Touring the Australian outback with your 4×4 can be one of the most exciting experiences, especially if you’re touring with a group of friends or family. However, touring with a group of 4 can make things somewhat problematic, since 4×4 vehicles aren’t spacious enough to accommodate 4 people plus all of the things you need to bring to make the trip more enjoyable, which is why many people rely on awnings. In case you’re unfamiliar with them, awnings are similar to tents, except they’re sort of an extension to your vehicle.
When it comes to camping 4×4 awnings, you’ll come across various different types, all of which have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your personal needs, and how often you tour, your choice will vary. If you plan on touring the outback frequently, then you need an awning that’s easy to set up and take down – one that is very lightweight. However, if you’re going to take trips where you’ll spend more than a couple of days, then you might want to consider a more substantial awning. Without further ado, here are the three most popular types of awnings for camping 4×4 vehicles.
Full awnings use the full length of your 4×4’s roof rail, and they’re big enough to increase your leisure space significantly. Furthermore, they will keep you well protected from the elements, making your leisure space much more pleasant. The depth of full awnings is typically around 2 to 3.5 metres, but they can get big and heavy, especially if you pick a model with steel poles, in which case they can easily weigh over 50 kilograms. You’ll probably need some help when setting up full awnings, especially when setting up the steel poles.
Porch awnings are similar to full awnings, except they’re lighter to transport, as they feature foam filled padding and vertical poles to hold the end panels. These are more versatile and they provide a porch-like leisure space, that’s typically open on one side. Unlike full awnings, you can set these up on your own rather easy.
Combi awnings are the in-between type of porch and full awnings. They need the full awning trail of the vehicle, and you get the weather resistance of full awnings, but you lose the versatility provided by porch awnings. There are combi conversion kits that allow you to transform full awnings into combi ones if their concept pleases you more.