We always knew that we would need an awning because of the compactness of Gordon (the bongo not my late father (anyone who knew him would agree you couldn’t really say he was compact)) and we knew we wanted one that we could easily detach if we wanted to drive the van away and leave the awning on site so we bit the bullet and bought a very cheap one to see if it would do the job.
We found that the awning was the perfect size and colour (grey to match the silver of Gordon (the bongo not my dad (right from now on if I say Gordon I am talking about Gordon Bingo Bongo the van to avoid confusion)(unless I’m talking about my dad) but it has those fibreglass poles and anyone who has put one of these things up with very little if any instructions, then add to the mix me who has serious OCD and very little patience and my lovely wife who is absolutely AMAZING and is my hero but unfortunately is compact in size and very easy to blame for A. Not standing in the right place at the right time ,B. Being too short, C. Not being a bloke and several more reasons for me to blame her for it not going text book perfectly correct.
We have used it several times since and it has gotten easier every time mainly because I took a back seat and let her tell me how to do it because (and I’m not being patronising here) she is ALWAYS right.
Here is a picture of one of our finest erection with the cheap awning.
The awning is good but very bendy if not fully pegged down including guide ropes and it flaps about quite noisily in the wind so it needed to be replaced with a new improved version. We did the usual and made a list of what we needed and wanted and it consisted of all four sides to have doors so in summer we can open the all and just use it as a sun shelter by day and awning by night, it had to be air beamed (a blow up awning no poles) and it had to have a clip in removable ground sheet so if we are on hard standing we could choose to not use it.
We searched the inter web and decided on a Kampa Travel Pod Motion AIR made for a VW styled van but we really wanted to see one up in physical form before we parted with hard earned cash so off to the Birmingham NEC to see the Motorhome & Caravan Show in Gordon to see and buy.
The show was brilliant and we did lots of dreaming of retirement bigger vans but we had a mission to complete and we are the kind of couple who don’t mess about when we know what we want. We entered the show at 10.30am and were back in Gordon driving by 12.00pm having purchased the afore mentioned awning and a double folding chair, well I did say we didn’t mess about.
We had booked a Caravan & Motorhome Club site at Blackshaw Moor for the same night to try out the new purchase (it had better be everything we wanted it to be).
Well we parked up, put the windscreen and front door covers on and turned the passenger swivel seat round then opened up the awning bag………….”this will be a piece of cake and I promise I wont shout at you” I said to Mrs B, that lasted not even 5 minutes when we realised that the instructions were basically inflate it and enjoy.
It is probably best to point out at this point that for the past few days the press and news has been reported storm Brian is due today and night and we have a brand new awning with no instructions and Mrs B is just getting over a bug and I’m a little stressed after the satnav in my own words was “right royally taking the mickey” and sending us down some tiny tiny lanes.
We blew it up and pegged it out and I bombarded Mrs B with such classics as “just sit in the van” and “why don’t you just help” and “I’m sorry your ill just go and sit in the van” followed by “can you just peg this out please” all in that order.( quick note from Mrs B here….that last bit is heavily edited the language was choice to say the least 😏😲)
The awning is up and pegged out complete with storm lines and is very stable and looks awesome, we have made a list of things we need to do next time to make it easier and better, we have had a chippy tea from an awesome chip van that came on site and Mrs B has calmed down now after I apologised and made her a brew. Lesson learnt?
NEVER BUY AN AWNING AND EXPECT TO PUT IT UP CALMLY THE FIRST TIME (this is my next tattoo)
Below is our new awning complete with fallen leaves, was it worth it………………YES