Firstly, make sure that the awning rail on your vehicle is open all the way round and there are no sharp areas which may tear the awning. If the awning rail has dented or collapsed at any point, gently lever it open with a wooden wedge or an awning rail spreader.
Always read through the instructions before your first go and remember that your first attempt may not go smoothly so apply some patience and don’t try to force things. Awning lubricants are great for particularly stubborn awnings.
Starting at one end, feed the awning cord along the rail or channel. It helps if there are two of you, one feeding the awning cord into the rail and the other helping it along to the other end. Then sort out the poles, checking everything fits together before attaching them. Start with the centre poles, attaching them to the caravan and then to the leg pole, adjusting the leg pole to the desired height. Then, repeat this process for the sides and tension everything evenly.
Next, peg out the guy ropes and tension them. Then, peg out the bottom mudwall/skirt, starting nearest to the caravan first. Add the draught skirt and wheel arch covers.
Porch awnings are similar to full awnings, as they have 3 walls and are attached to the caravan to hold it up. Free-standing awnings however, have 4 walls and are able to stand alone unsupported. Free-standing awnings are therefore typically used by motorhome owners so they can drive away and leave the awning in-situ. Consequently, this type of awning is often referred to as a 'drive-away awning'.
It is very important to make your awning fabric as taut as possible in order to make it more stable, less noisy when windy and help to displace rainwater. This can be done manually by forcing the awning poles apart as much as possible before tightening them or by using one of the many tensioning tools on the market. Awning tensioners clamp onto both poles either side of a join and mechanically moves them apart until enough tension is achieved. They are light, easy to use and very helpful if you have any weakness in your hands or arms.
Before you go ahead and start cleaning your awning, read your manufacturer’s manual very carefully and it will state whether you can use chemicals or not. Using certain chemical cleaners could compromise its water-proofing performance. Also, the same cleaning rules don’t apply across all awnings as the fabrics may be different. So, before you start cleaning, check to see what type of tent cloth you have.
COATED: You can clean your awning with a light solution of chlorine bleach in water (ratio 1:10).
UNCOATED: Only clean with water.
There are also special cleaners for ALL types of awning material available from retailers.
We also recommend re-proofing an awning after it is cleaned to maintain its water resistance.
If you want to use an awning for an extended period of time, we recommend that you use a seasonal awning. With seasonal awnings, fabric is key as it needs to perform in all weather conditions and also have good UV resistance so that colours don’t fade.
Seasonal awnings also feature heavy-duty zips and pegs as well as stronger poles, which can also make them a bit heavier.
Used mainly with motorhomes and camper vans, free-standing or drive-away awnings are basically tents with a tunnel to connect them to your vehicle. They can be connected using a variety of methods, ranging from pole and clamp kits, magnetic connectors, suction cups, velcro tabs, guy lines or straps.
You will need to investigate which method is best for you, your awning and your vehicle. The best fixing will be the one that gives you the most flexibility to quickly disconnect it and drive away.
The first thing to note is that inflatable awnings are more stable in windy conditions. With standard awnings, the metal poles move out of position when they sway in the wind. Inflatable awnings on the other hand will bend with the wind but then simply pop back into position.
Another benefit is that they can easily be erected on your own. They may be a bit heavier to carry and manoeuvre but once you’ve pulled the awning cord along the rail, you simply attached the pump to the air valve and a few pumps later, you’re all set.
This depends on your awning but sleeping annexes, porches and extensions are great for adding that inner tent or extra space to bring joy and stress-free living to your camping life. Check with your manufacturer, awning dealer or handbook to discover what add-ons are compatible.
There are a complete range of side panels, front panels and also privacy rooms that can be added to roll-out canopy awnings. They are useful for blocking out sunlight or protection from rain and can be matched to your awning fabric and/or colour. When added, they make very private dining areas or safe play areas for children.
Absolutely, and much more cost-effective than buying a new awning or frame. Awning spares include items such as canopy poles, tie-down kits, tension rubbers and air valves for inflatable awnings. You’ll find them at any reputable awning dealer, including Davan.
There are plenty of specialist companies that provide an awning alteration service as well as some manufacturers. They can extend or reduce an awning size by up to a metre without causing any roof or wall distortion and still using the existing poles.