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At first awnings can seem like a bit of a minefield with a miriad of various options available.
Don't despair, with a little thought and advice you can soon start to narrow down the options.
The best advice is to ask yourself ‘How do I want to use my awning?’
If the answer is 'yes', we would be suggesting that you consider a drive away awning.
These are essentially a large tent you can stand up in which is easily attached and detached from your van.
Some of the very best drive away awnings are available from Vango. Their airbeam awnings use air fill channels rather than poles which make them super easy to put up and strong in some of the harshest weather conditions.
Drive away awnings are available in a range of sizes and configurations depending on what you want and need.
There are also various ways to attach drive away awnings to your vehicle, but by far the best way is to have an awning rail permanently fixed to the vehicle. Examples of these are the Reimo Multi Rail for short and long wheelbase vehicles and the VW California awning rail (only available for the short wheelbase vans.)
Please remember to bear in mind that this type of awning takes up space inside the vehicle when it is not in use and does take time to assemble. On the plus side, these awnings can create huge spaces to sleep and accommodate the biggest of families.
If yes, this puts you looking at our range of cassette awnings.
Cassette type awnings give an awning which is fixed to the vehicle. These have built in legs and simply wind out to create a shelter in a matter of seconds.
This sort of awning needs putting away before you drive off and also are not as sturdy in strong winds as drive away awning.
Please bear in mind that depending on the fitment and type of vehicle, some of these can be a permanent fixture. This style of awning can also be made to be enclosed with the addition of sides and front sections to keep out the elements. As above, remember that the sides take up space inside the vehicle when not in use. The sides and front also need removing to allow you to drive off.
If you really want to be able to cover all bases it is possible to attach a drive away awning to a cassette awning. This can give the ultimate versatility with a quick and simple cassette awning for short stops and a drive away awning for longer staying in the same location.
Cassette awnings have a channel in them to accept the Kadar strip of a driveaway awning. Often the channel on the awning is a slightly smaller size than that of the drive away kadar. This is no problem as adaptors are available to allow them to work together, but it is well worth making sure you have the right one before setting off on a trip.
Reimo awning rails are screwed and bonded to your vehicle for a permanent and secure way of attaching an awning. These are available in specific models for the long and short wheelbase vehicles.
These are simple to use and Exploria’s most popular awning rail.
The VW California rails awning is a VW part found on many factory VW California campervans.
These are bonded onto the vehicle, so no screwing is involved.
They come in 2 main sections; an aluminium rail bonded to the vehicle, and a rubber section to accept an awning which slides into this.
This makes them slightly more fiddly to use and the rubber section can pull out when the weather is windy but they give a nice factory look and are preferred by some.
California awning rails are only available for short wheelbase vehicle and come in silver or black.
Cassette awning are the industry name for the wind out awnings which are permanently fixed to the side of your vehicle.
These are amazing for quick and easy shelter from the rain and sun. Ideal for when your are touring and moving around as they are so easy to put out and stow away.
Not offering as much shelter as the full drive away awning, they are best put away at night to prevent weather damage should conditions change.
Exploria fit the cassette awnings directly to the vehicle. We can fit them to standard roofed van with or without roof bars, as well as elevating roof vehicles.
We can also fit awning to vehicles with awning rails already attached with the use of specific brackets to suit.
Exploria stocks a range of cassette awning from the market leading brands Thule and Fiamma.
The models available are listed below:
The Thule 4900 is now Exploria's preferred cassette awning model.
Sleeker and slightly more stylish that the Fiamma it has great build quality and functionality.
The most popular choice for a wind out cassette awning on a T6 or T5 the F45 is simple to use, strong and compact.
Made from extra strong yet light extruded aluminium, and available in a choice of Titanium or Deep Black external casing colours. The Vinyl canopy is UV resistant, waterproof and washable.
Short wheel base vehicles suit the 260cm awning where as the 300cm version is ideal for the long wheel base versions.
F45 for California or Vehicles with California Awning Rail.
When installing an F45 awning to a California or a van fitted with a California Awning Rail a specific bracket is required. The standard brackets are not compatible, so it is important to be aware of this detail on ordering.
Fiamma have designed the F40 specifically with the Transporter in mind. This roof mounted awning has a compact design making it an ideal addition on a T6 or T5. The low-profile brackets give a reduced height and a more slimline appearance. This awning is only compatible with vehicles with a standard roof.
Without the need for extras this can be a more cost effective option for a none elevating roof van.
If extra space is need or you don't have a full conversion, a good drive away awning is a game changer.
Essentially large tents which are design to marry up to your vehicle they can be comfy and cosy extra living space. Perfect for storing items while you are away from your pitch for the day as well as creating space for cooking and extra sleeping with you need it.
As a porch they are also brilliant, giving you somewhere to remove your shoes and coat before getting into the van.
In our experience you get the most out of a driveaway awning when you are staying on the same pitch for more than 3 nights. This makes it worth having the awning in the van at the start and end of the trip and taking the time to put it up and down.
Exploria have worked closely with Vango over the years and choose to use Vango airbeam drive away awning when we go camping. The quality is fantastic and functions even better.
Vango now produces a huge range of awnings at varying prices. Most of their range is available in ‘low’ versions which are suited to Transporters and similar height vehicles, although they are now producing a couple of Transporter specific models available.
Things to consider when choosing a drive away awning is the erected size, pack size, weight, durability and orientation of doors when pitched on site.
Get in touch to find out what we would recommend, have in stock and for our best pricing.