Caravan Awnings – Why do I need one?
If you have a new caravan, a used caravan, or are thinking of purchasing one, a caravan awning will help to enhance your weekend break or holiday by extending your living space. You can also purchase awnings for your campervan.
There are several reasons why people choose to add an awning to their caravan. If the caravan is set up on a seasonal pitch, then a full awning will give you room to add an additional kitchen area, a fridge freezer, a sofa, and maybe even a table and chairs. You could make your own lounge, with a TV area and a rug to give a homely feel. An awning could also serve the purpose of giving you extra sleeping space for friends or family – some even come with the option of an extension, where an annexe can be attached – enabling you to have an extra self-contained bedroom or storage area.
Whether you are a seasonal camper or just a casual tourer, if you are beach-lovers, having extra storage space for surfboards, paddleboards, windbreaks, or other sandy items can be invaluable. You avoid getting sand in the carpets of your caravan, and it leaves you with room to move around, without cramming everything in one place. For the country lovers, it enables you to store your wet, muddy boots, wet coats or your fishing gear – a must if you value a pleasantly fragrant, clean caravan! Storing damp or wet goods in your van is never a good idea if you want to avoid the risk of mildew/mould appearing. The good old British weather is very unpredictable. Your four-legged friends could have an area in your awning – with their own bed/food bowls being given pride of place – especially if they have been for a muddy walk or have a reputation for being messy eaters!
Having an awning as a casual tourer, also allows you to double your living area – giving you space to set up camping chairs and a table, and/or to store wet and sandy items and things you would rather not keep in the caravan. There is nothing better than sitting in your awning on a summer evening, sipping a cocktail or two, having a coffee, reading a book or playing a game of cards with family or friends, whilst admiring the view of the great outside and watching the sunset. If the weather is not the best, you can make it a cosy area, where you can escape the rain and socialise, whilst still experiencing the al-fresco life.
Poled Awnings versus Air Awnings
There are many different types of caravan awning to choose from, which can be quite daunting for some – especially for the caravan novice. Our expert team at Tamar Caravan Centre can give you helpful advice, allowing you to make the best choice for your needs and your budget. We have a selection of awnings, erected for you to view in our indoor showroom, at our premises in Plymouth.
The traditional poled awnings with their steel poles, still have their place – especially for the seasonal campers, who require a robust and weather resistant awning, able to withstand the wind and rain (or in some cases, even snow) on a regular basis. Bear in mind that with poled awnings, you will need at least two people to set them up. You should also take the weight of a poled awning into account. If possible, it might be an idea to transport your poled awning in your towing vehicle or in your roof box, to avoid breaching your weight limit when travelling. Many modern poled awnings now come with carbon poles, still strong, but lighter in weight, and more for the tourer or casual holiday campers.
Air caravan awnings are becoming increasingly more popular, due to the ease of assembly. Air awnings can either be inflated via a single-point inflation or multi inflation-points. Some use additional tubes for support. Inflatable tubes replace the poles that would be used in a traditional poled awning, making them quicker to put up. Please note – depending upon the fabric of your awning, you might still require 2 people, as it could be constructed using a single piece of material – which could make it heavy, although most can be erected by one person. This makes air awnings ideal for everyone – especially if your are a sole camper, or one-adult family/group. Our team at Tamar can demonstrate in-house at our showroom, should you require it.
A Full Caravan Awning or a Porch Awning?
When it comes to caravan awnings, there are a selection of sizes to choose from. The professional team at Tamar Caravan Centre will be able to advise on how to measure your caravan for an awning, and you can check out our handy guide, along with some brief ‘how to’ Youtube videos that we have uploaded for your convenience. These highlight some valuable tricks and tips for erecting your awning.
A full awning will need to be attached to the full length of the rail on your caravan. This can be made easier by regularly treating your rail with a lubricant spray – see our caravan accessories shop. Full caravan awnings are the length of your caravan and can literally double the living space. They come in several depth choices, between 2.1m and 3.5m deep. Note: If you decide on anything larger than 3m, it might be wise to check the size of pitches, prior to booking any stays.
The popular porch awning is much lighter than the full, and as its name suggests, is only a partial awning. These are attached to the top rail only, with either poles or inflatable tubes to stabilise them at the front and sides. These can be used either for storage, for a small seating area, or for additional sleeping space.
Caravan Awnings Available from Tamar Caravan Centre in Plymouth
Tamar Caravan Centre currently sell both poled and air awnings, in either full or porch styles. We stock awnings from Isabella, Dometic, Ventura and Vango, giving you a wide selection to choose from. You can either come in to our showroom, or check them out via our online shop.
Should you be looking for a specific awning that you cannot see online, or in our showroom, please speak to one of our friendly advisors who will check to see whether we can order it for you.
To make your awning comfortable and cosy, it is a good idea to lay a floor covering. Types of floor covering will depend on whether you have a seasonal or a touring caravan.
For a seasonal pitch, a ‘footprint’ is a non-breathable covering that is perfect for hardstandings. In addition to providing a barrier between you and the floor, it also helps to reduce condensation, by way of reducing moisture coming from the ground. You can also purchase floor tiles to lay over the top, for a robust, softer feel.
If touring, you need a floor covering that is easy to put down and pack away again. Groundsheets are a great idea, as they help to reduce condensation on the inside of your awning, and can be folded away into a neat package, once you are ready to be on your travels again. Alternatively, why not try a continental carpet? These carpets are lightweight, and are both hardwearing and rotproof. They can be easily hosed down to clean, once you are ready to pack away. They come with the added bonus of not killing the grass underneath your awning, whilst still preventing bugs and worms from penetrating the surface.
Once you have set up your awning, it is essential to secure it! There are several styles of awning pegs you can use. The weather and the terrain will determine your choice. Amongst others, you can choose the Marquee tent pegs, Kampa storm pegs, threaded pegs that are driven into the ground using a drill, and rock pegs. Storm straps and other accessories are also available. If you need advice on which fixings to use, please ask one of the team at Tamar for assistance.
Caravan and Camping Accessories – Our Shop
Tamar Caravan Centre stock a wide range of caravan and camping accessories at our shop in Plymouth. Why not pop down and see for yourself, whilst checking out our awnings? We stock a wide variety of items, such as kitchen equipment, jockey wheels, safety equipment, security equipment, spare parts etc. A ‘must see’ is the environmentally-friendly, Grőn electric foldable bike – perfect for folding away and taking with you on holiday. For al-fresco dining, the Cadac range of barbeques and cooking utensils is just one of the quality brands we stock. Our Thule Bike racks and roof boxes are a fantastic way to help you transport your bicycles and luggage, without trying to fit everything into your car.
If you would like to purchase an awning, awning accessories or any other caravan and camping equipment, then head to our online shop, where you can browse through the pages, order in the click of a button and have the goods delivered to your home.