When we first said about getting an awning for our Accordo 120 the first comment from a camping buddy was “What do you want one of them for? A total waste of time and money”. Hmmm…….. not a very nice (or encouraging) comment but there we are.
I appreciate that to some people the idea of an awning on a motor home is ridiculous because with a motor home (or camper van for that matter) you are meant to be totally free to roam where you want, when you want and an awning is nothing but a hindrance. This is all well and good, but my better half and I don’t think like this.
When we go away on holiday we like to find a site and stay on it for a few days to give us time to kick back, chill out and wind down from the everyday humdrum of modern day life. We both work full time, so our trips away are the only opportunity we get to stop, put everyday life behind us and chillax. I know many motor home owners like to tour around the country spending just one night at a site before moving on to munch some more miles to their next site, but we don’t do that. We do plan to do a lot more touring in the future, when we are both retired and have the time disappear off for a few months at a time but this is at least thirty years in the future, unless we have a lottery win that is.
For now, we are going to continue staying for at least a three or four days at each site and for this we need an awning, and a specific drive away awning at that.
Whilst there are loads of motor home awnings available there are only two or three that are suitable for our needs. A couple of years back we went to a Norfolk site in our folding camper where there was a strict “No ground sheets in awnings policy”. Fortunately, the ground sheet in the folding camper was a clip in one so it was easily removed, but had we owned an awning with a sewn in groundsheet we would have been royally stuffed. The “no ground sheet” rule got us thinking over that weekend (it was something we had never come across before or even considered) and when we started to look for sites for future camping trips we started noticing just how many campsites have this rule or a “ground sheets have to be lifted” rule.
We didn’t want to restrict ourselves on the campsites we could visit because of a sewn in ground sheet so the most important feature is to have a clip in ground sheet, and that reduces the options considerably.
As well as having a clip in ground sheet I wanted an inflatable awning. I hate threading those flimsy poles (with a passion) and I also hate having to keep replacing them when they snap or when the joint breaks open because of the wind, and the slightest breeze often results in breakages. I can’t be doing with all that so a blow up awning was the only thing I would consider buying.
Inflatable awnings with clip in ground sheets are few and far between and we found ourselves with two to choose from. The first being a Vango Idris and the second a Kampa Travel Pod Air.
As with everything I buy, I researched each of the awnings and found the Vango owners loved the Idris and slated the Travel Pod Air and the Kampa owners loved the Travel Pod Air and slated the Idris. I have to say I am not a fan of this “tit-for-tat” although it happens all the time. Just like photography where the Canon owners slate Nikon and the Nikon owners slate Canon. In reality both are as good as each other, and that is the way I looked at it with the Idris and the Travel Pod Air.
Fortunately there is a large camping shop quite close to where we live (Norwich Camping & Leisure) who has both the Idris and the Travel Pod in stock, and also on display outside. After looking around both the Idris and the Travel Pod Air it was clear that both are excellent awnings, both appear to be sturdy (it was a windy day – which was a good thing) and both appear to keep the water out well (yep, it was also raining – again, which isn’t such a bad thing).
The decision between the Idris and the Travel Pod Air was an easy one and the deciding factor was the color. Yep, my wife didn’t like the bright blue Idris and thought it would look weird on the side of our Accordo 120, whereas the Travel Pod Air would look okay. There we go – decision made over the color. Had Vango not changed the color from green (the old model) to blue the decision would have been more difficult and we would have probably had to toss a coin on it.
So that’s the story behind why we have an awning for our Accordo 120, and also how we ended up with the Kampa Travel Pod Air. If you own a motor home or a camper van and think you don’t need an awning I strongly suggest you have a serious think about it. Even when we go away for a single night we take the awning with us (because it is so quick and easy to erect and take down) and we wouldn’t be without one.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home