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Old 09-02-2003, 12:55 PM   #1
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Pole Awnings

I'm very excited because today I finally was able to find and order enough outdoor canvas to make my pole awning. My local fabric store ran out of the canvas I was using on the window awnings, but we located a store near Seattle that had another nine yards of it, and they are shipping it to me.

I'm planning the awning will be roughly 9 x 9 ft. There is a rail on the trailer already and I have gotten a 1/4 metal rod that I will sew into a pocket on one end of the awning and then the awning and rod will slide into the rail.

I haven't quite decided how to the pole ends of it will work yet. I walk the dog through the campground at the park a couple times a week hoping to see another pole awning to check out in person. Does anyone here have one or have any suggestions for how that end of it will work? I'm thinking maybe a metal pipe frame that slips together and the awning can attach to it with Velcro wraps?

I've heard that some don't require ropes and tent stakes to hold them up, and I'm wonder how that design would work. Obviously, I don't know much, and I haven't seen any in person, but I'm rediculously enthusiastic about making one Suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 09-02-2003, 01:37 PM   #2
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There were 2 or 3 "pole awnings" at the Rocky Mtn. VAC rally. Each of them used ropes which were staked into the ground.

Each awning had 3 or 4 vertical poles. In at least one case, the top of each pole passed through the top of the awning, through metal grommets in the fabric. There was a 4-5" "nipple" at the top of each pole, which passed thru the grommet. It looked sturdy to me.

Two or three horizontal poles connected the vertical poles, under the valance edge. I didn't see if the horizontal poles were attached to the fabric, but I think your velcro idea would work just fine.

Question for you. What does the other side look like--the side that attaches to the trailer? Does the entire metal rod slide into the channel, or are there "buttons" or something that go into the channel?

Tom
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Old 09-02-2003, 06:22 PM   #3
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Stephanie,
I have a 64 Overlander with what propbably is the original awing.
The awing is yellow, green and brown striped canvas and is rectangular in shape. There is a bolt rope around which the canvas has been sewen that slides into the track on the trailer. The leading and trailing edge have been reinforced with leather to cut down on wear. Along the outer edge, are four grommets, one at each corner and two in the middle. These also have been reinforced with leather. The poles have two inch rods at the top which are passed through the grommets and then the guy ropes are placed over the rods. This arrangement captures the poles between the ropes and the canvas so they can't be blown loose in a wind. You use two ropes at ninety degrees to each other on the corners and one rope each on the middle poles. In addition, the poles are adjustable for height and allows you to fine tune the whole arrangement once you have it up. There is not a frame of any kind associated with this awning. By adjusting the tension on the guy ropes, you can make the awing as taught or loose as you think necessary and the entire thing folds into a two foot by two foot bundle for storage. The poles telescope down to four feet and can be stored in a closet.
I hope this will help you in your design.
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Old 09-02-2003, 06:38 PM   #4
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Hi Mark,

Thanks much for the information. That gives me some ideas. If you could post any pictures of the awning, I'm sure others would like to see it as well.

Tom: Here's a pic of the rail on the trailer.
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Old 09-02-2003, 06:40 PM   #5
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And here's a pic of the rod with some canvas wrapped around it. It slides into the rail, but won't pull out (at least not so far). I know the previous owner said he tried to make a pole awning, but it was a disaster, though he didn't elaborate on which part was the disaster. I think he put the awning rail on himself.
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Old 09-02-2003, 07:00 PM   #6
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Pole Awning Progress

Couple of ideas Stephanie - first, I would trim the excess of the awning rail down to where it connects to the trailer. This area will have more tension on it than any other area. Looks to me that you might lose a few inches of awning width, judging by the photo, but could save your awning during a gust of wind.

Second, I think sewing in a leather wrap at the awning rail and pole grommet area to cut down on wear is a great idea. Use your Dremel tool to trim the slot edge corners at both ends of the rail. This will cut down on excessive wear on the leather and/or fabric.

Third - the use of a rope instead of a solid bar will allow you to fold it up as opposed to rolling it up. A tab could be sewn in on each end at the leather to awning material seam that could be pulled on to get the wrapped rope through the rail. Make sure the inside of your awning rail is clean when working out the appropriate diameter of rope and wrap allowing enough room to slide with little resistance.

Keep us posted on your progress. Several folks are considering doing this during this fall season. Share your pictures

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Old 09-02-2003, 07:02 PM   #7
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Here is a link to a thread on the VAC site. It has detailed info about how two different awning styles work.

VAC awning style thread

I notice that most every reference to these vintage awnings says that they are on ropes. If you have room to store the long rod, I don't imagine it would make a difference if you use the rod instead of a rope.

And here is a link to another thread on the VAC site. It has info on finding poles.

VAC awning pole thread
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Old 09-02-2003, 07:06 PM   #8
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Check out the Ralph Lauren Caravels for Awnings

The three Ralph Lauren Airstream Caravels all have pole awnings. Check them out at this web site:

http://about.polo.com/vintage/airstream/default.asp
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Old 09-02-2003, 07:48 PM   #9
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Steph, here is a close-up of the awning on my former '60 Overlander (now in Colorado). Hope it might be helpful to you.

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Old 09-02-2003, 08:09 PM   #10
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Steph,

Let me give you the "cheap" pole answer. Go to Lowes--HD and purchase adjustable fiberglass paint poles and same number of paint roller handles. Attach handles to poles and hack saw off the metal about 2 inches above plastic handle , this will pass through grommets on awning and provide attachment for ropes. You now have adjustable awning poles.


The cheap version........
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Old 09-02-2003, 08:21 PM   #11
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Steph,

Brad is right the awning rail on your trailer is too long. It should run from shell edge to shell edge. And it should be flat against the trailer the whole way.

Sounds like a neat project
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Old 09-02-2003, 09:09 PM   #12
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Steph,

You might check out Walmart....they have tent poles 2-piece adjustable....I use them to help direct the rain and they are only 5 or 6 bucks ea.

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Old 09-02-2003, 09:54 PM   #13
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Wow!

Thanks for all the great ideas (keep 'em coming if you think of anything else)! They're all wonderful. I guess I'll head out to the trailer with the dremel tool and shorten up that awning rail. And using rope for he end that goes into the rail is a great idea, I don't know why that never occured to me. Great idea for the poles too. I like anything that's cheap. Since I waited so late in the year to buy the outdoor canvas I caught it on end of season 1/2 price sale (yipee). Well, I guess tomorrow I'll have to head over to home depot and wander the aisles and THINK this over a bit
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