VW Camper Sun Canopy Awning Instructions: Connections, Set-Up and Top Tips   31 comments

VW T5 & Bay with VW Sun Canopy Awnings Attached

VW T5 & Bay with VW Sun Canopy Awnings Attached

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 T6. 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/T6 Transporters fitted with a C-profile type rail – the Debus 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  VW T5 T6 C-Channel Awning Rail and VW T5/T6 C-Channel Awning Rail for Roof Bars which is fitted in the roof gully or a Reimo Multi-Rail which is fitted just above the door line at the edge of the roof.

VW Camper Sun Canopy Awning connected to VW T5 with C-channel awning rail fitted

VW Camper Sun Canopy Awning connected to VW T5 fitted with C-channel awning rail

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 7mm.

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.

VW Camper Sun Canopy connected to Vw Bay via Pole & Clamp Kit

VW Camper Sun Canopy connected to VW Bay via Pole & Clamp Kit

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:  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.


Figure of 8 hook onto a VW Bay roof gutter rail

Figure of 8 hooked onto a VW Bay roof gutter rail

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.

Awning guyline tabs

Awning guyline tabs

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.

Tip: If you’re tensioning guylines over your van roof and are worried about possible abrasion to the bodywork in windy conditions – use Guyline/Webbing Strap – Vehicle Paintwork Protectors or 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.


VW Campervan Sun Canopy Awning - 3 Pole Set-up

VW Campervan Sun Canopy Awning – 3 Pole Set-up

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.

VW T5 with canopy set up in single pole ridge shape

VW T5 with canopy set up in single pole ridge shape

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 Sod’s law it’ll be in the middle of the night or when you’ve just walked to the local pub.

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 have seen some cheap copies of our sun canopy on the market over the past couple of years.

Please note: We use a well-established (over 50yrs) UK camping equipment company to manufacturer our sun canopy awnings in their own factory – to maintain the excellent quality and ensure our products are made in a responsible way in a safe environment where workers are treated fairly.

Also, you get what you pay for!  If you’re considering buying a cheap copy of our original 3 poled waterproof canopy – check that it has the following features.

  • Strong Fire retardant 150 denier fabric
  • 30+ SPF sun protection
  • Height adjustable powder coated poles with quick adjust mechanism
  • Large 8 square metre design for maximum shelter
  • Waterproof to 3,000HH with fully taped seams
  • Pre-attached reflective guylines
  • Line-Lok Guyline Runners that lock securely, release simply and perform in all conditions
  • Heavy-duty rock pegs with luminous heads
  • Pictorial instructions sewn into carry bag
Awnings in single pole ridge shape

Awnings in single pole ridge shape

We hope you enjoy your Funky Leisure awning (which is now actually made by and branded by our sister company Debus) 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

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31 responses to VW Camper Sun Canopy Awning Instructions: Connections, Set-Up and Top Tips

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  1. Hello,
    I purchased a sun canopy last year and used it a few times.I did find with the three pole set up it would become very loose in the centre and flap about in slight wind.There were a few other campers who tried to resolve this but it remained very slack.Do you have any suggestions how to resolve this,otherwise I am very pleased with it.

    Helena Keasey
    • Hi Helena

      Thanks for your question. We have never had this sort of issue ourselves nor had reports of it from customers before. It sounds as though you may have the corner guylines positioned around towards the front a bit too much.

      The corner guylines should ideally follower the direction of the guyline tabs at about a 45° angle to the van, which will tension the fabric equally out to the side as well as the front, adjust each side guyline to tension the fabric very slightly but not pull it down too much – see pitching diagram. Also peg the guylines to as longer length as possible with just a bit of adjustment left to get maximum tension.

      This should solve the issue but please feel free to contact us if you need any further help.

      The FL Team

  2. Hello. Would this fit on a Mazda bongo?

    • Hi Clare

      We’re not so familiar with Mazda Bongo roof connections but we have had a lot of Mazda Bongo owners who have purchased our canopy over the past few years. Basically the same connection methods listed above apply.

      Earlier models have a small roof gully just above the door line which you can connect the canopy to with a Pole & Clamp Connection Kit. With Later models, the canopy will slide directly into an awning rail if fitted. Alternatively, the canopy vehicle edge guylines can be positioned over the roof and pegged down on the opposite side and/or tied to roof hinge/roof bars.

  3. I have a Toyota Hiace van with a roof rack would I be able to fit this attaching it to the roof rack or large suction cups attached to the roof?

    William Macdonald
    • Hi William

      Yes, you should be able to connect the Sun Canopy Awning to your Toyota Hiace van by tying the 3x vehicle edge pre-attached guylines directly to the roof rack. Alternatively, tension the awning edge against the side of the roof rack and either secure the guylines to the opposite side or run them over the roof and peg them down on the opposite side.

      If the roof rack doesn’t run the full 2.4m canopy length, suction cups could be a good solution to secure the canopy at the end/s.

