Large awnings. Airbeam or pole?

May 20, 2024
6
1
15
Visit site
Wr bought a small airbeam porch awning to get started with the van, having had a Vango Airbeam tent for a few years. The ease of putting up strongly swayed ir judgement in that respect.

Having said that, for larger structures, how well do airbeams hold up? If you have an airbeam awning, would you go back to poles, or have you?

While we're not looking at making a change immediately, I'm trying to get an idea if the pros and cons.
 
Jun 20, 2005
17,604
3,698
50,935
Visit site
I’ve had both. Frankly , if you can afford it , or save up, an Isabella with Carbon X poles will stand the test of time.
Plus my two earlier poles Doremas were good
The Kampa Rallye Air resides In the loft . Enough said. 😉
 
Mar 14, 2005
1,387
351
19,435
Visit site
We have had both, the benefits/pitfalls of both have been done to death on here, but for us Air is our awning of choice, current favourite is Vango Riviera 390 with annexe that we use for longer than 5 day breaks, anything shorter a Quest Falcon lightweight. Won't be going back to poles, yes there is a risk of puncture, but no problem yet in 8 years, pegging takes the same time,the weight of the air awning is sometimes more, if tubes are built in, but providing you have removeable panels, the weight difference is negligible, also you have less chance of accidently damaging the side of the caravan if a pole should fall,if you choose poled I support DD go for Isabella or Ventura, Ventura being an Isabella brand. Also consider the fabric, the heavier the fabric the longer it is likely to last, and lastly check the size needed for the caravan, do you need a full size awning or would a 3/4 plus an annexe suit you. Also dont be afraid to ask other people on site, most will be happy to give an honest review and you can see their awning in the flesh too. We noticed last time we were away that air seemed more common than poles by about 4 to 1
 
Nov 11, 2009
20,784
6,465
50,935
Visit site
If you go for a 3/4 awning then if you change the caravan you are not hit with a bill for another awning and selling the old one at a reduced price.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tim2000s
Jul 18, 2017
367
34
10,685
Visit site
Having had both types,they’ve both got good and bad points.However,one thing nobody ever talks about is the weight of an air awning (we’re talking 3/4 or full awnings) with poles you usually have a bag for poles and a bag for awning,with air it’s just one big(and I mean big) and heavy ( if you’re of a certain age and above-good luck) . All said we’re on a Kampa club air 390 , love it ,apart from it condensate unless you leave some flaps open.
 
Mar 14, 2005
1,387
351
19,435
Visit site
Hi Brasso
We like a hard standing pitch and use a cheap tarpualin under our awning 'carpet' never get condensation, think the cheap tarp acts like a damp course and stops the moisture being sucked out of the ground
 
  • Like
Reactions: Steve1962
Jun 20, 2005
17,604
3,698
50,935
Visit site
Our Kampa Air suffered with condensation. Kampa have a solution . A purpose designed inner ceiling. Easily fastened Problem solved
 
Nov 30, 2022
994
846
1,135
Visit site
Hi Brasso
We like a hard standing pitch and use a cheap tarpualin under our awning 'carpet' never get condensation, think the cheap tarp acts like a damp course and stops the moisture being sucked out of the ground
After a few years I have discovered that if on hard standing overnight condensation is minimal or zero, but if on grass (with a breathable groundsheet) it tends to be much worse.
Like others I have had both. If on a seasonal pit h I would always opt for poled, if touring then an air awning is my choice. From opening the bag, to fully inflated,takes just 4.5 minutes (someone once timed me without my knowledge as they were thinking of getting an air version and wanted to see how long it took to erect) .

We never bother to remove any of the panels, but have developed a "system" for deployment. I pull the awning through the rail as Mrs P feeds it in. No pulleys or such being necessary (we are both 70) The caravan step provides enough height whilst drawing it through the dail.
The whole item weighs about 25kg so it's not a light item, but it doesn't have to be carried very far,!
It "lives" on the back seat of the car (and yes it is always secured by the seat belt)

Personally, for touring, I wouldnt go back to poled. Each to his own of course.
 
May 7, 2012
8,598
1,816
30,935
Visit site
By now air beams should have reached the point they are nearly as strong and reliable as poles, so unless you want them to stand up to the very worst conditions it should be a matter of personal preference. Air beams are easier tout up but can be heavier as the beam is part of the body and if you are a perfectionist poles do tend to let you adjust a bit more.
Possibly you do need to look at price as in general the more you ay the better the awning regardless of which you go for.
 
