Installing an awning - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-09-2019, 11:56 AM   #1
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Name: Tiffany
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Question Installing an awning

I bought a sailrite awning rail that I need to attach to my 13 ft. Scamp.
I bought the 3M VHB tape to bond it. I want to make sure I am doing this right. Can you please offer advice and help.

Thank you,
Tiffany
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:27 PM   #2
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thoroughly clean the trailer surface, and use some isopropyl alcohol to remove any waxes from the surface. ditto wipe off the mating surface of your rail with isopropyl then let it all dry before applying the tape. Not sure, but I think I'd apply the tape to the trailer first, then peel the top and apply your rail to it With VHB you get ONE try, that stuff sticks really strongly, so make sure you get things straight before you let it touch down. I'd want a helper to hold the far end of the rail clear of the body while you start pressing down from your end, that rail looks flexible enough for this. do this on a warm or hot day.

I'd consider drilling and using a half dozen or so aluminum pop-rivets too, with sealing caps, to reinforce it, after applying it with the tape

good luck!
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:24 PM   #3
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A member here that owns a Scamp 13 was installing a bag awning a couple years ago and had to install the rail to the camper. I was in a discussion with her about how I had done it on our Uhaul. She had called Scamp and they recommended using a "peel type" pop rivet. They expand more to spread out the stress on the fiberglass. I don't think there is all that much difference actually but it was Scamps recommendation.
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Old 04-09-2019, 03:10 PM   #4
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If you have a problem with a pop rivet it will most likely pull out from the fiberglass side.
I suggest using screws and washers on the inside.
If you must use pop rivets then a washer on the inside is still a good idea.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:56 PM   #5
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Use only 3M RM45 double sided adhesive VHB tape! Use only the 1.5" wide vinyl awning rail for enough mounting surface. Clean the fiberglass and micro sand it with about 1000 grit wet/dry sand paper in the area the adhesive strip is going. Sand the backside of the vinyl awning rail with the same sand paper. Clean both again with rubbing alcohol. Make sure you heat the awning rail in a pot of boiling water if needed to bend to fit to curves before sticking it on. Use 3M adhesion promoter sold in little square packets - use one packet for each mating surface. Apply the 3M RM45 tape along the entire length of the awning rail covering all the mounting surface area. When that has been installed and ready then treat the mounting area on the trailer with the adhesion promoter. Peel the backing off the awning rail tape and have a helper make sure you have it level (pencil marks work great) You only have one shot to get it right. IF done correctly it will last for years... Ask me how I know....
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:03 PM   #6
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:05 PM   #7
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:06 PM   #8
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #9
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:08 PM   #10
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:11 AM   #11
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I installed my aluminum Keder rail with 1/4" X 20 stainless steel machine screws on 1' centers, and large fender washers and Nylock nuts on the inside. All the mounting fasteners are inside the overhead cabinets so none of them show inside the trailer. Used Sika-Flex marine grade sealant in all the screw holes to maintain waterproofing. Might be a bit of "overkill," but it certainly ain't going anywhere.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
I installed my aluminum Keder rail with 1/4" X 20 stainless steel machine screws on 1' centers, and large fender washers and Nylock nuts on the inside. All the mounting fasteners are inside the overhead cabinets so none of them show inside the trailer. Used Sika-Flex marine grade sealant in all the screw holes to maintain waterproofing. Might be a bit of "overkill," but it certainly ain't going anywhere.
Greg,


Where did you get your rail from? Can you use VHB tape instead of Screws? And did did you make the awning yourself?
TIA
John
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by johnwen1 View Post
Greg,


Where did you get your rail from? Can you use VHB tape instead of Screws? And did did you make the awning yourself?
TIA
John
You can buy the aluminum Keder rail here: (Link below.)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C04IUM8..._t1_B00T36O2NI

It's one 8 foot long section. FWIW, I only used about 6 1/2 feet of it where I mounted my rail.They also have the slide-in Keder tape as well, if you want to make your own awning, or you can buy one "pre-made." Whichever way you want to go.

