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Old 10-24-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Portable Awning

We did not want to order the fixed awning with our van because of the problems that are associated with them. Also, we were worried we might catch it on a tree when driving off road and do serious damage to the awning or van. We had been trying to figure out how to make a compact portable awning that could be attached to the van when Dana came across this on the web:


We ordered it from www.busdepot.com for $133 including shipping. It is designed for a VW Westfailia but we figured we could easily fit it to our Sportsmobile. I think we did confuse the company a little bit because on our invoice under vehicle it has "Hmmmmm. 2008 Ford?"

The top is made from heavy tent material and has two fiberglass cross poles which Velcro to the top with a tie in the middle. This gives it a nice dome that should shed water well. It also allows plenty of room for both side doors to open.



There are two steel poles one on the van side and the other on the front of the awning. The awning is designed to attach to the rain gutter on a VW van but unfortunately the clamps don't work on the Ford. They do sell a suction cup kit, but were out of stock when we placed our order.

What I came up with after wandering around the hardware store is to use 3 S-hooks that are just large enough to slip over the poles and then clip these to the bungee that runs around the penthouse top. When installed most of the weight rests against the side of the penthouse and the bungee just holds it in place. At this point I have just set it up in my driveway, but if it seems like it is straining the bungee I may purchase the suction cup kit.



The legs are adjustable so it should be easy to set up on uneven ground. They include stakes and ropes on the outside corners, but if it gets really windy, I will probably have to take it down.

It was fairly easy to put up even though the instructions are quite poor. With a little practice I should be able to be set it up or take it down in under 10 minutes. The best part is it is very compact when stowed.


The overall construction is good the only complaint I have is the storage bags are very lightweight and will probably need to be replaced long before the awning.

I will let all of you know how it works in the real world after our next trip.

John
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Old 10-25-2008, 12:18 AM   #2
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Cool looking awning John. Reminds me of the Kelty Carport, but half the price!
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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Interesting. Please do report back to us to let us know how it pans out. Especially curious to know if you feel the hooks on the bungee cord are working without risking damage to the PH top.
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:04 PM   #4
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And how well the canvas top holds up to water pouring off of the top against the canvas. In theory, waterproof is waterproof, right?
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:09 PM   #5
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Hmmm, Buji's comment got me thinking, is it going to stay dry with approximately 1/4 of the water draining against the canvas right over the side doors? I'd like to suggest turning a hose on it and seeing where the water goes before you're somewhere you can't turn it off!

The S hooks look fine to me- my first thought was damage too, but from the photo it would be impossible for the sharp bits to be in contact with the canvas without having the full frame through it. D-rings would be an alternative, but the S-hooks look pretty good.

Last trip I attached a tarp to the rings of the canvas, not the bungee. My only comment is remember your setup before closing the top. D'oh!
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:54 PM   #6
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Nice find !
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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Looks like it might go well over the back doors too.
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:22 PM   #8
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You read my mind Jage
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:04 PM   #9
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Nice I may have to get one......


Do you think the cover is strong enough to attach a tarp to the sides to make a small room???

FB

Doing my best to keep the economy going.....
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:46 PM   #10
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FishB I'm going to guess your issue would be the frame is only front and back crossed with an X. There isn't really a frame on either side. The more I look at this thread the more I want one...
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