Awnings are popular additions to caravans that provide extra space, are very practical, and can even help your caravan to stand out and add some personality into it.
Here is a guide to awnings to help you choose one for your caravan and look after it, as well as some details relating to that all import awnings insurance.
Overview of awnings
An awning is an attachment that looks a bit like a tent. However, rather than being a separate item like a tent, an awning attaches to the side of the caravan to expand upon the space you have available.
Awnings come in various styles, and there are many factors you may want to consider when you buy one such as the shape, size and colour. Have a look at some awnings being used by other people in the caravan park on your next holiday and have a think about which style would suit your own caravan.
What do they do?
There are many reasons why you may want to invest in an awning. For a start, they simply provide you with more space when you stay in your caravan, and it never hurts to have more space available.
By attaching an awning, you can add an extra room onto your caravan that you can use for a wide range of purposes including storage for shoes and equipment, eating or even sleeping.
This may be particularly useful if your caravanning holiday is a wet and muddy one, as the awning gives you space to discard wet clothes etc.
Some awnings have sides while others just have tops. Often you can lift up the sides so that you are open to the elements, and this can be a pleasant way to enjoy being outside while getting shelter from the sun (and the rain!).
How to choose an awning
One of the first things you will need to decide upon when you choose your awning is the size. Measuring an awning is simple. Each caravan will have an ‘A Measurement’, and the is the length of the awning where it attaches to the caravan, starting at the ground and going up to the roof, along the top and back down the side. You should be able to find this in the caravan’s handbook, but you can also measure it.
Once you have this measurement, you can choose an awning that you will be able to use with your caravan.
You will also want to consider the depth of the awning, which is the distance from the front of the awning to the side of the caravan.
You will find that there are various models to choose from, including canopy awnings, porch awnings and drive-away awnings. Have a look at the different styles and choose the one that you prefer.
Other options for your awning
As well as the basic considerations, you may want to think about other factors when you choose your awning.
For example, some come with an inner tent, allowing someone to use it as a tent for sleeping. This could be a great idea if sleeping space is tight in the caravan. You can use this to create a separate area inside the awning that zips up to provide privacy. Alternatively, you can use the extra space to store things away.
Another option is to get one with an annex. This is a separate area that zips onto the outside of the awning to increase the amount of space available.
Most importantly, find an awning that suits your style. There are various colours and styles available, so choose one that you feel comfortable with.
Putting your awning up
Every awning will have its own instructions for how to put it up, so read through these for your own model. However, the general process is to:
- lay all the pieces out on the floor;
- mark the pieces using coloured tape, which will make it quicker to erect in the future;
- lubricate the awning channel;
- thread the awning into the channel;
- put up the poles;
- peg it into the ground;
- check it over for safety.
Insurance for awnings
Awnings may typically be covered on caravan insurance policies, but it depends on the policy. It will usually be shown separately on your insurance schedule.
You may find that there are exclusions within the cover, or things you need to comply to in order to keep your awnings insurance valid.
For example, storm damage may not be covered if the awning was left up.
The contents of the awning may also not be covered, and you may find that there is a separate limit for the awning.
This will all be detailed in your policy documents. If, however, you are unclear on any exclusions or your obligations relating to your awning, please feel free to get in touch and we will be very happy to help.
You can read our news story about awnings insurance here.
How to look after your awning
Once you have an awning, you can keep it in good condition by looking after it carefully. If you don’t care for it, it will not last as long, and you’ll end up having to buy another.
Ideally you should clean it a few times each year, and the best time to do this is usually when you have put it up. Simply give it a clean with water and a soft brush at the end of your holiday, then let it dry thoroughly and pack it away.
The poles can build up with mud over time, so give these a quick check over as well and clean them if necessary.
When you store it away, make sure it is completely dry. Leave it out in the garden in the sun to dry properly if it is damp when you leave the caravan site, and then keep it in the shed or garage until next time you go away.
Find an awning for your caravan
Awnings are practical, attractive and they make a great addition to any caravan. If you would like to be able to make use of more space for storage, sleeping or for simply relaxing when you go away in your caravan, consider getting yourself an awning.
Further reading: Guide to Awnings