What kind of tarp would make a good awning? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2011, 02:01 PM   #1
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What kind of tarp would make a good awning?

I am going to make a new awning for Bean (the one I have is cream/green stripes).

I've looked at the fabric stores, considered Sunbrella material, etc., but think I would like to use a tarp. Tarps Plus is having a winter sale online that ends tonight, so I want to order today.

Who knew there were soooo many to choose from? Anyway, does anyone out there use a tarp for the awning, or knows something about tarps. I want one that provides shade and water resistant/proof would be great. Which would be the poly or vinyl. I am leaning toward the vinyl, as I'm hoping it will look nicer. They have all sorts of colors--would go with tan probably.

I also stopped at my local Ace Hardware today, and on their closeout isle I found a "double garage door" screen door. Basically a big rectangle of screen with metal rods on the bottom for weight, grommets on the top, and split in the center with magnets to hold the "door" together. I scooped up two of them, and think I can attach them to my new awning for a simple, screen room. If this works, I won't need to put up my big screen room all the time.

So---anybody have any thoughts about the tarp to use???

Thanks,
Vickie
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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awning

We have been trying to figure out the same thing.
Thought I would buy an inexpensive tarp-sew some cording on one side so the tarp could slide throught the rail already on our camper.
The problem is the legs and how to attach to the tarp.
We want something easy to put up and take down but and give us some shade and keep the rain off when entering and exiting the camper.
We will let you know what we figure out.
If you figure out how to make it work-let me know.
We are getting things ready for our first camping trip of 2011. Just waiting for nice weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie B. View Post
I am going to make a new awning for Bean (the one I have is cream/green stripes).

I've looked at the fabric stores, considered Sunbrella material, etc., but think I would like to use a tarp. Tarps Plus is having a winter sale online that ends tonight, so I want to order today.

Who knew there were soooo many to choose from? Anyway, does anyone out there use a tarp for the awning, or knows something about tarps. I want one that provides shade and water resistant/proof would be great. Which would be the poly or vinyl. I am leaning toward the vinyl, as I'm hoping it will look nicer. They have all sorts of colors--would go with tan probably.

I also stopped at my local Ace Hardware today, and on their closeout isle I found a "double garage door" screen door. Basically a big rectangle of screen with metal rods on the bottom for weight, grommets on the top, and split in the center with magnets to hold the "door" together. I scooped up two of them, and think I can attach them to my new awning for a simple, screen room. If this works, I won't need to put up my big screen room all the time.

So---anybody have any thoughts about the tarp to use???

Thanks,
Vickie
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:56 PM   #3
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I to am very interested in how to attach a tarp to the track on my 13' Trillium.

I bought a HD tarp from WalMart and am working on how to attach it to the track. Sliding a 1/4" cord though the tarp did not work.

I am thinking of sliding the cord in the track and pulling a loop of cord out to line up with each grommet. Then passing loop though grommet and use a wooden spike to hold in place. Then tie down the ends of cord so it cannot pull out.

I am open to any and all ideas of how to do this, short of spending any serious money on it that is.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:09 PM   #4
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awning

Was the cord too thick-I haven`t looked at our rail for awhile so don`t remember what it is like.
The land where our camper is stored is too wet for us to get the camper out-but I might walk back there and take a look at the rail.

back there
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardinBC View Post
I to am very interested in how to attach a tarp to the track on my 13' Trillium.

I bought a HD tarp from WalMart and am working on how to attach it to the track. Sliding a 1/4" cord though the tarp did not work.

I am thinking of sliding the cord in the track and pulling a loop of cord out to line up with each grommet. Then passing loop though grommet and use a wooden spike to hold in place. Then tie down the ends of cord so it cannot pull out.

I am open to any and all ideas of how to do this, short of spending any serious money on it that is.
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:24 PM   #5
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Ricky 4----my original awning has grommets in the corners where the pole just simply sticks through. Since the tarp has grommets all around the edges, I just figured I'd do the same thing and put the pole end (it's a narrower end then the foot that goes on the ground) through grommets that are already on the tarp.

RichardinBC---I was just going to get a cord or rope that is the same diameter as the one in the original awning to sew into the tarp. I could remove the old cord and reuse it I suppose, but it looks grungy.

If you need pics (of the original) I can get them tomorrow.

