Gear Guide: Inflatable awnings for caravans

Published in Caravan Guard News, Caravanning Top Tips, Guides on   - 40 Comments

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  1. Michael Lee says:

    My family is planning on taking a long road trip during the summer. Because of the size of my family, we are thinking of getting an annex for our RV. We think that this would allow us to spread out and not be sleeping on top of each other.

  2. Keith says:

    We just bought a Sunncamp Inceptor Air Plus 330 for £769, haven’t used it yet, but saw their inflatable range at the NEC and was very impressed

  3. N korzun says:

    We have a small Westfields inflatable porch awning and every time we inflate, the sides of the tube always have a bend. Are we not inflating it enough.? Tube feels very rigid and we are concerned overinflating it for fear of it bursting. Can anyone advise?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      It’s worth using a pump which shows that you are inflating to the correct PSI – and make sure the tubes are not twisted before you inflate.

  4. Lawrence Andrews says:

    Lamps rally air 330, easy to put it up. Useless in strong wind with poles bending, roof dropping to the ground, and water looking on the roof. Used it for 2 years and tried everything possible to stop it happening. Result….. Don’t use it British weather unless it’s going to be fine. By the way we have been camping for over 40 years.

  5. bill says:

    we have bought many awnings over the years. We have recently moved into the air tent and air awnings.

    We have found the Kampa ones to be very good with lots of facilities and add on’s like, sabre lights, pads for protection against the caravan, limpets that attach to part of the caravan to stop all that air coming in etc.

    the prices quoted can easily be beaten as well if you search around.

  6. Andy Sawford says:

    We have just bought the Dorado 350 & have to say have been very pleased with it in the dry! Having just completed a 16 day tour of Scotland, where we had some awful weather, we have noticed a problem where the storm pole attach at the air beam. Initially being told it was condensation we have now found a small floor in the stitching which allows rain to come in to the living area. When the pole is fitted it pushes the sleeve back and creates a small hole within the stitches. The quick fix is to bond with the repair kit glue and this will do the trick. We also have the poles at the rear to support against our caravan and can be fully erected in 25 minutes with carpet down too. One thing to note is the wheel cover is ideal for a single axle but not our twin.

  7. Andrew Willis says:

    We purchased a Kampa Ace air 400 and very pleased with it, obtained a double action pump for faster inflation and hearing comments about roof puddles and creased windows is no different to our top of the range Isabella that we sold in favour of the Kampa oh and the Kampa awning carpet is so nice too.

  8. John Darbyshire says:

    Hi Denis, How’s the Camptech, have you had chance to use it yet? We are thinking of getting a Camptech Motoair High.

  9. Kara 48 says:

    Whilst I am aware that it is impossible to mention all possible air awnings and different permutations, but I recently purchased the Kampa Rally Pro Air 260

  10. Phil C says:

    Bought a Kampa Ace Air 500 in Feb this year to replace a pole awning we used on a Coachman Amara 560/4, best thing have done, used it four times and it works very well. easy to put up and weighs less than the old awning with poles.
    We also have a roof lining, air annex and led lights for same,brilliant.
    Used in windy condition with tie down straps, all good no problems.

  11. Robin Bessant says:

    I bought a Vango Varkala 420 air awning this year. What a good decision, so much easier than the old Dorema one – no sorting out which pole goes where! So easy to inflate and peg out even in a wind that would have stopped us doing the old one!
    Great quality and so versatile with openings.

  12. Bob says:

    We have a Kampa Air 400, it’s the first season we have used it. It’s okay in the fact of inflation but we are very disappointed in how stained it is due to rain and also we hav been unable to get the creases out of the windows. It does look a bit scruffy a bit disappointed..

  13. Lawrie Woodley says:

    I’m seriously considering a Quest Travel Smart and would be interested in anyone’s experience as to how tight the upright sticks to the sides of the van. Porch awnings are notoriously difficult ( for me!) to make water and wind tight at this point.

  14. kenny says:

    we bought a Kampa air awning at the start of the season and we are so pleased with it up and pegged in 12 mins with no moaning and cursing. we used to hate putting the awning up before we got this one. well worth the extra expense.

  15. TONY says:

    Bought a Vango air awing this year all done and dusted 15 min to put up brilliamt

  16. David Nicholson says:

    Whilst I am aware that it is impossible to mention all possible air awnings and different permutations, but I recently purchased the Kampa Rally Pro Air 260 that had a starting price of around £600. Your article says that Kampa start at £1k+. This could be doing an injustice to Kampa as people may feel their starting price is beyond their budget and consequently not look at them. Either that or they may feel the cheaper ones weren’t worth a mention, but I can vouch for the one that I have.

  17. Richard Harrisson says:

    We have the Sunncamp Rotonde 350 Air which has a single air tube across the front from and two seperate tubes either side but when the wind blows or heavy rain the centre of the main tube collapse inwards, I have tried putting an extending pole from side of caravan to tube but that is no use in windy conditions, contacted Sunncamp twice but they where very unhelpful, they said they had never heard of this happening before.
    Asked a Sunncamp rep at a show and was advised to get a pole and place it right in the middle from ground to tube where it caves in.
    I have now gone back to my faithful traditional awning with fibreglass poles which also has no guy ropes to trip over.

