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Ten tips for using a Caravan Awning

Couple camping in Outwell Reed 350SA Caravan Awning

Outwell enthusiast Kathryn Whelan recently moved from tent camping to caravanning and now uses an Outwell Tide 440SA awning. Here are her top tips based on her experiences…

1. If you store your caravan at home and have space to attach the awning, do a practice run first. You can check everything is as it should be as you perfect your pitching style.

2. Make sure you locate all the valves and know how they work before attempting to inflate for the first time on site – read the instructions for there is a definite way to use an Outwell valve. 

3. Although I’ve never used one, you could consider buying an awning puller to help get the awning into position on the rail. These can be great if you aren’t very tall, if you’re not in great health, or if you are trying to erect your awning alone

4. An electric pump is so convenient!

5. Peg it out! Thankfully there aren’t too many pegging points on an awning compared to some of the larger family tents, but don’t neglect to spend a little time using them. It may be a lovely sunny and still when you go out for the day, but the weather can be unpredictable. Not only will your awning look better when pegged out correctly, but it will be protected against a sudden change in conditions.

6. Rock pegs are a must if pitching on a hardstanding. You will need a good peg puller or a claw hammer to get them out at the end of your stay 

7. Invest in a carpet. Not only does this help to keep the awning clean and protect it when you are putting the awning up and taking it down and folding it, but it will also give some extra insulation from any cold coming from the ground. Most sites do not allow non-breathable carpets on a grass pitch, so you need to buy the ‘woven’ style breathable carpet. However, on hardstanding pitches, you can use the fleece style carpets. My top tip here would be to lay the breathable carpet down first and then add the fleecy one on top for extra comfort

8. Use a roof liner – this will help with insulation, meaning that your awning will be warmer when it’s cold outside. It will also help with condensation.

9. Keep it clean and dry. If your awning gets wet whilst using it, always make sure it is thoroughly dried out when you get home. Remember to check that guy ropes and mud flaps are also dry. Clean bird poo and dirt from the fabric but be sure not to use soaps or detergents and instead use products designed for the job such as Fabsil or Grangers.

10. Store it in a dry place where the temperature will not fluctuate too much, and where it is safe from mice getting into it and making ventilation holes where you don’t really want them. 

How to pitch an caravan awning

Tips and tricks on how to perfectly pitch an Outwell Caravan Awning.

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