The thing about my Conchita – without an awning you’re either inside – or completely out. There’s no transitory area, like the covered porch of a house, an in-between area that has some shelter from the elements, but you still feel like you are outside.
And so, my search for something “awning-like”.
After looking at SUV tents, like Napiers SUV Tent as being too, I don’t know “tent-like”:
…I was searching for something more open, like an awning without the weight or cost – or even permanence. Something that shades, but is inviting to neighbors, that says, ‘Come, take rest beneath my shade.’
Which led me to KingCamp’s COMPASS Outdoor Car Canopy Tent:
I bought this off of Amazon, which from the description and images of the item, I felt I could make it work with my Casita.
It comes in a nice grey bag:
Unfurled, the canopy is quite a bit larger than what I thought it would be.
From what I could see on the photos on Amazon, it is usually attached with the short side towards the SUV hatch back, and extends the full length outwards. What I wanted to do was have the long end against the side of Conchita la Casita, only extending outwards – like an awning, but more voluminous.
One of the poles was actually damaged – the stretchy cord in the center of the pole was cut, so I had some segments that were loose, and not attached to the pole it was from.
I was able to figure out I could just attach them, and extend the poles the full length. The stretchy cord was really just to keep the poles together, not really interfering with the functionality other than being a nuisance to figure out where the segments go.
I almost sent this item back, but seeing the canopy go up, and with an upcoming trip to Moab, I thought that it’s just a little more trouble to set up. I was annoyed that the quality seemed diminished by the cord being cut, but I thought that the fit and finish of the canopy material, the pockets where the pole ends go, and the bungie cord were of high quality.
I can live with the poles not being attached by the center cording, I thought. And dealing with another return (I was sending something else back to Amazon that arrived broken) was something I preferred not to deal with.
There’s something about tent canopies – how the soar upwards like the roof of a church, billowing with a breeze. And while the poles held the ends up fine in my garage, I could see how they might collapse from something other than a completely windless day. But since I planned on boondocking for most of Conchita’s journeys, I could add some extra cording to steady the poles with ends staked to the ground for support.
The long side is just about perfect for a 13′ Casita, fitting nearly exactly to the side, and the ridge above the Casita door makes for an edge to rest the corresponding edge of the canopy. Secure the bungie on my rear trailer hitch structure, and the other side on the trailer tongue secures the side next to the Casita.
The rubber ending poles basically just stand one end on the ground – supporting the ends that extend out.
I bought some 12′ tie downs that I could ratchet down to add additional support to the poles:
I think with these the canopy could actually take a bit of wind, but really I think you’d want to remove the canopy in anything too windy.
Tonight it rained on my house in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, but standing under the canopy next to Conchita la Casita it was nice and dry.
This, in my opinion, is a great addition to a 13′ Casita, and probably the larger ones as well. Recommended!
Other items considered:
- $369.99 – Napier SUV Tent