Nick HardingSee other accessory reviews written by Nick Harding
The Outwell Hollywood Freeway inflatable drive-away awning is the best 2015 model we tested – read Nick Harding's review to find out why
There’s no such thing as the perfect awning but certain models get pretty close, and the Hollywood Freeway inflatable drive-away awning is such an example.
Denmark’s Outwell brand may need little introduction because its family tents enjoy market-leading status here in the UK. Many of the features that put them near the top of the heap translate easily into drive-away awnings for campers and full motorhomes, with which they arguably work better.
Outwell has been part of the inflatables revolution, offering a good selection of models with Smart Air technology, which trumps metal or GRP frames.
One is the Hollywood Freeway, which has the attributes of Outwell’s tents, along with a variety of systems for attaching it to a vehicle. Among them are throw-over straps that peg down on the opposite side of the ’van, beading for an awning rail, cups and a magnetic strip, which can be used separately or in any combination. We tested the standard model, for heights of 170-220cm; the tall variant is for 240-290cm.
In effect, this drive-away awning is a tunnel tent with extra fittings to attach directly to your vehicle. The design stands up to wind and inflatable technology makes it even better, because the supports give when buffeted and spring back into place.
Handy features abound, starting with the three interlinked apex tubes that can be inflated via a single valve. The colour-coded Easy Pegging system includes heavy-duty steel anchor pegs for the corners.
Stylish tinted windows give extra privacy and keep the interior cooler in bright sun. The guylines are luminous to spare you from tripping on them at night. Also, for sites that don’t allow them, the groundsheet can be completely removed.
The large front canopy promises protection from heavy rain, and extra protection at the side of the vehicle, where the Link Access Zone system includes skirting to reduce draughts.
The Hollywood has been merged into the Country Road range for 2016. Key changes are expected to be Gothic-style arch poles, which give greater stability and headroom, plus a storm porch, which allows direct access to the habitation entrance while avoiding the rest of the awning.
|Dimensions||340cm wide x 260cm deep|
|Pack size||38cm x 87cm|
|Access||Side door, whole front access|
|Key selling points||Inflatable frame, draught skirt, upper ventilation|
|More key selling points||Two-way pump with gauge, highly waterproof flysheet|
|Optional extras||Carpet (£74.99), inner tent (£64.99), footprint (£24.99)|
This roomy awning adds little weight, but is packed with terrific features. We've awarded the Outwell Hollywood Freeway inflatable drive-away awning a four-star rating.
- Plenty of clever features
- High quality materials
- It may work better with full motorhomes than campervans