Of all the tasks in this project, mounting the awning and the rack have been the most tense. Not only do I have to haul these items that weight almost 100lbs to a height above my head but the mounting mechanism turned out to be more, how shall I put it, involved than I had anticipated. It’s not that it was difficult, it was more manual and contorted than I imagined.
The awning takes first place. It’s not a cheap piece of equipment and I want to make sure it’s installed as intended. So the eight towers it needs, it gets.
Now the platform I spec’d is great. Cole from Cave Van suggested a low profile platform that maximizes the roof area of the sprinter. The four mounts would fit the factory rails except for one thing… the platform had to be shifted about 6″ from the awning to make room for its mounts . So- Cole was kind enough to fabricate some steel mounts to move those towers inboard and maintain the weight distribution as intended. The only caveat was that the install required a specific set of steps to mount, tighten, shift, and tighten all of the bolts. Not hard but a bit of a puzzle initially. I like puzzles.
Anyway, I put the word out and my good friend Jason with his brother Irik (Eric) showed up to smack down the install. There’s nothing like some well-traveled farm boys who know their crescent wrenches and slide lock pliers to make a job easy. I enjoyed collaborating on the install puzzle and conversing about global trends with them. It was refreshing.
The upside was really the rack and awning. By the end of the afternoon we had gotten the rack up and sorted the awning out. Many thanks to Jason and Irik. One of them soon returns to New Zealand where they see the future first. You know, the international date line.
Anyway, that’s beside the point. Here are the shots of the install. I really enjoyed the puzzle and I’m confident in the setup. The van doesn’t even feel the weight back there and the view from the top is outstanding. The awning barely sits higher than the antennae – it’s wonderfully low profile
More details come. Stay tuned and subscribe to the blog.