Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DIY - Awning Sun Shade Project

Site H7 from the front side

We’ve been wanting to get a sun shade for our awning for some time now.  We looked at them at the Tampa RV Show, where we liked the 2-piece versions that we saw, but they were pretty expensive.

When we heard that Beasley Manufacturing has the fabric and all the supplies needed to make the sun shade, we decided we could give it a try.  They also make them there, and we could have ordered an 18’ x 7.5’ sun shade for $135, which was a lot less than they were at the RV Show.  After seeing one, though, we were convinced that it was a fairly simple project.  We were able to buy the fabric (18’ x 8.5’), grommet kit, and splice (for attaching the top portion to the awning roller) for just over $70.

Yesterday afternoon, Tom and I took my sewing machine up to the recreation building, where they have long tables, and sewed the splice into the top section of fabric.  That turned out to be a little bit of a challenge . . . Tom thought it was too loose if we sewed it with the splice in place, so we first sewed a seam on the bottom and attempted to feed the splice through.  It was too tight, though, so that didn’t work.  After spending quite a bit of time fighting with it, I finally gave up and said “I’m just going to sew another seam on the other side of the fabric with the splice in place.”  That worked much better!

Today, Tom and the boys installed the grommets used to attach the two sections of sun shade together.

Putting grommets in the sun shade

Hard at workThey made sure to carefully align the grommets between the two pieces so that the sun shade would hang evenly, and Tom hammered the grommets into place.

The last step was to add some grommets to the bottom to use to stake the sun shade out . . . but first we had to take a break to watch a new neighbor squeeze into the site next to us.

New neighbor moving in

Tight fit!


It was definitely a tight fit!

After our little break, it was time to get back to work.



Taking a break

Bryce marked the locations for the last few grommets,

Marking grommet locations

and with a few taps of the hammer, we were done!






Installing the last few grommets

The last step was to install it.  Once we got the splice and fabric started into the track, it fed through pretty quickly.  Luckily, we only have to do this once!

Part 1 of sun shade installed

If we don’t need the full sun shade, we can use the grommets to hang our patio lights, and if we do need it, it’s easy to attach with S-hooks.

Part 2 of sun shade attached

We just need to pick up a few more S-hooks!  Another project well done!


  1. Nice! Don't you love "beating the money system" like that?

  2. Great job on the Sun Shade. We used ours the day after your visit and the wind kept unhooking the S hooks. We have to install slightly larger ones to fix that problem. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time

  3. Way to go...looks great!! Glad you were able to find Beasleys and they had what you needed. All that help makes a project go quickly;o)))

  4. Good job. Beasleys is a great place, huh?

  5. How wonderful... you got a new sunshade and the boys got the satisfaction of a job well done!

    Karen and Steve
    The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  6. The extension looks great! We looked at getting something at the Tampa RV show but declined in the end because of the cost. And we figured we would not use it often so it wold be something more to pack away. I love how you did it yourself. It looks like it turned out well.

  7. Do you have a heavy duty sewing machine? What thread did you use?

    1. I have just a good, basic sewing machine. We found a heavy nylon thread, black, and it worked really well. We just bought it at Walmart. One of the nice things about the fabric is that it does not ravel, so it really doesn't require any sewing other than the pocket for the splice. Our large length of awning is not hemmed at all. The only thing we did was cut small pieces of extra fabric to reinforce under the grommets, because they needed the extra thickness.


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