How To Make A Pop Up Camper Awning (DIY Step-By-Step w/ Videos)

Are you looking for an awning for your pop up camper?

Do you feel like the store-bought versions are too flimsy for your needs?

Would you like to learn how to make a homemade camper awning instead?

In this article, we’ll help you learn everything you need to know about this DIY project. You’ll find out which materials you need as well as step-by-step instructions for how to make a pop up camper awning you’re sure to love.

Pop up camper awnings are awnings that are designed to fold up or fold out as needed and are supported on one side by your pop up camper. They may be made out of all sorts of different materials, but they have a canopy on top and are meant to protect you from the rain and sun while holding up well against the wind, too.

When making an awning like this, most of the process is fairly simple. However, you may have some trouble with attaching it to the side of your camper, so make sure you do your research if you feel confused about any of these steps to ensure everything is attached firmly and correctly for best results. This will ensure everyone is safe on the road while you’re driving as well.

To learn how to make your own camper awning, read on!

Materials

diy retractable camper awning
  • Five 10-foot twelve-gauge galvanized steel slotted channel bars
  • Four ratchet straps
  • Galvanized steel strut joints
  • Brackets for attaching to the trailer
  • Nuts and bolts for the strut joints
  • Power drill
  • Bungee cords
  • 10-foot heavy-duty tarp

​Directions

  • 1
    Begin by laying out your frame. You will be using three steel bars for the top square portion of the frame and two for the legs.
  • Note: If you do not want your frame to measure 10x10 or if you need a shorter height for a differently-sized trailer, you’re going to need to cut the steel bars down to the proper size. You may want to have this done at the hardware store where you buy them if you don’t have something on hand that can cut them yourself.
  • 2
    Attach the strut joints to the corners of the frame and legs using the nuts and bolts.
  • Note: You may need to manually bend the brackets or joints if they are not already bent. Since they are made of steel, this will require some heavy-duty tools that you might not have on hand. You might want to look around and ensure you purchase the right sizes and shapes of brackets before beginning this project to avoid having to bend them yourself.
  • 3
    Attach the frame to the side of the trailer using the brackets you purchased for this purpose. Again, your power drill and nuts and bolts should do the trick.
  • 4
    Secure the frame open using your ratchet straps. Cross two of them in an X pattern underneath the top portion of the frame and pull taut.
  • 5
    Use a third ratchet strap to add some support by placing it at an angle from the corner of one side where the awning meets the trailer to the leg on the other side.
  • Note: The final ratchet strap is used for helping tie down the awning while you’re driving down the road. Be very careful to tie it down securely enough that it will never risk falling open while you’re driving.You may want to install more brackets to help you secure the awning even more firmly to the side of your trailer. It’s very important to ensure the awning does not move around while you’re driving, for your safety as well as the safety of others.
  • 6
    Secure the tarp to the top of the awning using the bungee cords. This may take a little trial and error, but once you get the hang of it, you should be able to set up the tarp in just a few short minutes.
  • 7
    Once the tarp is secured, you’re ready to use your DIY awning.
  • 8
    Note: If it starts to rain and you’re worried about the tarp, you can support it in the center by adding a piece of wood that sits on top of the ratchet straps and holds the center of the tarp up a little bit. This way, rain will be able to run down the sides of the tarp rather than pooling in the center.

​Conclusion

So do you feel a little more comfortable with making your own DIY trailer awning? There are many ways you can go about this project, and the one listed above is just one of several alternatives you might be able to choose from when you’re trying to decide which version of a DIY awning is right for your specific needs. We chose this one because it is the best for those who are looking for something longer-lasting and more durable in high winds, but the type of materials you choose to use is entirely up to you.

Keep in mind that, if you choose to go with another type of material, you’re going to need to change the hardware based on what you use. The strut joints listed in this how-to guide are designed to fit with slotted steel channel beams and won’t work with just any type of bars or beams. Make sure you do your research if you’re trying to convert this guide to another type of materials for best results. And keep in mind that, no matter what you choose to use, you need to pick something that is durable enough to stand up to high winds and strong enough to handle rain and other moisture, too.

a pop up camper awning

With all that in mind, you may be wondering if it’s really worth it to make a product like this yourself or if you should try to purchase one instead. In the end, you will probably end up spending about as much money on the materials as you would spend on an easy-up type of awning canopy. With that said, however, the DIY products you can complete by following the how-to guide above are sure to be more sturdy and durable since they’re made out of stronger materials. Because of this, you may actually be doing yourself a favor in the long run by making this type of awning yourself.

In the end, the choice is entirely up to you. If you prefer to not go through the hassle of figuring out nuts and bolts and joints, then there’s no reason why you can’t simply buy a premade awning for your needs. If, however, you’re looking for something that will last quite a lot longer than the store-bought varieties, you’re probably going to get a lot of use out of this DIY guide. Try making your own awning and see how it goes!

WOAH! A Bonus Video...

You Might Also Like