Guide to Fitting a Driveaway Awning

09/08/2018

This article explains how to fit a driveaway (drive-away) awning to your campervan or motorhome.

For those who are new to the world of recreational travel, what do we mean by the phrase 'a driveaway awning'? A driveaway awning is a temporary structure that connects either to a coach-built motorhome or campervan, offering you an external enclosed room for living or for providing you with extra storage. Picture a driveaway awning as a tent, but featuring a tunnel. This tunnel fixes onto the side of your vehicle by the means of a beading strip (also known as a Driveaway Fixing Kit) that connects either to your awning rail or to your wind-out canopy. The awning is attached your vehicle at one point, the tunnel, via the Driveaway Fixing Kit. Simply by removing the Driveaway Fixing Kit this disconnects the awning from the vehicle allowing you to 'drive-away' in your van; leaving the awning freestanding at the campsite.

What Driveaway Fixing Kit Do I Need?
Firstly, ask yourself what I am fixing the awning to? This could be an awning rail/channel or a wind-out canopy awning such as a Fiamma or Thule pre-install, or one you have installed yourself, canopy cassette. Our Driveaway Fixing Kits can be found here.

Figure of Eight Driveaway Awning Fixing Kit Explained

Awning Rail/Channel
I have an awning rail/channel on the side of my drive-away vehicle. The Driveaway Fixing Kit you will need will be a 6mm to 6mm Driveaway Kit. This will be available in a range of lengths; simply measure the length you require. Unsure, we recommend the extra large driveaway fixing kit and you can cut this down to size should you need to.    

Fiamma or Thule Omnistor Fitted
I have Fiamma or Thule Omnistor fitted to my motorhome/campervan? You will need a 6mm to 4mm Driveaway Fixing Kit. This will convert the awning tunnel to the smaller beading size allowing to feed through the awning in the 4mm grove on the underside of your wind-out canopy's cassette.

Attaching a Driveaway Awning to your Fiamma or Thule Wind-Out Canopy

Magnetic Driveaway Strip
Could I use a magnetic driveaway strip to connect my awning to my campervan? This is an alternative method to fixing a driveaway awning to the side or your van should you don't have an awning channel or Fiamma/Thule wind-out canopy fitted to the van. To use the Magnetic Driveaway Strip, your vehicle's roof must be magnetic. Secure the magnetic strip to the roof of your vehicle and then feed in the awning. To drive-away, simply lift off the Magnetic Driveaway Strip from the roof and leave the awning the freestanding at the campsite. Will the Magnetic Driveaway Strip scratch/mark my vehicle? The magnetics are sealed in a padded section to reduce the risk of marking your vehicle. There is still a risk of the Magnetic Driveaway Strip marking your vehicle, should you be heavy handed when fitting the kit to the vehicle and when feed in the awning, relax, don't rush to ensure you don't damage your vehicle. If you are concerned, then we can advise you of the method below, using the 'Throw-Over Straps'. Magnetic Driveaway Fixing Kit available here at Leisure Outlet.   

Using the 'Throw-Over Driveaway Straps'
What if my campervan/motorhome doesn't feature an awning rail or a wind-out canopy that I can connect a driveaway awning to? All driveaway awnings come with 'throw-over straps'. Use these as an alternative way of attaching the awning to the side of your van. How does this work? Simply attach the throw-over straps to the tunnel of the awning, and then throw these over the roof your vehicle and peg. Top tip, should the vehicle be too tall for you or conditions are windy, drill a hole in a tennis ball, secure the strap and throw over your vehicle – saves a lot of effort! As explained in our video below, using a Volkswagen (VW) T5 Transporter Campervan, featuring a pop-top roof:

Summary Video: Attaching a Driveaway Awning to Your Motorhome or Campervan

In summary, a driveway awning gives you the space to store, lounge and relax, provides extra sleeping space. The Driveaway Fixing Kit simply allows you to connect the awning's tunnel to your vehicle, temporarily, allowing you to walk out of your van into the enclosed area. If you wish to leave the campsite for a period of time, the 'drive-away' connection allows you to drive off in your vehicle, to return later and saves you having to set up camp again.

We hope you have this article useful and here at Leisure Outlet, we wish you happy adventures! For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on Live Chat or call us on 0115 784 5942.