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Buying an awning made easy: What you should consider before buying your dream model!
If you're a camping or outdoor enthusiast, then you surely know how important a good awning is for your camping adventure. Your awning is more than just a shelter! It's your home away from home and provides you with the comfort you need. Not only do awnings give you extra space and protection from the elements like sun, rain or wind, but they are also an important part of your camping gear. But to find the perfect awning, you need to consider some important factors!
These include the size, the type of awning, the material and the weight. It's important that you choose an awning that meets your needs and fits your camping style. Do you want a light and compact awning to change locations as quickly as possible or a spacious awning to accommodate all your camping equipment? Should it be an inflatable awning or do you prefer a classic pole?
Crucial to consider is the size of the awning to ensure it fits your caravan, motorhome or bus. Another important factor is the material of the awning, as it has an impact on the durability and protection factor. It should be waterproof and sturdy enough to withstand the weather conditions. The design and functionality of the awning are also considerations you should make. Should it be a canopy or tunnel design? How many entrances do you need? There are a variety of awning types on the market, including freestanding, attached and inflatable. They all offer different advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs and budget.
The most important factors in your awning choice at a glance:
- Size and Compatibility:
Choose an awning that fits the size of your camper, RV or bus and is compatible with your vehicle.
- Material quality:
Pay attention to the quality of the material of the awning. A high quality material is more durable and protects you better from the elements.
- Stability and wind
The awning should be stable and wind resistant to withstand strong winds. Look for a sturdy frame construction, stable mounting options and a secure stand.
Setup and handling:
An awning should be easy to set up and handle, because you won't waste time on your travels. Look for a light weight, easy assembly options and clear instructions.Tip: It's best to try out the setup once before you go on your travels.
Make sure the awning is adequately ventilated to prevent condensation and mold.
- Additional features:
Depending on how you plan to use your awning, you should also look for additional features, such as extra windows, curtains or an integrated groundsheet.
- Value for money:
Compare the prices and quality of different awnings to get the best value for money.
- Weight and transport:
If you need to transport the awning often, make sure it is lightweight and easy to store. An awning with a compact size can also save space during transport.
- Weather resistance:
The awning should have weather resistance to protect against rain, wind and sun exposure. Look for good waterproofing, UV protection, and adequate load-bearing capacity.
If you take all these factors into consideration, you can be sure to find the perfect awning for your needs. Get ready for your next trip - with the perfect awning by your side!
Awning vs. marquee: which option best suits your needs?
An awning and an awning are both popular options for caravans, motorhomes, or buses to provide additional living space and protection from the elements. Below you'll find a comparison to help you decide:
Find the right size and type - tips and tricks
The advantages of a caravan awning are numerous - in the following article you will find advantages at a glance:
A caravan awning provides you and your family with extra living space and therefore more room for your furniture, Equipment or an additional sleeping place for your children or visitors.
Protection from the elements
You are well protected in all weather conditions, whether rain, wind or sun.
To spend sociable evenings with friends or even as a couple, an awning is the ideal addition to separate yourself from the rest of the campsite.
Which awning type are you?
There are various types of awnings. Would you prefer a travel awning, a seasonal awning or a winter awning? Of course, this depends on your individual needs. Here you will find an overview of the different types of awnings:
Seasonal or also called all-season awning:
Suitable for long/longer standing times and infrequent changes of location
Seasonal awnings are suitable for campers who have a longer standing time on a camping site and change their location. Excellent are such tents with robust materials, which withstand moderate weather conditions and are durable.
Suitable for short periods of standing and frequent changes of location
If you change your location often and only have short standing times, then a travel awning is the best choice. They are made of lightweight materials, such as polyester, and have a small pack size and weight. The pitching and dismantling takes place quickly.
Suitable for longer periods of standing and infrequent changes of location
In order to meet the high demands of the cold season, it is advisable to purchase a winter awning. Usually they are made of PVC and have a steeper roof or inclination to the front, so that snow load can slide off better. Winter awnings are usually not large and serve as an entrance lock or as storage of your winter sports equipment.
Determine the right awning size for your caravan
For caravan awnings, a distinction is made between partial and full retraction. The choice between a partial or full retractable awning depends on individual needs and preferences.
