So you have the caravan and are looking to get some good use out of it this summer. Do you have an awning for your caravan yet? If not, you may want to consider the benefits of investing in one of the many available such as a caravan air awning for your caravanning adventures.
An easier to set-up and store away version of traditional awnings, caravan air awnings are a great solution for providing your caravan with an outdoor, shaded area.
As is the problem with many things nowadays, there is a wide selection of different ones to choose from, so to help you make the best decision for your caravan and circumstances, in the following post we will look at what we consider to be some of the best.
Along with our overview of the best ones, we will also give some tips and advice about buying caravan awnings too.
Best Inflatable Awnings 2020 (Some Choices)
This one is made by Lichfield. They have a long-standing history producing products and accessories to make caravanning and camping experiences more comfortable and therefore enjoyable.
This one features the branded Lichfield AirOdyssey inflatable technology that allows easy erection and pole-free pitching for your campervan. It comes with a double-action pump to help put the awning up quickly. The fabric used for this awning is 150 D polyester, which is reliable, durable and most importantly, waterproof.
Thanks to the airbeam panels for airflow ventilation on this awning, there is a comforting flow of air that prevents condensation from becoming too much of a problem. It has fully finished and taped seams on the linked groundsheet and flysheet, manufactured in a factory to ensure there is a water-tight seal and the steel rock pegs and mallet are of a high standard too.
Pricey but offers great value for money if you are after one of the best campervan or motorhome awnings that are available.
The second product on our list is another Lichfield caravan awning, so you know it is good quality. It is slightly bigger than the above model, hence the slightly higher price tag. It features the 150 D polyester fabric which is incredibly reliable, durable and very waterproof.
Also, similarly to the above, the seams have all been taped in the factory to ensure they are water-tight and the special panels with airflow ventilation technology ensures that condensation is kept to a bare minimum.
The addition of side doors and a curved-shaped front door give this awning a variety of different access points which can also be unzipped from the top down to provide you with a greater amount of ventilation. It features adjustable support poles for the rear, a foam draught pad and skirt and two covers for your caravan’s wheel arches. Along with the same steel rock pegs and sturdy mallet mentioned in the above and the practical and quick double-action pump.
Although you are paying a lot, you should consider your inflatable awning as a real investment anyway.
Kampa is another big name in the world of camping and caravan accessories and products and that is why a list of the best inflatable caravan awning would be incomplete without one great product from this manufacturer.
Considered as Kampa’s new flagship inflatable awning product, it is one of the biggest available on the market at the moment. If you are looking for a wide space to enjoy next to your caravan, then this is definitely the best inflatable awning for you.
It is 8 metres wide and 3 metres deep but don’t worry, because you only need an awning rail on your caravan that is a little more than 4 metres in length. As is expected of most Kampa, this Frontier model inflates very quickly with single-point inflation and there are three panels on the front that make it even easier to fit onto a caravan.
On the inside is where it really excels above much of the competition in that there is more than enough space available.
Yet another big name on our list when it comes to caravan awnings and camping accessories is Sunncamp. Their Sunncamp Swift 390 air caravan awning is worth considering, for how easy it is to erect and just the sheer value for money it offers you. There are canopy options and a roll-up front door.
There are curtains on all of the windows and airflow side doorways. It comes with a vertical storm pole pocket and a pump with a gauge and dump valve is included to help with inflation. It is not nearly as expensive as many of the others on this list, but don’t let that put you off because the brand because it comes with a very good reputation attached to it.
This awning is available in all different sizes but it really is an amazing awning. The one we are featuring here is the Kampa Rally Air Pro 260 Plus Left. As with most of Kampa’s awnings, it has single point inflation which we really like as it means there’s less chance of air leaking out.
You might be wondering what the “plus left” means? Well, the part on the left of the awning is essentially an extension and can be separated from the rest of the awning. This is perfect to be used as a bedroom or maybe to store your bikes or fishing tackle in. This leaves the other part clean and clutter-free as a nice living space.
Yes, another Westfield Outdoors product on our list worth considering. Significantly cheaper and more affordable than many of the others on our list, this benefits from a design that reportedly means it can be erected and inflated by just one person. So no more messing around for hours trying to make it fit onto your caravan. It can be put up in minutes.
