Awnings – do you need one, when do we use our awning and what options are there?
Let’s first discuss the wind out awnings permanently attached to your van such as the Fiamma or Dometic awnings we fit to our campervans.
These are handy to have however their use is more limited than most people first think. Without two privacy walls (which are purchased as additional accessories) the awning will offer little protection from rain or sun. The walls can be purchased online from CaravanandRVworld quite cheaply:
Set up time for the awning alone would be about 3-5 minutes for one person (if tying it down). Add about 10 minutes to set up the two privacy walls.
The downside is that once it is set up you cannot then drive away without packing up the awning and walls. Having said that, this type of awning is an extremely common industry standard and you would be lost without it if there is no other sun shelter nearby.
There are also cheaper ‘drive away’ style shelters available at BCF for 4WD camping which offer their own type of weather protection at a cheaper price.
We personally find the Dometic awning useful. Having said that, we spent years campervanning without any type of awning at all and could always find a nice shady tree to sit under!