Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When the Wind Blows... The Awning Goes

Made you look huh?! ;)

Naw, our awning didn't go away... but a time or three I've had to scramble to roll it up quick... which is a lil' tricky when the breeze is up under it and it's lifting your caboose off the ground... and ... it's 3 a.m. in the foggy brained, crosseyed morning and you're running around in a bathrobe hoping it don't blow open and give your neighbors a show!

A while back my brother-in-law ran across a guy that had built himself some criss crossed straps to tie his RV Awning down. Bud liked the design so he built one for himself...

... now me being who I are... I used what I had, picked up a couple more bits at one of the flea market shops over in Quartzsite and zipped my own version together this afternoon.

The usual design you see is a stake in the ground with a strap that runs up over an outboard corner, across to the other side and back down to another stake off the other corner.

As far as that goes it works pretty good.

Buuuut... This guy Bud run across had made what I believe is a really good variation. Rather than only a single strap he used two; and rather than just running across the RV Awning out by the roller, they run diagonally from the wall of the rig near where the awning is mounted, up and over the top arm/bar to the opposite, diagonal corner and down to the ground stake.

The result being that not only the roller is supported/tied down but the top brace bar as well... and then the crossed straps keep the RV Awning fabric itself from ballooning up and really lifting things in a breeze (spell that WIND!)

Combined with a few good "De-flapper" straps ~ I use the factory de-flapper bar plus four more after market straps...

The design Bud built uses a thumb snap he hooks into a hole in the ground base of each awning leg. The strap is laced through that snap and is sewn back on itself. The other end (at the ground stake) uses a pair of rings for a locking adjustment buckle on the 1 1/2" strap. Then, he connects the strap to the ground stake through a couple of trampoline springs to give it a lil' "give".

Well... I have a bag of tie-down winch straps from tying down the bike. On some of those, the nylon strap had got cut or rotten over time and all I've got left is mostly the winch and the hooks. Looks like an RV Awning tie down to me! ;)

Also, I had a few straps that were the friction buckle kind of tie down. You just pull on the strap to tighten it...

I'd decided I didn't like the way they worked tying down my motorcycles... so they haven't seen much service lately...


So... I used the buckle and hook ends off a pair of those...

There are a few of the Quartzsite flea market shops operating. One, is a place that sells all sorts and varieties of tools, gadgets, miscellaneous bits and pieces and gee gaws I've seen no other place.

Rolled down there this afternoon to see if anyone in the Q had what I needed... THOSE folks had Just the ticket...


 Now, the straps Bud used are 1 1/2" I believe... but... the strap winches I already posses only fit 1".

I figure... if the wind can bust a 1" nylon strap... anything it's tied to is gonna already be shredded... so it'll be plenty strong.

Also...there's enough springy stretch in those straps... I don't believe I need the trampoline springs.

I picked up two 50' rolls of 1" nylon webbing.

also... I spotted a variety of pegs for my ground stakes.


For $2 each I selected two fine looking 18" chunks of rebar with rings welded in place to secure the straps to.

Now, Bud had to wait for my sister to go shopping... so he could sneak out and run his straps through her sewing machine...

... to secure those 1 1/2"  buckles and snaps in place...

... me... being lazy and cheap...


... and using what I had... only had to lace that nice new long nylon webbing into the friction buckle of the old tie downs at one end...

... and the strap winch at the other end...

No sewing, no riveting... just lace it and go! Suh-Wheet!

I hooked the strap where I could near the base mount of the awning leg and threw the balance of the strap up over the awning...

My mounting points here are improvised/temporary. I need to afix some sort of permanent hooking point. The strap hooks are just too large to run through the holes in the leg bases.

With the strap up over the awning I laced it into the winch...

Probably gonna just pull it up and over next time. ;) I'm guessing tossin' that winch very often is juuuuust bound to end up whackin' some poor innocent passerby!

But now... with ever'thing in place and assembled... I just hooked 'er in and started crankin'!

Wa La... one cowboy modified, motorcycle tie down winch RV awning Tie Down!


Using the old winch and tie down strap hardware I already had and $12 in new strap and rebar stakes...

I'm hoping I can leave the awning down now short of a hurricane...

...and not have to go to scramblin' ever' time the wind blows...

*Criss Cross RV Awning Tie Downs*



Geeze... when I think about all the times I jumped up in the middle of the night when the wind came up... and how easy this setup was...

Makes me want to go pop another Landshark and ponder somethin'.!

Weighing the the life of a Gypsy Boondocker...

...Under my Tied down Awning.
Brian

5 comments:

Mike said...

Nice contraption. I think it's easier to put the awning up before going to bed. Living in Wyoming has taught me that trying to protect a sail from the wind is not a profitable experience.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Adios!
Mike

Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

That is too complex for my simple solution mind. I got rid of the awning last summer.

Don said...

That looks pretty good to me. Of course we've lost three awnings so maybe I'm prejudiced. I especially like the crossed straps on top. Now if you just remember to tilt it so rain runs off......

Mark Johnson said...

And now the real life Q. wind test...
We finally gave up in that area, but if this works I'll let you help me build one for Goldie. :))
Box Canyon Mark

Anonymous said...

I did somewhat the same in Q the last 4 winters and found that the 18" or shorter rebar needs to be pounded down until you all but bury the hook loop. And at a 45 away from the direction of the strap or they tend to loosen and want to come out.

I didn't do the diagonal you did but did add a separate 1.5" strap across the middle of the awning from left to right to keep it from wanting to pull out of the long 3 each type and 2 single anti flappers I had on each end of the awning. I looped the strap around the slide arm on each end of the awning so as to not bend those arms and yet keep the awning as flat as possible. I also ran a rope up from the strap rebar and looped the slide arm and ran it across and looped it around the other slide arm UNDER the awning and down to the strap pin.

And I had a ratchet strap on each end of the roller extending out left to right instead of only one on each end pulling away from the awning as you do.

I also had the awning legs down off the side of the RV on the ground and used a 12" nail in each foot but didn't pound them in all the way so they could be pulled out without bending/scratching the paint off the leg.

And although I don't scare easily, I still held my breath more than a few times at like 3 AM...

I don't know if I will keep the awning out in high winds anymore though, I can't afford damage to the motor home or a new awning.

Hopefully you get to test your setup during the day a few times before any night time testing is done.

Gary