Partially retractable awnings
Partially retractable awnings are only fitted in the straight channel of your caravan and fully retractable awnings go over the entire channel, i.e. the circumferential dimension. With partial retraction awnings, the only thing that matters is the length of your straight channel. The connection height is only important if you have a taller vehicle, such as the Bürstner Averso Plus, etc.
Fully retractable awnings
Since the full retractable awnings go over the entire piping rail, i.e. circumferential dimension, you need the dimension of your caravan. The circumferential dimension is measured from the ground along the entire piping strip to the other end on the ground. If you do not know the measurement of your vehicle, you have the following possibilities to find out or determine it:
- Check the documentation of your vehicle. As a rule, the circumferential dimension can be found in the technical data.
- Contact the caravan manufacturer or your dealer directly. Under indication of the model and year of construction you can be helped at any time.
- Just contact us! We have a database with the dimensions of various vehicle models.
- Measure it yourself - To measure the circumference of your caravan yourself, you will need a flexible tape measure and a ladder.
Follow these steps to measure it yourself
- 1. Place your caravan on a flat surface and lower the supports to keep it stable.
- 2. Place the ladder next to the caravan so that you can reach the roof.
- 3. Measure the length of the caravan from the center of the drawbar to the end of the caravan.
- 4. Measure the width of the caravan from side to side, across the widest part of the caravan.
- 5. Measure the height of the caravan from the ground to the highest point of the roof.
- 6. Add the length, width, and height of the caravan together to get the turnaround measurement.
The right thing for campers on four wheels
Awnings are a great addition to any camping trip with a bus or motorhome. They give you extra space and protection from the elements. If you're looking for a bus awning, there are a few things to consider to make sure you choose the right one for your needs. In this article you will learn more about what to look for when buying.
First of all, make sure the awning is the right size and fits your vehicle perfectly. There are different types of awnings that are suitable for different types of vehicles, such as vans, motorhomes or buses. Make sure you know the exact dimensions of your vehicle and match them to the dimensions of the awning.
Make sure that the awning is hard-wearing and weather-resistant to withstand any weather conditions. You have the choice between different polyester materials or cotton blend fabrics. Cotton blend fabric is breathable and allows you to have good air circulation in the awning and reduce condensation. Polyester is lightweight, quick-drying and robust. The choice of material depends, of course, on your own needs and the weather conditions at the holiday destination.
Weight and size
It is often the case that you have limited storage space, so it is important that the awning is light and compact to save space and weight.
Make sure that the awning has sufficient ventilation to prevent condensation and ensure comfortable air circulation.
Think about what you want to use the awning for. Will you only use it for short stays? Then a simple and lightweight awning may be sufficient. Will you spend a longer time in the awning and use it as a living or sleeping area? Then you should choose a better equipped awning.
Compare prices of different awnings and choose one that is within your budget and at the same time meets your needs.
Freedom of movement
Think about how you want to spend your camping holiday and whether you will change your pitch several times. If you want to be able to separate the awning from your vehicle, e.g. for excursions during your camping holiday, a freestanding awning with an airlock may be a better choice. The airlock is a small space between your vehicle and the awning itself. It serves as a transition area and prevents insects and dirt from getting inside the vehicle. The airlock can also serve as additional storage space for equipment and items. A static awning, on the other hand, is a tent that is permanently attached to the vehicle. It is usually erected for an extended period of time and stays in one place without being moved. It usually does not have an additional airlock that serves as a transition between the interior of the awning and the exterior.
Determine the right awning size for your vehicle
To determine your connection height, you simply need a tape measure or folding rule and measure from the floor to the roof of your vehicle. As a rule, the attachment heights of the bus awnings of the various manufacturers are between 175 - 220 cm.
The procedure is exactly the same for camper vans, motorhomes or panel vans, measured from the ground to the lower edge of the awning. The attachment heights of the awnings start at 220 cm. The deciding factor here is whether you want to attach your awning to the awning of your vehicle. If you do, it is also important to know the width of the awning. If you retract the awning into the awning, you can subtract approx. 10-15 cm from the width of your awning so that the box closes properly when you retract the awning.
