Caravan awnings are very popular to use on both caravans, motorhomes and RV’s, this is due to giving a sense of privacy and inclusion to your own space within a campsite. They are also a great place to store items you aren’t using such as bikes and make a great space for people to sleep.
Awnings are just a style of a tent which attaches to a caravan or motorhome so it is very common for people to use awnings as a place to sleep, store items such as bikes and chairs or even pets. Awnings are a great place for people to sleep and can be as safe and warm as a tent.
In this article we will go through the different questions you might have about sleeping in caravan awnings along with some tips and tricks to make it a safe and warm experience.
Can You Sleep in A Caravan Awning?
When you deploy your awning, it creates more space for you and everyone camping with you to sleep and do other things while ensuring privacy regardless of the weather condition.
When setting up your caravan awning, lay a groundsheet and carpet on the ground before laying your sleeping bag or mattress on it because the groundsheet prevents the sleeping bag from getting muddy, especially when the ground is wet. You can sleep in a caravan awning as long as you have the right equipment with you. It can get freezing at night though, so you should prepare for that and set up the awning appropriately.
What Equipment Would You Need to Sleep in A Caravan Awning?
To sleep comfortably in a caravan awning, you should equip it with the right accessories because the interior is equally as crucial as the caravan awning itself. Get proper lights that would help to set the mood, an annexe to create more room to accommodate more people, a good floor covering to make everywhere cosy and warm.
The floor coverings – carpets, mats and groundsheets – not only gives you comfort, but it protects your sleeping bags and other pieces of equipment from touching the ground directly. For maximum comfort, campers use breathable mats that do not pose a significant risk to the grass and insects on the site where they set up the awning. Also, they opt for products that reduce the discomfort they might feel from pebbles underneath the groundsheet, especially if they camp on hard ground.
The carpet is the piece of equipment that gives the caravan awning that homey feeling that makes the owner relax every time they step into it. Campers should get carpets with non-slip surfaces and proper insulation. Although they would add more money to your camping expenses, rugs are worth having if you want to use the caravan awning as a bedroom.
Nobody likes sleeping in a cooped-up space so you should consider getting an awning annexe to expand the room you initially have in the caravan awning. If you usually camp with family, with time, children would outgrow their regular sleeping bags and start occupying more space, or you might have an addition to the family.
To create adequate space for everyone, you could buy a new, much bigger awning but this would be expensive and would mean you have to dispose of your current one despite the fact it is still in good condition. However, you can cut cost by purchasing an awning annexe and zip it unto the side of your existing caravan awning. Also, there are free-standing awnings that you can use if it is not possible to zip your awning annexe unto the caravan awning itself. This works best if you are camping with a guest and you want to give them their free space.
Would It Be Cold to Sleep in A Caravan Awning?
It gets cold at night in the caravan awning, especially during winter and it will take more than a cup of coffee to keep you warm. Getting ready for situations like this would save you from nights that would make you feel like you are on Mt. Everest and would rather be in the comfort of your bed at home. That being said, you do not have to overpack items you feel would help you instead, be strategic and pick the right pieces of clothing.
It would help to get thick and high-quality self-inflating mattresses which would provide sufficient insulation and padding that would let you sleep well in any weather. Put this self-insulating mattress on top of your regular camp bed to give you some elevation from ground level, thereby avoiding the cold that might come from beneath you.
Also, get a quilt instead of a blanket because its extra layers would offer more protection against the cold. Wear gloves, wool socks and thick clothes – like zip-up hoodies – when going to bed. The cloth combination might seem funny but looking like a model is not the goal here, staying warm is.
Don’t forget to get a water bottle, fill it with hot water and take it to bed with you. You might not need to use it, but it is better to have one handy than not. You can snuggle up with the hot water bottle to give you a quick dose of heat sufficient to keep you warm when a strong wind blows.
Do not wait till the cold gets to you before covering yourself up because it will take a little time for you to warm up if you wait till the last minute. Dress up in your layered sleeping clothes at least an hour before you finally go to bed. Take a warm drink to warm your body up from the inside before climbing into bed because it is not ideal to go to bed already cold. There is a chance that you might stay cold in there.
Disposable heat packs help too, so make sure you have them in-store. If the weather gets cold, it will not hurt to pop a few and put them in the pocket of the cloth you will wear to bed or in the place where you would sleep. Additionally, sleeping in a massive awning with a small number of people would be colder than sleeping in a smaller one. Keep this in mind before coming to the campsite. Scale the caravan awning size to the number of people that would be sleeping in it so you can reduce heat loss.
Is It Legal to Sleep in A Caravan Awning?
Different campsites have different rules, but generally, it is not a crime to sleep in your caravan awning. People sleep in hammocks, which is technically more exposed than caravan awnings so if that is fine, there should be no problems sleeping in an awning. Make sure it set up correctly and enquire from the supervisors of the campsite you want to use if there is any law that prohibits you from sleeping the way you want to.
Also, it is possible that you have to pay for the opportunity to sleep in an awning on the campsite, so conduct your research and be sure you leave no stone unturned before setting up your equipment.
Is It Safe to Sleep in A Caravan Awning?
Sleeping in a caravan awning is about as safe as sleeping in a regular tent, the significant difference is that it is attached to a caravan. If the campsite has the potential risk of attacks from insects or other forms of wildlife, be watchful and use repellants where applicable. Use adequate protective measures to shield yourself from extreme temperatures. In cases of awful weather, you should spend the night inside the caravan and roll up the awning. It is better to handle inconvenience for one night than risking your health by staying in a thunderstorm. If the campsite has a place to lodge, consider staying there until the storm is gone.
It is best to check the weather forecast for the period you would be camping to avoid mishaps and unforeseen circumstances. Nothing is a 100 per cent safe but sleeping in a caravan awning will not put you in immediate danger, however, make sure you follow all the safety protocols of camping outdoors, and you should be fine.
If you plan to have a BBQ or cook we would suggest doing this at the edge of your awning with a panel open or on the outside, this is to stop any fires or accidents happening and also you don’t want any of the gases from the fire or cooker to be lingering in the awning as this can be extremely dangerous for the person sleeping in the awning. Take extra care if using heaters or any type of fire within the awning setting.