The Commodore Concept is one of Isabella’s most popular awnings. Cleverly designed and beautifully built, it will offer years of good service.
Potential buyers should be mindful of one vital detail, though. With a depth of 3m, this awning could encroach on adjacent pitches, so some sites may require you to take a larger pitch. Both major clubs recommend checking with wardens before booking to be sure the site has a pitch that can accommodate a 3m-deep awning.
And quality doesn’t come cheap. Depending on the ground-to-ground dimension you need, you’ll pay £1380-£2200 for a Commodore Concept. Shop around, ideally online, as prices vary greatly.
The awning comes with either a CarbonX-fibre frame or a Zinox-steel version, which is better for larger awnings or if it’s to be used on a seasonal pitch. For this review we chose the CarbonX frame, because it is lightweight, strong and comes with Isabella’s IsaFix clamps.
Attachment of the frame to the caravan is via FixOn II bracket pads. These are clipped onto the bead stitched to the roof panel rather than having to be slid on from either end. A further feature enables them to be adjusted to suit different depths of awning channel.
The canvas comes in five panels – the roof, two interchangeable side panels, and two front panels. The roof is of 240gm/m2 IsaTex and is designed to ensure excellent fit and tensioning. Its seams, meanwhile, are double-folded to eliminate the chance of rain getting through.
Regulator tabs are fitted at each front corner through which spikes at the bottom of the vertical poles go to ensure that the canvas can be pulled tightly when the awning is tensioned. DropStops fit over the spikes which go through locating holes in the roof panel to prevent rain from entering.
Mudflaps along the bottom are internal so, with a groundsheet laid over them, they act as draft excluders. The high-quality IsoFlex pegging elastics are easy to fit to D-rings stitched to bottom of the canvas.
Similarly, the curtains are easy to hang using Isabella’s rollers, which fit into ‘suitcases’ attached to the curtain track above each window. For increased ventilation, a full-size insert screen is fitted behind the roll-up window in each side panel. An optional veranda bar allows you to drop either front panel halfway.
Finally, Isabella offers the most extensive range of extras available from any awning manufacturer.
A high quality product that works very well. If you can live with the potential inconvenience of its 3m depth, and can absorb the cost, the Isabella Commodore Concept could be a wise choice.
Tel 01844 202 099
Reviewed in the April 2012 issue of Practical Caravan