A good stable awning can be a saving grace when heading out on an adventure.  The only problem with most manufactured awnings is that you will be dishing nearly $1,000. We personally didn’t have a grand for shade so we went to the drawing board. What we came up with cost just $80 and sets up in a few minutes.

What you need:

  • Tarp –  An 8×10 foot tarp with reinforced grommets is the way to go.
  • Tarp Poles- We used adjustable Kelty tarp poles. These give you a range of 80-99 inches. For a less expensive option Cabelas has a decent adjustable tarp poles.
  • Tie Downs and Stakes- 4 tie downs and stakes needed.
  • Stainless Steel Threaded Hook- These are what you use to attach the tarp to your Van.
  • Silicone- Any clear silicone will work.
  • Installation- For this awning you do have to drill holes in the rain gutter. Make sure to not obstruct the actual gutter. The front hole should be drilled behind the front door so not to interfere with the door’s weather guard. Space the hooks slightly wider (1in) than the tarp grommets to keep it taut. It’s a good idea to measure the exact distance from grommet to grommet of the tarp to make sure the hooks are spaced just right. If you have a pop top, leave it down to ensure that the hooks do not interfere when opening and closing. The hooks should be bolted on using two nuts one above the gutter and one securing it from below. Smear silicone on and around both nuts to keep water from leaking through. The hard part is over! Slide the grommets over the hooks and tar poles, anchor the tarp poles with your tie downs and stakes and there you have it….  SHADE!!!!





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