Sunshade awnings have been around in one form or another since the times of Ancient Egypt. The Syrian’s used woven mats to act as shades for market stalls and homes. Even the Roman’s wrote about them, describing linen awnings which were stretched over their theatres.
Since that time, awnings have been in continuous use, as tents to offer portable living, as an extension of canopies on horse drawn wagons or in market stalls. During the mid 19th century awnings became extremely popular with shopkeepers, often found attached to shops and buildings to act as shades, usually for produce or their wares.
By the 20th century, the auto-mobile reigned supreme as a mode of transport, and the popularity in affordable tourism gave rise to the touring caravan. Caravan awnings are just another, slightly modified, adaptation of the age old sunshade and they are one of the more popular caravan accessories.
Caravan awnings offer wide versatility and are perfect for providing more room when you holiday in a caravan, camper-van or motor-home.
Awnings are quite affordable considering the extra space they provide. Awnings can act as an additional room attached to your caravan, or motor-home. They are quick to erect, pack away easily and they can be rolled or folded up and stored away easily in a carry bag, meaning they are very portable.
The main two purposes of caravan awnings are to create additional space and act as a sun shade or to protect against the elements.
Additional rooms can be zipped on to the main awning which will be attached to your caravan or motor-home. The additional rooms can be useful for children and act as an extra play area or bedroom.
Awnings are sometimes weather proof. Many are made of polyester and cotton with a close stitch and a roof made of polyester (or a similar shower resistant material). Caravan awning sides or walls are usually cotton. The more expensive caravan awnings are made completely of a water resistant material, this can be polyester coated for extra water proofing. These types of awnings are marketed as ‘all-season-grade’
There are several types of caravan awnings, such as full size awnings which act almost as a separate tent attached to the caravan, caravan porch awnings, which are smaller but still offer additional versatile space, sun canopies and add on rooms.
Caravan awnings come standard fitted with windows and a door. More expensive awnings also utilise a vent for really hot days or nights. The fittings will either be zipper or roll out/up. The awnings with a zip is ideal for keeping out insects. Also, if you’re going to buy an inner liner for sleeping space then a zip up awning will offer better security and will help to keep the bugs out. It’s also a consideration if you will be using the awning space for eating, keeping out wasps and other flying insects.
Caravan awnings are either steel framed or lightweight aluminium and they are framed around support poles which come as legs and roof supports. Some awning frames come with additional triangular bracing for extra strength, this is important for windy conditions. Safety locks can also be purchased to add security.
Awning Flooring & Accessories
Awnings are effectively large tents attached to your caravan or motor-home. An important aspect of a tent is the ground sheet and these are also available for awnings. A ground sheet can offer additional comfort. Ground-sheets are breathable fabrics which help keep bugs out and also prevent the grass from being killed beneath you. A groundsheet will be very hard wearing and provide a watertight floor for sleeping or laying down a carpet for extra comfort.
Accessories are available caravan awnings and they can transform a simple outdoor space into something more substantial and homely.
An inner awning is optional if you’re considering using the awning as a sleeping area. Inner awning liners are zip up similar to the inner lining of a tent (ground sheets are essential if you’re using the awning to sleep inside).
Other accessories such as pole suction pads will add extra rigidity and stability. Awning hangers can also be great for creating extra wardrobe space.
A caravan awning is really popular with touring caravan owners. There are many makes such as Dorema Awnings and Eurovent. For more information on the types of caravan awning you should contact your nearest caravan equipment store.