Nick Harding

See other accessory reviews written by Nick Harding

Ease of use, a roomy interior design and a keen price-tag are among the attractions of this compact, lightweight, inflatable drive-away motorhome awning

Overview

For 2017, where drive-away motorhome awnings are concerned, grey is the colour – it’s a hue that won’t offend, no matter what kind of ’van it’s intended to complement.

In the SunnCamp range, the Grande is big brother to the standard Silhouette, while the Air designation tells us that it’s an inflatable.

Not only is it compact, but it’s also commendably light in weight.

What’s more, it has a pretty keen price which, as ever, you can expect to drop even further if you’re happy to shop around.

Just be warned: this is a one-size-nearly-fits-all unit, with a fixing height of anything between 180cm and 240cm.

That could have made it too low for our Swift Escape, but letting out its Thule canopy awning – to which the SunnCamp was attached via 6mm beading – quickly solved the problem.

If you don’t have any kind of rail, there is an alternative – a trio of guylines long enough to sling over the top of your ’van, for pegging out on the opposite side.

Extending out from your vehicle by some 420cm, the Silhouette Motor Air 250 Grande means you might have to plan your pitching a little.

The main living area may be a compact 250cm x 250cm, but there’s also some 70cm of canopy and 100cm of tunnel between the awning and the vehicle itself.

The overall effect is rather like a tunnel tent fixed at a right-angle to your motorhome.

There’s a big side door on the left, and a smaller window (half-mesh, half acrylic) on the right that has fittings to allow you to peg out its cover to increase ventilation.

The Silhouette’s sewn-in groundsheet is the biggest bone of contention. It’s great for keeping out bugs and draughts, but the main downside of a permanent fitting like this is the damage it can cause to the grass if the awning is left in situ for longer periods.

Although this is an inflatable awning, the ‘eyebrow’ at the front uses GRP poles – it’s a good idea to put these in before fully inflating.

The main flysheet fabric is 300D polyester with a hydrostatic head of 6000mm, promising a high level of waterproofing.

Inside, O-rings mean that a generic bedroom inner can be fitted (there’s no specific model available).

This is a successful awning that will go into 2018 largely unchanged. An interesting move, though, is SunnCamp’s announcement that it will also offer a traditional poled alternative for next season.

The key selling points of this motorhome awning are its inflatable frame, the three roof bars, its large front and side doors, the storage bag with compression straps, tension straps for the tunnel attachment area, and the fact that storm straps come as standard.

And in terms of options, you can buy a carpet (£60), a canopy pole set (£18), a footprint (£18) and a drive-away kit (£20).

Technical specs

Weight17kg
Dimensions (W x D)250 x 420cm
Fixing height180- 240cm
Pack size34 x 78cm
AccessFront and side main doors, tunnel doorway

Verdict

This is a very handy unit indeed, if you don’t like your motorhome awnings to be too big or too heavy.

Conclusion

Pros

  • A fuss-free inflatable for drive-away attachment

Cons

  • There’s just the one fitting height available
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