Adding an awning track to a regular (non-conversion, no raised roof) cargo van?

Home Forum topic Campervan Conversions Adding an awning track to a regular (non-conversion, no raised roof) cargo van?

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    Hi, I’m a newbie here, not sure this is the right place for this kind of question – if not, please redirect me – I have a 1996 Ford E150 Econoline cargo van, not looking to do a full conversion, just a few simple things. I’m currently trying to figure out how to mount an awning track on a non-conversion (no raised roof) van – can anyone help? Is it even possible / advisable? I had one guy at a camper conversion place tell me to forget about it already, is he right? It seems like there ought to be a way.

    The problem would seem to be there’s no usable vertical side wall above the sliding door on which to mount the awning track. I figured maybe I could mount it to the edge of the roof using a piece of stainless angle iron to get it back to the correct orientation. I’m pretty handy with such things, I own an old sailboat, so I’m familiar with how to seal things up again.

    So should I just forget about it? Or is there a way?

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  1. Awning
    I have a Toyota Hiace and there is nothing above the door to fix an awning. I bought a drive away awning – tent with adjustable side to fix to the van. It can attach to C section awning rail, use long straps to go over the roof and peg down on the opposite side of the van, or using a pole that comes with it strap onto roof rail, or roof rack fixings. To drive off it takes a couple of minutes to unattach

  2. Nick Devonport June 22, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Econoline Awning
    I had a Fiamma awning mounted on a Sherpa panel van conversion with universal brackets from the awning manufacturer. The sides of the tent were secured to the van by pop studs. When I traded up to a Freight Rover there wasn’t room to mount the Fiamma so I screwed a length of rail (obtained from my local camping supplier) to the van above the sliding door and had my gazebo modified to serve as a drive-away awning. A ship’s chandler sewed a zip to one edge of the gazebo roof and made me a length of material to slide into the awning track on the van which zipped to the gazebo roof. It took seconds to detach and reattach when leaving and returning to the pitch.

  3. there is another way but its
    there is another way but its not cheap.
    check out omnistor 2000 awnings. you can get an array of fitting kits for them here:

    i got my 3 mtr omnistor for £80 used but mint condition. good quality bit of kit. far better than the fiamma that i had before it and you can move it from one vehicle to another easily.

  4. awning or annexe
    you can make up a temp awning simple with 2 tent poles a tarp and some bungy cord.
    yo can even set up a small annexe, we traveled all over in a NON converted Kombi as a kid with a Canvas annexe tied off to the side.
    Drop the annexe front and drive the van away leaving a free standing tent

    1. Steve from Redditch January 21, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      mini awning idea
      i have a citroen dispatch.
      i’ve fitted an awning rail to a piece of aluminium strip which is then fitted to the roof rack mountings.
      the rail is at approx 6′ height and about the same long.
      i too am trying to construct a simple external shelter.
      i have poles from a similar car awning but it isn’t as easy as it first seems!

      1. Citroen Dispatch awning
        I read your post and was interested on how you fitted the awning rail. I have seen some simple awnings online that fit it an awning rail or might make my own, but was not sure how to fit an awning rail witout drilling the van, which I dont really want to do. Do you have any details or pictures of how you fixed the awning strip and what type of roof rack are you using?

  5. There isn’t a lot of space
    There isn’t a lot of space above the rain gutter is there?
    Are you thinking of using a caravan type awning where the edge slides into the railing? It could be difficult to mount the railing.
    I’m sure I have seen awnings attached to campervans using twist and pop type poppers.

  6. Are you trying to fit a
    Are you trying to fit a caravan type awning?

    Do you have a pic of the awning or van?

    1. Standard 1996 Ford E150
      Standard 1996 Ford E150 Econoline cargo van. Google image search shows some just like it, it’s got the sliding side door. I don’t have an awning yet, I’m trying to figure out how to mount one.

      Maybe I should just go with a tent?

  7. Wow, the silence is
    Wow, the silence is deafening. Surely someone here has done this or has some ideas?