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Old 02-26-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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Awnings on Buses?

One thing as a Newbie lurking, I haven't seen any buses that have awnings installed. Is this something that most people don't do just because or is there some mechanical reason not to (like no good spot to anchor one). I speak from the position of not having a bus yet and not really knowing how the bodies are constructed, which is why I ask that here. Another reason I ask is that we really enjoy the awning on our travel trailer and would like to include one, if possible, on my future bus.

Thoughts/comments?
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:30 AM   #2
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

I havent done it because they are $$ new, if I can find a cheap used then we will have one
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

There's a really cool bus with awnings on it here:http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtop...awning#p139515

I just searched "awning" in the main search, but if would be cool for people who have them to post pictures here. We would like an awning also, but it seems like they are pricey and we might just make it ourselves - seems like that for everything!
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

We do not have one. We will most likely not have one mounted to the bus.

To explain:
We are currently living in central NM. The wind here ranges from gusts of 12 mph to gusts of 80 mph. And then you have the storms.

We had a Class C with an awning. We had to seal it to make it water proof rather than water "repellant". Big difference. The awning broke (springs inside) and repair parts are pricey. Add to that that it stayed rolled up all the time due the the NM wind and we just managed to get along without one. We did use it a lot in GA/TN/NC.

Before we had the Class C, we had a small popup (23 ft long opened up). Since we did not want to spend the rather large bucks to buy a canopy for the popup, we used a free standing "pop-up" canopy. The one we used the longest was an Ez-Up Escort that was peaked in the middle with gable ends. This allowed us to use a heavy duty tarp when the original cover rotted away due to the sun exposure. This freestanding canopy allowed us to set the canopy up either over the picnic table or over the entrance door. I originally bought the canopy from K-Mart on sale. I have since bought off brands. I do prefer the EZ-Up brand as the frame was really heavy duty. I left the thing (with a tarp on it) set up while I worked on the popup, for 18 months in TN. When we are ready for another canopy, I plan on either buying one from Wal-Mart/K-Mart or building one from either PVC or lightweight metal pipe (chain link fencing pipe). We will go cheap since we have seen too many awnings & canopies trashed by the wind.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Thanks for your reply, Lorna.

I know what you mean about wind destroying awnings. I lost an awning to a freak thunderstorm in 2004 or 2005 and I was watching the weather. I thought I had more time, but it came up so quickly. I ran outside to take it down, but it was too late. The awning ripped out of my hands and wiped out a skylight, the AC shroud, and cut up my rubber roof. Several folks in the campground also lost their awnings, the storm rolled a pop-up camper, and damaged the campground's inner tube enclosure. Luckily, I had purchased an awning rider on my insurance and the total repair was covered.

Even still, I will want an awning on whatever bus I get later. I have one on my travel trailer now (a different trailer) and we love it. High winds are not as frequent here where we typically camp in Texas, but they do happen and what I've heard over and over is: If you keep your awning out, it's not a matter of if, but when it will be damaged. So, I only keep mine out and extended only when we are there and I retract it at the slightest hint of a thunderstorm. When I feel confident that we won't have bad weather when we leave for a day trip, I will at least lower the awning to reduce the upward wind load. If I'm not confident in the weather, it gets retracted.

I also use the pop up standalone canopies when we camp in the summer, and I usually try to take them down when we leave. Come to think of it, I lost one of those to high wind as well. That was just bad luck, though.

I've looked at awning search results, but I can't find many details on the nuts and bolts of the installation, just that they are attached and look good. So, I guess unless I can find other information in the meantime, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

got one, best $100.00 I spent, 16 feet long .

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931&start=165

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Old 02-27-2013, 11:50 AM   #7
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Am I the only one who finds it amazing that people will use concrete blocks or little (or big) buckets filled with concrete to tie down their RV mounted awnings? David & I used to walk around the State Park we stayed in after a good storm.... to look at the damage the "tie outs" did to the RVs. My fav was the one that had the awning neatly wrapped up over the roof all the way around to the ground on the other side. The two concrete blocks had put a nice neat concrete block sized hole in the windshield in the front. And a nice hole right thru the siding towards the rear. You could see right into the RV thru the hole.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:10 PM   #8
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
got one, best $100.00 I spent, 16 feet long .
What a deal! If I ever found one in decent condition for under $300 I'd jump on it!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:41 PM   #9
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
got one, best $100.00 I spent, 16 feet long .

