Caravans are great in so many ways. They allow you to take a break anywhere, giving you the flexibility to roam the country and taking in the various sights and sounds without feeling stuck at a fixed destination. They are normally equipped with many of the appliances and conveniences you’d find at home, so you don’t have to compromise on comfort.
Well, that last part is not strictly true, is it? Let’s face it, as great as some modern caravans can be, and some of them are amazing – there is one thing that all caravans and motor-homes have suffered from their invention and that is limited space.
And a large part of comfort revolves around there being enough space. Fortunately, there is a very simple solution and even if you have never heard the term awning before, you will know exactly what they look like.
Think back to any caravan park or other holiday park you have ever been to. Those canopy and tent-style things on the side of the caravans are awnings and they are one of those must-have accessories if you are serious about caravanning.
Now awnings, much like anything these days, come in a wide variety of different sizes, shapes and styles. We have actually covered sun canopy (often referred to as canopy awnings) on another page and have even looked at inflatable awning on this site. However, we are going to cover the more traditional concept on this page, highlighting some top products available at the moment and offering some tips and advice when it comes to buying them.
Best Caravan Awnings 2019 (Our Recommendations)
Royal ‘at home out there’ is a brand that was first established more than 20 years ago and what began as a simple, but reliable selection of caravan awnings soon became a full range of caravanning and camping accessories. Thanks to their expertise and knowledge, they are able to produce fine products for excellent prices.
The Royal Wessex Caravan Awning in blue is no exception. It has high quality fabrics and steel poles and has been designed to fit caravans with awning railing heights between 230 and 250 cm. 2 side doors feature mesh for ventilation and there are 3 panels at the front that can be rolled up. There is also large canopies that can be put over the front panels for extra protection when the weather is not so good.
Kampa is another one of the big names in the caravan and camping industry, known for designing and producing innovative and practical products and accessories. This caravan awning from Kampa that we are highlighting is a practical and lightweight solution that provides you with additional space.
This Kampa Rally awning was actually the first awning that Kampa released, and due to its success they then went on to manufacture hundreds of different types and sizes. It may look impractically small, but trust us you can actually still fit a table and some chairs inside it, giving you a little extra floor space. As well as being easy to assemble, it is also easy to store away and comes with its own storage bag.
The next product we are looking at is the seasonal pitch awning from Camptech. This is another well-made and expertly designed awning that actually can work attached and unattached to your caravan.
This Camptech Savanna DL is designed to give you comfort and space while on holiday. It includes privacy blinds for privacy and security and is made from the exclusive Climatech SR18 heavy-duty materials that most Camptech products feature nowadays. Available in 9 different sizes so it is a great choice if you are after a large caravan awning. People say it is easy to assemble and comes with everything you need, this is a great product for a reasonable price.
Similarly to the above, this particular caravan awning can be set-up at a distance from your caravan, as it was designed for both camping and caravanning. It features Climatech SR21 to provide a superior level of protection from the elements, compared to others on the market.
Much like the model above, this comes with privacy blinds and also features a fly screen and everything else you need to get it erected so you can enjoy it. If you are looking for quality and don’t want to pay too much, this is worth considering.
Guide To The Different Types Of Caravan Awnings
As we have noted already there are various types, styles and sizes of awnings, so it can be hard to make the right decision for your caravan and requirements. We wanted to make things a little easier for you. In this section, therefore, we will look at the different types of awning available, how to measure for them and some additional tips we think are indispensable.
Although there are various variations on these basic structures, the three types of awnings we are going to focus on are:
- Full Awnings
- Porch Awnings
- Canopy Awnings (often referred to as Sun Canopies)
- Inflatable caravan awnings
Full caravan awnings generally can add around twice as much living area to a caravan, giving you space and freedom to enjoy your time away, regardless of the weather.
They are usually large structures that resemble tents and are available in various qualities, fabrics and sizes. Many are fitted with additional sleeping areas, while others feature removable panelling to allow you the chance to enjoy the sun when its shine and to block out the rain when its not. There are even some awnings that have high quality curtains that would suit even the most sophisticated home.
Measuring For Full Awnings
The two measurements you need to pay most attention to when looking at full awnings is the caravan’s A measurement and the depth of the awning.
The A measurement for your caravan will normally be noted in the handbook. However, it is relatively easy to measure. You need to start by levelling your caravan and then use some string (not the stretchy kind) and push it along the awning rail, until it comes out the other end.
NB. Modern awnings are not usually designed to follow the contours of the underside of the railing.
You now need to fasten the string to something on the ground and then tension it to figure out how much string is needed in order for the other end to reach the ground. When you measure the length in centimetres, you have the A measurement of your caravan.
These awnings are generally a lot smaller than their full counterparts making them easier and quicker to erect and therefore, ideal for shorter breaks. They are often designed to provide you with an area you can take wet clothing like wellies and coats off before entering the caravan, preventing wet muddy marks getting inside.
These awnings are also useful for keeping bikes stored in out of the rain and protect your caravan’s door from the worst of the weather. On the other side of things, although they are a lot smaller, this style awnings can still often house a table and some chairs.
Measuring For Porch Awnings
When it comes to measuring your caravan to choose this type of awning, you need to consider two things:
- Is there a window close to your caravan door?
- The height of your caravan
If there is a window close to the front door, porch awnings often overlap these windows. Whether this is a major problem, is up to you. Think about how awkward it may be to keep that window closed always, or at least when the porch awning is up. Perhaps the window is above the hob and you need that window open for additional ventilation. If it is not though, it may not be a problem keeping the window closed.
So, how do you measure the height of your caravan? Well, as it is only for an awning, you measure from the ground up to the top of the awning railing on your caravan.
Canopy Awning/Sun Canopy
We have dedicated a full page on our site to sun canopies here. Sun canopies or canopy awnings are either permanently or temporarily installed on the side of your tourer. The permanent variety normally rolls down like a blind and usually consist of some internal poles that fold out as legs.
High-end canopy awnings often come with optional fabric walls that can be used to make the space below the canopy more enclosed and secluded.
As it normally is considered a specialist job, you should speak to your local caravan dealership about your permanent canopy installation options.
Safety and Installation Tips
- If you are transporting your awning inside the caravan, place it over your tourer’s axle and ensure it is unable to move about, even if you stop suddenly.
- If you are going to erect your awning onto the muddy ground, lay a groundsheet down first, or even some plastic sheeting. This will prevent the fabric from getting muddy or green.
- Generally speaking, it is best to put an awning up with the side panels zipped. Although this is the quickest way to do it though, if you are in windy conditions, take the panelling out first so you don’t have to struggle against fabric being blown about or it tearing.
There you have it, our guide to the best caravan awnings. We hope the information contained in this page is helpful and assists you in finding the best awnings for caravans and preferences. Please be sure to have a look around our site and read some of our other informative guides. We’d also love to hear from you and your thoughts and experiences caravanning around the UK.
After something else that’s more specific?
- Best Porch Awnings
- Awning Heaters
- Awning Carpet for Hard Standing
- Air awnings
- Best draft skirts
- Caravan sun canopies
Our aim is to ensure you have as much information at your disposal as possible to make the best purchase for your caravan.