Types of Awning
When kitting out our RVs and 4x4s we usually are thinking of ways to increase living space, and protect ourselves when relaxing outside our wheeled homes, from the harsh Australian weather.
This is the reason we look to add an awning to our setups, as they are a simple answer to these needs. They will not only protect us from the weather but also give us an option to extend our living conditions by the addition of privacy screens and annexe walls.
There is an expanding range of brands and models, but in general, we tend to see 4 different varieties of awnings on the market which consist of Roll Out, Box, Bag and Electric.
Roll Out Awnings
Rollouts are a popular choice in bad weather conditions, but having to be permanently mounted to the sides, can cause installation issues for 4x4s and campervans. The main brands on the market are Carefree, Dometic, A&E and Sunburst.
The Rolls outs will almost always be compatible with Australian standard (6mm spline) privacy screens, and the addition of an Anti Flap Kit (Campsmart, Aussie Traveler etc) again will allow you to add end walls for that extra enclosure and wind protection.
These awnings also give you a fair variety of choices (Coast, Aussie Traveller) in terms of annexe walls, but make sure you do your research before spending money on Anti Flap Kits, as most packages will come with some form of system in place.
Enclosed in a metal case (so have plenty of protection when not in use), and are a good all-rounder based on the ability to not only go with RVs but also are attachable to roof racks.
Fiamma is the main player in the Box Awning world, with a large global share of the market.
They are a European awning with the flagship model being the F45. As with the Roll Out, Privacy screens and annexe walls are not a problem, although make sure to note you will require a privacy screen with a 4mm spline for the awning. With regards to end walls, this will be dependent on the anti-flap kit in place as this could be designed for either Australian or European fittings.
In terms of the annexe wall, the Fiamma Privacy Room is the easy choice, with options for both touring and off-road vehicles. This includes the Fiamma Fast Clip system, which would solve your AFK need, but would require 4mm spline end walls. Should you be looking for an annexe wall in the smaller 2.6m range though, buying in Australia will be problematic.
They live in a bag when not in use, and then simply roll out and are supported by tent poles. These are popular with camper trailer owners, but not with caravan owners. Within the Australian market, this is mainly occupied by Jayco, but I’m sure you have also seen quite a few of the Kings brand attached to roof racks.
Jayco offers a solid range of bag awnings with their catalogue going from 8ft – 12ft campers. Bag awnings sadly don’t give you an option in terms of privacy screens but do have the wall option. A thing to note with Jayco walls is the availability of older awnings (Pre 2012). The Jayco walls available now, are only suitable for awnings from 2012….they simply will not fit older awnings.
Are only really seen on caravans at present, offering the convenience to extend and retract the awning with the push of a button. Although convenient, this is the expensive option at present. They are obviously reliant on power, but most models do come with a manual override function for power loss inconveniences. In terms of what we see, Carefree and Dometic are the Awnings of choice. In terms of Annex walls, the electric awning market is still pretty new with a few different offerings popping up.