Tarp Awning System

The awning system for the front and back porches consists of silver tarps clamped to the roof rail with ball bungees. Trekking poles, paracord, and stakes hold up the other end of the tarp. The guylines use a McCarthy Hitch, which is like a light trucker’s hitch employing a slip loop and a slippery half hitch. This hitch is easy to adjust and offers mechanical advantage.

The roof rails are extended with 3/4″ PVC pipe fastened with hose clamps. Simple and cheap. This allows using bigger tarps and centering them over the sliding side doors. Cross fittings are located at the back of the rails for use as antenna mast mounts. Eventually, I will paint the pipes black to match the factory rails.

This system has held up through big storms, including the ones slung our way by Hurricane Harvey. It keeps the Texas summer sun off, making for a pleasant outdoor extension to the van’s living space.

And here’s the front porch featuring a moon chair and a messy collapsible table. Yes, that bucket is the bathroom. 🙂

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