The Bradcot Modus is an awning that can expand or contract as your caravan needs change. Is this the last awning you’ll ever need to buy?

It is rare for an awning company to come up with a truly radical design, so when we first set eyes on the Bradcot Modus awning at the NEC caravan show in February, we didn’t appreciate just how radical it was. The realisation only hit us when we invited Bradcot to submit one for review and set it up.

Interior view of the Bradcot ModusModus shrinks or grows depending on how many sections you attach

The Modus is modular. It comes in separate parts that you connect to create as much extra living space as you want. Start with a basic 2m-wide section if all you’re after is a porch awning. Need more cover? Add extensions that are 60cm, 1m or 2m wide to get a full-size awning (extensions priced £129, £129 and £199 respectively – prices are correct at time of publishing). All sections zip together.

You can also enlarge or reduce it to suit a new van rather than buying a new awning. Add or remove sections as needed and you’ve saved a bundle. You can even adjust the Modus to include or avoid windows, the van door and fridge vents. It can be secured in the van’s rear awning rail if desired.

The model we tested on the Bailey Olympus II 540 caravan used two 2m base sections plus a 1m extension. The depth of the Modus is 230cm. Only one colour combination is available – blue/grey/charcoal.

The canvas is a combination of coated polyester and coated polyethylene, and the Easy System alloy frame is the only available option. We like the arrangement – the poles lock in position at whatever length they’re extended. To retract them, simply press a button and push the poles together. We also give high marks to Bradcot’s adjustable pegging system, which allows the anchors to be moved to avoid stones.

Lightweight frame is easy to handleLightweight alloy frame is easy to assemble and simple to adjust

We’re less impressed by the pegging ladders. They’re strong but must be fitted and removed each time the awning is used – something you can do without if you have to take the awning down in the rain.

Another feature that impressed us was the cord system, which pulls the adjoining sections tight to prevent rain from leaking in at the joints. The frame sections also zip into sleeves, which ensures that the canvas does not flap about on the frame.

Reviewed in December 2011 issue of Practical Caravan