AWNING INFO - Which Awning?Foxwing / Batwing / Supa Wing Style Awnings

Foxwing / Batwing / Supa Wing Style Awnings

There are plenty of awnings on the market and no two of them are the same. You’ll find them in all sizes, made of different fabrics and with a whole range of ways of attaching accessories. Most of them have the same basic structure though. You have a bar fixed to each end of the awning; one is bolted to your roof rack as a base and the other stands on two poles. A pair of struts – which are usually hinged to the base on the roof rack – connect the two to give it some stability. It’s a simple design and it works well.

It’s not the only way of doing an awning though, and some new ideas are starting to appear. One of the most interesting is the “foxwing” design. This is named after the flying fox, those huge scary looking fruit bats, because it looks sort of like a bat’s wing when extended. Foxwing awnings look different to the standard kind, and they’re also extremely practical.

Like a standard awning a foxwing has a base made from aluminium that’s fixed to your roof rack. This is a lot more substantial, though, and it needs to be extremely solidly mounted. That’s because at the back end is a huge hinge that supports the whole thing. The hinge needs to be over the rear corner of the vehicle because it’s going to be right in the middle of a very unusually shaped awning.

Attached to the hinge are four pivoting arms; one edge of the awning is attached to the base and the rest is between the arms. To open it out all you have to do is get a hold of the end arm and swing it out through 270 degrees. The other four bars and the awning will follow, and you have a large roof around one side and the rear of your vehicle. All you have to do then is fit four telescopic poles to the end of each arm to support them and peg out the guy lines.

A foxwing takes about as long to set up as a standard awning, but it covers a lot more space. About the largest standard awning we’ve reviewed is the Tough Toys 2.5 by 3 metre one. That gives you 7.5 square metres of covered area. The Rhino Rack Foxwing covers 10 square metres and it’s just as stable.

Because wing design awnings are relatively new there isn’t as large a range of accessories for them yet. We haven’t seen any mozzie nets or tent kits, but no doubt they’ll appear. Rhino Rack do sell sidewall sections and you can fit up to four, but as the awning has five sides it won’t be fully enclosed. They also have roof extensions to cover even more space and a mesh floor than can help keep things tidy inside.

Foxwing awnings aren’t all that common yet, but they have a lot of advantages. Setup is really easy even for one person, and they make use of as much space around your vehicle as possible. Right now they’re fantastic for a day out, and with some more accessories we can see them taking off in a really big way.