If your wondering which are the best caravan awnings to buy for next season then you’re in the right place! For any beginner caravanner, the sheer number of caravan awnings available can seem overwhelming.
We’ve put together some of the latest and best awnings available for the 2023 season. We’ve also added a detailed buyer’s guide at the end of the post to help you with making that all-important decision.
1. Vango Tuscany Air 500 Elements ProShield Caravan Awning
Quality and attention to detail on the Tuscany 500 Air Caravan Awning is nothing short of exceptional, with the latest in innovation fused with new robust Elements ProShield fabric.
Convenient pitching from the revolutionary AirBeam® S.I Pro single point inflation system will soon have you sitting back to relax, enjoying the expansive views through the vista front windows.
Stylish, unique, capacious and luxurious, the Tuscany 500 Air is the perfect space to bring all the family together on breaks away.
The Tuscany also benefits from Vango’s unique Draught Seal System, creating a tight seal between the awning and caravan without the need for poles on breezy days.
Enjoy expansive views with the large Diamond Pro windows and multi-zip privacy curtains, guaranteeing a light and bright awning. Sit back, relax and take in the views from the Vango Tuscany Air awning.
Two carry bags, Double action pump (with pressure dial), Bracer beams, SkyLiner, Draught skirt, Two wheel arch covers, Pack 10 Sky Hooks & Steel rock pegs.
Why We Like It
We love the the Tuscany! In fact, we love the Vango brand in general and year upon year they keep coming up with great designs. While on the pricier side for an awning, it does come with a lot of features, and is great for growing families this awning will last you for years to come.
Due to the size and weight its not a weekend awning but – it will serve you brilliantly on longer breaks.
2. Outdoor Revolution Freedom Air 400 Caravan Porch Awning
New for 2022 the Freedom Air is a lightweight no fuss caravan awning produced in the popular width of 260cm. Designed to keep weight and speed of pitching down to a minimum, this affordable air frame awning is perfect for short weekend breaks or holidays on a budget.
The strong yet lightweight fabric, combined with the airframe, makes this awning incredibly easy to put up, pack down and provides ample space with its 4m width and 2.5m depth. This contemporary caravan air awning is simple to inflate with the provided hand pump.
The roof benefits from the fibreglass tension poles provided, and additional strength is given by the guy ropes and webbing straps provided. The large, clear windows give an uninhibited view of the great outdoors, and instant privacy can be given by closing the toggle in curtains.
There are three access doors, which can be secured back to increase airflow on hot summer days. Velcro points are situated internally for lighting systems, ensuring the awning can be used to make the most of your caravanning holiday when the sun goes down; the Freedom Air can also accommodate an optional 2 berth inner tent, increasing the sleeping capacity of your caravan.
The Outdoor Revolution Freedom Air Framed awning also comes supplied with a draught excluder, ground pegs, pump, in short, everything you need to get started enjoying your additional space whilst caravanning.
Why We Like It
Despite its size this awning is actually a manageable pack size and weight. It’s inflated from a single point, so it goes up very quickly and easily. It comes with lots of additional add-ons and even has some handy velcro straps to set up your lights!
3. Sunncamp Swift 220 Deluxe Caravan Awning
Great for first time buyers, or those looking for a lightweight awning – 2022’s Sunncamp Swift is simple and uncomplicated to erect and take down, stylish and fantastic value for money.
The Sunncamp Swift Air 220 features a modern aesthetic and offers ease of use, perfect for weekends away. Offering side sun canopy compatibility and a roll-up front door/canopy option space and ambience is perfected. Airflow side doorways allows for easy access to your caravan whilst maintaining a comfortable internal temperature whilst the curtains on all windows ensure privacy or a stunning view of the outdoors.
This awning is available in four sizes with additional new features including roof lining compatibility, SIDE SUN CANOPY COMPATIBILITY and our 390 and 325 model have an LED light pocket incorporated into one air storm bar. The new buckle fit on side canopy fit either or both sides of your awning, allowing you to add an extra protected outdoor area as required.
Why We Like It
If you’re looking for a quick pitching, lightweight weekend awning – consider the Sunncamp. It’ll give you enough space to put your coats, table and a couple of chairs out and you also have the option to add a roof liner and side sun canopy. Its a nifty little awning, well priced and perfect for those new to caravanning and don’t want to commit to a larger, more expensive set up.
Dometic Rally Air Inflatable Caravan and Motorhome Awning 2021 (330 (S))
New for 2022 is Dometics’ offering from the best selling Rally range. Their latest awning creates an ample and comfortable living space wherever you pitch up. The brilliant Rally Air Pro 330 S has been evolved to explore.
