We’ve been using the Quechua Base Seconds XL as an awning for a number of years and were happy with the large living space it provided. Recently, we’ve started struggling with the kids sleeping in the popup roof of the campervan due to them getting larger! so we decided to look around for an air awning with the ability to add an inner bedroom.
The search started with the popular (and expensive) models on the market today and we love the design of the Vango Kela but couldn’t justify the £600+ price tag. After a bit of an online search I came across the Lichfield California Drive-Away Air Awning. This product puzzled me, It looks very similar to the older model Vango Kela III but at half the price (Amazons prices fluctuate). After reading the other reviews I contacted AMG Customer Services (who own the brands Vango and Lichfield) and they confirmed that this was a special made exclusively for Amazon. No wonder I couldn’t find this on any other website. I quickly purchased it and it was delivered the next day.
On the May Bank Holiday weekend we travelled down to our favourite spot on Willingcott Caravan Club Site (in Woolacombe, North Devon). It’s a very quiet site with immaculate facilities and a site we know well due to us having a seasonal pitch there in 2010. Here’s a video showing us putting up the awning for the first time – It was a breeze!
We are very impressed with the quality and attention to detail of the Lichfield California Drive-Away Air Awning. The groundsheet clips in to all the provided hooks and stays in place, there is a fly net on one of the main side doors (but not the others) and the material is listed 150 Denier Fabric (the Vango is 420 Denier Fabric).
It comes with plenty hard rock metal pegs, a pump with pressure gauge and various options to attach it to your van. This is the low version and fits our VW T5 Transporter with Fiamma F45s awning rail perfectly.
Confirming my suspicions, the Vango Drive-Away Awning Bedroom clips straight in to all the fixing points and is a great additional extra.
A “Kador” and “Fig 8” strip is required if you are using an awning rail and are wishing to drive away without taking the tent down. The awning piping on the Lichfield is 6mm and a Fiamma F45s uses 4mm piping so I purchased the Vango DriveAway Kit – 3 Metre Set 4mm – 6mm … please check your own piping size!
And of course one of the main functions of the awning is that you can roll up the connecting section and drive away.