15th January 2016
With our Bailey Pageant Brindisi we have an Isabella 420 Universal awning, it isn't full size but it certainly isn't small either.
Every winter the main thing we do is add extra support poles, this is because you could go to sleep with grass showing and wake the next morning to 2ft of snow on the ground so you need to be prepared at all times. The snow adds a huge amount of weight to the awning so you need to be confident that you have put it up correctly and it is going to withstand that extra weight.
Clearing the awning is an important job to do, if the forecast is showing heavy snowfall then make sure you check on it every few hours and give it a scrape clear so that it doesn't build up too much. Ours is designed for winter use with a more sloping roof to cope with snowy conditions. The great thing with Isabella is they provide lots of useful extras to go with your awning.
This winter we have a roof liner for the awning which really is great, it stops all of the condensation from dripping all over your things. A lot of the European caravans on our campsite have cooking equipment set up in their awnings so having the roof liner would be essential for them. Simon services and waxes ski's on his workbench in the awning so it's really important to have plenty of space to move around and also keep him and his tools dry when he is working in there.
Storm straps are another thing worth investing in, especially if like us your awning is going to be up for a long time. People that only visit their caravan every so often use storm straps too so they know the awning will be ok when they are not there to keep an eye on things. If you are spending a long time in your caravan somewhere cold and snowy you need to look at high quality awnings, summer porch awning just won't cut it. They are fine for quick stops as they don't take long to put up and are also easy to maintain but if you are onsite for a long time then invest in a residential type awning. Isabella do have quite a high price tag but they are also very high quality and they are great when it comes to aftercare if you ever have any issues.
It is great having an awning while winter caravanning but make sure you take the time to get it set up correctly.