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The Dave Vickery Inspired DIY Awning--Pride Pics
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Belladonna30c
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: The Dave Vickery Inspired DIY Awning--Pride Pics Reply with quote

I became interested in finding an inexpensive, quick set-up awning option to help provide some shelter from the rain, when needing to cook outside (we have a weekender) or to gain some relief from the sun if our campsite has limited shade. So while discovering some inspiration from this thread http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=5298871#5298871 I came across Dave Vickery's post (see page 2 and page 6 of that thread; Moderator edit: link goes straight to Vickery's post), where he attached a pre-fab tarp to the base of the pop-top tent.

I loved the idea. Simple. Inexpensive. No drilling into the pop-top nor the body of the van. It does not require special mounting hardware, or loss of space by having one more bulky thing to pack. I set out to install one of my own, but I didn't love the limited choice of tarp colors (dark blue and green). So, I found some polyurethane coated Cordura in a color that closely matches our pop-top tent. After several hours of measuring, cutting, folding, pinning, sewing, pounding in grommets and finally installing under the base of the pop-top....voila! I am quite pleased with the results!


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While at a recent San Diego meet-up at our mechanic's 3rd annual open house (San Diego Westies), as usual everyone opened up their vans to share their latest modifications. I was quite delighted to see how many people admired our awning.

I also met another Vanagon owner who works for a company that manufactures textile products. She approached me about marketing/manufacturing these for our Vanagon community. She wondered how much someone would be willing to pay. So I put this question out to the Vanagon community. If you are interested in acquiring a similar awning that matches your pop-top, PM me with your interest and how much you would pay for something like this.




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The awning rolls up tight via tent poles sewed into the hem of the front edge. It tucks up neatly under the pop-top, which closes easily. You can't even tell that it's there.


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A borrowed grommet kit helped keep this project inexpensive. Your standard tent poles, orange tent-rope lines (with reflective material), and stakes keep everything sturdy and tight.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's slick, how do u attach to the westy?? Been looking for one that is simple and stored out o sight.
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Belladonna30c
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

morymob wrote:
That's slick, how do u attach to the westy?? Been looking for one that is simple and stored out o sight.


Hey there. Thanks. If you check out the original Dave Vickery post, you will see that you have to unscrew the base of the pop-top tent, slide the awning or tarp under the pop-top tent base then screw them back in together.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Awnings Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus Great idea! Would like to see tent poles go to jack points, aka the bus depot one. Let us all know the price you come up with! Very Happy
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morymob
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, i'm 1st going to look at velcro to attach to westy, some are pretty tough, would like easier option of removing when replacement might be needed.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That IS pretty cool, I too would like to see it attach to jack points on van instead of ropes and stakes...

Is that possible?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kuleinc wrote:
That IS pretty cool, I too would like to see it attach to jack points on van instead of ropes and stakes...

Is that possible?


The original Vickery link, he has a mod he made with PVC pipe from sprinklers that fit the Jack point.. the guy is brilliant!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since it is just a canvas with some grommets, I wouldn't expect to pay more than $50 for it without the tent poles. The tent poles could be bought locally almost anywhere so you'd save the cost of shipping. The only problem with it for the NW would be that it isn't waterproof. It is really only a sun shade. I've done the same thing with store bought tarps many times. It is an easy way to go if you don't want to spend the $130 for a BD awning.

Isn't the point of a DYI awning is to make it yourself? Smile

This was my first make shift attempt years ago with a blue tarp and some conduit a friend had laying around. Yours is by far much nicer and more refined, which I like.

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CQ
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belladonna, quick questions what size is the material and where did you get, I also did not like all my tarp option I biought a green one, but I know it will look silly so I did not put it on. Got any info on this and is yours relatively waterproof, not that we need it much in SD except these last couple of days.
Thanks.

Oh and a Manufacture price I dont know I assume $75 (complete kit)depending on the tarp material. I think the Bus depot one is $130, so cant be more than that.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kuleinc wrote:
That IS pretty cool, I too would like to see it attach to jack points on van instead of ropes and stakes...

Is that possible?

I did that with a small awning, using short pieces of wooden dowel to fit into the jack points and then copper 45 degree fittings attached to them to hold the poles. I'll find some pix.

