Friday, May 1, 2015

Tarp Awning for Van

Everyone should have a BOV (Bug Out Vehicle) of some sort for the times when you must leave your home temporarily should a large disaster event occur. Your vehicle may be the only thing you have for a temporary shelter and this is one way to get the most livability out of it, in my case a mini van, but will work on pickups and even cars.

To make the best use of your BOV you will need to expand the useful living area, that's done by adding a large awning. The awning will provide shelter from the rain or scorching sun so you can sit and relax outside the BOV and prepare your meals.

Here's what I made for myself:

The tarp is a typical cheap 8x12 size. Harbor Freight had the tarps on sale for $4 so I bought a couple.

This photo shows there are no grommets in the center of the length of the tarp so I had to add two. Very easy to do with the kit shown below.



Because the tarp grommet locations weren't placed in the middle of the sides I needed to add a couple new ones for the peak ridge pole to fit into. I purchased a grommet/repair kit from WalMart for another $4.


To make the tarp set-up easy and a simple one person job, I added to my vans roof three of these Stainless Steel hoops using Stainless Steel screws and of course silicone caulk. These items can be purchased at most hardware stores and all boating stores. (my van is 11 years old so drilling holes in the roof was of little concern)


Set-up is easy. On one corner I use a carabiner.


The other end has a small rope. This rope is pulled snuggly and keeps the tarp flat to the roof. 


This is a fixed length rope that attaches to the third Stainless hoop. This rope is in line with the ridge pole and allows the firm tensioning of the ridge pole and tarp peak without distorting the tarp.


The ridge pole is just a cheap painters telescopic pole I already had.


Turned out just fine and inexpensive!

19 comments:

  1. Very nice ! Stores smaller than an EZ UP and cost little . What more can you want.

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  2. I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. Like you said takes little room and room inside the van is somewhat scarce will all the other camping and sleeping gear stored inside.

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  3. Oh, wow, this is pretty cool! I like it. Very low cost but a ton of functionality.

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    Replies
    1. I like simple, it's always the best.

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  4. My wife was a little freaked that you drilled holes and put hardware on the roof of the van. Wouldn't bother me to do that either; it's not a show van, it's transportation. I like what you've done. Practical, simple, and low cost.

    -Moe

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  5. Mike - you know that jam and i think it's pretty awesome! good job buddy!

    your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Now if I ever get up that way I'll have a nice place to sit out of the sun down on your beach! :-)

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    2. you would be very welcome here!

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    3. Great, now tell Jam to leave some fish for me to catch! :-)

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  6. Mike, what a great idea! Lots of uses too. I like that it's relatively temporary, i.e easy to set up, take down, and move.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, The best part is when it's not in use it takes up very little storage room inside the van.

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  7. OK, I'm pretty positive I left a comment, unless you have comment moderation turned on??? If so, here it is a second time 'cuz I really like your idea. I can envision it for a temporary goat shelter - easy to put up, take down, and move as needed.

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    Replies
    1. Blogger has at times been very slow to post or notify me of new comments.

      Delete
  8. Seems like about half of my comments never appear!

    Anyway, I like what you did with the tarp.

    -Moe

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    1. Moe, I don't know what to say but I allow all and reply to all your comments.
      Blogger has a few flaws and sometimes there is a big delay notifying me.
      I do have blogger set where I have to approve all comments due to a handful of haters.

      Delete
    2. Moe, got your comment about your wife not being to keen on drilling holes in her roof. I clicked on it to post it and it just vanished. Now I can't find it anywhere. Don't know what's up with blogger but I'm about fed up with it.

      Delete
  9. Comment Moderation is now 'off' so you can post a comment and it should immediately show up.
    Hope this helps with missing/losing any of your comments.
    Drop me a note and lets see if it works!

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  10. I wonder how those ski racks would work....

    get storage on top + the awning or would that be to much and attract undue attention?

    TA

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  11. Nice Post...you are all ways comming out with some grate stuff fallout 4 nexus

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Your thoughts are welcome!