Review – ARB 2500 x 2500 Awning and Deluxe Room

I have been absolutely thrilled with my ARB Awning and Deluxe Room combo. ARB is primarily known for their 4wd products but this system works excellent on my minivan camper. I previously had the ARB 2500×2000 Awning attached to the roof and enjoyed it quite a bit but felt the coverage was small and really wanted bug protection for when I sit outside. I decided to sell my smaller ARB 2500×2000 awning I had and ordered the larger 2500×2500 ARB Awning and Deluxe Room to go with it. It was a big debate for me if I should get the Deluxe Room since space is so limited in my minivan. It packs up about the size of a large duffel bag but I managed to find a good place to store it in the cavity in front of the passenger seat. One of my favorite things about this system is how versatile it is. It can be set up fully enclosed, screened, or like in the about picture, open. The room offers a door that you can drop down against your vehicle that allows access to your vehicles side doors. My setup allows me to open and close my sliding door but does block access to my passenger side front door. The room cannot stand alone on its own and needs your vehicle to create its structure. It is not possible to leave the room set up and drive away.

To set up the awning it would help to have 2 people. Although it can be tricky I seem to manage to set it up by myself. Setting up the awning involves unzipping the PVC cover, releasing the velcro straps and unrolling the canvas. This part can be difficult if just one person. Before getting to far out I extend the side poles, then once fully rolled out extend the legs and secure everything. After the awning is set up the room uses a combination of zippers, notches, and clips to attach itself to the awning structure. The room is easy for me to set up on my own but can still take a good bit of time to stake everything out and clear the area of debris. I cannot stress enough how important it is to use the included guy lines and stake everything down securely.

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Just the awning pulled out.

When not in use the awning rolls up and stows nicely on my roof rack. The ARB 2500×2500 awning does not come with mounts to attach to your roof rack so if you do go with this awning you will need to figure out what mount works best for your roof rack system. I have a round bar Thule roof rack system and decided to go with mounts made by BomberProducts. I was unable to look up their website and they may be out of business at the time of writing this review. I have seen folks go with these ARB mounts and if you do you may need to drill holes into your cross bars to attach them.

Setting up the awning by myself can be a bit tough but I have been able to manage it. If the wind is bad I wont even bother. Once the awning is set up up, the Deluxe Room is a not to bad getting set up.

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The Bomber Products mount that I am using. Unfortunately it looks like this company is out of business and no longer making these mounts.

Here is a link to the ARB mount that I have seen people make work by drilling holes in their cross bars to accommodate.

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The Deluxe Room fully screened.

It does a great job protecting you from the bugs but I need to make sure it’s closed up tightly. Bugs always seem to find a way in.  Along the edges of the roof you will find hooks to hang items or in my case a string of lights. I use my room for cooking and living and sleep in my van. It could easily be used to sleep in.

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This is a neat configuration. There are so many ways to set up this room. As the sun or wind shifts you can open and close panels and screens depending on what you need. The zippers are high quality and there are tons of hook and loops to stow away unzipped panels. After using this system for 3 months on my Colorado road trip It proved to work very well for shade, bug , rain, and even snow protection.

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Here is the room set up for rain. Its very important that you leave one corner dropped to let water pour easily off the corner. One time I left my ARB 2500×2000 Awning unattended while hiking and a thunder storm snuck in. The water pooled up on top of the awning while I was gone and stretched out the canvas. When it comes to the room, it’s performance in the rain has not been as good as I would like. During hard rain I have had trouble with water trickling in and pooling up on the floor. Its never been much and easily mopped up with a rag. If I had one complaint about this room is its inability to fully stay dry in heavy rain. Also its critical that you guy line and stake down (stakes and stake bag provided) the awning along with the room quickly to avoid damage. It just takes one gust of wind to send this thing flying over my roof if not secured immediately. One time I was setting it up with occasional wind gusts and took to long stakeing it down. A gust of wind snuck in and flipped the awning over my roof! After a bit of a strain I got the awning flipped back over I was lucky with minimal damage and learned a hard lesson.

The floor is large and easy to clean. Its constructed out of tarp like material that is thick and solid black. So far it has proven to be quite sturdy. Before setting up the room I always try and clear out rocks and debris that may end up poking the underside of the floor the best you can. After using this floor extensively and stepping on plenty of rocks and twigs that were lurking underneath, it has held up excellent. I did poke a hole in the floor by accidently dropping the lid to my cast iron skillet to the ground. The hole was easily repaired with some Gorilla Tape.

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Summary:

This ARB combo has really delivered and has proven to be worth the extra bulk. It has added incredible amounts of living space to my minivan camper setup and so far I have really enjoyed using it. It does take some time to set up and keep clean. Also you need to be a bit more selective where you park your vehicle to create a flat surface for the room floor. Similar to what you would do if you were to pitch a tent. Both the awning and room have held up to expectations and I am happy with my purchase.

Pros:

  • Brilliant versatile design that adds tons of living space
  • Full floor
  • Excellent protection from the bugs and the elements
  • Easy to change the configuration and has proven to be a adaptable system
  • Made with high quality materials and has proven to be durable
  • Strong zippers
  • 4×4 tough

Cons:

  • Expensive compared to a homemade tarp or pop up screen room
  • Finding a mounting solution for your vehicle can be tough
  • Cleaning and packing up is time consuming and dirty
  • Easily caught in the wind if not staked down securely
  • A little bit leaky and the roof needs to be pitched at a slant during a rain storm

Overall:

I would highly recommend this awning and screen room combo and have been very happy I purchased it. I really have not seen anything else like it on the market. The tarp is an absolute wonder on its own and adding the Deluxe Room has added a whole new level of living space.

Amazon link for ARB 2500×2500 Awning

Amazon link for ARB 2500×2500 Deluxe Room

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