Adding an awning to your caravan can provide added living space and create a valuable vestibule between the outdoors and the place where you're going to sleep, cook and eat. As such, it makes sense to consider all the available options when it comes to caravan awnings, and one of the most important decisions you'll need to make is between a pole-based awning or an inflatable awning.
While each option offers its own pros and cons, most caravan owners will find themselves better off with a poled awning. Here are just four reasons why.
1. Divided Weight
At first, it might seem as if there's little to separate poled and inflatable awnings when it comes to weight. However, the devil is in the details. Though poled and inflatable awnings are often around the same weight, inflatable awnings are all-in-one solutions, so you need to handle all that weight at once. In contrast, the weight of a poled awning is split between the fabric itself and the supports. That means you'll generally find it much harder to lift an inflatable awning onto and along the awning rail.
2. Harder to Store
The fact that inflatable awnings are all-in-one solutions also creates problems when it comes to storage since everything needs to be packed away into one large bag that can be tough to find a home for when the awning is not in use. Poled awnings don't present the same problem since you can divide them up. Given the restricted space inside most caravans, this can make storage far more convenient.
3. Easier to Adjust
While most caravan parks offer relatively level ground, this won't be the case everywhere you travel. This can cause problems with inflatable awnings since they cannot be adjusted around uneven terrain. Poled awnings are different since the supports can be minutely adjusted up to their maximum length. As such, you can easily adjust them to deal with uneven ground and will be able to set your awning up comfortably across a wider range of locations.
4. Lower Cost
Finally, it's worth keeping in mind that inflatable awnings are generally far more expensive than poled awnings. That's especially true if you want one with an electric pump — and if you don't, you'd better be prepared for a workout whenever the manual pump needs to be broken out. Opting for a poled awning can help you save, so you can either pocket the difference or spend it on another part of your caravan.
Find out more about caravan awnings.