Awning Satisfaction Survey 2022: background

The survey of awning owners carried out between November 2019 and August 2021 is only our second Awning Satisfaction Survey as we included awnings for the first time in 2020. We had been aware there was very little information about the quality of awnings available, even though it is a large market in the UK, and felt it was time this was rectified.

We covered three types of awning in this survey – full caravan, small porch caravan and motorhome.

15_Awnings_what_we_learntFull caravan awning

This category covers two types of large caravan awnings. The first is the traditional awning style, which covers one complete side of the caravan. It is fitted along the whole length of the awning rail from the ground on one side to the other and is sized to fit a specific model of caravan. The second is also known as a large porch or universal caravan awning. It connects along the majority of the top horizontal part of the awning rail and covers most of the side of the caravan.

Small porch caravan awning

This type of awning fits along the top part of an awning rail, providing a covered entrance to the caravan door and not much more.

Motorhome awning

This covers both drive-away awnings, tent-like structures that can be left on site when you take your motorhome off site, and the more traditional caravan-type awning that fits to the side of the motorhome.

Cassette awning

A cassette or roll-out awning is permanently attached to the side of your motorhome or caravan and the fabric can be unfurled on site to provide a canopy cover. There were not enough responses to this category to make an award this year.

2022 Awning Owner Satisfaction Awards

Respondents to our Awning Survey were generally slightly older than those who answered our Tent and Folding Camper surveys, with nearly 80% being over 50.

A large majority camp as a couple (77%) with only 12% travelling as a family unit. Again we see awning owners camping several times a year, with 89% camping at least four times in 12 months.

We saw more online purchases this time, rising nine percentage points, with retail stores and shows seeing the biggest falls to compensate. More than a quarter bought from a specialist caravan or motorhome dealer, which matched the last survey.

Nearly half of sales were in the £500-£999 bracket, with the average price paid for a caravan porch awning being £714, for a full awning £944 and motorhome awnings were somewhat cheaper at £545. The number of responses was fairly evenly split between the three categories.

Bucking the trend of our tent survey results, this survey saw fewer people paying full price for their awning (down from 39% to 32%). The overwhelming majority of awnings had inflatable tubes 79%, with just 17% having traditional pole frames.

People generally selected their awning because of its size (32%) but ease of pitching (24%) and price (21%) were also important.

Three quarters of owners didn’t have any problems with their awning, with broken poles or failing tubes (8% of respondents) being the most common issues for those who did. Leaks (7%) and damaged fabric (4%) were the next most common defects.

On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is ‘extremely satisfied’, almost half of owners rated their awning’s performance at 10. The number who were at the other end of the scale (scoring at 1, 2 or 3) was just 5%, down three percentage points on our previous survey, which is good news.

Once again, the quality of pegs was the least satisfying aspect of the purchase, along with the durability of the sleeping cabin and pitching instructions.

A full 84% of owners would buy the same make of awning again, but a fairly significant number (7%) would like their awnings to fit better to their camping unit and be of a lighter material.

2020 Awning Owner Satisfaction Awards

Those who used awnings appear to be keen campers with 41% say they’re out between four and seven times a year, 23% say it’s eight to ten times, and a further 25% claim to go 11 times or more.

Some 70% of purchases were for awnings costing under £1,000, while 30% paid over £1,000.

Kampa emerged as the biggest single brand, accounting for 38% of all responses. Vango came next, with 29%.

Other brands included Sunncamp, Dorema, Isabella, Bradcot and Outdoor Revolution.

Key factors in the decision to purchase were size (28%), ease of pitching (21%) and price (21%).

As with tents, people like the way their awnings perform, with an overall score of 8.4.

More two-thirds of respondents said their awnings had no defects. Of the third who reported problems, these were generally related to leaks, broken poles/failing tubes and damaged fabric.