If you own a caravan, you might want to think about getting an awning to attach to one side, if it doesn't come with such a feature already. An awning means shade during the hot summer months and protection from a light rain, so you can enjoy the outdoors more during your holiday and not be cooped up inside just because the weather isn't ideal. When you do shop for an awning, you may see more choices than you were prepared for, so note a few tips on how to find the right one for your caravan and your camping needs:
When you hear the word "awning," you may immediately think of a cloth that extends out from the side of the caravan and which provides something of a makeshift ceiling or cover over your picnic area. Many awnings are just that, but you may also see awning walls available. These are a secondary section of panels that drops down from the end of the awning, to create a wall. This section of fabric will usually have eyelets so you can tie them to the legs of the awning, or use a peg to secure them to the ground. This type of awning provides you with even more shade and protection from wind and water spray from a nearby lake or ocean, and also more privacy from neighbouring campers.
Percent of shade
When buying an awning, you may see it advertised as being made with a shade cloth, and then a percentage of shade may be indicated. This is important, as this refers to how much shade the awning actually offers; if you holiday during the hottest and brightest summer months, you want a shade cloth with a higher shade percentage. Don't assume that all cloths, even if they're very dark, will offer lots of shade. Some cloths are made with a loose weave that actually allows sunlight to pass through, so they're ineffective against summertime sun. Choose a shade cloth by that indicated shade percentage if you need maximum sun protection from an awning.
If you're unfamiliar with the term annex, this refers to an awning that creates an actual room; the awning will have three walls that extend from the ceiling it creates, and the caravan wall serves as the fourth wall. When choosing an annex, look for fly screens; these are sections of the awning that are open but with a mesh screen, for air circulation and light but protection from bugs.
Contact companies like Wilfords Annexes for more information and assistance.