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Old 06-14-2007, 11:01 PM   #1
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Wet Awning When Stored - 1 Approach to Help Stay Dry

Fellow Campers

I have tried to research on what others do to keep water and stink out of the awning when the TT is stored outside and it rains or heavy dew and then not go camping for a few weeks. The water just seeps/wicks in the vinyl type awning I have, festers, starts to mold and then stinks. Some have the higher end awning with the metal cover that folds and unfolds and on my next awning, I might upgrade. But from what I have been able to find, most just deal with the wet and stink. Cleaning the awning before the trip.

Here is something that I have been working many versions to come up with what I have now. It is not 100% but I rank it in the 95% range in keeping the water out of the awning during storage. I have ideas on how to make it 99% that I will add later if I ever make another one. This cover also protects the awning from sun drying the stitches to death and the outer last awning wrap where it attaches to the TT. The sun does no justice to these awnings.

So here it is. It’s an awning cover and it goes on every time I store the TT outside. Takes 3 to 5 minutes to put on, 2 to 3 minutes to take off.



It runs the full length of the awning made from 4” sch 10 PVC pipe out of Home Depot. I have gone thru several iterations to end up with what I have. And each time I took something more off… As too much contact with the awning can create spots where the water wicks up the pipe and then into the awning. The laws of physics are truly at work on this… I tried total coverage and that did not work so well when it is tight all the way around. I kept trying to cover it all up and it got worse. So I said heck, put less on... and it worked better.

Let’s look at the problem on where it all starts.


It starts right at the gutter. The gutter gets easily flooded and the awning sewn seam is exposed to all that water. Water seeps in the threads and then into the entire full length of the awning inside. Now I did think of using seam sealer like we use on tents to close up the stitching but it still gets in the ends.
Here is a close up.


You can also see the pipe goes down in the gutter and now no water comes up on the awning or stiching. This works well here.

To make the halves of pipe, I made a guide for my radial arm saw to hold the pipe as I ripped it straight down the center. Use a full length chalk line or pencil line to mark as a site guide or you will cut a spiral. I have a spare if you want it….

Them I duct taped the 1st cut closed again, rotated the pipe and ripped it again to take out about a 120 degrees of the circle. See this end view pic. This was a pre generation of what I ended up with but it shows the duct tape hinge and over 210 degrees of what is left. CAUTION: I taped this 1st rip cut closed so the 2nd rip cut would not create a totally loose piece flying for parts unknown…. Anyone who has ever done ripping in a radial arm saw knows what I’m talking about.


A shot closed over


Now a very important part so you do not tear your awning. ALL edges must be buffed to a round smooth edge and the ends rounded. This way as the cover slips/snaps over the awning there are no edges to cut/tear the awning.


The full length


The corners


I started out with 10 foot sections. That long was too unmanageable to put on. After experimenting, 4 feet is about it, 3 feet works better. The 3 to 4 foot lengths makes it easier to snap on.


And here are the parts closer up. Disregard the 5 little short pieces about 4 “ long. They where joint covers but I no longer use hem. They allow water to wick up inside.


The ends need to be covered and carved to fit. Here is the front


And the front installed


An end view


Then you start lapping over the middle sections. I did put a piece of foam widow seal tape to gasket the lap. Disregard the outer lap seal that looks like it doing nothing. It was from a prior version and now is doing nothing.


And working your way down to the back end.


And a side view installed
.

And an end view


And that’s it. I have been using this now for 2 years and it works good. I only get a small amount go water in the ends only after a very heavy rain. Light to mild rain I do not get much if any. If I ever make another one of these I will try to find 6” sch 10 PVC. Electrical conduit comes that large. I have not found drain tile yet that thin and large. The larger diameter will hang lower and never touch on the bottom. That is the problem. The little bit of water I get inside on the ends is from water wicked up hill and it is only on the ends. The entire top seam is bone dry.

Also I can tell by the heavy dirt on the outside of the cover it keeps the awning clean from grime the roof gets.

Now these are intended only to be used for storage. Not highway use. However… . They where road tested once. I can attest they will stay on doing 60 MPH down the highway for 30 miles. I have no data beyond that. When I looked back and up and saw... Oh my goodness, I made a quick pit stop and took them off.

And on the front cover where it goes over the awning ratchet lever it flips the lever to unwind. You need to remember to flip it back when you take the cover off before driving away. I forgot a few times and had no issues but I do not want to test that theory any more.

I also now have a 2nd use for these ½ pipes. They are part of my full hook up sewer hose holder. I’ll post pic’s of that separately.

Hope this helps spark some creative things for those of you are into the custom tweaking.

John
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:46 AM   #2
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rich2500
nice work john,that should definately help to keep your awning nice and clean and extend it's life.
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