I just can't shell out 1200 or more for a black Fiamma. I've been searching for good, quick awnings and finally found the one for me. I had a bag awning on my last van, and though I had to remove it and store it inside during travel, I still really liked it. I like the value of them and I think they are still pretty quick and simple to set up and take down. By quick, I mean about 1 minute to deploy and 1 minute to stow away.
I narrowed it down to two bag awnings, the ARB and the Cascadia (CVT). I think they're basically the same, and from the pics I think they might be the exact same, but the selling point for me was the black case the CVT comes in, vs. the gray case of an ARB that wouldn't match my van as well.
The lady (insert forgotten lady's name
) at CVT was very helpful and she cut me a deal on shipping since I'm in Tn. and the standard shipping was going to be 1/4 of the price of the awning. I went for the longest they make, a 99 (99", or 8.25 feet). Because they don't make it any longer, I would not recommend this for an extended van. I think there are better options out there for a long van, and when it comes to coverage from the elements my view is get the longest one you can fit!
Here it is, albeit upside down. Be patient
I've had the awning for a few weeks but after giving in to the absolute absence of Zeta's/Eli's brackets, I decided to go with Van Specialties same brackets, but at a higher cost. Still, they are great to work with, and shipped them quick to me (2 days across the country) after a hold-up with the powder coaters. They look awesome
Installation of these was super quick and simple, and for now I'm just going with 2 of them (no center bracket). This awning is pretty light but strong, no flex whatsoever in the middle when deployed, which is already better than my previous bag awning, but it was a lot longer. I had to drill 4 holes per bracket but 2 per bracket is probably plenty.
Here she is, mounted. Took maybe 1 hour total.
Close ups of mount on the brackets. Not completely happy with this and may have to redrill the holes and raise the awning. I went as low as I could to minimize the gap between the rain gutter and the awning frame, thus keeping rain out as best I can, but the tops of the brackets stick up a bit far and look funny. I could cut them off I suppose, but I hate to hack up brand new $140 brackets. They're so purty.
This awning has a couple of additional features I really dig. First off, a lantern loop, or a loop for anything else you might want to hang from the middle. Genius!
Lots of velcros (6 to be exact) to keep the canvas glued to the frame when the wind blows
Also, it has really handy twist-lock poles instead of those pesky spring loaded pins that most things like this use.
And finally, they sell a few different screen rooms, wind blocks, and full add-a-rooms that even have floors and internal ceilings with different window/door options. This is important for my clan of 4 on longer camping trips. I'm about to order a full room and hope we can boot the porta-potty out of the van and have dry storage for shoes, dog stuff, and maybe my wife.
OK, maybe it will be me instead.