VW Camper Sun Canopy Awning Instructions: Connections, Set-Up & Top Tips
Our versatile sun canopy awning can be quickly connected to almost all VW Transporters from a 60’s Split Screen through to the current Volkswagen T5. Depending on which VW Transporter model you own and whether you have an awning rail fitted, there are a few connection options and ways of attaching to a VW Campervan which we will explain in more detail below.
Basically the fabric on the van connection edge of our VW Camper Sun Canopy Awning has Kador strip beading, a pole sleeve and guyline tabs sewn into it to provide universal connection options to most Volkswagen vans.
VW Transporter Connection Options
VW T4 &T5 Transporters fitted with a C-profile type rail – our VW Campervan Sun Canopy Awning has standard 6mm core Kador beading sewn into the rear connection edge, this will slide directly into a C-profile awning rail like our VW T4 or VW T5 Transporter C-Channel Awning Rail which is fitted in the roof gully or the Volkswagen or Reimo Multi-Rail which is fitted just above the door line at the edge of the roof.
Tip: When measuring Kador or Keder strip beading or C-channels, remember that the measurement used by the outdoor industry refers to the PVC core size – standard size Kador strip has 6mm core which has an overall size of 7.5mm.
Although it only takes 10 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to pack away our sun canopy awning, you may want to drive out for the day and leave the canopy freestanding to protect camp furniture and mark your pitch. You’ll find it to be a really challenging 2 person job with the potential for a foot being run-over when you try to drive the van out and back into place whilst trying to thread the Kador beading back into the rail. We recommend using a 6mm to 6mm Drive-Away Kit for this purpose which enables one person to detach and reconnect easily and safely.
Tip: Mark the ground on the drivers-side with a positioning marker before you drive away – we peg a tensioned guyline at each end an inch or two away from the edge of the tyre, put the pegs in in line with the wheel centre. This will enable you to reposition your Dub correctly when you drive back and attach with the drive-away kit.
VW Split, Bay, T3/T25 & Brazilian Transporters with a roof gutter rails – our VW Campervan Sun Canopy Awning also has a pole sleeve sewn into the rear connection edge for attaching via a Pole & Clamp connection Kit which is sold separately. Just slide the pole through the pole sleeve and place into the roof gutter, secure at each end and in the middle cut-away with the 3 x pole clamps. Just hand tighten the wingnuts and angle them upwards slightly so doors can open and close without obstruction.
Tip: The pole clamps have rubber sleeves to protect the paintwork on the underside of the roof gutter – some V-Dubbers who are very precious about bodywork even wrap gaffer tape around the pole to protect the inside of the gutter. Although we have never noted any damage to paintwork in almost 10 years of using this connection method on our Bay.
If you want to drive out for the day and leave the sun canopy awning freestanding, just undo the pole clamps and peg down the pole at each end to drive the van out of position. The awning be left like this with a single pole at the front for rainwater runoff or alternatively, once you’ve driven out you can peg via the connection edge guyline tabs.
Tip: As above, mark the ground on the drivers-side with a positioning marker before you drive away to enable you to reposition your Dub correctly when you drive back and reconnect.
VW Transporters with J-rail awning rail or 2 roof racks fitted – one side of Figure of 8 Awning Channel can be threaded onto the Kador strip beading sewn into the van connection edge and the other side of the Figure of 8 hooked over a J-rail. The Figure of 8 can also be cut to length with a hacksaw to hook onto a gutter rail in between and either side of roof racks.
Tip: The canopy fabric needs to be tensioned well via the guylines to keep the Figure of 8 Channel hooked onto the rail – it relies on this tension to stay attached.
VW Transporters without an awning rail or roof gutter rail – our sun canopy awning can also be attached by positioning the 3 x rear guylines over the van roof and pegging down on the opposite side.
This method can also be used to attach to campers with elevating roofs but without rails, just tie the middle guyline to the gas strut or scissor hinge and thread the corner guylines around the front and rear of the pop-top and over the roof – peg down as above. The rear connection edge guylines can also be tied to T4 and T5 vans with roof bars or racks fitted.
Tip: If you’re tensioning guylines over your van roof and are worried about possible abrasion to the bodywork in windy conditions – cut two thirds of the way through a tennis ball and thread on to the guyline to protect the paint, alternately place some soft cloth under the contact areas.
Basic Awning Connection & Set Up – 3 Poles
When you first take your new awning from the bag, loosen off the 3 x front and 2 x side guylines ready for tensioning. If you don’t plan on using the awning in the freestanding drive-away configuration you may also want to untie and remove the rear connection edge guylines and stow them in the peg bag. Make up all 3 x upright poles and adjust them to the same length, lay these out roughly where the front of the awning will be (3 metres from the side of the van) with 3 x pegs and a mallet. The adjustable part of the pole is the end that goes through the eyelet.
1. With your side door closed connect the awning to your roof using one of the methods described above.
2. Pull out the front middle guyline tab and insert a pole through the eyelet, position the pole straight upright with the fabric taught and gently push the bottom pole spike into the ground – peg the guyline out straight from the vehicle.
3. Pull out each front corner guyline tab and repeat as above pegging at about a 45 degree angle to the van.
4. You can now peg both side guylines, they only have to be tensioned very slightly in the 3 x pole set up to keep the shape. Check the tension on the front guylines – now grab yourself a beer and chill!
Important – Single Pole Ridge Shape Configuration
It is very important to set-up the canopy with just a single pole in the front middle eyelet and the 2 x front corner and 2 x side guylines tensioned to form a ridge shape at the front.
This ridge shape will allow rainwater runoff at each side of the canopy and is very stable in strong winds. It’s only takes a couple of minutes to loosen off each front corner guyline, remove the corner poles and re-tension the guylines into this single pole ridge shape.
To avoid rainwater pooling and damage to the canopy fabric, always set the awning into this shape overnight and whenever you’re away from the van as you never know when there’s going to be a sudden downpour… and it’s sods law it’ll be in the middle of the night or when you’ve just walked to the local pub or bar.
Tip: When you remove the corner poles just stow them out of the way under the van for safe keeping – we lay them down the middle of the van so there’s no chance of running over them just in case you do forget that there.
We hope you enjoy your Funky Leisure awning along with the freedom it offers to leave the side door open on your Bus and experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature during a summer shower – it’s your planet… go find it!
The Funky Leisure Team
02. July 2015 by funkyleisure
Categories: VW Campervan Road Trips | Tags: attach, attaching, attachment, Awning, awnings, Bay, Canopy, connect, connecting, Connection, connections, Drive-Away, instructions, kador, rail, rails, Split, Sun, T25, T4, T5, Transporter, Volkswagen, VW, waterproof | 26 comments