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Old 10-30-2017, 12:28 PM   #471
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Nice set-up Fitz. That looks pretty solid.

Been waiting on my VC ladder for months. Thanks for working with them to get it dialed in.

Wonder what other cool stuff VC can design? A swing out spare tire mount comes to mind....
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:22 PM   #472
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Great solution that looks great. Thank you for the report and of course, the pics!
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:54 AM   #473
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Simple Shade

I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of having an awning mounted to the side of the van. Laura and I use the van for travelling vs. camping, thus for us the end of the day is typically at dusk or after dark, with the result that an awning would get very little use. Despite this, I recognize the need for shade is very real, so here is the simple solution I came up with. As for rain, we typically don't set up in it, but the same concept applies with a solid cloth.

Note: We carried this with us all summer and only used it once, and that was in Idaho when we arrived early and waited for the solar eclipse. For that it worked great. I neglected to take pictures of it then, thinking I would do so the next time we used it, but that time never came so I attached it in the back yard last week so I could take these pictures. In this case I tied it down to a couple of paint cans for the weight, if we were out and about the poles would have been extended higher and the tie-downs would have been staked in the ground with the shade cloth stretched tighter.





Here is the Amazon link to the Outhere 10' x 10' Shade Sail.
https://www.amazon.com/Outhere-10X10...SIN=B019ZK9DD0

It attaches up top to the penthouse rings with two D-Rings and it is supported in front with two extendable aluminum tent poles with tie ropes staked into the ground. It is easy to carry and simple to set up, thus for us it fills the need with a small cash outlay and with little additional storage space being used up.

Note: The same company also makes a version in waterproof cloth, I have one of each "just in case".
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:09 AM   #474
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Nice solution to a permanent awning. I had a similar thought and have been mulling over fabricating some eye screws to fit in the track on the PH to as a secure point for the tarp. Still working on it.

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Old 11-12-2017, 07:45 AM   #475
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We used to run a similar set up. Now, we make space for a 10x10 EasyUp. The extra space to store has been mitigated as we pare down other items we use less of or don't haul around any more.
We like that we can make little adjustments to where it'll be set up (we basically want it near the barn doors always) and we can angle the canvass to respond to how the winds is effecting us.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:27 AM   #476
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We have an EasyUp down in the garage that I can tie on the load bars up top, that will happen once Laura decides to go to the Quartzite rock shows to sell vs. buy! Like you, I like the option of being able to place it away from the van and I’ll bring it when I know we are going to be sitting in one place for several days, the Shade Sail provides a simple option when the need arises with no pre-plan.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:12 PM   #477
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When the wife says: Quit working so much and get a hobby...

EmMay's comment below was copied from a post in another thread:

....takes on Fitz as one of the more prolific Threadsters and Devotees... a true Evangelical Forumite.....



EmMay, I will take your comment as a compliment! I never thought I would "get into" this entire SMB thing as much as I have, but it is addicting! And as I told the couple who came to look at Flint and ask pre-build questions yesterday, I have yet to meet anyone in the SMB community I haven't liked.

As you can see from the title to this post, my (wise) wife told me to get a bit more work-life balance into my life and to add a hobby of some sort. Little did she realize what she was saying when we first visited SMB Fresno!

And because posts are always better with pictures, here's two taken earlier this year during the second annual Northern CA Sprinter Campout. Chris' van is one in the line in the first picture, we were on a run up the North Fork of the Feather River Canyon to Beldon where we had a nice lunch at the Beldon Town Resort and Lodge. And the second picture speaks for itself, zoom in and read the text on the sign, keeping in mind that the load bars on top of Flint are 8'-10" above the ground.




This forum represents a great group of people, one I am happy to be a part of!
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:51 PM   #478
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You are a star Fitz. Clearly a high water mark yourself; your thread and inspirational data based insights are why people are loyal to this platform. Keep it up. No kidding.
There are, clearly, plenty of very knowledgeable folks onboard as well, a hearty 'Huzzay!' to all!
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:18 PM   #479
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I've mentioned before that I'm not a big fan of having an awning mounted to the side of the van. Laura and I use the van for travelling vs. camping, thus for us the end of the day is typically at dusk or after dark, with the result that an awning would get very little use. Despite this, I recognize the need for shade is very real, so here is the simple solution I came up with. As for rain, we typically don't set up in it, but the same concept applies with a solid cloth.
I agree with Fitz. I didn't want an awning permanently attached either. I first looked high and low for a Pentawing tarp originally made by Moss. I had seen these back when I was in school and liked how the width increased as you moved away from the structure (the van in this case). Moss is no longer in business, but we found something similar by MSR. We purchased the MSR Zing a while back (I think it is now called Rendezvous).

We currently anchor it to the rings that help align the penthouse bungee cord. Not the best approach, since one of the rings tore out. They were never intended to be an anchor point! I'm currently looking at alternative methods to anchor the tarp near the base of the penthouse.

The attached photo shows the awning in use during our trip to Colorado this summer. Unfortunately, it is a little difficult to see through the trees.
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IMG_2011a.jpg  
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:52 AM   #480
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkkbven View Post

We currently anchor it to the rings that help align the penthouse bungee cord. Not the best approach, since one of the rings tore out. They were never intended to be an anchor point! I'm currently looking at alternative methods to anchor the tarp near the base of the penthouse.
Good point regarding the rings. That's my attachment point also, please let me know what alternative you come up with. It looks like your tarp is quite a bit larger, but still, 10' x 10' x a little bit of wind = a lot of force on a small sewn attachment point. I have a thought regarding an option, will develop it further the next time the penthouse is up and I have some time to play with it.
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