Gazebos and Caravans: A match made in staycation Heaven 


The final bank holiday weekend of spring is coming, and with it, millions of people will head to the seaside or the countryside to indulge in a spot of caravanning, or camping for a weekend away in the sunshine.  

Camping and caravanning are extremely popular pastimes in the UK. In fact, there are recognised as being over 1 million touring caravans, holiday homes, and motorhomes registered in Great Britain. A report by Mintel estimated that a total of 16.7 million camping and caravanning holidays were taken in 2022 alone, which means that camping is back to pre-pandemic levels of popularity, and it’s with good reason.  

The UK has a beautiful countryside with stunning scenery, making it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you're looking to relax by a lake, explore the great outdoors, or simply enjoy some quality time with family and friends, camping and caravanning in the UK is the perfect way to do it.

This article will look at how a pop-up gazebo can improve your experience on the campsite, with a series of great ways you can use a pop-up gazebo on that spring bank holiday staycation holiday.


What is a pop-up gazebo? 

Pop Up Gazebo, also known as an Easy Up, is a compacted framework that expands to a much bigger size. They typically come in sizes from 3m x 3m up to a monster 4m x 8m, with frames generally made using steel or aluminium, although the very cheapest, disposable models from discount supermarkets and DIY superstores may come with plastic poles and joints and require some construction and do not class as a pop-up gazebo.  

Due to their being used primarily outside, good gazebo covers should be in the region of 600 denier PVC-coated polyester that is UV-protected and water-resistant. For these kinds of covers, they should be measured in denier as this is the unit measurement which highlights the density of the materials used. Any gazebo covers measured in gsm (grammes per square metre) for example, are more concerned with the weight, and therefore may not be as water-resistant as a cover with a higher denier.  

What makes pop-up gazebos ideal for caravan and camping holidays? 

The key feature of a pop-up gazebo is its compactness for transporting. A 3m x 3m Pro 40 compact, for example, can pack down to an ultra-small 105cm in length, which can easily fit in the caravan cupboards, or in the trailer with the tent and other campaign items. The slender, 27cm wide packed-down frame of the Pro DX can easily slide beside the bed when you’re travelling to your destination. 

Beyond the ease of logistics for taking the gazebo with you, they have great benefits for when you’re set-up at the site. A pop-up gazebo is a great alternative to the caravan-side awnings that provide shelter and shade for when you want to sit outside and enjoy a barbecue or some evening drinks, no matter what the weather.  

Considering that a top end caravan awning can set you back anything from £500 to well in excess of £2,500, the cost layout of a 3m x 3m pop-up gazebo can start from as little as £200. This is a great benefit, and one which should appeal to the cost-conscious holidaymaker.  

A great benefit of pop-up gazebos is that they are as versatile as they are effective in sheltering from the elements. Here are five great uses for a pop-up gazebo when you’re taking it on a camping or caravanning holiday.  

Five great uses for a pop-up gazebo at a campsite 

Caravan Awning 

We’ve mentioned this already, but it’s one of the key uses when you take a gazebo along with you on a caravan holiday. Whether you butt it up to the caravan as a doorway shelter, or move it along as a side-shelter, there’s no denying the suitability of the pop-up gazebo as a caravan awning or chalet extension.  

If you’ve got a lodge or a static caravan set away somewhere at the coast or in the countryside, then get some rattan furniture and put it beneath the gazebo as an extension of your property so that you have somewhere to sit out in the evening with a glass of whatever your preferred tipple is, and watch the sun go down beneath a robust shelter.  

Dining Area 

A pop-up gazebo can provide a sheltered space to enjoy your meals and snacks out of the sun or rain, and can cover a surprisingly large number of people. Get the fold-out table and chairs in the tent and you’ll cover up to 12 people.  

A dining tent gazebo can also double up as a barbecue or stove shelter, to keep any rain off of your burgers, or your bacon and eggs in a morning. You will need a gazebo with fire retardant covers of course. The Gala Shade range of pop-up gazebos is extremely popular with professional streetfood vendors who trust in the quality of the covers, so you can trust in them to provide good cover for your stove.  

Children’s play space 

Even the most spacious caravans and tents are a challenge for the wildness of kids when they’re at their most active, and even more so when the rain starts pouring and you turn to the board games. A pop-up gazebo will provide a great space for children to play some good outdoor games whilst remaining dry.  

Get a travel ring toss or a big game of Connect 4 going under the reliably water-resistant shelter of a gazebo, or why not indulge in a little messy play and get them doing painting and other craft activities – it'll be much easier to keep clean than the inside of your caravan might be! 

