Get the most enjoyment in the great outdoors by adding some privacy and shade to your caravan or motorhome. Caravan shade screens and annexes will give you extra space but which is the right choice for you?
Traditionally a canvas annex was the solution to “add a room” to a caravan. These are still a great option if you are in need of extra space to sleep people as they can provide full privacy and complete protection from the weather. The down-side to a canvas annex is they are bulky, heavy (up to 20kgs) and time-consuming to set up. The other downside to a canvas annex as it needs to be fully dry when packed away. It has been said that it’s “not worth the trouble” of transporting and putting up an annex unless you are in one spot for a week. If you are staying put for any length of time then an annex may be well worth the effort as it is solid in windy and rainy weather (wind doesn’t get up under the roof and cause flapping) and can give you much needed extra dry space to relax or dry washing when the weather turns. If you are looking for a full room enclosure then an annex made from polyester may be good solution as they are lighter than canvas and easy to wash and dry.
If you are more mobile, a lightweight and quicker solution for privacy and shade are caravan shade screens. They are easily attached to your caravan awning and can be quickly pegged out. Caravan shade screens are much lighter on the pocket than an annex. They are lightweight and easy to stow, dry quickly and they won’t rot if you need to pack them away wet. The downside to shade screens is they are not a complete privacy solution as passersby can peek through the gaps and they offer some but not full protection from the rain and wind. Rain will tend to run down the screen rather than blow all the way in but they are not a complete weather barrier.
If you have an awning already you may be well aware of the flapping that can occur when the wind picks up. Caravan shade screens when pegged out will provide additional support to the awning and help reduce flapping. Set-up of caravan shade screens are quick and easy- a long shade screen will simply slide in to your awning bar. The sides can be attached to the awning poles (leaving a gap at the top) or they can be attached to anti-flap kits which are an additional accessory that is fitted to the sides of the vinyl awning. Anti-flap kits are the best way to reduce awning movement in the wind. Anti-flap kits consist of bars that slide into the vinyl sides on each end of the awning and curved rafters that sit underneath the awning.
As a guide – awnings up to 15 feet need one curved centre rafter and awnings larger than 15 feet will need two rafters. It is recommended to get an anti-flap kit professionally installed. At the RV Service Centre installation takes about an hour and you are welcome to wait in our customer lounge. We stock a full range of annex accessories in our showroom so drop in to take a look and see which option is right for you.