Handy hints and tips to help you get the most out of your awning.
On these pages you will find a lot of good advice. Along with other tips you will find, how to best clean your awning, how to pack your awning and how to get your awning to last longer.
Cleaning, maintenance and repair
Leaks – Aquatex
If the waterproofing quality of the canvas has been affected, the damage can usually be rectified by using "AquaTex" impregnator spray. The awning must be thoroughly dry and clean before application. "AquaTex" will not function on dirt; therefore, the canvas should be sprayed on the inside of the awning. If there are any leaks in the material, "AquaTex" will penetrate and be effective on the outside as well. If the material is very dry, you may notice some discolouration on the outside. To regularise the colour, simply spray on the outside as well. DON'T FORGET it is most important to clean the aw-ning inside and out BEFORE impregnation as any deposits on the material will negate the properties of the "AquaTex". For example, nicotine from cigarettes will affect the material and the waterproofing. It is a good idea to have a can of "AquaTex" handy at all times as it has a wide variety of uses besides impregnating your awning. For instance, if you experience difficulty in drawing your awning beading through the caravan channel, spray the channel and the awning will slip through easily. "AquaTex" can also be used on stiff zips, removal of stains and, even impregnating your shoes or boots.
CLEANING CANVAS AND WINDOWS
Firstly, detergent or cleaning agents must not be used. Clean with plenty of pure water and a soft brush, the type used to clean your car is ideal. Spray water onto the canvas and loosen the dirt with the brush. Remove the dirt with a steady flow of water. Ideally this cleaning process should take place a couple of times a year and is easiest when the awning is erected. Exposed parts such as roof, sides and corners need careful attention. NEVER use spirit or polishes on the PVC windows. This advice applies to synthetic awnings only. The curtains supplied with Isabella awnings should be washed at 30°C.
Note! Do not tumble dry.
The standard framework in an Isabella awning is made of hot-galvanised steel tubing with corners and centrecross made of light-weight plastic material. The tubes are joined with a spring and extreme care should be taken with the poles during assembly and dismantling of the awning frame. Careless use will result in the springs being either pulled out or overstreched. Every effort is put into ensuring a maximum lifespan for your steel frame. However, it should be maintained and cared for in the same way as the awning canvas. That is, dirt and earth should always be removed and the poles should be dry and clean before storing. It is also recommended to treat the poles with a wax (such as used on cars). All the spikes on corners and cross are fitted with a rubber grommet which always has to be firmly fixed wide side uppermost between frame and canvas. The rubber grommets prevent water from penetrating.To secure the awning further, rubber grommets can be fitted on the outside, too (wide side uppermost). Grommets are available as an optional extra.
Fibre glass/CarbonX framework
Most Isabella awnings can now be supplied with a lightweight IXL fibre glass/CarbonX frame. This flexible strong frame is corrosion resistant and less likely to experience condensation than a steel frame. These are very easy to maintain, a quick wipe before storage to remove dirt and earth is all that's needed. If the couplings slide, we recommend cleaning the inside of the fittings and the adjustable tube with white spirit. The position of IsaFix clamps,where fitted, can be adjusted with a screw driver for optimum tension.
IsaFix can be retro fitted on any Fibreglass/CarbonX frame.
Under certain circumstances it may seem like the lower panel is changing structure and is getting lighter in places. On closer examination we have ascertained that this usually is caused by a kind of algae, this means small insect eggs, which are laid in the dents of the material. If you look at these through a magnifying glass, you can take off the egg with a needle point. However the best way to remove these is to use AquaTex impregnator spray and wipe off with a soft cloth maybe together with a soft brush. AquaTex impregnator also counteracts future attacks.
The “algae” appears both on PVC/polyester and acryl, but is more obvious on a PVC/polyester background.
Cleaning the blinds (cream pleated) on Vision and Opus awnings
This light weight and light coloured material has been tested for appearance and durability in use for Blinds. We are satisfied that the Nylon construction will hold it's pleated shape and perform to the high standard expected.
To clean the product
Remove the blinds from the awning.
Stretch the parts of material affected to lay as flat as possible.
Brush off any dirt with a soft brush or cloth which will remove normal dust and should remove specific stains
If the above is unsuccessful then tepid (not hot) water should be applied sparingly with a soft brush and agitated to remove dirt spots, rinse well and hang to dry immediately with the material slightly pleated but not folded
Use, packing and storage
Packing up your awning
Many caravanners feel that folding their awnings is a laborious job, but help is at hand and there are a many solutions. Some people prefer to remove all the panels and store them separately. Here we describe our favourite system for folding. The majority of Isabella awnings can be packed up with all the panels zipped in. It is essential that the awning is as clean as possible and COMPLETELY DRY before it is folded. The roof is spread out on the carpet/underlay - inside out, in order to protect the roof coating. The side panels are pulled out to the left and right, in a triangular shape and then folded into the middle. The awning is folded another few times – until it is an appropriate width for the awning bag.
The awning is rolled from the front and towards the back edge so that the bead, which may be a little dirty from the rail, is on the outside, and then the awning fits nicely into the bag. Porch/Part awnings are folded in the same way.
The poles should be cleaned and dried thoroughly, and it is also important to remember to clean the movable parts - to avoid trapping any dirt. The poles are then ready to be stored in the pole bag, and it is generally easier to put in angled and cross poles first and leave the straight poles till last.
This is our way of packing up an awning, but we often see other creative solutions, and we have the greatest respect for caravanners who fold the roof and panels separately. Then protect the windows in the panels by folding them with cotton sheets between. Another excellent way of protecting the windows is to roll the zip out panels loosely in between sheets and store in a cardboard tube.
The awning should be stored in a dry, well aired place.
Useful advice for when stormy weather hits
An Isabella awning rarely sustains damage in stormy weather if it is correctly tensioned and all the pegs are properly hammered into the ground. To ensure that your awning is as secure as possible before a storm, we recommend that you read these five specific tips on what to do before a storm hits.
How do I storm secure my awning?
Purchase the storm-proofing kit for both corners and the middle (if you have the Penta model, you will need to buy five sets). A storm-proofing kit consists of a 40 cm metal peg and a strong storm band.
Mount the storm-proofing kit in the corners and in the middle, inside the awning. Five simple steps are all it takes:
Fasten the small storm band around both rafter poles.
Mount the long storm band in the hook of the small one.
Mount the other end of the long storm band in the eye of the peg.
Hammer the 40 cm metal peg into the ground.
Never fully tension the storm band. Let it remain slack, not pulling on the awning. This way, the storm-proofing kit will only come into play if the awning is about to “take off”.
See how to do this here: