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Easy Camp Canopy

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    Easy Camp Canopy

    Hi all.

    Latest addition to Hettie is the Easy Camp Canopy. This is a simple sun canopy that attaches to the side of your van on an awning rail, or at a push, it could peg over the top of the van. A cheap and easy addition to keep the sun off. £42.00 online

    IMG_3384.JPG I
    It seems a bit high at the front, as the grass area is stepped up on a kerb and also it was just a quick fit to see if it was all ok. Much adjustment to do.

    So how did I attach it to Hettie, as of course she doesn't have an awning rail and it is a devil to retro fit awning rails to fibreglass bodies like the Romahomes?

    Step up please, the Kampa limpet driveaway awning rail!

    Kampa's limpet system comprises of suction cups which are attached by simply twisting the cap to give a limpet like grip on smooth surfaces. And fortunately Hettie has many smooth surfaces and particularly the roof. The suction cups fit through the detachable driveaway awning rail and attach it to Hettie. Then the canopy simply threads on to the awning rail. Job done.

    Awning rail attached to the roof

    And there are the limpet cups holding the awning rail in place.

    And there we go. For £70 all in, I have a detachable awning rail that fits on both sides of the van and a sun canopy that does the same.

    The limpet kits can be purchased independently, complete with a hole punch, allowing you to fit them to existing awnings. Might be useful if you are struggling to find a way to attach a driveaway awning to your Romahome. Punch some holes in the awning tunnel, attach the limpets and there you go.

    Easy Camp Canopy purchased from here

    Kampa Limpet Driveaay Awning Kit from here

    Kampa Limpet Kit with Hole Punch from here

    Shop around and you might be able to get any of this cheaper.

    Video on the Kampa Limpet Fix System here.

    Hope you find this useful.


    Very useful, thank you, and within my range of DIY ability too!


      Yep, literally know technical knowledge needed.



        Well, the jury is definitly still out on this one. Not so much the canopy, as the limpet awning rail.

        I'm at Winchcombe and decided to dice with the awning rail and sun canopy. And the sun canopy is definitely a fine pece of kit for less than £50. It has transformed the way I use Hettie. However, I may be over reaching with the limpet kit, a bit, expecting it to allow me to tension the sun canopy. It really is only a drive away awning kit.

        The first effort somewhat collapsed after a couple of hours. The limpets just unsuckered, so to speak. This may have been my fault, due to me only wiping the roof down with a chamois leather before attaching them. Round two had me cleaning the roof with a netted sponge and water and rerouting the limpets a bit. A few hours later, however, it is still up.

        However, there is barely a breath of wind, so I'm not counting me chickens just yet. I'm undecided about whether to take the canopy down for the night shortly, as it will only take a few minutes to erect in the morning again. This rather than wrestle with it in the night when it falls down......

        Anyway, here it is in all its glory. Picture used on a different thread earlier, too, so pardon the repitition.

        As always, click on the pic to make it bigger.




          Looks really good Panda, hope it proves successful. .
          I see you have a waste bin on your fridge door. How is it attached?


            The waste bin is a Brunner and it is attached by its own mounting 'hook and eye' type bracket held on to the door with double sided tape. There are 'hooks' on the bin itself.





              Well limpets are officially rubbish! Well, for what I want them for, anyway......

              Two limpets have broken overnight. It looks like they have swollen in the heat as the sun came up and the threaded part has seperated from the cup, as if they've been overtightened. When I looked at the design of them, I did wonder about heir longevity and I'm afarid theyhave proved to be VERY fragile. I cant recommend them I'm afraid, certainly not for the prurpose I'm trying to put them to.

              So I've gone old school, chucking the guy lines over the roof for now. As long as the wind doesn't get up it'll be fine. I'll think about a better solution.

              I love the sun canopy, brilliant thing though.



                Ah well, worth a try, back to the drawing board.

                I've had a couple of vans where previous owners had put J rails on instead of proper awning rails and I was always fiddling, trying to rig up something. I tried the figure of 8 things but they came in 3 foot (I metre?) strips and always seemed to fall out in the slightest breeze. I often wondered whether the "pole and clamp" system would work but never tried it.

                No use to you of course as you have neither an awning rail nor a J rail.

                I used a driveaway awning a couple of times on the back of my Romahome C15 - but I couldn't attach it myself, needed someone to hold the top on the roof whilst I pegged it out as otherwise it just blew off and I couldn't be in two places at once. Needed again to re-attach after I had gone out for the day. So it just got used as an expensive tent pitched near the back end.


                  DANDY AWNING SUN CANOPY.jpg This was our easi canopi attached to our Dandy.