Premium materials and a clear focus on flexibility make this Rally Air Pro a versatile selection.
Now benefitting from Dometic’s new multi-height system for compatibility with a wide range of vehicles and the option to expand living and sleeping space utilising a great range of optional extras, the Rally Air Pro 330 S can be tailored to fit your requirements.
The iconic Rally AIR Pro benefits from years of continuous design improvements and is packed full of the latest awning innovations to enhance your touring experience.
Its Weathershield™ Pro material, crystal clear windows and additional ventilation create a comfortable living space wherever you pitch-up.
Why We Like It
Long time caravanners’ favourite – Kampa’s upgraded awning gives a more versatile space that is great for couples and families.
It’s a smart, compact design, which is again, its on the pricier side but the premium materials ensure this awning will last.
My mum has the older version of this awning and she absolutely loves it! The instructions like most awnings are useless – so get on YouTube for a quick run down.
5. Outdoor Revolution Eclipse Pro 330 Caravan Awning
Updated and set to be a favourite for the 2022 season, the Eclipse Pro 330 is set to become one of the most popular air awnings on the market.
Based on the popular width of 3.3m the Eclipse Pro 330 boasts a myriad of features including our famed Dura-Tech fully welded airframe with single point inflation for super-fast pitching.
As with all their premium awnings, the frame is protected by our Intelligent Frame system (IF) which regulates the air pressure and protects from over-inflation, this is backed up by our lifetime air tube guarantee.
The Eclipse Pro 330 is a single point, all in one inflatable caravan awning with Lifetime Airbeam Guarantee*, made with traditional feel Pro 600HD canvas fabric, suitable for touring families seeking an upgrade from a traditional pole and sleeve awning to a modern inflatable porch awning.
The Eclipse Pro 330 has plenty of ventilation, with toughened zip back breathable mesh panels built into both side doors, letting in plenty of air whilst keeping out flying bugs.
Full-zip in mesh accessory door is also available for both side doors, perfect for warm climates, another great addition for the Eclipse pro 330 is the optional Conservatory Annex which can be zipped to either end of the awning creating a large sleeping area, or a windowed conservatory/storage space.
Why We Like It
Another great contender from a trusted brand. What we love about the Eclipse are all the available add-ons such as the additional annexes which are perfect for extra guests. It looks great – in fact it feels massive!
Its at a great price point for what you get, and made with good quality fabrics. This one regularly sells out so grab it while you can.
6. Vango Balletto Air 330 Elements ProShield Caravan Awning
The Vango Balletto was originally released for the 2021 season, and this seasons model looks set to be a firm favourite for tourers this year.
The Balletto has been designed to be easy to pitch, good quality and has a high level of spec.
The Vango Balletto 330 caravan awning is the perfect awning for spending time with friends and family on the campsite.
Enjoy all-round views day or night with the large Diamond Clear Windows or adjust the fully zipped curtains for more privacy.
Featuring Vango’s new and revolutionary AirBeam® Single Point Inflation and Multi-Point Deflation for a quick pitch and pack up, leaving you with more time to enjoy your break.
The inflatable structure combined with the Elements 150 Fabric means it is still lightweight and easy to transport, while having room for all the family.
Benefiting from Vango’s Draught Seal System and draught skirt, to keep your awning comfortable even in breezy conditions, the Balletto is equally perfect for socialising as it is for relaxing.
Why We Like It
Another superb awning from Vango – this upgraded version comes with a more robust 300d material so will be perfect for longer stays and into the autumn / winter months. It has anti-fade UV protection, and a single point inflation making pitching a breeze.
It self-isolates so you don’t have to go back inside the awning and isolate each beam. It comes with a lot of the additional extras included so all you’ll really need is the carpet. Overall this awning is a great buy for any caravanner wanting to upgrade.
Introduction To Caravan Awnings
The pole awning vs air debate in the caravan community is well-known! Both pole awnings, as well as air awnings, have strengths and weaknesses. But that’s not all you need to decide.
Do you prefer a large awning or a smaller porch awning? Are you interested in the possibility of adding an annexe to your awning? Or maybe prefer the ease of a roll-out caravan awning is what you are looking for?
There are many factors to take into consideration, so I hope this post helps you answer some of those questions.
One thing I want to quickly point out is that no matter which type of caravan awning, you should always have adequate storm straps and awning pegs.
Windy conditions happen at any caravan site. You want your awning to stay on the ground, not above your caravan.
To choose the right size and type of caravan awning for you, you must first consider how you intend to use your caravan. Do you plan to take your caravan for short weekend trips, or do you intend to stay on the caravan site for several days?
Do you plan to use your caravan and awning year-round, or do you only want it for summer touring? Here are some questions you should ask yourself before buying an awning.
