DIY Custom Truck or Van Awning Under $100

We made our own custom awing fitted to our Suburban for 1/5 the price of pre-made awnings. In this video we show you the set up and describe the steps we used to build it. Tools needed are a drill and hammer. You can find all the supplies at Harbor Freight. Ask any additional questions you have in the comments below.

Here is the build tread we used to build it:

Links to What We Used:

Here’s a tour of the whole truck:

Find us on Instagram: @katcarney

Please watch: “Inside an Adventure Photographer’s Camera Bag”



  1. erikaslt on September 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Just curious when it rains hard. How does it do in the rain ??

  2. Biggils on September 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Why don’t you just camp under a freeway, it doesn’t cost anything and it won’t blow away!

  3. jcberb on September 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    This is bad-ass. When thinking about building one myself what I would do different is how I would attach the tarp to the poles. I would keep a full rotation of the tarp wrapped on each pole. But first I would use a weather resistant strong adhesive tape and tape the entire tarp length wise to the pole, roll it one full turn then fasten it with screws. This will lengthen the life of the tarp, and prevent premature tearing. I have a pick-up truck bed unloader and the material is attached to the pipe on this fashion; while unloading 1500lbs of material it has not ripped. And lastly is the slope; I would ensure that is slopes to the left, right, or front so water does not accumulate. Another project on my list. THANKS!

  4. hexreal333 on September 16, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Sweet awning!!!
    Mahalo for the video:)

  5. dank donkerson on September 16, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    really nice job, as you were talking about the UV damage on the tarp i thought, "if you mounted a 4" PVC pipe along where you have the polls rolled up and come off of that instead of the framing you could store the polls inside the PVC and if you mounted hooks alone the PVC that you could hook the tarp grommets along that than you would have something a lot cleaner looking and that tarp could just be folded up and stored inside. again, really nice job, simple and functional. i have a teardrop and this would be perfect for a roof rack awning.

  6. Mary Klein on September 16, 2019 at 7:43 pm
  7. alan4sure on September 16, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    I bet the water sits in a pool in the middle of it when it rains. There is no way for water to run off.

  8. Leo Quirk on September 16, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    To protect the tarp when rolled up, you could do a similar thing with duct tape that would fully cover whatever shows when it is rolled up. Could always replace/add more if it gets damaged

  9. Aniceto Pontillas on September 16, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Is there a shopping list for the items needed and where did you get all the product from?

  10. Alex Salmon on September 16, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Very Good! I’m taking inspiration to do the same on my defender

  11. Dad Diaries on September 16, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    I’ll have to incorporate some hinges into mine. I took your advice on the tarp tensioning though so thanks for that. have you subsequently replaced the tarp with something else? I’m looking at tent material/nylon 🙂

  12. mkaberli on September 16, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    I’ve been looking at purchasing an awning from ARB. Their most expensive awning is way less than $600 .

  13. Lurid Phaesporia on September 16, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    Wow, you guys are so helpful! This channel is the best right now.
    I think I might just build this thing too. Haha I have a similar Suburban, just a little older than yours. Gonna take it out near some of the same areas too that’s wild

  14. cordelmar on September 16, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    It looks good, but i think the vertical polls will pull out in a windy situation, i think you should thread the ends and bolt it tight. good luck.

  15. Bekah Johnson on September 16, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    What kind of hinges did you use for the folding out conduits? Could you send a pic
    or link? Thanks so much! I’m stoked to do this!

  16. spacetoast7 on September 16, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    How is it in the wind? It doesn’t look like you tied it down at all.

  17. MZONE3D on September 16, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Fantastic video. Thanks for sharing!!!

  18. rod22lt on September 16, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for the vid. So impressed w your vids, hooper and your adventures.

    About the tarp…are u able to angle a corner when it’s raining to collect rainwater?

  19. carl kenyon on September 16, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    I don’t eat animals but I love food, travel and can’t afford either so I have to DIY everything. , I am planning to live in the van I am fixing up, but I’ve got some projects first, I need an awning too , this will be like mine thanks for showing the way 13 months to go. I liked, subscribed!!! Will you join my channel? Please.

  20. Tem on September 16, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    I’ve seen rigs where the awning is rolled up inside a large tube that suns the length. if you mount the vehicle side of the awning to your conduit and put a crank on the end, you can just pull the awning out to us it and then crank it back to put it away. Thanks for the video!

  21. rad fourrunner on September 16, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Nice! Got details of the pole tips? Are they built-in or did you have to install? And the hinges, too please? TIA and happy travels!

