AWNING INFO - Which Awning?Retractable Awnings

Retractable Awnings

Most awnings are pretty simple – just two ends fixed to aluminium bars, with a lightweight tube down each side and legs at one end. When they’re stowed away the awning rolls round the outer end bar, and when you’re setting it up it just unrolls again. It’s not a complicated system and it works well, but there are times when it can be a bit of a struggle. Any sort of wind makes it a two-person job, otherwise you’ll end up wrestling with it as it tries to fly away, and rolling it up again when it’s wet and covered in leaves can be quite unpleasant. It’s at times like that you wish you could get an awning that would automatically roll itself up.

Well, you can. Awnings like the Eezi Awn 2000 series are designed to be as simple as possible to handle, and they do that by adding some extra bits to the mounting. It makes it slightly bulkier, but it also means it’s far quicker to set up and there’s even more of a difference when it comes to stowing it. Awnings like this have a spring-tensioned roller running the length of the base, which takes most of the work out of setting up and taking down.

The way it works is that to set up the awning you just need to get hold of the end bar and pull it out; the awning will smoothly unroll from its casing, and you then set up the side struts and legs as normal. Once it’s set up the roller keeps slight tension on it, which helps with stability and also means you don’t get any sag in your roof – that’s great when it rains. When you’re stowing it just unclip the struts, fold the legs then pull slightly on the end bar; the springs will kick in and wind the awning back into the case.

Obviously this adds to the cost, as well as increasing the size of the mounting, so is it worth it? It definitely can be. If you have health problems that leave you struggling with a standard awning one of these could be a lot easier for you. If you often set up camp on your own you might welcome it too; we’d say the benefits are a lot more obvious when you’re doing it single handed. Of course some people find awnings easier to deal with than others, and if you’ve never had any issues with it then a retractable one probably isn’t worth the extra cost. If you dread every stop because of the thought of wrestling with ten feet of unruly canvas, though, they might be just what you’re looking for.