Lightweight, as you’d expect and with a draft skirt, wheel covers and weather covers too, it comes with a pump that features an auto cut-off valve, so you if you are distracted while erecting it, there is no chance of over-inflation and damage.
The second to last listing on this page is another Sunncamp product. This product has a slightly different and smaller design to the other Sunncamp awning mentioned further up the page. The ACE-TEC 150 D fabric offers similar waterproofing and durability-though and there is a wide range of optional features such as footprint breathable groundsheet, roof pocket for additional support for the poles and optional read poles and canopy poles.
This awning features a screen mesh on the side access doors, which means you can keep the bugs out while providing enough ventilation when you are all zipped up and there are large clear windows with functional blinds on the inside.
We couldn’t compile this list without mentioning Isabella as they are one of the best brands for awnings out there. The Trudigans did a great video review of this awning and we think you should definitely check it out.
We hope you found the above list of the best air awnings available helpful. To coincide with the information above, we thought it would also be helpful to point out some considerations you should make before deciding to buy a particular inflatable awning you are interested in or even if you should buy one at all.
Below we will highlight some of the main pros and cons of investing in caravan air awnings, top tips for using them and some insurance considerations you need to bear in mind too.
Pros and Cons
- There is a well known saying within the camping and caravanning community that awnings are ‘divorce in a bag’, mainly due to how much effort and hassle they are to erect. However, it is fair to say, whether you like them or not, they eliminate the need to think like that and totally dispel it.
- As most come complete with a manual pump, it really just takes a few seconds to inflate them fully and then you just need to peg them up, to ensure they stay erect as long as you need them to. I’d recommend getting an electric pump though just to make it a bit easier.
- Many caravanners would argue that the total time it takes to erect most inflatable/air awnings compared to traditional types is not actually much different once you factor in attaching it to the caravan securely. However, one major plus point of the inflatable kind is the elimination of the need for big metal poles.
- One downside should be considered if you are concerned about the payload margins when you are travelling because inflatable caravan awnings are designed to be all-in-one, they are a lot heavier and bulkier than traditional models.
- Another downside that needs to be addressed is the price. Generally speaking, they are a lot pricier than their traditional counterparts. However, you might see the price as being a worthy investment for the benefits that air awnings can provide.
Whether you are completely new to caravanning and awnings or just want to make smarter buying decisions, we have put together what we feel is a list of great tips for buying and using them.
Before buying one, make sure you try and get down to a proper caravan and camping accessory store to see a display in the flesh. This will give you a better idea of what some of the models available are like in real life. It will also, crucially, give you a chance to see what the view is like from the inside.
- When choosing one, look out for special package deals where you have the chance to get handy extras that can help enhance your caravanning experience, including inner tents, annexes, draft skirts, footprints and carpets, heaters, to name a few.
- Be sure to carefully check that the one you are interested in buying feature lower and upper-level ventilation and the mesh used on the doors and windows. The more ventilation there is, the less condensation there will be.
- When erecting your best caravan air awning, if any of the door panels and windows are removable, take them out and you will find it a lot easier to slip the main section of the awning through the awning rail when setting it up.
- There are pros and cons when it comes to choosing either a single or multiple inflation point designs. It is obviously a lot easier to inflate an air awning from a singular point. However, the downside of this is that it could mean you have to deal with punctures and repairing a more complicated system with extra valves and pipes.
- Try and look for features such as pegging points that can be easily adjusted to give a secure fit and to the thickness of the fabric and beams. Generally speaking, the thicker the fabric and beams are the better. But this does mean they will be heavier. Also, pay close attention to the level of draught exclusion you are offered from a particular awning.
- Aside from the obvious points of window and door locations and colours – make sure you buy one that actually fits your caravan.
Considerations Regarding Caravan Insurance
Obviously, we all hope that this never happens to any of us, but metal awning poles have been known to swing towards caravans when the wind picks up on those blustery days. This can often lead to claiming on the insurance to pay for the repairs.
While the above is true of traditional awnings, inflatable ones are less likely to suffer from damages during stormy weather. This is mainly due to the fact that most air tubes flex, so there is always a degree of giving. Therefore, as a final factor when considering whether to go for an inflatable model or more traditional one and weighing up the cost of both – make sure you include insurance costs in your calculations.
We hope this page has been helpful and you are now able to find the best inflatable caravan awning for your caravan. If an awning is out of your budget then one other thing you could consider for privacy is a caravan windbreak.