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Old 11-26-2008, 11:14 AM   #1
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Awning frustruations

In addition to the issues of my shaking awning causing body damage, I'm frustrated by the fact that the awning acts as a tree-anchor -- a giant hook that snags passing low-hanging saplings on overgrown trails. This weekend, the awning front end-cap finally got smashed off.



So, I'm trying to decide whether I replace the cap or use this as an excuse to remove the awning altogether. I'm tempted to go with John & Dana's simple Portable Awning idea. If I do retain my awning, I think I need to fabricate some kind of mini nerf bar bumper between the awning and the van body so branches don't get caught in the gap between them.
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Old 11-26-2008, 01:27 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your awning. I had built a portable awning arrangement that C clamped to the rain gutter and had the REI adjustable poles on the outboard side and one in the middle. I had a boat canvas person build the canvas with eyelets for the poles and sewed in a solid aluminum rod on the end that attached to the rain gutter. It was fine. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to put up and stake down. It would not withstand high winds because the clamps would pull off the rain gutter because they are filled with a rubber type compound to keep water from sitting in them so there is not much room to fasten to. We ended up just getting an EZ UP canopy. Goes up in 10 seconds. Can be moved around depending on the sun and set up situation. oclv
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:03 PM   #3
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I am still looking at buying an awning but I recently found an EZ-up at walmart (different brand name) that stands just around 40 inches tall when folded up. This is pefect to store it upright, only taking up about a 12" x12" area during travel. Nice cheap alternative and as OCLV noted, can be set up in 10 seconds. It also cost less ten the EZ-UP.

Gary
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
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Geoff,

Sad to hear about your awning issue. I think it will be cheaper to fabricate a nerf-bar of some sort than purchasing a new awning. I'll see if I can rig up something for our Fiamma and make two so I can send you one. I will check with a metal shop in town if they can fab one up.

Ray
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Old 11-27-2008, 11:51 AM   #5
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Geoff,

Sorry to hear about your awning. This was the main reason I didn't order an awning with our van, with all of the tight brushy trails up here I was worried I would tear it off.

John
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:04 PM   #6
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Something simple like a single sheet with a few bends would work. Tying it in to the drip rail might be an issue. Actually now that I think about it some Jeep and Landrover guys run a cable to keep branches at bay.



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Old 11-27-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
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Excellent -- exactly what I was thinking! Attaching securely to the awning (and not just the (weak) end cap) would be essential.
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #8
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Geoff,

I have a spool of 1/8" wire rope that I got for free a couple of years ago and I would be happy to share. It should be plenty strong.

John
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:19 PM   #9
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Hmmmmm.... another item to add to our list.... I am wondering if I can leverage the already in place light bar and connect the end of the bar to the end of the awning.... or maybe I don't even need to connect it to the awning...
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