Half the fun of off-road touring is the camp at the end of the day. Firing up the grill, enjoying a few cold ones with your mates and finally settling down to sleep with nothing between you and the sounds of the bush but a thin layer of canvas, or even just a mozzie net. Most people find an awning is the best way to camp with your vehicle – they’re spacious, quick to set up and good ones like our Tough Toys models are pretty tough. They’re not indestructible though, and if you’re unlucky high wind, falling branches and other mishaps can leave you feeling suddenly exposed to the weather.
If something goes wrong with your awning at home it’s easy enough to order replacement parts, but what if it gets damaged while you’re on the road? Unless you want to spend the rest of your trip exposed to the weather and the insects you’re going to need to fix it. Luckily if you’re carrying a decent toolkit you have pretty much everything you need. You’ll also need a few awning spares to repair your awning.
Luckily Tough Toys offers a range of spares to repair your awning should there be an issue on the road: Awning Hinges, Awning Poles, Awning LED Light Kits and even Spare Awning Fabric Replacements are available.
Most awning problems involve bent or broken poles. If it’s the pole itself that’s damaged it’s pretty easy to do a temporary repair that will keep you going for a few days. Bent poles can be gently bent back into shape, but don’t rush it; bending metal makes it brittle, so if you go too fast you risk snapping it. Too late? Or was it broken already? Then you have a couple of options. If the pole doesn’t have to fit into a sleeve you can just splint it with a couple of straight sticks and a load of duct tape. Otherwise use a screwdriver to open out the ends, find a green stick – not a dry one – just a bit larger than the pole’s internal diameter and taper the ends with a knife. Then jam it into one part of the pole and push the other bit down on top. Fixed!
Broken hinges can be a bit more troublesome. If a hinge bolt has snapped you can replace it with one from your toolkit. If the hinge itself is broken you may be able to wire it together well enough to keep you going. Got a drill in your toolkit? You should have, so if necessary you can drill a couple of holes in the broken halves of the hinge and use a wire loop as a temporary pivot. A better solution is to carry one or two spare hinges that fit your awning.
Torn fabric won’t stop you setting your awning up but it’s a nuisance – big holes let in rain, wind and insects. You probably don’t have a sewing machine in your vehicle but there are a couple of ways to achieve a quick fix. Duct tape is effective and you can also buy repair kits with self-adhesive patches that will work on most fabrics. Try one before you leave home though – some types of proofed canvas don’t take adhesive well, and you don’t want to find yourself in the rain with patches that won’t stick.
Like we said, no awning is indestructible but you’ll have less problems if you buy a quality one to start with. Our Tough Toys range has some of the biggest awnings you’ll find and they’re built to last, so your chances of needing to do any repairs are a lot lower.