The right mounting: Tips for mounting awnings on the vehicle
Most of the time the question arises: "Do I want to leave my vehicle permanently?" or "I want to be self-sufficient, leave my awning and explore the holiday destination with my van, how does that work?" There are many different ways to attach your awning to the vehicle.
If you don't want to drive away with your vehicle, then you can simply pull the awning into the
awning with the sewn-on
piping and it will remain standing permanently.
If you want to use the opportunity to go shopping or exploring with the vehicle without having to take down the entire awning, we have the following suitable attachment options:
Attachment of the awning:
With a piping adapter you are extremely flexible. The various manufacturers often have a double
keder tape, 7-7 + 5 mm
or 6-6 + 4 mm - this depends on which awning or keder rail your vehicle has. The piping tape is
threaded into the rail
or awning of your vehicle and then connected to the awning piping by means of a double profile rail.
When you want to
drive away with your vehicle, you simply pull out the double profile rail.
Ideal for motorhomes and panel vans
Lock bar and clamp on the rain gutter
A sluice pole is supplied with many bus awnings. This is inserted through the hollow seam of the lock and then pushed through the rain gutter. Then the clamps are attached on both sides so that nothing can slip.
Sluice bar and folding suction cups on the roof
Important note: To be able to use the folding suction cups, the surfaces on the roof must be clean and dry. The sluice bar is pushed through the hollow seam of the sluice and clamped into the folding suction cups. Two folding suction cups are sufficient for the attachment.
Magnet adapter on the roof
Magnetic adapters are only suitable for vehicles with a sheet metal roof. The magnetic tape is attached to the roof and then the awning piping is connected to the piping of the magnetic tape with a double profile rail.
Velcro fasteners on roof rails
If your camper has a roof rail or luggage rack, you can attach the lock to the rail or luggage rack with a lock rod inserted in the hollow seam using the Velcro fasteners provided.
Guy lines over the roof
The lock of your awning is stretched over the vehicle roof with the supplied or firmly sewn
(depending on the
manufacturer) guy lines and anchored with a peg.
Optimal for motorhomes and vans
The right choice: tent materials and their advantages and disadvantages:
There is no one perfect tent material for awnings, as each can have its positive properties as well as a downside. For example, a tent coating that is very waterproof can lead to increased condensation on hot days.
Reputable tent manufacturers use a variety of materials, including polyester, Airtex, PVC coatings, PU coatings and acrylic.
Polyester is lightweight, extremely tear-resistant and UV-resistant. The fabric is insensitive to moisture and bacteria, but not very breathable.
Airtex is also extremely tear-resistant and has high light and colour fastness. Dirt can be easily removed as with Trailtex.
Awnings with PVC coating are absolutely waterproof, extremely tear-resistant and allow for easy cleaning. However, they are also relatively heavy and require good ventilation to prevent condensation. PVC is used in the roof area for all tent categories and in the side and front wall areas for seasonal, all-year-round and winter tents.
PU coatings are very cold-resistant and waterproof and are often used for tent floors. They achieve a high density and are of high quality.
Acrylic is very rot-resistant and permeable to water vapour, but the drying of the tent fabric takes correspondingly longer. Impregnation makes the acrylic surface water and oil repellent and easy to clean.
Before choosing a material for your awning, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option, as well as your individual needs, climate and weather conditions at the campsite.
The importance of well-made seams for your tent - tips and recommendations
Awnings are usually made of waterproof materials, but they must be breathable to prevent condensation. Therefore, the seams are particularly important in awnings, as they are often the weakest points and must prevent moisture from penetrating.
When manufacturing awnings, the seams are normally sealed by welding or gluing. Swelling seams are special seams that are used to achieve a particularly effective seal. A water-repellent adhesive is applied to the fabric panels. When this adhesive comes into contact with water, it swells and seals the pinholes created during sewing. This creates a waterproof and durable seam that ensures a long life for the awning. However, improper use or ageing of the materials can cause cracks or leaks.
If a seam leaks or breaks, you should repair it as soon as possible to avoid further damage. There are special repair kits available for this purpose that are adapted to the awning material. Depending on the type of damage, it may also make sense to commission a specialist company to carry out the repair.
