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So, you love the outdoors. Camping, hiking, or just hitting the open road.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a nice shady spot to relax. If you could just attach an awning to the back of your vehicle, you’d be all set, right?

an awning is not a tent, and should never be treated as such and you should remove your awning if bad weather is coming.

Attaching an awning to your vehicle is easier than you think. Not only is it easier than lugging a portable shelter with lose poles and stakes, it can also be less expensive. But how do you do it? Here’s how.

Picnic AwningAn awning needs to be fastened to something sturdy. Some awnings are designed specifically to fit a basket type roof rack, but others can be fastened to a load bar. You may also be able to find an awning that fastens to a roof gutter or other railing that would work better for your vehicle.

The best place to mount an awning to your vehicle is on the passenger’s side. This way, the awning will face away from the road if you decide to pull over for a rest. You might also consider fastening your awning to the back, if that suits your needs better.

Your awning shouldn’t be much longer than the rack that supports it. It is usually okay if the awning is a little bigger than your roof rack, but you should try to make it as close a fit as possible. If your awning is too long, it could get stuck on low lying branches.

And finally, an awning is not a tent, and should never be treated as such. You should remove your awning if bad weather is coming. A strong wind could cause your awning to fold over your vehicle. Also, be aware that if too much water pools on the top of your awning, it could snap under the weight of the water. So take care to drain any excess water out of your awning after it rains.

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