  22. Ron Carr on September 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Love the build but those extendable poles are out of stock on amazon. What would you replace them with?

  23. Joe Salemi on September 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Nice set up. Can you provide a source for the adjustable pole slides and the pointed stud inserts?

  24. Matt Kessler on September 16, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    GREAT JOB! what is used for the pole hinges ? thanks

  25. dank donkerson on September 16, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    i just built mine and modified your idea (which is awesome BTW) to attach the awning to the van, instead of conduit i used a strut i got from home depot
    i used "ball bungee’s to attach the tarp to the strut that way i can use different size tarps or replace one that gets worn out

    i used a separate 10 ft conduit to hold the upright poles and let the tarp drape over that and attached another 10 ft conduit to the end of the tarp as weight

    the side conduit are cut to 5 ft for either side so i cant adjust them like you can ( i bought them but they didn’t work out) and i use the ball bungee’s to pull the sides taut using the 5 ft side conduit as an anchor

    all in all i can set it up in about 5 min and when i roll it up i can anchor it to the strut using the ball bungee’s

  26. V90TES on September 16, 2019 at 8:11 pm

    How did you attache the Tarp to the Conduit?

  27. Kat Carney on September 16, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Check the description to see links to where we bought stuff!

  28. Phil H on September 16, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Can I get some info on the swivels for the upper extending poles

  29. Ed Callahan on September 16, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Very Cool!

  30. Bill Everett on September 16, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    how did you attach it to your truck

  31. HighwayCinema on September 16, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    I like your videos and you have done some great designs and installs that save money. This is helpful to many people seeking to save money on their van/car/truck campers, however… I think most of us don’t do the full math… cheaper is not always as god or better than the $600 version of this awning you mentioned. What is your time worth? Let’s consider the $500 you "saved". The reality is that this design costs you guys time every time you roll it out to set it up and then take it down. A commercial awning($600-1,200) will pull out and be set up within 20 seconds. Your set up looks Iike it takes 20 minutes. Let’s say you set it up 30 times a year. That’s 600 minutes. Do yourselves a favor and pay yourselves in time saved, less hassle, and a commercial awning will not need repairing like yours has. Since you guys do a lot of outdoor activities, you obviously understand the value in investing in high quality boots, climbing gear, skateboards, cold weather clothing, etc. So, why go cheap on an awning? If money is an issue, buy a new awning designed for a mobile home patio(about $275) and adapt it to mount on the side of your rolling home.

  32. ChalkPrint on September 16, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    What kind of Hinge is installed to the extendable poles that swing out from the rack?

  33. Johannis Hose on September 16, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Simple and beautiful

  34. Harleygray15 on September 16, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Like your awning , where can I find the adjustable poles?

  35. Mike Wagenblast on September 16, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you for the video and the build list. Mine is coming along very well.

  36. freedom dove on September 16, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing the cool design. I think I would spend the extra money to buy a canvas painter’s drop cloth so it wouldn’t need replaced much, if at all.

  37. Tracy James Tavares on September 16, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Great tips an Demo. .

  38. TC on September 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    How did you do the end tips to put through the holes?

  39. Julian 7160 on September 16, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    You done a great job

  40. Joseph Compnotta on September 16, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Hello, love the video I’m planning on taking a solo trip from Ohio to Nv and Utah and then to my home state of Co. I have 1? the hinges you have on the main pole were those made or bought? I’m doing your Idea. thanks

  41. ron rambo on September 16, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    why block sun in freezing winter

  42. Benevolent Backpacker on September 16, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Brilliant design! Good on ya for not caving and paying those ridiculous prices!

  43. andrewdegozaru74 on September 16, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Try heavy canvas instead of tarpaulin when you replace the current tarp. Also anchor it with a metal strip rather than just screws to spread the load on the material.

  44. Carlos Eduardo Zampol on September 16, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Hi…your project is amazing. Could you please send me close details about the poles attachment ? Are there hinges ? Thank you

  45. JoeShep71 on September 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    why do i feel like ive met him somewhere??????

  46. DubYuh89 on September 16, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    Where did you get the extendable poles from?

  47. Jeff Garbarek on September 16, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Brilliant. Thats going on my van.

  48. Mustafa Wissawi on September 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Broooo a brand new awning in Australia is 120$

  49. Missouri Kayak Fishing on September 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    the only thing I will do different is make the tarp out of a canvas tarp HF sells those also and they should last a lot longer.  Just need to oil it.

  50. richard watson on September 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks for being Honest about the tarp problem ! I enjoyed your video , Also I think you done a good & simple job making your awing ! thanks for sharing .

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