The water column for tents: Meaning and important points when buying
The water column in a tent refers to the ability of the material to repel water. It is measured in millimeters (mm) and indicates how much water pressure the material can withstand before it starts to let water through.
The most important points about the water column in a tent that you should consider when buying:
- The water column indicates how waterproof the tent material is. The higher the water column, the better the tent protects against moisture and rain.
- Some tent manufacturers use different measuring methods to determine the water column. Therefore, it is important to follow the manufacturer's specific specifications to ensure that you get a waterproof tent.
- Some tents have different water column values for the outer tent and the tent floor. The floor of the tent usually needs to have a higher water column than the outer tent, as it lies directly on the ground and is exposed to greater pressure.
- Although a higher water column is better, it does not automatically mean that the awning is better. A higher water column value usually means that the tent material is thicker and heavier, which can affect the tent's transportability.
- When pitching a tent, it is important to seal the seams to ensure that the tent is waterproof. The seams are often the weakest part of the tent and can let water through if they are not properly sealed.
- A tent with a high water column not only protects you from rain, but also from snow, dew and moisture in the air. If you often camp in a humid environment, it is therefore advisable to choose a tent with a high water column.
Different Poles variants for awnings: an overview
Awnings can be equipped with different types of poles. Here you will find the most important variants.
Steel poles: The steel frame is very robust and durable. However, it is also relatively heavy and can rust if not properly maintained.
Aluminum poles: Aluminium poles are lighter than steel poles and yet robust enough for use in awnings. They are usually a little more expensive than steel poles.
Fiberglass poles: Fibreglass poles are very light and easy to handle. However, they are not as robust as steel or aluminium poles and can break in strong winds or storms.
Inflatable Poles: These poles consist of inflatable tubes that are filled with air. They are very easy to set up and can be inflated quickly. However, they may not be as stable as other poles and can leak if damaged.
The choice of frame for your awning depends on a number of factors, such as the size and shape, the frequency of use and the weather conditions it will be exposed to.
Advantages and disadvantages of the pole variants at a glance:
Advantages: Robustness and durability
Disadvantages: high weight and susceptibility to rust
Advantages: light weight and not susceptible to rusting
Disadvantages: lower stability and higher price compared to steel linkage
Advantages: very light weight and easy to assemble
Disadvantages: Limited stability compared to steel or aluminum poles and risk of breakage in strong winds
Advantages: easy and quick to set up
Disadvantages: High price and costly repair in case of damage
How to clean your awning properly
The best way to clean your awning is to use lukewarm water and a soft sponge or cloth. Alternatively, you can use a cleaning brush with soft bristles - ideally textile bristles so as not to weaken the material and damage the impregnation layer. For stubborn dirt such as bird droppings, you can also use tent cleaner.
When cleaning your awning, you should proceed as follows:
- 1. Spread out the awning and use a soft cloth or brush to remove loose dirt
- 2. Before using the tent cleaner, moisten the area to be cleaned first.
- 3. After you have applied the cleaner, use again your soft cloth or brush and rub.
- 4. After rubbing, rinse the affected area well and allow the awning to dry thoroughly to prevent mold.
How to properly impregnate your awning
When waterproofing the awning, make sure it is completely clean and dry. Use a waterproofing spray
or solution according
to the manufacturer's instructions. Note that the waterproofing may wear off after a while and that
the awning will need
to be treated again. We recommend impregnating the awning after every cleaning or every 1-2 years.
In this video you will find all the important information:
How to store your awning properly:
For the storage of your awning you should consider the following:
- 1. Clean and dry the awning thoroughly before packing it away.
- 2. Avoid storing the awning in a damp or wet condition, as this can promote mold growth.
- 3. Store the awning in a dry, ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
- 4. Use the appropriate transport bag or a pack sack to protect the awning from dust and dirt.
Condensation in the awning: causes and backgrounds
If you have an awning for your caravan or motorhome, you may have noticed that condensation sometimes forms inside the tent. This is due to the difference in temperature between the inside and outside air and can be unpleasant. But don't worry, with our tips and tricks you can reduce or even avoid condensation.
To understand how condensation occurs, you need to know that warm air can absorb more moisture than cold air. When the warm, moist air hits cold surfaces like the tent, it cools down and releases its moisture in the form of condensation. The same happens when warm air enters a cooler tent.
