Here are some hints to help you get your van ready to get the best out of your new "Aifa" awning.  

1. If your door hook currently holds the door fully open, move the anchor (or add another) to hold the door half open so the door doesn't interfere with the awning. If you don't want to do that, an easy solution is to cut a piece of wire coathanger with a right angled piece about a cm long at each end. It'll just slip into the existing door hooks and hold the door open at 90 degrees.

2. If you have any sailtrack at all, make sure it's clean. Check inside for any obstructions eg bugs, nests, debris and give the edges where the awning will slide a good wipedown. I wouldn't suggest you use anything abrasive or caustic which might later harm the material.

awn handles3. What does the roof handle look like? Our van is 2000 so I changed the rather clunky original roof handle for something sleeker so the awning slides over it without snagging. The newer vans look to have more streamlined handles already.

rclip44.  You'll need a method of securing the fibreglass rods in the tracks both when in use and when in transit. The simplest is to drill a 3mm hole right at the very bottom end of each track and another right at the tip of the front roof track. A 65mm * 3mm, "R" clip as shown will fit nicely and secure the rods in place both when in use and when travelling.

Alternatively, a 50 mm barrel bolt as shown can also be used. Although a bit fiddlier to install, it's a slightly better option for frail or very young fingers. Use 3 rivets, silicon and file down the corner that inevitably will protrude where you don't want it! If you go with the bolt, you'll also need something at the top end of the front roof to keep the rod in place during transit. A 65mm * 3mm R clip is perfect for this and finger strength isn't an issue here because it doesn't need to be moved to use the awning.

The big question is - Does your van have sail track?

If not, you're going to need to fit some. If you do have track, you probably have the standard Avan-supplied one and a half tracks. No worries. We have 2 solutions: one involves extending the half track the full length of the roof - this is our preferred option and a relatively easy job (don't worry, our solution doesn't impede your ability to keep using the avan canvas annex);  the other is "the flapover" which requires no van mods. Here is a downloadable file containing detailed instructions for installing or extending sailtracks - Installing Sailtracks.  Either way, we have you covered!