$30 Camper Awning!

I wanted a small awning over the door of my truck camper. Most that I looked at were hundreds of dollars and simply didn’t fit my budget. On Amazon.com I found a Outsunny 4′ Drop Arm Manual Retractable Window Awning for under $30! It looked pretty good and for under $30 if it was a piece of junk at least I might be able to use the canvas.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BQHEZW0/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

When I received it in only a couple of days I was VERY surprised to find a reasonably good awning in the box.

The case is made of aluminum, the awning itself is heavy fabric and all the hardware looks well made. Simply amazing that you can buy something like this for under $30!

But I wasn’t going to mount it to my house so I had to fabricate a few brackets and supports. My plan was to make it easily removable and stored inside the camper while in transit.

To attach it to my camper I cut a couple of “L” brackets from a piece of aluminum angle.

These were screwed and 3M 5200 sealant/adhesived to the camper.

One on each end of the awning box.

The awning box was temporarily held in place with a set of vise-grips as a 1/4-20 hole was drilled and taped. As you can see, the hole in the bracket is greatly over sized so there won’t be any alignment issues when the awning is attached. As I stated…My plan is for the awning to be removable so it doesn’t get beat to death at highway speeds.

I used a couple of thumb screws. The nut and washer is simply to give the thumb screw a flat surface to mate to the bracket

Now that the awning box is in place, time to fabricate some supports.

The support arms that come with the awning are much too short so I cut a piece of 1/2″ electrical conduit in half for two 5′ pieces.

To attach them to the camper I used the brackets that the awning came with. You’ll have to drill out the rivets to remove them. These are screwed to the camper with more #m 5200 sealant.

And another thumb screw and nut secures this end to the camper. (Note: The pre existing hole in the supplied bracket is too large to be taped for the 1/4-20 thumb screw. In the future I’ll tape the hole 5/16 and use a larger thumb screw. You know as well as I that those tiny nuts are going to be dropped and totally disappear!)

At the other end of the conduit I got fancy. With my lathe I turned a couple of pins and super glued them into the end of the conduit

I drilled a hole at each end of the awning valance to accept these pins.

And then made these little do-hickies to hold the pins in place. Bungy cords were affixed to these devices:

These slip over the “pins” and lock everything together:

The Bungy cords are pulled tight and secured to the camper.

The bungy cords have “give” so in a wind, the awning can move a bit but won’t damage the camper skin.

The awning has a flat nylon cord that is used to roll the awning up. I mounted a marine type cleat to hold this in place:

The two support arms store in the “Sewer Hose…Fence Post Cover…Storage Area”

Lastly, I added a small wheel I had hanging around (from a cheap office file cabinet) to the door so the edge of the door wouldn’t rip the fabric as it rubs up against it as the door is swung open:

Like I said previously, my intention was to remove and store the awning while in transit. The awning fits perfectly under the cab over bed on my Palomino Bronco 1200. Takes about 10 minutes to install and deploy.

Pulling on the lanyard rolls it right up and secures it for when you are not at your campsite. (If I was to do it again I’d mount the support arm brackets once the awning was rolled up. In this way, nothing would need to be taken apart to roll up the awning. The arms would simply follow the valance up as the awning was retracted….Live and learn!)

That’s it! a rear awning for under $30. I used it on two trips thus far and it worked GREAT! The wind came up and it held fine. It kept blowing rain from the doorway of the camper and when I was using my air conditioner that mounts to the camper door, it kept it in the cool shade and increased its cooling efficiency. When the AC was not in place I could leave the rear door screen open and no rain entered.

 

Thank for viewing!

 

Roy B

rvb100@comcast.net

 

 

 

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5 comments on “$30 Camper Awning!”

  1. Thnickerson Reply

    Roy, I did not know you had a TC. I had a Northstar Arrow which I loved, but it did not have a dedicated dinette/picture window arrangement where 2 (4 in a tight) can sit facing each other. Northstar makes the best in the USA. Rex is a hoot: When asked do they offer optional heated toilet seats, he said: “Our seats get warm in about a minute!”

    Check out Rex and Penny’s new Northstar Liberty for 3/4 ton shortbeds like Ford. Its basically an improved Arrow, which has been real popular among NATCOAs for years. Would be hard to find a better camper for 1 or 2.

    My new TC is a NorthernLite from Canada. It features wood veneer paneling, a huge fridge/freeze AND a dinette table 2can sit at facing each other–you can put your meal on table and read a book, without juggling stuff picnic style.

    Bill Penny, who is very knowledgeable and carries all TCs on his lots except Lance, sold me both of mine. Good guy. His 2d lot is in West Chesterfield, NH. Google “TruckCamperWarehouse”

    If in the area, go by, tell Bill “The Judge” sent you

  2. chris Reply

    I would like to view the photos but for some reason they don’t open. Do you have a facebook or other site where I can check them out. Great idea! Thanks!

  3. Gene Reply

    I wish I could see the pics too. Can u email to me. Califxr650L@hotmail.com
    I just ordered one of these for my Lance. 4 feet is pretty wide, May have to narrow it downsomehow.
    PS.now 39.99 on amazon.
    Ty for the write up
    Gene. Near Los Angeles

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