Adding a canopy to your camper increases your outdoor living space and adds protection from the elements. Purchasing a ready-made awning can cost hundreds of dollars at camper dealerships or camping supply stores. Learn to make your own canopy from a tarp and other inexpensive materials available at local home improvement stores. Accomplish this project in an afternoon, and you will be sitting under your new canopy on your next camping adventure.
Spread out the tarp and take out the grommets from one of the 8-foot sides. Fold that same end over 1 to 2 inches and sew along the length of the side with a standard sewing needle, forming a sleeve for your steel rod.
Cut 2 pieces of nylon rope, measuring 25 feet each. Remove any rough areas on the washers with sandpaper, and tie a washer to the middle of each piece of rope. Fasten a slip knot on each end of both ropes. To tie the knot: Form a loop with your rope and hold it with your left hand. Reach your other hand through the loop and grab the rope piece on the left. Pull the rope back through the loop, holding it with your right hand. Grab the two pieces of rope on the left with your left hand. Pull your hands apart, forming the slip knot.
Insert the steel rod into the narrow sleeve on the tarp, and slide both through the awning channel attached to your camper.
Set up the tent poles to the desired height. Start beneath the canopy and put one end of each pole into a grommet on the corner of the tarp. Place the poles in a standing position.
Lay a washer over each tent pole tip, with the ropes hanging down. Begin on one side of the canopy and pull the nylon ropes taut, while someone else holds the other pole in place. Hammer stakes into the ground and fasten the rope's slip knots over the stake to secure the canopy. Repeat for the other side.