Awnings are either fitted to the roof or wall of a vehicle. Which method is suitable depends on the following three factors:
Curved edges are suitable for roof fittings. Whereas a squared edge with sufficient room above the door will accommodate a wall mounting. In either case, suitable mounting brackets are also required. Your vehicle’s length will determine the size of the awning.
Ultimately, this comes down to individual preferences and the amount of space available on your vehicle for mounting. We outline key details below:
Benefit: It is quick and easy! At the click of a button, the awning will open or close within 35 secs.
Disadvantage: You lose genuine freedom of travel because you’re reliant on power. Although automatic awnings have a manual override function: this can be inconvenient as often the awning must be dismantled to access parts required for manual operation.
Benefit: You have freedom to travel to the remotest destinations! No reliance on power, so no limitations.
Disadvantage: It takes on average 10-12 minutes to put out a manual awning. For some people this may be a problem, particularly if the awning is frequently deployed and stowed over a short period of time.
Consider the following when deciding to purchase a supported or self-supported awning:
Supported (with legs)
Self-supported (without legs)
The vast majority of awning accessories such as lights and rooms work equally well across all types of awning. However, as the list below highlights, certain products require specific types of awning. So if you have your heart set on a specific accessory, ensure you purchase the appropriate awning:
Camp Room – Only compatible with Dometic awnings with support legs
My Room – Only compatible with self-supported electric wall awning PerfectWall PW 3500
If you’re staying somewhere for a short period of time or want to react quickly to a sudden change in weather, you may appreciate the quick action of an automatic awning. Don’t forget to factor in the amount of time needed for putting up any accessories, such as a Camp Room:
Automatic: 35 secs to put out/pack away
Manual: 10-12 mins to put out/pack away
If you want the ability to set up your awning alone: you’re better off having a self-supported awning (without legs). Self-supported awnings are always operated automatically – at the simple click of a button! Although possible, it’s far harder to deploy a supported awning - with legs working alone.
The length of time an awning is left open often impacts how people feel about the set-up time. So consider how long, roughly, you will leave the awning open: are 12 minutes deploying a manual awning more effort than it’s worth? Perhaps an automatic awning that opens in seconds is more suited to your needs. That’s not being lazy, it’s being realistic!
Many of us like to use our motorhomes to escape the world and travel to remote spots, far from civilisation. If you are one of those people, then a manual awning is the ideal choice for you as it has no reliance on power. This means you’ll also be buying a supported awning, as self-supported models (without legs) are only available with 12 volt motor operation. But if you’re someone who wants to get lost in the middle of nowhere, away from shops and power sources: we’re guessing you won’t mind putting your awning out manually!
We advise all types of awnings are put away in the wind and rain. Remember: “awnings are for shade not shelter”.