James StanburySee other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury
Sometimes it pays to keep things simple and inexpensive, as proved by the winner of our clothes airer test, the brilliant Kampa Clothes Dryer AC0260
You can spend quite a lot or just a little when it comes to solving some of life's smaller challenges. Take the issue of wet washing and soggy towels that you may find dangling from your shower head and spotlights in the motorhome, for instance. It's hardly conducive to relaxation and the ideal of 'living the dream' if you have to push past wet laundry in the back of the 'van as you tour the beauty spots of Europe, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
What's to be done? Well, there's a good choice of portable airers and driers on the market, aimed squarely at those of us who love the outdoor life of camping, caravanning and motorcaravanning. So we decided to do the leg work for you and test a range of airers to see if they have motorhome-friendly potential.
Among those tested are the portable rotary washing lines such as the Vango Clothes Drier, which costs £35, the Quest 4-Arm rotary Airer costing 29.99, and the Outwell Drying Rack at £24.99. And we tried out a couple of simple and cheap airers, the Kampa Clothes Dryer AC0290 at £11.99 and Kampa Universal Clothes Dryer AC0600 at £9.99.
In this review, we'll consider the pros and cons of the little Kampa Clothes Dryer AC0260. Costing less than £12, can this airer really compete with products from well known camping accessory manufacturers costing up to £70?
The answer is a resounding 'yes'! This may be a surprise test winner, but Kampa Clothes Dryer AC0290 is an airer that addresses most of the needs of most motorhome owners.
Once you open the airer up, you get no fewer than 30 sturdy pegs that hang down to take your small items of washing, hand towels, socks and flannels easily, as well as heavier garments such as towels, rain-soaked trousers and jumpers.
The two outermost members double as conventional airer rails, too, once a couple of spring clips are flicked out of the way.
The whole assembly folds in half to just 40cm x 29cm x 5cm, making it easy to store away in a drawer or cupboard in your motorhome, so that it won't rattle around when not in use as you drive along. It weighs very little, taking up just 1.5kg of your payload.
To position it, you simply find a secure overhead point to which you attach the single sturdy clamp. It would hang up very easily in a drive-away awning, too.
To sum up, the motorhome-friendly Kampa Clothes Dryer AC0290 is compact, robust, simple to use and a real bargain at just over a tenner.
Much as we are tempted by a heated airer, we like to do a bit of off-grid touring, so that means that we're better off keeping life simple and using camping accessories that require no electrical supply, take up the least amount of space and can be dangled from any suitable rail or line, or perhaps the skinny branch of a tree! In this case low-tech is best.
|Size folded||40cm x 29cm x 5cm|
The Kampa Clothes Dryer AC0260 is the best airer for motorhome owners in our view. It's small and light, yet made of robust plastic and you can peg up to 30 items of clothing on it. We've made this the winner of Practical Motorhome's group airer test and awarded it five stars.
- Easy to store in a motorhome
- Strong blue plastic construction
- You need a rail or line to clip it to