Tips and tricks against moisture in the tent
To reduce condensation, make sure the tent is well ventilated. During the day, let fresh air in from time to time and open the windows and doors to increase airflow. However, when you leave the awning, you should close it to prevent rain or wind from getting inside.
Another way to reduce condensation is to use heaters. By increasing the temperature in the tent, the air temperature is also increased, resulting in less condensation. However, make sure that heaters are safe and approved for use in tents.
In summary, good ventilation and the use of heaters are the two most important ways to reduce condensation in your awning. Follow these tips to keep your awning dry and comfortable while you enjoy your camping trip.
Tips when air loss or leaks occur
When an air leak occurs in an inflatable awning, it can be very annoying. The most common reason for an air leak in an inflatable awning is a leaking valve. Check all valves carefully for cracks or damage. If necessary, use a valve repair kit to fix them. You can also watch our videos on the different manufacturers.
How to spot a leak in an air awning:
Check the seams:
Check the seams of the tent for tears or damage. If you find tears or holes, you should repair them or replace the tent.
Check the valve:
Check the valve for any damage or cracks. If you find cracks or holes, you must replace the valve.
Air pressure test:
Inflate the tent completely and close it carefully. Check if the air pressure decreases after some time. If it does, you have a leak in the tent.
This is how you fix a leak:
Use a repair kit:
Many manufacturers offer special repair kits that you can use to repair holes or tears in the tent.
Use of duct tape:
You can also use special tape to repair holes and tears in the tent.
Using a tent repair paste:
Another option is to use a tent repair paste. Simply apply the paste to the affected area and let it dry.
You can also use our live repair service when you are on the road. We will accompany you through the individual steps via video call.
Your awning checklist: Useful accessories for your camping adventure
Storm band set:
A storm band set can help to ensure that the tent remains stable and is not damaged in strong winds or storms. It can reduce the risk of storm damage and thus increase safety in the tent.
Pressure poles (for partial retractable tents)
They provide a better seal between the vehicle and the awning
Especially with polyester awnings, an inner canopy reduces condensation and thus provides a better indoor climate
Mosquito nets for front or side walls
With the help of the nets, you can air your awning without worrying about bugs getting into the tent.
Many campers use a clever trick to ensure that dirt stays outside and is not carried into the caravan: They put a carpet in their awning. But this is not a conventional carpet, but a special outdoor carpet made of water-permeable synthetic fibres. This type of carpet allows rainwater to flow through the fibres and the ground underneath to stay dry.
They are another option, but many campsites don't like waterproof tarpaulins because they can damage the grass. For this reason, many campers opt for the outdoor carpet. However, for campsites that are particularly exposed to the weather, a waterproof tarp may be a better choice. This special tarp not only protects against dirt, but also against rain and other weather conditions.
The advantages of an awning:
- More storage
An awning typically offers more storage space than an canopy, so you have more room for camping gear, furniture and other items.
- Protection from
An awning can be equipped with mosquito nets to protect you from pesky insects.
An awning gives you more privacy than an canopy because it gives you a separate space to retreat to. Usually, awnings are equipped with curtains or zippered curtains.
An awning is usually sturdier than an canopy and can withstand strong winds better. Of course, it is important to make sure that the awning is well braced.
The disadvantages of an canopy:
An canopy offers significantly less protection from wind, rain and insects than an awning.
With an canopy, you give up a bit of privacy because it doesn't create a separate space like an awning.
- More susceptible to
An canopy is less stable than an awning and therefore usually more susceptible to damage from wind and weather.
The disadvantages of an awning:
- More difficult to set
An awning can be more difficult to set up than an canopy because it requires more parts and more work.
- Weight and
Compared to an canopy, an awning can be heavier and more cumbersome to transport and store.
The price of an awning is usually higher than that of an canopy, as it requires more materials and labor.
The advantages of an canopy:
- Ease of set
An canopy is usually easier to set up than an awning and requires less labor and fewer parts.
- Weight and
An canopy is usually lighter and more compact than an awning, making it easier to transport and store.
An canopy is usually cheaper than an awning because it requires fewer materials and less labor.