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May 11 2015

To keep the sun off the canopy and to provide a dry area in wet weather I thought I'd make a roll up style awning. I wanted a waterproof 'top' part but a see-through 'bottom' part that kept the sun out but didn't block the view.

This post is a bit out of sequence, but when I initially made the awning, I forgot to photograph it when it was all set up. The top part is made from tough vinyl that they use on the side of pantech trucks, usually stencilled with the trucking company's logo etc. It is rip-proof and water-proof and nice and light. It comes in 3.6m width (12 foot) so it was a bit tricky sewing it.

The fabric is rolled around a length of aluminium tube, which attaches to the canopy using a gearbox I found for an industrial blind. I fabricated some brackets to make the gearbox 90 degrees to the side of the truck:

This is how the gearbox and brackets assemble to let you wind the awning in and out:

To try and ward off branches I made a small protective shield in front of everything, which should deflect things away from the gearbox and winder.

This is how it looks when it's all assembled:

Unfortunately, the edge of the door just touches the top when it's opened, so I had to make a teflon protector that slides easily under the vinyl and doesn't catch.  It's a bit hard to see in the photo above, but the more vertical panel is made from shade-cloth so you can see through it. 

This is how it looks from inside the cabin:

You can see how the top is 100% shade/waterproof and the vertical bit lets you see the view whilst still giving 90% shade. The arms are just drawn aluminium with simple pins to control the height, and they attach to the skirt of the canopy with some rubber door stoppers.

The components to make this were pretty cheap.  The whole thing cost about $200 I reckon, with the most expensive parts being the little gearbox ($45) and the truck vinyl ($65).


Total: 3 Comment(s)
  Very nicely done and innovative- looks sturdy too!
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  What do you do to cover the gap between the awning and the vehicle
· 0 0 0
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SuperUser Account  There is only a small gap between the roller part and the vehicle. It doesn't seen to be an issue that needs covering!
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