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Awning Dilema

  • Thread starter CornflakesCornflakes
  • Start date


T5 SE 140 4Motion
Hi All, we purchased a 2014 California in December and would like to buy an awning for it, almost certainly one big enough to accommodate a bed area and extra seating space (eg Vango Galli III). However, before we take the plunge, we were wondering whether anyone had any views on makes / models bearing in mind that most seem to be designed to work best with converted vans as opposed to genuine Calis - that is to say, if you have a cali, the van faces into the pitch whilst the awning faces out (rather than both facing the same direction). That doesn’t matter hugely but just wondered if anyone had any observations from practical experience.

Pic of our Cali attached. We’re very pleased.

Many thanks

why should it matter which way the van/awning face? I have never understood.

anyway you can get the galli III in left and right sided versions. It would certainly fulfil your requirements as above.

i had a galli III so speak from experience, but sold it recently as I didnt use it much
We have the Vango Tolga. Goes on either side. TBH not quite sure the question. Our Cali is not a conversion and DAAs work the same way regardless. It’s the runner, not the van, that is important. We have one on each side.

*Edit - Ok, after seeing the image from @Blue Yonder below I get the L/R question. It’s one of the reasons we got the Tolga - small but big enough and the door faces out rather than to the back so works either side. We would always put on the sliding door side tbh.

On pitch size some are 6x6 (the most recent CMC one was) so even with a small Tolga it was *just* inside the lines. The guy ropes weren’t. On this pitch they made us reverse in, so it really does change site by site - another reason to get a uni-side DAA.
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My advice (having owned three drive away awnings before finding the one that works for us) is...

If just a couple and expecting good weather then sun awning with the thule sunblocker panels (thule side arms required) for extra sun protection and privacy is best solution.

If need extra sleeping space or expecting bad (wet/cool) weather then we take our driveway awning.

Things to consider when buying a drive away awning.

On most uk pitches you park so your sliding door is on the right as you face your pitch. So for california its nose in first. Now I suggest you have an awning that when fitted to your van its main opening is facing out from your pitch to get the potentially best view. So for California the tent opening is at the rear of the van.
Next get polycotton rather than polyester. Polycotton is a bit heavier and bit more expensive but miles better in terms of it being a cosy place to use in wet cooler weather. Also better if the sun is shining too.

We settled on an outdoor revolution movielite T4 PC with annex. Anything bigger than this bad boy would not fit on a standard 9m x 9m pitch without breaching fire regulations!

This is a photo of our awning (rear annex not fitted). As you can see we just peg out the tunnel section and just park along side it. Don't bother faffing around fixing the tunnel to the Van's rails / roof unless the weather is wet and/or windy. Life and my patience is too short for such faffing.