Air Awnings: Your guide to Inflatable Awnings from Khyam

Are you looking to add additional space on your next camping adventure? With the Khyam range of driveaway air awnings, it’s quick and easy to expand your pitch.

Read on to find answers to common questions on driveaway air awnings, from how to choose the right size to troubleshooting any problems you might encounter.

WHAT IS AN AIR AWNING?

An awning is a tented area that can be free-standing or attached to a vehicle, such as a campervan, caravan or motorhome to provide additional space, and is traditionally made from a combination of steel or fibreglass polesand polyester fabrics.

Air awnings use air filled tubes in place of steel or fibreglass poles. These tubes can be inflated using an automatic or hand pump, making them quicker and easier to set up than a traditional awning.

As they have no physical poles included in the pack, air awnings also benefit from being more lightweight and therefore easier to transport for campers who want to reduce the size and weight of their camping gear.

At Khyam, we supply the best air awnings on the market. Our driveaway inflatable awnings are compatible with campervans and can be set up in just a couple of minutes.

WHAT IS A DRIVEAWAY AWNING?

A driveaway awning is a stand-alone tent structure designed to provide additional space for campervans and motorhomes. Driveaway awnings are designed for maximum convenience and connect to the campervan or motorhome via fabric panels known as cowls, which enable the free-standing tent to detach quickly and easily.

Driveaway designs are particularly useful for campers who want extra space and extra freedom. A driveaway awning is ideal for anyone who wants to use their campervan or motorhome to explore their surroundings, without having to take their entire camping set up with them.

Just like a tent, an awning can be used for a range of activities, such as sleeping, entertaining or storage, and can provide additional features such as bedrooms.

Khyam driveaway awnings are suitable for use with the VW Camper, Mercedes Vito, Transporter and other popular campervan models.

HOW TO MEASURE FOR A DRIVEAWAY AWNING

One of the most common questions we receive at Khyam is how to measure for a driveaway campervan awning. The awning rail of your campervan determines the height and length of your awning, not the size of the vehicle overall. Also, it is important to note that campervans tend to be slightly shorter than motorhomes, so you will need to ensure that your awning is compatible with your vehicle.

The key dimension to look at is the height of your campervan’s awning rail. Park your campervan on flat ground, measure from the ground up at both ends of the awning rail and make a note of the largest measurement.

To make finding the right size awning easier, we’ve included details of the campervan models that our air awnings are compatible with in the description of each product, alongside the dimensions. However, if you need any advice or guidance on finding the right fit then give our team of experts a shout. Use our handy chat box at the bottom of the screen or contact us via email. 

WHAT SIZE AIR AWNING DO I NEED?

When choosing an air awning you first need to ensure that it is the right height for your campervan. Overall, the size of your air awning when pitched will depend on what you intend to use the space for, but don’t forget to consider the pack size of your awning and your luggage space.

If you require additional storage space or a comfortable bridge between your campervan and the outdoors, then the AIRTEK KAMPER PRO 2  and AIRTEK KAMPER PRO 1 are great van awnings ideas, and both offer ample space and large windows for maximum light.

If you are travelling as a group or family, then the AIRTEK KAMPER PRO 4 and AIRTEK KAMPER PRO 5 are spacious designs with optional bedrooms and additional room for dining and entertaining, or even sheltering from the unpredictable British weather!

We’re confident that our Airtek Kamper collection offers the best air awnings on the market. 

HOW DO YOU PUT UP AN AIR AWNING?

With minimal effort! Air awnings are designed to make light work of pitching, leaving you with more time to enjoy your camping holiday. Our instruction video below demonstrates how quickly you can set up an air awning, even on your own. Simply unpack, unroll and peg the corners before inflating the air tubes and pushing into place.

Our top tip: always unzip your doorways prior to inflation to prevent the unit acting like a vacuum.

For advice on setting up your air awning, check out our guide to connecting your awning to your vehicle. Whether your campervan has no awning rail or guttering, a J-rail or C-channel rail, we’ve got you covered.

 

ARE AIR AWNINGS GOOD IN THE WIND?

Air awnings are an excellent choice for windy weather conditions. These awnings feature air-filled tubes in place of poles, which gives them greater flexibility in the wind and means they are far less likely to sustain damage or breakages, such as broken poles. For greater stability in windy conditions, additional air pressure may be required to strengthen the structure of the awning.

As air awnings are able to withstand higher wind speeds than alternative designs, they are more versatile and ideal for camping in the UK.

CAN AIR AWNINGS BE USED IN THE RAIN?

Of course. Air awnings benefit from the same robust materials that tents are manufactured from, so they are designed to withstand showers and even downpours. How resistant your awning is to rain depends on its hydrostatic head (HH) rating, which you will find in listed in its specification. At Khyam, we recommend an HH rating of 5000mm and above to ensure it will withstand downpours, as well as showers.

Find out more about tent fabrics and materials, including HH ratings, denier and thread count.

WHY IS MY AIR AWNING LEAKING?

If your air awning is leaking, then check for any damage that may have occurred during packing or storage. Ensure that seams are still sealed and watertight. If your air awning has sustained damage or deteriorated then this may be the cause of the leak. Our friends at Tent Spares stock all the repair kits and waterproofing sprays you need to get your tent back to full health.

If your air awning is not damaged but is letting in water, then it may be that the fabric does not have a high enough hydrostatic head (HH) rating - the metric used to measure how waterproof a fabric is. We recommend an HH rating of 5000mm and above for air awnings that will predominantly be used in the UK, as this rating will withstand the worst of the unpredictable British weather! Check out our guide to tent fabrics for more information.

WHY IS MY AIR AWNING SAGGING?

If your air awning begins to sag then it most likely requires additional air pressure to maintain its structure. Most air awnings inflate to a pressure of between 5 and 7 PSI (pound-force per square inch), which is the universal measurement of air pressure. This can be increased to 9 PSI in heavy rain and wind, but should be reduced once the weather has passed.

Heavy rain can also add weight to the roof of your awning, causing sagging to the fabric and air tubes. Ensure any excess water is drained before increasing the air pressure.

Air tubes also expand in the heat and contract in the cold, so if the weather has cooled significantly since you pitch your air awning, you may need to increase the air pressure.

If your air awning continues to sag once you have increased the air pressure then you should examine the tubes for any air leakage. Our friends at Tent Spares can support Khyam customers with repairs and spare parts, if required.

CAN YOU OVER INFLATE AN AIR AWNING?

It is very difficult to over inflate an air awning when using a hand pump, as most are tested to a PSI (pound-force per square inch) that is much higher than the 5 to 7 PSI required. The air tubes are also of a high quality and are made to be robust. As a result, air awnings are designed to withstand some accidental over-inflation and are completely safe. At Khyam, our air awnings are tested up to 12 PSI.

If you are using an electric pump to inflate your air awning, be sure to follow the instructions and set the pressure correctly to avoid over-inflation. The inclusion of a pressure release valve prevents you from over inflating the air tubes.

Regularly over-inflating an awning or tent is not recommended however, as this increases pressure on the air tubes and can cause damage or deterioration overtime.

Do you have a question on air awnings that hasn’t been covered here? Contact our team of experts for additional help and advice.

Shop the full range of Khyam inflatable awnings or check out our blog post to compare this year’s range of air awnings.  

If you are not sure an air awning is the right choice for you, then view our poled awnings and quick erect awnings.

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