This is the simple awning setup I have been using for over a year now and have had no issues with it. I feel this is the way to go instead of a roll up RV awning which can collect mold and mildew and also have malfunctions. Total cost is right around $100 for all the materials.......
Very interesting video. Thanks very much for sharing. Your awning is obviously very effective at providing shade. But here in the PNW one of the main reasons for having an awning has nothing to do with wanting shade. Instead it has everything to do with providing a bit of a dry spot next to the bus or RV during a torrential downpour.
So I wonder if you have ever had a really hard rain on your awning and how it handled that. I can see that if one were expecting regular enounters with heavy rain, it might be best to replace at least some of the magnetic hooks with more permanent hooks attached to the bus. The permanent hooks would of course have to be located just right.
And I know placement of more permanent hooks would be tricky. I have enough experience with these white Amazon tarps to know that the grommets are not evenly spaced along the edges. It's obvious that the distance between grommets is at the discretion of the workers who make the tarps. So one could not necessarily expect those hooks to all line up with the holes in a replacement tarp.
And even with several more permanent hooks I am not sure this awning setup would be strong enough to handle the hard rains and +25 mph winds that we get so often around here. From my perspective the one big advantage to the standard roll up awnings is that the good ones are strong enough to handle most PNW weather.
Not a school bus, but still a good friend of mine.
Notice how he paid attention to details. Those tarps are almost drum-skin tight. (And color matched to the bus!)
Take time to think it thru, and you can do this!
Mahvelously kind of you to say! But I am actually not very smart, bright, or clever; I simply make a point to learn from my mistakes, and keep trying until the project serves its intended purpose satisfactorily.
Look at the photo from 2012. See the half-moon-shaped slashes in the tarp? Those were vents, to let air thru, hurriedly cut when the wind tried to carry Millicent off to Winnemucca. That tarp was all one piece.
The new version uses many smaller tarps, with natural gaps between them which let plenty air thru.
Perhaps the most important item I am babbling about here is that... WIND can utterly ruin an awning that seems perfectly OK when you build it.
And I have help with my projects. Notice the 31-foot long trusses on the passenger side? Friends of mine came up with that idea and built them -- then brought them over on the roof of a Jeep! Alright, the trusses were in two halves and were spliced here. I have serious can-do! friends!
Trusses and gaps between tarps better visible in this photo.
We used a similar awning style on our 4x4 for a trip to Baja and after that, we decided against it due to wind and weather. The commercially available awnings from companies like ARB are not that expensive and built to hold up a bit better. Plus they are much easier to setup in my opinion and the availability of awning rooms and walls is an easy decision for us. Points for coming up with a solution!