Vehicles Awnings - A Rip-Off?

Submitted: Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 13:54
ThreadID: 133466 Views:5508 Replies:9 FollowUps:11
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A thread currently running in the forum talks about the price of awnings, particularly the no-name brand types and it got me thinking about a question I had asked myself a number of times recently – are some of the awnings mounted on vehicles a "rip-off"?

Now don't get me wrong here, I’m not one of the “you get what you pay for mob” and questioning whether they represent value for money.

Rest assured, Mrs Landy has always got one eye on the cheque book, another on the vehicle, and a sixth sense for when I’m quietly heading off to a 4WD shop with both, so I've become more astute with my purchases and find myself at the front-gate waiting for that Aldi catalogue to be delivered every Wednesday...

Yes, I know, I'm not alone in that regard...but I'll get to the real point of this thread...

Now when I say “ripped-off” I am referring to the way many of these awnings are mounted on vehicles.

Logically, most are attached to roof-racks, but many protoud well forward of the leading edge of the roof-rack just waiting to be ripped-off by an overhanging branch on a bush track.

Perhaps the incidence is low, depending on where you drive on a regular basis, but just thought I’d put it out there as it would seem mounting them in this way presents risk of damage to the awning, vehicle, and perhaps pride…

Just thought I’d throw it out there for discussion.

I have a canvass awning on a rope track and channeling on either side of the vehicle’s canopy for mounting, this gives flexibilty on where I put it and keeps it out the way of over-hanging branches – after all there are plenty of other things I can dent my pride with…


Cheers, Baz – The Landy

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Reply By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 14:37

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 14:37
Baz mine does a good job of pulling down branches and the occasional tree. I've had braches wedged between the rack and awning channel a few times and recently on the Dampier Peninsula I actually bent the whole awning that was protruding forward of my rack.

The awning bag also gets a fair amount of damage from those wayward branches. Guy I sometimes travel with has a bucket like arrangement which he has attached to the front of his awning bag to protect it.

I have contemplated getting a bracket made that squares of the gap between my awning and the awning mounting track so that branches and the occasional tree don't get wedged between.

cheers

Dunc

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 16:22

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 16:22
Hi Dunc

The ones I'm referring to have a foot + exposed in front of the leading edge of the roofrack.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Duncan W (WA) - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 17:26

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 17:26
Baz mine protrudes only about 150mm, if that, but the shape of my Rhino rack forces branches and small trees between. I've seen many, especially on utes, that only have a basic roof rack and no canopy with a long length protruding forward and these in my mind are a real danger.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 18:37

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 18:37
Hi Dunc

They are the ones I'm referring to...!

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: ian.g - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 17:18

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 17:18
Most of the ones I see I would hasten to suggest never see the end of a bitumen road let alone overhanging branches, vibration alone would kill them on a moderately corrugated road, as they shake reasonably badly on main roads and at times I have feared that they would break off the vehicle they are "attached" to and come flying back. Good for using up limited space at local football matches and Kids sporting events. I think Baz's idea is far superior
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Reply By: Hoyks - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 17:49

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 17:49
Yes, many are installed with a significant unsupported section towards the front.

I don't think that many get ripped off, but more than a few fall off due to rattling over corrugations and that section adding leverage to the cheap nasty rivets that hold them together.

One of the guys at work was driving out of Landcruiser Park and saw some movement out of the corner of his eye, which was the awning parting company with the car on the forward end. Lucky as it fell it was caught by the wing mirror of his Patrol. If that wasn't there to catch it, then I think the roof rack may have pole-vaulted off the roof as the end caught the road.
AnswerID: 604516

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016 at 04:12

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016 at 04:12
Yep, if a branch happening to hook up in one, you'd just bow saw it off and carry on, pretty rare occurrence I imagine being that far into the scrub.
Mine failed on Madigan a few months ago, after 5 years of Simpson / outback roads and many other trips, the nuts in the back channel finally wore through the channel section and let go on the front cabin roof bar mount.
All the bolts / nuts were still in place, all I had to do was loosen the other rear 2 mounts on the awning, slide it forward (or back, can't recall which way I went) an inch, re position in the channel at the front, re tighten and carried on.
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Reply By: gbc - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 19:04

