Awning Installations

We get a few questions about how to install awnings on Gamiviti racks, so this page is to help answer those most frequently asked questions, as well as provide a little more how-to on the process.    We'll divide this into three sections; angle brackets, awning receivers, and Megabrackets.

Angle Brackets 

A lot of awnings are going to come with some type of bracket.   Generally these will bolt to your awning on one side, and bolt to your rack on the other... pretty straight forward, right?   Here are some tips:

  • Remember the plates of your Gamiviti rack are about 3/8" below the top or bottom surface of the rim of the rack. So what you bolt directly to this will not freely run out over the edge of the rack, it will hit the edge then run up or down at an angle. To overcome this, you need to put some type of spacer between your bracket and the rack plate, which may require longer bolts. Yes, we stock the spacers and the bolts... if you need some just ask.

  • Remember one of the unique attributes of your Gamiviti rack is that in can often run both ways- and the same holds true for your awning. Most of our awning installs put the bracket below the top surface of the rack, then angling up, putting the awning even with the side of the rack. We do this to keep the top of the rack clean, for other gear including roof top tents.

awning receivers

If you made the choice to upgrade to awning receivers, great job.   You already read about the benefits on the Roof Rack Receivers page, so you know once installed you'll have an easy to use quick-release system.   Same points apply as the angle brackets:

  • Use the spacers and longer bolts that came with your receivers to space out the receiver side of the assembly, which provides clearance for the outer edge of the receiver. This allows the bracket to sit nice and level with the rack. The spacer goes between the rack plate and the plate of the bracket, see the picture below.

  • On roof channel racks we recommend putting these below the rack, unless you are super tall (or your vehicle is really short) in which case you are looking for maximum height. On rain gutter racks, it’s easier to install these on top of the rack, although possible to also install below by shifting the tower to one side of the plate, and/or possibly drilling an additional hole through the plate to one side.

  • If running three brackets, you can position one of them (usually the middle) a tiny bit in our out compared to the other two, so instead of a perfectly straight line along the rack there is a slight curve to it. This will put the awning under a little load when you have the pins installed, which helps with less rattle.

  • Some folks have put little bands on the loops of the snap rings so they don't jiggle, others always run the "loops down" so they are not against anything. And some people don't hear a thing... seems each truck and setup is a little unique, so use these tips if you need it, but don't be afraid to try it without.

  • Another trick to reduce rattles is to run the strap around the cover of the awning also around the Expo bar, thereby securing the awning to the rack with the strap- this will prevent the awning from shaking up and down.

mega brackets

These are generally only used with the Alu Cab Shadow, at least until someone else comes along to offer something similar.    Here are some tips for how to install this monster awning..

  • This is not easy. It's heavy, can be confusing, often frustrating. If you are someone who doesn't enjoy these projects, this would be a good one to invite your handy buddy over to help with, or consider having a shop install. Figure at least 2 hours on this for 2 guys who know what they're doing.

  • The bracket and the awning are the same height, which means you need to use the spacers between the bracket and plate of the rack. This is so the awning actually rests on the rack, to put some of the load across the rack while in transit.

  • Start by bolting up the rear bracket to the awning, taking special care to see which side of the awning is up- it's confusion, so remember if you got a driver's side or a passenger side.

  • Use a punch to start your holes through the cover, then a drill to open them up. Use the provided thick spacer washers between the bracket and cover, to fill the gap left by the main awning housing.

  • On the rear bracket, you should use as many bolts possible to attach the bracket to the rack, being sure to use those spacers between them. You want them to be as married as possible.

  • It's possible to shift the bracket "one slot back" if you want... this puts the entire awning back about 1.5", which seems to look a little better to some. If you do this, you can also drill a hole through the plate to add a bolt closer to the back rim of the rack.

  • It's also ok to share hardware with the rack tower, having one single bolt run through the bracket, spacer, rack plate, and roof tower. If you have an additional cross member, combine that with one of the bracket bolts also.

On the forward tower, it's less critical you use as much hardware- generally 4 into the rack and 4 into the awning is more than sufficient.    Also note that some drilling through the awning may be required, is the hole spacing is different between roof racks, and also which rack plate you are using for the front tower.

  • Again make sure you use spacers between the bracket and roof rack plate.

  • Drill from the awning, using one of the existing holes through the cover then through the bracket.