Apache awnings are manufactured in France and have been imported into the UK for many years. So much so that Apache is one of the best-known names in the field. Currently the company has three full awnings in its range – the Westminster, the Kensington and the Buckingham. We don’t know what the awnings are named in other countries but we think that using British names for the products in the UK indicates that the company understands that ‘when in Rome…’
The Kensington is a five-piece awning comprising the roof, two sides and two front sections. As such it is no different from much of the competition. Where it does differ however, is that having erected the frame and fitted the roof, the sides and front panels can be hung from the roof prior to zipping them in. This may seem a small point but trying to hold a panel upright whilst zipping it is can be a real pain. And to be able to leave the panel hanging when taking the awning down in wet weather means that there is less likelihood of it getting muddy.
A further feature is that unlike much of the competition, there is a ventilation/insect screen behind the zip-up window in each side panel, in addition to the one at the front centre of the awning.
The materials used are patterned acrylic coated polyester (roof), woven acrylic (side and front panels) and PVC-coated polyester (skirt). Colours available are burgundy, blue, and green. The depth of the awning is 2.50m whilst the ground-to-ground sizes run from 811cm to 1090cm.
Three frames are available – steel, aluminium and fibreglass. Importantly, the fibreglass option is only available on awnings with ground-to-ground dimensions starting at 840cm. Attachment of the roof poles at the caravan can be by suckers, or Fixon I bracket pads. There is a third option at extra cost – Fixon II bracket pads. Storm straps and a mallet are standard, as is a verandah pole with the fibreglass frame. Other optional accessories include a tall annex and a bedroom extension.
Our thanks to Bailey Caravans Ltd for the loan of the Ranger 500/5 and to the Holiday Site Managers of The Camping and Caravanning Club Kingsbury Water Park Site for the use of their facilities.