How to Choose a Rollout Caravan Awning
Caravan awnings and annexes offer personal space and homely comfort during road trips. These are priceless luxuries that are rarely fulfilled by other means. Having you own personal space to relax is something to die for. There are not a lot of convenient facilities that you may come across on your road trip, especially if you are travelling on rough paths with wilderness around you. Rollout caravan awnings are probably the easiest ones to setup, being second only to powered awnings. But the easy operation can only be achieved if the entire rollout awning is fitted properly on the caravan.
It is important to select the right rollout caravan awning which not only suits your specific requirements, but is also compatible with your caravan. In this discussion we will cover the basics of choosing the correct awning, and ways to modify your caravan to accept one of these popular units.
Possible rollout caravan awning obstructions (Source: Caravan Plus)
The awning that you intend to buy should be perfectly compatible with your caravan. The first step in deciding which awning to fit up is to access the possible obstructions. Common obstructions include clearance lights, annexe lights, roof curves, door and access hatches, and windows. The ideal installation conditions for the rollout caravan awning would be to cover the maximum possible area.
Optimum rollout awning position (Source: Caravan Plus)
The above diagram indicates the most optimum position for placing and installing the rollout caravan awning. As is evident in the diagram itself, the legs are positioned vertically without any obstruction whilst the bottom brackets are bolted firmly into the sill panel of the caravan. The top brackets are close to the top section which allows the awning roll to avoid obstructions.
Determining the Awning Size
Where to measure and where not to measure (Source: Caravan Plus)
Before even attempting to determine the awning size required for your caravan, you need to understand the implications of the size mentioned by the awning manufacturers. Rollout awnings are all measured in feet. An awning might be 11' 10 1/2", but still considered to be 12' in length. As depicted in the image above, it is better to take measurements between the arms instead of measuring the length of the awning roll. This could lead to wrong values being recorded for the measurements.
When measuring the awning length, always make sure that you measure from the centre of one awning arm to the centre of the other awning arm. If you measure the fabric, then you will end up 1’ short of the actual requirement measurement. Errors like this could cause serious issues with the clearance of the rollout awning.
Additional Components / Accessories
The rollout awning is not solely composed of the awning fabric and the basic support system. There are accessories such as rope tracks which are needed for securing the rope that is sewn into the header of the fabric to the caravan. The rope tracks are installed on the caravan with the help of flanges. If it is installed on the side, then a double flange is required. A single flange is required for installing the track on the top corner.
Getting the Best Rollout Caravan Awning
You should have gained some understanding on the things that need to be evaluated before choosing a rollout awning for your caravan. You can always follow the instructions and install the awning yourself. But if you are not too confident about it, then it is best left to the professionals who will get it done faster and in a better manner than you.
The last thing that you should take care of is the quality of the materials. There is no sense in going for inferior quality materials because awnings, especially rollout awnings, are meant to last for at least a year if subjected to extreme rough conditions. Since these are considerable investments, you should always try to get the best rollout caravan awning for yourself.