Affordable DIY Van Awning
We planned on getting a Fiamma F45 S awning for Gidget, we even bought the special mounts from Aluminess to mount it, but after going on a few trips now we’re not so sure anymore. At a cost of around $1000 the Fiamma awning is expensive enough to make us think twice about it.
For the type of adventuring we do, always on the move seeing sights, we don’t tend to set up camp in anyone spot for very long. And if we do park it for a few days, a quick deploying awning isn’t crucial.
At about $140, our DIY awning can be deployed in about 15 minutes and cost significantly less than the Fiamma option.
- 2 to 4 Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tightener – Large: $16
- 100 feet of Paracord: $10.50
- Rubber Mallet with Tent Peg Remover: $5
- Tent Stakes for firm ground: $10
- Tent Stakes for sandy or loose ground: $27
- 4 carabiners: $10
- 10′ x 12′ Heavy Duty Tarp: $17
- 2 Tent Poles: $31
- 4 hose clamps if attaching to a tubular roof rack
- 4 D rings if attaching to a tubular roof rack
- Scrap pieces of rubber to protect roof rack
A carabiner is used to attached the tarp via a grommet to the roof rack (Aluminess). On the roof rack 4 hose clamps and small D rings, picked up from Home Depot, are used to make an attachment point for the carabiner.
By using carabiners we can quickly connect the tarp to the rack.
The other side of the tarp is help up by 2 adjustable tent poles.
The tent poles are anchored to the ground using paracord guy lines, rope tensioners, and stakes. We have found that 1 guy line per pole is good enough if the wind gust never go over 10 MPH. If we’re in a windier location we will use multiple guy lines per pole. This technique means our DIY awning can withstand much higher winds than the Fiamma F45S awning. Worst that will happen is our $20 tarp will need replaced.
It’s not shown in the pictures, but we also carry stakes for loose ground like beach sand.
A DIY awning like this is simple and can be deployed in about 10 to 15 minutes with practice. It’s affordable so if it ever breaks or needs replacing it’s not a big deal.
We may still get the Fiamma 45 S but for now we are happy with our DIY awning.
For a similar DIY awning write up check out our friends The Vanna Project. Their install covers more of the slider door opening.