Stuck in a rut trying to find a new awning for your caravan? This is the ultimate caravanners guide to get you ready for your next trip away!
We understand that finding the best awning for your caravan or motorhome can be quite tricky – especially when you take into consideration the variety that are available on the market today. These days, there are awnings made for every occasion! This guide is here to help you choose the correct one - whether you are heading off for a weekend with friends, or a few weeks with the family!
Before you pick the material and frame needed for your awning, you need to consider the size that you need. There are two main styles of caravan awning, a porch or a full awning. There are also drive-away awnings for campervans and motorhomes.
A porch awning is a smaller awning that are generally easier to construct, and easier to transport – ideal for taking with you on shorter trips away as it makes putting up and taking down quicker and fuss free. The downside of these being that they provide a lot less space than full awnings – although larger porches can be the same length as the caravan or motorhome.
A full awning provides you with a lot more additional living space, ideal for larger families and longer holidays – preferably a week or more. Full awnings are a lot more time consuming when it comes to constructing them and taking them down, so ideally these require more than one person to erect. The downside to these type of awnings is that they are a lot heavier to transport and take up a lot more room – if the awning is being transported in your caravan, the weight must be subtracted from your payload.
A drive-away awning is specifically designed for use with campervans and motorhomes - it can be easily attached and detached from your vehicle so it can still be used, without the need to take the awning with you each time.
When deciding between a porch and a full awning for you caravan, or the size of the drive away awning for your campervan or motorhome - you need to take into consideration what you will be using the awning for. Will you be using it as a social area, for eating or to store extra belongings?
The size of the awning that you need will depend on the size of your caravan, so knowing your measurements is crucial. The awning sizes go off the A-measurements – the distance around the caravan’s awning rail, to the ground.
When looking for an awning make sure to check the measurements given to see if the awning will fit your caravan perfectly. Often manufacturers will supply size guides on their website to help you choose the perfect one.
Awning frames come in 4 different materials – steel, aluminium, air and fibre glass. The best material for you depends on what you will be using the awning for, and for how long you will be using it for.
Steel awnings are stronger and more reliable – great for use in many different weather conditions for a longer period of time. Steel awnings are a lot heavier so are ideal if the caravan is left on one spot for the whole season, transporting the awning will only need to be done twice a year which makes the journey a little less strenuous.
Aluminium awnings are a lot lighter than steel awnings so become a lot easier to transport, and are a lot easier to erect. As the awnings are lighter, there is less weight to be added to the payload.
Like aluminium awnings, fibreglass awnings are lightweight and easier to transport – especially handy if your payload is near maximum. These awnings are a lot easier to handle, so putting them up is fuss free.
Air awnings are easy and speedy to put up – ideal if you are on your own, or find erecting larger, heavier awnings too strenuous. The awning can be inflated using either a foot pump or a 12V pump – which would make the process a lot quicker.
The type of fabric you need depends on the seasons you will be using the awning in, and how often the awning will be used. There are many options, from lightweight, thin materials to top-quality, solution- dyed materials.
Lightweight polyester awnings are easy to dry after rain and are a lot lighter to transport, but the quality and strength may not be suitable for longer, frequent uses.
Expensive, high quality acrylic awnings are made to last against many different types of weather – including being resistant from fading through UV light. These awnings are designed to last year’s due to the density and quality of the material.
So now you know how to find the ultimate awning for your caravan you can start searching for one that most suits your needs.