Monday, June 05, 2017

How to Make Easy DIY PVC Awnings for Your Camper - Fully Adjustable & Removable

How to make a fully adjustable, removable awning from PVC - full tutorial! Genius!

The large roll-out awning on the front shades most of our camper. However, there is a window at the head of the bed that seems to get a lot of HOT sun, no matter where we are parked. Or rain, it gets rain, too. I decided that there must be some way to make an awning that would work for protection, but be removable and break down for storage. Oh, and fully adjustable, that would be nice! 
How to make a fully adjustable, removable awning from PVC - full tutorial! Genius!

PART ONE - Awning Frame From PVC


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Step 1 - BUILD BASIC FRAME 


I decided how large to make the awning, and built a simple frame from CPVC. Basically, it's a square from 1/2" CPVC, with a 'T' fitting on each sidebar about 1" from the corner and a brace in the center. It takes 4 "T" fittings and 4 90 degree corners. You will also need a couple short pieces of PVC that are big enough for the frame CPVC to slide into to make the adjustable braces.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

This particular CPVC fits into the Command Hooks perfectly!


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

 I highly recommend investing the $9 in a cutter if you're going to anything with pvc. I was using my compound miter, but this is much easier, and very accurate.

DO NOT GLUE THE PVC TOGETHER YET!


Make sure that it extends past the window enough to allow you to mount 4 Large Command Hooks (5 lb capacity) - one on each corner.


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

(don't use tape to hold them permanently LOL this was when I was figuring out where to put them.)

Step 2 - MAKE IT ADJUSTABLE


In order for the supports to be adjustable, they have to be able to move on the frame. I thought about a couple different ways to accomplish this:

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! AmazingFully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

But the best solution was this:

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! AmazingFully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing





Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

I used a heat gun to soften the end and flatten it. It took less than 30 seconds to get soft enough to flatten. You can use a small vise as I did, or even a good pair of pliers will do it.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

 Drill a hole through each flattened end and use a bolt/washer/nut to secure them.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Step 3 - MAKE THE SUPPORT LEG


Use a PVC pipe that the frame pipe will fit into. The outer pipe has one hole, and the inner pipe (attached to the awning) has multiple holes.  Use a d-pin or something fancier to set the height. Drill one hole about an inch down from the top of the larger pipe. On the smaller diameter pipe, drill evenly spaced holes and make sure they are at the same points on both left and right pipes. 

PART TWO - THE AWNING COVER


Here is what the finished awning cover will look like - it is easier to understand the process if you see what the end goal is :)

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

I had a beach umbrella that had died on our last trip to a really windy beach. 

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

The fabric is perfect because it is lightweight, sun resistant, waterproof, and blocks UV.

I removed the top section, then separated the main fabric into two parts. 

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! AmazingFully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

http://amzn.to/2qYcoSN

The easiest way I found to do it was to use my favorite little rotary cutter to cut the seam off since it was so small and I wouldn't lose much fabric this way.

http://amzn.to/2rLQTZ8

If you want to use a seam ripper, I highly recommend the white Clover Seam Ripper, it has lasted the longest and does the best job of any I've ever used.

Step 1 - CUT THE MAIN FABRIC


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Lay the frame on the fabric. I took the seams apart and flipped it around and sewed it back together so I could have less waste. Depending on your frame/umbrella size, you may have to do that, too. If you're using purchased yardage, then it's not a problem!
  
Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Cut the fabric 1/2 to 3/4" larger on three sides and about 3 1/2" larger on the top/back edge. The measurements are not precise, you can most likely make it work with what you have. 

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Round the corners of the front two edges. 

Step 2 - MAKE & ATTACH EDGING


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

The awning will look best if you add an edging along three sides. This will hide the lining pieces, adds extra sun protection and looks CUTE! Make an edging equivalent to two sides and the bottom. It can be scalloped or plain, I like a simple flattened scallop. Basically, all you do is cut two lengths of edging, sew them together, right sides together, on the lower edge (the edge that will flap in the breeze) and then turn right side out. The open edge will be sewn to the main body of the awning.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

The fabric I used to line the edging and to make the sleeves for the frame is just an old sheet. Pin right sides together and sew the edging to the awning body. I used a 1/4" seam and serged it as well. If you plan to use a larger seam, be sure to cut your fabric a little larger.

Step 3 - MAKE SLEEVES FOR FRAME


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Make four sleeves to hold the front and sides of the frame. It makes more sense in the photo below. The sleeves are two pieces of fabric sewn together and turned, The long edge is the raw edge because it will be sewn into the seam with the edging.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Lay the sleeves over the awning in the right places and sew that seam. I forgot to take a picture of this step, but turn the edging so you can see the seam and lay the sleeves over the awning and edging. You will sew the sleeves along the same seam you made to attach the edging. When you turn the scalloped edging down, it will hide these seams.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Then lay the frame down, fold the sleeves over the PVC pipe and mark where it fits. Remove the frame and sew the edges of the sleeves down. I used a zig-zag stitch so that the stress was distributed a bit more evenly than just a straight stitch. Hopefully, this will make it more durable.

Step 4 - FINISH THE BACK/TOP EDGE


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

This is what it should look like at this point. Now we have to finish the top/back edge so that there are two sleeves for the frame and two holes to allow the Command Hooks to slip through.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Mark the frame where the command hooks will fit. Put a piece of fabric there and mark as shown in the photo, about 1" wide x 3" long. 

Sew on this line, cut in between the stitching as shown, and turn right side out. This makes a reinforcement for the area where the command hooks go.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Fold the edges under and sew it down.

This is what it looks like when it is finished:

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

and this is how it fits over the Command Hook

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

To make the sleeves for the frame on the top - use another piece of fabric as a lining as shown. Mark from the center about 2" on either side, up to about 2" high in the middle. The photo makes more sense. 
  
Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Sew on this line. 

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Trim the seam, and turn right side out.

Test fit the frame into the sleeves again (you have to take the frame apart to fit it into the sleeves. Mark the sleeve placement, remove the frame and sew the sleeves down with a zig-zag stitch.

This is what it looks like finished:

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing


PART THREE - PUT IT TOGETHER!


After you have gotten it put together so that you like the way it fits, you can glue the PVC together. I want mine to break down into separate pieces so that I can store it more easily, but if you want it permanently assembled, you can glue all the joints. 

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

This is how my awning breaks down for storage - these are the only pieces glued together.

To assemble - first put the top and bottom pieces in their sleeves.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Next, put the middle piece in, then the side pieces. Lastly, insert the support legs into the "T" fittings.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

If you are in a windy area, you may want to add a clip of some sort to keep the top of the awning from blowing out.

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

This is how I did it, and it seems to work well.

Hang the top of the awning on the two top clips and slip the bottom supports over the bottom clips.

When you're ready to hit the road, remove the awning and slide off the command hooks!.

Here is the awning at its highest

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

And at its lowest.

It has really helped to keep the sun out of the camper!

Let me know if you have any questions and please share photos if you make an awning!

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

GO
PLAY
OUTSIDE!


Fully Adjustable, Removable Camper Awning Tutorial by WackyPup! Amazing

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