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 19:04
My no name eBay awning was purchased in 2009 for a Simpson/central oz run and numerous trips since. It has only ever been attached by the rear half onto the two racks of a dual cab ute canopy. It is perfectly happy cruising along there. I use the mounts to also carry a shovel and fishing rods. The trick is to wrap a couple of stretchies around the outside to 'bind' the two sail track sections to the rear spine, thus making the whole show act as one item. It also takes lots of weight off the little Velcro straps inside, and stops any wobble.
AnswerID: 604519

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 23:11

Monday, Sep 19, 2016 at 23:11
Baz, always a concern. Managed to sort it by making a 'sacrificial' plate in front of mine.
AnswerID: 604521

Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016 at 06:39

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016 at 06:39
Hi Scott

That is a great solution...

Mind you, your awning doesn't protrude in the way that many I see do...

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016 at 18:00

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2016 at 18:00
Baz, still protrudes enough to catch trees. My run up the Googs track in April had one hit that bent the cover back 45 degrees. Strengthened it with a top brace for the run on the Madigan line in July. Figured I wouldn't need it as much there as there are less trees .... until cresting a sand dune my front wheels were caught in a rut pulling me sideways and into the only (dead) tree I saw. Lost a fastener on the canopy, but the bash plate held up fine..... one of the reasons I keep the old-style mirrors on the '40 rather than some flashier ones .. they'll just pivot back when hit. Push them back out and all is good.
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Reply By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 09:39

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 09:39
Ours does extend a way forward but that is only about 300mm, so there is still plenty of strength there.

But saying that, We are both well aware of it and "drive accordingly". I hate that saying, but it is true for the awning. We have never hit anything more than small leafy branches with the awning.

And yes the right hand side does get more than it's fair share of pinstriping.

Phil
PS: It's STILL raining so I am not going out to get any better photos.
AnswerID: 604553

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 10:25

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 10:25
.
Haha Phil. That looks like a javelin, or maybe even a rocket launcher!
Keep up the "accordingly" driving. lol
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 10:49

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 10:49
It's just the 2M one. Why get a tiny one when a bigger one is more useful.

Phil

PS. The whales were the best thing about our Fraser trip.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 11:00

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 11:00
Glad you got to see whales Phil.
On our attempt it was foul weather and they were just a couple of grey bumps through the murk!
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 11:15

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 11:15
First week was a washout with our fishing charters cancelled. Bugger. Fraser was excellent weather.

A few shots
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 19:11

Wednesday, Sep 21, 2016 at 19:11
Phil, "drive accordingly" sometimes doesn't work when you have a 40 series with "Armstrong" power steering - sometimes it goes where it wants to and you can do bugger all about it ..... just sayin ;-)
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Thursday, Sep 22, 2016 at 07:28

Thursday, Sep 22, 2016 at 07:28
Baz,

good point.

The same applies to any external fitting: aerials, lights, snorkels.

I've certainly scraped several costly items off vehicles while bush bashing. A rookie mistake was allowing a power antenna on the LX470 to wrap itself around a bush near Vokes Corner- ouch! UHF antennae need to be regarded as consumables.

When I mounted my newly acquired awning last weekend I mounted it behind a sacrificial snorkel.

Bob

AnswerID: 604564

Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Sep 22, 2016 at 11:28

Thursday, Sep 22, 2016 at 11:28
Its only really a problem when trees get caught between the awning and the roof rack.
Simply string a bit of flexible saw wire between the front of the awning and the rack. Any branch will either be deflected towards the rack or cut through by the saw wire action.
This sort of stuff-


http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Stainless-Steel-Wire-Saw-Hiking-Camping-Emergency-Pocket-Chain-Saw-Survival-Gear/151959850023?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140106155344%26meid%3D141539721b154b20a3dd1a28e9277601%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D281776492044
AnswerID: 604566

Reply By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Friday, Sep 23, 2016 at 22:34

Friday, Sep 23, 2016 at 22:34
Most awnings are 2400mm x 2000 with the 2400 the length along the car. I foresaw the issue Baz is referring to, and not trusting everyone (including myself) who might ever drive my vehicle to always "drive accordingly" as Phil so delicately puts it, simply ordered one that was 2000 long against the car and 2400 wide away from the car.
I then mounted it alongside my roofrack so that there is no overhang forward of the roofrack. So far so good, with only little twigs and the odd green branch needing to be prised out occasionally. And it seems to give better shade being wider away from the car.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

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