Why Do I Need a Tie Down Kit?
An awning tie down kit may sound so simple that it may seem unnecessary. However, experience has shown us that you can never be too sure when it comes to the great Australian outdoors and its ability to throw any number of challenges at you, quite suddenly.
It is very important to keep your awning tied down so you can leave your caravan without worrying about it. Securing your awning also adds extra protection during sudden strong winds which can cause strain on your awning mechanism and damage it over time.
Before we share more awning tie down tips, we should mention that it is very important to not leave your awning out in dangerously windy conditions. Always pull an awning back to storage position if the winds are too strong as no tie down kit can guarantee complete stability and protection in extreme conditions. In some cases, an awning can fill with air and become like a huge sail, which can break awning material as well as damage the frame.
Sometimes it just rips the awning material itself, but other times it can even damage the awning frame too.
If you enjoy camping in rainy conditions, keep one side of the awning (the front) slightly lower than the back so prevent rainwater from pooling in the middle of the awning and causing damage to the material and frame.
When To Tie Down
A question we are asked often is, when should my caravan awning be tied down? Our answer is, always! While extreme winds which can damage your awning suddenly are rare, things can change quickly and it never hurts to have extra protection in place.
When choosing a tie down kit, be sure to go with a product which suits your caravan’s Awning. Some caravans and Motorhomes have European style awnings or Electric Awnings that require a different Tie Down kit than the stronger Rollout barrel awnings that can withstand stronger winds and rain.
There are several ways to use your tie down kit to secure an awning.
For Electric and European style awnings like Fiamma & Thule.
The ideal kit required is the Ground Dog Awning Tie Down Kit. These awnings are lightweight and should not be left out in very strong winds. So, the kit required is very simple, Two Tie Down straps, safety springs & two ground dogs are all that are required.
For All Rollout Barrel type awnings, such as Aussie Traveller, Carefree & Dometic
A much more comprehensive Awning Anchor kit is required.
These kits give you the optimum holding power for large awnings as well as allowing you options on how to can set up your awning. The leg Anchor Plates supplied in this kit allow you to stand one or both Awning legs vertically while securely anchoring each leg with two Ground dogs securing each leg. This gives you more room to spread out under your awning as well as removing the risk of hitting your head on the awning legs when attached to the side of your caravan or motorhome.
If leaving your awning legs attached, simply attach the Tiedown straps & Safety Springs & drill in your Ground Dogs around a metre in front of the Awning barrel.
In very rainy conditions where the ground becomes very soft or in very sandy soil the team at Outback Tracks recommend switching over to their Ground Grabba sand pegs, these are specially designed for these conditions.
Remember, while Ground Dogs are designed to be used in the widest range of soil types, no peg will cover every ground type, that is why Outback Tracks recommend carrying a set of Sand pegs in your kit.
In every case, we recommend the Ground Dog awning tie down kit with screw-in pegs which are made with high grade stainless steel and have a wider, tapered thread that allows them to gain a powerful grip in almost any kind of terrain.
A good quality caravan awning frame, held in place by a premium tie down kit can withstand almost anything that mother nature can throw at it.