The Isabella Minor, at 260cm wide x 200cm deep, is a bit larger than other porch awnings. This will be ideal for couples and comes with the company’s state-of-the-art fittings, including CarbonX poles and FixOn II bracket pads.
It is a two-piece awning comprising the roof and side panels, and a zipped-in front panel. Because there is no centre vertical pole, assemble the front roof poles first and then lay them in position on the ground.
With the canvas in the awning channel, the front poles can be fitted followed by the two corner vertical poles.
The frame can be tensioned temporarily, and the rear vertical poles fitted and clipped to the draught strip via Isabella’s double-click profiles – two per side. The profiles are slid onto beads stitched to the rear draught strip before the poles are clipped to them. Although it isn’t possible to achieve a completely draught-free seal between the awning and the caravan, it comes close.
The window in the left-hand side panel can be rolled up to reveal a full-size insect/ventilation screen. The front panel can be removed completely or partly unzipped for use with the optional veranda bar.
The curtains supplied with the awning fit onto runners described by Isabella as ‘suitcases’. When erecting the awning for the first time, clip them onto the bead above the windows. From then on, they do not need to be removed. The curtains have what appear to be tiny rollers attached to them. These slip into slots in the ‘suitcases’, making fitting and removing them a doddle.
Although the IsaFix clamps make it fairly easy to tension the awning, it is even easier with the company’s Hercules Twin tool (£30). This allows you to maintain the tension with one hand while locking the clamp with the other. When it comes to pegging the awning down, once again Isabella leads the way with its heavy-duty pegging elastics, which are a joy to use and rarely need to be replaced.
The Minor is packed with all the tricks that Isabella has to make erecting it foolproof and it is built to last. What’s more, it comes in a handy size. Yes, it’s pricey, so shop around for the best price.
Tel 01844 202 099
Reviewed in the January 2012 issue of Practical Caravan