We’re just back from 4 days on the Isle of Man, where it was cold and wet and suitably miserable for a first camping trip of the year. We had at our disposal a campervan (Volkswagen T4) which gave us the opportunity to make the leap from canvas to tin tent for the first time, and Easy Camp kindly supplied us a Daytona awning to test.
The Daytona is Easy Camp’s smallest campervan awning and is designed to provide an additional under-cover living space for small vans like the VW, which after 4 nights of living in close proximity to my own damp socks is a bit of a blessing, let me assure you.
The Daytona is a 2 pole dome tent with a standing height tall enough to allow a full back-stretch and enough floor space for 4 people to sit comfortably in separate chairs and share several beers. It has a sewn-in groundsheet which is bucket style and very waterproof so that the wet ground and persistent rain won’t creep in when things are zipped up. The ground sheet folds down flat at each doorway so it won’t be a trip hazard if you have one of the doors open.
Speaking of doors, there’s one on each side of the awning. There’s a very large wide one which comes with a couple of extra poles to convert in to a sunshade, and a narrow access door on each side. Each of these has storm-covered zippers which fended off wind and rain with ease. Due to the shape of the tent (a dome) if you have any door open for cooking purposes, rain will come in.
The side of the awning which connects to your campervan has a standard, but full-width, zippered door so that the tent remains waterproof when you’ve driven off for a mercy dash to the supermarket in your van. Around that door the Daytona has a snood-like cover which you use to bridge the gap between awning and van in one of three ways depending on what vehicle you have and how prepared you are.
I wasn’t very prepared, and so used the most basic method of attachment which was to throw two guylines over the van roof. I have to say that even this rudimentary way of connecting the awning worked brilliantly to seal out any rain and most of the wind blast. Had I been able to connect to roof bars or via a connection channel (see Easy Camp site for details on that) I’m pretty sure it would have been bombproof.
The Daytona is a single skin awning with very large clear windows on both sides. Whilst it retains some heat, it’s not really comparable to a dual-skinned ‘tent’, but wouldn’t be awful as a place to sleep in summer.
Easy Camp are a company that likes to think about the little luxuries when camping. The Daytona has an electrical entry point and velcro loops for running an overhead light, and plenty of places to hang things inside, from keys to towels (if you’re imaginitive enough). What it lacks, perhaps, is pockets… but then you have a campervan for proper storage I suppose.
Quality wise, the Easy Camp Daytona is excellent. The materials and finish are good enough to last after ham-fisted pitching and with a rating of 3000mm hydrostatic head it will keep out any rain, no matter how hard it’s lashing down.
SUMMARY: The Easy Camp Daytona is a great first or small awning for a campervan. It’s a standalone dome tent with sewn-in groundsheet and rainproof doors on all sides. It attaches to your van in a number of ways and is straightforward and easy to use. We didn’t find anything to criticise it on after 4 days of heavy use by 4 people.
Price: £185 rrp
More: Easy Camp