One of the most common questions I have gotten is in regards to my method of attaching an ARB awning to the rain gutter of my Sprinter van. Well after many requests, I decided just to do a little write-up of how I fashioned it all together.
These awnings are an inexpensive alternative to Fiamma awnings, albeit they are stored in a PVC sleeve rather than an aluminum housing and you have to manually deploy it. It’s not so bad when you have someone helping you, but kind of a pain to do alone. But realistically, it takes us about 5 minutes to deploy it, maybe a little bit longer to roll it up and store it. But these are a game changer when it’s bright and sunny out - keeping the door shaded keeps the entire van cool and allows you to be in the stoop when it’s sweltering out. It’s also a great place to huddle when it’s raining out and no one else has a place to cook!
For Christmas, my mom was so kind to gift us an ARB awning to complete the van buildout. However, figuring out a means of attaching it proved to be a bit challenging. The only hardware these awnings come with are used to attach them to a roof rack of your extreme 4x4 vehicle. Sadly, the Sprinter does not have a roof rack, and even then it would be entirely too tall for me to roll and unroll. My goal was to attach them to the rain gutters that circumnavigate the van.
After many fruitless Google searches, I took a risk and ended up purchasing these mounting brackets from GoWesty (https://www.gowesty.com/product/awnings-screen-rooms/24746/awning-shower-mounting-kit-for-rain-gutter?v=), which is meant to mount an awning or shower to a Westfalia rain gutter. There is a helpful PDF and video on the install, but it is really just a bolt-on clamp for the gutter. Rather than tap a hole to mount it, i used some 3M VHB Tape (this stuff is magic by the way!) on the back side and inside of the clamp to adhere it to the side of the van.
Side note - when I purchased these, the brackets did not have holes on the large plate to actually mount the awning. I had to use a drill and some metal boring bits to drill the holes in order to attach the bracket to the awning (see photo attached). The photo on the website looks like the holes are drilled out, so perhaps they upgraded them, but who knows. But just so you know, it might be an extra step.
In any case, after many thousands of miles, many rough dirt roads, and almost 4 years, the awning has stayed put. And i haven't really thought about it's security since the first couple of tests rides with it on! So there you go! I hope this has proved helpful to all you folks out there.