Without a doubt, it’s clear that caravanning is one of the most popular ways that Australians go on holiday.
They are fitted to the side of the caravan and are great for protection from sun and rain, and can be rolled out, or in, very easily.
However, while they give protection from above, there is little protection from the side or ends of the awning.
An awning is just one of the accessories you can purchase for your caravan.
How to figure out what size you need
There are many different manufacturers offering many different styles and sizes. Sunscreens or privacy screens offer additional protection and privacy and come in different sizes to suit different size awnings. But what size do you need? Firstly, you need to find out what size awning you have, not what size caravan.
Manufacturers usually fit awnings to suit the size of the caravan, but sometimes caravans of similar sizes will have different size awnings. This is because of factors such as the position of doors, windows, and access doors, etc, that may be the result of different layouts in the caravan.
Measuring your awning
To measure your awning, first, get someone to help you and get a tape measure that it is long enough to go from one end of the awning to the other.
You then measure from the centre of the front leg to the centre of the back leg, and you should have an imperial measurement in whole feet. E.g. 10 feet, 11 feet, 12 feet, etc.
Roll out awnings primarily come from America are made in imperial measurements because America has not yet moved into the metric system.
You could then use a conversion table to convert the imperial measurement to metric. The sunscreen will be approximately 200mm to 250mm smaller than the awning measurement.
Measure from the centre of the front leg, as in the image above.
Here’s an example
To give an example, a 10 ft awning in metric is 3.05 metres, the sunscreen to suit that awning would be 2.8 metres.
Most retailers will have the sizes already listed. All you need to do is give them the awning length and they can supply the appropriate size sunscreen.
The sunscreen comes with a spline sown into one side along the length of the fabric. This then slides into a groove (sometimes called a rope track or sail track), that is in the roller tube of the awning. It can then be stretched out and pegged down to give you both shade and privacy.
All roll-out awnings and sunscreens have universal splines and grooves, so it doesn’t matter what brand you have, they should all fit.
Choosing a privacy screen for the end of your awning is pretty straightforward.
What do I need for the ends of my awning?
For the ends of your awning, this is super easy. You simply choose one that suits either a pop top or a full-size caravan, depending on what type you have. The end screens will fit either end and are attached to the awning stay via Velcro straps or some other method. Then, like the side, they are stretched out and pegged down.
Sunscreens often come in different percentages of shade, like 70%, 80%, 90%. But mostly they are 90% and are usually silver or black.
So, if you are looking for some extra sun protection or extra privacy, check them out, you may find them a useful accessory for your caravan or pop top.
What’s the best accessory you’ve purchased for your home away from home?
About the writer...
I first started in the caravan and camping industry in 1986 after moving to Adelaide from Sydney. I’ve always loved being outdoors and going on camping trips with family and friends. After working in the camping industry for over three decades, I’ve published a book called Caravanning and Camping in Australia after years of travelling in the Australian bush.