So you pull up your RV and decide to stay awhile or you simply want to set your annexe up for extra space or privacy and you want something to cover the concrete slab or cover the ground outside your awning.
There is a trend away from using a vinyl, polyethylene or canvas tarpaulin (‘tarp’) as a groundcover for camping as it kills the grass beneath leaving bare dirt after your departure. This makes the site unattractive for the next camper. Some caravan and camping parks will not permit the use of the plastic tarp under a tent or for use outside your RV.
The other disadvantages of using a poly tarp is that dirt accumulating on the floor does not fall through and requires sweeping. Any liquids spilt on the tarp will also need to be wiped or sponged up. When packing up, the tarp is often wet from condensation underneath and the grass and dirt stuck to it requires time spent cleaning.
There are mainly two types of caravan annex matting, synthetic meshing or PVC foam. Synthetic meshing matting comprise layers of weaving that make them durable and allows liquids and dirt to fall through. As they can bunch up they usually have eyelets so they can be pegged down when in use. The PVC or rubber foam matting certainly gives a softer feel under your feet than mesh matting and can be easily swept but liquids, sand and dirt cannot always fall through the foam.
For those of you with caravans, fifth wheelers, motorhomes and camper trailers, the size of the flooring you require will no doubt need to at least match the area of the size of your awning.
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What Types Of Annexe Matting Are There?
Shade or mesh sunshade cloth matting
You can purchase mesh shade cloth, which may vary in density, from any hardware store but you will likely need to sew it to edge the sides and insert grommets or eyelets if you want to peg it down. At some stores you may be able to purchase shade cloth in precut shapes and sizes.
Just be careful with your selection as some shade cloth can be slippery particularly when wet. Bunnings Warehouse stores carry shade cloth and a rubber type flooring that has holes or spaces to let dirt and moisture through.
You can fold up the shade cloth or rubber matting into an old large pillowcase which will make a good place to store it. Perhaps have made up a smaller piece, say 2 metres square to put outside your door for short overnight stops when you aren’t bothering to set up the annexe.
Commercial Matting Products
This is a Polyester coated mesh fibre matting that allows small particles of dirt to fall through and the grass to grow through the fabric. The manufacturer claims the matting is UV protected, eyeleted and edged for securing to the ground. It is lightweight and strong with a smooth surface to walk on and you simply give it a good shake or hose it down before storing. Packing up wet is not a problem as it is mildew resistant.
Camec Annex Floor Netting
The Camec multi-layered floor matting, available in various sizes and widths, is edged with eyelets to enable pegging down and is designed for dirt and sand to fall through the mesh. They state it will not kill the grass.
The CGear Multimat looks like a shadecloth matting but the manufacturer states it is constructed from a multi-layered knitted patented technology. It is ideal for those sandy campsites as it allows sand and dirt to fall readily through the mat. Liquid spill will also fall though and it can easily be wiped clean. The manufacturer states ‘The Multimat can be used as a shade mat (Providing 90%+ UV Protection) and as windbreak break mat for screening’.
The CGear Multimat has reinforced edges with brass eyelets and won’t fray or tear. Annex matting sizes range from 1.8m x 2.4m (6ft x 8 ft) up to 3.05m x 3.05m (10ft x 10ft).
E.M.P. Industrial Australasia Pty Ltd
This company supplies caravan and camping mat that is breathable and water permeable. Their robust, rot, mildew and mould resistant PLUS annex matting is made in Germany. The matting has holes which would allow the grass to grow and let some dirt through. The product comes in rolls but may be heat welded for extra width. Fastening clips are also available.
The following flooring is also available but may not be suitable due to the space required for stacking them for transporting:-
Caravan Rubber Matting
Blue, green and grey coloured foam rubber caravan matting in various sizes is available from Caravans Plus and Caravan Pro online stores.
Puzzle/Jigsaw Mat Flooring Systems
These mats are made from foam and are tile like pieces that interlock with puzzle-like edges. They would be best suited for cement slab annex area as they do not have holes for dirt or liquids to pass through.
This type of annex floor matting is available from caravan and camping stores. Clark Rubber stocks EVA flooring mats similar to this style of flooring mat with and without holes. P J Bowers Pty Ltd manufacture durable jigsaw mats, EVA 75 & EVA 45 foam, made for a solid surface.
Annex Walls / Privacy Screens
caravan awning wallsAnnex walls can be made of canvas, a heavy duty premium fabric (100% polyester) or vinyl. They feature screened windows and doors, a mud skirt on the bottom to keep fabric off the ground and a skirt to go over the RV wheels to keep out the draught. Annex kits are available providing sail rails for the side of the RV as well as anti-flap rail kit into which the annex walls attach.
Some annex walls have the rope sewn into the edge of the material which slides into the track and others have a velcro piece, that slides into the track, and velcro section on the walls to which it attaches.
The diameter of the groove in the rollout awning and the Fiamma box style awning are different so ensure you get the correct one to suit.
Annex brand names include – Aussie Traveller, Kakadu Annexes, Australiawide Annexes and Coast to Coast.
caravan shade wallsIf you choose not to have a full waterproof annex but seek to add to your comfort, privacy screens for the long and short walls of your awning, made of shade cloth are also available. Shade cloth walls can be used to create another room, screen the neighbouring site or keep out the afternoon sun.
Privacy shadecloth screens are available from Camp Shades (Julie Dunkley), Caravans Plus and SunBuster.