Awning Question

Discussion in 'Canvas / Awnings / Add a Rooms / Tarps / Tents' started by thethird152, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Recently I acquired a really old, really used bag awning very cheaply on craigslist. I've never had an awning on my camper before.

    It's a little too wide - it's missing some of the hardware - the color is awful.

    I'm taking it into surgery here soon (as soon as my mother's sewing machine that has been sitting in the attic for 25 years comes out of the shop). I have basic sewing skills, and have ordered all the stuff I'll need to do my planned surgery. But I have a few questions for anyone who might care to chime in:

    1. The c-channel on my camper is 9 ft long. Is it a good idea to fill the entire channel with the awning rope or should I leave some space on either end?
    2. How does one anchor the entire awning to the side of the camper (so that it doesn't blow off while driving)? I'm thinking a screw through the c channel on either end (and through the underlying awning rope)?
    3. Has anyone every dyed or painted an awning like this? I would imagine trying to get paint to stay on something that is constantly rolled and unrolled would be difficult.

    Thanks gang!
     
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds ambitious - good luck!

    1) On mine, the bag rope goes almost all the way to either end. There's only about an inch of channel that isn't filled with bag.
    2) Mine is held in place with a screw into the middle of the c-channel at either end, just as you describe.
    3) Never tried painting an awning, but I've used vinyl spray paint on auto seats and carpeting and it seems to hold up well to wear.
     
  3. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Thanks for the info eoleson1! I'll be sure to take lots of pics.

    Do the screws you mentioned go in through the opening on the c channel or are the drilled through (requiring a hole to be drilled into the c channel)? Any chance you (or anyone else) have a pic handy? No big deal if not.

    Thanks!
     
  4. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the screws go through the bag, the c-channel, and the side of the roof. I'll try to remember to take pics this weekend.
     
  5. terry1419

    terry1419 Active Member

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    I bought a narrower bag awning for my Jayco 1006 so I wouldn't have a lot of trouble putting it up and down by myself. There is probably a foot or more empty space at either end of the channel. Have no problem with that. At each end of the bag I used vise grips to gently squeeze together the channel SLIGHTLY as added assurance that the bag would not slide in the channel.
    The directions for mounting were to put a screw a few inches from each end and one or two spaced apart somewhere in the middle. I drilled small holes into the top of the channel and the screws bite into the sewn lip of the awning but I was careful not to use ones too long that would go into the side of the roof.
    The bag just hands down at the side when traveling. It's heavy enough that it needs no special attachments or tie downs.
     
  6. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Thanks terry1419!
     
  7. tgore76

    tgore76 Member

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    Have heard stories of awning flipping up and damaged - or tearing off while travelling, especially as material ages and weakens...so I slide mine out and it travels/stores inside pup. Also cuts down on sun/dry rot.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  8. TRR

    TRR Active Member

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    I always flip mine up onto the roof and strap it in place with a ratchet strap over the top. No sense letting the bag bounce around while traveling. That just puts unnecessary strain on the stitches and everything. I've heard stories of folks who arrived and discovered that the bag and awning were lost somewhere enroute. Not gonna happen if it's strapped down on the roof.
     
  9. steve7-4

    steve7-4 'I'd rather be camping'

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    My bag used to flip up to the roof and then down again later on the trips. I solved it be getting some wide Velcro, I think mine said industrial whatever that means. I put on 3 4" sections, 5" from the ends and middle. Now my bag stays put on the side of the roof when traveling. Got the idea on this Portal.
     
  10. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Finally got started on this project tonight - although the sewing machine is still not out of the shop.

    DW is out of town on a business trip, so I figured I'd get started while she was not here to get mad at me for soaking dirty vinyl in the bath tub :)

    Went out to the garage with a seam ripper to get started reconditioning the awning bag itself. The seam ripper was largely unnecessary, and most of the thread is so badly aged that I was able to pull the majority of the bag apart with my hands. The zipper is shot (and in a pile on my kitchen floor currently) and the awning cord was in really bad shape as well. They're both headed for the garbage.

    Once I got the bag separated into the two component parts I layed them out to see what I was working with. Both sides of the fabric were very dirty, and the fabric itself is quite brittle (I believe it to be about 20 years old - PO told me it came off an 86 Coleman camper).

    Into the tub they went, with warm water and a generous dash of Simple Green. I let them soak for about an hour to help loosen up the dirt and then hung them to dry in the shower. Then I attacked them with some vinyl cleaner/conditioner. I know for a fact I have a stiff bristled brush somewhere in this house that I had planned to use for this task, but could not find it to save my life - so just a regular old rag had to do.