A flaming barbecue with meaty products on it

Sleeping quarters 

Of course, a pop-up gazebo is a variety of tent, so get the sidewalls attached and turn it into an extension of your caravan or tent so that friends and family can join you for a night in the wilderness on your bank holiday getaway. Make sure they have some airbeds or other mattress-type protection from the bugs, but surely they’ll love an evening beneath the stars inside your versatile gazebo.  

Storage Space 

A 3m x 3m gazebo will provide a good 18 cubic metres of storage, which should be ample space for all of your camping gear, including surf boards and wet suits (if you’re at the coast), barbecue and other catering equipment, and all of your outdoor activity toys.  

These are just five great uses for a pop-up gazebo when you head out on a bank holiday camping or caravan holiday, and how you use yours will depend entirely on the type of breakaway you’re planning. But which one is right for your trip? Let’s have a look at the three best pop-up gazebos for a bank holiday staycation trip.  

Best Gazebos for Camping and Caravan Holidays

Gala Shade Pro 40 Compact 3m x 3m Gazebo

This diminutive pop-up gazebo packs down to just 105cm x 41cm x 41cm, which makes it ideal for almost any vehicle you might be travelling in. It comes with a storage/transporting bag as standard which makes it even more easy to transport, although at a lightweight 29kg, it can be carried by one or two people with relative ease.  

The frame is made from robust aluminium, with 40mm telescopic hexagonal legs that help it to fold down to such a small size. The joints and fixings are made from hammer-tested nylon, and the tent is used for commercial purposes by many customers, so you can trust in the strength.  

Key benefit: Extremely compact when packed down 

Gala Shade Pro DX 3m x 3m Gazebo

Known as the UK’s strongest cheap gazebo, the Pro DX is relatively new to market compared to many, and it’s a lightweight dream of a gazebo. Easily erected by one person, and available from only £199.99 including VAT, which makes it a very easy and smart investment, especially when you consider that Gala Tent offer the same quality canopy and sidewall material on the Pro DX as we do the top of the range Gala Shade Pro 60 range.  

The gazebo is made using steel framework, with octagonal legs and hammer-tested nylon joints. Despite its lightweight frame, the Pro DX has been known to withstand winds of around 25mph in a storm, so don’t underestimate this budget model gazebo. 

Key benefit: Lowest priced gazebo available at Gala Tent 

Gala Shade Pro 40 3m x 4.5m Gazebo

For those who want a little more space, but without compromising on transportability and ease of building, the Gala Shade Pro 40 is ideal. It is one of the most popular gazebo model and size combinations available from Gala Tent, due to its tremendous strength combined with lightweight materials. The Pro 40 is used by businesses for commercial purposes on a weekly basis, so it’s backed by excellent strength that belies its lightweight structure. While we recommend two people to erect it, it has been known for one person to erect the 3m x 4.5m Pro 40 with ease.  

The Pro 40 is manufactured using aluminium, with 40mm hexagonal legs. The two peak poles of the 3m x 4.5m gazebo are both equipped with an external spring, which helps to take the strain away from other parts of the gazebo that might otherwise become damaged in adverse weather. The central joints are profile aluminium, and the outer joints are hammer-tested nylon. This is serious kit, without losing the benefit of lightness.  

Key benefit: Lightweight, yet robust and big enough for up to 16 people beneath it 

You'll also want to consider a few different types of accessories that will work well with your pop-up gazebo, including:

  • Sidewalls - for turning your shelter into an enclosed, private space. Priced from just £144.99

  • Weights and Tie-downs - Just like your camping tent, a gazebo will need anchorage to ensure the safety of you and your property

  • Ground Bars - These turn your structure from 4 legs and a roof, to a fully cubic frame, which provides superior strength and stability

  • Heating - Even though it's almost summer, the evenings will still drop cool, so prepare for that with an infrared heater!

  • Lighting - Weatherproof LED Globe Lights provide a warm glow through the night

This was the Gala Tent guide to making the most of your camping or caravanning holiday this spring bank holiday with the assistance of a pop-up gazebo, but they are not just for your holiday. A pop-up gazebo will slot in perfectly into your garden, which can help you to bring the holiday vibes into your own home. If you're planning a staycation away this spring bank holiday weekend, give our team a call on 01709 242454 and have a chat about your plans, and they'll be absolutely delighted to help. Out of hours, you can always visit our store or advice centre to have a dig around other useful articles. Remember, it's not a holiday event without Gala Tent!

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