Mercedes-Benz Metris Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
2016 Passenger
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the goal of keeping the rain off while loading and unloading a person from a wheelchair sitting outside the side sliding door (or using a lift) I'm looking for a side awning that a second able-bodied person could deploy fairly quickly but that does not rely on legs / guy lines.

Picture pulling into a wheelchair parking spot and pulling the awning out into the adjacent, striped loading zone.

Thanks for any leads or ideas.
 

·
Super Moderator
Metris Cargo 135 2020
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
I personally have no recollection of any awning without legs. A few feet might be do-able, and require doing something custom along the roof rail, then clipping in some type of sail cloth and then have two fiberglass or pvc poles that poke into the step area and extend it out over the platform area. Or perhaps an aluminum L profile along the rail and two arms that fold out and extend. I have had some thoughts along those lines to improvise something to keep myself, the van and tools dry … and maybe have a small improvised work area between the barn doors or by the slider.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Passenger
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
I've never seen anything like that for any van. Here is where the liftgate van with the rear ramp helps speed things up and provide cover I guess.

You linked to a product. Is that what you have or are you associated with that product?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Pounce posted earlier about a very cool tent, and that vendor has some interesting awnings on its website. Not sure if they have anything for a Metris (and they probably are really expensive) but thought I would share just in case helpful. Looks like they don't need legs.

Some RVs have self supporting awnings. Maybe you could find one of those that fits, or have a smaller one made?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Have you considered rigging a large golf or patio type umbrella? I work in Oregon outside..as a Grip supporting camera dollies and operators. If it’s just temporary coverage needed, a big 5’ diameter umbrella is hard to beat & easy for one person to deploy. The patio style often has an adjustable shaft so you can angle it 30-45 degrees as needed.
 

·
Registered
2016 Passenger
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all for the discussion.
I personally have no recollection of any awning without legs. A few feet might be do-able, and require doing something custom along the roof rail, then clipping in some type of sail cloth and then have two fiberglass or pvc poles that poke into the step area and extend it out over the platform area. Or perhaps an aluminum L profile along the rail and two arms that fold out and extend. I have had some thoughts along those lines to improvise something to keep myself, the van and tools dry … and maybe have a small improvised work area between the barn doors or by the slider.
I can picture what you're suggesting and it sounds like a good enough idea to mock up. I'm picturing a permanently mounted cup-type receiver for the base of each leg on each end of the slider's door sill. Telescoping leg angling down from each corner of the awning. Pin or clip to lock the leg into the receiver on the door sill.

I've never seen anything like that for any van. Here is where the liftgate van with the rear ramp helps speed things up and provide cover I guess.

You linked to a product. Is that what you have or are you associated with that product?
Our van has the rear liftgate which is what I currently use as an awning. Things can get dicey / unworkable if the available parking spot can't handle rear loading at the curb, meaning you potentially get stuck with the only loading space available in the travel lane. Not a good situation.

No, I'm not associated with that outfit but it's an option for when we do need to convert our van to a WAV. Nice setup but a pretty high price tag, unfortunately.

Pounce posted earlier about a very cool tent, and that vendor has some interesting awnings on its website. Not sure if they have anything for a Metris (and they probably are really expensive) but thought I would share just in case helpful. Looks like they don't need legs.

Some RVs have self supporting awnings. Maybe you could find one of those that fits, or have a smaller one made?
Thanks for the links -- the small 23Zero awning looks like a contender if there's a quick way to secure the wings to the front and rear of the van. https://23zero.com/product/peregrine-180-r/

I found this option through a search but it's huge and can't imagine it scaling to the size of a Metris, or mounting to the roofline without standing well proud. Looks like an awning designed for the front of a building?

Have you considered rigging a large golf or patio type umbrella? I work in Oregon outside..as a Grip supporting camera dollies and operators. If it’s just temporary coverage needed, a big 5’ diameter umbrella is hard to beat & easy for one person to deploy. The patio style often has an adjustable shaft so you can angle it 30-45 degrees as needed.
I'm also in Oregon, on the wet side. It would be temporary coverage (just a few minutes each time) but I wonder how we'd store a patio umbrella, especially a wet one. Would probably have to go on the roof since we need to keep the inside of the van uncluttered.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Passenger
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
Anything like an umbrella or something lose would make me nervous. People in chairs can't move out of the way when the wind catches the umbrella.

I like the idea of a roof mount extending awning including something that slides over.

Do you have a low tech solution like rain jackets made for wheelchairs? Having a handful of dry ones on hand to use when you need extended time in the rain might be more pleasant for the client.

 

·
Super Moderator
Metris Cargo 135 2020
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Great point. Growing up in Europe, pretty much everybody had a big rain poncho to use while cycling in the rain. Bit of an issue with wind and puddle splashing from cars and trucks, so then it was time to get a two part rain suit. An XL adult poncho would probably provide good cover.
 

·
Registered
2016 Passenger
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What about attaching a couple of slides to the roof rack to support a side pull out cover?
(Canadian prices)
Might add a couple of inches to the top but would be easy to use. (Use a solar panel?)
This is a great idea but I doubt the those interior grade slides would hold up over time with rain and road spray working their way in. Maybe there's something similar for the marine market -- which would surely cost far more.

I bet there's a low tech solution to be found; tube in tube sliders with delrin bushings / guides, or something like that. I'll have to think on it and would be happy for any suggestions.

I could actually pull the factory rails off entirely and replace with custom brackets to mount the whole assembly closer to roof line.

