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Old 04-17-2019, 02:12 PM   #1
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DIY Tarp Awning Gutter Rail Attachment

I want the shade of an awning without their cost and unstealthiness. So I bought a simple 10'x10' tarp with a couple poles with the plan to attach one side to the van and stake out the poles with guy lines. So the question is how to attached the tarp to the van. I could make/buy/modify awning mounting brackets but that wouldn't be very stealthy. I then had the thought of simply drilling through the gutter rail and inserting a bolt from the bottom with a nut on top leaving essentially a stud to slide the tarp grommets over. I could also slide a washer and wingnut on to prevent it from slipping off. I had some concerns about damaging the rail but I think the tarp would fail before the rail. Anyone done this or can think why it would be an awful idea?

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Old 04-17-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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How about installing just the awning rail and then using Tarp Trackers:


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Old 04-17-2019, 06:41 PM   #3
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That’d work but I’d rather keep the design smaller and low profile. I think at most I’d mount 3 brackets and then hook the tarp straight to them. Bolts through the drip rail would be barely visible but the downside would be the tarp wouldn’t sit too much higher than the doors. And if I extended it to, then there would be much higher bending forces on the bolts
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:43 PM   #4
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We modified some awning brackets by drilling them and then bolting the awning to them. We take the brackets off the van when not in use.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:59 PM   #5
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Consider the use of magnets. I have some that are about 2” in diameter contained within a metal shell with an eye bolt in the middle. Put a small piece of cloth over the painted surface to protect it before applying the magnet.
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:15 PM   #6
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I put an awning slide on rail/track setup on my old van between the rain gutter and pop top. If you've seen an awning on a pop up camper you'll know what I mean. The rail can be purchased anywhere. My idea was stealth because the pop top covered the rail when top was down and I stored the awning in it's bag up in the pop top (big CCV top though)

Pop up camper awning was cheap and so was the rail, about $300 total.

There are lots of ideas like this out there that will be cheaper and simpler than these newer overpriced awnings but please, please don't drill holes in your rain gutter. I think you will regret this, especially if you live in the rust belt or near the ocean. Try to fab up some clamps instead.

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Old 06-16-2019, 10:34 PM   #7
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Something like this? Cheap modified Home Depot roofing clips.
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awning, diy, tarp

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