All About Awnings

Summer is the perfect time to plan that camping trip with your family. We’ve talked about rooftop tents as a great alternative to your usual on-the-ground tent. Another ute accessory to consider is an awning. Even if you do not have a rooftop tent for your ute, awnings are still a great accessory for your outdoor lifestyle.

Keep your family out of the sun when picnicking at the park or swimming at the beach. Unlike the instant shelter you can get from a pop-up tent, an awning offers better stability so you don’t need to go chasing for it on windy days. Even better, the material provides UV protection so you don’t get sunburned when you’re out enjoying the day in the New Zealand heat. The ARB awnings that we have at Beaut Utes are made with tough PU coated 300gsm poly / cotton rip stop canvas. They offer UVP 50+ rating. It is also useful for keeping you out of the rain being fully waterproof. The material is protected from mould and mildew and is fire retardant.


The ARB awnings attach neatly to vehicles fitting to most roof racks and roof bars. They fit up to 2.1m high mounting points. There are three sizes available. 2.5m (W) x 2.5m (L) and 2.0m (W) x 2.5m (L). The length is the distance from the vehicle going out. The different widths can mean coverage on the side of a single cab ute, a double-cab ute or nearly the full length of a ute with a canopy (it also fits vans and full-sized wagons).
The awning comes with stainless steel mounting nuts and bolts and comprehensive instructions for mounting.

Setup and Breakdown

Taking shelter under an awning that comes out the side of your ute is a quick and painless task – everything you need is compact and included in the casing. The self-standing awning takes about 30 seconds to deploy and breakdown and can be done by just one person.

To setup, open the casing and release the canvas from the Velcro straps. Your casing could be one of two things: it could be the heavy-duty nylon reinforced PVC bag with zippers or the or the aluminum casing with bungee cords and a flip up lid. Lift up the awning and swing out the aluminum side rails. Roll out and fully extend the awning. Drop down the telescopic aluminum legs and adjust them to your desired height. Lock them into position using a simple twist motion. Extend the side support poles, guide the pin through the hole in the front plate and lock them into place. Tension the canvas with Velcro straps by pulling them tight – this prevents water from pooling when it rains or your canvas from flapping when it is windy. The awning comes with guy ropes and pegs that could be staked to the ground for additional support during extra windy days.

There are many features that can be added to the awning like an optional lean-to, fly screens, three panels for walls or a room with a floor, which essentially turns it into a tent. It is very durable and structurally strong with both the backing and front plates made with heavy-duty extrusions and flexible joints and hinges to prevent breakage. All these features and additional options make awnings a great ute accessory for camping and touring.