Anything like an umbrella or something lose would make me nervous. People in chairs can't move out of the way when the wind catches the umbrella.

I like the idea of a roof mount extending awning including something that slides over.

Do you have a low tech solution like rain jackets made for wheelchairs? Having a handful of dry ones on hand to use when you need extended time in the rain might be more pleasant for the client.

https://www.amazon.com/AdirMed-Wheelchair-Waterproof-Poncho-Hood/dp/B08FMXL3N1
Great point. Growing up in Europe, pretty much everybody had a big rain poncho to use while cycling in the rain. Bit of an issue with wind and puddle splashing from cars and trucks, so then it was time to get a two part rain suit. An XL adult poncho would probably provide good cover.
Agree 100% about not being able to move out of the way of a falling umbrella.

It's my young child who's in the wheelchair, and we do have a rain poncho like that for once she's in the chair outside the van. She's in an extra supportive car seat in the van, then requires a full body lift transfer to the wheelchair that's waiting outside the van. Wheelchair rides in the rear cargo area and I bring it around to the side, or leave it under the liftgate if it's raining and I have space to load her into the chair back there. If I can't use the liftgate as rain cover because that space isn't safe, the chair is getting soaked while I'm fetching her, then we're all getting soaked while I position and strap her in until I can get the poncho on. Reverse the process when it's time to load into the van. Pretty far from ideal at the moment...
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Passenger
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
If I can't use the liftgate as rain cover because that space isn't safe, the chair is getting soaked while I'm fetching her, then we're all getting soaked while I position and strap her in until I can get the poncho on. Reverse the process when it's time to load into the van. Pretty far from ideal at the moment...
That helps. Take a look at a Fiamma 05810-13R Manual F65 Eagle. Its a shorty legless awning.
 

·
Super Moderator
Metris Cargo 135 2020
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Just brainstorming ... being short of hands when it is raining out ... could the wheel chair get a small cup and clip mounted on it to get like a golf umbrella secured for a brief period of time, to provide cover for your daughter, while she is in the chair, and you need some extra time.

I just went through a bit of a wet weekend with the van outside, missing the liftgates I have enjoyed for 30 years ... could have used a 270 bat wing wrapping the side and rear. Made me think again about having some protection that clips in place over the barn doors ...
 

·
Registered
2016 Passenger
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That helps. Take a look at a Fiamma 05810-13R Manual F65 Eagle. Its a shorty legless awning.
Thanks. Have you seen one of these installed on a Metris?

Just brainstorming ... being short of hands when it is raining out ... could the wheel chair get a small cup and clip mounted on it to get like a golf umbrella secured for a brief period of time, to provide cover for your daughter, while she is in the chair, and you need some extra time.
That would be a nice, simple solution, but I need the chair to be unobstructed to be able to load my daughter into it. Anything mounted low enough to provide ample cover would block access such that I'd have to take a hand off her to remove the rain shade, and unfortunately I only have two hands which are both occupied carrying her from car seat to wheelchair.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Dometic and Carefree make door awnings for RVs that deploy electronically.
I have a Carefree awning that is mounted to L brackets that I swap out for a large awning , depending on the type of camping / trip Im doing . It takes less then 30 seconds to fully extend and retract .
It’s mounted to a roof rack rails . Works great and keeps the rain and bit of sun out , and I can have it out when it gets a little windy without worrying too much . Unfortunately they cost almost as much as a full awning , and are special order .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
With the goal of keeping the rain off while loading and unloading a person from a wheelchair sitting outside the side sliding door (or using a lift) I'm looking for a side awning that a second able-bodied person could deploy fairly quickly but that does not rely on legs / guy lines.

Picture pulling into a wheelchair parking spot and pulling the awning out into the adjacent, striped loading zone.

Thanks for any leads or ideas.
The Fiamma F45 awning has self supporting struts. One person can open it quickly, and if you only use it halfway, say 3-4 feet, you could use it without the support poles for a short time. Look at this video to see what I mean
Thule has a rack mounted awning that does the same thing Thule HideAway - Rack Mount 8.5 ft | Thule | United States
Good luck!
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Passenger
Joined
·
2,120 Posts
The Fiamma F45 awning has self supporting struts. One person can open it quickly, and if you only use it halfway, say 3-4 feet, you could use it without the support poles for a short time.
That's where the Fiamma F65 Eagle comes in. It's designed to be used without the legs. The small model is approximately 6 feet long and extends about 5 feet. About $900 plus any mounting brackets. Not sure if the short one can take the motor. Sure would be nice to hit the motor button while still in the van and again after getting out of the rain.

Just need to watch the drop. If the person pushing the chair is tall this might not work out well.. or they will really need to watch their head.
 

·
Super Moderator
Metris Cargo 135 2020
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Circling back to sheltering vehicle entry ...
I do not have experience with either product.
Saw this on some internet tv show one night, a small awning without legs for compact cars /suvs:

Tire Car Sky Wheel Vehicle


And this shower room setup; visually shows the idea of having a DIY awning "box" with two aluminum legs that fold outwards, clip a separator piece or rod between them, and some type of rain cover over it.

Sleeve Font Rectangle Metal Linens
 

·
Registered
2016 Passenger
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
@icerabbit Thanks so much for coming back to post ... you solved my problem! I had resigned myself to fab'ing a drawer slide / cassette style setup at some point, but now I don't need to bother with all that. Perfect.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top