Last weekend I used my new awning for the first time – I LOVE IT!!!
I got it from Just Kampers a while back having searched for nearly a year for the perfect awning until I finally settled on the Outwell Country Road. Just Kampers were involved in the design of the Outwell range of awnings so you can rest assured they have been created by people who know a thing or two about campers.
The footprint is compact and yet it does allow enough room for our family of four to feel so much less cooped up when we are all at a festival together. I chose the Country Road because this version seemed to have more useable space per square foot of footprint than either the Florida Highway or the Mountain Road (both also by Outwell) – I have a thing against sloping sides being a waste of space, but maybe that’s just me.
I went for the whole shebang and got the inner tent for extra guests, a carpet for comfort and a footprint to make it more durable and so much easier to keep clean.
I particularly love the way the entire front rolls up so I can use it as a stall when I’m doing smaller festivals (it’s a DIY job – you have to bungee the door to the middle roof bar!).
When it’s hot you can unzip the entire ground sheet to allow extra breeze to flow through. And there’s plenty of space between the van and the tent to put a solar shower and/or camping toilet.
Because I was using it at the Acoustic Festival of Britain last weekend as a stall, I didn’t bother to put the groundsheet in at all. Unfortunately come night-time I missed the groundsheet once I had stopped trading, as it wasn’t all that cosy in the awning with our wine and the ‘gentle’ gale raging outside – if you’ll remember this was the weekend of the killer winds, and it got a tad chilly.
On the Sunday of the festival, our area of the site was evacuated by the Fire Incident Crew on the grounds of health and safety. The huge Big Top next to us was deemed unsafe in the high winds. It was bad. I have no idea how strong the wind was, but I would take a guess at gale force 8… somebody mentioned gusts of 85mph. I was terrified I was going to trash my beloved awning on it’s first outing but to my amazement, it was absolutely fine! Sure it made a bit of noise and was bending a bit but nothing broke, nothing bent, nothing tore… and this was by far the strongest wind I have experienced in quite a few years.
There isn’t much I would change if I designed it myself, except maybe an additional side door so you have more flexibility over where your entrance is. I would also have it so that the entire front door can just zip off and be stored out of the way, but that’s mainly so I can use it as a stall. These two points are completely minor and they are a very tiny price to pay for the brilliance of the rest of it!