How To Choose An Awning For Your Motorhome

Author: Your RV Good Guide   Date Posted: 5 December 2022


If you have been researching motorhome and caravan awnings, you will no doubt be aware that there are lots of different options available. But with such a variety of styles, designs, and capabilities of campervan awning to choose from, it can be a little confusing. So how do you choose which motorhome or caravan awning best suits your RV, and the way you travel?

To help answer the question of ‘how do I choose an awning’, we’ve outlined some key tips to consider, along with pointers on some of the different motorhome and caravan awning options and accessories available:


Why having a good awning for your motorhome is important 

motorhome awning


There are many reasons that so many motorhome owners prioritise having a good quality campervan awning:


Protection from the weather 

One of the main reasons that RV owners like to have a campervan awning is for weather protection. In New Zealand, the sun is especially harsh in summer, so sitting outside unprotected is not only uncomfortable, but can quickly result in sunburn. A good quality campervan awning is ideal for providing much-needed shade, allowing you and your family to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, safely.

A good motorhome or caravan awning can also protect you from drizzly rain. That makes it possible to enjoy having lunch outside, or to provide extra space for the kids to play and get fresh air, even when the weather isn’t the greatest.


Extra room 

A campervan awning helps create a more defined outdoor space. It can act a bit like a deck on your home. Depending on what type of awning you choose, it can even provide an extra ‘room’. If you choose an awning with sides for example, this can be used as a play room for the kids, dining area, or a handy space for storing extra gear, etc.


Excess noise 

Over time, motorhome and caravan awnings may deteriorate. Broken or old campervan awnings tend to rattle, break, and collapse. There’s nothing more annoying than an awning that rattles in the slightest breeze or as you drive. Replacing your old campervan awning with a new top-quality awning can make all the difference to your campervan holiday!


Water harvesting 

Some campervan and caravan awnings are designed with in-built guttering so they can be used as a water harvester. This is a brilliant solution and one you might like to consider if you are planning to spend a lot of time on the road.


Common types of awnings for a motorhome 

There are many different types of motorhome and caravan awnings available. Choosing the one that is best for you will depend primarily on your budget and type of RV.

Whether you choose a roof or wall-mounted campervan awning, you can be fairly certain that the mounting brackets, lengths, and colours will complement most vehicles. Trusted awning manufacturers such as Fiamma work closely with vehicle manufacturers like Fiat to design compatible, fit-for-purpose awnings.


Wall-mounted cassette awning 

The simplest contemporary campervan awning is the wall-mounted cassette awning. These sturdy, easy-to-use designs suit most motorhomes and caravans and are frequently the choice of rental companies because they can be operated by inexperienced travellers.

In this design, the canopy is housed in an aluminium case (which come in variable lengths) and is deployed using a telescopic handle. Some will include drop-down legs which can be strengthened with built-in locks and tie-down ropes or cables. Others are designed with separate carbon-fibre collapsible poles. Electric awnings are also now available, which adds convenience for people who don’t like using the manual cassette awning ‘winch’ system. These awnings can generally be operated by one person, which makes set up so much easier!

The simplicity and easy operation of this type of campervan awning makes it suitable for people who are moving frequently. For those who do not want to be limited to short-term stays, motorhome accessories such as sun flaps can be added to your wall-mounted awning to increase shade.


Roof-mounted cassette awning 

For vehicles with limited wall space (e.g., vans), a roof-mounted cassette awning is a good solution. These come in a variety of lengths to suit most vehicles. You can also choose the finish and colour of the awning case and the colour and type of the canopy cloth.


Freestanding inflatable awnings 

Compact, light, and portable, inflatable campervan awnings are very easy to erect. They also have the added benefit of being able to remain in place while you drive away for the day. Their ease of use makes them suitable for both short-term stays or longer-term use.

Among the many exciting advantages of this type of campervan awning is the ability to attach it to your existing cassette awning via the rope on the awning. If you don’t have an existing awning or rope track, they are easy to buy and install.

To inflate your awning, simply lay the canopy out, loosely attach your corner pegs, and then begin to use the foot pump to do the rest. When you’re satisfied with the placement, attach it to your vehicle and firm up your pegs and ties.

In this way you can enjoy that all-important extra room for daytime living, storage or sleeping. And when you want to drive to the swimming hole or the shops, you can easily detach the room and leave it to mark your campground spot.

awning room


Privacy room 

An alternative to inflatable awnings (which gives you an enclosed space) is to have a cassette awning with a matching ‘privacy room’. Privacy rooms include three separate walls to provide an enclosed space. They are designed to work with the brand of cassette awning you have installed and are made from high quality materials. The main disadvantage is they take longer to set up and are less resistant to high winds.


The range of awnings available at RVSC 

At RV Super Centre, we stock a range of awning options from leading brands including Apollo, Camec, Carefree, Coast RV, Dometic, Fiamma, Thule, Vango and many more. Taker a closer look at our campervan awning options below:

If weight is an issue, bag awnings such as the Fiamma Caravanstore, uses a rope track with no solid case. This can be removed for travelling.


The range of awning accessories at RVSC 

Motorhome accessories and RV awning parts are available for most popular brands of awnings. These often make it possible to extend the life of your awning before needing to replace it.

Add privacy to your campervan awning with side walls, rear walls, floors, and accessories to increase the strength of the awning. You can also consider adding features such as flaps, windows, and insect screens.

Many RV travellers find the flapping noise of their campervan awning becomes annoying or that it seems flimsy in even the lightest of breezes. This issue can be sorted easily with lightweight, yet stronger poles, or additional ties; by retro-fitting extra rafters; or by purchasing an anti-flap kit.


How to install a new motorhome awning 

Depending on the type of motorhome or caravan awning and your model of RV, installing a new campervan awning is usually something you can do yourself.

Common awnings will attach to roof racks. However, some may require you to drill and attach new brackets from scratch. It’s also worth noting that some awnings are removable for when you’re travelling, whereas some remain fixed on at all times.

Wall awnings are fairly universal for installation, you just need a flat section across the side of your vehicle. Roof awnings are popular where you don’t have that flat section, particularly when you have a B Class (van) vehicle. Special mounting brackets may be required to fix the awning to a particular vehicle’s roof.

The friendly and expert service team at your local RV Super Centre service centre is happy to help with installing a new awning.


Keen to make modifications to your motorhome? 

Installing a new motorhome or caravan awning is a great investment. Now that you know what some of the options are for doing this, the next step is to check out the range at your local RV Super Centre. Have a chat with our friendly team 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 and you’ll be enjoying all the benefits of your new awning in no time!

rv awning


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