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Skirt Awning Rail

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Skirt Awning Rail

Postby dawhch » February 16th, 2010, 10:55 pm

I have recently returned to caravanning after 25 years away to find much has changed and I am grateful to the internet and sites such as this which have provided so much information. However, I haven't been able to find an answer to the following:

I have just purchased a porch awning for my Charisma 550 (2009) from Dorema. Tried to attach the skirt which has the same cord as the awning. I have discovered the skirt rail is narrower than the main awning rail so the skirt cord won't go in although it is a perfect fit for the main rail. Is that normal? I don't want to use press studs so is there a way of achieving a conversion so that I can attach the thicker cord to the narrow skirt awning rail?

dawhch
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Re: Skirt Awning Rail

Postby ted hughes » February 17th, 2010, 10:18 am

The skirt should fit in the skirt rail. It could be that the rail needs opening up slightly. As the caravan is quite new it may be worth asking the supplying dealer to do this for you. If this is not practical then you can buy an awning rail spreader tool from some caravan accessory shops – see photo below.

You insert the tool at one end of the rail and gently tap it along with a small hammer. The rail is made of aluminium and is quite soft.
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spreader.jpg
Awning rail tool
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Last edited by ted hughes on February 17th, 2010, 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skirt Awning Rail

Postby dawhch » February 17th, 2010, 10:55 am

Thanks Ted. I will get on to the dealer as it doesn't seem that your solution will work. I have measured the base of the two awning rails. The main one has a base of 3 cm whereas the one along the bottom is only 2 cm. The cord will not even go into the entrance gap of the bottom one although it does so easily into the main awning rail.

If I get a worthwhile answer from the dealer I will post it.

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Re: Skirt Awning Rail

Postby ted hughes » February 17th, 2010, 11:18 am

The main awning rail has a width of 3cm to provide a good base for the mastic seal that lies underneath. This is important from the point of view of preventing water ingress where the panels join. The 3cm rail was introduced in 2000 and replaced the previous type which had a width of 2cm.

The skirt rail is not so critical from a water ingress perspective and so the narrower rail is used. The point is that the groove that takes the awning bead should be broadly similar in each. However it’s certainly worth hearing what the dealer has to say just in case I’m barking up the wrong tree!
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Re: Skirt Awning Rail

Postby dawhch » February 17th, 2010, 11:31 am

Ted, that's very helpful. I have to take the van into the dealer on Tuesday next to rectify a small electrical problem. I will discuss the awning issue at the same time and then post their reply. I am away in the van this weekend and was going to use the opportunity to set up my new awning. I won't worry about the skirt for the time being.

Thanks

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Re: Skirt Awning Rail

Postby dawhch » February 28th, 2010, 10:11 pm

An update:

According to the dealer the skirting rail is correct but the openings had not been opened out. A tool wrapped in cloth was brought out and with a quick up and down movement the opening was widened on the four openings along the rail. Fine - but nobody could explain to me why this had not been done before the van was handed over. Still - so far that has been the only issue with the van so we haven't done too badly.

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