Let's gear up your 4WD
With the summer school holidays lingering, so has that camping trip you’ve been meaning to take the kids on but have been putting it off because you need a bigger tent. Camping space can be a bit of an issue especially if you have a big family and can’t all fit in the tent or caravan. If you’re a big-time camper or an avid caravanner then it is probably a good idea to invest in 4WD awning. It is a great way to significantly improve and expand the living conditions by turning it into a dining area, sleeping area or storage area. Depending on how often you camp or do outdoor activities will correlate to what type awning and how much it is going to cost you. 4WD awnings are extremely practical, easy to install, store and setup, and offers great protection from the sun and rain.
Where are awnings mounted?
Most awnings are mounted using an aluminium back plate that will attach to your vehicles roof rack, and is stored in a zipped-up PVC cover when not in use. Most 4WD awnings will utilise telescopic aluminium poles that have a twist and lock function. Depending on your type of awning, identify which poles must be placed vertically and horizontally and twist and lock them into place. Your horizontal poles are usually housed within the backing plate. Most awning sets will also include a number of ropes and pegs, it is always a good idea to peg your awning down if you leave it overnight in case the wind picks up.
Recommended types of awning
They are arguably one of the most practical, quickest and easiest to install and setup awnings available on the market. Side awnings are usually placed on the longest dimension of your vehicle with a long rail mounted to your roof rack where it will act as a base for all other components. A second rail will usually have the legs attached to it which need to be pulled out along with a pair of struts that need to be clipped onto each end of the bar. The struts allow for stability and also prevent the awning from flapping about in the wind. If you are looking for a side awning, the Sunseeker by Total 4×4 covers over 4 square metres and is the perfect set for picnics, camping and lazy days on the beach.
A lot larger than your standard awning, they are designed to cover a huge space due to its long wings that extend out. This type of awning is a lot larger than others and the base requires to be mounted securely to your roof rack. At the back end of the base is a huge hinge that supports the entire awning, this is where the ‘wings’ are attached and will need to be placed towards the rear corner of your vehicle. Like the side awning, the batwing utilises a similar design, making it easy-to-use and can be packed up or setup within minutes. It is the perfect awning type for extra storage space, sleeping area or dining with its large 270-degree shade covering 11 square metres.
Rooftop tent awning
Similar style to the Eezi Awn, this awning utilises a rooftop tent for sleeping, mesh windows and doors, and a step ladder for easy accessibility. The bonus of having a rooftop tent means you are elevated from any creepy crawlies that lurk below and escape the heavy rains. With a little more than just a couple of telescopic poles, the Open Sky awning will cost a little more and may be harder to setup depending on your experience.