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Old 09-17-2021, 02:40 PM   #1
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e350 SMB 'Rear Tent/Awning'

Anybody out there help me on this one...?

I've been looking for a solution that would attached over the two swing out doors at the rear of my 2002 E350 SMB -alowing me a covered space (preferably with bug screen/windows) with the rear doors open (see pic for an idea on the Sprinter) . I see a number of tent options that fit SUV tailgates (eg Napier Backroads and Rightline gear SUV tent) and a company in UK that does awnings (basically a cover that spans the two doors when open - (they said they don't have anything that would work on an e350) but nothing I can see that really fits the bill.

I guess for shade-only i could mount a short awning across the back somehow (no thanks) or get a batwing awning for the side that goes over the back (already have a side mounted Fiamma f45- so no thanks either) or continue to try and bodge up something with a tarp, clips and poles that falls over regularly (only option, until you help me guys!)

I was thinking of just getting one of the SUVs ones and trying to retro fit but can't imagine the height and the double door vs Tailgate option would make that easy.

The principle seems easy and I've seen stuff elsewhere that gets close - clips to rain gutter/straps and hooks to wheel arches etc but nothing that looks ready 'out of the box' for the 2002 E350 (with pop top) or similar

Surely I'm not the only one...Anyone help?
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Old 09-17-2021, 03:44 PM   #2
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We use a small spring loaded curtain rod the go between the top corners of the open back doors. That holds the doors open and allows shade netting or other material to be spring clamped to the outside corners of the rear rain gutter and again to the top of the doors. The lower edge can then be left hanging free or add two poles and extend the shaded area. Quick simple setup and very small space needed to stow.
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Old 09-17-2021, 04:51 PM   #3
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Maybe a Moonshade would work for your needs? Also they were talking about making an enclosed room that could be added, but I'm not sure if those are available yet.

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...ion-28507.html
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Old 09-17-2021, 05:13 PM   #4
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This one always intrigued me - seems it's what you are looking for:
https://offroadtents.com/products/tu...17225417162809

EDIT: for enclosure, you can have a shop make the sides (and floor) if that's your ultimate goal.
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:47 PM   #5
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Biggest issue around rear door permanent attached awning is on a pop top van. The ability to attach brackets around the rear door is a serious challenge.
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Old 09-18-2021, 03:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
Biggest issue around rear door permanent attached awning is on a pop top van. The ability to attach brackets around the rear door is a serious challenge.
Not to derail the OP's thread, but figure this may offer a potentially plausible solution to the concept of mounting a rear awning.
A year or so ago I contemplated installing that rear awning, and you are correct in the challenge was a solution which wouldn't use roof gutter mounts above the rear doors since there is no clearance.
I never pursued the project (at least not yet), but made up a crude drawing back then - now I'm interested to see (with all your experience 1der, or anyone else that cares to offer critique) what your assessment is of my approach...would this work???
Concept is to use 6 rain gutter brackets (Smittybuilt):
https://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-De...1995251&sr=8-5

Two each on each side of the van (one just prior to the back roof line curve with the other mounted about 16" farther towards the front of the van. Then a 2" wide aluminum bar 1/4" thick that attaches to both and follows the edge of the rear roof line to attach to the other side. That 2" aluminum bar would serve as the mount for the awning. I wanted to provide support above the rear doors so figured adding two more of the roof gutter mounts without the flange that cups around the bottom since that would interfere with opening the back doors - This would help support the weight of the 20lb awning (with a good amount of rubber attached to the bottom of those feet so the metal doesn't dig into the rain gutter). I also assumed having the aluminum bar mounted to 2 gutter mounts on the sides would minimize and up/down movement of the awning when traveling the likes of washboards.
****All this is better explained with the pic below.
Think this can work? Wouldn't interfere with the rear doors, or the pop top. I was just never sure it was enough for a 20lb awning.
Appreciate any feedback

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Old 09-23-2021, 10:20 AM   #7
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Rhino rack Batwing

You may want to look into Rhino Racks Batwing. There is also a company on Kickstarter that had a very long delay in production called Wildside tarp that is worth a glance also
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twoxentrix View Post
Not to derail the OP's thread, but figure this may offer a potentially plausible solution to the concept of mounting a rear awning.
A year or so ago I contemplated installing that rear awning, and you are correct in the challenge was a solution which wouldn't use roof gutter mounts above the rear doors since there is no clearance.
I never pursued the project (at least not yet), but made up a crude drawing back then - now I'm interested to see (with all your experience 1der, or anyone else that cares to offer critique) what your assessment is of my approach...would this work???
Concept is to use 6 rain gutter brackets (Smittybuilt):
https://www.amazon.com/Smittybilt-De...1995251&sr=8-5

Two each on each side of the van (one just prior to the back roof line curve with the other mounted about 16" farther towards the front of the van. Then a 2" wide aluminum bar 1/4" thick that attaches to both and follows the edge of the rear roof line to attach to the other side. That 2" aluminum bar would serve as the mount for the awning. I wanted to provide support above the rear doors so figured adding two more of the roof gutter mounts without the flange that cups around the bottom since that would interfere with opening the back doors - This would help support the weight of the 20lb awning (with a good amount of rubber attached to the bottom of those feet so the metal doesn't dig into the rain gutter). I also assumed having the aluminum bar mounted to 2 gutter mounts on the sides would minimize and up/down movement of the awning when traveling the likes of washboards.
****All this is better explained with the pic below.
Think this can work? Wouldn't interfere with the rear doors, or the pop top. I was just never sure it was enough for a 20lb awning.
Appreciate any feedback

I've been scheming basically the same design. In my head it was one clamp similar to the Smittybilt about 8" ahead of each corner.....and then a band that bolted to that, wrapped the corners and had a rolled lower edge to sit in the gutter. The Awning would then bolt to that band.

I have a high top.....so I could just fabricate some spacers and bolt the awning to the top but I'm hesitant to drill through the top(not sure why....the van is nearly 30 years old!)

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Old 09-23-2021, 01:33 PM   #9
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Kelty makes a "carport awning" that's been evolving over the years.....I have an older one...


(the one on the back doors...)






https://www.google.com/search?q=kelt...ih=567&dpr=1.5


https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...rport-864.html
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Old 09-23-2021, 04:21 PM   #10
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I'm more inclined to go the rout of a fixed awning for the rear, but those are two great links you've shared boywonder - Some creative alternatives I didn't know existed, sure get some new ideas from them! Thanks for posting.
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