Tips for Buying a Caravan Awning
An expanding family, teenagers who need space or simply some more space to relax in are just some of the reasons why you may be considering purchasing an awning for your caravan to increase your living space. They can be heavy, space consuming, and expensive, so you need to ensure you choose the right style both for your caravan and for its intended purpose.
Used awning are available, for example on eBay, but if this is the first time you have bought an awning, it makes much more sense to go to a dealer and speak to them in details about what you will be using the space for, the caravan it is intended to fit, and how often you will be using it. There are sizing issues, as unfortunately awnings (or caravans for that matter) do not come in a one size fits all scenario, so very careful measuring is required; unless you are able to find manufacturer recommendations to suit your caravan. Yet again, the practicality of seeing a professional accessories and awnings supplier applies itself here as they may already have the information regarding suitable awnings for your caravan; at the least they will be able to advise on the best measurement technique.
If you will be travelling to a site where you will be on hard standing, awnings can cause issue as you won’t be able to use tent pegs to set up the awning, so do check if the pitch is suitable. Broadly speaking, there are 3 main categories of awning available, although each do come in slightly different formats.
Sun Canopies / Canopy Awnings
As they sound, a canopy which may be fixed permanently or attached on a more temporary basis, ready to clip in or unroll. Although these provide shade or shelter, this type of awning is not going to extend living space as such, as only the more complex types come with walls to offer a truly enclosed space. What they do offer is further shelter, perhaps a dining area in case of rain or a shady spot to park your chair.
Closer in nature to a full awning, the porch awning does provide a fully enclosed space; but on a smaller scale. Easier to put up than the larger full awning, these can be used as an enclosed area for storing bikes or outdoor equipment and clothing. A reasonably sized porch awning can also provide a more sheltered dining area and a separate room.
Much larger than a porch awning, a full awning can be up to the size of your caravan, meaning you practically double your living space. These really do vary in terms of price and quality, and some are much easier to erect and transport than others, so do your research before you buy. The full awning is much more like a traditional tent, in the sense that they are often large enough to contain smaller sleeping quarters as well as extra living space, and usually have windows and more comfort than something smaller. If you plan on taking dogs away, an awning is an excellent idea to provide shelter whilst allowing you to avoid having to spend your holiday in close quarters with your furry friend!
Full awnings do require a very stable frame, which come in a variety of forms. Steel is relatively inexpensive, but will add significant weight to your load; on the other end of the spectrum are fibre poles which are light and very strong, but likely to cost a fair bit more.
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