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How to make a caravan awning

Updated July 19, 2017

An awning is a great product when you're on a road trip and you want to spend time outdoors no matter the weather conditions. You can make a caravan awning to add a helpful amenity to your vehicle and to add protection from the weather. While the weather may be great where you are right now, too much sun or rain can ruin an otherwise perfect day outside. Awnings are one way that people who live their lives outdoors can protect themselves. Simple awnings for campsites, motorhomes and caravans can be easily constructed.

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  1. Measure the length of the caravan. Determine how wide you want your caravan awning to be. Canvas tarps come in a variety of sizes. Remember that the depth of most caravan awnings is 9 feet, but select the perfect size of awning for you and your caravan. Write down the dimensions of the awning you hope to build, and order the size of canvas tarp you need.

  2. Contact a dealer of canvas tarps. Talk with a representative who is knowledgeable in the correct sizes of canvas tarps and their uses. Relay the dimensions of your caravan and order a perfect fit for your caravan.

  3. Visit an outdoors stores to purchase tent stakes, tent poles and nylon rope. Six tent poles and 100 feet of nylon rope will be enough to make a caravan awning. Using pre-constructed pieces will make the task of building your caravan awning much simpler. Collect the parts and pieces together once the canvas tarp arrives and prepare to set up your caravan awning at home first.

  4. Park the caravan in an area that will allow for the size of awning you will be constructing, preferably over soft earth. The caravan awning can be constructed on nearly any surface you can drive tent stakes into. For tar, tent stakes should be made of large metal nails you can drive through the tar roadway. For concrete surfaces, drive a stake through a crack in the concrete or a sectional divider to prevent damage to the surface.

  5. Spread out the canvas tarp on the group. Orientate the canvas so it is placed alongside the caravan properly. Place the tip of one tent pole into the metal grommet at one corner of the canvas nearest to the caravan and raise that corner of the awning until the tent/awning pole is vertical. Hold the awning pole in position so that a securing line can be fastened and staked into the ground.

  6. Construct an awning line by cutting 15 feet of nylon rope off your 100-foot roll. Make a loop at one end and knot it so that it remains as a loop at the end of this length of rope. Put the loop over the top point of the vertical awning pole so that when the other end is secured to the ground with a stake the top loop presses down onto the canvas, holding it in place onto the vertical pole. Secure the loose end of the rope to the ground with a stake.

  7. Place the remaining five tent/awning poles into grommets of the caravan awning until there are three back awning poles and three front awning poles. Fastened and secured correctly with awning stakes, you now know how to make a caravan awning whenever you are on the road and want to enjoy the outdoors in any weather.

  8. Spray the entire canvas tarp with Scotchguard weatherproofing spray. Let the caravan awning dry three hours, then spray a second coat onto the awning. Allowed to dry completely, the new caravan awning will remain waterproof for years to come. Deconstruct the caravan awning and store in a cool, dry place.

  9. Tip

    Buy two types of awning stakes--one set for soft earth and one set for tar. Use a five-pound sledgehammer to pound the caravan awning's stakes into the ground.


    Rips and tears occur when the caravan awning is stretched too tightly or left unprotected outdoors for extremely long periods of time. Protect against the effects of the environment by using weatherproofing spray to avoid damage to your caravan awning.

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Things You'll Need

  • Canvas tarp
  • Measuring tape
  • Nylon rope
  • Ground stakes
  • Tent poles (adjustable)
  • Scotchguard (weatherproofing)

About the Author

Francis Walsh has been working as a freelance writer since 2003. He has contributed to websites such as Shave, Autogeek and Torque & Chromeas, as well as provided content for private clients. Walsh has worked as a performance part-packer and classic car show promoter, now serving as crew chief for Nitrousfitz Racing.

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