We are back in sandstone paradise, but as before, paradise is a little soggy. I anticipated that there might be some rain (turned out to be a LOT) when we were back in Fontainebleau, so we devised a plan for making camping a little more comfortable. While still in Fixin we stopped by the Brico Depot, France's Home Depot, and for a little over $13 we built an awning for the Goose. Using some two meter PVC piping, 45 degree joints, some basic hardware, a few bungees, a cheap tarp and some magnets, we constructed a quick setup/breakdown system that utilizes the jack stand points on the van.
The PVC pipes fit into the jack points and attach to the tarp with wing nuts. The end of the tarp "attached" to the van has ducted taped neodymium iron boron magnets every 30 centimeters. Then we use the two remaining rivets to run bungees to random points on the top of van and two guide lines borrowed from our tent and stake them into the ground.
So far the system has held up well in three storms; the magnets detaching only once in a very windy storm. In that case we made the guide lines a little less taught and the magnets stayed for the remainder of the winds. While the whole side of the van is not covered, the area by the sliding door stays dry and makes life on rainy days much more enjoyable. It also sure as hell beats buying a $1000 Fiama awning….
PS - We are going Tarantino nonlinear for this post. We stopped in Geneva before returning to France, stay tuned.