Which Caravan Awning Should I Buy?

CARAVAN AWNINGS


Caravan awnings can be simply divided into two styles:

1. Full or Traditional Awnings
An awning that slides completely into the caravan awning track from one end to the other, fitting from ground to ground (A to B)

Caravan Awning Diagram

A full awning would normally be used for main caravan holidays, extended breaks or even seasonal pitches.
Because of this they fall into two categories – Touring and Seasonal:

A Touring Awning would be designed for holiday use only, normally for periods up to four weeks at a time for between 4- 6 weeks of a year.

A Seasonal Awning is made from material that can withstand UV degradation for longer periods, as the name suggests, for a whole season (March – September). It’s ideal for Caravans that are permanently sited where Awnings are left up for a number of months. The biggest enemy of modern materials is UV degradation and Seasonal Awnings have extra coatings to slow this ageing process down.

2. Porch Awnings
A Porch Awning is basically any type of Caravan Awning that fits on the straight caravan rail. They come in various styles and sizes, including the increasingly popular Air Awnings.

Porch Awnings for Caravans

The red line shows the best fit for a porch awning avoiding windows and lockers whilst still only using the straight rail on the roof.
Using the maximum (grey) line would also work, although it means you would not necessarilly achieve a seal across the window. You may also not be able to use the window and may even end up marking the acrylic surface.

A Porch Awning has 2 cushion pads sewn in where it comes down vertically on the side of the caravan, where upright poles attach and create a seal (sometimes optional).

ALL modern Porches are designed to fit the height of most Caravans manufactured after the year 2000. They require between 235 – 250cm in rail height. If your Caravan was made around this time or earlier then the roof rail to floor measurement should be checked to ensure it fits correctly.

As a rule, Porch Awnings are for Touring Use Only unless your awning specifically states otherwise. Most modern Porches and Air Awnings are made from materials that will degrade with UV light, so extended use rapidly accelerates their life expectancy.

 

OUR TOP TEN TIPS FOR CARAVAN AWNINGS

1. Always purchase additional Storm Straps with your Awning because of unpredictable weather conditions.
2. When pitching a Seasonal Awning always use a waterproof sheet/tarpaulin as an undersheet before putting down a groundsheet/carpet. This will serve as a damp course/membrane and stop moisture being drawn up from the soil, greatly reducing condensation.
3. Use of awning track lubricant will help greatly reduce resistance when pulling your awning through your caravan track.
4. Use of an awning pole tensioner on a Full Awning will ensure you achieve the correct tension on the roof material, giving a better water fall off and avoiding water pooling and collapse.
5. When attaching an awning to a caravan always pull material from the front nose end rather than the rear as it’s much easier.
6. Where possible, always remove zip-in panels (front and side) from the awning roof as this reduces weight and makes pulling through the caravan track easier.
7. Always avoid (if you can) pitching an awning underneath trees as sap and bird lime can seriously damage coatings on awning material.
8. Always trial run a new awning before your main holiday to ensure that all parts are present and correct and you are familiar with its assembly.
9. Purchase of a selection of pegs is worthwhile as it’s difficult to predict whether the ground is very hard or very soft on your pitch.
10. Try to watch a YouTube video on the correct procedure on how to pitch an awning. Many manufacturers make their own. It will help reduce stress and time when you arrive on site.

 HAPPY CARAVANNING!