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Choosing the awning that fits your caravanning lifestyle
CARAVANNING is such a great way to spend the holidays both with family and friends. Imagine going away for a few weeks or so with just a map on-hand, not minding the schedule at all. And all that and more in the comfort of your home-away-from-home automobile!
Now, a fantastic way to enjoy on-the-road vacationing and spontaneous camping is having caravan awnings. May they be full awnings, free-standing awnings, porch awnings, or canopy awnings, they’re sure to extend good fun.
In choosing your own caravan awning, here are some things to consider:
Function: What do you need the awning for? Is it to extend your living space or dining area? Are you looking for a place to dry your wet coats and boots during the rainy season? Or will it serve as a sleeping area for you and your family? The kind of awning you purchase depends on the function you want it to satisfy. For a simple shade function, look into the array of porch and canopy awnings. For family entertainment and/or sleeping purposes, you might want to try browsing through the full awnings and free-standing awnings section. There are awning annex that are usually used for extra sleeping space. Whether you need an entire room extension or a simple roof over your head, there are those than can be adjusted to your every need. Look for ones that have removable front and side panels that you can easily turn from a sun-shade to a living room space.
Character: What type of camper are you? Are you the kind that’s always on-the-go or someone who likes to spend a few days (even weeks) in the same place? Choosing the right awning depends on your caravanning preferences. If you’re almost always on the road but would still like to enjoy a share of good ol’ nature’s view, then get something as simple as a canopy or porch awning. For those who plan to stay a while longer, consider getting something as sturdy and spacious as a full or free-standing awning. You may want to try inflatable awnings, too, as they are quick and easy to both put up and pack. They are absolutely perfect for someone who’s always on-the-go but wouldn’t mind staying a few days either. Or perhaps consider something that can be detachable from the caravan allowing you to go and stay as you please without the trouble of setting it all up again.
Material: For ensured protection and a longer shelf life, be cautious in picking out quality awning materials. Keep in mind that your awning will be exposed to the harshest of weathers so it’s better to plan ahead.
The frame of an awning is usually one of three: steel, aluminium, or fibreglass. Aluminium and fibreglass are relatively lighter than steel so they are easier to carry around. However, among the three, steel is the toughest. Fibreglass, on the other hand, does not corrode.
For the awning material, acrylic, polyester, or cotton is used. Cotton is more “breathable” than the two, although acrylic is the toughest as it does not shrink or rot through time. Polyester may be your best bet as it shares, though not absolutely, the breathability of cotton and durability of acrylic. The colour of the awning affects the heat containment in the awning.
Specifics: Be sure to have the exact measurements of the awning you will need lest you make the mistake of purchasing one that’s one size too large or too small.
Resort to your caravan’s manual as the measurements are usually specified in there. For an accurate result, you may even take the actual caravan when you go awning-shopping so that the retailer may see what it is you really need. Should it be much of a hassle, you may, instead, show a picture of the caravan so the retailer will have the least bit of idea what you will be handling.
Affordability: After considering everything written above, probably the most important thing to consider is your budget. There are cheap awnings such as second-hand/pre-loved awnings for sale that you may want to look into.
Stand-by for post-holiday/ off-season sales. Be careful, though, as you may end up sacrificing more than what is necessary (i.e. quality, protection, etc.) so be wise in purchasing such an item.
Having met all the necessary concerns, you are now ready to purchase the awning that best suits your caravanning lifestyle.
Putting up awnings may take a while longer to get used to but rest assured, the experience will be well worth the effort.
So, get up and go on that road trip adventure that’s been nagging you, and the rest of your family, for so long. Stop yawning and start caravawning!
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