Researching to find the right caravan for you
An awning is a tent-like structure that attaches to the outside of your caravan. They are very popular among caravaners because they can be used to significantly increase living space while away, provide cover for open air dining and relaxing, or simply offer a sheltered place to store bikes and muddy boots after a day out and about.
But choosing an awning that is right for you can be a daunting prospect with so many options, makes and specifications to choose from. If you are in the market for an awning, here’s a few things to consider.
What type of awning?
There are a number of different types of awnings to suit most needs:
Full awnings – these are attached to a caravan and run its entire length. They can be used to increase the space of your living area and typically attach to the caravan via an awning rail.
Porch awnings - these attach to a caravan but are smaller and lighter than full awnings. They are suitable for short trips because they don’t take long to put up and can also be packed away and stored easily.
Freestanding awnings – these are like tents that stand next to a caravan and don’t require the caravan to act as the fourth wall.
Sun canopies – if you aren’t after a full awning, a sun canopy is a good option, providing partial cover and shade. With some makes you can add side panels which will offer additional cover and privacy.
How easy to put up?
Another consideration when buying an awning is how easily they can be erected. A full awning is likely to involve the most time and effort and is more suited to longer stays where the time and effort is justified. For shorter trips or for those who want less hassle a porch awning or sun canopy might suffice.
As with tents, awnings can come in a variety of fabrics from those that are PVC-coated to polyester and nylon varieties. Your best bet is to go and look around a showroom to find the type and style that best suits your needs.
You might also want to consider a groundsheet or groundsheet carpet for your awning especially if you intend to sleep or spend a lot of time there. Because groundsheets cut off light and air to the surfaces they are on, many caravanners recommend that they be lifted or folded over on a regular basis if they are used on top of a grass pitch.