Nick Harding

See other accessory reviews written by Nick Harding

Full of neat touches and clearly a high-quality product, when it comes to drive-away motorhome awnings, does Outwell's Country Road Tall SA hit the spot?

Overview

The Country Road is a well-established model in Outwell’s line-up of drive-away motorhome awnings.

It started life as a traditional poled unit, but these days it’s available as an inflatable (dubbed SA, for Smart Air).

Effectively, it’s a tunnel tent with extra fabric for a direct attachment to your ’van.

This is the Tall variant, aimed at motorhomes with an awning attachment rail anywhere between 240cm and 290cm from the ground, with the Swift Escape we are using here at the upper limit.

That meant two pitching options. There are guylines that you literally throw over the ’van and peg out on the opposite side.

Or wind out the canopy so that the Outwell awning could be attached more easily directly to its integrated rail (such a procedure makes that initial attachment easier for any similar awning, of course).

Even so, it’s always ideal if two people are involved with the set-up.

We called on the electric Wind Gust pump option for our inflation, running it direct from the 12V outlet on the Fiat Ducato base vehicle’s dashboard (there was plenty of cable).

The recommended maximum is 7psi, but – as ever – it’s best to pump to just beyond the halfway stage before coaxing everything into place, adding items such as the poles for the front canopy, then pegging out and so on.

The Outwell Country Road’s main fabric is a 150D polyester taffeta, with sealed seams and reinforcements at stress points, all contributing to a waterproof 6000m hydrostatic head rating.

It’s complemented by a bathtub groundsheet to keep draughts and bugs out, in tough, double-coated polyethylene. The eyebrow pole is fibreglass.

Overall colouring is a darker grey than most, offset by the safety of luminous guylines and piping to the main fabric, which is also embossed.

Features abound, most of them derived from Outwell’s market-leading tents. The Easy Pegging System means heavy-duty steel pegs for each corner, plus plastic pegs (two colours) for elsewhere. And the tinted windows have toggle curtains.

The fact that there’s no major mesh panels may not suit everyone, but you can ‘crack’ the doors to complement the ventilation panels over the side windows.

The main panel at the front opens completely or can be rolled back fully.

What sets this apart from other drive-away motorhome awnings? Its key selling points are the single-point inflation with isolation valves, the clearly marked valves, the quality materials used throughout and the tinted windows.

Options available include a carpet (£81.99), an inner tent (£89.99), a footprint (£32.99) and the Wind Gust electric pump that we used (£99.99).

Technical specs

Weight24.6kg
Dimensions (W x D)340 x 240cm
Fixing height240-290cm
Pack size37 x 77cm
AccessSide doors, tunnel doors, whole front access

Verdict

This is a superior-quality drive-away inflatable motorhome awning, packed with features.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It's a very high-quality product
  • There are lots of great details
  • You get a smart, branded doormat as standard

Cons

  • It's a bit heavy and bulky
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