually impregnating the canvas.
The awning needs to be clean – we suggest that if the outside is very dirty and will not clean up properly, proof the awning inside instead.
Products like Fabsil can either be painted on or applied in aerosol form. If you choose an aerosol avoid using on a windy day, as a lot of the spray will blow away from the canvas.
Sometimes taking an awning down when its wet can’t be avoided. If this happens make sure that the awning is dried out as quickly as possible, otherwise mildew will set in even with modern materials. These unsightly spores are extremely hard to remove and your awning will, frankly, stink!
If your awning is cotton you have to be very careful that its not packed away wet for longer than a day or so, this applies to a lesser degree with acrylic and polyester. A number of times we have had customers tell us that they have spoken to dealers who have said that acrylic awnings can be packed away wet – this is a fallacy, do not do it! An acrylic or polyester awning can be safely packed away wet for about 48 hours, any longer than this and mildew will start to set in. Also, the stitching on awnings tends to be made out of cotton, this will rot and your awning will fall to pieces!
If you open your awning to find that any of the windows appear misty do not panic. This usually means that some moisture and/or condensation has been left on the material. Dry the relevant panel out fully and the misting will nearly always clear.
During the summer months it is quite safe to store your awning in your caravan. Make sure that you do not store the canvas with the poles touching as you could mark the fabric. The same applies with pegs; always pack them with the poles and not the canvas. An awning manufacturer would recognise rust marks immediately and they are not covered in the warranty.
During the winter months it is possible that condensation can form in caravans so we recommend that you bring the awning indoors. Store in a cool, dry place such as the attic or roof space.
Do not pack the poles away wet as they can corrode…this doesn’t apply with Fibreglass and Alloy poles. If you have steel poles that fit one inside the other we recommend you keep them separate if not using the awning for a long time, as this means they won’t corrode together if any condensation did happen to get in.