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How to Choose the Right Canopy for Your Trailer

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Adding a canopy or awning to your trailer can make camping and living outdoors more enjoyable overall. A canopy can offer you protection from both the sun and the rain, and also help keep bugs and insects away when you're cooking. When shopping for a canopy or awning, you have a lot of different varieties from which to choose, so note a few simple tips for ensuring you get the right type for your trailer and camping needs.

1. Window versus roof or wall mount

First note that some awnings for a trailer are meant to be installed over the window and may not extend far enough past the trailer body to provide shade for sitting under. This type of awning shades the window to make it more comfortable when you're inside. If this is what you need then you can choose window awnings, but for enjoying your canopy when outside the trailer, be sure you opt for a wall or roof mount style instead.

2. Space and depth

A roof or wall mount canopy will usually be several feet deep so that you can extend it far enough for several people to sit under. However, if you stay at a campground that is short on space, you may want to ensure you can stop its extension before it's fully opened. Look for one that allows you to lock the canopy in place even when not fully extended.

3. Material

Many canopies or awnings come in vinyl, acrylic, or fabric materials. Vinyl and acrylic may be easier to clean as you can typically just wipe them down with a damp rag, and acrylic is very resistant to mold, mildew, and rot. This can be the better choice if you tend to vacation in the tropics where humidity levels are high. However, a fabric awning with a loose weave pattern may allow in more air and this can be more enjoyable for you especially on warm summer days. Opt for the material that will work best for your enjoyment versus how easily you can clean and maintain it.

4. Features

Look for an awning or trailer canopy with legs that you can place in the ground for added support; this can reduce the risk of having the canopy frame bend when it's very windy outside. If you're opting for a motorized canopy, be sure it has a manual override in case power is lost or you're staying at a campground without a power hookup.