Flooding downpours, blazing sunshine – few things are a bigger threat to the enjoyment of an outdoor getaway. So, it’s no surprise that one of the first accessories many new four-wheel drive owners bolt on is an awning.
With side awnings, rear awnings, wing awnings and free standing awnings to choose from picking one can be tricky business.
So where to start? We choose quality first every time. With some care an awning should last for a solid period of use. For many this is over many years and even numerous vehicles. Whilst many awnings may appear similar, the quality brands are alike in that they are built from the highest quality materials.
ARB’s awnings are protected by a bash proof PVC bag and have reinforced aluminium poles. The awning itself is sewn from PU coated 300gsm poly/cotton rip stop canvas. It’s a waterproof material and the joins are seam sealed to prevent drips. Importantly they are also UVP 50+ rated.
The 2.5m x 2.5m and 2.0m x 2.5m options are perfect for the side of most vehicles the 1.25m x 2.1m option is a popular choice for those chasing rear coverage that can be quickly deployed.
Our Prado has the 2.5m x 2.5m mounted. We managed to mount this on the underside of our crossbars which leaves the top of the bars clear for canoes, kayaks, surfboards and other gear.
The low profile of this awning also makes it useful for ducking under low trees off-road as well as squeezing in to city carparks. It’s also relatively light compared to some other options which means it’s not a big contributor to our Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) total.
For those new to these awnings they are a breeze to set up. Once the cover is unzipped the awning rolls out. Two horizontal arms then swing out and extend from roof level to hold the far edge of the awning out and the awning itself taught. The legs then swing down from this far edge and extend to the ground. Once the angle is adjusted for drainage or to deflect the breeze simply peg it down. In sand, it’s worth getting hold of sand screws to use as bombproof anchors.
The ARB Wind Breaks are a handy accessory. Sheltering any, or all, of the open edges they provide protection from the wind, sideways rain as well as additional shade.
Whether it’s a big down the beach or the skies open from above it usually doesn’t take long for an awning to become a prized possession.
For details on the full range of ARB Awnings, Wind Breaks and other accessories visit ARB.