Do you have a home made roof rack awning?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 24, 2006 at 23:45
ThreadID: 30085 Views:13905 Replies:15 FollowUps:16
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The Troopy arrives at the end of the week (you beauty) and I have been trying to sort out a simple overnight side awning system to save erecting the camper awning all the time which is a PITA.

Not keen on spending the dollars on something like the ARB one and they are too small and inflexible etc. I have seen some from a distance on roof racks but was looking for some detailed descriptions and ideas. It's got to be practical and quick to setup and pack.

Thought the simplest way would be to use a tarp or a custom canvas one (folded and stored in the truck) say 3mt x 3mt and occy it to the rack and to the top corners of the open camper but somehow that sounds too easy to work. For one the rack is only 2mts (not long enough) and it will prob have too much sag without poles and ropes etc so would be impractical in heavy rain.

Surely this is a much sort after item. I just want a roof no sides, just to produce shade and simple cover. Would prefer something rolled up ready on the rack but how to secure and attach each end simply is the trick.

I know someone will have a good setup here and if it's a really good design I promise not to tell anyone else here until you patent it. :)

Oh and it's got to be simple to produce. Just assume very limited trade skills, no welding etc
Don't want much do I?
John
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Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 00:00

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 00:00
I just use the tarp system, never had any probs with it. I hook mine to the rack with a few of those spring clamps, the black ones with orange ends. I have a few adjustable poles in the pvc pipe on the side that are there just for that, or to set it up as a shade thing away from the car

Good things about this type of set up is its quick enough, cheap and easily replaced plus it can be set up either side and made into other shapes. It is sometimes an awning, sometimes a shower enclosure, and this weekend was a small lean-to for the dogs to sleep in
AnswerID: 150713

Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:28

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:28
I know I've seen those clamps, just can't picture them.... oh well another excuse to get back to my local camping store. :-)
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 00:11

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 00:11
I have one of those blue tarps although one day i migh replace it with canvas
1 blue tarp approx 2m x3m less= than 5 bucks
2 esxtentable poles with pionty ends - about 20 bucks - cheaper if you get the chinese ones
3 2 guy ropes and tent pegs (cant remember how much - not much
4 one aluminimum pole I had laying around $0

- atach aluminimum pole to side of roof rack (just tie it or something)
- atach tarp to pole (again just tie it)
-Roll tarp up with extendable poles at the centre and occy strap rolled up tarp to roof rack
Now you have a permanant annex just ready for action at a moments notice. Just undo occy straps unroll canvas and poles fall out then conect canvas to poles and secure with 2 guy ropes and pegs 2 minute job and no need to take it off
AnswerID: 150718

Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:32

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:32
Like that - keeping it all together.

Nothing worse than trying to remember what new clever place you put all the bits last time you were out.
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Reply By: Richard Kovac - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 01:05

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 01:05
John

We have a tarp that I zip clip to the roof rack, I think it's around 5 m x 2 m
two tent poles we can have it out 2.5 m then down 2.5m or out 5m 4 poles over ct
had it for years used it with the Prado as well

Richard

Have photos if you want to see it set up cost around $150.00 it has differant eyelets and a rope through one end .
AnswerID: 150719

Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:04

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:04
Thks Richard,
I never say no to a photo offer.
What's the 'zip clip' thingo
John
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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:48

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:48
I'm guessing cable ties aka zip ties???

Just a guess, but I always carry a few sizes. Very useful.

Dave
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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 01:09

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 01:09
I've got a bit of sailtrack on the side of my roof rack on a bit of RHS. I carry another bit of RHS which sleeves into the permanent bit and it too has the remainder of the sailtrack on it.

Once at camp I pop the extension bit of sailtrack up. Put a pole into an adapter/socket on the bull bar (doubles as the shower head holder) and slide in an awning tarp I had made which is full length of the ute with sailtrack bead on one side. (Basically a good quality tarp with the bead sewn on would do if the length was right.)

A few poles and ropes and it's up. Full length of truck and 8 foot out.

I can put a few extra poles on the other side and drive the vehicle away leaving it up if I want to too.



Mine.



Hard camping spot to take.... (Sorry, couldn't resist.)



Mine again.



Frank's. Same sort of setup.

Dave
AnswerID: 150720

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 05:57

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 05:57
Dave how did you go with the hat.

All the best
Eric
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Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:24

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:24
Ah-ha!
Thks Dave, It's piecing together. The pole off the bullbar gives the length. Sailtrack would certainly make it easier.

