Review | Tepui 6ft Awning
|Tepui 6-ft Awning in use|
We have slowly been adding to gadgets and gizmos to our beloved 4Runner since we started this blog back in 2010. Few things, our Dometic fridge included, have transformed our camping experience like the addition of our 6ft Tepui awning. I was apprehensive about adding an awning to our 4Runner, because I wasn't sure how much we would actually use it. After a summer of use, I am glad we have it!
- Covered Area: 6'6" X 6'6"
- Kit Contents: Awning with four attached poles and PVC Cover, 2 x Mounting brackets, mounting fasteners, 10-mm ratcheting wrench, 2 x guide wires, and 2 x stakes
- Price: $310
My ThoughtsThe first thing I noticed, upon opening the box, was the fact that Tepui included (almost) everything I would need to mount the awning to our 4Runner. I say almost because although Tepui included the L-brackets and fasteners, I still needed to devise a way to attach the awning to our Yakima crossbars. I ultimately settled on using a set of stainless steel worm-gear hose clamps to secure the L-brackets in place. I know this isn't ideal, or a long-term solution, but it served us well for the summer. I plan on spending time this winter to devise a way to attach the awning directly to our new Yakima OffGrid basket - I am just not sure what that solution looks like.
I wasn't exaggerating when I said having an awning transformed our camping experience. Not only has it protected us from the rain and sun, but it acts as a great shelter for sleeping on the ground or cot. I have found Tepui's 6-ft Awning to be very well constructed, with the awning material firmly mounted to both extruded aluminum sections and the poles firmly held in place. There are several plastic pieces associated with the design, but they seem to be well made, and we never experienced any issues with them. The whole setup is easy enough to set up solo, although my arms extend a bit further than most. I would say that it would be a good idea to have a helper if you are not gifted with height, or there is anything stronger than a slight breeze.
|Bucking Wyoming Wind|
Speaking of a breeze, I have been impressed with how well the awning has stood up to wind gusts, which we tend to have a lot of in Wyoming. On one occasion, we were enjoying a day at our local reservoir when a storm rolled through, knocking over tents and sending people's gear across the campground. Not only did the awning buck the wind, but it also came out of the event without a single component failure! It did make a ruckus, as the fabric vibrated against the horizontal poles, but everything held tight.
I think my only concern/complaint with the setup lies with the buckles used to secure the awning within the PVC cover. No matter how tight I can get the nylon webbing, they ultimately loosen and cause the awning to vibrate, shifting up and down, against the aluminum base. Although this doesn't cause any perceivable sound in the 4Runner, I am concerned about the awning fabric being abraded against the metal. To remedy this, I have chosen to affix a small cam-buckle tie-downs to either end of the closed awning, effectively locking everything in place. Ultimately, I may try to disassemble the awning so I can install these under the PVC cover.
In all Krista and I have been very pleased with our 6-ft Tepui Awning. It has been a welcomed addition to our camping kit and has changed the way we camp out of our 4Runner. I would recommend it to anyone looking to add an awning to their camping or overland rig. It may just change the way you camp out of your rig as well!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I was given the equipment used in this review in consideration for review publication.
Beau Johnston is an engineer, writer, and photographer who is dedicated to proving you can find a balance between work and life. He is the Co-Founder and Publisher of Living Overland and a member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. When he isn't working, you can find him exploring National Parks, fly fishing, and camping with his wife (Krista) and their two dogs.
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