Many of our guests choose to put up an awning when they visit us here at Horton Common. Most awnings, when purchased come with some form of draught skirt and wheel arch cover. However, sometimes the supplied draught skirt and wheel arch cover depending on the awning brand are not made of the best materials. Furthermore, some of them from the feedback I’ve received from our guests do not actually do their job that well of stopping draughts entering the caravan/motorhome awning. I’ve also had guests who have purchased a second-hand caravan/awning which didn’t come with a draught skirt/wheel arch cover ask me if they are really needed? I personally do think they should be fitted and I’ll explain why below. I’ll also discuss the best products/DIY solutions currently available.
If you already have an awning skirt and wheel arch cover which came with your awning it may be possible to modify/upgrade them to better block draughts. However, if the skirt/wheel cover is torn you may want to consider a replacement instead of trying to hold it together with some tape. With an awning skirt, there is no need to keep to the same brand as your awning. You just want to choose an awning draught skirt of a suitable length to choose your specific type of awning. I have a general post on my thoughts about the best caravan awnings and motorhome awnings if you want to check those out.
Introduction to Awning Draught Skirts and Wheel Arch Covers
So the first thing I want to discuss is to answer the questions if you really need to fit awning draught skirts and wheel arch covers. Now, just to point out the obvious, if you have a roll-out caravan awning which you are just using as sun shady don’t worry about draught skirts and wheel arch covers. However, anyone, who has fitted an enclosed awning to their caravan I think they should seriously consider fitting draught skirts and wheel arch covers. This includes small porch awnings and full-sized awnings. Why? Well, light draughts can definitely be annoying and create a less comfortable environment in your awning. However, I’m personally more concerned about the effects of full-on wind than light draughts.
Here at Horton Common, we have amazing views, but due to our elevated location, we also have higher than average wind speeds. Hence, if anyone puts up an awning on their caravan or motorhome I recommend a decent set of storm straps and pegs. The point is, to keep the awning attached to the ground instead of being lifted over the caravan. Now, if a good quality draught skirt and wheel arch cover have not been fitted the wind will rush under the body of the caravan, up into the awning and try to lift it.
Now, during the spring and summer months, our wind speeds do not normally exceed a speed which could lift an awning. However, things can change quickly, from one day with no wind at all to the next with strong gusts. Hence, my personal advice whether visiting a caravan site at an elevated location such as ours or any caravan site really is to always fit awning draught skirts and wheel arch covers.
Awning Draught Skirts With Storage
If you do need to purchase an awning draught skirt for your caravan, as I’ve referenced above there is no need to purchase the same brand as your awning. As long as the length of the awning draught skirts matches the length of your awning any will do. However, something you may want to consider is some of the draught skirts which offer additional storage with separate zipped compartments. I think these are currently the best draught skirts on the market.
If you want more storage in your caravan awning you may want to consider a draught skirt such as this: Image – Amazon
DIY Awning Wheel Arch Cover
Awning draught skirts are easy to install, you simply thread them through the lower rail and peg them into position. The trickier part is stopping the draught/wind coming in from around the wheel its self. Most awnings come with a wheel arch cover. However, many don’t actually provide a very good means to attach them to the caravan. Below is a video I came across from the YouTuber Dan Trudgian. In this video, Dan shows how he modified his wheel arch cover with 3M adhesive press-stud pads.
What I think is important to note from the video above is how Dan modified/cut out the wheel arch cover so it didn’t block the fridge vent. I do think this is a very important point to note if your caravan fridge vents are above the wheel arch. There can be drops in the performance of three-way caravan fridges in the hot summer months. However, that problem can be made even worse when the vents are on the awning side of the caravan. Therefore, any additional obstructions over the fridge vents could make that problem even worse still.
Kampa Limpets for Securing Caravan Wheel Covers
So in the video above Dan uses adhesive press-stud pads to fix his wheel arch cover into position against the side of the caravan to reduce draughts. Another alternative you may want to consider which I personally have been pretty impressed with are Kampa limpets. Quite a few of our guests have Kampa air awnings and I’ve seen these limpets in action. They are essentially twist suction pads. You put the limpet against the surface of the caravan and then twist. The twisting action creates a vacuum under the limpet and it grips the caravan, and they really do work.
You can order Kampa limpets as a set of eight and you can use them in various places. For instance, the typical use is to fix the sides of the awning against the caravan to stop draughts. However, in line with the topic of this post, you could also use the limpets to fixed the wheel arch cover to the caravan. Now, if you have ever owned a Sat Nav with a suction cup you will know that with any suction cup its important to keep cup and the surface is clean. Any dirt/grease will affect the vacuum seal. So make sure the side of the caravan is clean. Otherwise, these Kampa limpets will not hold well.
Kampa Limpets are typically used to stop draughts between the awning and caravan but can also be used to secure wheel arch covers against the caravan: Image – Amazon
However, if you need to purchase a new caravan wheel arch cover Kampa offer covers with limpets already fitted as seen in the image below. Just make sure you purchase the right one depending on if you have a single or twin axle caravan. Though I would also encourage you to consider additional limpets for the sides of your awning if you don’t already have them to stop wind/draughts. It doesnt matter if your awning isn’t a Kampa. But be careful to reinforce any holes you make in the awning cover with eyelets/additional stitching.
This is the single axle version of the Kampa wheel arch cover, though a twin axle version is also available: Image – Amazon
Finally, in some cases, there may not be a lower rail on the caravan to slide a draught skirt into. If that’s the case on your caravan, again you can use limpets. You may want to purchase some limpets separately and modify your existing draught skirt. Alternatively, you can purchase skirts with limpets attached as seen in the image below. The advantage of which you will notice also covers the wheel arch. So instead of using a separate wheel arch cover a long draught skirt can do the job in one.
An example of a caravan awning draught skirt fitted to a caravan with limpets where a slide rail does not exist: Image – Amazon
Draught Stopper Wheel Arch Cover
There is an alternative to using the thin plastic/fabric wheel arch cover commonly included with awnings. You could consider the Draught Stopper as seen in the video below by Martin, also known on YouTube as the Caravan Nut. This is simply a solid polypropylene plastic board. The board is strapped to the caravan wheel with a velcro strap. As Martin states in the video below he does find the Draught Stopper provides better protection from wind entering the awning.
The company selling the Draught Stopper is Jaid Designs. On their website, you can order the Draught Stopper and you will select a size to suit either a single or twin axle caravan. Now you could obviously make a similar product your self as a DIY project. However, the price that Jaid Designs is selling the Draught Stopper for I think is pretty reasonable. From personal experience as someone who does a lot of DIY, with any project you have to add up your time to source the products and do the work. And in instances such as this, the cost-saving just inst worth your time to make one yourself.
Conclusion on the Best Awning Draught Skirts and Wheel Arch Covers
So first off, I do think its important to fit the draught skirt and wheel cover when you put up an awning. I believe it can really help to avoid wind damage to the awning its self. As I’ve discussed in several of my posts such as best caravan awnings, I do think in general air awnings cope better with the wind. However, you still want to stop as much wind as possible getting inside the awning from under the caravan. Hence, why I feel fitting draught skirts and a caravan wheel cover is important. Currently, I feel Kampa are offering the best solutions with their draught skirts with built-in storage. Furthermore, I think Kampa Limpets are one of if not currently the best means to secure the sides of the awning, draught skirt and wheel cover to the side of the caravan.
Thanks for reading, I hope you found the above interesting/informative. You may be interested in some of my other awning related posts, such as pole vs air awnings or best awning groundsheets. I also hope at some point in the near future you consider coming to visit us here at Horton Common caravan site. 🙂