4. According to CIL Insurance, awning-related claims make up the majority of damage to caravans and RVs.
It’s estimated that awning damage costs Australian caravanners around $5 million a year. According to Robert O’Hare, CIL’s National Business Development Manager, much of that damage can be attributed to wind, storms, poor weather and accidental damage.
It’s not hard to see why, either. On the average seven-metre caravan, the awning is six metres long and three metres wide. There’s 18 square metres of sail area, similar to that of your typical yacht’s mainsail. It only takes about 10 knots to move a yacht along at a respectable clip, so you can imagine what a big wind will try to do to your caravan.
Those aren’t the only scenarios where awnings are damaged, though. According to Bob Stafford of TheAwningMan.com.au, many people damage their awnings by side-swiping trees, poles and walls, while many are victims of the ‘Best Mate Phenomenon’.
According to Bob, “In every caravan park across Australia, you will always find an ‘expert’ that knows everything about anything. The average caravanner uses his awning once or twice a year and, unfortunately, forgets the steps required to set his roller up. Along comes the ‘best mate’. ‘I’ll do it for you,’ he says. If you happen to get a best mate who knows what he is doing, great! But if you come across the best mate that doesn’t know what he is doing, expect drama. He is readily identifiable – when things don’t go to plan, when a strange cracking noise occurs, he will be the ‘best mate’ that has to get back, urgently, to the wife. Best mates have made me a lot of money.”
So, if you are faced with high winds, big storms or best mates, the 10 tips on the following pages will help you prevent an unnecessary insurance claim. Because who needs that sort of hassle?