|Awning mounted on a LR90|
My 1991 Defender was fitted with a free standing Hannibal awning (as per the photo on the right). This awning was fantastic as it allowed me to open and close it in a matter of minutes. It kept us sheltered in the heat of the Mali summer although it did have a major tendency to fill with water in tropical rain conditions as experienced in Nigeria.
|Collecting water from the awning|
In my previous post, I mentioned the dilemma I was in... good quality, made locally, was being outsold by 'Made in China' expedition equipment. I liked the equipment Hannibal and Polaris Innovations made, however, my need for a side awning did not justify the price tag. I don't have a year long expedition planned - I have the need for an awning for a few days a year. This fact pushed me to the very disposable $120 awning. The quality mimics the price, as you will see below, but the price means that I can buy four awnings for a single locally made one. However, if I was equipping for an extended overland expedition, I would not hesitate in buying an awning that would stand up to daily use in extreme weather conditions.
My 1996 Land Rover Discovery 300tdi is fitted with a 3/4 caged roofrack. Mounting the awning required fitting of the L-Brackets and then using the 10mm bolts to secure the awning to the bracket. It took me about 30min to fit the awning. The awning weights about 9kg.
I have related my thoughts to a few friends - quality vs price and the dilemma it brings. Sadly, my purchase simple reflects the mainstream as indicated by the length of time it took me to complete my transaction (i.e. the queue). I would, however, encourage all overlanders preparing for an extended trip to buy quality as equipment takes a hammering during overland travel and you do need it to last (unlike my awning above!)