Car awnings are a semi-permanent addition to your vehicle. They provide sun and rain protection so you can enjoy the outdoors for longer. Add some camp chairs and your favourite snacks and they become very comfortable.
Or if you’re on a camping holiday, they’re the living area while your tent or swag is your bedroom. Awnings are one of the 5 best camping accessories you can get.
But having an awning that’s too long and too heavy hanging off your roof 24/7 is a compromise you have to keep in mind when choosing an awning.
Bars N Racks has the expertise and experience to help you find the right awning for your car, SUV or 4x4. One that will improve your camping, picnics, days at the beach or outdoor trade work.
You can turn your 4WD awning into a base for outdoor adventure. Stay longer when you're mountain biking, hiking or kayaking.
Sure, you can get the same functionality from a 3x3 marquee. However, the advantages of car awnings are that they use the vehicle for strength and stability giving them advantages such as:
Bars N Racks in Brookvale on Sydney's Northern Beaches can supply and install 4x4 and car awnings by quality brands like Ironman 4x4 and Rhino-Rack. Both are designed and tested in Australia and distributed around the world.
You can buy a cost-effective square awnings to shade one or two people. If you want a large awning for campaign or to shade a family, 270 degree give up to 17 square metres of cover. They are also a range of awning accessories like floors, walls, ropes and mounting brackets to suit different roof racks.
The awnings are made from Ripstop poly-cotton canvas which provides a UV50+ sun protection rating and a high water resistance rating.
Instant awnings come in 1.4, 2 and 2.5 metre lengths to suit your vehicle's roof or your space requirements. They're available in a range of configurations. These include a walled room, a room walled with fly screen netting and an extension weather shield. They can also come with mounting brackets and a LED light mounting strip.
The Deltawing 270 degree awning can be freestanding or supported. 270 degree awnings are popular on off-road touring 4x4s. They offer a large amount of coverage and set up in less than a minute.
Freestanding 270 degree awnings are suitable for light wind conditions. With the addition of sturdy support pole hardware they can handle windy days.
They have universal mounting brackets which are compatible with any roof rack. And they're supported by a 2 year Australia-wide warranty.
A great value entry level 270 degree awning that's quick and simple to set up. It uses 4 integrated support poles made from black powder coated 25/22 mm diameter aluminium tubes (a thicker coating than anodised aluminium). It comes with 8 reflective guy ropes and 8 steel pegs. It mounts to the roof racks using 2 universal "L" mounting brackets.
It weighs 18.5 kilos and comes in both left and right hand side versions.
The XTR is a 270 degree awning with a more rugged construction which uses a 40 x 40 mm aluminium C-channel frame. This makes it freestanding in calm conditions. Drop the 4 support legs when the weather requires. It comes with guy ropes, pegs and two laser cut heavy duty mounting brackets.
It weighs 20 kilos and comes in left and right hand side versions.
This is the largest car awning we offer. Take it out to 17.5 metres by adding the shelter extension piece. Without the extension piece it's free standing in light conditions. Windy conditions require legs and guy ropes (sold separately).
It uses a C-Channel 40 x 40mm aluminium construction and weighs 20 kilos.
The 270 degree awning extends from the side of the car and sweeps around the rear of the vehicle. In Australia most will put the awning on the left hand side (passenger side) of their car. Rhino-Rack also makes a (right) version for the driver's side.
The standard Batwing awning provides 10 square metres of coverage. For smaller vehicles the Batwing Compact awning offers 6.4 square metres of coverage.
This awning is a brilliant design. It won a prestigious Gold Good Design Award in the Sport and Lifestyle category in 2018.
The Sunseeker awning comes in 2 or 2.5 metre wide versions to suit the size of your car, SUV or 4x4. Install it on either side of your vehicle. It weighs just 10 kilos.
Sunseeker Awning Accessories include a sidewall for extra shade and privacy. Or an extension which adds 2 square metres of coverage.
Awnings work better on tall cars like SUVs, 4WDs and high dual cab utes. The height of these cars places the roof racks above head-height allowing people to stand comfortably under the awning.
If you have a regular car with roof racks below head height choose a dome owning. They have a pop-up tent design for more head room. The Rhino-Rack Dome 1300 Awning mounts to the side or rear of the vehicle. It offers a generous 6 metres of coverage.
Speak with Bars N Racks Brookvale before you buy an awning. Their experience is invaluable to help you select the right awning for your car.
Popular dual cab utes like Ford Rangers have a roof length of just 1.5 metres. Popular SUVs like the Mazda CX5 has a roof length of 1.7 metres allowing enough clearance for the hatch to open. Popular awnings are 2 metres long. As a result they will tend to overhang the front windscreen.
It can be annoying seeing the awning in your field of view while driving. It’s not great for aerodynamics and fuel economy. Also, the right accessories add to the look of 4x4s, but they can look odd with the wrong size awning.
The 1.4 metre long Ironman 4x4 Instant awning is a sensible choice for these types of vehicles.
2 and 2.5 metre long awnings are a better fit on vehicles with long roofs. Vehicles with a wagon like body shape such as Toyota Landcruiser, Nissan Patrol and Subaru Forester. They also work well on dual cab utes where the roof line is lengthened by a canopy.
Awning weight is another consideration. For good handling it's best to not put too much weight up high on your vehicle. Small awnings weigh less than 10 kilos. But big awnings can weigh over 20 kilos.
Awnings are designed for cars with roof racks. Or for utes with sturdy canopies or tub racks. Mounting an awning without a roof rack is not impossible, but it would require custom brackets to fit where roof rack mounts would typically go. It’s better just to buy a set of roof racks. Bars N Racks can help you find the right set of roof racks, it’s their specialty.
Most car awnings come with L shaped universal brackets to fit any roof rack. However, some roof racks and car roof lines can make awnings sit awkwardly and inconveniently. Have a chat with Bars N Racks if you have any doubts. Here’s some more information about roof racks which might help.
Touring vehicles now have roof top tents. Make sure your roof-top tent is compatible with your awning so they work together. You don't want the awning to prevent the roof top tent from opening. Also, you want to avoid exceeding the maximum load the roof of your car can take.
The fabric your awning is made from should have a PU rating. This stands for Poly Urethane and the measure is in millimetres. It's a coating applied to fabric to make it waterproof.
500 to 1000 mm is considered a low PU rating. This is suitable for light rain and drizzle. A fabric with a PU rating of 1500 is able to withstand heavy rain. The Ironman 4x4 Deltawing tents have a PU rating of 2000 mm which is considered high, and one you can count on.
If you have a freestanding canopy (without poles) it can cope with a little light rain. However, the weight of the water means that you'll need to put the poles down to cope with anything heavier than light rain.
Undoubtedly, one of the main reasons for buying a car awning is to protect yourself from the summer sun. That’s not the only consideration. If your car isn’t garaged your awning is at the risk of sun deterioration. Your awning should come with a heavy duty PVC back that tucks all the elements out of the way, but also protects it from sun and rain.
For more information on awning selection for your particular vehicle and needs. If you’re in Pittwater, the Northern Beaches or Manly, speak with your local roof rack and awning experts via the Bars N Racks Brookvale phone number and email.