A Buying Guide to Annex Matting
Caravan annex flooring is every caravan owner and caravan park’s best friend due to its many benefits when enjoying the outdoors. Annex flooring will complete your outdoor setup as you settle into your prime position, ready to make the most of your caravanning holiday.
An annex mat is an essential addition when setting up for your stay. The main benefits of using an annex mat include:
- Reducing the likelihood of tracking dirt into your RV
- More comfort underfoot when relaxing outside
- More breathability for underlying ground
- Easier dispersion of water and dirt
There are many variations of annex matting on the market, depending on your requirements. Besides getting the correct size that will cater to the area of your annex, you also might want to consider the surface on which your matting will lie. Grass is the most common in a lot of caravan parks and as such needs to be looked after. In some cases, caravan parks will have the policy that only annex matting that is not damaging to grass be permissible, or else it will not be allowed at all.
However, some people sometimes use low-cost substitutes to save money. These might be okay just for comfort purposes but are not practical the same way a specially designed annex mat is meant to be. Some caravanners will go the way of using shade-cloth material as a cheap alternative to annex matting. While the price might make this an appealing option, the downsides are numerous.
For a start, shade-cloth that is purchased by the metre won’t be properly reinforced around the edges, which makes them more susceptible to fraying and tearing. Depending on the material that is used for annex matting, they usually require eyelets to help peg the mat down and keep it secured in place. Just sticking pegs through a shade-cloth will also compromise its ability to remain intact. Furthermore, because shade-cloth is designed with the purpose of keeping out the sun, its weave is usually much tighter than a standard annex mat. As a result, dirt has a harder time being dispersed through the weave and the ground underneath is smothered, which then eventually kills the grass. Water is also not easily dispersed on a shade-cloth because it is usually constructed from woven fibreglass, making them quite slippery and dangerous to walk on when wet.
All of the annex mats that Outback Equipment supplies are designed to not kill underlying grass and effectively disperse dirt and water but do vary from each other in terms of materials and design.
Not just considered one of the best mats for your caravan annex floor, the Outback Explorer Multi-Purpose Annex Matting can be used in a range of applications, offering great bang for your buck. The outstanding feature of this annex matting is that it is constructed from PVC foam. This gives it a rubbery texture that feels slightly softer to walk on and creates a better grip both under your feet and to the surface on which it sits. Water and sand easily drop through the mesh so it remains nice and clean for walking across.
Because of its grip-like nature, it doesn’t require the use of eyelets to keep it pegged or tied down to the ground and will sit securely spread open without gathering or moving about. Many people also enjoy using it for other applications like on slippery hard surfaces for safety or using it in ute trays to keep objects from sliding around. The only disadvantage of PVC foam is it is more susceptible to wear and tear if placed on an abrasive surface like concrete or particularly gravelly ground. This will inevitably reduce its lifespan with a replacement required much sooner.
Constructed from a breathable but tight-weave fabric, the Outback Explorer Meshed Annex Matting is an excellent ground covering when you're after something that feels durable and comfortable underfoot. The design will prevent dirt and debris from coming up through the mat while simultaneously allowing the grass underneath to breathe. While dirt might not come up, it also won't go down, so if the mat gets a little dirty or sandy then a quick sweep from time to time will be required if you want to get around with clean bare feet. The mesh material is rot-proof and UV stabilished, with the edges hemmed for extra strength. At the end of your trip, a thorough shake or a hose down is all that is required to get it looking new again.
To fix these flaws, the new Camec matting features a much tighter weaved heavy duty fabric that will not bunch up. From a bright shade of green, the new mat is now a more attractive neutral shade to match most caravans. The material is breathable to ensure the grass is not killed underneath but will prevent larger dirt particles, pebbles, and insects from coming through. This improved matting is much more hardwearing than the original as well as being UV stabilised and rot proof. Cleaning is made easy with just a simple hose down required after use.
The Enduromat is a top of the line annex mat with a price to match, but absolutely worth it. Manufactured in Australia, the Enduromat is incredibly strong as it is made from PVC welded fibre, making it somewhat resemble reinforced flyscreen according to Mike Pavey from Caravan World. It has a nice smooth feel underfoot, looks good, and in experiments has even been known to foster the growth of grass in high foot-traffic areas.
It’s very easy to sweep thanks to its smooth surface and small weave. In some tests, caravanners have felt that it has the potential to be a little bit slippery when wearing shoes, but walking on it barefoot does offer some resistance. It is also the only annex matting on the Australian market to have a fire retardant incorporated into the fabric and is able to fold up into a smaller bundle compared to the other mats.
As a supportive and environmentally-friendly outdoor flooring solution, most annex matting is multipurpose, making it also good for camping, picnics, and most outdoor events. Outback Equipment offers a range of caravan annex matting in different colours, sizes, and materials to suit most needs. A good annex mat that will suit your needs is definitely an investment in your long-term caravanning enjoyment.