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Old 09-21-2009, 06:42 PM   #1
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1971 31' Sovereign
Ocala , Florida
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Self Made Awning

I would like to figure out how to make my own awning for a small price. I hate to pay people a lot of money for something I can make myself or convert from something else. Does anyone have any good ideas on what I can do to make an awning on a 1971 31' Sovereign?

I am open to all suggestions?
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Old 09-21-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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We are making our own rope and pole awning for our 28ft 63 Ambassador. We purchased nice aluminum adjustable poles at Walmart for $7.00 each and a 9 x 11 painters canvas drop cloth for $25.00 at Lowe's. We are going to cut and sew it to look like a regular awning with nice valances. We are also going to dye it a chocolate brown to match the interior. We will use grommets for the pole openings. It may not be the most beautiful awning but I do not see why it won't work.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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You may find that using an "Easy UP" type free standing 10 X 10 gives you more flexibility at a lower cost. You can use it next to the Airstream at one site but at another campsite, it might be better to put it up over the picnic table. They fold up fairly small. I carry one in the back of my truck. I also like my satellite antenna on a tripod rather than mounted to the Airstream, so you can move the antenna around when there are trees blocking the sky view.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:00 AM   #4
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keep in mind that awnings become sails when the wind picks up!
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:41 AM   #5
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If it is too cheap it will not last and will eventually become a hassle!
I like CHEAP too...but trouble and replacement isn't cheap.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:59 AM   #6
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making awnings

How much do you want to put into an waning? I might have someone that can make it for you at a great price. I have a new rope and pole awning in brown. Very professionally made. We used it at the vintage weekend at the Smokey Mountian Rally. I didn't get any pictures. However, the next time we set it up I will be glad to post one for you.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi View Post
You may find that using an "Easy UP" type free standing 10 X 10 gives you more flexibility at a lower cost. You can use it next to the Airstream at one site but at another campsite, it might be better to put it up over the picnic table. They fold up fairly small. I carry one in the back of my truck. I also like my satellite antenna on a tripod rather than mounted to the Airstream, so you can move the antenna around when there are trees blocking the sky view.
We have one of those....it works great, when we can set it up. Sometimes there is just no place to put it, and an awning would be wonderful. Still looking at options, making our own, ordering a rope and pole from Vintage Trailer Supply, or getting the local tent and awning company to make one for us. or reworking one from a salvage trailer and making that work.

The problem with making our own is that the thread holding it together has to be UV and moisture resistant or it will fall apart in a year or so, and the material also has to be weatherproof. I would be afraid painter's canvas just wouldn't hold up to the elements.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 63Silver View Post
We are making our own rope and pole awning for our 28ft 63 Ambassador. We purchased nice aluminum adjustable poles at Walmart for $7.00 each and a 9 x 11 painters canvas drop cloth for $25.00 at Lowe's.
Are you going to do anything to waterproof it? If it's just cotton it'll both absorb the water & leak and rot out pretty quick I would think ~
Quote:
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The problem with making our own is that the thread holding it together has to be UV and moisture resistant or it will fall apart in a year or so, and the material also has to be weatherproof. I would be afraid painter's canvas just wouldn't hold up to the elements.
My thoughts exactly ~

I would think if you just did a "no sew" dropcloth and added grommets for the poles, ala Ralph Lauren, that would work out pretty well and not be too much effort to remake it every couple of years when the cotton gives out.



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Old 09-22-2009, 06:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillcove View Post
How much do you want to put into an waning? I might have someone that can make it for you at a great price. I have a new rope and pole awning in brown. Very professionally made. We used it at the vintage weekend at the Smokey Mountian Rally. I didn't get any pictures. However, the next time we set it up I will be glad to post one for you.

You mean this one?
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
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You still have to have some kind of rope or bead to pull it thru your awning channel to hold it to the trailer. What will you do about that?
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:37 PM   #11
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I've been thinking about making an awning, too. A place like Seattlefabrics.com would have Sunbrella material which is UV resistant. I think I'll go with this in an Airstream print and sew in a nylon rope with nylon thread. Great tips in this thread with good pros and cons.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:56 PM   #12
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If this link will work, here is an older discussion about making your own awning. Lots of great tips, ideas and external links.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...ing-31560.html
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:35 PM   #13
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The painters canvas is actually a little heavier than the Sunbrella. After dying we are going to spay it down with a heavy coat of Scotchguard. If it only last a couple of seasons that is ok, we are trying to find a Sunbrella fabric that will match our interior but not having any luck. The other items, poles, ropes, springs, etc. can be used if and when we find another fabric. We have used the easy up and find it a hassle and very large to store. When it rains it does not cover the door. We'll see how the canvas works, if it doesn't, I'm only out $25.00.

