I've been after an awning for ages and loved the hannibal ones but had reservations about how much rain they would take before a huge pool formed and ripped it off the car, oh and the price tag. watched a few on ebay go for over £400 (used)
and looked at some cheaper ones. Having seen the cheapo ones (£190) and the poles etc they did not look very how shall i say.....robust. Lots of reviews on how great various ones were including arb etc but most stated that they were either no good in rain or that any slight wind and they took it down for fear of it breaking. I did see some basic designs which were basically a tarp attached to the roofrack and then to a tree or couple of tent poles but i wanted something that was mounted on the side of the truck, and extended out. Length wise on the disco i was limited in the end to about 2.1m wide but made it extend out about nearly 3m so its pretty big. Cost was also an issue as i did not want to spend a fortune and also weight was a factor. In the end the whole thing cost me about £100 and nearly a new sewing machine for my girlfriend. The last mins stitching the outer bag were tense on a sunday as i broke 3 needles that morning trying to sew 4 layers of waxed ripstop canvas on a machine more suited to the odd dress or pair of trousers. Leanne was very good and never muttered a word despite the horrible noises the sewing machine made in protest as motor and gears struggled to keep up and needles exploded after being bent out of shape. Who says sewing is for girls. Its a mans game surely? Thats why they have a little accelerator pedal to make it go faster
The ingredients list:
-begged and borrowed some l shaped aluminium channel found laying in yard at work along with some scraps id saved off a vehicle roller shutter door many years ago. (see i told you it would come in useful), surveying poles which just happened to fit perfectly inside the off cut swimming pool poles to make the uprights at the front.
-x2 swimming pool poles, telescopic, about 25mm diameter about 18ft when extended and pretty strong. These were the most expensive part and i bought them locally after looking at various telescopic decorators poles, i did get the two sides out of one and a half and used the other pole for the front edge. Offcuts from the main sides were used for the uprights. Could have got them cheaper on the internet but was working to get it finished originally for billing in July.
-plenty of fabric, ripstop canvas, not the best but i have a few litres of awning waterproofer in the garage so i did not need proper waterproof stuff (time may tell if this was a mistake) Bought 10m off ebay for £20 and only used half so have plenty left for another or a replacement.
-stainless steel fittings, nuts bolts etc.
-webbing, velcro,edging,thread, continous zip (for bag) etc all sourced off ebay. Like the material most of the stuff i bought was 10m or 25m and i have loads left.
- assorted military canvas from shed including webbing and tie downs
The original design was to have the telescopic poles at about 1.8m and then be able to choose how far to extend the awning out, unfortunately despite all the fag packet drawing when we came to cut out the material a major conflict occurred and it had to be fixed at one unadjustable length. Its still okay as the telescopic poles mean they retract down to fit inside the bag for storage but will be much longer when extended. How i fixed the poles together is still a temporary fix. Originally i wanted inserts to go into the pole that i could screw a threaded rod or m8 bolt into. The companies i spoke to were only interested in supplying me 1000 at a time and i did not fancy holding 994 in stock for the future, just in case. In the end i used some expanding anchor bolts from screw fix wrapped in various layers of hose pipe and insulation tape which seem pretty well fixed but its something i am going to refine once i find the right thing. Like wise the fixing to the vehicle for the poles that come out at 90 degrees to the car i wanted to pivot both outwards so they could fold into the bag but also up and down so i can angle the awning downwards in rain so the water hopefully runs off. For this i used eye bolts threaded into my poles and u bolts fixed to the awning mount. After putting it up a couple off times whilst it was attached to my shed the rattling of the u bolts drove me mad and i thought these would rattle in transit so the u bolts were sleeved with a bit of old rubber pipe and it seems to work. I'll try and load some pics up, its been up quickly to proof the canvas and bag although shortly afterwards it tipped it down so i'll probably have to do it again soon. All in it weighs 11.5 kg which is less than the 14kg i was aiming at that the hannibal one weighs. Theres loads i'd do differently and as with most things just as you finish you learn to perfect the task, my sewing has developed now and i'm looking for things to make. A bivvy shelter is first, then i might have a go at a tent!!! If you see me at a show i'll be the the one trying to hold down the ragged piece of material thats threatening to take off into the atmosphere along with the attached poles.
Securing frame to aluminium channel
final test attached to shed before making external bag.
All folded up