We’ve camped A LOT since 2010 when we tentatively joined the VW campervan owners world by spending our life savings on a brand new Danbury conversion called Babs. We took to our new way of life like ducks to water and never looked back. Anyone with a campervan knows the joys of being able to hit the road at a moments notice and be set up at a campsite with a beer within a couple of hours, away from the house and all those odd jobs. Bliss.
We well and truly caught the bug and added another Brazilian Bay to our collection (Jemima) so we could build a business hiring them out in between our own camping trips.
It was on one such trip that the first seeds were planted for the creation of the very glamourous awning we sell today. However great campervanning is, we’re always on the lookout for ways to make it even better, and on a trip to Scotland in 2013 we decided we’d had enough of our nasty nylon awning. It was dark green (boring). It had ripped off the side of the van in the middle of the night during gale force winds in Scotland (scary). It was freezing in there (brrr). It was a dumping ground for all our junk (yuk). On the whole, it was an embarrassment to put alongside the campervans we were so proud of. We were convinced we could do better. We started a series of ‘what ifs’. What if we could get an awning that was made of canvas and didn’t rip all the time?! What if we could get an awning that was pretty and nice to sit in like a mini living room?! What if we could get an awning with a little wood burner inside?! Thinking that our ideas, if they were possible, would probably have already been done we started researching with a vengeance to find the perfect awning we’d had in our minds eye. It didn’t exist. Anywhere. Not to be outdone we drew a design of ‘Our Dream Awning’ and approached a bespoke tent making company in hope.
Voila! Here it is on its first outing at How Stean Gorge Campsite in Yorkshire:
It fitted to our gutter rail using a pole and clamp and all we needed were a few tweaks here and there to the canopy before it was pretty much spot on. We fitted an Anevay Frontier woodburning stove in it using a flashing kit and had a glamping weekend that we thought only dreams are made of.
The unpredictable British weather did its worst but we were toasty everywhere we went with our glawning and woodburner. Some rugs, bunting and Moroccan lights later and we had a home from home that we were so proud to attach to the van. And one that doesn’t go into orbit in high winds either. The stability of the glawning is excellent because everything is tensioned on one central pole and pegged out at twelve points with strong guy ropes and pegs.
Our first interior photoshoot:
We got so much attention wherever we went that we were sure it was a marketable product. We decided to christen our glam awning the ‘glawning’ (geddit?!) and to trademark the name and register the design rights. With shaking hand we placed our first bulk order. We needn’t have worried. With glamping being so popular the 4m and 5m glawning soon took off as many campervan owners were on the lookout for something more luxurious and robust than nylon to while away their camping weekends in. And this was just the beginning! Tune in again soon for the next instalment on the glawning timeline – ‘Running Our Own Glamping Business: The Highs and Lows’…