I decided to add an awning extension to my Carefree main awning. I wanted a bit more sun protection and privacy. Screen cuts the available light by about 40% (depending on the weave). This project is applicable to nearly any awning on any type RV so everything described is rather general. My goal was to make a screen that was wide enough to fit nearly the entire awning width and long enough to "almost" reach the ground with the awning in the position I use most ... for me, that's about 8 ft from the roller to the ground. I'm 6'3" so your preferred height might be different. It hangs from the accessory slot in my awning roller.
The project costs about $100 depending on size and what you can scrounge for free.
Photos are in a PhotoBucket Album and the text is here. The Photos aren't in sequence so just rummage around and you'll get the idea.
All the parts were from Home Depot and WalMart (except thread from fabric store).
If you can't sew, or find someone that can, your project is done !!
Tools you will need:
1) a stout sewing machine ... if it can mend jeans it's fine.
2) grommet tool with some (you'll probably need more) grommets (Home Depot).
4) utility scissors or utility knife.
Parts you will need:
1) a roll of screen that meets your needs for width and length (my roll was 96" X 25').
2) extra grommets.
3) a spool of "Outdoor UV resistant thread" ... commonly used for outdoor furniture cushions (JoAnn's Fabrics ... about $6).
4) Camco party light holders or similar.
5) Ball bungees.
6) Adjustable bungees in a length of about 4'.
7) sturdy tent stakes.
8) wine bags (I get 1 for free with every 4 bottles at Publix Supermarket).
Start by figuring out how high you want the awning and how close to the ground you want it to hang. My height was 8 ft. so I needed a 96" width roll of screen. Due to hemming you'll lose about 2". The total width of my awning (front to back) is 20' but the slot in the roller is about 19'. I decided to make my screen 18 1/2' ... a little gap on each end.
So, I cut my screen to 18 1/2' plus 2" ... 18' 8".
Double hem each side
about 1/2" ... this means fold the fabric about 1/2" (on the 96" side) and stitch it ... I use a tight zig-zag. Fold it again and stitch again. This will leave a hem with 3 layers of screen (at the edge) on each 96" side.
Double hem the top and bottom
about 2". This will create a wide hem of 3 layers to carry the grommets at the top and bottom. The total remaining height of the awning will now be about 7' 4" (96" minus (2,2,2,2)). This allows a drop at the roller for hanging hardware and a few inches gap at the bottom so it doesn't drag.
Install your grommets ... I used 10 one top and 10 on the bottom. I installed 2 with closer spacing at each corner. This is to allow a sideways bungee at each corner for tension.
Have a beer ... you just spent about 3 hours sewing.
It's time to hang the screen. I used Camco party light holders, Quick clips, and ball bungees to attach to my awning roller slot. See the pics ... you'll get the idea. The holders and Quick clips allow fast and easy removal in the event of a storm.
Spin the nuts and slip the bungees from the clips in about 2 minutes or less. Drop the screen, roll up the awning, slip the screen under the RV, get out of the storm!
Now we''ll get to the anchoring. Depending on the angle you want the screen, and whether you are on dirt/sand or concrete, you'll use the tent stakes and adjustable bungees ... or, (I know you were wondering) the wine bags filled with sand/rock.
You can't have too many wine bags ... they are made of recycled materials and eventually fall apart. I use them to weight all kinds of stuff and to store stuff.
Awning Extension Project Photos by bdkolber | Photobucket
I'm very happy with mine. it's easily adaptable to any size ... you can add end panels if you like.