The following attachment methods are relevant to the drive away awnings including Vango, Outwell, Easycamp and Khyam models.
All these awnings have a very standard attachment strip, called a Kador Strip. As you can see it is a very thick piece of webbing fabric that is attached to the awning fabric on one side and on the other it has a piping that measures 6 mm to fit your general C Clip and Figure of 8 connectors.
General Attachment Methods:
Using pre-attached Kador strip into Awning Rail (C rail)
J Rail utilising Figure of 8’s
Clamping method with pole, clamps and sleeve
Magnets or Dent pullers
Guylines or Straps thrown over the vehicle
Roof bar straps
Fiamma awning rails
1- Using Pre-Attached Kador into the Awning Rail (C rail)
This is potentially the quickest and easiest method of attaching an awning. Before any of the structure is erected, slide the awnings Kador strip into the awning rail across the length of the van, erect the awning and it will be properly connected to your van.
There is only one down side to this, these awnings are designed to be freestanding ‘Driveaway Awnings’ therefore having it attached straight to your van will not allow you to simply disconnect it whilst having the awning still erected (albeit without a high level of difficulty!). Therefore we suggest having a second piece of Kador strip with double edge beading, along with a few sections of figure of 8’s to go in between the awning rail and your awning. This makes it a lot easier to simply remove the figure of 8 and strip from the van and leave the awning in place.
2- J Rail Attachment
To use the J rail installment method you will need to have a J rail physically installed onto the Van. If you are using a Volkswagen Transporter, T4 or T5 then you can sometimes use the water channel in the roof of the van to hide this away as it can look fairly ugly protruding from the side.
Then to attach a Drive Away awning to a J rail, you will need to connect the Kador strip to the J rail using Figure of 8 strips (image to the right). This will stay in place by the downwards force of the awning's weight.
3- Pole and Clamp
In older style camper vans like the VW split screens etc, they have a shallow guttering rail running along the side of the roof. It is possible to buy a fixing kit consisting of a pole and clamp. With this method a pole is threaded through the sleave of the awning (instead of using the Kador strip) and then clamped into position in the shallow guttering rail.
4- Magnet / Dent pullers or Suction pullers
To utilise this method you need to be using a suction cup or magnetic force on top of the vehicle to attach the straps that run alongside the Kador strip. It is slightly make shift but can save drilling into the van. Our one piece of advice is that if you have ever had the van resprayed, or there is any over spray on the roof it is difficult to get adhesion with a suction cup. This is definitely a second best to using the Kador strip and J rail / C rail method.
5- Roof Bar / Rack Strips
As shown in our Kela awning video, most awnings provide attachments to utilise the roof bars if you have them. They are Velcro tabs that attach around the bars at three different intervals down the awning rail. This is quite a firm attachment and is also quick and easy to drive away from.
6- Guylines or Webbing Straps
Potentially the most convenient method, for a quick starting point. This is the method we used in our Kela / Sapera video review, this requires no modification or specific fittings to be added to your van.
There is usually a point in each corner of the attachment strip, that allows you to attach a webbing strap or guyline to then pass over the roof of your campervan and peg in the other side. This allows you to pull the awning tight against the van.
As much as this is the most convenient method, it is by no means the best or easiest. The fitting is no where near as tight or weatherproof as using the Kador strip and when erecting it, you need to pitch it first then position it. With the Kador strip being used you can attach it unpitched and then pitch it in the right position first time.
7- Fiamma Awning connection
For this method you will generally need to buy a conversion kit for you Kador strip as the Fiamma awning rail is usually a couple of mm thinner. Therefore the piping/beading will not fit into the hole. This, Fiamma Drive-away fixing kit, provides a Kador strip that has two different sizes of piping/beading. One is 6 mm to fit the normal awning rail or figure of 8’s the other side is 4mm to fit the Fiammas awning channel.
Once you have the connection kit you will use exactly the same method as used in the awning rail using the figure of 8s to attach the secondary piece of Kador strip to your awnings Kador strip.
In summary there are many different ways of attaching these awnings to your camper van or motor home. They all have their individual benefits, but will be suitable only to the van you have, and the connection options you are willing to provide or available too.
The most secure, weatherproof and quickest setup time is definitely using awning rail or J rail to connect the awning to the van. However, this does mean making some modifications to your van by attaching a J rail or awning rail which not everyone is willing to do.
There is a lot of information to digest, if you have any problems with these methods, please contact us at our Store in Victoria on 01726 893010 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or have a look at our awning set up video demonstration where we connect our Volkswagen T4 to the Vango Kela awning.