New caravan owners might find the wide variety of caravan awnings available on the market daunting. The varied sizes, types, and features of caravan awnings can be confusing to the uninitiated.
Then there’s the ongoing debate among caravan owners of the pole vs. air awning. There’s no comparison, really, as both pole and air awnings have their pros and cons.
Yet, choosing between pole and air awning is not the only decision you have to make. You also need to choose whether a small porch awning is a better option than a full-sized awning.
How to choose the caravan awning for your needs
How you will use your caravan and your needs are the things to think about for you to get the right caravan awning. The things you need to focus on before you invest in a caravan awning include:
- Whether you want the awning to be stored in your car or caravan
- Whether using the caravan awning is for seasonal/longer stays or only on weekends
- Whether you are the only one responsible for putting up the caravan awning
- Whether the awning is only for summer use or all-year-round
- Whether you prefer adequate space for chairs and a table
- Whether a pet or anyone needs the awning for sleeping
You will be able to determine the type and size of caravan awning based on the answers to the above list. Yet, there will be instances when you need to invest in both a large full-sized caravan awning and a small/porch awning.
Roll-out, air, or pole caravan awnings
The different types of awnings available today come in three kinds: roll-out, inflatable or air, and pole.
The traditional caravan awning is also known as the pole awning. However, while the typical galvanised/steel pole awnings are still around, the durable IXL fibreglass poles and carbon-fibre-reinforced poles offer the best options.
Air leaks are the least thing to worry about with pole awnings. It is also an easier and quicker way of setting up an awning. Being cheaper than the other two types of awning is another benefit.
Yet, there are caravan owners that find erecting a pole awning a complex job. Then, two people also need to be involved when setting up a full-sized pole-type awning.
Not having to contend with poles is the singular advantage of the air/inflatable awnings. This outstanding feature makes the air awnings the quickest way to set up especially when you have some help.
Single inflation point awnings are the best as a blast of high wind speeds raises the awning together at the same time. The drawback of air awnings is their price. However, technology does not stand still and further developments in air awnings may lower its price to that of pole awnings is not inconceivable.
Ease of use and convenience wins hands down with roll-out awnings. However, the simple design of the awning can only provide shade and a bit of extra space. This type of awnings for caravans cannot cope with wind and other bad weather conditions.
What you need, how you need it, and your budget is the top things that can make you decide on an awning type and model.