Speyside and a chance to try the Sunncamp Verao Awning


Night No.47 of 2023 for living in the caravan, and we're pitched up at the Speyside by Craigellachie C&CC Campsite just outside the village of Archiestown.

This was a short notice 'spur of the moment' trip not too far from home, around a 2hr drive. The C&CC have some very good deals available at some of the sites, including this one, where a 35% discount could be had by staying a minimum of 3 night! For myself, the van and the 2 dogs, on a grass pitch, including electricity was around £34! Fantastic!

Headed north along the Aberdeen bypass, then followed the A96 as far as Huntly. Stopped in Asda and then parked up and took the dogs a good walk in Bin Forest, just outside Huntly.

A great walk, and one I've done many times. It's a great stop when heading North in the Inverness direction. The Forest has extensive storm damage from last year, but the main tracks are clear and offer some quality walking.

One of the objectives of this trip was to try out an awning I purchased for use with the Triton. A Sunncamp Vareo Low. Designed for campervans like the VW, it would also suit vans like mine with a low awning rail height. Eribas are really limiting when selecting awnings, and purpose built ones are extremely expensive, some as high as £2k. OK, this is a basic poled affair, but it is sub £200, so probably worth a bash.

All the parts are included in a good quality carry bag. The flysheet, poles, pegs and ladder straps, a repair kit, and a spare pole clamp.

The pegs will be no use, so I used my own 'rock pegs'.

Easy enough to thread the flysheet along the awning rail.

A little bit fidgety fitting the ladder straps, but I do intend to just leave them in place when I dismantle and pack away the awning.

The instructions were excellent and easy to follow. There is just a single pole assembly, comprising a central glass fibre pole and 2 steel poles which was easy to work out. The only step I forgot, and then corrected is a strap which connects the bases of the poles with a clip. Doing this holds the poles at the correct distance apart, and I imagine, at the correct angle?

I was impressed with how it fitted the van. With ample pegging points, I could get a fairly neat fit against the van, even with it's wider waist.

I could actually place it so as to enable the door to be opened at 90 degrees, whilst still having access to the storage door.

It is warm and sunny, but the tightness and profile of the roof looks like pooling shouldn't be an issue. Only time will tell!

As per the instructions, I pegged out the little weather skirts on the base of the awning.

Quite impressed overall. The windows all have curtains, so this will be an ideal spot for showering or ablutions where there are no site facilities.

Only thing missing was an awning skirt, but I'll just have to find a 'generic' one to suit.

Overall, for a sub £200 awning, I am very happy with this piece of kit. I'll reserve full judgement until I have experienced some heavy rain and gusty winds!


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