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Close ups are worth a million. ;-)

Good free camping spots are not to be kept a secret. Give it up.
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Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:55

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:55
Ozdyssey ,

I'll arrange close ups, maybe tonight or later this afternoon.

The bull bar has an RHS socket on it to accept the pole. I made the tent pole and I did another with a T on top to take the long lengths of steel I invariably end up buying for the multitude of projects I seem to take on.

The camping spot is on the Murray River.

Can't say I didn't tell you where now can you....

If I told you where it was you might not leave me any cod!

Dave
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Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 02:07

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 02:07
Click on my rig pic and look at the photo of us camped near the beach. You can just make out the back end of an 80 series camped with us with exactly identical setup (I copied Bazz).

I went to a caravan parts/repair mob and bought a 2m offcut of the ally channel they use on Jayco campers, pop rivited it to a cheap surf rack and had some rope sewn into the short side of a new cheap silver tarp & pulled tarp thru channel. If you have seen a Jayco camper up close you'll know what I mean. We did it off the back of the cars cos niether of us has, or wants, a roof rack.

I then bought two spiffy ally extendable poles, 2 double guy ropes (the ones with a shock spring), 4 plastic sand spikes and two short occy straps. All up it cost under $100
The occy starps are to hold the sides nearest the car either up or down, depending on sun, wind, rain etc... see picture

I put the poles, ropes & pegs into the tarp as I roll it up and then tie it up tightly with occy straps, where it stays on the roof untill we get home.

Cheers,

Muzz
AnswerID: 150724

Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:41

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 07:41
Ingenious.
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Follow Up By: Johnny boy - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:26

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 08:26
Hi all !
I dont know if this will help or if it will be big enough BUT I saw an add in the super cheap catalog and it was an awning that has poles and attaches to the roof racks ready to go for just over a $100.00 I dont know about quality but if any thing its worth a bo Pep ( look ) at .

Regards J.B .
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Follow Up By: Gerry - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:03

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:03
Yeah, bought one then took it back. Very cheap quality and a bit small. Mind you, you get what you pay for. However, what I didn't like is that the 'loose' end of the awning attaches to the rack, then the whole roll-out assembly is supported by 2 (fairly weak) fold out legs then tied down with the usual ropes and pegs. Seemed back to front to me and too hard to modify. A friend also bought one and took it back for the same reasons. Oh, and his failed to retract after a couple of times as well. Save your money - make one.
Cheers
Gerry
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Reply By: Farside - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:23

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:23
John,

I made up a retractable awning for the Patrol. It did require some access to an engineering workshop. I used a retractable awning from Bunnings, some aluminium plate, two poles, guy ropes, pegs and clips.

I used a local engineering shop to bend up the aluminium into two halves of a box, one half served as the body and the other as the lid. The engineering workshop welded some end plates onto the body to help mount the awning. I put the clips into the lid to hold the poles and the pegs. It bolts onto my Rola roof bars

It takes a couple of minutes to erect and even shorter to take down.

It is slightly longer than the roof of the patrol and I think it is about 1.8m wide.

If I remember correctly the whole thing cost me about $170.00 and a couple of hours labour (my time).

We used it on Fraser for two weeks with great results. If you like I can send you some photos tomorrow.

Angus
AnswerID: 150749

Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:40

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:40
Cheers Angus photos would be great.
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Reply By: slave - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:27

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 09:27
We copied ' rickwagupatrol' in post 107317, but used a silver tarp and an extra length of square and flat across the centre.

Also used vecro to hold it instead of the occy strap

Mrs Slave
AnswerID: 150752

Reply By: Mike DiD - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:21

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 10:21
We have one of the expensive Italian awnings that has legs and braces all integrated into the one tube bolted to the roofrack on the Rural Fire Service Troopy.

Twice now the legs have been irreparably damaged by wind gusts.

KISS needs to apply if you are away from civilisation.

Mike
AnswerID: 150765

Reply By: Member - t0me (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 11:53

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 11:53
Ours is even simpler and a lot smaller to carry.
2x 4piece poles (we had from an old tent)
1x 8x10 cheapo tarp - $2.00 on special
1x length of nylon rope
2x decent pegs (again from the old tent)
5x little plastic hook things (that allow you to wind the rope around the peg and back up to clip along itself, for adjustable length).

Total outlay - less than 10 bucks.

We usually attach it to both the rola roof racks and then to the bullbar (3 guy's), that gives us more than enough standing room to setup chairs, table, esky, and a run-off / slight weather shield on the front. Then 2 poles with guy's.

When its all rolled up together its smaller than one of our folding chairs.
Weight, I dunno, 5 or 6 kilo's?

