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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wanted to share that I've ordered a Dometic Sunshine Air Pro VW awning for my Metris. We don't have them in the states so I ordered it from the UK. Essentially, it slips into a keder rail on the side of the van and then instead of poles it uses air tubes or air beams at about 12psi to create the structure. This awning is for the Vw, but it should fit the Metris. I also picked up the side wall accessories. The side walls cover the sides only and doesn't fully enclose the space. The walls have a little cutout to permit the slider to pass without hitting the wall. Additionally, at the van rail the awning creates an arc with an air beam to ensure the water runs off, but this will also help hopefully prevent the slider from hitting the awning at the top. The air beam inflates with a standard boston valve pump like what you have for inflatable kayaks, SUP's and boats.

Our requirements for an awning were:
  • Does not live on the van 24/7/365
  • Can be used on either side
  • Desire to minimize poles to avoid long pokey things or really heavy poles because light poles snap.
  • Easy to set up
  • Hold up to wind without turning into projectiles or destroying itself.
When I was looking at all the products that are similar to this one there are some others like a Vango unit that is maybe a little cheaper, but like most everyone they are suffering from supply issues this year. I also considered briefly a full tent like solution, but here in the states the typical camping spots are not like the big open fields in the UK. We just don't frequently have a lot of space next to parking spots to have a tent. Dometic sells a nice one for the VW in the states.

We do the occasional music festival and simply want the covered space just outside the van for the transition in and out.

This awning is going to work on my van because I'm having Reimo multirails installed on both sides of the van. These have a gutter and a keder channel that the awning will slip into. If someone wanted to use one without the multirail there are magnetic keder rail solutions you can get from the UK etc to stick down on the roof edge.

I'll post back in a couple of weeks when I have both the product and the poptop and rails installed.

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I like the look of that. Please send pictures of it on your van once you set it up. I wonder if it would work with OEM roof rails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think it could, but the advantage of the magnetic keder strip is that it can channel the water away otherwise when it's raining you will get water there.
 

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Very nice find!

I have been feeling the need for some kind of temporary shade cover that could be deployed passenger right or over the barn doors to make for a mini outdoor workspace. I know there has to exist something with just 4 flex tent poles making a roof and two legs away from the vehicle … but google has failed me so far.

I want something smaller and more compact to store than the four legged 10x10 collapsible portable awnings. Annoying to setup and hold down. Every couple years one gets destroyed by a small rain storm and too risky to blow into the van. I will still use one … but trying to look at options. Plus I miss the shade and rain protection of a 5th door / lift gate … after 30 years of having one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the moon shade from moonfab has been mentioned. Reimo Palm Beach is another. The moon product is maybe a higher price than I would expect, but they have lots of mounting options. I can't vouch for them.
 

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MOON Shade!

So, that is the keyword I needed to look for! Seeing some options. Thank you!

Looks like the struts are on the outside vs inside ( idea of some shape of umbrella fabric with 4 - 6 supports under it, akin setting up tent ). And a fixed awning or even better a batwing might still be the holy grail … but it is not a campervan and daily garaging may become an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wonder if it would work with OEM roof rails.

In Europe there are products like this one that allows you to install a keder channel under the roof rails on VW. No idea of the extrusions would work with a Metris channel, but maybe it's worth a try.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks like the struts are on the outside vs inside
The Reimo product is maybe more what you had in mind. I'm wagering the design choice of outside poles on the Moon shade has something to do with simple setup logistics. It's also probably more forgiving. Think about just how funny it would be to watch someone construct this in a light breeze.

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Yes, setup with a breeze could be interesting!

That special channel reminds me of something I recall seeing at one time, where there is a narrow flat bar with a c-channel - or moon shape :) - on top of it, in which one slides another panel (making like a hinge but with limited articulation to the opening size of the C) or one could put a cloth or sail in it that has a pocket sewn in, in which there is a solid rod or rubber cord … thus having a continuous connection point as long as the channel is.

