The best 4WD awning may not be what you think!
Choosing a 4WD awning is no easy task – there’s a lot on the market! But having a freestanding 4WD awning will make a world of difference when you’re out in the unforgiving Australian wilderness (and the heavens open up or the summer sun beats fiercely down you on).
So in this blog, you’ll discover the best 4WD awning – and the answer might not be what you’re expecting!
The best 4WD awning: What you need to know
When it comes to choosing the best 4×4 awning, there’s are 3 main things you need to think about:
- Your needs
- Your vehicle
- What you actually want
YOUR NEEDS: When you’re in the market for a new 4WD awning, think about your needs now and future needs. After a 270 awning or a 180 degree awning is an investment and you want it to last so you can use it in the future.
You needs take into account:
- How often you will use it or plan to use it in the future (for example, a big trip)
- How you intend to use it (for example, to sleep under, to live under or just to have open when it rains or you need shade)
- Who will be using it with you (all the family or just you)
- How much room you need under it (for said family!)
YOUR VEHICLE: Generally to attach a 4WD awning to your 4×4 you’ll need a roof rack, roof rails, or custom brackets that attach to your canopy or 4×4 depending on your setup.
The type of vehicle you have will weigh in on the type of awning you get, for example, if you live out of the back of your 4×4 such as a Troopy or you have your kitchen in the back end, then we’d recommend a freestanding 270 awning for you.
However, if you have a van or car with a tailgate that lifts up (like a Toyota Fortuner or 300 series), you may decide a 180 degree awning is the best free standing awning for you because you can utilise the tailgate as the rear shelter and have more shelter under the awning.
What you actually want: This is your wish list! Just keep this list open to change (remember your needs will trump your wants in some circumstances). There may be some compromises along the way as you start researching, but generally make a list of what you really want.
Perhaps the best 4WD awning for you is completely different to others on the market, it’s Australian made, it has massive coverage to keep the whole family protected, it covers the rear of your car so you can access the fridge (or should we say beers!), or it doesn’t pool when it rains.
Maybe, it’s about great customer service and after-sales care and the fact that you can speak with someone on the phone if you need to, or you may decide that it’s important to support a small business or buy local from your town or city.
Whatever it is for you, it’s important to be 100% happy with your decision so you get pure enjoyment from your 270 awning or 180 degree freestanding awning every time you open it up and use it.
A word on budget and awning prices
A side note on your budget: We haven’t put this in as a deciding factor, for some it will be for others, they just want the best 4×4 awning that suits their needs regardless of the price tag. Like with all investments, your budget can change as you start researching.
A luxury item has a higher price point than a base product. Likewise, an Australian-made product will generally always be more expensive than an overseas product. However, an Aussie-made product will likely last longer.
As you start researching you may discover that everything you want in a 4WD awning doesn’t match the budget you had in mind. Or you may simply find something you really love and want, so your budget may change.
If this is you, and you’re at a budget crossroads, our advice would be to come back to your needs. If you are planning to use your awning for a big trip and want it for years to come, if you can manage it, always go for the highest quality in the first instance. You may pay more now, but it will be worth it (and pay for itself over and over again) when you’re out in nature and your awning is doing its job.
The facts about Destination4WD freestanding awnings
A freestanding 4×4 awning has to be one of the best and most useful investments an explorer, adventurer, overlander or 4WD enthusiast can make.
When Rafa, from Destination4WD, sat down to design what he thought would be the best 4WD awning, he wanted a design that covered everything. In fact, we are often told by our customers, “you’ve really thought of everything!”.
Our Destination4WD freestanding 270 awning had to:
- Be freestanding and have no need for poles (it can be tied down with ropes).
- Have tight canvas so there was no pooling or sagging when it rained.
- Be big but strong so it wasn’t flimsy in the wind (and it wouldn’t break the first time he used it).
- Be easy to use and set up (Rafa: “I’m a simple guy and I like simple things!”)
- Be short on the car with no (or very minimal) overhang, and
- Last the distance in the tough Australian climate.
Our 180 degree awning followed suite and is considered one of the best 180 awnings on the market now too.
And we’re proud to say that we’ve achieved those specifications and more – and our customers tell us we have the best free standing awning! Our awnings have been in hail, torrential downpours, snow, extreme heat and gale-force winds (we had ours out in 70km/h gusts in South Australia and our customers Rob and Georgia told us they had their D270 awning out in 100km winds in the Snowy Mountains).
NOTE: We don’t recommend having your awning out in severe weather, but you may get caught in an extreme weather event and have no other option. Remember to tie it down before you go to bed or if you’re leaving camp to go for a walk or fish. The weather has a tendency to change and we want you to stay safe and protect your investment.
Best free standing awning on the market!
What makes our freestanding 270 awning and 180 degree awning different?
1. The extendable arms!
The extendable (or telescopic) arms mean we can keep our freestanding 270 awning (and our 180 degree awning) base short on the car. It’s only 2.2m long when packed away. But they also mean that our awnings can open up to massive 12.4sqm of square coverage because the arms click into place and extend your shade!
2. It’s completely square
Our freestanding 270 awning is completely square at the front and at the back and that’s also thanks to the extendable arms. It means you won’t get wet when you’re living out of the rear of your 4×4 and you simply get better coverage than other awnings that cut in on an angle.
3. It’s Australian made
We use all Aussie canvas, steel and alloy and all of our free standing 4WD awnings are made in Cairns by locals. We believe in supporting the Australian community and manufacturing industry here. It means more jobs for Australians, happy families and more money in the country. That’s important for us and for Rafa to give back to the country and Australians who opened their arms to welcome him here.
The best 4WD awning is the one that meets your needs
Your needs, vehicle and what you actually want are the elements that make up the best 4×4 awning for you, and that might be different to old mate down the street!
You can check out our freestanding 270 awning and 180 degree awning as part of your research, and if you ever have any questions, get in touch. We are always ready to help you.
And we have plenty of info and video on our Instagram and YouTube.