I don't like the plastic Keder rails. I find that the aluminum ones are much stronger. And personally, I'm not a big fan of using VHB tape for holding something like this either, but that's just me.

Greg
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:09 PM   #14
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Thank you Greg,
I'll probably just start out with the vhb tape but will switch to the ss bolts/screws at the first sign of tape failure. I'm still a newbie and have not drilled any holes through the fg skin for fear of leaks/mistakes. I really do like your setup and am sure I'll give it a try BTW where did you put your spare tire? We had Larry G put on a spare tire hitch as we told Casita to leave the spare tire unmounted, no through bolt.
John
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:11 PM   #15
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When I installed the rail on my Perrin pacer ( like others) I made sure that all the stainless steel bolts were hidden inside cabinets.... easy pezzy
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:14 PM   #16
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Lots of difference.

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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
... I don't think there is all that much difference actually but it was Scamps recommendation.
Lots of difference in how they distribute the load. Also, some rivets are made to be water tight, and some are not.

Harold
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by johnwen1 View Post
Thank you Greg,
BTW where did you put your spare tire? We had Larry G put on a spare tire hitch as we told Casita to leave the spare tire unmounted, no through bolt.
John
This may not work for everybody, but it works great for me. Of course having a pickup vs an SUV makes it more "do-able." I just took some scrap ends of various metal I had lying around in the garage from previous projects and welded up my own spare tire carrier. It carries the spare vertically, so it doesn't take up a lot of bed area in the truck. It rides right behind the wheel well, so it's out of the way but still handy if I need it. I just use one of the heavy rubber bungee cords and secure it to the side of the truck bed. When I'm not camping I just pick it up and stand it in the corner of my garage until I need it again.

As a side note, I have since trimmed down the longer flat bar on the bottom to be the same length as the rear one. I found that the longer one wasn't necessary, as the whole assembly rides very well and doesn't tip or wobble without the long piece being there.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:39 AM   #18
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Lots of difference in how they distribute the load. Also, some rivets are made to be water tight, and some are not.

Harold
I'm not a big fan of rivets in general, but I will admit they do have their place in certain applications. Rather than use rivets to mount my rail, (which many do as an alternative to VHB tape,) I opted for 1/4" X 20 stainless machine screws and large fender washers with Nylock nuts to mount it. All my fasteners are hidden inside the upper cabinets as well, so you don't see any of the washers and nuts sticking out inside the trailer. They're all inside the cabinets.

Personally, I've never seen a "water-tight" rivet that actually lived up to that claim, unless it was bedded with a good sealant before compressing it.
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
I'm not a big fan of rivets in general, but I will admit they do have their place in certain applications. Rather than use rivets to mount my rail, (which many do as an alternative to VHB tape,) I opted for 1/4" X 20 stainless machine screws and large fender washers with Nylock nuts to mount it. All my fasteners are hidden inside the upper cabinets as well, so you don't see any of the washers and nuts sticking out inside the trailer. They're all inside the cabinets.

Personally, I've never seen a "water-tight" rivet that actually lived up to that claim, unless it was bedded with a good sealant before compressing it.
I agree, machine screws and Nylock nuts is a better solution for fiberglass (they also help avoid over-torquing), but it's more expensive and more time consuming, so manufacturers default to rivets and plastic caps to prevent water ingress.

Rivet leakage can be from the rivet to fiberglass interface, which the proper sealant will mitigate. The other potential leakage point is the rivet to stem interface. Most rivets found in your local hardware store are open at both ends, and locally, I can only find aluminum rivets. I use pop rivets in a manufacturing project, and order steel pop rivets on Amazon. Stanley, maker of Pop rivets, does have a closed-end rivet where water tightness is important. You would still need sealant on the outer interface for fiberglass, I think. (Still, for my Scamp I prefer screws and Nylock nuts to avoid over torquing and crushing the 44-year-old fiberglass.)

https://www.stanleyengineeredfasteni...pop-closed-end

Harold
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