Rethinking the Van Design part 19 – Fitting the Awning Rail


On our last round of adventures we were subject to blazing sunshine on a daily basis and while we all love the sun it can get a bit much. The Spanish didn’t build their cities with narrow streets and high walls for nothing. Shade is safe and sensible option – something we lacked at that time.

Now, because the interior wasn’t as ‘chill’ friendly as we’d have liked it we were actually starved of comfortable options so this time around we have the L-Shaped couch (click here to read about that) inside the van. We’ll will also have a lined and insulated ceiling which will give us a comfortable and shady place to sit, but, we’re also going to have a pull out canopy – an item we envied on every vehicle we saw one fitted to.

I was fortunate to receive the gift of a canopy awning from my uncle who recently sold his camper van but luckily for us kept a few bits back.

Having the awning was one thing but to fit it to our Renault Master would require a rail. I wasn’t altogether familiar with the type of rail required so after a phone call to the local caravan centre with the details of my shiny new canopy I was steered in the right direction.


The awning rail fitted in place. It took two of us to do it because it was a bendy ball ache of a thing.


I apparently needed a 3 metre aluminium track which is almost tubular inside and caters for a figure of 8 fitting. The canopy slides into the rail and is then held in place by a couple of retaining bolts.

Fitting was a fairly straightforward process, especially with the help of my dad. It required a series of 15 holes drilled into the track, marking through those onto the side of the van and then drilling them. I used a set of 30mm nuts and bolts which hold the rail to the body and the boat window sealant stops the rain sneaking in through any gaps.

Fitting the canopy was another matter…

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