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What Is A Caravan Awning?

Caravan awning? I hear you ask. Of course I can’t hear you ask, that’s impossible. So let’s pretend you did ask me what a caravan awning was.

This is a series of articles about “things I didn’t know when I started Caravanning”. Really, before we bought a caravan, I didn’t even know they had legs? Don’t worry I’ll cover that elsewhere 🙂

Caravan Awnings. Awning Rail.

Around the edge of a caravan you might have noticed something. It runs the whole length of the caravan and in some cases it’s on both sides. It’s called an awning rail and is where you attach your awing to the caravan, it slides in.

You can see it on the photo here, just a rail, or even a groove. The awning slides into the groove and attaches it to the caravan. It can be quite a tight fit, so you might need something called Awning Rail Lubricant. Yes, I know it sounds awful, but you spray it in the rail and it makes it slide in easier. I do apologise for the innuendo, it’s really not my style to act like I’m on “Carry On Caravanning”, but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

So, there’s the awning rail, in all it’s glory, so what is it you attach to this rail exactly. Well, it’s called an awning, it looks a lot like a tent. It’s normally what non caravanning people call it.
“Oh I like your tent”.
“It’s not a tent madame, it’s an awning”
“Well I never, is it easy to erect?”

You see, I’m at it again. Maybe it’s impossible to do a serious item about caravanning without lapsing into innuendo.

Awning Manufacturers

  • Isabella Awnings
  • Kampa Awnings
  • Ventura Awnings
  • Sunncamp Awnings
  • Vango Awnings
  • Dorema Awnings
  • Outwell Awnings
  • Prima Awnings

This is list by no means full, but it gives you an good idea of how many different makes there are, let alone how many different models!

Types Of Awning

Right, let us try to avoid any forms of smut in this part of the article, it really shouldn’t be that difficult.

Porch Awning

These are smaller awnings, ideal for use on a weekend trip away where you want the extra space but don’t want it to take too long to put up.

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Full Awning

We use a full awning, even if we’re away for a short time, purely because we don’t want to buy two! Full awning can wither go the full length of the caravan, or, as in our case, probably 75% of the caravan’s length.

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Within types of awning we should mention here that you can get a “traditional” pole awning, that uses metal, or more likely these days fibre glass poles. Also, air awnings are available. So, instead of poles they have air tubes which you inflate. We personally prefer air awnings, but it’s purely a personal preference thing.

Porch awning are available in air as well as thinner tent like flexible poles.

Benefits of an Awning

It doesn’t matter what you decide, be it, air, pole, porch or full, awnings give you extra space. They also bridge the gap between inside and outside of the caravan. Muddy boots can be left in the awning. Dogs can be dried in the awning, everything you don’t want in the caravan can be kept in the awning.

We put chairs and BBQ in the awning before we go out. Obviously it’s only secured by a zip, but out of sight out of mind. It also keeps things dry when it’s raining.

We tend to use our Air awning all year around and all of the time.

We have a Kampa Air Awning similar to the one’s below.

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They may look expensive, but we use it all the time and wouldn’t be without it.

*Last update on 2020-01-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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