    A couple of rounds of scrubbing later, and the outside vinyl side of the bag is looking pretty good. I'm going to let it sit overnight, hit it with some more cleaner/conditioner in the morning, then a good coat of Armor All just for good measure, and move on to the awning itself.

    A few cons so far:

    The bag material is quite old and very brittle. It's pretty threadbare in some places, and just doesn't feel very trustworthy.
    I discovered a tear in the bag that is far enough in from the end that, even if I trim it down to fit my camper, the tear will still be there.

    I'm starting to think I may need to get some vinyl fabric and make a new bag. Not a big deal - especially since I have one here to use as a pattern.

    Pics for reference.
    1. The awning in use right after I got it - you can see that the bag was already separating from the awning cord, and that it's too long for my camper.
    2. The bag components before cleaning
    3. One component after cleaning
     

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  11. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Hope everyone had a great holiday!

    Wife is out of town on business again, so back to the awning project I go!

    Finally heard back from the sewing machine repair place - they were unable to repair my mother's old machine. Bummer, but no big deal, I'll try another repair place.

    Strangely enough, the same day I heard back from the repair place we got an email from DW's family in CA asking if we had any need for a sewing machine, as they were replacing theirs. Yes please!

    Got the sewing machine out tonight and some of the components I ordered from Sailrite (that place is AWESOME!). Long story short, I got the new zipper installed. I'll probably add one more row of stitching on each side for good measure.
     

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  12. CO Hiker

    CO Hiker Active Member

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    Our awning was separating at the seam on both ends, beating the camper shell during towing and had to be taken off just to fit through our gate. One heavy wind last summer finished it off and tore it from the bag. I place the new bag/awning inside the camper just before closing it up. When we pull in to the site, put the bag in the track, unzip it, and raise the roof.
     
  13. Keith Hawkins

    Keith Hawkins Active Member

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    X2 here
     
  14. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Thanks Canon!

    Finished reassembling the bag - now giving it even more treatment with armor all and vinyl restorer.

    Actual awning is next as soon as I can find a place big enough to lay it out and scrub it.
     

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  15. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Got all the stitches pulled! It's supposed to snow in NC this weekend, which means the entire state will be shut down for at least a week, so I figured there is no better place to work on my awning than inside my apartment (to my wife's chagrin).

    Lots of scrubbing going on, and Roo is helping me.
     

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  16. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Painting has begun. After getting all the stitches pulled and everything cleaned up as much as possible, I converted our guest room shower into a paint both (to DW's chagrin). I was able to do most of the smaller pieces in there, but the two main body pieces were far too large, so we took them up to some family land this morning and sprayed like crazy.

    These cans of paint do not go as far as you might think - the finished product looks awesome, but it takes at least 3 good coats to get the coverage you need. No big deal, I wasn't expecting this to be an inexpensive project, just thought it was worth mentioning.

    We were able to get everything finished up, but only the top side of both main pieces (ran out of paint). Out of the 8 cans I had with me, two of them made it to about 3/4 full (still PLENTY of paint in them) and suddenly wouldn't spray anymore - it was strange. When the button was pushed a very slight hissing sound would come out of the nozzle and the paint would just sort of dribble out. Not a huge deal, but at 8 bucks a can it can start to add up.

    In any event, I'm ordering some more paint, and will hopefully finish up this stage next weekend, then move on to reassembly!
     

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  17. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Finished up painting this past weekend, and got all the sewing finished up this evening. Will require a little touchup now that everything is reassembled. The only thing left to do is replace the pole that spans the width of the awning on the outside edge - the one that came with it is old, rusty, and too wide anyways. I'm going to try to go with aluminum to avoid future rusting.

    We're doing our February trip next weekend, so I hope to be able to give this thing a test run then.
     

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  18. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    First test run over the weekend - many tweaks needed - starting with longer support poles :p

    Awning held up great to some wind and provided wonderful shade! Ordering some new poles this evening so I can try again on our March trip.
     

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  19. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Had full operational weekend with the rebuilt awning and it worked like a charm. It stood up just fine to some light winds (and TONS of pollen) and provided some much needed shade on our trip to Kerr Lake this weekend.

    It's true, I spent far more money and time refurbishing an old awning than I would have just buying a new one, but where's the fun in that?
     

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