James StanburySee other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury
If you're looking for simple, cheap airers for caravans, read our SunnCamp 4m Window Clothes Dryer FN9600 review to find out the pros and cons
To paraphrase an evocative old tune, we love summertime, when the drying is easy, clothes are rinsed out and even cotton gets dry. Laundry is never a problem when the sun is shining, we can drape soggy towels over the car wing mirrors after our morning showers and they'll be dry in time for bed. But if sea mist comes rolling across the caravan park, or showers persist for more than a few days, the holiday can become a bit of a clothes-drying challenge.
Clothes airers are a must-have accessory for caravan holidays in the UK, especially since some campsites frown upon ordinary washing lines strung from awning to trees. So we gathered up a wide range of airers and clothes dryers for testing with caravan holidays in mind.
Among the clothes airers we tested are the JML DriBuddi, which is essentially a folding tumble-dryer for £59.99, and another powered item, the Lakeland Dry:Soon 2-tier heated airer, costing £76.99. At the other end of the spectrum, we also tested the SunnCamp 4m Window Clothes Dryer FN9600, a cheap and effective £4.25 airer. Then we looked at the Kampa AC0290, at £11.99, which hangs from an awning rail or ceiling hook, and the Outwell Drying Rack, a freestanding airer costing £24.99.
What were our criteria for testing, you may wonder? We gave high marks for clothes airers that would fit in the caravan neatly when not required, were easy to use, robust, gave the maximum amount of drying area for the least space, and that offered great value for money.
We were keen to consider heated clothes airers, too, but had to take into account the power each appliance required and the amount of space needed to set them up. Heated airers that work fine at home may draw too much power to be practical when you're relying on an electric hook-up for everything. Some needed extra kit, such as covers and special pegs to make the most of their potential, and as we all know the extras can quickly add up! Compare our clothes airer reviews here.
In this review we'll focus on the SunnCamp 4m Window Clothes Dryer FN9600, which costs just £4.25.
Measuring just 58cm x 37cm by a few millimetres thick, the SunnCamp 4m Window Clothes Dryer FN9600 is one of the easiest airers to store, despite giving a reasonable 4m of hanging space. And the product works just as well inside — hooked over a door — as it does outside the van, where it can be hung from the sill of an open window.
If there is any part of the product we don’t like, it is the arms: they seem to be fashioned from coat-hanger wire. While the plastic ducting wrapped around them gives surfaces some protection, it doesn’t feel especially durable.
The end clamps can be positioned anywhere along the main airer’s side rails — allowing the hooks to grip tightly around the window sill or the top of a door. It’s just a shame that the poor design of these clamps makes adjusting this critical gap somewhat fiddly.
|Size||58cm long x 37cm wide|
|Capacity||4m of hanging space|
|Attachment||Hooks over a door or window opening|
At just £4.25 you can't get a much cheaper airer for caravans than the SunnCamp 4m Window Clothes Dryer FN9600. It's also light, compact and versatile, taking up very little space because it hooks over a door, or a window sill when the window is open. You get 4m of hanging space from it, which is pretty good, considering that the £59.99 JML DriBUDDi heated airer gives only 2m more hanging space than this.
Another good feature is that the SunnCamp 4m Window Clothes Dryer FN9600's side rails extend past the last drying rail and have plastic feet to prevent the rails from marking your caravan's wall or door. The only things we dislike are that the arms seem to be made of rather thin wire and they are clamped to the side rails so firmly that it's hard to slide them along to adjust the gap.
All in all, we like the SunnCamp 4m Window Clothes Dryer FN9600; it's a very handy caravan accessory and we have awarded it a four-star rating.
- Light, compact and easy to store
- Hangs from open doors and windows
- Works indoors and outdoors
- Gives 4m of hanging space
- Thin arms may not last
- End clamps are fiddly