Types of awnings and
annexes, and how to care for them to make them last a lifetime.
What to use for cleaning and how to keep it when stored.
Awnings & Annexes
There are a large variety of awnings
on the market today. Whether your caravan
or motorhomeis short, long or tall
an awning can be custom made to your exact specifications. The
only choice you will have to make is which style and which colour.
Aussie Traveller stock
a whole range of awnings including the most common type - the
roll-out. With its robust components and construction giving a
long lasting awning with minimum operating problems. Whilst
this awning is prone to a bit of rattling in the breeze, this can be
easily minimised by fixing anti-flappers at either end. (see picture
With the addition of a
centre support rafter, canvas, vinyl or even shadecloth walls can
then be fixed to the awning to make an enclosed annexe (or extra
room) area suitable to all types of weather conditions.
Dometic –Waeco have
produced a Dometic Power Awning that can be installed on
motorhomes and caravans. The power awning extends to about
8 foot and is available in lengths from 12 ft to 21 ft and
is made of 13 oz 3-ply polyester reinforced vinyl fabric and
comes with a 12 month warranty. Operation is by pressing a
wall-mounted switch (12V DC power). The User’s Guide
indicates the power awning should be retracted when
unattended or when experiencing wind and heavy rain and any
damage from wind and rain is not covered under warranty.
You can purchase annex walls made of vinyl or
shade walls for rollout awnings. Sail tracks are affixed to
the door side of the caravan for the annex walls to attach
and the side walls are affixed to an anti-flap kit or awning
deflappers and the roll drum of the awning. For example,
Australia Wide Annexes make up optional annexes as well as
freestanding annexes for motorhomes. The beauty of an annex
is more livable space and protection from the weather.
Annex walls can be quite heavy, more than the
shade screen walls , so check whether you will be able to
lift and carry the annex walls and be able to fit them each
time you camp.
Anti-flap kits and curved roof rafters are available
from Aussie Traveller.
How do I care for my
Caravan awning ?
one of the most valuable items of a caravanner's equipment.
They effectively double the amount of space available to you
and although they can be expensive, most people find that
this additional space is invaluable.
advisable after every trip to wash the awning down and
leave extended to dry. If stored for a long period of time
it should be extended every 6 months or so to check for
using ordinary household detergent when washing the awning
as it may destroy the water resistant coating. Washing
with a mild truck wash should keep most of the mould and
mildew at bay or a product called "Tricleanium". It is
100% alkaline salts not acid like CLR or Sulfamic acid.
Reapply a water resistant spray if necessary.
For particularly stubborn
stains use CHUX Magic Eraser from the laundry aisle
of your supermarket.
Keep an eye on
any repairs that may need attention with your awning, as
catching them early can mean the difference between a simple
repair or a full and costly replacement.
For canvas awnings and annexes it is
important the canvas is dry before being packed away as
mould may form. To clean a canvas awning, firstly check
with the manufacturer for their instructions on how to clean
the canvas. Canvas is treated with a waterproofing agent
and mildew resistant coating so it is best not to scrub it
or apply soaps, detergents or cleaning fluids to the
canvas. In the absence of manufacturer’s instructions try
washing the canvas down, remove any leaves, soil, grass or
bird droppings. Stubborn marks may be rubbed lightly with a
tooth brush to remove them.
To treat mould and mildew on canvas try
mixing diluted chlorine bleach (1 part White King to 4 parts
water) to end up with 1% available chlorine. Spray the
diluted mixture on the mildew or mould and allow the canvas
to dry in full sun. Then hose the canvas down well to
remove all the bleach and allow the canvas to once again dry
in full sun before packing away. It is possible that
obstinate stains may not have been removed by the bleach but
it should kill the mould and mildew spores.
The canvas awning should be treated from time
to time by re-applying a water proofing compound which
incorporates a mould and mildew inhibitor which is available
from the manufacturer or caravan and camping stores.