How to measure a caravan awning

So, you're looking to add extra space to your caravan by adding an awning but are worrying about how to go about measuring the size you need. Well, it’s simpler than you may think.

Measuring up for an awning before purchasing can create a level of anxiety, especially when it’s a new and potentially costly investment. We all ask ourselves those familiar questions: Will I measure accurately? Have I taken down the right dimensions and included all the right sections? Will it fit?

We all want a stress-free experience and despite these worrying questions, the way to measure a caravan awning is simpler than you might think, and we’ve outlined some steps to help you along the way.


Table of contents

Types of caravan awnings

Before we hop into how to measure a caravan awning, we first need to discuss the different types available.

The three main caravan awnings are:

  • porch awnings
  • combi awnings
  • full awnings


Porch awning

Blue porch caravan awning on white caravan in wilderness with blue sky

These are generally very quick and easy to put up. The porch caravan awning is the smallest of the three awnings. Covering the doorway, they often slide into the end of the caravan and can be moved along to where you’d like them.


Combi awning

Blue combi caravan awning attached to side of caravan with two deck chairs underneath

Combi awnings are quite easy to put up on your own. This awning attaches to the caravan awning rail and drops out of the caravan channel at a certain point. These awnings help open up space and easily fit a couple of deck chairs underneath.


Full awning

Red and white full caravan awning with clear windows attached to side of caravan

The full awning goes all the way around the caravan channel and acts as an extension of the caravan’s indoor space. These awnings can almost double the caravan’s living quarters but take longer to put up and may require help.


The ‘A’ Measurement

Now you understand the different types of awnings, let’s get into the measurements.

The ‘A’ measurement may sound like a secret code name, but luckily you don’t have to be a code-breaker to find it.

The ‘A’ measurement is simply the distance from the ground going up around your caravan’s awning rail and then back down to the ground.

The awning rail measurements should be included in your caravan manual. However, finding this measurement is still possible if you've misplaced the manual. All you’ll need is a ball of string (or something similar) and a tent peg.

Though it may seem old fashioned, this is a sure-fire method to getting an accurate measurement.

Firstly, secure the tent peg in the ground parallel with the back edge of the awning rail. Next, tie your string to the tent peg and feed it through the awning rail. Once it reaches the other end, pull the string all the way to the ground. This is crucial to getting the correct measurement. Once  you’ve double checked everything is in place, snip the string as close to the ground as possible. Remove the string from your caravan awning rail, measure it, and this will give you the 'A' measurement needed.


Height and length

If you're looking to invest in a porch awning, then as well as knowing the ‘A’ measurement, you will also need to know the caravan’s height and length.

The height is measured from the ground to the awning rail--which runs flat along the top of the caravan. This measurement is not the full height of your caravan, as this will also include the roof-light and TV aerial.

You should take the length measurement along the straight rail, which runs vertically along the top of the caravan. The straight rail starts just before the front curve of the caravan and ends just before the curve at the rear.

Finding the length measurement means you can predict the maximum width of an awning suitable to fit your caravan.


Windows, doors and storage

Now you've got all of your technical measurements, you should be ready to purchase your awning. However, you lastly need to consider any windows, doors or storage compartments that could cause an obstruction.

You need to ensure that the door is within the measured length section to allow room for it to open. The same must also be considered for the windows.

Be sure to only measure your length to as far as your windows if they cannot be fully covered. You wouldn't want to try admiring the view outside the caravan window only to find the wall of your awning obscures it.

There are many caravan models, all with different positions for access points, such as windows, doors and hatches, and this is something to keep in mind when measuring up for your new awning.

You want to be as accurate as possible when measuring your caravan awning to ensure it will fit without error. However, manufacturers make products to fit a wide range of different sized caravans, and hopefully, there will always be one to fit your model.

After sizing up and purchasing your new caravan awning, you'll now need to fit it. For more guidance on this, see our article How To Put Up A Caravan Awning.


Specialist caravan insurance from Ripe Caravans

After taking time to precisely measure up for your new caravan awning, you’ll want to make sure your caravan is protected—ensuring all your hard work wasn’t for nothing.

At Ripe Caravans, our specialist caravan insurance provides cover for your caravan up to the value of £75,000, and you can choose to include additional cover to protect your contents and awnings.

With our Ripe Guarantee, you won’t find a better price for your cover anywhere else on the market.

Get an instant online quote today to learn more about our touring caravan insurance.

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