Our two week holiday in Devon was a real tester for us and for Pod. Over a period of a few days and nights we were treated to high winds and gusts in excess of 35mph. Not a lot you may think but when you only have a light nylon awning to protect your worldly goods, its a lot.
During the day we watched as the awning billowed and flapped against Pods sides but she always remained steadfast in her footings and her guide lines never gave way under pressure. So at night, when we crawled into bed and closed Pods door we may have heard the wind howling through the awning but we knew it would still be stood when we woke (although a little prayer before nodding off didn’t go amiss).
Having said all that we saw this as a minor flaw in the compatibility of the awning and Pod and as we are both kind of perfectionists we wanted to attempt to rectify this little problem, that being the gap between the awning and Pods sides. So our minds went a whirling around the idea of obtaining a snug fit.
On each side of the awning bead are two triangular loops for holding guide lines. When the awning is attached to Pod via the beading each side was pulled tight with the elasticated clasp which caused one of these triangular loops to be redundant. This then left a space between the top guide line and the one at the base this was the offending gap.
During those windy sessions various parts of the awning were held, pulled and positioned at different angles and we came to the conclusion maybe additional guide lines would pull the awning into a closer tighter fit of Pod.
Once we returned home, car, boot and bags were unpacked and the washing machine put into action. After a huge cup of tea we headed to the nearest haberdashery shop and that took some finding. L.B was not going to be attempting any sewing without the necessary thimble.
Thimble was obtained along with a fresh batch of needles and once back home the indestructible thread was located. The awning was taken out of the bag and the centre of the offending gap was decided upon.
The two spare guide line triangles (shown hidden in above photo) were gingerly severed from the awning and hemmed to hopefully give a stronger attachment to their new position on the awning.
Measurements were taken and the centre of the gap marked, now the real sewing was to begin. As the triangle was to be sewn through two layers of awning material and a thick elastic band this was going to take some time.
Each triangle took approximately an hour to sew. We say approximately because during the process, breaks were needed, needles broken and replaced and fingers needed massaging. Due to the previous experience of sewing the beading onto the awning this was by our account a doddle. After two rows each of over sewing these new guide lines would not be going anywhere.
The awning was then packed away again ready for our next trip out which was to Wharfedale, North Yorkshire where it was tested and provided the snug fit we were after.
So next we moved onto how to improve the units footprint.
We set about the thought process and bounced a few ideas around, with an awning canopy coming in as the top option.
Without delay and in true MrB fashion he was quickly on the job searching the Internet and researching his findings.
The canopy had to complement the awning but be lightweight, easy in use and be functional, a supplier was found on Ebay (Military 1st) who offered a 2.6 x 1.7 m black 100% nylon tarp. It already had various fasteners, loops and eyelets which helped in the design phase of our latest project.
Wanting it to blend in with the awning we found matching luminous guide ropes and using the existing king poles provided with the awning we set about the finer detail of fitment and assembly.
After a little trial and error we came up with using the eyelets on the shorter edge corners by tying guide ropes to them which would then be used to fasten the canopy to the awning poles at the joints above the doorway, this gave a quick and efficient joining of the canopy to the awning. We also tied a guide rope to the loop at the centre of the opposite edge which would assist in stability.
So that we could choose how long the canopy could extend from the awning we opted not to tie guide ropes instead use the loops and place them over the pole spiked ends.
Using the loops on the long sides we threaded the poles through them which gives us the option of three different lengths of canopy, either full 2.6m or as we chose a middle version with a vertical privacy curtain.
After first giving the above a trial run tied to the stair banister and then further trials outside tied to the conservatory (just to make sure) our challenge was completed and after it completed its maiden voyage at Wharfedale we now have a versatile canopy that provides shade in the sun and protection from the rain even when the awning door is open.
And the cost for this multi function canopy less than £40, a bargain !
……. but wait, always one step ahead and left floating as a future task (ahem ! only in one persons mind) if an awning bead was sewn to the shorter edge it could also be used as an emergency tarp to fit to POD !