  18. William M says:

    Still require loads more info on Air Awnings, such as
    Wind resistance during our more frequent experienced windy summer conditions
    Awning rail to ground MAX height, a key requirement when pitching our caravans on sloping pitches

  19. Peter V says:

    We have a Doreema blow up awning,each strut is blown up seperately and from inside which can be awkward and a westfield cheaper awning which has one strut to blow up,we used each on the 2 last easter holidays when wind was atrocious and was amazed how well they withstood the elements,friend and other campers on site had awnings collapse and damage to poles etc. well worth having.

  20. Derek says:

    I have an inflatable porch awning. Overall I am pleased with it. But it does present a few problems.

    1. It has no detachable panels. It is therefore difficult for one (elderly) person to thread through the awning rail, because if it’s weight.

    2. It has 3 main inflatable tubes attached to the awning and 4 small inflatable tubes, detached from the awning. The inflation points of the 3 attached tubes are awkward to get to.

    3. The pump supplied is awkward to operate.

    4. I think this point must be relevant to all inflatable awnings. It is OK if the caravan is on a flat pitch. But if the caravan is on any appreciable front to back slope, the height of the inflatable awning cannot be adjusted either side, as can an awning with poles.

  21. Alan Humphries says:

    We bought a Kampa Fiesta Air Rally Pro 420 last year and it is the best awning we have had,I can’t understand how people can say they have
    Pools on the roof and condensation we have not suffered either.
    It is so easy to put up instead of all the poles you have with normal awnings while your doing this ours is up and we are sat down having a Cupa

  22. Jane says:

    All your experiences are sooooooo useful. Am new to caravanning (my bucket list! -big C!!!!) but love it. Such fun! Still deciding on an awning – little dogs go too. Thanks for all comments.

  23. Deborah says:

    After only one trip out this year that ended in near tears trying to put up the traditional awning with one bad back and hubbys wrist tendonitus, I ditched it for the KAMPA ACE AIR 400, and we LOVE IT, we have an older ‘van that is slightly shaped on the roof which did cause gapping but overcame that easily once the furniture was in. The extra space and light are just amazing and leaving a gap in one “window” disperses any condesation. The ease of inflation (we have the electric two step pump) has given us the first day of our holidays back, if you make one investment this year, buy one 🙂

  24. Kevin McKenzie says:

    Recently bought a DOREMA MAGNUM ALL SEASON 520..FANTASTIC. Easy to put up,loads of room,NO CONDENSATION.All front panels roll up, so big and airy when its sunny (not very often in this country i know). Would highly recommend this awning 10/10 . ( oh its expensive though.over a grand )

  25. Tom Little says:

    We have been considering an air awning for a couple of years now. We have looked at many and been impressed. However since reading your very good reviews on them we have decided to stick with our traditional awning with fibre glass poles.

  26. Aidy says:

    Bought a Vango Airbeam early this year and can not recommend it enough. Very well constructed and so easy to put up. It is a little on the heavy side but well worth the extra few pounds. Looked at other inflatable awnings but the quality of the Vango was far superior to the others.

  27. Keith Holland says:

    I have a Kampa Rally Air and it is fantastic. It is so easy to put up. I once had the problem with pools of water on the roof but if you use the storm straps and tension the roof panels then the water will run off.

  28. Roger Mills says:

    Ordered a Kampa 500 in the middle of May, due in 1st June it now the 1st July and still no awning. I go on holiday in a few days !! Don’t think I can blame the supplier but be sure to order well in advance.

  29. denis says:

    I have a triton 430, just got my camptech low this morning at £369, its still in the box as I speak, the guy we deal with is jeff bowen awnings international, on the motoair loe is the one for eribas denis

  30. Paul says:

    I totally agree that the Kampa Ace is poorly designed and holds water in the roof panels as they are not taut or sloping enough, end up with big pools of rain water sagging down and eventually leaking into awning. I recently went to an awing specialist who had them all out on display, and as it was raining you could see the water pooling on the Kampa ones, and a few others, but the Vango was taut with a good slope, so we have swapped to that.

  31. Pat Shelley says:

    We’ve used one of these for a couple of seasons and they are remarkably easy to use, fast to erect, and strike. A worthwhile purchase.

  32. Liz Collinson says:

    Very informative. Thanks for this, we have decided we are as well off to keep our traditional awning.

  33. t a stone says:

    thanks, I was not sure if I wanted to change but your articles have made up my mind, I will try a blow up one next season.

  34. Phil Johnson says:

    Bought a Kampa Ace Air 400 awning last year, what a disappointment. No one can ready you for the “condensation”. We have had to replace all the soft furnishings used in the awning as they were totally destroyed by the amount of water generated. I feel badly let down by Kampa and my local agent who sold me the awning. These things should not be on the market. Less than 1 year old it is now going to the local tip a sorry waste of money.

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Sorry to hear that Phil. Ventilation is clearly an important factor when choosing any awning.

  35. Andrew says:

    Sadly no comments on resistance of different models to strong winds and to pooling of rain on the roof panels. Both can be a problem with different inflatable designs.

  36. Frank Hall says:

    As a person who hates putting up awnings, I am most impressed with the latest idea in awnings.
    I have been without one for ages, but once the new van arrives. An air awning will be on the shopping list.
    I think even I should be able to put up one of these.

  37. John barker says:

    Any inflatable awnings to fit eriba familia caravan

  38. Phil says:

    Not yet ready to buy one, maybe next year but good to see an unbiased comparison.

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