Kids Sleeping in Awnings?

Apr 10, 2006
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Hi, we have this year bought a lovely new awning for our caravan this year because with 3 children and all our accumulated stuff, things were getting a bit crowded in our 5 berth! My husband is keen for our 2 older children (10 & 6)to sleep out in the awning and says they'll enjoy it but I'm not so sure. What do other parents generally do? Am I being too protective? Will it be too cold in the dead of night, is it really SAFE? Can any parents offer any tips on this subject? Thanks in anticipation - a "worried mummy"
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sharon,

My daughter sleeps on a camp bed in the annex in the awning, she sees it as her own bedroom, we leave the heater on in the awning overnight and the caravan door open. She now doesn't like to sleep in the caravan. If your children are up for it give it go its probably better if there is two of them anyway.
 
Jun 23, 2005
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HI Sharon

My Kids used to sleep in the awning on camp beds within seperate bedroom compartments they were warm enough and during some of the colder winter nights or even springs nights we put a convector heater out there. nowadays they sleep in tents out the back of our caravan still on the camp beds with good sleeping bags they do this here in scotland and abroad. On contenential sites thats what most familys do we havent had any problems my kids are now 12 and 13. at 10 and 6 inside the awning would be best i think when ours were young we even left the caravan door open or stabled it so we could hear what they were up to or if they got up during the night. hope that helps.
 
Mar 16, 2005
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Hi Sharon,

We have 4 boys who have all slept either in a tent, or bedroom annex attached to the awning, at some point or another. The two oldest no longer come with us but the younger two still sleep in a tent or the annex if we're not permitted to pitch a tent. They all started sleeping 'out' at around 10 & 8 years old. We live in Scotland so the weather can get pretty wet and cold. We have never had an awning heater but if you buy good quality sleeping bags and either a blow up mattress or foam thermo mats to lie on, they will be warm as pies!!
 

LMH

Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Sharon

My daughter is 14 now and if she wanted to sleep in the awning, I would let her. However, prior to reaching 14 I and her dad would not allow her to sleep in the awning either by herself or with a friend for personal safety reasons.

Yes I am over protective but that's just me. Lots of people I know let their youngsters sleep in the awning with no problems at all.

Regards.

Lisa.
 
Jul 12, 2005
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My daughter and her friend sleep in the Awning when they are at the van. She is 12.

We sleep at the back of the van near the annex so I am not too worried.

I worried the first few nights, but you hear everything and soon learn to relax
 
Apr 11, 2005
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Hi Sharon

I would not let my kids sleep in the awning unless I was there with them or if they were 16 and at lest two or moor of them.

Mark
 
Feb 18, 2006
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hi sharon,my two daughters 15 & 13 sleep in the awning we have got an inner tent with an inflatable matress ,they also have the company of our two golden retreivers..
 
Mar 14, 2005
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hi sharon

my boys are 12 & 14 and they always sleep out in the awning extension,in their own inner tent and on their own airbed,i`m more than comfortable for them to be there.

at the end of the day,its no difference from being in a tent (just slightly more expensive) ;)

relax and enjoy :)
 
Dec 16, 2003
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Our kids slept in an inner Awning tent from when they were quite young. We always used good camp sites and other people always had very young kids in tents and in compartments under trailer tent fold outs and still do!!

We never "advertised" (unclipped during day to release the space)the inner tent and the caraven door was always open and caravan heater coped OK.

You have to assess how you layout your set-up, but I do wonder what sort of kids we are bringing up with people so worried about kids that will be within 3 or 4 metres of them.

Obviously if your child was a sleep walker I would be worried, but in general if you are sensible there should be no worries!
 
Apr 10, 2006
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You're so right Chris, what kind of world are we living in where i'm so worried about putting our keen-and-willing older kids into an awning approx 10 feet away (we would sleep in the bed near the caravan door and it would be open too!!)Its a sad sign of the times. i've been imagining all sorts of stuff happening, so much so that my husband says he will stay in the awning with them to make me feel happier at first. like you say, we need to assess the type of site we are on etc etc, its a shame because the kids really want to experience this little bit of independence.....
 
May 2, 2005
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I stayed on a site in Yorshire during Summer 2005 and on two seperate nights, a couple awnings were entered and property stolen. If you are going to let you kids sleep in the awning, after all caravanning is about fun, I would always suggest that an adult is there also.

Happy and Safe caravanning

David
 
Apr 11, 2005
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Cris & Sharon

I with David on this one any one can come on to a site and do things.

Such as at Clumber Park site were a lot of bikes get nick you would not have throat things would happen has the sit is in a Natural Trust Park and it's a Caravan Club site has well.

I all so thick you have put thing down a bit wrong as it seem you are triying to tell other owe to bring there kids up.

Mark
 
Apr 10, 2006
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Hi Mark, ive looked at mine and chris's postings and really cannot see where you get that we are trying in any way to tell anyone else how to bring their children up - i certainly would not dream of it. Sorry you read it like that.

