Everything you need to know about awnings
Awnings are quite literally the extension to your touring vehicle, offering you a space of respite and comfort outside the walls of your Caravan, Camper or Motor Home. While we all love to get away, it’s usually for the great outdoors, and not to be stuck inside a four or five-meter space all day! The area becomes a great entertaining spot for neighbouring travellers, without having to invite them into the confines of your home away from home.
A great awning set up will set you apart from other travellers!
What you need to know about awnings
Awnings are great for both personal and commercial use
Awnings aren’t just for caravanning and motorhome travellers, though we fit many of these every week! Awnings are great particularly for businesses and not for profits who engage with the community through events and meet and greets. Awnings allow you to set up a shaded area and chairs for a comfortable chat and can help you convert the community into customers or engaged stakeholders.
We often fit awnings for charities, ambulance, SES and police vehicles to give them respite from the harsh sun when working outside, which helps stimulate the senses and improve alertness for the day ahead.
There are different types of awnings
Depending on where your touring vehicle is manufactured, you are likely to have either a roll out awning or box awning fitted to your van, which will either be manual or electric.
Roll out awnings are often associated with vans of USA origin, while European brands favour box awnings (also called the cassette awning or folding arm awning). Both awning styles obviously do the job of framing and giving structure to your canvas or vinyl, they are just designed differently.
The roll out awning is mostly an uncovered roller with vinyl fabric attached that is affixed to the side of your van. It provides shade with two sturdy arms and rolls back into position with ease. Some believe this is the stronger of the two awning styles but we have not seen this in our every day dealings with both styles. It does expose the material to the elements though but we sell Awning Protectors to minimise UV and moisture damage.
The box awning engages springs in the folding arms that extend from the side of the van. The legs fold down from the front profile and can be fixed to the ground or back to the side of the van. These along with the arms provide stability.
Popular awnings in Australia
For popular awnings in Australia, check out Coolabah and Sunburst for awnings manufactured and assembled in Australia, and Thule of which we are the exclusive distributor. If these aren’t quite right for your needs, have a chat with us because Aussie Traveller is the only Australian manufacturer with the ability to custom make awnings using premium materials and products.
Sizing up your awning
Awnings come in different sizes, from small window privacy awnings to full length bus awnings, and everything in between.
When you need to install the awning from scratch, you will need to take into consideration lights, curved roofing, doors and hatches and more to help work out the best position. When measuring your roll our awning awning for a replacement fabric, be sure to use the imperial system and measure between the centre of the two awning arms, as well as the fabric itself to make sure you don’t find yourself short!
Awnings really make a caravan or touring vehicle come to life! It’s where you will find yourself preparing and eating meals, playing cards or scrabble, enjoying happy hour with neighbours, reading a book and planning your next adventure! Make sure you get the shade and space right first time, and book an appointment with our team to work out what’s best for you and your vehicle.
We also have a video tutorial here on how to set up your awning in under 10 minutes – it's an oldie but a goodie!