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931&start=165

gbstewart
Now, THAT is what I'm talking about! Nicely done and what a great price. I would expect that normally $100 would not even buy the fabric itself. Good get.

Looks like there was enough room to go even larger, had you had that available to you. Was installation as straightforward as it looks or were there some hidden gotchas that I can't see.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:44 PM   #10
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter56
... I would expect that normally $100 would not even buy the fabric itself...
And that is why we dislike about RV awnings. http://www.rvawningsonline.com/ has some of the best prices when we were considering putting the RV awning on the stupid bus.... that was until the wind in Rockport-Fulton TX trashed the awning and broke a mount (we were gone less than 15 minutes). Then I started looking for repair parts. Repair parts for an awning ranks right up there with repair parts for the RV toilet!

If you get an awning, get one with the Aluminum fabric guard. It costs more but will help your awning fabric survive more than just the sun.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:33 PM   #11
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske

If you get an awning, get one with the Aluminum fabric guard. It costs more but will help your awning fabric survive more than just the sun.

I haven't heard of Alumiguard before. Thanks for letting me know.

You're right about the fabric being expensive. I checked out the site you mentioned, and yep... they are definitely pricey. If or when I decide to go that route, I'll need to study it closely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
that was until the wind in Rockport-Fulton TX trashed the awning and broke a mount (we were gone less than 15 minutes).
Seems it is always windy in the Rockport-Fulton area, as well as anywhere that close to the Gulf. That freestanding canopy that I mentioned above ^^^ that I lost, was trashed in Corpus Christi while at a 4-H Shotgun competition that my grandson was participating in. We've never been there when it wasn't windy, but for some reason the wind decided to take my canopy. I guess I didn't have it all tied down properly. Thought so, but it must have not been so.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:42 PM   #12
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

We lost one free standing canopy (cheap one) to a "whirl wind" in TN. There were tornadoes touching down all around us and we were trying to get the canopy down before going into the caves to hide from the tornados. I got lifted completely off the ground! And then it was all over like it never happened.

Now if I were to build a canopy, I would opt for shade cloth rather than a tarp. I bought my last two shade clothes from Yuma's Bargain Warehouse. I think they are in the shed at my daughter's house. I guess I might be bringing them back with us unless my daughter used them to shade the chickens and rabbits. I'm not real fond of them (the tarps not the critters). Every thing gets caught up in them. I would rather have a window screen like mesh. And any colour except black. When it got real hot, it smelled like it was melting (but didn't). But then everything smelled like that in the NM convection oven. Also would make two smaller canopies that we could bungie cord together to make one large one. This site pushes using electrical conduit pipe and/or metal chain link fencing posts and beams. Much more durable than PVC. But metal will get very hot in high temps (like in the NM convection oven we live in). Scroll down to the dk green band at the bottom of the web page. On the right hand side, you will see "Canopy Fittings"

"Canopy Fittings"
Canopy Fittings 1"
Canopy Fittings 1 3/8"
Canopy Fittings 1 5/8"
Canopy Fittings 1 7/8"
Flat Roof Canopy Parts
Low Peak Canopy Parts
Medium Peak Canopy Parts
High Peak Canopy Parts
Slope Roof Canopy Parts
Tee, L & Misc Canopy Parts
Canopy Foot Pads & Couplers

More Canopy parts from Creative Shelters. This site has both PVC & metal fittings. And they not only have the parts list/diagrams for various shelters but they sell kits for most of them. Plus they have other stuff like PVC picnic table legs, 2X4 sheds and other stuff. Not the cheapest in the world but not the most expensive either.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:30 PM   #13
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
got one, best $100.00 I spent, 16 feet long .
What a deal! If I ever found one in decent condition for under $300 I'd jump on it!
They are out there.....
http://roswell.craigslist.org/rvs/3647343112.html 19 foot A&E RV Awning - $150 (Roswell)
19 foot wide retractable RV awning. In good clean shape. Works fine.
Maroon with gray stripe.
Includes stake out kit with augers and webbing.