Thanks to all others for input, as i said earlier, my husband is going to sleep in there with them if they still want to experience the fun of sleeping "under canvas" - that way we get the best of bost worlds (and i get more space in the bed!!!)

Sharon
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Some advice is easier to give than take! It seems to me that there is a tendancy among many parents these days to be over protective towards their children, to "wrap them in cotton wool", to protect them from the big bad world out there. A typical example is parents driving their children to school and not letting them walk with their friends like we did as children ( I am sure many of you will have fond memories of what you got up to with your mates!). Sadly it is a big bad world and the children will have to deal with it when they grow up and if they are over protected when they are young they will not be prepared. I think you should allow your children to experience as much as they can and not stop them just because it might be dangerous. Whether its horse riding, climbing trees or going to the park with their friends, explain the dangers and make sure they know how to look after themselves, then trust them and let them get on with it. Allowing your children to sleep in the awning will be a big adventure for them and will make them feel very grown up. So my advice would be to take all reasonable precautions you can to see they are safe, then let them get on with it but, as I said, some advice is easier to give than take and it would be quite understanable if you felt you couldnt do it. Jim.
 
Apr 10, 2006
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Thanks, Jim and Pauline, for good sensible advice. (funny you should say about kids walking home alone, we have that dilemma too at the moment with our 10 year old!!) I do so badly want my little ones to experience as much fun as humanly possible but am (personally - an overprotective mummy thing?) also worried sick about all the scare stories we hear on the news!!! Its a real shame, isn't it. I know what I need, a force field all around our our caravan/awning i think :) i think a couple of nights on site with Daddy in the awning with them and i'll know how i really feel

Have a lovely Easter all!!! Sharon
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sorry Sharon, I am a complete fraud!!!!!!!! Its easy to say these things but when I take my 3 year old grandaughter to the playground its me thats hovering around under the climing frame to catch her if she falls, all the Mums are sat on the seats chatting!!!!!!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Sorry Sharon, I am a complete fraud!!!!!!!! Its easy to say these things but when I take my 3 year old grandaughter to the playground its me thats hovering around under the climing frame to catch her if she falls, all the Mums are sat on the seats chatting!!!!!!
The above comment by Jim, Pauline would be sat with the mums!
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Sharon - I don't understand your concerns.

Families, ie adults with children, have been sleeping in tents on campsites for a very long time. The awning of a caravan is surely just a tent, with one solid wall.

They'll need sleeping bags appropriate to the time of year. "2 season" bags are rated down to 0 degrees, "3 season" down to -5 degrees and "4 season" down to -15 degrees.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Our kids have been sleeping "out" since the age of 10 or 11. There are risks in all areas of life, and children are more likely to be hit by a bus than harmed whilst sleeping in an awning.

Think about it practically - if you keep the curtains shut while everyone is going to their respective sleeping areas, then Mr Nasty would not know who is sleeping where. Not only that, but Mr Nasty is unlikely to be staying on the site.

I accept that there are some dodgy people, but you are statistically very unlikely to meet them on a campsite.

By the way, if you are worried about a potential thief entering your awning, leave a chair with finely balanced saucepans just inside each door. They make a great noise in the middle of the night.
 
Dec 16, 2003
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We live in what is considered by many as a "nice safe" area of the UK. Yet neighbours nearby have had their homes broken into whilst they slept despite having alarms and dogs! A friend who lives in Blackburn was broken into four times whilst he and his wife and kids slept in their old house there.

People quickly snap up homes in our village and I guess many would soon shout if anyone dared to sugest that Blackburn should be avoided when setting up home!

Mention of Awning being entered, but what was in them and were they inhabited.

People taking PS2, Plasma Screen TV's, Sat Systems and fancy DVD players etc may actually tempt the criminal element to your families holiday wheels!

Kids in Awnings should come down to personal choice and a careful consideration of how and where you pitch camp. "mummy knows best" but over the years we have seem plenty of very young kids left to their own ends on campsites, pools and near by beaches!

A young child was shot between the eyes with an airgun on a school playground just before Easter. The shot was made from outside the school and was believed to have been made by a 16 or so teenage ex pupil of the school.

Hopefully we all love are kids dearly, but generally I would say that kids are as safe sleeping in an Awning on good sites as they are in the school playground!
 
Jul 17, 2005
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Just get on with it! This year our 10 year old girl will sleep in the awning annex, let them experience independance learn about their own fears or not and I wish all parents would stop over protecting kids.

The youth of today have no common sense or confidence to get on with life...give them a chance.

The only reason we are more worried now then ever befroe is because we just did not see or hear about it every time we switched on the TV when we were kids. It is still as rare as ever.

Life is one big risk!

Enjoy it

Mike
 
Mar 14, 2005
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One way of making sure you can hear if anyone enters your awning at night is to put something in front of the doorways. We have always put a sun chair so it would make a noise. We keep the door of the caravan open too. You can also put a peg in the loop at the bottom of the zip opening. On a funny note. Our son (16) got a fright when a duck got too near the annex and he ended up sleeping in the caravan for the rest of the night.
 

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