Rear canopy for sprinter barn doors

Gedhols

New member
I've seen pictures of rear barn door canopy/awnings for some vehicles... can anyone recommend a brand and where to buy? Thanks Ged


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Gedhols

New member
I've seen pictures of rear barn door canopy/awnings for some vehicles... can anyone recommend a brand and where to buy? Thanks Ged


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This is the type of thing ....



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TPLennon

Member
Hi Ged,

How about something like this?

Van Rear Canopy.jpg

I made this prototype for a friend. It seals rain out along the roof and covers the gap between the door and van body providing some covered outside space. It rolls up pretty small and goes up in about 3 minutes. My friend likes to sleep with the doors open so we made this to keep his bed dry in case it rains during the night.

I'm curious if there is any interest in Sprinterland for a rear door canopy and if so I may make more.

Thanks.
 

irvingj

2015 RT SS Agile (3.0L)
Cool!! Any idea of what that might cost? When folded up for storage, how big?
 

grantwilson

FreedomVanGo
Hi Ged,

How about something like this?

View attachment 93036

I made this prototype for a friend. It seals rain out along the roof and covers the gap between the door and van body providing some covered outside space. It rolls up pretty small and goes up in about 3 minutes. My friend likes to sleep with the doors open so we made this to keep his bed dry in case it rains during the night.

I'm curious if there is any interest in Sprinterland for a rear door canopy and if so I may make more.

Thanks.
depending on cost im sure a number of people would be interested. Im more interested on how you get up there to install it
 

Ray_Sutton_150

New member
Hi Ged,

How about something like this?

View attachment 93036

I made this prototype for a friend. It seals rain out along the roof and covers the gap between the door and van body providing some covered outside space. It rolls up pretty small and goes up in about 3 minutes. My friend likes to sleep with the doors open so we made this to keep his bed dry in case it rains during the night.

I'm curious if there is any interest in Sprinterland for a rear door canopy and if so I may make more.

Thanks.
Depending on cost, I'd be interested.
 

Deepspoke

New member
I don't have the rear door cover but have purchased all of my window covers from Ripplewear and the fit and finish is perfect and would expect this to work as well.
 

TPLennon

Member
Wow, these comments sure are motivating. I’ll share some (too much?) additional info that I hope answers your questions.

My design goals for this canopy:
1) Looks good. Your van is awesome and the canopy should reflect that.
2) Installs quickly - less than 5 minutes.
3) Packs small. Space in your van is precious.

Do these goals make sense to you?

Your questions:
Packed size? I made a stuff sack that is roughly the size of a pillow case with a very thin pillow in it when the canopy is inside. There is a narrow pocket for the poles and a large pocket for the canopy that can be wrapped around the poles or left flat depending on where you want to store it. It is small enough that it has been tricky to find in the van at least once. Fabric choice affects packed size – more on that below.

Installation on roof? I’m 6’3” with correspondingly long arms and I can’t even come close to reaching the roof when standing on the ground so I needed a solution for a normal sized human that didn’t require using a ladder or a helicopter. Installation steps: 1) close rear doors, 2) insert poles, 3) pick up the canopy by the outside pole ends and place roof/rear edge on top of van (the polls act like extra long arms and strong magnets along the roof edge hold the canopy in place, 4) open doors, and 5) tighten side straps (clips attach under bumper sides).

Costs? I don’t have that figured out yet but I’m trying to keep costs down while providing an easy to use and good-looking product - as the design gets finalized I’ll be better able to estimate costs. The primary cost driver is fabric choice. The first prototype was made from rip stop nylon (backpacking tent material) which packs down small. The prototype in the picture is made from Sunbrella fabric (used in boat covers) and it is 4 to 5x the cost of the nylon (but is tougher/thicker and looks nicer in my opinion).

The current version of the canopy is roughly 80% along the path to being a finished product and needs some refinement before being complete. I’ve worked in new product design and production for over 20 years and am very particular/finicky about the final product.

Given my pickiness I do have one concern to share. The prototype shown works well at keeping the rain/garden hose spray (we tested it) out of the van. However, the van doors don’t extend very far behind the van so the canopy doesn't provide a lot of cover when standing on the ground behind the van. Given the height of these vans I think your feet or favorite camping chair would get wet if the wind was blowing rain around at all. A potential solution would be to attach more material that hangs down from the front edge (maybe using a zipper at the top for removal) and would extend to nearly the ground and cover the opening between the doors for privacy or weather protection. It could be rolled up or down as needed. In addition, it could also be staked out behind the van on adjustable length poles creating space to stand under in light rain or provide shade in sunny areas. Any reaction to that feature?

Sorry for the long post but I want to make sure the canopy design factors in your thoughts as much as possible. Please share your preferences and/or criticisms…it will all help improve the design.

Brianszero – Thanks for the Ripplewear link. I hadn’t seen that before and it certainly looks functional. My friend didn’t think it looked good enough to use on his van though.
 

Tribeof5

New member
I would be interested depending on the cost. I am only 5’9”, so install would be somewhat of a concern for me. I do like the idea of the rear panel which could roll up or extend out with poles.
 

MsNomer

Active member
I understand how you are putting it on, but how do you remove it?

The rear panel would provide privacy for a butt-naked rear shower, especially convenient if you have access to the van interior from the rear.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
………………………….……………….. A potential solution would be to attach more material that hangs down from the front edge (maybe using a zipper at the top for removal) and would extend to nearly the ground and cover the opening between the doors for privacy or weather protection. It could be rolled up or down as needed. In addition, it could also be staked out behind the van on adjustable length poles creating space to stand under in light rain or provide shade in sunny areas. Any reaction to that feature? …………………………………….
A rip stop nylon would be my choice, Sunbrella would be in my view an overkill. You could consider your potential solution of a removable extra rear fabric as a cover for an outdoor shower, for folks with transom shower (from knees up) this would be important.
 

TPLennon

Member
Thanks for the feedback – it’s very helpful.

Removal is easy: 1) close the doors, 2) pull it off the roof (the magnets just hold it in place until the side straps are tensioned during installation), 3) remove polls, roll it up, slide into the storage bag. As for user height limit – I thought I had my wife who is 5’7” install it but she doesn’t remember so I’ll have her try the next version.

It will likely be a while before I can make the next model. My friend will be on an extended trip with his van…:frown:

Any of you that live close to Seattle want to be a beta tester?
 

TPLennon

Member
Newfisher - great. My in-laws live in Salem so I'd be happy to come your way to shorten the drive. I'll post when the next version is ready. Thanks.
 

bicyclist

New member
The TPLennon design looks far superior to the Ripplewear design to me. It will shed water during a rain whereas rainwater will collect on top of the Ripplewear design until it collapses. I'm sure Transit owners such as myself would also be interested.
 

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