APACHE AWNINGS are manufactured in France and have been imported into the UK for many years. It is one of the best-known names in the field. The company has three full awnings in its range – the Westminster, the Kensington, and the Buckingham.

The Kensington is a five-piece awning comprising the roof, two sides and two front sections. Where it differs from the competition is that having erected the frame and fitted the roof, the sides and front panels can be hung from the roof prior to zipping them in.

This may seem a small point but trying to hold a panel upright while zipping it in can be awkward. And to be able to leave the panel hanging when taking the awning down in wet weather means that there is less likelihood of it getting muddy.

A further feature is that, unlike much of the competition, there is a ventilation/insect screen behind the zip-up window in each side panel in addition to the one at the front centre of the awning.

The roof is made from patterned, acrylic-coated polyester; the side and front panels are from woven acrylic and the skirt is in PVC-coated polyester. Colours available are burgundy, blue, and green. The depth of the awning is 2.50m whilst the ground-to-ground sizes run from 811cm to 1090cm.

Three frames are available: steel, aluminium, and fibreglass – the most expensive. Importantly, the fibreglass option is only available with awnings with ground-to-ground dimensions starting at 840cm.

Attachment of the roof poles at the caravan can be by suckers or Fixon I bracket pads, or there is a third option at extra cost – Fixon II bracket pads. Storm straps and a mallet are standard, as is a verandah pole with the fibreglass frame. Other optional accessories include a tall annex and a bedroom extension.

Reviewed in the April 2009 issue of Practical Caravan.