Consider The Following Before You Buy A Caravan Awning:
- Are you using the awning for weekends or longer/seasonal stays only?
- Are you using the awning all year or only in summer?
- Are pets or people going to sleep under the awning?
- Are you looking for enough space to place a table and four chairs?
- Are you going to put the awning up yourself?
- Is the awning to be stored in your caravan or in your car?
Your answers to these questions will help determine the right size and type of caravan awning for you.
In some cases, however, one type/size of awning may not be suitable for all your needs. For longer stays, some people will prefer to use a larger, full-sized awning to cover their needs.
You should watch the video below by Keith and Michelle from Carefree Caravanning. They provide an overview of the roll-out, air, and pole caravan awnings.
Below, I will go over the various types and sizes of caravan awnings. Below is information that I have compiled from my thoughts and the feedback of our guests. I don’t intend to suggest that one manufacturer or brand is better than another.
You May Be Interested In: The Best Caravan Awnings For The 2023 Season
This is to suggest that one size/type of awning is superior in every situation. Each caravan awning type has its strengths and weaknesses. Your personal circumstances will determine which type and size caravan awning will be most suitable for you.
Caravans With Inflatable/Air Awnings
Air awnings are gaining popularity. Every year I see more and more air-awnings when I’m touring. Air awnings are quick and easy to erect and use, which is the main attraction.
All you need to do is connect the foot/electrical pump once the air awning has been connected to the caravan’s awning rail – then simply pump and peg down.
Air awnings are easier to set up than traditional poles. It is not necessary to waste time looking for the right pole and figuring out where it should go. Although like most awnings – they are easier to set up when you have a partner.
Keith points out in the video that some air awnings only have one inflation port while others require you to inflate every air beam. This is a feature I think you should be aware of – it is easier and quicker with one inflation point.
All parts of the awning will raise at once with a single inflation point.
From personal experience, I have found that air awnings perform better at higher wind speeds. Air awnings move and flex with the wind at higher speeds. They absorb the wind’s energy instead of trying to resist it.
No matter what type of awning you choose, just make sure that you have storm straps and enough pegs.
What Are The Drawbacks To Caravan Air Awnings?
The first problem is that air awnings cost more than pole awnings. But as air awning technology improves and manufacturing costs decrease, air awning prices are gradually becoming more aligned with poled awnings.
Air awnings are generally, ‘easier’ to put up. However, I don’t think they are necessarily ‘simpler’ to erect and there is a subtle distinction between those two terms. Air awnings, for instance, are heavier than pole awnings because they are “as one”.
It can take a lot longer and be more difficult to pitch an air awning onto a caravan rail. It can take longer to set up an air-awning by yourself than it would for a couple.
It is important to note that leaks in caravan air awnings are possible but not common. I also have a post on how to repair an air awning. If you’re considering buying an air awning, I’d encourage you to check out that post.
If you decide to purchase an air awning, I highly recommend keeping a puncture repair kit in your caravan in case of a leak.
Caravan Pole Awnings
Pole awnings are the more ‘traditional’ style of caravan awning. Whilst pole awnings have evolved over the years and tend to be less expensive – they still use steel/galvanised poles.
Isabella, a premium awning manufacturer, now offers lightweight but strong IXL fibreglass poles. CarbonX is a carbon fibre-reinforced pole.
What Are The Benefits Of Pole-Type Caravan Awnings?
Pole awnings of comparable size are generally more affordable than air awnings, which is clearly a benefit. This means that you might want to invest in a better-quality pole awning with a better fabric.
What Are The Drawbacks To Pole-Type Caravan Awnings?
Some people find the complexity of pitching traditional poled awnings more difficult. This is why many owners switch from a pole to an air awning. But properly labelled/colour-coded poles will make pitching much easier.
Expect to spend a lot more time erecting a pole-awning your first few times. Two people are usually required to erect full-sized pole awnings.
But like I said, two people are also required to pitch a full-sized air tent onto the awning rail. Dismantling Poled awnings can also be difficult.
Roll-Out Awnings For Caravans
Roll-out awnings or ‘canopies’ are attached to the same awning rail just as with any other awning.
It rolls up when not in use and is kept in a zip bag. During transport, the roll-out awning remains attached to the caravan’s side so you could theoretically leave the roll-out on the caravan throughout the year.
Personally, however, I would slide it off for winter storage because otherwise, it will get very green.
What Are The Benefits Of Roll-Out Caravan Awnings?
Roll-out caravan awnings offer simplicity, quickness and ease of use. You simply roll out the awning and attach two corner poles/guy ropes. Roll-outs should really be considered as a sunshade.
