ROYAL IS A BRAND NAME of Unipart Leisure which also owns the perhaps better-known Harrison brand.

Like many other awning companies, over the last few years Unipart has introduced a range of lightweight awnings sourced in the Far East in order to keep prices as low as possible. The Royal Windsor 260 is one such product and is designed to fit caravans with heights ranging from 230cm to 250cm. It projects 240cm from the caravan.

Clever bag fits into the awning rail

The awning fits permanently into its bag which remains on the caravan. The bag slides into the awning rail and is then locked in position with two end stops to prevent movement. Having fitted the awning, the bag is unzipped and the canvas pulled out.

The frame consists of three elastic-linked fibreglass rods which are slid into sleeves in the canvas to give it its tunnel shape. Guy ropes are used to hold the three rods in position whilst the canvas is pegged down via the ladder type pegging rubbers permanently attached to the canvas. Steel poles are used at the rear of the awning but there is no draught strip to minimise the draughts which inevitably occur between the awning and the caravan side.

Large triangular window

The one-piece canvas is polyester throughout and there is a door in each side panel whilst each of the two front panels can be unzipped and rolled up or used as a sun canopy with the canopy poles. Each side panel has a large triangular window with a zipped cover, plus a door incorporating a full size insect/ventilation screen. There is a choice of three colours: blue, green and burgundy.

The Windsor is priced at a level where you could use it for a couple of years and then scrap it for a new one. As far as convenience is concerned, it’s so easy to erect and put away, that – unlike conventional porch awnings – it’s never likely to cause a ‘caravan divorce’. One final caveat: the awning weighs about 14kg which you need to take into account in connection with the payload of the caravan.

Reviewed in the June 2009 edition of Practical Caravan.