My Awning Project

My Awning Project

Postby grond [OP] » September 8th 2013, 3:09am

Well...I was so inspired by the "$30 Awning" post that I decided to tackle this project on my own and see if I could make it, not necessarily better, just simpler.

So, looking around the house I found some old adjustable tent poles from an old tent we longer use, some bolts from a leftover T-track project, some 550 Paracord and some tent stakes.

Here's the results:

awning1.jpeg


awning2.jpeg


Basically what I did was insert 5 of the T-Track bolts into the roof rack...not an easy thing. First, sprayed the rear roof rack cap bolts (say THAT 5 times fast!) about 3 times a day for 3 days. Put the torx bit in the first bolt...and it snapped the torx bit off!!! In the head of the bolt!!! So, plan "B"...I put a BIG flathead screwdriver in the track itself and put a little pressure on it and forced the T-Track bolt heads in the track...success! No damage to bolts or tracks! I used a fender washer and nut to loosely hold the T-Track bolts in place while I got them aligned to the grommet holes in the tarp. Once the bolts were lined up, I tighened them up to keep them in place. Then place the grommet holes over the bolts and used the screw handles to keep the tarp attached to the rack.

After that it was jsut a matter of putting the poles through the grommet on the other end of the tarp, pulling them taught with the guy lines (made out of the 550 Paracord).

Then, when it's all taken down, it rolls up on a nice, neat bundle with everything stored inside the tarp:

awning3.jpeg


Tomorrow I'll upload pictures of the bolts, assembled in the track to give a better idea of what I'm talking about.

What do you think?
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Re: My Awning Project

Postby Sailing_Faith » September 8th 2013, 5:04am

:rockon: very cool,

I just got to California after 10 days on the road, all but one night spent camping in the van.

I can tell you that having the awning up makes a world of difference if it rains.... Looks like a great way to "skin that cat".

Great job!
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Re: My Awning Project

Postby grond [OP] » September 8th 2013, 3:44pm

Thanks Sailing_Faith!

I gotta tell you, I can't wait to use the awning in a couple of weeks when I go salmon fishing.

I can see that I may have to do a little pole modification...but other than that, even my wife was impressed!

:dance:
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Re: My Awning Project

Postby sturoc » September 8th 2013, 4:38pm

Since I have no roof rack system I want to mount several 'Bolt Hangers', which are used for rock climbing anchors, so i can just clip with carabiners any size tarp I need. problem is my 89 Astro cargo van's interior is fully carpeted head to toe and wall to wall. I can't determine where the roof braces are in order to drill and bolt thru to mount these hangers.
Any ideas ?
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For now I'm doing this, but unfortunately I can't bring a tree with me where ever i go !
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Re: My Awning Project

Postby chevymaher » September 8th 2013, 4:44pm

I am so impressed with this I googled it and am window shopping awnings. For fishing and camping.
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Re: My Awning Project

Postby Sailing_Faith » September 8th 2013, 5:07pm

chevymaher wrote:I am so impressed with this I googled it and am window shopping awnings. For fishing and camping.


I can tell you it makes a huge difference in comfort! Well worth the cost and set up time.

Mine covers the front door too which is nice to be able to keep therain out with the door open.

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=30873


-------

Sturoc,

One thing I found is that a few places I set up were either on pavement, or really rocky hard ground. You might add a few bags you can fill with sand or rocks so you will be able to weight your support lines when you can not stake them out.

Cover looks great, hope you enjoy it!
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Re: My Awning Project

Postby 97cargocrawler » September 8th 2013, 5:26pm

sturoc wrote:Since I have no roof rack system I want to mount several 'Bolt Hangers', which are used for rock climbing anchors, so i can just clip with carabiners any size tarp I need. problem is my 89 Astro cargo van's interior is fully carpeted head to toe and wall to wall. I can't determine where the roof braces are in order to drill and bolt thru to mount these hangers.
Any ideas ?


I have some ideas. But even those genius ideas wont save you from crushing in your roof when you tighten the bolts down. There will be a 1/8" to 1/2" gap (it varies) between the roof sheet metal and the cross braces. The gap if filled with foam and it will squish. To do what you're proposing requires removal of the headliner so you can slide some sort of spacer into that gap.

Image

For something like this, just holding a tarp etc. using rivnuts and just anchoring into the sheet metal would be easiest. Though I wouldn't do that. It's kinda half-ass and opens up potential to tweak the roof and create leaks.

Perhaps some sort of rubber coated super magnet is the way to go. Or suction cups.
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Re: My Awning Project

Postby grond [OP] » September 8th 2013, 9:43pm

chevymaher wrote:I am so impressed with this I googled it and am window shopping awnings. For fishing and camping.


I did the same thing, hoping to find some kind of retrible awning I could mount on the roof rack. But after doing some research on this site (on the roof rack) I decided to tackle it myself. While my awning design does not cover the front door completely, I think I could get it to bu simply adding T-rail extensions to the roof rack.

Maybe that'll be my next awning project. :D
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