*EDIT*

Here's the link:
https://picasaweb.google.com/bike2vcu/AwningMods#
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Belladonna30c
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CQ wrote:
Belladonna, quick questions what size is the material and where did you get, I also did not like all my tarp option I biought a green one, but I know it will look silly so I did not put it on. Got any info on this and is yours relatively waterproof, not that we need it much in SD except these last couple of days.
Thanks.

Oh and a Manufacture price I dont know I assume $75 (complete kit)depending on the tarp material. I think the Bus depot one is $130, so cant be more than that.


Hi CQ,

Thanks for your input. I found the fabric at Discount Fabrics on Adams Ave. in Normal Heights. I am aware that you can also purchase it online at outdoor fabric retailers. The fabric bolt width is 60" and my finished length was 6' 6".
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CQ wrote:
kuleinc wrote:
That IS pretty cool, I too would like to see it attach to jack points on van instead of ropes and stakes...

Is that possible?


The original Vickery link, he has a mod he made with PVC pipe from sprinklers that fit the Jack point.. the guy is brilliant!


Yup,

The PVC pipe/jack point is a great idea. I just haven't had time to replicate it yet for my use. Though I plan to. I think the tent lines may still be necessary to keep the awning stable in the wind.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. You think 7 feet would fit underneath. I will try to go by today afterwork.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CQ wrote:
Thanks. You think 7 feet would fit underneath. I will try to go by today afterwork.


If I were you, I would get at least 7 feet of length. My finished length was 6' 6". You will need extra length for the hems.

I think I purchased 2 1/2 yards to be safe. Lift your pop-top and take a look at where you want to attach the awning

On mine I left a good 4" of space between the pop-top hinge in the back and the back end of the awning. I hope to install pop-top shocks in the future, and accounted for the space that might be needed.

On the front end, I attached the awning end point at the front end of the pop-top where it starts to curve. Hope that helps.

Oh, also, I used upholstery grade thread for durability and a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine. You will need a full spool of thread.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One last stupid question, did you hem it where you attach it to the vanagon before you put the screws through it.

Thanks again. One of these days I will make the SD meet ups.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

campism wrote:
kuleinc wrote:
That IS pretty cool, I too would like to see it attach to jack points on van instead of ropes and stakes...

Is that possible?

I did that with a small awning, using short pieces of wooden dowel to fit into the jack points and then copper 45 degree fittings attached to them to hold the poles. I'll find some pix.

*EDIT*

Here's the link:
https://picasaweb.google.com/bike2vcu/AwningMods#



Campism: very cool. Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking about how I wanted to approach the jack point attachment for my tent poles, and I like the look of your copper over the PVC option.

Curious though, what diameter of tent/awning poles do you have? I think mine are 1". They look thicker than yours. Are there larger copper pipe fittings that might work for me? (I am unfamiliar with this stuff.)
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be careful storing your canvas awning up against your canvas Pop Top Rent. Too much pressure might create an undesired outcome.

PVC Jack Point poles. Cotter pins go through the pvc and the "foot" or "Kleet" of the metal awning poles to hold in place in pvc. If you don't lock the poles together and a big wind rocks up..... you had better watch out Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This wasn't really my idea, I saw something similar and adapted it like everyone else. I want to redo it one more time and make it better without going crazy.

I've used it in heavy rain and it needs a way to push up the middle a little bit for run off. Maybe a tent pole through a sleeve down the middle that makes it into an arch.

And I'd like to make it bigger. Longer for sure, and maybe a flap that fold over and snaps onto the luggage rack cleat to extend more to the front of the van.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belladonna30c wrote:
Curious though, what diameter of tent/awning poles do you have? I think mine are 1". They look thicker than yours. Are there larger copper pipe fittings that might work for me? (I am unfamiliar with this stuff.)

I haven't memorized the copper sizes but if you stand in the plumbing aisle at HoDepot for a few minutes you'll find something that will work. The wooden dowel is 1 1/8" diameter and it fits almost perfectly into the jack point. The big end of the street 45 (I do know that "street" in plumbingspeak refers to a fitting like this with a big and a small end, the small of which fits perfectly into the big of another just like it) fits over the dowel and the tent pole (7/8" diameter with a rubber cap for a total of about 15/16" diameter) fits into the small end of the 45. Find a dowel that fits and take that and a pole section with you to the store. You'll find something but you might have to cobble something together out of multiple fittings/adaptors. If your tent pole is larger then just get a 45 that is not "street" and it will accept up to 1 1/8" at either end.

I used 5" long dowel at the front and 7" at the rear to clear the slider.
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