So you got a new freestanding 4×4 awning! Congratulations! A vehicle-mounted 4×4 awning has to be one of the best and most useful investments an explorer can make.
After all, it’s instant shade and protection from the harsh Australian conditions.
Now that you’ve got it in your hot little hands, here are 5 things you need to know before using your new freestanding 4×4 awning for the first time.
1. Installing your new awning
First and foremost … Follow the installation instructions in your manual. It might sound simple and easy enough but not everyone adheres to that advice.
As a freestanding 4×4 awning manufacturer, we see what happens when you don’t! Mistakes … and holes! Holes in the wrong places, extra holes in your awning, holes that shouldn’t be there.
With your new awning, you should receive a printed copy of an Awning Installation Manual.
Be sure to read it carefully. (Note: All of our Destination4WD awnings have one strapped to the actual awning, so you can’t miss it. We also have more information here.
Also some roof racks and 4WD vehicle setups will require expert help, so always ask your awning dealer if they know anyone who can help you if you need it.
2. Using your new freestanding 4x4 awning
The best thing you can do when you get your new awning is to use it! At Destination4WD, we encourage you to fit, open and use your new awning and accessories as soon as possible.
Make sure it works and make sure you understand how to use it. Use it a few times before you go on a big trip. And if you ever have questions about how it works, get in touch with the company you bought it from.
With our awnings, because they have extendable arms to give more coverage, it’s important to pull out the extendable arms first (wait for the click!) and then secure the awning with the strap included to the roofrack.
We have included this information in our manual, however, you can also watch the videos on the Install page on the website.
3. Seasoning your new awning
Don’t be afraid to get your 270 awning wet, in fact, we recommend you open it and soak it to season it.
Seasoning the canvas will make sure your freestanding 4×4 awning can handle the elements and last many years into the future.
This helps the canvas stretch and retract, and in the process seals the tiny needle holes where the canvas has been stitched together, making it water-tight.
To season your awning: Open it, completely wet it with a hose, then let it see the sun and dry before closing it up again.
4. Your safety is paramount
Always take care when installing and using 4×4 accessories. Your awning should come with safety instructions too. Awnings can be heavy, so don’t lift them on your own if you can’t manage it, get a friend to help, use a hoist or have it professionally installed. Improper setting up of or packing the awning away may void your warranty.
The Destination4WD freestanding 270 degree awnings are designed to be self-supported. No poles needed. We include the following safety information on our manual and on the awning itself:
- Avoid setting up and packing down in strong winds. (It is at your own risk)
- Ensure pins are pushed all the way in and a clicking sound is heard when the extendable arm is pulled out before tightening the awning on to the roof rack.
- Always correctly secure the pegs and guy ropes to the ground in windy conditions. Use the D-rings at the ends of the arms.
- If you do not secure your freestanding 4×4 awning to the ground in windy conditions it may cause injury and/or damage your roof rack and vehicle.
- We recommend having it fitted professionally.
And don’t go away from your camp without tying your awning down. Even overnight we tie our awning down in case the wind gets up. Just because an awning doesn’t require poles, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be tied down.
5. Check your warranty
Your awning will have a warranty on the workmanship, just be sure to check the details when you get your awning in case there is anything you need to do, like keep the receipt of purchase.
We back our awnings with a 24-month warranty. If you ever have any issues with your awning or accessories, contact the company you bought it from immediately.
Awnings – 24 months from date of purchase (270 degree awnings, 180 degree awning and shower awning tent)
Walls – 12 months from date of purchase
Any other Destination4WD product – 12 months from date of purchase
Need a new freestanding 4x4 awning? Buy once, buy right with Destination4WD
We have a philosophy … your trip will be a million times better with a strong, durable, Aussie-made, freestanding 4×4 awning!
We are always here for you and pride ourselves on fantastic customer care and service. If you ever had any questions about any Destination4WD products, please get in touch.
You may also find what you need on our Frequently Asked Questions page.