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Old 07-29-2019, 10:28 PM   #1
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Awming Z-bracket install

I'm installing the Z-brackets for my awning and wondering if this gap between the z-clip and bracket is normal?


With the bracket flush against the van body there is a 1/8+ inch gap between the bracket and the clip. If I pinch the two pieces together then the bracket is no longer flush to the van. I attached pictures showing the gap.



It's a 2011 E250.
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IMG_20190728_192804.jpg   IMG_20190728_192817_BURST01.jpg   IMG_20190728_192035.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:34 AM   #2
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It's not uncommon that some slight tweaking is needed. A little bend and or removing some additional gutter filler often helps.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:17 AM   #3
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Plus, I'm sure you turned the Z bar around and/or tried all the different combos.

Plus, as you are aware, the brackets themselves are different for front-mid-rear.

Plus, They are designed to pinch together when tightened. The two holes are offset just a tad to compliment this

Sometimes a bit more seam sealer removal helps to settle it into proper alignment.
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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After my son's 9 consecutive weekends of mountain bike races, an ultra run, and a trip to Moab, I'm finally getting back to installing the awning.

With some bending I was able to get the front bracket mounted securely and clear the front doors.

The middle and back bracket went on fine but the offset on the middle bracket doesn't seem to account for the bow in the side of the van. If a straight edge is placed between the front and rear brackets the middle bracket has about a 1 in gap. Is this another case of the brackets needing more fabrication or is there something else going on? The small bends required to get the middle bracket properly aligned will be difficult to do. The fabrication shop I talked to suggested it would be easier to make a new bracket.

Here's a link to the pictures showing the problem:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ytfgBGQ3uWTrnmwp6
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:07 PM   #5
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Thxs for posting the pics. You are installing a Fiamma?

The middle bracket looks bent inwards (towards the penthouse). The vertical face should be more plumb. As is, the penthouse does not look like it would clear when coming down.

If the clamping surfaces all look proper against the van and in the gutter, then remove the middle bracket and carefully bend the vertical face outward so it is more in vertical alignment w the front and rear brackets. Once it is close, hang your awning on the

How much bending was done to the front bracket?
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:41 PM   #6
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Who sells the brackets?

Timely thread as I'm researching an awning for my 4wd E350 with penthouse but have been stuck on mounting brackets. Tried searching for "z brackets" to find out it was a brand name? Where do I find a source for something that attaches to the rain gutter without drilling my van? my apologies for detracting from the original inquiry
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Greyswann View Post
Timely thread as I'm researching an awning for my 4wd E350 with penthouse but have been stuck on mounting brackets. Tried searching for "z brackets" to find out it was a brand name? Where do I find a source for something that attaches to the rain gutter without drilling my van? my apologies for detracting from the original inquiry
See Member Classified, Vendor Hobbyist Products:
http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...tch-16967.html
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Old 11-18-2019, 03:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Greyswann View Post
Timely thread as I'm researching an awning for my 4wd E350 with penthouse but have been stuck on mounting brackets. Tried searching for "z brackets" to find out it was a brand name? Where do I find a source for something that attaches to the rain gutter without drilling my van? my apologies for detracting from the original inquiry

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-16967-31.html
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
Thxs for posting the pics. You are installing a Fiamma?

The middle bracket looks bent inwards (towards the penthouse). The vertical face should be more plumb. As is, the penthouse does not look like it would clear when coming down.

If the clamping surfaces all look proper against the van and in the gutter, then remove the middle bracket and carefully bend the vertical face outward so it is more in vertical alignment w the front and rear brackets. Once it is close, hang your awning on the

How much bending was done to the front bracket?

It's a Thule awning - identical for all practical purposes. Designed by the same people.

I bent both the front and back brackets forward so they are vertical. If I make the same bend (so it's vertical) on the middle bracket it will not be in line with the front and back brackets due to the bowed sides of the van. The rain gutter on the van is not a straight line so the brackets do not line up.

This video shows the problem:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/AMFaYZr7teJ8UB24A
The board in the picture is flush against the front and rear brackets but the middle bracket, if it were bent to be vertical, would be offset by about 1".

I added a couple more pictures:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Kae4S6iHkpGZ6EEy7

FYI - it's a 2011 E150

Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Penthouse seal integrity

The perimeter of my penthouse comes close to the outside edge of the gutters. Will the penthouse seal still be effective when overlaying these mounts and should I be cautious about accelerated seal wear at these points? My penthouse was installed approximately 4 years ago. THANKS
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