I have thought of something temporary along those lines for my barn door area. As such type of track could be installed against a roof rack bar in the back. But may be hard to reach due to how MB did the factory roof rails. I can’t slide a ladder up the way I wanted, because of how far away the closest bar position ends up being.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have thought of something temporary along those lines for my barn door area. As such type of track could be installed against a roof rack bar in the back. But may be hard to reach due to how MB did the factory roof rails. I can’t slide a ladder up the way I wanted, because of how far away the closest bar position ends up being.
Those of us with lift gate have the top hinge mounts to enable mounting a rail on the rear. I bet there are some clever ways to mount some brackets back there.

This round channel or keder/kedar channel is universal. It's what most all commercial event tents use and pretty universal in boating. Most awnings that have an aluminum housing have them on the outer edge.

For example the Fiamma F45s that is popular for the Metris has them. Peace Vans installs this awning and they are very nice:



Fiamma offers a privacy room that keders to the awning. Check out the contruction and gauge for yourself if you think toting this around and having your mate set it up while you are getting the beer.



I love the engineering and I'm sure its stunning. I'd have one on an RV where I have basement storage.

If I ever change my mind and want an F45s I'll already have the multirails that everyone uses as part of the install. You lose the multirail keder track usage when you install the F45s, but you pick one up on the front edge of the Fiamma.
 

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Looks interesting! I can't wait to see it.

I use an Undercover UC-2 that I screw into the ground with Spax lag bolts and a Makita impact driver. Most places I go have a consistent 5 to 20 mph wind.
 

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I ordered the Moonfab Moonshade - seems like a decent place to start - I like the small packed size and L or R side mounting. Since it will fit so many other types of vehicles, I figure it’ll be easy to sell or rehome should I decide to go with something more permanent. It should arrive this week - I’ll be sure to post pics & feedback of it rigged onto my Metris..
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ordered the Moonfab Moonshade - seems like a decent place to start - I like the small packed size and L or R side mounting. Since it will fit so many other types of vehicles, I figure it’ll be easy to sell or rehome should I decide to go with something more permanent. It should arrive this week - I’ll be sure to post pics & feedback of it rigged onto my Metris..
Nice. Definitely open a new thread when you get it and set up. Deserves its own thread. Lots of mount options.
 

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Very nice find!

I have been feeling the need for some kind of temporary shade cover that could be deployed passenger right or over the barn doors to make for a mini outdoor workspace. I know there has to exist something with just 4 flex tent poles making a roof and two legs away from the vehicle … but google has failed me so far.

I want something smaller and more compact to store than the four legged 10x10 collapsible portable awnings. Annoying to setup and hold down. Every couple years one gets destroyed by a small rain storm and too risky to blow into the van. I will still use one … but trying to look at options. Plus I miss the shade and rain protection of a 5th door / lift gate … after 30 years of having one.
There are 8x8 and 5x5 versions of the square awnings. I find the 8x8 provides enough room for my mini kitchen, table and bench. Amazon: Amazon.com : Eurmax 8x8 Feet Ez Pop up Canopy, Outdoor Canopies Instant Party Tent, Sport Gazebo with Roller Bag, Bonus 4 Canopy Sand Bags (White) : Garden & Outdoor
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Never actually seen a 5x5 version in person. Cool. I like the nicer 10x10's with the vented top so they don't lift in wind. I've seen my fair share of accidents with them at festivals. You either get a value priced one and know you are going to replace it, or you get a good ones and lug the extra weight around. I like the camping cubes you can get to hang inside to turn them into tents or work spaces. We use bunk bed cots for camping and the full height is really nice. Those cubes sometimes have a pet door that is sized perfectly for a cheap window air conditioner from Walmart so when you are at a site with power you can have a completely cool tent.

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I'll post back in a couple of weeks when I have both the product and the poptop and rails installed.
Look forward to hearing/seeing how it works! I ordered a Reimo driveaway tent/awning and sunshade with magnetic keder rail over a month ago. Hopefully they will show up soon.

I used a MoonShade on my Winnebago Solis (Promaster) and it worked well and was very portable. I figured on the Metris it would be nice to have something a bit larger since the van is so small.
 
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