Finally posting pictures on this and giving a road test.
In February I sent my Awning to Tent Valeting Service (TVS) In Farnworth nr Bolton.
Dandy awnings though fantastically resilient are somewhat heavy. If there is a couple of you and your reasonably active no problem or not a great one at least, or is it? Not everyone who uses alternative awnings does so because they're without a Dandy awning. I have the Green Un and old Dandys offer a realistic prospect for one person to erect the awning. Would modification make it possible for one person to erect a later Dandy awning.
Though Getting the job done in Feb I didn't split the awning to erect it at Woodhall as there was an abundance of help. Mike pointed out that I'd had zips fitted but it would have seemed a bit picky to keep everyone waiting 20mins while I zipped the bits off then worked out what I was doing. I did unzip the awning to put it away but didn't particularly think about the zips aiding this.
Dent in June was where I first made use of the sides been separate when it came to erecting. I needed momentary third person help to sort out the poles but no more than the amount of help you'd need need with the older style awnings. A realistic proposition for a single handed erection with just the slight amount of help it's reasonable to mug a complete stranger into.
The roof does seem to fall in on itself a bit but you can then choose to attach the sides. Conversely if it was windy you may to sort the roof then attach the sides.
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I didn't take any photos till I was breaking camp.
You will notice the clip on storm straps that I specified. The storm straps were specified as they seemed sensible if you were going to use the awning as a sun canopy. Also given our less than predictable weather storm straps are a good idea. I erred in setting up as the storm strap as I should have inclined it back towards the Dandy not forwards. As set up it pulls the awning off the end of the poles, note the guy line trying to pull the awning ends back onto the poles. As can be seen I am fond of storm straps the second one is up as it was blowing gales that weekend, the twist on the straps stops them flapping and drumming on the PVC. From previous experience the storms didn't bother me and I never thought twice about the Dandy or the awning's security.
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I'd have to recognise that on the day I came to packing up I was knackered. I'd been ill for a couple of days and not actually realised what was wrong we me till late on the day I was packing up. It took me over 7 hours to pack up.
I think I have to recognising that I wouldn't have been capable of manhandling a full awning. Certainly not to the point where as you see I could happily stack the component parts but then again if it was in one piece I'd not need to stack the parts.
All in all I'm very happy with the zipped awning. It's done with two zips on each side one horizontal one vertical. the horizontal one runs front to back. Starting the zip at the front of the awning means you're not having to reach up to start the zip as you can drop the front on the poles. The sides will roll up to the poles and may become more convenient for a large aperture opening rather than rolling the front door up to the roof and far more convenient than any unclipping of the press-studs on the front. I think with a couple of more uses I'll be happier still. On reflection I might have got the vertical zip to start at the top. You may initially think that the problem would be having to make the zip up at above shoulder height, the reason why we have the horizontal zip starting at the front but the horizontal zip would be holding the pieces together and make a start easy for the vertical run. A vertical zip starting at the top would allow better use as a doorway. So perhaps that is an idea, or maybe I should have had both way opening zips running vertically. Not the end of the world, just a thought if you're thinking about this type of mod. The vertical zip is far better starting at the top or use a 2 way zip
The work cost £150 from TVS whether that seems expensive or not I'm unsure. TVS does have a reputation though, look up the Conway Owners Club and their default solution to any fabric repair seems to be TVS. That may well be as TVS specialise in Conway and have vast stocks from when Conway went bump / sold out to Pennine but I've never seen any criticism of TVS's work in all the jobs they have done. Just the opposite praise seeming to be the order of the day. Looking at the zips fitted I may have been somewhat disappointed that they were not thundering great metal YKK items or even quite as substantial as the original Dandy zips.
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Then again TVS's reputation is such that I'm not anticipating any issues, and again if there were issues given their reputation I'd expect it fixing. If you can get the same job done for £80 fair enough if your going to save £30 is it worth it for the peace of mind?
I was looking at the possibility of a sun canopy conversion with zip on Acrylic sides for the ultimate lightweight awning. I think that project has died a death but I'd be more than happy to send stuff to TVS again in fact I've got work on this dandy and the Green Un where the original zips need re stitching in.
Last edited by Tow Itch on Tue 05 Aug 2014, 2:52 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Changing a their to they're and adding capital I's Second edit realised I'd wrote I'd been I'll rather than ill)