  4. We have a romahome 20lo with an elevated slated roof could you attach one of your Canopies yo this. Thanks

    • If your Romahome 20 Lo doesn’t have an awning rail fitted, our canopy can be attached via the vehicle edge guylines. Position one around the front and one around the rear of the elevating roof then peg them down on the opposite side of the vehicle.

  5. I’ve recently brought a T5 & still learning all the terms and measurements. So hoping you will be able to help me.
    I have a Vango Sapera II awning which slides directly on to the camper, would this mean the conopy would fit? or do I need to get some further measurements?

    • Hi

      Our VW Sun Canopy Awning has exactly the same size Kador beading as Vango AirBeams and other makes of Drive-Away awnings, so yes it will slide directly into the same awning rail that you use for your Vango Sapera II.

  6. Hi. Does this canopy have any eyelets halfway down so you can place 2 poles 1.5m away from van and then slop the roof towards the ground and secure with guy ropes. Hope this makes sense. Thanks

    • Hi Mike

      Yes, our canopy does have eyelets halfway down each side so it can also be set up with 2 x poles exactly how you described.

  7. Do you know if this will fit on a Mk7 2008 Ford Transit high top, using the pole and clamp connectors?


    • Hi Dave

      Yes, our Sun Canopy will connect to most Ford Transit’s including the Mk7 using the Pole & Clamp Connector Kit. The pole in the Pole & Clamp Kit is 250cm long x 16mm Ø which should fit nicely into the roof gutter rail even on a high-top.

  8. Hi, wondering if you do a canopy with sides which would help weather proof the connection to a tent from the camper? (Bay)

    • Hi Lorri

      We don’t make an enclosed canopy with sides as our design is primarily a sun and rain shelter allowing users to experience the outdoors without being enclosed.

      Side panels are also prone to catch crosswinds and need decent support and strengthening to keep stability and shape. Due to associated costs, larger pack size and pitching time this sort of design starts to move into drive-away awning territory.

  9. Hi, will this work with a magnetic adaptor kit ?

    • Hi Kevin

      Our canopy works fine with the Kampa Limpet Suction Drive-Away Kit but we’ve never tested it with a magnetic connection kit. All standard 6mm Kador and Figure of 8 connectors are compatible with our canopy so it should connect okay.

      The canopy itself stands up to high winds very well but it would obviously rely on the magnetic adaptor kit being strong enough to stay attached.

  10. hi i purchased one of these from you and used it a couple of times its brillant with stood high winds and was very robust……now ive managed to use it, i want to be able to drive away leaving it there which i can do with 3 poles….i have a t4 with a c channel awning rail……do i need another attachment to be able to do this ??? o

    • Hi Gail

      Thanks for your comments. You could try using an Awning Drive-Away Kit (6mm to 6mm) which would allow you to detach and reconnect easier. You will have to mark your parking place before you drive out so you can return to exactly the same position to reconnect. We use a guyline pegged about 5cm from the tyres… put the front peg in level with the front wheel centre.

  11. What colors do they come in?

    Jesper Hedam Rasmussen
  12. Do your poles have ‘spikes’ at both ends?
    I have one of these canopies from you, but all my poles have the spike at one end, and then the other end has a rubber black end.

    I’m assuming the river black end goes on the ground? As it Downey for through the eyelets and the spiked end goes through the eyelet????

    Sorry for the daft Q.

    • Hi Mark

      Yes, the black conical shaped ends go into the ground and the pole spikes through the eyelets. The wide lip design of the ground spike allows it to be gently pushed into the ground using your foot.

  13. I have just bought my canopy and have a couple of questions. I noticed it is a different brand from that advertised. Why is that? Also it would be helpful to have diagrams of the various configurations, especially want to do with it after you drive away. For example do you leave the poles in and guy it to the ground where the van was. I’m really looking forward to using it this weekend as an alternative to the full awning. Thanks it looks like a great quality product.

    • Hi Paul

      The VW Sun Canopy is now produced by our sister company Debus Designs and is now just sold through Funky Leisure. Keeping design/production and retail separate makes life a lot simpler for us so and we plan to develop a few other product ideas over the next couple of years.

      We are changing images over to the Debus brand as the last of the FL stock sells through.

      With height adjustable poles and a choice of six eyelets, there are so many possible configurations to set the canopy up in we just explain the two most basic and leave the rest to our customers imagination.

      When driving out for the day, the canopy can be either taken down in a few minutes or, if it is used with a drive-away kit, it can be pegged out at the back or set up with a pole to form a ridged shape. See images at the bottom of our VW Camper Sun Canopy Awning: Features blog.

  14. Please could you explain how the sun canopy can be attached to the front of a kela drive away awning.

  15. I have a LWB 2016 Ford Transit Custom with no awning rail, but with a roof rack. Am I right in thinking that this would fit, and could simply be tied onto my roof rack using the guy-lines at the back (the ones you suggest for running guy lines across the other side of the vehicle)?

  16. I’ve used this shade with my T5 a few times over the summer and have been really pleased with it – easy to use and good quality. i’d like to buy a matching one for my caravan but ideally it would be 5 or 6 metres. Do you do other sizes?

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