Removed from a 1989 35 foot Class A.

Summer's coming. Get some BIG shade now ;)

Call, email, or text 5 75 444 844 8


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Old 02-28-2013, 07:54 PM   #14
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart
got one, best $100.00 I spent, 16 feet long .

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931&start=165

gbstewart
Now, THAT is what I'm talking about! Nicely done and what a great price. I would expect that normally $100 would not even buy the fabric itself. Good get.

Looks like there was enough room to go even larger, had you had that available to you. Was installation as straightforward as it looks or were there some hidden gotchas that I can't see.
thank you , it wasnt to bad to put on, I got some instructions online, you need 3 people, to put it on ,
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:43 PM   #15
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

One could do a Quilbilly awning. In my case, put eyebolts in some of those Bluebird eyebrows, tie a trap to them and have poles, and if it blows away, it'll rip at the tarp eyelets. Could work, should work, and it looks like I'll be staying in public parks, or national forests.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:00 AM   #16
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

I've got a 21' awning on mine...

I love it, it gives me a dry place to work under when it's raining...

A lot of my bus has been built under the awning...

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Old 03-01-2013, 10:49 AM   #17
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtygoat

A lot of my bus has been built under the awning...
That's about the same size I have on my travel trailer (probably the same make, as well) and we love it. I like to put lights on it. You can tell that I stay in RV parks, right?

So, you put yours up early on in your build then. Makes sense.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #18
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter56
... So, you put yours up early on in your build then. Makes sense.
Or install the awning track early on. With the awning track, you can either buy the rubber spline that runs in the track (or "fix" the track to handle one of those pipe heat cables) and sew the spline onto a regular tarp. Which is what I did for the popup once when I had a sewing machine. I have a sewing machine again. Maybe screw-&-glue a couple sections of track on the bus and some heat cable to the shade cloth. Use the old fashioned "rope & pole" set up like was on our pop-up. Heat tape is disappearing from the store shelves for the summer season and the rubber spline isn't that badly priced.. Perhaps that will work for us. We carry a ladder with us anyways and I know I can put the "tarp" in the awning track by myself since I did it on the popup many, many times. Or I can buy a rope & pole awning kit (12 ft for $195 Kit includes awning, rail, three 3/4"-diam. plated support poles, stakes, ropes, hardware and instructions). AND make a shade cloth awning. Be cheaper and store in less space than an freestanding canopy. Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions! $195 kit plus $28 for the 15 ft spline to sew onto one of my 12" shade traps which already have grommets in it. So for $223 (plus tax & shipping) I can have two canopies.. one for rain (which we rarely get here in NM) and one for shade only (biggie for NM). PLUS I can attach the the shade cloth tarps tot he front of the pole awning for a privacy/shade screen. This route is looking better all the time. Thanks for bringing it up. I had forgotten all about the old fashioned rope & pole awnings. Now I'm thinking that I might want to add a few lengths of the track above the windows of the bus to run some of the screen mesh shade cloth to use as shade awnings over our windows. It will give shade yet still let the breeze in... without the "breeze" removing the window awnings from the bus. Bear in mind that we stay parked far more than we move.



(the canopy our pop-up came with WAS this gold striped vinyl that lasted us many years)
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:58 PM   #19
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scooter56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtygoat

A lot of my bus has been built under the awning...


So, you put yours up early on in your build then. Makes sense.

I installed it right after the windows got skinned, rv windows installed and paint... Most of the metal framing inside was built under the awning... It's even nice to work under in the sun...

I have an awning for the other side, but haven't installed it yet... It only has a 12' tube, but a buddy gave me a 21' tube for free, so I'll eventually buy new material for the one that's installed and use the old material on the driver side... Gonna look for a slide in camper awning for the back as well... Camping in the PNW requires a lot of shelter from rain...
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:03 PM   #20
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Re: Awnings on Buses?

Lorna, I had an awning like yours on the tent trailer... It worked great... It used rope for the spline thingy, and pole/rope...Tons of people were surprised how well it worked after watching me set it up at camp... Seemed like every trip someone else would see me putting it up and walk over to look at it and ask questions...
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