V
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
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Hi,
Over the years we have had several awnings. In a pinch, and after a storm, we made a simple one with a green tarp, duct tape, and rope. We folded and covered the rope and duct taped it, that went into the awning rail. With pole (sticks) and ropes, it was all we needed.
You can also sew (or glue) an "awning rail insert" (just google that) to fabric or a tarp.
I recently bought a awning that was supposed to attach to a car roof rack with clips. I cut off the clips, and sewed in the awning rail insert. It is the best awning yet.
Marjie
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:23 PM   #7
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Vicky the cord I have is the right size for the track but I cannot slide it into the tarp as the one I bought and an other one I checked do not have the fold over space at the edge of tarp to slide the cord through.

So I am unable to attach the cord to the tarp in a way that I can still slide cord into track.

The original owner of the Trillium told me to buy a tarp, cut the corners off one edge, slide a wire through and use that to pull the cord through. The new tarps do not have that space to use.

A picture may help, thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vickie B. View Post
RichardinBC---I was just going to get a cord or rope that is the same diameter as the one in the original awning to sew into the tarp. I could remove the old cord and reuse it I suppose, but it looks grungy.

If you need pics (of the original) I can get them tomorrow.

V
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:44 PM   #8
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Thanks for that info Marjie, I will have to study all that.

Richard

Quote:
Originally Posted by marjie s. View Post
Hi,
Over the years we have had several awnings. In a pinch, and after a storm, we made a simple one with a green tarp, duct tape, and rope. We folded and covered the rope and duct taped it, that went into the awning rail. With pole (sticks) and ropes, it was all we needed.
You can also sew (or glue) an "awning rail insert" (just google that) to fabric or a tarp.
I recently bought a awning that was supposed to attach to a car roof rack with clips. I cut off the clips, and sewed in the awning rail insert. It is the best awning yet.
Marjie
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:54 PM   #9
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It gets hot and humid in our area so we ordered sunbrella material in yellow to match our rig. We have not regretted the expense because it proves shade and protection and "breathes" so you avoid additional greenhouse humidity. We put our tarp on our fifth wheel by tossing ropes over the roof and securing them on various points on the opposite side. We then use our old tent poles and various lines and stakes to put it up. Depending on the weather and site we arrange the tarp accordingly. I first heard about this approach from Pete Dumbleton. As we encounter any new challenges in our scamping we ask, "What would Pete Do?"
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:13 PM   #10
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We had an awning rail on a former camper. Added a strong fabric "hem" to one side of tarp large enough to thread rope through. Bought two cheap aluminum expandable replacement awning poles. Pole tops went into outside grommets on tarp. Tied small loops on ends of guy ropes and placed over pole tops, sandwiching the tarp. Ran guy ropes to stakes.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:23 PM   #11
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I have made two different size tarp awnings over the last couple of years
we have a track on the Boler

first one was a walmart tarp 6x8 or so I cut off the grommets on one short edge ,folded the new edge over & sewed a channel for a rope that fit into the track, used tent poles to hold the thing up-- worked well enough but small

second one walmart tarp again but bigger not sure the exact size once again cut off the grommets along one side -but this time I went to a boat top shop & bought a special "rubber bead" less than $1 /foot this slides into the track I sewed the "bead" to the tarp added some more grommets at the edge so we can if need be put poles at the corners near the trailer --the tarp has stretched and now flaps a lot but it has had a lot of use & cost less than $30.00 --again tent poles & ropes

wish I could figure out the picture thing again
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:37 PM   #12
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We also have used a tarp with a bead or rope sewn into one end to slide into the track and poles w/ rope and pegs. We got a heavy duty Costco tarp that was silver on one side that seemed to reflect the heat. I added extra grommets so I could set the poles closer or further from the trailer and tied the flap that hung down to the poles. It gave us a bit of privacy in a crowded camp ground and made a smaller sail if it was breezy. As a side note one one excursion discovered I left the tent pegs at home in other camping stuff so we stopped at a hardware store and bought a couple of big spikes-didn't bend or break off and the head made them easy to pull out of the ground.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:22 PM   #13
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All great ideas! I'm getting excited to do this! Wish I had read Ann's post before I hit "order" as I got the 6 x 8 size (which is the size of the awning that came with camper) now I'm wondering if I would like it bigger. Oh, well, the next size would have been too big ( 8 x 10 ), so if I need it longer---I'll think of something---just more work for me!

