Nick Harding

See other awning reviews written by Nick Harding

It's great value and it's quick and easy to erect – find out more about the SunnCamp Ultima Air 390 Deluxe in the Practical Caravan review

Overview

We loved the predecessor of this new inflatable so much that it won the Best Awning in our Tourer of the Year Awards 2014. This Deluxe update takes its virtues further. To start, six lateral roof bars connect the four vertical supports.

Another improvement is that the centre panel can now be rolled up, joining the other two, which already could. They can also be used as canopies, held up by metal poles – a cost option.

We fitted this model from the Air Volution range to our Bailey Unicorn Cadiz. It was a good match, except that the awning partly obscured the tourer’s forward nearside window.

The third major upgrade is a 300D rating for the roof – for more durability and better light protection. Like the rest of the flysheet, it’s an Oxford Ripstop polyester that is impressively waterproof, too.

As an inflatable awning, it packs down into one bundle – the only disadvantage is that it takes up a lot of space. You’re not likely to lose the main poles, though. You can save a little assembly time by keeping the removable roof beams inflated, if you have the space.

Aside from the inflatable poles, two alloy verticals abut the caravan’s sidewall, with padding to protect the van. SunnCamp offers a central vertical alloy pole as a cost option. It’s supposed to be for extra stability, but we seriously wonder whether they’re worth it.

As it is, the Ultima Air 390 has a triangular flap at either end of the roof supported by the awning rail and the rest of the awning. It can offer a little shelter by the door or can be pegged down with guylines to add tension. Stainless-steel pegs are supplied as standard.

SunnCamp says one in three of its Ultimas is sold with an annexe (£199), sometimes two. That depends on whether your family needs extra berths or storage space. Other options include a breathable groundsheet (£26.99), vertical storm poles (£24.99), a canopy pole set (£11.99) and a pop-up inner tent (£24.99).

The standard features are what we find most impressive: high-visibility guy lines, buckles and straps; a draught skirt; an external mudwall with pegging loops and even an emergency repair patch.

This is the time of year when many retailers want to shift remaining stock to make room for next season’s goods. Our understanding is that changes to 2016’s Ultima Air 390 Deluxe are limited to veranda pole options for the side doors, hanging points for inner tents and a zip-in mesh panel for either side door. Meanwhile, you can pick up a 2015 clearance bargain. Indeed, you can grab one now for £600 or less.

Specs and Layout

Length390 cm
Width240 cm
Manufacture websitesunncamp.co.uk

Verdict

Improved durability, stability, weather resistance and design make the SunnCamp Ultima Air 390 Deluxe even better than its award-winning predecessor.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Hi-vis guylines and storm straps included

Cons

  • Bulky when packed down for storage
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