Here We Tow review the Rapide III 250 Awning
Are you preparing for the 2020 caravanning season and considering a new awning? Maybe you're undecided about making the transition to an air awning from poled. Jules and Karina, known online as Here We Tow, started blogging about caravanning after purchasing their first caravan in 2017. In 2019, they toured almost fulltime and have tested countless caravanning accessories from awnings to tow cars. They recently turned their expertise to testing the Rapide III 250, answered some frequently asked questions and gave us their final opinion on the awning.
Porch or Full Awning- which do I need?
The answer to this question depends very much on the type of caravan touring you do. Vango has a large variety of market-leading air awnings of all sizes. If you are on a seasonal or sited pitch then you will be best considering a large awning such as the Vango Florence. If you tend to hitch up for short weekend breaks then you're best considering a porch awning. This will provide a cosy and dry space for a table and a couple of chairs. The Rapide III 250 is 250cm wide, 275cm in-depth and 200cm in height.
What are the benefits of the Rapide porch awning?
When you are heading off for a short break or weekend, you don't want to spend an hour pegging out a large awning, only to take it down two days later. The Rapide III 250 can be erected in 12 minutes. It has a single inflation point, one bracer beam and uses the Vango Draught Seal System. It is as quick and easy to take down as it is to put up, you can be packed up and on your way within the same time.
Being compact, the Rapide is lightweight and easy to transport. The total weight is 15.9kg and everything you will need is in the bag.
Will the Rapide withstand the rain?
Absolutely, the fabric is Vango Sentinel Exclusive which is one of the strongest and durable fabrics they use. The fabric is highly waterproof and features ColourLok to prevent fading in UV light. The fabric will perform in all weather, all year and can be easily cleaned.
What else do I Need to Know?
If you're using the awning in warmer months then you will be pleased to know that the side doors can be fully zipped back. The front panel can be removed to allow extra ventilation and a feeling of outdoor space. There are mesh screens so you can zip open the windows for fresh air but keep the bugs out. On an evening privacy is not an issue as it comes with zipped privacy curtains. During the day these can be zipped down as far as you like.
The Rapide comes with a three-year warranty, as long as you register your awning.
What do 'Here We Tow' think of it?
We bought our first awning with our new caravan in 2018. We chose the Vango Kalari 380 due to the shape and size. We loved that awning and it had plenty of use, in fact, it is still going strong now. We then tested the Montelena 400 during the summer of 2019. We were amazed by the space. Over winter 2019 we tested the Florence 420 All-Season awning. We were more than impressed with this awning, it was so well insulated and withstood the winter weather. This was an excellent awning for a seasonal pitch.
Coming into 2020 we are planning short trips and thus a smaller awning would be more practical. We have chosen the Rapide III 250 as it is compact, lightweight and can be put up in under fifteen minutes. We took it away last week for a two-night break and were very impressed. Jules put it up by himself in no time and it fit well on our caravan. It covered the door and stopped before the bedroom window so didn't block our light or view. Inside the awning was light and airy and we had enough floor space for our large table and two chairs. There is room for several pairs of muddy shoes and our large dog, Fudge.
Going into 2020, this awning will be perfect for our trips away and it should withstand the British caravanning weather!