What Are The Drawbacks To Roll-Out Caravan Awnings?
I know from first-hand experience that roll-outs are not great in the wind! If the wind catches underneath they can easily flip the canopy up and over the top of the caravan and will cause a lot of damage.
We had one and got rid of it once we saw the damage caused to my mum’s caravan when the wind took her roll-out over the top of the caravan. This is why I think that a pole or air awning would be a better choice if you want more privacy and living space.
But I should say that Roll-out awnings can be easily packed away if the wind picks up, as long as they are not attached to the sides. Just be prepared if the wind picks up so you don’t get caught out.
Which Size: Full-Sized Awning Or Small Porch?
After reading the advantages/disadvantages of the different caravan awnings above you may now have a clearer idea of which type will be best for you. But, the size and type of awning should also be considered.
What To Look For In A Caravan Porch Awning?
A porch awning is a good choice for weekend touring and a good size for couples or singles. A poled porch will be easier to pitch as it has fewer poles because and is smaller in size.
It is much easier to pull a porch air awning through an awning rail than a larger one so can usually be done on your own. A pole or air porch awning should be up and running within an hour.
A porch awning is a great way to separate your caravan from the outside elements. The caravan’s door can be opened whilst keeping the rain further away from the van.
You can also leave your coats and shoes to dry with a porch awning much like you would use the porch at home. Although there is limited space in a porch, you can usually get a small table and chairs in. Is also great for storing your bikes, or making a bed for your dog.
A few caravanners have said to me that while they’d like to set up a full-sized awning, they just don’t have enough energy to pitch one, so find that a porch suits their needs perfectly.
Why You Should Consider A Full-Sized Caravan Awning
If you are staying at a site for a week or so, you will probably find you have a lot more items to bring, or you might need a larger seating/dining area, or have people/pets who will be sleeping in the awning.
Any awning greater than 2m is generally considered full-sized. A full-sized awning and extends the majority length the caravan.
Annexes For Full-Sized Awnings
Many people will find that a standard-size awning is sufficient for their needs. Many caravan awning manufacturers offer the option of adding one or two additional annexes to the awning.
The annexe can be attached to the main awning by the same zip. You will need to attach additional guy ropes and an additional air beam/steel pole to support the annexe.
Getting comfortable in an annexe for an awning is another matter! It is really just like sleeping in an individual tent but allows for quicker and easier access to the caravan facilities.
For weekend trips, you can erect the awning by itself. You can add the annexes to make them more durable.
Instead of having a porch awning with a large, full-sized one, you can have a smaller, full-sized awning with a few annexes.
just be aware though that these additional awning accessories all add to your weight when towing.
Awning Weather/Use Classes And Fabrics
So I’ve covered the main types of caravan-awnings based on their core structures of air beams and rigid poles. There are additional classifications for each type of caravan awning depending on the suitability of the awning for particular weather conditions.
- Winter Rated Awnings Type W – Designed for winter/snow pitching
- Residential Rated Awnings Type R – Designed to be used in seasonal pitches/year-round
- Tourism Rated Awnings Type T – Frequent/Short use (not winter though).
- Lightweight Rated Awnings Type L – Primarily for spring/summer/short use
It Is Important To Choose The Right Awning Fabric
The fabric choice is a major factor in how well a caravan awning will perform and how long it will last. Certain fabrics are more breathable than others, which reduces internal condensation. Some fabrics are more resistant to UV damage and tearing, while others are less susceptible.
Many awnings are now classed as ‘lightweight’ so they may be the best choice if your car or caravan has a minimum payload. This is important when considering what type of awning you want.
This table provides a summary of the pros and cons of awning fabrics. The link below goes into more detail.
This table provides a good summary of the advantages and disadvantages of different awning fabrics:
Image – campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk
Conclusions: How To Choose The Best Caravan Awning For You
As you can see, it is important to fully understand your needs and how you will use your caravan awning. You won’t want to pitch and use an awning if it’s bigger than what you need.
A porch awning, while great for weekend trips, may not be suitable for longer stays. A small, full-sized awning that can be extended with annexes is a better option.
No matter what size awning you choose to use, make sure it fits the skirt rail- this is the bottom rail along your caravan where you slide on a skirt to stop the draft. they are usually included with your awning.
In the debate between rigid poles and air awnings, there is no clear winner. The best option for you will depend on your budget, and if you have someone to assist you in putting up the awning.
It will take a bit of time to choose the right awning fabric and weather rating that best suits your needs. You also need to be familiar with the awning fabric and the correct products to use for cleaning and maintaining it.
Thank you for reading my best awning picks and guide – I really hope it helps and you are able to pick a great awning for you and your family!
Happy Caravanning 🙂