Peter BaberSee other awning reviews written by Peter Baber
Check out the Dorema Futura 330 Air All Season, from a new-for-2017 range of awnings offering increased headroom and versatility, without breaking the bank
Dorema’s Futura range isn’t the first all-season air awning the Dutch company has produced. It first did so a couple of years ago with the Magnum range.
But the intervening years have given it time to listen to customers on issues such as headroom and come up with this new range, which is made from Ten Cate, a polyester-coated WM27 acrylic material.
We tested the middle-of-the-range 330, measuring 330cm across (60cm narrower than the similar Magnum model), with a 250cm depth. Other options in the range include the 220 and 440.
The 330 is held up by four air chambers. These have been designed with a bend in the middle to give you 190cm of headroom at the front.
You don’t inflate the chambers directly. Instead, you inflate a series of pods that are then inserted into the chambers to strengthen them. Once they are all inserted, this creates a tension and support that, on initial investigation at least, seems indistinguishable from more conventional air awnings.
Three cross bars stabilise the structure widthways, while the only two metal poles in the whole construction are used to create a seal between awning and caravan side. A wheelarch cover and skirting come as standard.
Such a construction system means that you could, for example, at least start to assemble the awning even if you arrive on site and it is teeming with rain, because you can inflate the pods in the front seat of your tow car. Better still, if you have enough room you could keep the inflated pods in the caravan while you travel. Overall construction time, however, is not much shorter than for a standard air awning.
For an extra £25, Dorema can supply extra pods that fit between the front air sections to create a veranda ‘pole’. Both side panels are interchangeable so you can in effect have a side door in two different positions.
All three front panels can also be removed, leaving a front entrance that is trip hazard-free. They can also be replaced by mesh panels that are similar to the ones that cover the side windows.
Sadly, there’s only one colour scheme – charcoal and grey – but there’s a line of burgundy beneath the windows.
For an extra £199 you can have an annex and inner tent on either side. The inner comes with a mesh inner panel that is lined with an opaque sheet to protect the privacy of the user.
Dorema has clearly listened to customers in creating this awning. This practical and versatile design seems destined for success.
Indeed, it has already won an award, as we crowned the Dorema Futura 330 Air All Season the 'Best awning' at the Practical Caravan Tourer of the Year Awards 2017.
- It is good value and versatile
- Using pods makes assembly easier
- Despite the pod system, assembly time is par for the course