How to attach a caravan or campervan awning with magnets
There are a number of different methods suitable for securing an awning to your caravan, campervan or motorhome depending on the fixings you already have installed. These include ‘C’ rails, ‘J’ rails and gutters primarily for diverting rainwater. These are popular fixtures, but all require additional attachments such as poles, clamps or figure-8 strip. If you don’t have rails or gutters already fitted to your vehicle, it can be a costly job to have them added. They can also be rather unsightly, detracting from the look of your beloved van!
An alternative is to use magnets, just like Trevor from Kent who approached us with this very problem. Trevor has recently had his panel van converted into a campervan for the ultimate freedom and purchased an awning to go with it. With the cost to fit plastic rails to his van being approximately £250, Trevor was in search of a more cost effective solution and decided to experiment with magnets, originally opting to try 40mm diameter ferrite hook magnets.
While the hook magnets did work, they were not quite strong enough to withstand a really heavy gust of wind, which, let’s face it is an all too regular climatic prospect for the regular UK camper! To avoid losing his new awning in a sudden gale Trevor decided to contact the team at first4magnets for some advice.
Trevor said: “The hook magnets proved useful, but were not strong enough. I then called the excellent customer service team from first4magnets who advised using 40mm x 10mm x 20mm rectangular N42 neodymium magnets instead. I bought five of these and they work perfectly, they are really quick and easy to use.
“I thread the magnets into the hem of the awning and then very simply attach this to the gutter part of the roof of my converted VW Transporter. I then use the hook magnets to secure the flaps at the side. This is a much cheaper and quicker method and also means there is no unsightly plastic strips.”
Benefits of using magnets to attach an awning:
- Easy to attach and detach.
- If magnets are slid inside the hem or sleeve of the awning your paintwork will be protected from being scratched.
- Greater flexibility. As magnets will attract to any ferrous panels on your vehicle, particularly handy for custom conversions.
- By sowing the magnets into the hem they will stay in place and be ready to use next time.
- No permanent and unsightly rails.
- Please ensure the magnets are placed inside the hem of the material to help reduce the chance of scratching.
- Before applying the magnets and material, ensure the vehicle’s surface is clean and dry.
We’d like to say a massive thank you to Trevor for sending us in his photos. If you would like advice on how to attach your awning with magnets, give the team at first4magnets a call on 01777 874520.