                  We did have a full awning for the Dandy but it was soooooo heavy, being made of the same vinyl as the Dandy. It had zip out sides so occasionally we erected it as a sun canopy but it was still very heavy

                  We developed a leak at the front door and glued an extra piece of vinyl in an upside down horse shoe shape which cured that but as a belt and braces approach We got the Easi canopi instead and we used to throw the guy lines over the van and tent peg them down at the back.

                  We still have it and have been toying with the idea of taking it with us and using it over the back of the van and the little utility tent.

                  It just seems though that we are adding to "stuff" that needs doing and undoing when we strike camp


                    This continues not to go well!

                    Bought a couple of cheap 4.5 metre ratchet straps at a camping shop today. I threw them over the van, looped the metal hooks through the canvas eyes on the rear of the canopy and gradually tensioned them until the canopy was tightish against the front poles. I'd got some tension into it and trusted all would be well. No..... The problem then was that the straps really need to be tensioned at an angle to the eyes, a bit to keep the canopy taught across the width. It sort of sagged in the middle despite having a middle strap on it.

                    So I then used the original 'throw over' end guy lines to put some tension in the width, on the roof and that was a bit better. A bit. I then added a further guy line to each pole to get some tension across the width at the front. I now had Hettie very securely lashed to the ground, much to her dismay, but still a reasonably unuccesful sun canopy, when all is said and done. And when the wind got up, the big metal hooks on the straps rattled against the roof and the solar panel. Not great, if I'm honest.

                    Then it rained. And all the water puddled in the middle of the sun canopy, much as as I imagine it must have done in Carry on Camping. I was either up every five minutes pushig the puddle up and out of the middle, or a gust of wind would flick the canopy up drenching already soggy passers by. Then the wind got up a bit more and popped a couple of guy lines, so I've taken it down for now.

                    There are manyfold problems. Or at least two big ones.

                    The first is that the canopy is blessed with very long legs. Fine if you're a super model but not ideal if you're a universalsun canopy. She is a few inches taller than Hettie so this presents a slight problem when trying to tension it. Also when it rains, the water drains back to the middle and pools.

                    The next problem is that the 'lobbing the guy lines over the top' routine is not really a very good solution, as the straps clang against the roof, you can't tension them correctly and in the end the canopy lifts off of the roof in the wind anyway and flaps about.

                    It needs an awning rail to really work, methinks. And when it was connected to the idealistic but essentially useless 'limpet' awning rail system, for the first day, it worked reasonably well. You could tension it up mostly ok and, it was held across its width on the roof, as it was in a channel. But then the limpet system demonstrated it's weakness (the limpets....) and it's back to the drawing board. I could buy more limpets but they will just do the same again. It is an inherently weak system, unfortunately. I guarantee that once they are tensioned a few times, each plastic thread will break. It's inevitable. It's not to do with how tight you tension them, necessaily, but how often.

                    But I really, really like the sun canopy, so I may have to fit an awning rail once I'm back.

                    Unless anyone can come up with anything different?




                      Perhaps swap the two front poles for adjustable ones then you can slope the front for rain run off. Or push the poles deeper into the ground. When we used our sun canopy over the Dandy we used some tensioning thingies that attached to the canvas with sort of plastic teeth which were self gripping in high winds


                        Originally posted by Pandabloke View Post

                        Unless anyone can come up with anything different?

                        Well that was quite a struggle you described there, Panda.

                        How about a nylon tarp? They can be fashioned in several different ways, so wind/rain not so much of a problem. Attaching it to the van might be a problem, but I think you could get around that.


                        Or shorten the legs on the canopy (if that is possible?) so they slope downwards from the van.


                          Originally posted by jayjay View Post

                          Well that was quite a struggle you described there, Panda.

                          How about a nylon tarp? They can be fashioned in several different ways, so wind/rain not so much of a problem. Attaching it to the van might be a problem, but I think you could get around that.


                          Or shorten the legs on the canopy (if that is possible?) so they slope downwards from the van.
                          Hi Jayjay,

                          Yep, definitely going to shorten the legs when I get home. That will help enormously. I really like the sun canopy, It is actually smaller than some tarps, so I am going to look at awning rails to see what is needed. I'm not drilling holes in the fubreglass, that's for sure, so I'll work on it from there.




                            We have a simple sun canopy made from a tarp with a piece of awning bead seen on one edge and a piece of awning rail on the side of the Romahome. We have 3 poles, trial and error to find out the pole sizes. I had to put removable stops in the ends of the awning rail to attach the tarp to to stop it from sliding sideways.



                              Never mind Kevin Pandabloke , just think, you won't have all these sun canopy issues to resolve when you go out with your 'new' Sunncamp! Still, sorting out camping's little problems is half the fun of our activities isn't it?!

                              Hope you find a way of making the canopy a more convenient/user-friendly accessory.


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