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Camper Awning
October 2005

Over the past couple of weeks I worked on a sun/rain/bug awning for the front of the camper and on putting our bicycles on the roof of the car.

Aliner makes an awning but we looked it over at the rally and didn't like it. It didn't really fit well. Besides, it has to be set up with poles and stakes in the ground because it isn't a cantilevered design. (It would be nice to have some shade without having to put up poles.)

One of the aliner owners, Darrell Shirey, makes a nice cantilevered design but it seems to have too many parts to assemble and is smaller than we'd like. An Australilan design (Yeah, they have Aliners there, too.) was similar to Shirley's but larger and still had too many parts.

So I decided to design my own. It's 5' x 10' in size, midway between the Shirley and factory designs. The Shirley and Australian designs use aluminum poles in tension members of the frame but I used ropes for all but the compression frame members. Hopefully, I'll be able to eliminate some of the rope when the canvas is done. I used tubing from paint roller collapsible extension handles for the poles.

I drove the unit down to Rock Hall, MD, to Ron Butler to do the canvas. He has done projects for our boat and does nice work. Ron kept the camper in his driveway for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it rained and was windy much of the time so progress was slow.