Are you looking for a new caravan awning?
If you go to a campsite you’ll notice that many of your neighbours’ vehicles have some kind of awning attached to them. The reason is that they effectively add another room to your caravan or motorhome.
Space restrictions are always an issue. With an awning, you can ensure that your family won’t be on top of each other all day.
They also provide relief from the intense heat of the Australian sun. There’s nothing nicer than sitting under your awning with a cold beer on a mild afternoon.
But which awning should you buy? Today we’ll look at a range of rollout and power awnings to help find the right option for you!
Fiamma F45 S Awnings
Carefree Fiesta Roll Out Awning (No Arms)
Dometic 8700 Manual Awning 10'
Jillaroo Power Awning
Check price at Jillaroo
1m - 2.5m
2.2m - 2.36m
11.5kg - 39kg
Best Caravan Awnings Australia
Fiamma F45 S Awnings
Fiamma is a leader in the awning industry. The Italian brand is justifiably respected because they design stylish products that are also high quality.
Their F45 S series fits perfectly into this category. This caravan rollout awning comes in a range of sizes. Unusually, you can get one as small as 5.5 feet. This is uncommon because a lot of awnings start at around 8-10 feet.
Meanwhile, their size gradually progresses to 15.5 feet. This is less than some of their competitors but will suit small to midsize caravans. Furthermore, it extends 1-2.5 metres, depending on the size of the awning.
It’s both waterproof and U.V resistant so it should be effective in most of the weather conditions you’ll encounter in Australia.
The awning’s low-profile box is made from aluminium, which helps keep the weight down. Fiamma provides five different colours so you should be able to find something that suits your van.
Another great feature is LED lighting. This is useful in the evenings as it means that you don’t need to set up extra lighting - it’s already integrated in your awning!
There’s no denying that this is an expensive caravan awning. The smallest edition starts at around $800 which is a lot more than competitors like Dometic and Carefree. Also, it comes with a one-year warranty but this doesn’t cover water damage.
Carefree Fiesta Roll Out Awning (No Arms)
The Carefree Fiesta Roll Out Awning is popular because of the range of sizes and its capabilities.
This caravan roll out awning comes with LED lighting and is weatherproofed for UV protection. The vinyl protector shields users from the elements. You can choose from several sizes which range from 10 to 21 feet.
It extends out 2.2 to 2.36m (depending on the size you choose), with a spring-loaded system that is easy to use.
Meanwhile, the smallest model costs around $550 while the longest version is about $900. At a glance, this is a great deal when compared to the Fiamma F45 S.
But there are a couple of points that may dissuade potential buyers.
The Fiesta awning doesn’t come with arms. The arms must be purchased separately, and they cost upwards of $400. In short, you can expect to spend upwards of $1,000 on this system. It’s much more expensive than you might initially think because of this extra expense.
If you need a large awning, you are in luck as you can find larger sizes than the Fiamma equivalent. However, the Italian option is better value if you don’t want to go beyond 15 feet.
Dometic 8700 Manual Awning
Dometic has a strong reputation as one of the most reliable caravan gear providers. The fact that the only real con I can find is a lack of LED lighting says a lot.
The 8700 Manual Awning is a tremendous unit.
It does everything you want with relative ease. In the old days, it was challenging to extend a pull-out awning by yourself. You had to deal with it falling all over you. But Dometic makes it easy with Total Operator Control.
This feature simplifies the extension process and allows for total control. There are also several locking systems for added security while travelling.
Made from heavy-duty vinyl, it’s one of the most durable caravan awnings around. The awning can handle intense sun exposure as well as rain and wind. Dometic also treats its products for mould prevention and fading.
It’s only available in black or white, but that won’t be a problem for most people. The 8700 is also competitively priced and comes with a one-year warranty.
There’s a strong argument that it's the best caravan awning in Australia.
Jillaroo Power Awning
As technology develops, exciting new developments occur in the world of caravanning. Power awnings are taking the camping world by storm.
Jillaroo’s version is a remarkably efficient system. There’s no need to fiddle about with a roll-out system. Simply pick up your remote control, point it at the awning, and press the magic button.
Like any typical rollout caravan awning, it’s available in different sizes ranging from 8-21 feet. The standard extension is a generous 2.5 metres and comes with four colour options.
They use advanced four-layer vinyl materials to ensure total protection from the elements. This caravan awning is waterproof, UV resistant and a very attractive piece of kit.