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Old 09-23-2009, 05:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isadora View Post
You still have to have some kind of rope or bead to pull it thru your awning channel to hold it to the trailer. What will you do about that?

I used the small, thin, black hose that is used for drip irrigation systems. The hose is reinforced and turned out to be exactly the size I needed to go through the channel. Another benefit is that the hose slid through the awning channel like butter.
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:33 AM   #15
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Thanks

Thanks for the picture. We didn't have one and I had planned on taking a picture before we let the awning down to waterproof it.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:20 AM   #16
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Awning Making Suggestions

When I joined the forum several years ago, I said I would share my awning making experiences with those of you who were interested in making your own awning. First of all, you will probably need a vintage cast iron sewing machine or an industrial sewing machine. Modern machines ,with plastic parts instead of metal, do not have the power to go through several layers of Sunbrella fabric.I have tried a White Jean Machine and a Singer from the 80's that just couldn't handle it.I have even destroyed a 50's Singer. The heavy nylon thread #69 or thicker,comes in large spools that do not fit on a typical sewing machine. I needed to buy a cast iron thread spool holder. Sunbrella fabric is only 46" wide. When sewing the sections together to obtain your desired width, the fabric becomes very heavy and cumbersome. I kept breaking size 16-18 needles from the sideways pull of the fabric. I found that rolling the fabric into a long tube helped. When I first started making awnings, I tried sewing the cord onto the trailer edge of the fabric by folding the edge over the cord. But remember all of the seams? Well now they are doubled over making the covered cord too thick to fit through the rail in the seamed area! These are just a few of the pitfalls for beginners to consider.I hope this information helps.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I used the small, thin, black hose that is used for drip irrigation systems. The hose is reinforced and turned out to be exactly the size I needed to go through the channel. Another benefit is that the hose slid through the awning channel like butter.
I am familiar with that hose, having worked at a nursery/landscaping business for 16 yrs. I think I may have a hundred or so feet of it. How did you attach it? Did you sew the material around it? How did you finish the end that goes into the channel so it slides in easily??
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:06 AM   #18
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This Vinyl Beaded Welt looks like a great way to attack the awning to the trailer. I have not tried it myself; it is available at:
(Vinyl Beaded Welt, Rope, Ropes and Cords, Embossed Welt Style #180, Hidem Welt - Vinyl from Rochford Supply - Your Online Textile and Upholstery Superstore!)
VINYL BEADED WELT


Also called tonneau welt. Vinyl open center welt for use with awning rail. Cut to length, sew the lip to tonneau material. To be used in place of rope. The minimum order for this item is 20 feet. Bead size: 5/16". Overall size: 3/4".

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Old 10-04-2009, 01:56 PM   #19
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We finally have our new awning! We had it made by a local tent and awning company, and it is beautiful! However, we needed poles, so off we went to Academy Sports, which is the only place in town we could get any..........however, they were really thin and wimpy and just bowed like noodles when we put the awning up for a test run. Back to the store to return them, and to good ol' yankee ingenuity. We got galvanized electrical conduit, in 1", cut it to 5' lengths. We also had conduit in 3/4" od, which fit nicely inside the 1" size, and cut it in 4' pieces. Drilled holes, near the top of the 1" stock and matching holes in the 3/4" so that the total length would be 8'. A cotter pin thru the holes secured the two pieces together. In the top of the 3/4" piece, a 1/4" nail (spike, really) about 6" long was inserted, head down, and secured with lots of epoxy putty. Then a plastic cap (available at the hardware store next to the crutch tips) had a hole poked in it and slid down to cover the top of the pole. A crutch tip went on the bottom, the nail was filed off smooth to keep it from being a lethal weapon, and voila! Sturdy tent poles, collapsible down to 5 feet, and a lot less expensive than the commercial ones.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:46 AM   #20
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Hi!

What were those $7 aluminum, adjustable poles originally sold as/intended for? Asked around at Lowes today for something similar with no luck. Hmmm...
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