How does an awning attach to my vehicle?

The easiest way to attach an awning to your vehicle is by fixing it to a roof rack or roof bars. An awning can be mounted to your roof rack / bars in conjunction with other items. For instance, a roof tent, roof box, bike racks, etc. can be carried too. Our awnings come with easy slide-in ‘T-bolts’ which slide into the channel on top of most aluminium roof bars. But if you have a roof rack or non-channelled bars, you must drill and bolt them.

You will need to check your vehicle’s roof or roof bars maximum weight limit but most vehicle roofs will easily cope with an awning.

Roof bars or roof rack?

A vehicle awning can be fitted easily to cross bars or a roof rack, each has its benefits and is widely available. You can pick up roof bars at Halfords and they offer a service to fit them as well. Similarly, a great online company that offers lots of roof racks and bars for any vehicle, visit The Roof Box Company. To get an idea of which is which, see below for further information on each.

How do you set up and pack down an awning?

Roof bars

These are a common accessory for many car owners and are widely available for most cars. They are split into different types, depending on how they mount to the vehicle roof:

Rain Gutter – for older cars, roof bars were usually mounted directly to the gutter surrounding the roofline.

Bare Roof – modern vehicles, which do not have gutters, can have a roof rack installed by attaching hooks to the top of the door frames.

Fixed Point – some vehicles have fittings for after-market racks that attach via reinforced lugs in the roof or have pre-threaded holes.

Side Rails – vehicles with factory-installed rails, which may be flush against the roof or raised off of the roof, running front-to-back on the roof.

Factory Bars – some vehicles have a factory-installed permanent roof rack.

When you are installing roof bars to your vehicle, make sure to attach the bars correctly and refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
How a side awning attaches to roof bars via brackets and bolts on an estate car.
Car side awning on a Land Rover Defender in a sunny UK field.

Roof racks

A roof rack is a metal frame that is fixed on top of a car and used for carrying large objects. These are less common on vehicles but provide more space and strength for carrying loads on your car’s roof. 

Normally, roof racks will fix to the roof of a vehicle in the same way as roof bars but come as one large framework. As a result, they will normally need two strong adults to fit, otherwise you might end up with scratches across your roof’s paintwork!

When installing roof racks, it is important to fix the rack properly, in accordance with the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Manufacturers of roof racks will give you advice on the right rack for your vehicle. 

Normally, when you attach an awning to a roof rack you will be required to drill holes. But make sure to get in touch if you would like to discuss your requirements.

How does the awning attach?

It’s really quite a simple process to attach an awning. Included with your awning are easy slide-in M8 T-bolts which slide into the channel on most aluminium roof bars. Also included are M8 nuts, L brackets, and even tools with detailed instructions.

However, if you have a roof rack or non-channelled bars, you must drill and bolt them. You will need to check your vehicle’s roof or roof bars maximum weight limit but most vehicle roofs will easily cope with an awning. All our awnings have stainless steel fixings to attach to your roof bars or rack. The supplied fixings are made from premium stainless steel 304-grade metal. This is to prevent them from corrosion/rust and added strength.

Car roof rack awning fitted with t bolts in the UK.

How do you install an awning to my car?

Vehicle awnings FAQs

You’ve got questions, we got the answers. If you can’t find the specific answer you’re looking for then contact us at and we will be happy to talk through any questions you may have.

Yes. All our awnings come with 100% waterproof heavy-duty 420D Polyester Oxford canvas. This canvas is UV and mould-resistant, making your awning look good and last longer in any kind of weather. 

Other materials used on the awning are aluminium for the frame and legs with stainless steel fixings, so no need to worry about rust.

Yes, but it is important to position your awning with a run-off to the side of the awning canopy. This is achieved by lowering one of the front legs lower than the other which will prevent heavy rainfall from pooling on the canvas. In extreme weather situations, we recommend taking down your awning and packing it away to prevent damage. Side awning heavy rain position to prevent pooling on the canvas.

Our awnings come equipped with full vehicle fitting kits (bolts, brackets, even tools) and detailed instructions. All our fixings are made from premium stainless steel 304-grade metal. This is to prevent corrosion/rust and provide added strength. For more information and pictures see our setup and install guide for attaching a side awning to your car.

We also provide a fitting service with the purchase of any of our products, please contact for more details.

All of our products, roof tents and awnings have a 2-year warranty, for any manufacturing defects that might occur. In the unlikelihood of any issues or defects please contact us at and we will be on hand to help.

Please see our warranty policy page for more details.

We’ve got you covered.

We know that accidents can happen but there’s no need to worry if your awning gets broken. A number of spares for all our products are available, to keep you on the road. Simply get in contact with us at and tell us what you require.

Free shipping service is available to the vast majority of UK customers. However, certain UK postcodes do not qualify for our free shipping service and customers in these areas may be required to pay a supplementary delivery fee. The current free shipping exclusion zones include postcodes in the following areas: Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, Scottish Highlands & Islands.

Consequently, if your postcode falls within one of the free shipping exclusion zone(s), please email confirming your full address details and we will be in touch with a quote for delivery. We can also arrange delivery to Europe – please contact us for a quotation.

Vehicle access restrictions to your property may mean additional costs or delivery failure. If you are concerned this may apply to you, then please be sure to email us before you complete your order at checkout.

Ready to look to pick your awning?

Awnings will fit any vehicle, not just a 4×4.