Vehicle side awning sizes

Submitted: Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 15:48
ThreadID: 99934 Views:15158 Replies:12 FollowUps:7
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Hi, buying a side awning for a 120 series Prado. Either ARB, Black widow, Ironman etc

They seem to come either 2m long x 2.5 out, or vice-a-versa 2.5 long x 2m out.

Not sure why they don't make it 2.5m x 2.5m. Could anyone explain why.

My main question is, which is the best orientation. We have laid tarps out next to the car car with the tape measure and sat our chairs on there to get a feel for it, but wishing to 'phone a friend' on this one. Obviously wanting to know which provides the most shade.

I fell the shorter 2m one looks neater on the car and probably quieter due to not sticking out forward of the top of the windscreen.
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Reply By: Notso - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:24

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:24
Probably the stock they make it from.

If I was fitting one I'd make sure it covered as much of the side of the vehicle as it could. So I'd go for the 2.5 running down the side of the vehicle.
AnswerID: 502267

Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:31

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:31

Perhaps limited to 2m in one direction because of the maximum available width of fabric and wishing to not join it with a seam?


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AnswerID: 502270

Reply By: Member - Craig F (WA) - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:40

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:40
The material they use limits them to 2mtrs. Depending on your intended use the norm is the longer you can go along the car the better. When in a tight spot you require less room to set it out (transverse). Also be mindfull as to the length of your roofrack and the fitiing of the awning. For instance you would battle to get a 2.5mtr on a small AWD.
AnswerID: 502272

Follow Up By: Member - Russler - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 17:48

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 17:48
Agreed. When I fitted an ARB awning in 2011, the instructions stipulated that the longest unsupported length should be less than 700mm, ie. the ends.
FollowupID: 778657

Reply By: BluePrint Industries Pty Ltd - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:46

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 16:46
Hi Scottalanna,

Awnings can be made in almost any size & shape, but in order to reduce the number of variants and provide ecconomy of scale, normally companies get them made in a couple of standard sizes. This makes it easy for the manufacturers as they can purchase materials in bulk precut rather than having to special order different lengths for every customer.

We have previously had custom 2.5 x 2.5m awnings made for a customer who mounted them end to end to create a 5m x 2.5m side awning for their drag car trailer so they could erect a trackside workshop so to speak.

As long as the roll out length isnt more than about 1.5x the length of the awning then it's not normally a problem. Also remember if you make it 2.5 x 2.5 it will be heavier and harder for one person to erect.

We currently do 3 different sizes:
1.7m long x 2.5m Out (Rear or Dual Cab)
2.0m long x 2.5m out (Side)
2.5 x long x 2.0m out (side)

Generally I would recommend that you get a length that best fits the side of your vehicle or roof rack, as it will mount easier and be more stable.

We currently run a 2m x 2.5 on our vehicle and it provides a good cover.



AnswerID: 502273

Reply By: The Explorer - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 18:33

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 18:33
I have an Open Sky 2500 (2500 long x 2100 out) - works a treat (It is mounted on a rhino rack and has 70cm overhang (from mounting points) at front and 50cm at rear). With respect to the size of the actual awning I don't think 40 or 50cm either way would make much difference ..more to do with angle of the sun and orientation of the car.. I sometimes put a tarp on one side (one of those cheap blue ones) if the sun is at a low angle to increase shaded area.

If you want to go bigger and better try this monster..


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AnswerID: 502286

Reply By: scottalanna - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 20:32

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 20:32
Much appreciated to you all. It all makes sense.

I saw the Rhino Sunseeker II today which has a zip along the outer horizontal pole...designed to attach a 30 second tag-along tent (like the oztent) which I thought was a pretty good idea. It's a little more expensive than the other mentioned in original post.

The Foxwing would be good for touring but not for us this time.

Haven't decided

Kind Regards for the advice...
AnswerID: 502300

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 20:48

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 20:48
Hi scottalanna

We have had a Black Widow for just over 6 years and have been very happy with it. We to have a 120 Series Prado and my main concern was making it secure on the vehicle. The mounting brackets supplied are very stable and it has been on some very serious corrugated tracks like the Gunbarrel, Anne Beadell, Connie Sue, Sandy Blight Junction Track, various Nullarbor Tracks to name a few and have never had any problems with its stability.

We went for the 2.5m wide and 2m deep. It works very well and has coped in some very heavy rain. You will not hear any wing noise when driving and they are very quick and easy to set up. Even in calm weather, I peg it down, as we have been caught out a couple of time when it has been very calm, and in the middle of the night, winds have spring up very quickly and anything that is not secure will be blown away.

Here are some images of it set up and what they look like on a Prado.


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AnswerID: 502301

Follow Up By: graham B9 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:52

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:52
This one is great. See where the 2 red towels are hanging, you can sew on this edge some "Kedar" and this will allow you to extend the awning another 2 meters ( or any length you like). A shade cloth extension is even better as it is lighter and gives shade. You already have protection from the rain with the main awning. In fact you can sew kedar on all three sides and then extend all sides as well. You will need a length of "double throat 6mm rope track". (Google it). You can get aluminium or plastic from "Capral". They will cut it to size for you as well about $30. File the end to make them smooth after they cut it. You will need a 200mm tapered mill file from Bunningsfor this job. The lengths of track will fit inot the awning bag on top of the vehicle.

generally the material used in these awnings is 550gsm and the weight of this is too much for a awning 2.5 meters out from the vehicle. 2 meters is OK.
FollowupID: 778828

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 21:31

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 21:31
FWIW, mostly I see are 2.5 long and 2.0 out, and that's what I ended up fitting (Ironman).

