Expert Advice on Awnings
There are many different types of awning available for a wide variety of vehicle types and body styles.
An awning is a great way to increase the space of your caravan, campervan or motorhome. They also work as a place to leave muddy boots etc and they are available from little more than a utility tent with an attachment tunnel to attach to a vehicle, all the way to an air inflatable multi room tent that can often be larger than the vehicle it is attached to.
Starting with camper van/van conversion awnings these attach normally to the side of the van and cover the side door. There are many methods of attaching an awning to a van and this varies from van to van, but this is covered in another article.
Outdoor Revolution’s Moveairlite Classic is a very popular awning and has the benefit of being air inflatable for extra convenience and quick pitching, it also features a lifetime guarantee on its air tubes.
This type of awning is both flexible and a good compromise between larger (full size) awnings and compact poled awnings. This type of awning is also very popular for use with smaller vans such as VW t4/5/6 and Bongos/freeda. It over doubles the interior useable space of the van which is always helpful, even if only being used for storage space at the campsite.
The simple poled awning is both lighter and more compact when packed away than its air alternative. They are also cheaper than air awnings.
Driveaway awning poles are usually constructed from fibreglass and are both lightweight and strong. One of the drawbacks to fibreglass poles is that once the pole has broken it cannot be repaired and manufacturers do not cover broken poles under warranty.
Air inflatable awnings use inflatable tubes within sleeves, they are both long lasting and robust. If the air tube leaks, repair tape is available to solve the leak, so it is still fixable at the campsite. Most manufacturers off replacement tubes that are available to buy as a replacement part, so even if the tube is damaged beyond repair it is replaceable. The Air inflatable method is also far sturdier when fully inflated than the equivalent pole awning.
A great example of a poled awning is the Outdoor Revolution XS2 which is both good quality and light weight.
Poled awnings do have their disadvantages though, as they are not as rigid as air awnings or as stable if they are pitched on uneven ground.
The above awning will not fit a larger coachbuilt motorhome, or a large panel van conversion. For larger coachbuilt motorhomes a high attachment height awning is required, and the Outwell Scenic Road 250 tall is a good example of this. Usually manufacturers use the word Tall in the title to signify a taller attachment height.
Tall awnings are usually designed to attach to vans with attachment points between 240cm - 290cm.
Or if you would prefer an air awning that will work with larger and taller motorhomes then the Outwell Milestone Pro Air Tall awning is a good example.
Caravan awnings are also available from us.
Whilst we don’t stock the heavy metal framed caravan awnings that are commonly supplied with caravans, we have a range of lighter weight quality fibreglass poled and air framed awnings that will fit a wide variety of caravans.
Caravan awnings are available in multiple styles and a very popular style is the canopy/porch/
This is the Sunncamp Swift Canopy 260. It gives shelter to leave boots and dry dogs etc. The main benefit of this type of awning/shelter is how lightweight it is at only 5kg and with a pack size of 77cm x 15cm, and this means it is great for short breaks such as an overnight stop, when it is not worth pitching the full-size awning, but some additional storage space or shelter is still required.
The compact porch awning is also available with a door to seal it off from the worst of the weather. Many of our customers like this type of awning for its quick to assemble and lightweight design, not to mention their low price tag.
The Sunncamp Swift 220 Deluxe is the perfect example of an enclosed porch awning.
The above caravan awnings use a single D shaped pole as the frame, which is common amongst this type of awning, it has the benefit of being simple and very light weight.
Larger caravan awnings are a great idea for longer stays away and can even be used as a sleeping area for extra guests. It also makes the caravan more pleasant to use if the weather is poor as it gives somewhere outside to sit that is sheltered, just like a conservatory.
This Outdoor Revolution Elise 520 Air inflatable awning is a great example of a larger air inflatable Awnings. To be fully weathertight, awnings need something to seal the gap between the floor and the caravan itself.
Fortunately, caravans have a 6mm channel that runs along the lower edge of them, and a strip is made that fits to this.
This is the Fiamma 5.5m awning skirt, although universal length awning skirts are available from us also. This stops wind and rain and keeps heat in the awning, so it makes your awning more useable.
There are also windout awnings available for vans and motorhomes which can be used as a sun canopy but also have sides that zip in to give a hybrid between an awning and a sunshade.
An example of this is the Fiamma f45 awning zip room
Please check with our customer services team to check the fitment of a wind-out awning to your van as the brackets will vary from van to van.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the sales team if you have any further questions.