Monday, 19 August 2013

Back to Golden Cross to try out a porch awning

Our new awning - Panama Weekender by Towsure 
So as you have probably guessed from the photo, our indecision about the best porch awning has been resolved and this is the one with which we ended up. We bought from Riversway Leisure and chose their 260 model but I am very glad that we chose to buy through +eBay because getting them to send a complete awning turned into a bit of a nightmare. I'm not planning to ever buy from them again! In the end, we have got a Panama Weekender 260 made by +Towsure 

We went back to Golden Cross, to the site of our first caravan stay, this time to stay for three nights making a long weekend of it. The Old Mill site was much busier this time with all eight touring pitches occupied but it was still peaceful. We saw a few planes on their way to Airborne and took advantage of the proximity to have a lovely roast lamb lunch at the Golden Cross Inn

Back to the awning! Initially a disappointing purchase due to poor customer service - advertised 24 hour delivery took three days, then incomplete item sent so further delivery required - so we were somewhat apprehensive about putting up the awning wondering what else would go wrong. However, it was pretty straightforward and we managed to get everything done in about half an hour which we were pleased with for a first attempt. The printed instructions are not good - for example 4 guy ropes are mentioned when the awning has 6 - so we applied our knowledge of putting up tents instead. One of the bendy poles 'bit' Dave requiring a swift first aid break, otherwise all good. In order to have easy clearance to open the door, one awning pole stands just behind the red light towards the front of Bailey and the other is half-way across the 'bedroom' window. This does mean that two windows cannot be opened while the awning is up, although they still admit plenty of light, but there are another three windows, two skylights and the door so we didn't miss any ventilation! 

The awning is easily big enough for two sun loungers and we also cooked out there with a camping stove on a table. Both the front panels and both side doors open up to give a gazebo effect, or any can be closed to provide wind breaks. There are four windows with blinds for shade or privacy and both the doors can be just fly screens. Negatives are that we're not yet sure about the pale top because this might not provide shade in sunnier climes and the stays on the guy ropes are weak. One already snapped during the first night so we swapped it with its unused neighbour and I'll probably replace all the ropes with the sturdier ones from our old tent in time. Overall though, the awning does what we wanted it too, it feels larger inside than we expected and we're very pleased with it.

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