A tip, as mentioned, do always peg it out unless dead still and a quick lunch stop.
But, instead of running the lines out as the pics above, put a simple hitch around near the bottom of each pole, and peg it down close to the pole base.
Works just as well to hold it down, and doesn't get in the way when walking about (especially in the dark).

I leave the cords fitted and rolled up with the awning.

Oh, another advantage of using the 2.5 length is you can have a one piece 2.4m sand flag and have a handy home for it.
AnswerID: 502303

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 22:11

Friday, Jan 11, 2013 at 22:11
I have a 2.5 m wide & 2 m out SupaPeg awning. Without a doubt a fantastic piece of kit.

Up in about 3 mins and doesn't require stays. Rigid top frame and folds into bag mounted on canopy. Can get side awnings as well.

Very good quality and highly recommended.

BTW - I have no affiliation, just a very happy customer.
AnswerID: 502306

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:09

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:09
Hmm, not a bad looking awning there Scott.

But when you say doesn't require stays, do you mean tie down ropes on the corners ?
The rest of it seems just like any awning on the market, with the 2 poles and side supports to hold taut.

All the awnings on the market can free stand without the tie down ropes, but it is very advisable not to in most cases.
I have returned from a short wal to find my awning over the roof of the vehicle, no damage to either thankfully.
Sitting under it for a shady lunch, on a still day, is about the only time I'd trust without securing properly.

I see supapeg have some unusual sizes too, 2.0 x 3.0 out (eco range, pricing about par with others) . . . plus a 3.0 x 2.0 out and also a 3.5 x 2.0 out in their premium canvas range.

FollowupID: 778826

Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 10:07

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 10:07
Les, there's a video link on the page which shows how to set up.

The two outward corner poles have peg holes in the feet if you need to secure. You could put stays in (supplied with kit), but you would probably only need to do this is a VERY high wind.

My father was up at the SupaPeg workshop last year picking up some awning - they're bringing out a few new sizes including a 2m wide & 2.5 out in the Stand Easy Deluxe range..

Just really impressed with the quality of materials and build.
FollowupID: 778840

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 18:26

Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 18:26
We got the ARB 2.5M long and 2M out one. It is not the "prettiest" on the side of the car as it extends forward of the end of the roof rack. So what it's not a Toorak tractor anyway. The main reason for the length was the extra cover. Have you ever stood near the end of an awning and got rained on! Rain does not always believe in coming straight down. Nor do the sun's rays for that matter. Thus the idea of as big as we can get principle.

AnswerID: 502384

Reply By: scottalanna - Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 22:18

Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 at 22:18
Excellent, the 2.5m long is the go.

I thought I only had a couple of choices but the list goes on Rhino, Roo Systems, Gunya, Supapeg. They all seem to work similar.

Heaps of other related advice too...

Now to choose one....the prices range from about $200 to about $400.

One place offered to fit it for $150...shame on them. I think I'll be doing that.
AnswerID: 502394

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:14

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 07:14
It's an easy fit up job Scott, you should have no problems.

$150 (inc gst) is probably not too bad a price if a person isn't confident to do the job themselves . . . some of the operation is best done by 2 people, and brackets can be time consuming to get right (if using 3 they must align well, plus need to be secured well to roof rack bars or baskets).
FollowupID: 778827

Follow Up By: Member - Sonshine - Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:26

Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 16:26
Totally Agree - we havent really noticed any additional noise. In this case, I reckon Bigger is Better.
FollowupID: 779212

Reply By: Trevor P4 - Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 22:05

Sunday, Jan 13, 2013 at 22:05
I have a 100 series standard wagon with barn doors and I have always wanted an awning over the open doors. AS you can see in Stephens photos his rear area is open to the weather.
I made an awning that is 2300 mm wide that mounts on the side of my truck with or without roof rack using wingnuts.
It moves to the rear of the truck in about 5 mins using the same wingnuts and a seperate set of captive bolts, and spreads about 600mm either side of the open doors.
After its first use I had my canvas guy add 1200 mm to the unfolded length (out to 3500mm) which allows for a 3/4 drop down side and this stops wind blown rain coming under the awning, provided the car is positioned correctly for the pervailing weather.

With the 600 MM on either side of the doors I can have the doors open in all weather and access the whole of the cargo area in comfort.

I have two ridge poles and two vertical poles roled up in the awning when packed away and I store the other two vertical poles under the cruisers rear seat.

I don't use a bag for the awning just two web straps to hold it rolled up.
AnswerID: 502487

Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 09:15

Monday, Jan 14, 2013 at 09:15
Freds Arm is the expensive (and mybe just a little quicker) option to that for a commercial awning . . .
FollowupID: 778955

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