Nick Harding

See other accessory reviews written by Nick Harding

Is bigger better when it comes to motorhome awnings? We pitch SunnCamp's Impact Motor Air 350 Grande to see how this well-specced, new-for-2017 model fares

Overview

SunnCamp had a very successful 2016, when it introduced the Impact 350. So what’s the logical step for 2017? A slightly larger version of the same, of course, named Grande.

We fitted our test awning to a 2008 Bessacarr E520 coachbuilt, although its final destination will most likely be campers and van conversions. Nevertheless, it shows the flexibility of the design.

The Bessacarr didn’t prove to be the easiest of matches: its habitation door is very near the front of the vehicle and there’s a window towards the back.

It did highlight one major plus, however: SunnCamp provides a connector kit as standard for these motorhome awnings, perfect for fitting direct to a wind-out awning.

Here, it’s a Fiamma unit, with a slot for 4mm beading. The SunnCamp, like most drive-away awnings, comes with 6mm beading as standard – the answer is the Figure 8 connector kit.

Alternatively, for an ‘over the roof’ fitting, there are three straps.

Once it’s all connected to your ’van, the next step is to inflate the cylinders that you get in lieu of traditional metal (or glass-fibre) poles.

The SunnCamp Impact Motor Air 350 Grande is something of a hybrid: the main poles are inflatable, while the trio for the roof are aluminium.

Storm straps as well as guylines come as standard – they’re luminous, to reduce potential trip hazards – all of which adds to overall stability. As do the tensioning straps for the ‘tunnel’ (the section between the awning and the vehicle).

You’ll still get some of the flexing that you associate with any inflatable unit in really windy conditions, but this awning is going nowhere.

The main fabric is a 300D ProTek polyester with a 6000mm hydrostatic head – you can translate that as a material that’s up there with the best in terms of its rain-resistant qualities.

Inside, there are removable dividers for the main living area as well as the tunnel. The former can be used as a privacy screen, plus there’s always the option to purchase a bedroom inner.

There are two lower-level zipped mesh vents, while upper-level openings run the length of each of the large side windows.

The doorway also has a ventilation panel, or the whole front panel can be taken out altogether.

Underfoot is a ‘tub’ groundsheet, with a lip to negotiate at the front door.

Key selling points of the SunnCamp Impact Motor Air 350 Grande? We’d say the 300D polyester fabric, the manual pump with a gauge, the sewn-in groundsheet, the tunnel privacy screen and those storm straps.

Options available for this SunnCamp motorhome awning are a luxury carpet (£84.99), a footprint groundsheet (£27.99) and a drive-away awning kit (£14.99).

Technical specs

Weight18.5kg
Dimensions (W x D)350 x 380cm
Fixing height190-270cm
Pack size78 x 39 x 39cm

Verdict

Bigger and arguably better than its older sister, the 350 Grande is a great all-rounder as far as drive-away motorhome awnings are concerned.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It has large side windows
  • A connector kit is supplied as standard

Cons

  • You can't add an annexe
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