A caravan awning essentially doubles your living space. It allows you to sleep, cook, eat and entertain outside, and to escape a summer shower without heading indoors. But how do you know which one will be right for your needs?
What sort of shelter do you want?
Like caravans, caravan awnings come in many dimensions and configurations. Are you happy with a roof overhead or would you prefer an awning with walls for privacy and shelter? Knowing which to choose can be daunting, so let’s look at what’s available.
- Free-standing: Acts like a tent; has four walls and a roof.
- Leaning porch: Has a roof and three walls; the caravan functions as the fourth wall.
- Traditional caravan awning: Has a roof and changeable walls.
- Annex: Has a roof and changeable walls; can be linked to other awnings.
- Sun canopy: Has just the roof.
Awnings are made from a variety of materials, including canvas, vinyl, sunblock and weatherproof, and come in a range of colours.
When not in use, some awnings are stored in a vinyl or canvas bag, while others retract into an aluminium case. These can be permanently attached to the caravan, or can be removed for long-term storage out of the weather.
The mechanism that you open and close the awning with will also vary – you’ll find wind-out, roll-out and pull-out options. The simplest option is a powered model that rolls out at the press of a button, though the wind-out model is easy enough for one person to operate and is considerably cheaper than the powered version
Which size caravan awning is right?
Before you go shopping for your new awning, you’ll need to know the dimensions of your caravan. Remember that the awning or its legs will need to reach from the caravan roof to the ground, so make sure you allow for this in your measurements.
Also think about points of possible obstruction. Where are your lights, doors and windows located? You want to make sure that these aren’t blocked by the awning.
Installing a caravan awning
Once you’ve bought an awning, you can choose to either have it installed professionally or do it yourself. If you’re at all unsure about the process, have it done for you; otherwise, there will be instructions with the kit that are specific to the brand and model of awning you’ve selected.
Once your awning is installed you’ll be ready to enjoy the great outdoors, in and out of your caravan.
Want to know some other accessories you can add to your caravan to enhance your holiday experience?