There’s nothing better than packing up your camper, caravan, Land Rover or Bongo and setting off on your much-awaited road trip or camping expedition. The excitement of the journey, the new discoveries that lie ahead; the freedom of the road; hazy days and long evenings spent admiring the night skies and the symphony of the great outdoors.
You love your van: it makes for fantastic accommodation and it’s jam-packed with all that wonderful paraphernalia that you’ve acquired over the years – some of it you definitely need – some of it just might come in handy one day ;)
Hankering after more outdoor living space?
The thing is though, whatever its size, don’t you always find yourself wishing you had just that little bit more floor space? More room to enjoy your time outdoors?
If this is the case then the simplest way to boost your vacation or day-out living space is to use an awning.
We know what you’re thinking. I haven’t got room to carry one of those huge full or porch style awnings that stretch out like great tents. Right? We know what you mean. Whilst these types of awning certainly do pretty much double your living space, you’re right, they do take up valuable space in your van, and let’s face it, that’s at a serious premium.
Actually, what we’re talking about are canopy style awnings. These offer great versatility and are ideal for providing shelter from the sun and rain and extending your living and catering accommodation.
Depending on your budget, you’ve got a range of options. For example, Halvor awnings offer superior quality courtesy of ‘ripstop’ Oxford fabric lined with PVC. They are waterproof, rot proof and mould proof and constructed around robust aluminium support arms and legs.
Halvor awnings can be attached to the rear or the side of your vehicle depending on the model. Generally you don’t need guy lines, but if you’re facing extreme weather conditions then they are easily added for peace of mind. Most models are easy to erect, in fact in many cases you can have your additional covered living space up and running in just minutes.
Halvor awnings roll out from the strong zippered storage bag that you mount to your vehicle, so there’s no need to worry about using up valuable storage space inside. You can either bolt it onto the body of the vehicle or fix to a roof rack or roof bars. There are plenty of sizes available and ample options on the bracket and fixings front. Whether you’re running a Land Rover, VW, Shogun, Transit, Bongo or whatever, there will be a Halvor awning set-up and size perfect for your needs.
For a Halvor awning you’re going to be looking at around £165 to £225 depending on the size of your vehicle. You can also buy Halvor awning extensions for around £60 to £75 which will extend your awning or provide a privacy or weather screen when pegged to the ground. Plus there are bug-stop screens for around £120 that will completely enclose an area and make it secure from pesky bugs and suitable for sleeping outside or preparing food.
If you’re looking to spend a little less, say around £70 to £95, then there’s a low cost alternative you may like to look into, and this is the Sven awning.
As with the Halvor model, there is a range of sizes to suite all sorts of vehicle types. But as opposed to the rigid nature of the Halvor, this is a ‘soft’ awning – i.e. a sun or rain canopy – which makes it ideal if you don’t want to fit anything to your roof rack or drill into your vehicle to bolt something on.
Sven awnings can be fixed with a rail, c-channel, figure of 8 or pole and clamp. They come with a robust horizontal spreader that strengthens the outer edge, plus the latest models have a keder style strip on the outer edge which allows you to join a second Sven awning or attach between two vehicles.
So there you have a few options to expand your outdoor living space with a simple system that won’t take up any of your valuable in-van storage space. Now go enjoy your trip, and all that lovely extra space!