Having been asked a few times about our awning and having owned it now for over a year we thought we would share our opinion about it. We will also cover the modification we have carried out and also a little alteration to make it blend in a little better with the Jimny.
Our very first awning was just a generic cheap awning off eBay in the standard colour, Beige. A few months passed and Direct4x4 had launched a new range of colours, one of which was Grey and we both thought it looked really good! So we decided to sell the old one and purchase the Grey one.
We bought the awning ourselves, it was not discounted by Direct4x4 however, later on they did discount the side wall we bought to go with the awning. Having said this we have not been told to say anything positive and we will give our honest thoughts about it.
The size of awning we chose to go with is 2 x 2 meters. We really like this size as it gives ample of space for two people to cook or relax under. We do think it looks slightly too big on the Jimny when rolled up as the smaller size suits the size of the Jimny much better in terms of aesthetics.
Quality? After over a year of ownership it still preforms the way it did when we first bought it. The material has never leaked nor has it gone mouldy like our previous awning once did. The construction has held up well. We once have had to peg it down as we camped on the coast where there was quite a bit of wind but there were no issues. When packing away the awning we have had it fall over into some awkward angles and didn’t suffer any problems.
Having closely looked at other awnings online we noticed a lot of these awnings are all built in the same way, we cannot comment if the materials are 100% the same but they sure share similar designs. With ours weighing in at 8.4kg we can’t say other awnings weigh much more or less.
The only two negatives about the awning we have discovered are:
- When sliding the upright legs in and out to adjust the height, they sometimes give off a high pitch squeal which is not nice to listen to.
- The black cover which the awning packs into has a slight twist towards one end which doesn’t look the greatest. (this may be a one off fault with ours, it still works fine so we never bothered getting it replaced)
A little personal touch we added was painting the silver rail you use to attach the awning to the mounting brackets. We found that the silver rail stood out like a sore thumb so we took the awning apart and painted the silver rail black. This way the rail now blends into the black cover looking much nicer.
Included with the awning are two very simple universal mounting brackets and two guy ropes with pegs.
The Awning Side Wall
The awning provides great shelter from the rain and sun from directly above, however the rain and sun can sometimes fall at an angle and this is where the wall provides even better shelter with a bit of added privacy. The side wall also provides a decent amount of shelter from the wind too which helps when you’re cooking with gas.
As some of you may have noticed, we have infact modified the awning and side wall. Originally the side wall connects to the awning by 4 velcro straps. The straps are attached to the horizontal poles.
We noticed that throughout the day the 4 straps would eventually close in on each other creating gaps between them which opens up a gap between the awning and side wall. This would then allow rain to drip in. Not a great design. So what we decided to do was attach a zip to the awning and side wall so you can then have a complete join between the two.
We didn’t use any particular fancy zip so ours tends to want to unzip itself so we need to work out a little clip or something to stop the zip from opening up. We would also recommend you letting a professional do the sewing. Attaching the zip to the awning has now made the awning roll up unevenly, though it does still roll up and fits into the original cover.
Included with the side wall are three guy ropes and pegs.
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Our Final Thoughts
In our eyes an awning is just an awning, yes some aesthetics could be a little better but for us the most important thing was to have some sort of quick and easy to set up shelter when it rains as rain can be very spontaneous in the UK. We wasn’t too bothered about spending a lot of money on a more high end awning as we knew this very simple type of awning would work well enough for us.
If you are after an awning that is relatively cheap compared to others then we would recommend this one without a doubt.
We hope this blog has helped you out and gave you a bit of an insight into our awning and modifications.
Thank you for reading.