Super Simple!
AnswerID: 150774

Reply By: Patrol22 - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:36

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 12:36
I had a 2 x 3 metre canvas made up ($100) with eyelets and solid nylon beading. Fixed a bit of the old caravan annex aluminium retainer stuff (you the stuff that's almost a tube but with a slit to allow you to slide the rope end in) to the roof racks. Simply roll the canvas up and retain with velcro straps (attached to the canvas permanently. Roll out and set up with a couple of tent poles and a spreader. Works like a dream and stays attached for the duration of the trip. Takes approximately 5 minutes to set up so i often use it for shade at lunch, smoko etc when on the road.
AnswerID: 150782

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:52

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:52
It's called sailtrack....
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Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:25

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 13:25
Hi John ,

I went for simplicity . I have a full length alloy roof rack and to this I bolted a 3.1 m length of aluminium pipe ( it was a land based game fishing gaff handle ! ). I put s/steel eyelets on each end of the pole .

Then I had a ( silver on one side ) tarp sewn up for $70 with heaps of re inforced eyelets. This tarp is 3 m x 5 m . It takes two minutes . The 3m end is attached to the pole by rope ties ( 4 reef knots ) and the 5m length extends out with two poles at the 3m mark and then down to the ground .

It needs two ropes / pegs for the poles and two for the ends .

I have used this for a while and it is great for bit of shade or to put the swags under , if it's raining . I keep it folded up in the car .

Willie .

AnswerID: 150792

Reply By: Dagoboy - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 14:18

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 14:18
If you want to see a really cool product that retails for around $100 US check out www.kelty.com and then click on tents, then click on shelters, check out the different "carport" models.
As far as a quick home remedy, The basic tarp, Fastened however you like with 2 adjustable "tent poles" with the little tips on them to stick into the grommets on the tarp corners, then a guy rope (or better yet what we call a bungy cord, elastic or rubber strap) to a tent peg (carry two canvas shopping bags if its sandy, and fill them to use as anchors for guying). Thats 1 tarp, 2 poles, some nylon ropes or bungys, and two tent pegs, stuff the gear in one canvas bag and add one extra.
AnswerID: 150808

Reply By: Darian (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:32

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 15:32
We had the very same need and are in the process of "doing it". Bought a long section of 50mm x 25mm rectangular section aluminium. That can quickly bolt on the passenger's side, to our two Rola racks. There are a number of spaced brass (countersunk head bolts) along this ally bar. We have an old vinyl tarp that I put some eyeletes into - they are spaced to suit the brass bolts on the bar. We just pop the tarp on and run it out with a couple of pole/rope/peg setups.
As you say, it has to be quick and easy. We wanted this because of the wind and/or rain scenario when we pull up for the night - the camper is easy to set up, but the camper's awning would be bad news in high wind. This awning is the compromise. I'm conscious of the battering that this awning might get, so I know we will have to swap to a tailored canvas job at some stage - one with reinforced (doubled) sections holding the eyelets.......... all sorts of blind, awning versions are good for shade.... question is, what is going to work properly in high wind and/or rain (when you really need strength) ?
AnswerID: 150832

Follow Up By: geocacher (djcache) - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:57

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 22:57
The beige awning in my photos above is a uv rated tarp material. Looks & feels like a heavyish blue tarp but is uv rated for permanent outdoor use.

My uncle who does canvas work in Alexandra knocked it up. Wasn't expensive considering the other options. The poles from Rays cost more.

Speaking of poles - get the three section twist lock ally ones. Wait for a 27% off sale and they are about the same price as the (really heavy) steel ones. But heaps lighter.

Dave
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Reply By: dieseltojo - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 19:50

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 19:50
Hi John,I am not a member of this forum but I have posted a roll out awning on the LCOOL site complete with instructions.It is 2.400 long but can be as long as you like .It can be rolled up with a battery drill from one end.
Regards,Paul Klat.
AnswerID: 150867

Follow Up By: peter d - Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 21:37

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2006 at 21:37
hi paul,
yep i found yours with a little help from this forum and are making one up this weekend now i have everything i need. so far total cost $0 can't get any cheaper than that.
peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 01:54

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 01:54
Thks Paul, clever idea that. very neat
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Reply By: Richard Kovac - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 00:45

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 00:45
John

Hope this works

Richard

!MPG:9!!MPG:10!
AnswerID: 150975

Follow Up By: Member - Ozdyssey (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 00:56

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 00:56
Thks mate - looks exactly like the picture I had in my head.

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