We’ve put together this section to help with common issues or things that crop up from time to time and can be resolved simply.
- Putting up your awning and making it look good
- Coping with high winds
- Sorting out a kinked beam
- Water in the awning or tent
Hints and Tips for putting up an OLPRO Breeze Awning
We are often asked our top tips for putting up one of our inflatable campervan awnings. This is the best way, we believe, to do it and to make it as tight as possible. I hope these tips work for you.
The main thing to remember is that all of the awnings made are cut to the same size and use the same materials so we should be able to get the awning looking right.
Firstly, connect the beading to the van.
If you are using the straps over the van or attaching to a rail it doesn’t matter but connect to the van first.
Make sure all of the doors are in and zipped up – including the front on a Cocoon. This is a common issue as leaving doors open can mean the awning, once inflated, looks wonky or doors will not close.
The next bit is crucial. Peg out the four corners of the awning - the back two corners and the front two corners.
Make sure that the corners of the groundsheet are as square to each other as possible – then pump it up. (If its not an inflatable awning then this is the point to put in the poles).
Once pumped up go inside and put in the storm bars and kick out all of the beams with your foot. If any of the floor looks saggy or creased, then unpeg a corner and pull the beam out until it is nice and square.
Any issue is not usually with the beams as the beams are fully inflated at 7psi.
Once you are happy that the floor is a straight as possible peg out the rest of the tunnel and the rest of the awning.
You don't have to peg out every guyline, and certainly don't pull them too tight, but if the wind does pick up go back and peg them out.
Coping with High Winds
With high wind - every tent we produce is tested in wind tunnels BUT nothing ever accounts for what might happen out there - changing wind speeds, the direction of the wind, how tents are guyed out (or not etc).
For most of the team at OLPRO we've been around for a long time and worked with other brands as well so this is taken from across the board.
Just a few tips to help (not exhaustive):
- If it gets bad - take it down - at least flatten the tent and re-erect when safe - Watch the weather forecast and know what's coming.
- Try to arrive on site (and leave) when the wind is calm to make life easier.
- Make sure it's guyed out if the wind does increase. Use all pegging points (and peg in line with the seams on the tent).
- Don't over-tighten the tent guys - allow some movement so as not to rip things.
- Put your car or camper in the way of the wind. When you pitch make sure you're not out in the open - use anything you can to block. Also worth pitching at an angle to any potential wind tunnels.
- Use hard ground pegs to help anchor the tent - and put things in the corners of the tent to help with weight - but don't put things there that could topple over at the edges of the tent as they will be pushed over.
- Whilst wind can be bad it's those gusts that can cause damage (there's no other way of writing that).
- Take some gaffer tape away with you (an essential for any repairs) and a pole repair kit can also be useful. Gaffer tape can temporarily repar a pole but you can also repair a pole whilst on site using a pole segment from a repair kit. If the wind is passing there's never a need to go home - just drop the tent, block it, wait for it to pass - repair if need be - and carry on.
We've thought mostly about poled product above but most of this applies to airbeams. With air product you'll find they tend to handle high winds better but they aren't immune and can still suffer damage so consider everything. What you are likely to see is that air product moves more in the wind.
Kinked Air Beams
It’s rare but we sometimes get calls from customers who say their air beam Is kinked. It’s easy to remedy this issue. Firstly, check the awning is up right, as above, and make sure there is enough air in the tube.
On each tube, at the bottom of one side, you will see a small black padlock. Use something small and thin to open this – a wire peg is ideal. Once open unzip the tube and take out the plastic inner tube inside.
Put this on the floor and flatten it out, making sure all the air has been expelled.
Once it is nice and flat put it back inside the tube and zip back up. Just by doing this can reset the air beam if has become kinked.
Water in the Tent or Awning
All OLPRO tents and awnings are fully waterproof. The fabric is treated so that it will not let in water (it will hold upto 5 metres of water). All of the seams are heat sealed, so at all the points the tent has been stitch a thin layer of tape seals those points.
As well as this all OLPRO tents are erected and tested prior to being packaged and sent to you. This is done at the same time as the beams are tested (they are all stood for one week).
If water does appear in the tent or awning there are only a few options as to what it may be that has caused it.
The first is that it has been brought inside or has got in through an open window.
The second and most common is condensation. In 98% of cases of water being inside a tent or awning it is condensation. We can say that in all our years of examining tents that have ‘leaked’ the majority have ended up being condensation.
It is easy to look at a pool of water and say that’s not condensation, not least if it is a big pool of water, but the chances are it is.
Because of the cool air in the air beams themselves you are likely to get more in a Breeze tent or awning. Is possible cut down the chances of condensation – we put together our top tips below.
Firstly, it is key to remember that Condensation is increased by the presence of people - so the more people the more likely you are to encounter condensation. In fact, just one person will product up to one pint of condensation per night.
When the warm air inside of a tent hits the colder tent fabric, condensation is likely to occur. Warm air temperature inside of a tent can be caused by people, heaters and a lack of ventilation. Bigger tents with more people and additional heaters inside are likely to create a lot more condensation unless the tent is ventilated properly.
If you have a Breeze tent or awning, air circulates in the beams. If the outside air is much colder than inside your tent or awning then the cooling of the air in the beams is fast. The warm, humid, air inside your tent or awning will condensate onto the area of the beam. This moisture will appear as water droplets on the beams and can create pools of a water around the base of them.
You may not see the beading as it will be inside the sleeve.So, you have the warm air in the tent and cool air in the beams - creating condensation on the outside of the plastic beam that sits inside the sleeve. This will drip out of the bottom around the base of the beam. You may have seen pools of water around the beam. This is the reason and not water ingress.
If this happens make sure you don't have things around the bases of the beams.
On days where there is a substantial temperature drop, it can be challenging to prevent tent condensation forming. Rainy conditions can also increase the chances of condensation occurring, often leading to the appearance of a leaking tent.
Rain water on the outside of the tent, or rain water evaporating off the out surface of the tent causes the temperature of the fabric to decrease, leading to more rapid condensation as the air inside the tent comes into contact with it.
To read more on condensation and how to prevent it read our full article:
The third and final reason why a tent or awning may be experiencing water ingress is if one of those sealed seams has cracked, has been missed or for some reason has not taken.
Remember we said that over all stitching on a tent there has tape heat sealed across it. This tape can sometimes not take properly, sometimes can be missed on a small section – as it is a manual process or it may be that it’s moved exposing part of the stitching.
If the stitching is exposed, then water can come through and it can only take a small point to create a lot of water – but sorting the issue is quick and easy.
To fix this we supply a small pack of sealant with every tent and awning. If you can see where the ingress is just apply the sealant to that point and it will fix the problem.
Things to remember:
• Water will not come through the fabric.
• All tents are tested are water tested at our factory.
• All tents experience condensation and it can create a lot of water
• Most experiences, by far, we have of seeing tents with water inside are caused by condensation.
• In some cases condensation can be overwhelming and look like there’s no way at the amount of water could be caused by just condensation. In the right circumstances it can.
• If you do need to create a spot repair of a seam the pack is supplied to do so.
If we can help at all please contact us using the online chat or using the contact form.