Like your idea, Reid, of having it versatile enough to have a flap hanging. The tarp I ordered has grommets every 24 inches, so I could totally do that. EXCEPT for the fact that it will only by 8 feet long---so--as in my previous paragraph---I'll probably be adding to the length somehow. Nothing simple for me--no siree!!
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #14
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Hi Vickie,
You could just pick up a light-weight tarp and run your poles up through two corner grommets and let the rest hang. We do similar with our pop-up awning. Just make sure the side tarp exactly matches the size of your top tarp. It's not uncommon for tarp packaging to state a rough size in large print and then add in small print that the actual size is smaller due to hemming. And grommet spacing can vary widely, even in corners, but this can be easily fixed -- grommet kits are cheap.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:57 PM   #15
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Vinyl Beaded Welt is better than sewing in a rope cord..... with this product you turn the edge of your material and sew it to this tab which then slides into your awning rail.... If you go this route measure the inside of your slide rail and make sure this product will fit in it.
http://www.rochfordsupply.com/produc..._ProdID_E_3517

this rail would also work if you don't have the rail
http://www.rochfordsupply.com/shop/A...num/index.html

This is a very good site and prices are reasonable they also sell material for tarps so just look around for recomendations on that site....
As for material sunbrella is the best and can be purchased in stripes if you want.... bargain vinyl material will tear under high winds. I personally like cotton duct an example would be a painters tarp which will breathe when dry and then when it gets wet the fibers swell and it becomes water resistant.....the only problem with this is if it gets wet and you have to leave that means you will be packing it up wet as it takes a few hours to dry out while set-up
Joe
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:38 PM   #16
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Great idea Darnelle and Joe Z!

Joe---I think you just saved me alot of headache---as the other night I lay in bed and wondered if I had the correct pressor foot for my sewing machine that would enable me to sew close to the cord---now I don't have to worry about it if I get the vinyl beaded welt! And pooh---I didn't know that about canvas (swelling when wet) as that's the way I really wanted to go, but I chickened out and ordered vinyl tarp. Hopefully it's not real cheap---it was described as heavy duty and the reg. price was $80 for a 6 'x 8'. I figure if I really don't like it---we'll use it to cover stuff in the truck and I'll get something else!

Thanks guys---I love this think tank!!
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Vickie B. View Post
Great idea Darnelle and Joe Z!

Joe---I think you just saved me alot of headache---as the other night I lay in bed and wondered if I had the correct pressor foot for my sewing machine that would enable me to sew close to the cord---now I don't have to worry about it if I get the vinyl beaded welt! And pooh---I didn't know that about canvas (swelling when wet) as that's the way I really wanted to go, but I chickened out and ordered vinyl tarp. Hopefully it's not real cheap---it was described as heavy duty and the reg. price was $80 for a 6 'x 8'. I figure if I really don't like it---we'll use it to cover stuff in the truck and I'll get something else!

Thanks guys---I love this think tank!!
I used to have a small Internet store of boat hardware for canvas tops and this item was a favorite amongst the RV Crowd . I hope your machine is a little larger than a small household machine to sew thru the vinyl beaded welt and two layers of vinyl?
Acrylic like Sunbrella is better than cotton duct as it's lighter and dries quicker but it has to be cut with a hot knife or it will fray..... or just double fold it to hide the cut edge before sewing down....you don't need to get sunbrella,just look thru that store under "Acrylic" Material and the no-name brands do almost as well and for a lot less money...
At $80 asking price for that size vinyl tarp it's priced to be a better grade so should be okay.
Joe
Attached Thumbnails
vinyl welt tab.JPG   vinyl welt tab demo1.JPG  

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Old 03-12-2011, 10:42 AM   #18
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Wow-----great pics! Many thanks!

Yes, I've thought about my poor sewing machine---keeping an eye out for a more heavy duty/used commercial type. Wish I could find one.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:14 PM   #19
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Wife has a nice Pfaff and I have two sewing machines. One is a late 1980's Singer Featherweght that has all the gadgets. The other is an old Singer 'type' from about 1930. It's black, looks like a boat anchor, and only stitches in one direction but I use it for heavy canvas bags and leather knife sheaths. If you want a reverse stitch then you have to turn the material around. Can't break those old goodies.
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:45 PM   #20
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I have a Singer Featherweight from the 1950s. Small little machine but what a work horse. I've sewn multiple layers of heavyduty Levi's with nary a dropped or popped stitched.
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