An awning for a campervan offers a great way to mark your camping pitch while you are on an adventure during the day. Besides that, there are plenty of other reasons why you should consider getting an awning, the most obvious one being to provide shelter from the sun, rain, UV protection or chilly winds. A campervan awning work by using a torsion spring that is installed in the roller tube. The torsion spring has sufficient tension in it to allow the awning to easily roll and unroll without needing too much effort. Just as with any other product, there are wide varieties of awnings to choose from, depending on how you intend to use them.
Choosing the right awnings for your campervan has a lot to do with how you camp, your needs, and the size and strength of your van and the vehicle type. These in addition to your budget, are important factors to keep in mind when shopping for awnings for campervan
Awnings come in different sizes and shapes, and of course prices. Because of this, you need to be very clear on what you want before you visit your favorite online store.
Here are some of the options you should expect to come across:
Types of Camper Awnings
Inflatable air awnings are the latest innovations in the world of camping. They use a powerful high-pressure air-filled poles structure that allows for easy pack or pitch. Air awnings are ideal for family or newbie campers since they don’t need any special attention when it comes to pitching.
Drive Away Awnings
As you may have guessed, drive away awnings attach to your van. Depending on the type of awning you purchased, you will use either a screw or a large bolt to attach the awning rail or bar to your van. A drive-away awning is designed to be a stand-alone awning tent, which features two parts. Most of them feature lines or straps that go over the roof of the van and peg in the ground on the other side.
Wind-out awnings or roll out awning
Wind-out awing is a fan favorite among campers. It is one of the best campervan awnings you can have thanks to its practical design. They are also known as roll-out awnings or pull-out awnings and are usually fitted to caravans, motorhomes, and vans. The manual versions of these types of awnings are wind-out awnings because they usually are cranked out by a winding handle, though some can be motorized. The front of the wind-out awning is usually supported by legs, but some are automated and thus don’t have legs and can be just be extended by touching a button.
Other considerations to keep in mind when buying campervan awning include:
Technology: Electric or Manual Awning
This will ultimately depend on your budget as well as your individual preferences and how badly you want to be comfortable. The automatic or electric awning is easy and quick to set up since all you need is to touch a button and it will open or retract. The downside of electric awnings however is that they require 12V power in order to work, and thus it may not be suitable in case of an emergency.
Manual awnings on the other hand give you lots of freedom to venture even into the remotest places because you don’t need the power to roll out your tent. But the downside is that it can take up to 12 minutes to set up a manual awning. For some, this may pose problems especially if you intend to deploy the awning frequently. they must be easy to set.
Self-supported or supported awning
Self-supported awnings tend to have automatic self-deployment and require mounting within the van structure, which must be supported by the weight of the awning. These awnings also tend to have tension arms and fitted wind sensor and a weather kit with tie-down straps and support legs to provide firm anchorage. Another best thing about most self-supported awnings is that they can easily be mounted and stowed away. However, their continuous, flush mounting means they lack gaps for rainwater to run through.
Outdoor Campervans accessories
Once you have your awning, what you put inside in terms of accessories will depend on how you want to use it. Here are must-have accessories for your campervan awnings.
Campervans mats and groundsheets for practicality
You need a waterproof footprint to protect the floor of your tent as well as to add some additional layer of protection between your and the moist ground. If you want further comfort, you can go for awning floor tiles. They will limit the levels of discomfort from debris and rocks underneath the floor of your ten, which is important if you intend to sleep on the hard ground.
Check best groundsheets for camping
After ensuring your tent’s floor is properly protected, you should think of adding a carpet or rug to create that cozy feeling around your porch area. This is particularly important if you will use the awing as your bedroom or a chilling place. A rug or mat can give your awning a warmer feeling. or you can go totally crazy and got for awning room. Check prices of the awning room
Awning carpets come in different styles and shapes, and it is easy to find the one that matches the model of your tent. Additionally, most of these rugs or carpets are breathable to help protect the vegetation below.
You don’t want to be fumbling around in the dark on your outdoor trip. Moreover, awnings are not known for enhancing an enjoyable atmosphere and that is why you need some forms of lighting to increase moods and improve the exterior living space. Check best awning lighting
Outdoor Camping Furniture
Last but not least, you may also need awning furniture to create a peaceful space for when you want to relax and watch a movie or do something else during your downtime.
Best Campervan Awnings
In the following section of this post, we have rounded up the best awning for camper vans you can find out there on the market. Hopefully, after reading our review you will be able to find your dream campervan awning for your camping trip.
ARB 4×4 Accessories 814201 Retractable Awning
The ARB 814201 Retractable Awning is designed smartly. It attaches almost perfectly to most vehicles and since they are self-standing and retractable, they fit onto the side of most roof bars or roof racks of vans and can be conveniently stored for use on arrival.
It is designed to withstand all sorts of conditions and has anodized height adaptable telescopic legs and Velcro Ties for a strong roof as well as thick reinforced aluminum extrusions that are protected from harsh outdoor conditions.
Additionally, this awning is constructed from strong PU coated 300 gsm poly/cotton ripstop canvas, meaning it is fully waterproof and provides a UVP 50+ rating.
