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Old 01-31-2020, 06:23 AM   #1
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DIY automatic awning for slide out

I need your thoughts and help.
What material would you suggest? I need something that is ridged like plywood, but something that will hold firm under snow, hard rain, etc.
How would you make the hinge? And out of what?
Ideas, other suggestions?

I have a 2' x 8' slide out in my camper. I need to have an awning for it, but I just cannot afford to purchase one made for slide outs. They cost well over $200, and I think I can possibly make it for well under $50.
The following are my thoughts as to how I think I would make it. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts, additions, changes, whatever - with my thoughts of how to make. I am willing to completely do differently, if you have a better way.
What I am thinking is to use a piece of plywood (I want to use a different material) and somehow, hinge it right under the awning rail, and have it be 3 - 4 inches wider than what it would be from the actual camper to the outside edge of the slide out.
Whatever material I use, it will hang vertically while traveling. When I extend the slide out for use, as the slide out slowly extends out, the awning would slowly rise as the slide out extends. So when the slide out is fully extended, the awning would be at a downward angle from the camper to the outside edge of the slide out.
I donít know what to use for the material, as I do not want to use OSB or plywood. I want something that looks nice, can withstand the weather, and is stiff like plywood. It has to be a stiff material, as regular awning material will shred to pieces in the towing mode.
I would install some new awning rail, probably 3 or 4, 3-4" each, under the outside edge. I will make a bungie connector for each spot, to secure the awning to the side of the slide out when using, i.e.: so that it would not flop or fly when in the up (extended position).
As I want to attach this plywood ( or whatever material I chose ) right under the existing awning rail. I am thinking of some kind of hinge.
I will need to make a waterproof connection from the existing awning rail out 6 - 8 inches and attach it to the top side of the awning material. This connection will attach to the camper like a commercial awning would, and then somehow attach it to the awning itself. I would attach this connecter piece to the awning while in the vertical, traveling position, so that will cover the connection from camper to awning, and not be too tight.
Not just sure how I will secure the awning down while in traveling mode, but will have to have something that will hold it tight to the camper while towing ( in motion ).
I need some help with my idea. What kind of material would you suggest? And what do you think of my thoughts regarding how I have described how I want to attach this to the camper and waterproofing the hinge connection?
Would you suggest a different approach? What kind of material would you suggest I use? Do you have any ideas, other than how I am thinking to attach awning to camper?
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:43 AM   #2
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Back in the 70s my Parents had a Kit TT, with a fiberglass fold up awning across the windows in the front.

It protected the windows when traveling and gave sun relief when up.

No idea if they are still available.

here are some panels https://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=m...r+patio+covers
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Old 01-31-2020, 12:21 PM   #3
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It's not "automatic", but I made a topper for my slide out out of PVC pipe and tarp material. It's a frame that sits on top of the slide, with a "roof" that extends over the edge of the slide and up over the camper roof edge. I hold it in place with bungee cords. I made it the come apart, and can store it in the pass-through storage compartment in the camper. Cost about $40, if I remember correctly. Takes about 2 minutes to put up or take down.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:46 PM   #4
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I know this is a little old, but I agree with the panels that rgvtexan suggested. i would think that rather than having them installed on hinges which may cause some issues later on (rust running down the sides). Maybe you could get the right size panels and then put some hooks on the gutter/edge and then hang the panel before you slide it out.

(I've seen some YT videos about a guy who's got a pole with a hook on the end of it to help him unzip his RV cover, maybe something similar could be used to help you attach it?)

Just a thought. I have the same need and will be looking for some ways to get this figured out, probably in a DIY manner.

-R
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