Power awnings will likely become the norm over the next few years.
However, it’s going to take more competition to drive the cost down. While this is an excellent system, it’s extremely expensive at $1,500-$2,000. Despite this high price, it only comes with a one-year warranty.
You’ll also need to connect it to your campervan or vehicle’s 12-volt battery or it’s useless.
What To Consider When Purchasing A Caravan Awning
Now let’s look at some different points to help you make the most of your caravan awning.
Measuring Awning Length
As you will have noticed, caravan awning measurements are usually given in foot increments. Remember that they are measured from the centre of the front arm to the centre of the rear arm.
A lot of people think that it’s the length of the roller tube or the vinyl, but that’s not the case.
You want to be certain that your caravan awning will stand up to the intensity of Australian weather conditions. These days, almost every decent awning is weatherproofed.
However, awning manufacturers maintain different standards so do your research before you choose which one to buy.
Most caravan awnings are UV-resistant as a bare minimum. Durable rigs like the Dometic 8700 and the Jillaroo Power Awning have multiple vinyl layers for enhanced protection.
A lot of manufacturers will also claim that their awnings are waterproof but this doesn’t always mean the same thing. The reality is that most awnings can’t handle a lot of water weight.
It’s also important to check the conditions of the warranty in case of damage. As we said, Fiamma won’t help in the case of water damage so beware.
Caravan Payload and Weight
Remember to watch your weight.
Caravan awnings can go beyond 35kg and still count toward your total payload. The advantage of traditional pole awnings is that you can put them in your car. This isn’t feasible with a roll-out awning.
Consult a professional before you decide the size you’ll buy. This will reduce the potential of weight issues in the future.
Also don’t allow loose straps, clasps or buttons to hang down. If you hit potholes or go offroad, your awning may bounce around and dent the bodywork.
Other Types of Awning
Caravan awnings come in different styles. Extendable awnings like the ones above are the simplest and most convenient to use. They turn the side of your camping vehicle into a veranda. But other types have their advantages.
These are effectively a tent that you attach to the door of your van. Usually, you must attach them to the ground with pegs. They take longer to assemble than a roll-out or power awning but offer total enclosure.
This makes them useful for storing bicycles, drying clothes, or even keeping your pet dog. However, they’re not the best option if you want to enjoy sitting outdoors.
If you want to add another fully enclosed room to your van, a full awning is the best option. They’re particularly popular in Northern Europe because of their erratic weather.
The upside is that you add a lot of extra space and can even be a security deterrent for some belongings when you leave your caravan. But they take a lot of time to assemble.
These caravan awnings are easy to set up. They have a blow-up frame instead of a metal structure. All you have to do is fill it with air. Unfortunately, they’re very lightweight so be wary.
Alternatively, you can dispense with awnings altogether and go for a full on caravan annex!
Packing and Maintenance
Never take shortcuts when you’re stowing your awning or it won’t have a long life.
Retract it correctly so that it will be secure when you’re travelling. The best caravan awnings like the Dometic have special locking mechanisms for increased security when you’re on the move.
Another useful tip is to wipe off any excess water before putting your awning away. This will reduce the chances of moulding and other damage. Most quality awnings are made from vinyl, but they’re not invincible.
The best way to clean an awning is with water and a soft brush. Avoid using bleach or other detergents because they can damage the protective layers.
Value for Money
When choosing between a standard roll-out awning and a power awning, it often comes down to the cost.
A lot of campers think that the latter just isn’t worth it. They’ll argue that you’re paying close to $1,000 extra for the sake of saving a few minutes of set-up.
That’s a reasonable point but, to be fair, companies like Jillaroo only make the best caravan awnings with high-end materials. It’s also indisputable that life becomes a lot easier. Imagine when it starts raining heavily and you need to deploy your awning quickly.
Well, with a power awning you won’t even need to get up off the couch. Of course, only you can decide if it’s worth the extra cost.
Space is such a premium in camping vehicles. That’s why awnings retain their popularity. They increase your standard of living and make the overall experience so much better.
But it's all about choosing the correct size and style for your van.
The Dometic 8700 series is the best caravan awning in Australia because of its durability and reasonable price. They come in many sizes so you’ll surely find the right one for your caravan or RV.
If you’re looking for total convenience, then maybe a power awning is the best option for you. However, you’ll have to pay a premium for a Jillaroo.
As ever, if you have any questions please leave a comment below!
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Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.