Discover your awning options...
blog / advice / awnings / holiday / family
Awnings are a great addition to any caravan, providing many benefits that will undoubtedly improve your caravanning experience. There are so many to choose from and it’s important that you pick the right one for your caravan to ensure that it fits correctly and offers protection from the elements.
There are many pros and cons to purchasing an awning, but the pros far outweigh the cons. The only things that may put you off are the additional expense and the fact that the time it takes to erect the awning will add to your set-up time. But once it’s up, it will be well worth it for all the positives it provides you and your family with…
Why invest in an awning?
If you go for a full awning, it could almost double the space you have to play with. Awnings provide a great place for dining when you don’t want to or cannot eat outside and also a great area for the kids to play. Porch awnings are also capable of providing you with extra space as they come in different depths and different widths to suit your needs.
Shelter from the weather
Awnings provide great shelter from the rain, so on wet days an awning will be a Godsend! They also provide valuable shade in hotter weather and they can be easily ventilated to provide a cool place to relax.
Bring the outdoors in
Awnings are fantastic for just sitting in and enjoying the surrounding area. It may be wet or too chilly to sit outside, but with an awning you can sit and relax and look out; particularly lovely when pitched in a rural or forest-based site.
Awnings provide a great place to store things that you don’t want or cannot fit into the caravan. Things such as outdoor furniture, the BBQ, bikes and wellies are easily stored and easy to hand when needed.
Convenient and good-looking
Modern awnings don’t take long to put up and with the advancement in designs and materials, they look great too. The introduction of materials such as lightweight fabrics and composite frames and new design concepts mean that awnings are moving away from the traditional look and becoming more attractive.
There are three types of awning that you could opt for; full awning, porch awning or canopy. Full awnings offer the most space, almost doubling your footprint. Porch awnings offer a range of sheltered space outside of the caravan, ideal for drying off before entering the caravan and for storing boots and bikes etc. Canopies offer a roof which could provide shelter from the rain or sun if you still wanted to eat outside for example.
Inflatable or poled?
You’ll need to decide which option to go for but before you do, consider how often and where you plan to use your awning. Generally, poled awnings are cheaper than inflatable ones so if cost is a factor, that’s something to think about. If using an electric pump, putting up an inflatable awning should be quicker and simpler than a poled one. Inflatable ones also fare better in windy weather which is a considerable plus as bent poles are never a good thing for an awning!
However, inflatable awnings can suffer from condensation which can sometimes be mistaken for a leak! Due to the air in the airbeams mixing with air inside and outside the awning/caravan, this can sometimes produce condensation and is nothing to worry about! It’s a natural characteristic of awnings and general camping life, which is something we cannot fully avoid. However, there are extras and accessories available to help reduce the effects.
The choice of material tends to be acrylic, polyester or cotton. Acrylic is generally considered to be superior as it doesn’t shrink, rot or fade, but it is more expensive. Acrylic is less prone to condensation, whereas cotton 'breathes'. Polyester is lighter but not as hard-wearing as acrylic and does not have the breathability of cotton.
Keep in mind that lighter colours will reflect the heat more effectively than dark colours so opting for a light colour would be good for summer caravanning trips when it may be hot. Remember though that pale colours may be harder to keep clean and will show up more dirt!
Measuring for an awning
Awning sizes are called A measurements. This is the distance around the caravan’s awning channel plus the distance from each end of the channel to the ground. If you’re opting for a full awning, you may be able to search online to find the awning size for your caravan model, so check the manufacturer’s website as the first port of call.
If you’ve bought an older caravan, the A measurement may not be readily accessible so you may have to manually measure it. Thread rope or string into the awning channel, from one end to the other. Measure it, then measure the distance from each end of the channel to the ground (do it on level ground!), and add the figures together. The result is the A-measurement.
Note that the measurement for a porch awning is different. Porch awnings only sit on straight awning rail so when measuring for this ensure you do not include the corners/bends in the measurement and it is also worth seeing where it will drop so it doesn't cover anything you may need access to.
Kampa have a keen eye for detail and are passionate about providing lightweight, durable options to complement your caravan. We stock both the inflatable and poled ranges. Kampa awnings are suitable for caravans with attachment heights of 235cm-250cm. The air range prices start from £324.99. The poled range starts from £239.99.
Isabella has been gathering experience in the manufacture of awnings since 1957 and has always been one step ahead when it comes to developing new technology and designs. Isabella awnings come in canopy, porch and full form. Prices start from £141 for canopies, from £611 for porch awnings and from £1,181 for the full awning options.
Ventura awnings are the perfect solution if you require a reasonably priced awning built to a very high standard with all the attention to detail you would expect from a leading supplier. We currently stock five different Ventura awnings - two porch awnings and three full awnings. Prices start from £793.
Bailey have ventured into the accessory market with their Prima awning range. Following some design improvements such as using a more weather-resistant material, the Prima Infinity is ideal for caravanners who want a complete inflatable awning experience with included groundsheet and rear back poles as standard. We stock the Prima Infinity 260, a full awning that is suitable for caravan awning rail heights of up to 250cm. It is priced at £699.
Dorema combines European quality with affordability, bringing you the ultimate peace of mind. We have a range or Dorema porch and full awnings, starting from £471.
Our pre-owned selection
We offer quality, pre-owned awnings at reasonable prices - giving you the best of both worlds. Check out our current stock.
Why not pop in for a cuppa and chat with one of our knowledgeable and friendly accessory shop team; they know all there is to know about awnings and can advise you on the best option for you and your caravan. Browse the ranges we offer online prior to coming in - we hope to see you soon!
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