Awnings that fit on cars

Awnings that fit on cars were once considered unconventional. Nowadays, they are increasingly common and available in many types. They can provide easy-to-set-up additional space for travellers on holidays, or wanting to have a break during a journey. They offer protection from the weather, and some have inner tents to allow sleeping out.

No inner tent

One of the smallest awnings that fit on cars is the Handy Moto. The poles are made of steel and the grey-coloured, flame retardant flysheet is made of polyester. It is too small to have an inner tent, being approximately 1.8 m (6 feet) deep, 1.95 m (6 1/2 feet) high and 1.95 m (6 1/2 feet) wide. However, it still provides useful additional space when you decide to stop driving and want to relax. The Handy Moto awning will fit cars and motor homes up to about 2.46 m (8 feet 2 1/2 inches) high.

Optional inner tent

The Drive Van 2011 is a free-standing, sand coloured awning that you can fit to the rear or side of your car or van. Hexagonal in shape, it measures nearly 3.45 m by 3.3 m (11 1/2 feet by 11 feet) at the widest points. Being free-standing, it is relatively simple to erect, and then you attach it to the roof of your vehicle with sucker cups. You can buy an optional inner tent with the Drive Van 2011, which sleeps 2 to 3 people. As of March 2011, it is available with a free floor protector.

Hook crank or remote control

The Buzzman Bazooka Tailgater awning uses a standard hitch for cars, vans and SUVs. As well as being able to use it when you attach it to your vehicle, you can use it in your garden or pool area to protect you from the weather. You can choose to buy the standard model, which has a hook crank, or one with a remote control motorised package that plugs into your vehicle's cigarette lighter. The manufacturers claim that their 3 m (10 foot) model can block up to 45 m (150 feet) of wet snow and ice over stairs, paths and decks.

Very flexible awning

The Polaris Camper awning represents perhaps the most flexible awning solution available today. Available options include a rear awning, front wind break zip-on, side awning, rear wind break zip-on and end wind break zip-on. You attach these together with zippers and Velcro. They also have more colour options than most other awning companies offer. Colours available are grey, olive, light sand, blue, maroon and camouflage. The manufactures claim that their awnings can go up on the side of a mountain without falling over, although they do advise that you use the ropes and pegs they supply.

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About the Author

Frank Luger had his first educational resources published in the early 1990s. He worked on a major reading system for Cambridge University Press, became an information-technology adviser and authored interactive whiteboard resources for "The Guardian." Luger studied English literature and holds a Bachelor of Education honors degree from Leeds University.