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Guidelines for installing awnings?

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I found and purchased a nice10’ awning at the scrapyard.  It is hopefully going onto my Mini Cruiser. I was cleaning stuff up and moving it around and decided to take a closer look at it last night.  I have questions....  I will get a model/make off the awning tonight (forget what it was), but it is a nice one that stores in a clamshell kinda case with three latches.


I  looked for installation videos or instructions but mostly just found ones on replacing the fabric.  I have ave a fair idea how to physically install it, mainly looking for guidelines.  Just found one set going into a few details and saying to install their awning at least 6” above doors and windows (not the one I have). 


But 6” seems a little close to the door for comfort.  I’m worried about the sharp door corner tearing the awning as it is opened.  Not sure I have any more than 6” I can go either.  


The side of my M.C. is sorta corrugated. Flat mounting to that will be slightly problematic. I can mount to the roof reinforcing rails, but good chance that will leave a slight gap (and I would probably need that gap for drainage off the roof).  


I can can probably shorten it to 7’, but that will require some careful deconstruction and cutting....   7’ would allow me to install it next to the door and give me a couple inches to keep the support hardware on the side of camper. I have 7 1/2’ of wall from door edge to cab.  


Not it sure that 7’ will give enough coverage to be truly worth it though...


Thoughts?  I will get pictures tonight when I get home and a model/make on the awning. 


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It is a Trans Awn 2000.  




Overall condition is very good. I have all the extra bits, arms, mounting pads, arm holders etc. I don’t believe I am missing anything. 



The cover has a slight bend in one spot from the brutal removal process, but I shouldn’t have any issues straightening it out.  It looks worse in the pictures than it is. It’s just a bit dirty from sitting on the ground past week or so.    

Even if I go by the 6" guideline, I am a bit worried about the corner of the doors ripping the awning.  Both the outer door and the screen door have kinda sharp edges.  To some degree I can smooth it out and lessen the "sharpness" of those edges (and I defiantly will), but...  The outer door will be pretty easy.  I can round the corner and attach a bit of round plastic tubing to it easily enough.  The inner screen door is going to be a little harder.  


And if you see this below, 6" means I am mounting it to the roof support rails, so slightly above the roof edge.  The slight gap would let water drip down and the roof drain, but still keep rain/sun off anyone underneath it




There are three of these roof beams.  I could easily attach L brackets or similar to them to mount the awning to.  This is kinda my plan.  


Shortening the awning would solve some problems, but potentially create others.  Cutting the aluminum parts would be pretty easy, use a chop saw and go slowly.  But getting a clean and straight cut on the vinyl will probably require a little more thought.   


While mounting it up slightly above the roofline means reaching it will be difficult without a step stool, it also means I can have the whole side, entry door and all, covered.  I am just concerned about the door edges...     


Awnings aren't cheap.  This one wasn't too bad at $150, but still expensive enough I want to be careful and get it done intelligently.  The effort to clean the crap off the back and install it though, is going to be pretty high.      




So far, I have only found this picture of a Mini Cruiser with an Awning...  This ISN'T mine lol. just a reference picture.  




So staring at that last picture, counting corrugations, measuring, more staring, more measuring...  I come to the conclusion the door in that last picture, is 5-6" shorter than mine.  I guess no complaints here since I can still bump my head.  But it isn't making plotting out the mounting points easy.


If I mount the assembly as is say along the strip by the door top, I could have one lower brace mounted as low down as possible.  I could have the second one mount up higher on the bottom of the cab overhang...  Not sure I like that idea or if it is smart though.  I have the upper support bars too.


Humm...  Okay I found the instructions here:  https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/trans-awn2000/Trans-Awn2000.pdf  They don't say a whole lot in regards to the actual installation guidelines.  Nothing about the height above a door.  I saw one reference for 6", and finally found another saying 10-12".  


Seems that the lower side mounts are only there for putting the awning back up.  In normal use, I guess the bars actually get staked to the ground.    


I finally found an article here that gives some vague general guidelines.  I am on the right track.  I should cover the door though, so back to that concern...  Looking at the construction of this, I COULD easily shorten it.  The only difficult part really being the fabric, just like I was thinking.   But if I cover the door, that isn't a concern.     

Edited by thewanderlustking
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Our door has a small caster-like  roller on the corner to prevent scraping the awning.  That may be something you could consider. It only makes contact if the awning isn't raised high enough.

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Would it be to much to ask for some pictures?!  That sounds brilliant!  Is it on both doors, or just the main or screen door?  And while I’m being a pest, how high from the top of the door to the bottom of the awning???  

If I could get away with mounting it as high as possible on the wall, it would be the most ideal compromise.  Don’t like the idea of gluing and bolting it, but it would be quick and simple.  There the top would act like a rain gutter, I think. Have to stare at it a few….   

Mounting it up a little higher to the support beams would be slightly more work, but nothing through the wall to contend with. Unfortunately, it puts the clips out of reach even for me. So I’m carrying a milk crate or step stool of some sort.  This puts the awning up a bit higher, and maybe even safely out of harms way of the door though.   But I need a small gap so rain doesn’t get dammed up on the roof.  Everything is a compromise. 

Still, it seems worth it to have that set of issues and a nice 10’ awning covering the whole side and entry way. 

Edited by thewanderlustking
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Here's a pic of my '86 Mini-Crusier awning. You can kinda see the little wheel/caster on the top rear corner of the door.



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I'll get you some photos in the next day or two. In the meantime, the roller is on the main door only. Not sure how you could rig one up for the screen. I pretty much use the roller only when I'm testing the awning height  if it doesn't make contact, I know it's okay for the screen door to open and close without wearing the awning.


We don't actually use ours all that much. It's the old-school type with legs that are not attached to the side of the camper. This makes it pretty unstable if it's breezy, allowing it to lift if there's enough wind. 

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  • 6 months later...

Moved my question here:  https://toyotamotorhome.org/forums/index.php?/topic/13719-is-there-an-adapter-to-mount-a-trans-awn/


As for the roller on the door, Camco makes a nice one!  Surprise surprise yeah?  It is part number 42005 and it comes with a bonus screen door slider too.  I have one on the way.   



Edited by thewanderlustking
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