In 2020, we extended the Tent Survey to include awnings and it has returned for a second awards. We are aware there is precious little information to guide awning buyers, 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.
Full 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.
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.
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.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the effort required to pitch an awning and its relatively high price, those who bought a new awning since 2017 show a high propensity to go camping – nearly half say they’re out between four and seven times a year and more than a fifth claim to go 11 times or more.
However, our respondents have paid a bit less for their awnings recently. The 2020 Awards showed some 70% of purchases were for awnings costing under £1,000, but this has risen to 81% in the 2022 survey.
Dometic (previously known as Kampa) emerged as the biggest single brand once again, accounting for 19% of all responses, with Vango a close second with 18%.
Other brands included Sunncamp, Dorema, Isabella, Bradcot and Outdoor Revolution.
The inflatable-tube awning market still seems to be increasing as 79% of surveys were for these structures this time. In the last survey this figure stood at 68%.
Key factors in the decision to purchase were size (32%), ease of pitching (24%) and price (21%).
As with tents, people generally liked the way their awnings performed. Asked to rate overall satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 – with 1 for ‘not at all satisfied’ and 10 ‘extremely satisfied’ – the overall score was 8.7, up from 8.4 in our previous survey.
Three quarters of respondents said their awnings had no defects. Of those who did report reported problem, these were generally related to leaks, broken poles/failing tubes and damaged fabric.