Sep 12, 2021
308
229
1,935
Visit site
We have a Dometic Rally 390 Pro Air awning, and on our last trip away at Old Oaks ( fabulous site), it was rigourously tested against both strong wind and torrential rain, several nights in a row.
I had it anchored down on the hard standing using marquee tent pegs like these. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/313713561628.

It coped very well, we never had any water ingress and nothing came loose.

I bought the tent pegs after speaking to Tony from Caravan Addys ( You Tube) whilst we were at Donkey Creek last year as he has a large awning and a seasonal pitch - he recommended them to me and now I won't use anything else.



Captain Chaos.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brasso530
Nov 11, 2009
20,784
6,465
50,935
Visit site
We have a Dometic Rally 390 Pro Air awning, and on our last trip away at Old Oaks ( fabulous site), it was rigourously tested against both strong wind and torrential rain, several nights in a row.
I had it anchored down on the hard standing using marquee tent pegs like these. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/313713561628.

It coped very well, we never had any water ingress and nothing came loose.

I bought the tent pegs after speaking to Tony from Caravan Addys ( You Tube) whilst we were at Donkey Creek last year as he has a large awning and a seasonal pitch - he recommended them to me and now I won't use anything else.



Captain Chaos.
I carried four such pegs along with my normal rock pegs and grass pegs. The marquee pegs really do grip tight.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Steve1962
Apr 13, 2021
106
65
4,635
Visit site
We have used a Vango 280 airbeam now with an extension canopy, had it 6 years and never had any problems, no leaks or condensation,
yes they are heavy and not so good on sloping ground but heyho thats life
 
Nov 30, 2022
994
846
1,135
Visit site
Those marquee pegs are basically the top end of rebar stakes (possibly painted) Only drawback is you need a pretty hefty (lump) hammer to drive them in.
 
Jul 18, 2017
12,669
3,575
32,935
Visit site
Those marquee pegs are basically the top end of rebar stakes (possibly painted) Only drawback is you need a pretty hefty (lump) hammer to drive them in.
We use them when using our sun canopy or could use them on the 4 corners of the awning if it is going to be really windy. So far no need to use them on the awning.
 
Jan 3, 2012
9,762
2,105
30,935
Visit site
We have used a Vango 280 airbeam now with an extension canopy, had it 6 years and never had any problems, no leaks or condensation,
yes they are heavy and not so good on sloping ground but heyho thats life
We also owned a brand new Vango Capella 220 air never had any problem with condensation ours was not to heavy .(y)
 
May 10, 2020
262
162
4,735
Visit site
We ( meaner) use an air awning which we swear by. Easy and quick to put up once you have mastered the technique. The downside of things are if you damage/ puncture a bladder it can be nigh impossible to repair. Don’t ask me how I know. The wise man will pack a spare bladder for each different type. AND ….. do not over inflate especially in hot weather.
 
Nov 30, 2022
994
846
1,135
Visit site
Re air awnings in hot weather..........
It's good practice to keep a watchful eye on the pressure within the bladders. It rises a fair but when exposed to bright sunshine. I tend to inflate mine to the point its just up and then adjust the pressure early afternoon to something near tge recommended pressure. That way I know that there is very little risk of any popping due to excess pressure. In addition my Vango has a total of 8 different bladders, and they are all connected, so I leave tge valves between them all open. That way any increase in one is "shared" with all the rest. It has been used, without issue, in some pretty fierce Spanish and French sunshine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ferrodo
Apr 18, 2024
23
8
15
Visit site
Wr bought a small airbeam porch awning to get started with the van, having had a Vango Airbeam tent for a few years. The ease of putting up strongly swayed ir judgement in that respect.

Having said that, for larger structures, how well do airbeams hold up? If you have an airbeam awning, would you go back to poles, or have you?

While we're not looking at making a change immediately, I'm trying to get an idea if the pros and cons.
We had a pole awning, a Kampa but we threw it in the local tip as it was too cumbersome to mess about with. Instead we bought a Vango Sonoma II that can be erected in less than 5 minutes and will take one hell of a beating, wind and rain wise. It does weigh a little more than the Kampa but I prefer to have something that can be erected fast, especially if it is pouring down. Poles are OK but as technology moves on, air awnings are superior as far as speed and stability in high winds is concerned.
 

TRENDING THREADS