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Old 08-07-2022, 06:15 PM   #1
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Has anyone modified the roof drip rail?

So back when my awning fell off, and I got new brackets and they're great- better than the old brackets for sure. The problem is when I put everything back together the awning brackets just ripped right off again, under it's own weight alone. Now while I'm happy it didn't happen while driving, it should have supported it's own weight- troubleshooting turned up the drip rail is slightly deflected in the area of the rear bracket. Now I'm not sure if this is why the old bracket failed or a result of it failing, however after beating everything back into shape in the front there doesn't seem to be anything to bend back in the rear drip rail.

The problem then as illustrated is that in section A where the drip rail is deflected, the radius of the bracket holding the awning is large enough there is no interlocking and it just slides over under weight. I'm not sure if I can crush the pinch seam at A in order to make a solid edge to fit against, or if I can have someone weld a lip there (built up TIG bead?) the problem being finding a skilled TIG welder who has 10 minutes to do it.



The only other thought I had was to drill vertically through the drip rail and add small bolts to prevent slippage- they'd be more like pins and under shear mostly keeping the bracket from slipping away.


Any thoughts? The awning is probably the best thing I've ever added and I'd like to get it back on but I just need something better to ensure it actually clamps on and I don't lose it again.
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Old 08-07-2022, 07:08 PM   #2
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Are you using the Z bracket style brackets?



My awning also fell off pulling in to horse meadow campground in Kernville.....the rear two brackets went kaput but the front one held on....so I ended up dragging the awning for a short distance but luckily with minimal road rash.


I machined custom fitted solid aluminum Z bracket replacements that really grab the gutter, since they don't have a radii from bending sheet metal. The awning hasn't moved since then.


I can post a few pics if that helps.
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Old 08-07-2022, 07:37 PM   #3
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Are you using the Z bracket style brackets?

Exactly. They held for years and then one day popped off like a dandelion head.
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Old 08-08-2022, 07:52 AM   #4
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You could try using a dremmel or small chisel to remove some of the adhesive sealing material down in the gutter channel where youíre clamping the brackets to get more purchase.
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:01 AM   #5
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Jage - the flat face depth at A needs about 3/16" to 1/4" depth, almost no radius. If the gutter filler putty is too high it will reduce or eliminate the backside of the lip the clamp needs hold against.

Solution is usually to chisel out a bit of the putty to create the depth. An alternative would be to weld a bead onto the radius of the clamp and grind to a sharper radius/edge. boywonder effectively did this by machining new clamps with sharper hold edges.

Another approach would be to drill two holes in the clamp face that rests in the gutter (there may already be one which is used for hanging the parts for powder coating)
threading those holes and screwing in two screws similiar to what Aluminess does for the ladder gutter mount.

I would also like to see a side on picture to see how the bracket and clamp are positioning against the bottom and top of the gutter.

Lastly, if the gutter lip is damaged beyond repair then we are onto a different path.
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:13 PM   #6
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Here are my machined awning Z bracket replacements.....


They grip the drip rail tighter than a........well...let's just say really really tight.


They are milled from aluminum and I drilled and tapped 5/16" threads in them (cuz that's the kinda guy I am...) but you could just drill a through-hole and use nylocks. They are primed and painted with rattle-can black and I used some thin silicone sheet material to protect the van finish.


Rear bracket:





Middle bracket:





Each bracket required custom fitting so all three are a bit different. The objective is to get the beveled top surface to mate well with the large sheet metal bracket so that when you tighten the joint the machined inner bracket is wedged down into the gutter as it tightens on the lip.


The rear bracket was likely the last one I fabricated since it fits really well . I also bent the larger outer brackets here and there to get the awning to sit vertical.
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Old 08-08-2022, 02:31 PM   #7
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I also bent the larger outer brackets here and there to get the awning to sit vertical.
It took me forever to adjust these so they were both snug and also perfectly vertical. Then, if using all 3 brackets, they will not be aligned because the middle of the van is a little wider than the ends. Fabricated spacers for the front and rear brackets to fix this.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:20 PM   #8
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I used some old chisels to dig out the putty in 3 places, slapped on some paint and reinstalled the brackets.
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Old 08-14-2022, 10:26 AM   #9
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Check this thread

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...ion-30607.html

I mounted my awning to the ends of my cross bars.

Works really well.
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Old 08-14-2022, 11:13 AM   #10
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Iíve been using 1derís brackets for years and they are as solid as the day I installed them. That may likely be because I removed all the gutter sealant at each bracket to get a solid grip on the gutter. Last year I also fabricated my own brackets for my limb lifters. I used a straight piece of flat bar that grips the inside of the gutter. Again, I removed all the gutter sealant and they are solid enough that the gutter will rip off the body before it comes loose.
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