Easy way to set up and take down awning?


Mar 29, 2022
Portland, Oregon
I opened the awning on my 2001 Viking to clean it when I purchased it this spring. But I did it with the camper all tucked away. Easy to reach.
I'm curious about how to open and get it up when the camper is fully extended. Ladder?
And, I've heard that one of the ways to ruin it is to leave it up when away for a 6 hour or so hike and the wind comes up!
Does anyone have a suggestion to make this all easy?
I see that there are two legs on each corner... I'm assuming that one set hooks into the side of the PUP. The other looks like it extends to the ground and would need lines anchored to secure the thing if opting for that option.


Super Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
Maplewood, MN
If the roof was already up, I was able to set up and take down my awning by standing on my cooler. But this was only because I am 6' tall. Any shorter and I probably would have not been able to do this. I would probably have had to add a step stool to the camping inventory.

The only other way would be to raise or lower the roof half way.

Either way, it really is a two person job. I have done it by myself before, but it is a major struggle.


Super Active Member
Nov 26, 2013
i unrolled the awning with the roof partway up - set the rafter and leg poles and then finished lifting the roof. once up, tied it down really secure because once it was set - it was staying until i broke camp. Reverse the process to stow it - lower roof part way and roll it up. the roof was just too high for me to stow the awning while camping. so if a storm came up - well pray the tiedowns are good and it would have to ride it out (always did so I guess i had right)...


2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
Northern Virginia
Unfortunately my family had a situation when the wind tore out guylines and flipped the awning on top of the popup roof unfortunately causing a small hole in the roof so yes there are situations you may have to take the awning down mid trip. Not fun but neither is the damage that could occur if you try and risk it. Many trips I watch the weather very carefully and make the estimated guess if it will be safe for the awning or not. Those cases when I feel it won't be safe I will be sure to bring my ez up canopy so it's a ton easier to put up And down if it is going to storm but still have protection when I need it. With that said I've been able to leave the awning up in most storms but I ensure the tie downs are VERY secure and may even add extra. You do have to watch it. I've had a situation when I was out on a hiking trip a camp neighbor took my awning down and they allowed it to lay flat against the camper door. More like a controlled fall. So thankful for their help.

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
Southern California
I have the bag awning like yours. And any way you look at it, they are difficult to put up and take down. I have to do both with the camper top half way up so that I can gain access. When the top is fully up it is near impossible to roll it up and get it back in the bag. But here is a little video I made a year or so ago after one camping trip where I fought with the awning both up and down. In the video I am using a bolt and wing nut for demonstration purposes. I have since begun to use a snap-in locking pin on both sides. The awning is still susceptible to high winds, but no so much for the light winds now that I secure it in this manner.


Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
Southern California
Thank you all for your suggestions! And that was an excellent video. Looks like I’ve got a little bit of work this weekend to make a modification.
Thanks. Instead of using that bolt like in the video, get a couple of those push-pins with the little ball in the end to keep them from coming out. That way you can just snap them in and out.

Michael J

Active Member
Aug 9, 2018
Ours may not store as nice as a bag awning but ours only is 3 poles and 3 guy wires. You slide it out of the track and roll.or fold it up when not in use and slide it in the track when camper is closed for convenience and lay it on the roof till ready to set it up.


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Super Active Member
Apr 25, 2013
I have a step stool I keep in the camper and have no problem standing on it to unzip the bag. My canopy has 3 ties around it so it does not fall out of the bag while unzipping. I find it to be pretty easy to do.


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
I'm reasonably tall, so I unzip the awning before popping up, and have no problem reaching it to deploy (especially standing on the step). Someone a little shorter could probably stand on a cooler or bring a small folding stool.


Active Member
Oct 10, 2021
West Palm Beach, Florida
To avoid packing a step stool I use a 5 gal bucket upside down. Much easier job with 2 people, but practice makes perfect.
I rarely leave it up overnight in case of a midnight wind. Extra task that beats the alternative.


May 10, 2018
Rochester, MN
I wouldn't say it's easy, but after doing it several times my wife and I can get it set up pretty quickly. Ours has three legs that go vertical to the ground, and three supports that run from the side of the camper roof to the front of the awning. We raise the roof to the highest point where I can still reach the awning bag from the ground, then unzip the bag and unroll the awning. We extend the legs and my wife holds the center leg to keep the awning taut while I install the awning supports. Then we raise the camper the rest of the way and make final adjustments to the awning legs, then I tie down the corners with guy lines.

The tie-downs are not optional. I found that out the hard way while setting it up in our driveway after we first bought it. A small breeze flipped the awning up over the top of the camper and the corner of the awning punched a hole in the roof. However, if it's set up right and tied down it is pretty solid even in a fairly strong wind. You'd definitely want to take it down if a major storm/wind was coming through.

Taking it down is pretty much the reverse order of setting up but it's a bit easier and quicker. When we're doing it in the rain we can do it REALLY fast! [:D]


New Member
Jun 13, 2016
Back when we had a Coleman Evolution E2, I drew a line with a black sharpie marker on the roof support pole to indicate the max reach height for the awning bag (and wrote "max awning reach height" or something like that above the line). The line and label does not show on that roof support pole until it's raised up enough for the inner pole to emerge while raising the roof. My wife is a lot shorter than me, so I drew the line at the height where she could still reach it. I found it easiest to open the awning when the roof was partially raised up as it was a lot to handle when the roof was all the way down. This allowed us to let the awning hang down on the ground so we could carefully remove the poles from the awning bag and insert the three under-awning poles into the awning and temporarily set the vertical poles on the ground until the roof was then raised all the way up. Once the roof was raised to the top, we would then simply extend the vertical awning poles to the final height for the campsite slope angle before putting the door up since opening the door could cause the somewhat sharp metal corner to hit the awning (I was worried that might eventually rip a tear in the awning fabric so I was always careful to do that after the vertical awning poles were extended). This method meant we didn't have to bring a step stool with us (one less thing to pack and deal with). Hope that helped.


Sep 29, 2018
Nashville, TN
I can't watch the video at the moment because I'm on hold with my insurance company, so I hope I don't duplicate info. Also, I admit I haven't read ALL of the responses.

When I had a pop-up, we would also unroll it before raising (scissor arms, so we couldn't raise it partially). That was easy. But we also rolled it up for day trips. I'm 6'0", so I could do it fairly easily. I'd recommend a 2 step folding step stool. Not too much space taken, and useful.

To keep from having to use guy lines to the ground and driving stakes, I made buckets of concrete with a PVC pipe in the middle, slightly larger than the awning leg. Set the leg in the bucket/PVC, and Voila, it's done. No cords/guy lines/stakes. Easy breakdown for daytrips and breaking camp, too!

The concrete buckets took some space in my truck, but they were well worth it. I'd do it again if I had that type of awning. My buckets were a little on the large side too. Most other people with similar setups used much smaller buckets. Seems like mine were 2.5 gallon mop buckets, but it's been 16 years since I had them. A 1-1.5 gallon setup would probably do.


J Starsky

Super Active Member
Aug 3, 2017
East Central MN
Our Starflyer has a stock awning. You need to slide it into the channel for use, so once you pop it up, you're keeping it up, unless you plan to stand on the cooler and slide it off the body. I always threaded the rope/awning into the channel while it was still on the ground.

IF you plan to keep an awning from 1984, you need to be a lil nice to it. But it rode out more wind and storms than my TT awning will ever be asked to manage. You just pull the ropes tighter, without leaning the PUP.
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