When we were looking to add an awning to Maple X, we weren’t sure how we wanted to mount it to our Yakima roof rack. There are brackets available on the market, but seeing as we already had some materials on hand we decided to make our own. We picked up our gently used ARB 2500 awning from our friend Tim, and he included some Rhino-Rack mounts designed for a foxwing style awning he had been using on his trailer. We now had a way to attach brackets to the roof rack, now we just had to make them. So after a trip to the hardware store we picked up some bolts, washers, lock nuts, and rubber hose (about an inch in diameter). We got back to the shop and paired our new parts with the Rhino Rack mounts and L Brackets that were left over from our $100 Bed Rack build.
The first step in this process was determining where to drill holes in the aluminum L Brackets. We laid the brackets on the backside of the awning to mark the locations of the channels in which the bolts will reside. Once they were marked, we went over to the drill press and drilled holes for the bolts to pass through.
Our next step was to make sure the brackets wouldn’t roll on the round bars. We took the length of rubber tubing cut it into 1″ish sections, and cut it in half so it could ride in between the bracket and roof rack cross bars.
Before we could mount the awning to the brackets we first mounted the brackets to the crossbars of the roof rack. Placing the rubber on the crossbars first, the L bracket and foxwing mount were sandwiched around it. We only tightened the nuts slightly so we could make adjustments to get the awning in alignment once mounted. Sliding the bolts into the channels on each side of the awning in the approximate locations, we inserted the bolts into the newly drilled holes on the L bracket. Using the washer and lock nut on the backside, we tightened all the bolts to their final torque.
This turned out to be a simple, cost effective, fun project that has held up for over 3 years of off road use and rentals. We’ll call that a win!