The awnings come in three sizes and can fit up to 2.1 meters high mounting points with the length being distance from your van. They also feature pegs as well as guy ropes for securing the legs, mounting bolts and nuts, and easy-to-read instructions.
It is specifically made for tough off-road conditions, and comes equipped with hardware and instructions, the manufacturers made it also a lightweight yet with capabilities to provide convenient shelter and protection from the elements.
- LED lights
- Quick setup
- Sturdy tent material
- Not rainwater drainage
- Missing parts
Dobinsons 4 x 4 Roll out Van Awning
Price range: From $150 to $300
This premium quality campervan awning is designed to offer you instant and easy access to shelter from the side of your van. It is a medium-sized square shade, measuring around 2 meters against the van and extending 3 meters out from the car.
It is waterproof and is made of heavy-duty breathable 420D PU oxford polyester, which also gives it many years before you replace it.
Also, it is assembled inside a waterproof 600GMS UV Stabilized PVC Protective Cover, with self-locking height-adjustable poles, pegs, and ropes, which you will need for quick and easy, set up and pack up.
What campers like about Dobinsons 4 x 4 Roll Out Van Awing is its strong, vertical supports that the awning could be attached to.
However, you will need to drill the brackets unit into the roof racks, and most users find this as a drawback.
When stowed, this campervan awning is incredibly compact, and you can pack it up into a small bundle that doesn’t require too much storage space.
- Huge coverage
- Not suitable in windy environments
- Hard to mount
Thule HideAway Van Awning
Price range: From $800 to $1000
The Thule HideAway Van Awning is one of the most sought-after campervan awnings on the market. It features sleek construction that was designed with aesthetics in mind, thus it will complement the look of your cool camper.
However, there is more than what meets the eye. This entire awning is self-contained within the mount, so you will not have to store the straps, poles, pegs, and other pieces of hardware inside your vehicle.
Setting up is easy and it can be done by one person, thus making it perfect for solo travelers. This unit can also be installed onto the side of the van directly or mounted onto a roof rack, though make sure you have figured out which side you want to mount it before buying.
Thule HideWay Awning also provides an array of front and side sunshades as well as rain blockers that can easily attach to the awning.
- Aesthetically designed
- Fully contained
- Optional extras
- Hand crank can get stuck
- Quite expensive
Smittybilt Camper Van Awning
This camper awning is very similar to the Thule awning and thus can serve as an affordable alternative. However, the difference between the two lies in the takedown and setup. While Thule awning the entire process is slightly automated through the hand crank, with this unit you will have to roll back up by hand.
But that shouldn’t be a cause for concern since the manual process only increases the setup time by just five minutes.
If the style of set up and takedown is not a major factor to you, this awning is can be a great addition to your camping experience.
Its price is just unbeatable considering the quality of the unit. It is also long-lasting and the brand, Smittybilt, has been in business for more than 50 years, thus you can trust their product. The company also offers extended warranties for its products.
Its small legs might look unstable, but they are strong enough in mild weather.
- Durable material
- Hardware included
- Takes a long to set up
- Flimsy legs
Rhino Rack Batwing Camper Van Awning
Price range: from $600 to $800
The Rhino Rack Batwing Camper Van Awning provides almost 118 square feet of shade, covering one side as well as the back of your campervan.
The installation is also a breeze since it attaches directly to the roof rack of your vehicle. Takedown and set up is also easy.
Being an upgrade from the previous product, with integrated poles into the canopy, this awning is simple and space-efficient.
However, it is also expensive, which has deterred most users. But if the price is not a problem for you, this is a great campervan for your camping trips.
- Easy to set and take down
- Great t coverage
- Burly awning fabric
- Price is a problem
- Weak hinges can break easily
Tuff Stuff Rooftop Van Awning
Price range: From $200 to $300
Tuff Stuff is quite tough and can endure all kinds of treatments out there. Despite that, the company behind this awning backs this claim of being tough with an extended warranty.
However, this does not mean you should use it carelessly because many users have complained about this awning for not withstanding heavy rains and extreme weather conditions.
But for its price and quality, this unit is still a great buy, especially if you don’t plan on using it in harsh weather.
Nevertheless, Tuff Stuff is an ideal campervan awning that is pretty easy to install and can be mounted directly onto a roof rack, roof, or onto a rail existing.
- Easy installation
- Extended warranty
- LED light strip
- Cannot withstand bad weather conditions
Price range: From $1,500 to $1900
This extremely expensive awning can wrap around your campervan and provide shelter from three sides of your van – back, front, and one side of your choice. This makes it ideal for family camping since there will be plenty of space to seat several people. The canvas used to make this unit is finished with a shiny coating that will deflect the solar heat away from your sitting space. Because of this feature, this awning is a great option for inclement weather.
It is also suitable in harsh weather, thanks to its rugged aluminum supports that allow it to withstand strong winds. Its water-resistant fabric and sloped design allow rainwater to roll off rather than collecting on the canvas.
- Offer shade on three sides
- Easy to mount
- Quite expensive
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