Setting up your campervan or caravan awning

Author: Your RV Good Guide   Date Posted: 12 January 2023


There are many different types of campervan and caravan awnings available. These range from permanent roof-mounted awnings to inflatable awnings, and a few others besides! Each type of awning has a different set-up process. To help you get your awning ready to provide cool shade and comfy outdoor living, we’ve put together these handy set-up tips. Here’s what we’ll go over:


Why knowing how to set up an awning is important

Your caravan or campervan awning is a big investment. It can also be damaged if you’re not sure what you’re doing during set-up. This can be expensive. And, it’s likely that your insurance won’t cover any damage caused by misuse.

When you buy a new campervan awning, it will come with an owner’s manual. Often this will include a video that you can watch to see exactly how to set it up. However simple you think it may be, it’s worth getting familiar with the instructions first.

If you have any questions or uncertainties about how to set up your awning, don’t worry – there’s help at hand! The expert team at your local RV Super Centre are well versed in setting up all kinds of campervan and caravan awnings. They’re more than happy to give you some helpful guidance.


How to install a wall-mounted or roof-mounted campervan/caravan awning

A wall- or roof-mounted awning may require assistance to install, especially if it involves drilling holes to attach awning brackets. The best way to get this done professionally and safely is to put it in the hands of your local RV Super Centre service department. The team at RV Super Centre are also happy to offer guidance if you’re keen to do it yourself.

If you do plan to fit the awning yourself, be sure to pay attention to the type of rail your caravan or campervan has fitted. If your RV has a C-rail, you can attach the awning using a fitting kit that has a kador strip. If your campervan or caravan has a J -rail, the ‘figure 8’ plastic attachments should easily click on and off.


How to set up a mounted campervan or caravan awning

Mounted cassette awnings are extremely easy to erect. As a general rule, the awning winds out from the cassette (either manually or electrically) and is held in place with fold-out arms. Depending on its size and type, the awning may or may not include stabilising legs and tie-down ropes. Here’s a helpful video on how to erect a typical mounted awning:



Tips for setting up a mounted campervan or caravan awning

Here are a few extra tips to help set up and use your wall-mounted or roof-mounted campervan or caravan awning:

  • Take care not to leave your campervan awning out if it looks like bad weather is on the way. Wind and rain can cause serious damage to your awning very quickly.
  • Many awnings require two people to set up. If this is the case, don’t try and do this by yourself. This could result in damage to you or the awning.
  • Don’t forget to retract and lock your caravan awning into place before driving off. This is a very common (and expensive) cause of damage!
  • Consider investing in some quality awning accessories such as anti-flap kits, roof rafters, and hold-down kits. These are all available from your local RV Super Centre.
  • Take the time to brush off any debris from your awning fabric before retracting it.
  • Before you head to bed, always retract your awning. Many campervan and caravan owners have woken up to discover their expensive awning is badly damaged after an unexpected turn in the weather overnight.
  • Avoid using heat and flames near your awning (including barbecues and heaters).
  • Don’t hang anything heavy from your campervan awning.
  • Frequently check the tension of the lines, as the weather can cause the level of tightness to change over a period of time.
  • Add extra sun protection and privacy with awning accessories such as privacy screens and sunscreens.


How to set up an inflatable campervan or caravan awning

There are many different types and brands of inflatable awnings available. However, this is a basic explanation of how to set one up:

  1. Start by putting the rope through the rope rail and pegging down the back pegs, (the ones closest to your campervan).
  2. Use pump to inflate.
  3. Attach pegs and ties firmly.

Here is a helpful video on setting up a Dometic inflatable awning.


Tips for setting up an inflatable campervan or caravan awning

Here are a few extra tips to help set up and use your inflatable caravan or campervan awning:

  • Set up on a flat site that is protected by the wind. If there is a bit of a strong breeze, set up your awning so the doors are facing away from the wind.
  • Clear the site of sharp stones and debris before setting up your awning.
  • You may prefer to choose a shaded or semi-shaded site to avoid UV light degrading your awning fabric.
  • Unzip the doorways before inflating (this helps prevent the canopy from becoming a vacuum).
  • If possible, enlist the help of a few people to make the set-up quicker and easier.
  • Regularly check that the guy lines are taut.
  • Depending on the shape of your awning, pools of water may form in heavy rain. This can cause sagging on your awning’s roof and potentially result in damage to the structure. Ensure you push off any excess water as needed.


How to set up a caravan or campervan bag awning

As the name suggests, bag awnings come in a bag rather than a protective case like other permanent wall-mounted awnings. This type of awning is temporarily attached to your caravan or campervan in a similar way to an inflatable awning. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your bag awning:

  1. Unzip the bag and let the awning fold down to the ground
  2. Unpack the annexe poles and connect them.
  3. Feed the poles horizontally to the end of the awning.
  4. Attach the poles to each side of the awning.
  5. Put in the upright poles so that the awning is standing the right way.


Tips for setting up a campervan or caravan bag awning

Here are a few extra tips to help set up and use your bag awning:

  • Avoid setting up in wind or rain. As with other campervan and caravan awnings, bag awnings don’t fare well in these conditions.
  • Always pack up your awning if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
  • Don’t leave your erected awning unattended for long periods of time.
  • Add extra security to your set-up with tie-down kits or anti-flap kits.
  • If possible, tilt the awning down slightly to avoid water pooling on top of it.


The range of campervan awnings and caravan awnings available at RVSC

At RV Super Centre, we have a wide range of caravan and campervan awnings available. We also stock a range of RV awning parts.

Choose from bag awnings, inflatable awnings, and wall- and roof-mounted awnings. Our quality, trusted brands include Thule, Aussie Traveller, Carefree, Coast RV and more.

You’ll also find a wide range of different-sized awnings to suit your particular model of caravan or campervan. Our helpful team can help you find the perfect size for your vehicle. You can even narrow it down to your preferred case and fabric colour.


Ready to set up your awning like a pro? 


awning in scenery family


We hope this guide has given you some helpful pointers on how to set up your particular type of awning. If you’re in need of any RV awning parts to help you get set up, be sure to check out our range online or in-store. We’ve also got all the awning accessories you need – from rain blockers and sunscreens to roof mounts and wall brackets. Remember, the expert team at your local RV Super Centre are always on hand to help if you have questions or need guidance.

Perhaps you’re in the market for a new awning to add extra comfort and privacy to your RV adventures. Why not have a chat with the friendly team at your local RV Super Centre to find the one that best suits your needs? And if you need the installation done professionally, book the job in with our service team. Then, you’ll be enjoying all the benefits of your new awning in no time!

Looking for more helpful information on campervan or caravan awnings? Check out more of our handy guides:

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