Caravan Awnings Buying Guide
Caravans have grown in size over the years and will quite easily accommodate large groups without feeling too cramped.
But if you really want to get the most from your mobile home away from home, you’ll need an awning.
This buying guide will explain everything about the wonderful world of caravan awnings for those who have never purchased one before, and those looking for a new model. You’ll learn about everything to consider during the buying phase, as well as handy tips for using your awning.
We’ll also include the very best caravan awnings from 2019 and for 2020.
Read on to find out more about caravan awnings…
What is a caravan awning?
A caravan awning works in a very similar way to how a conservatory interacts with a house - providing additional space between the main property and outdoors.
An awning is a tent-like structure that attaches to the side of your caravan, with an opening on one side, that allows you to pass seamlessly between the caravan and outside. These awnings are made from the same material as tents and are erected in a similar way.
Read More: Beginner’s Guide to Caravanning in the UK
With an opening for your caravan door, full caravan awnings are a great way to enhance your caravan trip, giving you a great place to relax and enjoy the fresh air and views in comfort!
Why should I buy a caravan awning?
Awnings come in all shapes and sizes with one purpose - to increase the size of your caravan. A caravan awning can double your available living space.
Read More: The Best Caravan Awnings 2019
You’re free to use all that extra space as you wish – more storage space, a sheltered area to sit and relax (ideal for good and bad weather), an eating area, or more room for the kids to play.
Whether you buy a full awning or a porch awning, you’ll be enhancing the space of your caravan instantly.
What are the caravan awning sizes?
The most important thing to get right when buying caravan awnings is the size. Most caravan awnings will fit caravans with an attaching height between 235 - 250cm, but it’s worth double-checking this before you go ahead and purchase one. Commonly, there are two awning styles - full and porch, the latter being smaller.
What is a porch awning?
Caravan porch awnings are smaller than full awnings, so, they’re quicker and easier to erect. They give you a place to take-off wet gear and wellies in comfort as well as providing storage space for bikes etc.
In wet and windy weather, they’ll keep the worst off your caravan door, while in nicer weather, provide enough space for a couple to sit back and relax or eat at a table.
Find out what attaching height your caravan requires before you start to look for an awning, so you know which one will work best with your caravan.
Here are the things you need to know to make sure you buy the right size caravan awning:
- Attaching height of your caravan: This is important for making sure your awning fits securely. Most can be adjusted for some give, so you need to make sure your caravan is within its range.
- Floorplan size: This is how much space your awning will give you. Make sure it is sufficient for your needs.
- Rail Compatibility: Some awnings require a minimum length of straight rail on your vehicle to fix onto.
- Awning annexe: If you think you may want more space in the future, see if it can be extended with a further awning annexe. These can increase your awning space by up to two metres.
How do I attach a caravan awning?
If you are erecting a caravan awning for the first time, you may feel like you have all the gear and no idea! However, if you can put up a tent, you will probably be able to make a good go of a caravan awning.
All awnings attach to the side of a caravan by a kador strip or beading, which runs into a caravan’s “awning channel” or “C” Rail. This channel runs right around the caravan side, from the bottom-front corner to the bottom-rear corner.
Simply feed the kador strip in - best to start from the front - and push it along the channel until your awning is flat against the caravan’s side. Then, you construct the frame - either with poles or by inflating the air structure.
When that’s done, simply peg down the main pegging points to secure and then go around the awning doing the same with awning straps/guylines. You can then re-adjust the main pegging points once this has been done to ensure the material sits tightly.
An alternative to a tent-style awning is inflatable caravan awnings. These are quick and easy to erect, so you can start enjoying your trip within minutes of arriving. Lightweight, they are just as sturdy as caravan porch awnings.
Which caravan awning should I buy?
Once you know what size caravan awning you are looking for, you can narrow your search down to choosing which one to buy. Some top features you should look out for are:
- Skylights and large windows for plenty of natural light
- Curtains for privacy
- Awning lighting hanging points
- Flat entry for wheelchairs or pushchairs
- Additional weatherproofing features to protect you from wind and mud
- Whether an awning annexe can be attached for increased storage or sleeping space
Another key point to consider is the width of the awning and comparing this with where this will fit against your caravan - bearing in mind where your caravan door and windows are. Ideally, you don’t want either side of the awning to situate half-way across a window, however, this is sometimes unavoidable.
Top Tips for Buying Caravan Awnings
There are some crucial questions you need to ask yourself before buying an awning, these are:
- How often will you use your awning?
- When will you use the awning?
- Will the awning be put up by one person, or by several?
- Are you restricted by the amount of weight you can carry in your car or caravan?
- Is the awning for your current caravan, or will you want to use it for another caravan?
What are the best caravan awnings?
There are incredible caravan awnings available on the market right now, with inflatable awnings fast becoming the trendy purchase.
Here are some of our recommendations for the best caravan awnings for 2019 and into 2020, so you know you’re buying the very best awnings for your home away from home…
Vango Maldives 400 Air Caravan Awning
Kampa Grande Air Pro 330 Caravan Awning
Sunncamp Swift Air 260 Caravan Awning
Kampa Rally 260 Caravan Awning
Vango Kalari III 420 Air Caravan Awning