Homemade awning for a VW T5 Campervan

My latest project for the campervan has been a DIY awning / sun canopy. I was inspired by the Home Made Sun Canopy thread on the vwt4forum. However, I wanted a more squary awning rather than a round one. Also I didn't want an ugly fixed box on the side of my van.


The total cost was a bit more expensive than I hoped, but for under £50 it isn't too bad as the cheapest store bought one I saw was £100+. The most expensive items are the steel upright poles, but you may be able to find those second hand.

Item Quantity / size Shop Cost
30" figure 8 channel 3 x
Sky Blue £9.99
Blue Diamon 6mm Awning Piping 4 meters
Sky Blue £5.96
Tarpaulin with grommets
3.7m x 2.8m Cheapo poundstore type shop £5.99
Vango 180cm steel king / upright pole set 2x 180cm Bridgend Camping £9.50
Vango 210cm steel king / upright pole set 2x 210cm
(only need one)
Bridgend Camping £11.00
Shipping etc.     £4.21
Grand total     £46.65

Instruction to make you campervan awning

It really is quite straight forward, sew the awning piping along one side of your tarpaulin. Clip the figure 8 channel onto your roof rack gutter railing and slide the tarp into the figure 8. Some photographs showing details follow.

Before choosing the side to which I attached the piping I had a test running some guy ropes over the van.

It's a bit wonky at the left side, because I didn't fancy a battle with the nettles. It did made me decide to go for the long edge along the van.

Sew figure 8 onto tarp

I therefor sewed the piping along the long edge of the tarp.

Pitching instructions

  • Clip figure 8 onto roofrack gutter
  • Slide tarp into figure 8
  • Erect poles & tention with guy lines
  • and Bob's your uncle...


I may use a thicker matterial, rather than a quite thin tarp. The tarp creates shade, but doesn't block out a very bright sun when you look up. Some tent type material may be better.


Sew figure 8 onto tarp

I sewed the piping along the long edge of the tarp.