TRIO AWNINGS used to be one of the most popular ranges available. Over the last few years, however, they have become less so, due in part at least to a lack of aggressive marketing and, we suspect, to the fact that they lost their independence when they became part of the Trigano group which already owned the Eurovent brand.

Over the last year or so the company has introduced several new full awnings, but is continuing with its range of Universal porches, of which the Maxi is the largest. In fact, although it’s classed as a porch we believe it is better described as a semi-full awning since it is 4m wide x 2.1m deep, large enough to take all the things you don’t want in the caravan such as wet gear, bikes, etc, whilst still leaving you room to sit out when the weather permits.

Choice of three colours

The Maxi is a three-piece awning, comprising the roof and sides, plus two zip-in front panels. There’s the usual choice of three colours: red, green and blue, all with grey as the second colour. Materials used are: roof – TEN CATE coated polyester; and the side and front panels – doped-dyed acrylic.

There’s a door in each side panel which somewhat unusually is not next to the caravan wall or at the front corner, but is centrally situated with a tall window either side of it. The front panels can be removed completely or rolled halfway down and used with the verandah pole which, for once, is included as standard with the awning.

There’s a choice of frames – either galvanised steel as standard, or alloy. The steel frame members are individually identified which we felt was a good feature. The assembly drawing which came with the awning also impressed us.

Not the easiest awning to erect

But having said that, we did find that the Maxi wasn’t the easiest awning we’ve ever erected, although it would no doubt become easier with practice. Two other features that we very much liked were the rear cross roof pole which we felt would play an important part in shedding rainwater, as well as helping to take the additional weight of snow if the awning is used in severe winter conditions, and the fact that it pegs down internally.

In fact, we came to the conclusion that the Maxi would be ideal for use in the winter. One final plus point: the Maxi comes with a two-year guarantee against manufacturing defects.

Reviewed in the August 2009 issue of Practical Caravan.