THE AWNING MARKET has become more crowded in recent years, but sales of established leaders, such as Ventura, have hardly been dented. One reason why Ventura has done so well is that it’s a sister company of the respected awning manufacturer, Isabella.

One of Ventura’s most popular models has long been the Cadet, made to suit caravans with heights of 230-250cm. Although classed as a porch awning, it is 260cm wide and 200cm deep so it can be described as a ‘part awning’ – larger than many porches but smaller than a full awning. Besides providing a roomy storage area, it can double as an extra room.

The canvas is in four parts, the roof and two sides, and a separate front panel. There is a door in each side, but none in front, and the left side panel has an insect/ventilation screen behind the window. The roof is coated polyester, while the side and front panels are fibre-dyed acrylic. Three colour options are available: marine/light blue, verde/stone and burgundy/stone.

For 2010 only a Fibremax frame is available, but it comes with FixOn brackets, which slide on to a second bead that is stitched alongside the main channel bead.

One problem with any porch awning is draught from between the awning walls and the caravan. The Cadet gets fairly close to excluding it completely using double-click profiles. These plastic tubes resemble a figure eight from the ends. One part of the eight slides on to a bead that is stitched to the foam pads, which are attached to the sides of the awning next to the van. The second part of the eight clips on to the rear vertical poles.

It’s easy to get the canvas tight for a tidy-looking awning, using the regulator tabs. Put the spike ends of the vertical poles through holes in the tabs, which are stitched at the front corners. Then tension the frame.

Reviewed in the October 2010 issue of Practical Caravan.