If you often go on caravans, you can get by without awnings. They aren’t a necessity at all. However, when you have awnings, it moves the entire caravan experience to another level. It lets you enjoy several activities that you wouldn’t be able to do or would be very tough to do without awnings.
Whether it’s eating outside the motorhome, having a meal with your mates, or as protection from the weather, there are many ways buying awnings can be worth it.
However, there are many kinds of awnings in the market, with all sorts of different features and designs. If you’re new to caravanning, it can be really frustrating to navigate through all the factors you must consider.
In this article, we’ll help you by providing you with all the things you need to know and consider when you’re looking for awnings for your RV.
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If you’re touring and don’t stay too long in camp before moving to another, you’ll need an awning that’s light and easy to put up and uninstall.
However, in case you are the type that takes longer holidays where you camp in places for extended amounts of time, you might want a heavier full awning or a large porch awning. Yes, it’s harder to set up, but it’s much sturdier. If you’re going to use your awning during the winter, you also need to avoid lighter awnings, as they won’t work well.
Furthermore, it’s also essential to think about what you want to do when the awning is set up. Do you want to put out many tables and chairs, or do you just want somewhere to put your things or something that can keep the weather away?
There are so many things to think about when getting awnings. Knowing what you’ll need it for is an important step.
When trying to buy awnings, it can be easy to get a really good awning, but one you don’t really need.
Before buying awnings, set a budget and follow it strictly. It’s because many really good entry-level awnings are very affordable but can do a really good job.
If you don’t really camp that often, there’s no need to buy an expensive awning that you can’t fully utilize.
If the budget’s tight, you can buy second-hand awnings or older models. Just be careful and make sure that the awnings you’ll buy haven’t been abused and properly taken care of.
Size and weight
A larger awning may withstand more and allow you to do more things, but keep in mind that they can be challenging to store in your van or motorhome and be harder to put up.
If you often use your go on caravans alone, taking a lighter and smaller awning would be better. However, if you go with many people, you’ll need the extra space, and it’ll be easier to install since you have many people with you.
Another factor is that bigger awnings can be harder to dry after it’s rained. They are also hard to keep, especially if your storage area isn’t that large.
Another consideration to think about is its depth or the distance it extends away from the motorhome. The bigger the depth, the harder it is to find pitches.
According to your usage, you can choose among four types of awnings recognized by The British Standard:
Winter awnings (Type W) – Awnings that can be used all year but with a roof loading designed to handle heavy snow.
Residential awnings (Type R) – Awnings that are designed for usage for extended periods. They can handle light snow and are often used for seasonal pitching.
Touring awnings (Type T) – Awnings designed for repeated pitching. While they can withstand most types of weather, they aren’t designed to withstand the winter. Also, the material, construction, weight, and fabric used for them dictate which weather they’ll be best for.
Lightweight awnings (Type L) – Awnings that are designed for repeated pitching. They are considered lightweight because they typically weigh less than 2.75kg per square meter of the base area.
There are many types of materials used for awnings. You can find many entry-level awnings using polyester cloth, which is lightweight and has good breathability. However, it’s not a strong material.
Some awnings also have synthetic polyester, a material with good strength and water resistance. Depending on the coating, the strength, weather resistance, and durability of polyester might change. Generally, coatings used are vinyl laminate, PVC or acrylic.
You can also find awnings that use acrylic fibres, which can be spun and dyed. It’s a light material with good strength and insulation.
If you don’t go to caravans that often, awnings with polyester fabrics might be better because durability won’t be too much of a problem if you don’t use them for extended periods.
However, if you’re a hardcore camper, you might want to invest in a heavier awning using more robust material that can handle what you want to do and the weather of every location you’ll be camping at.
Getting great value caravan awnings
It’s vital to get the right awning for your needs, most especially because even the entry-level ones aren’t exactly cheap.
But, when looking for great value caravan awnings, always remember value isn’t all about how expensive it is. It’s about how the awnings can provide what you need and handle all the conditions you will be in.
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