Extend awning mounts with the Offtrax AWN-XTENDA

Install a 270-degree awning on your canopy thanks to this ingenious design

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Since the advent of the 270-degree awning, owners of 4WDs with fibreglass or plastic canopies have been unable to install one due to the crossbars being too close together.

The Offtrax AWN-XTENDA solves this problem, and for only $445 it is a cheap solution.

On fibreglass or ARB plastic style canopies, most crossbars or load bars have a maximum spacing of 950mm due to the short roof rails or extrusion tracks. Generally, the minimum requirement of a 270-degree awning with a length of 2500mm requires mounting brackets to be 1200mm apart.

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“I came up with the design on the AWN-XTENDA because I was told ‘you can’t fit a 270-deg awning to the fibreglass canopy on my ute’ and ‘can't’ isn’t a word in my vocabulary,” said Offtrax owner, Steven Van Staden.

Steven looked at installing a platform rack that would add more than $1400 to the build and possibly exceed the load capacity of the canopy, which wasn’t viable. Someone even suggested he support the awning on the canopy crossbar and the cab of the ute, and then use some sort of rubber engine mount to take up the flex between the canopy and the cab.

As Steve has been designing and manufacturing award-winning camper trailers in Queensland, his mind started ticking. And that’s how the AWN-XTENDA was born.

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The AWN-XTENDA provides the required support by spreading the load as the awning mount bracket fixing points are extended out to approximately 1350mm. The XTENDA rail attaches to the crossbars via two crossbar mounts and can be fitted to crossbars from Rhino, Thule, Rola, Front Runner and more.

The crossbar mounts bolt on to the multiple fixing slots on the XTENDA rail, to match up with the crossbar spacing on the canopy. The crossbar mounts are then bolted to the “T” slot on the crossbar/load bar such as Front Runner or Alu Cab, or fixed to the crossbars using U-bolts such as the Rhino U-bolt (Part #S280/RUBK/MUBK) for crossbars that don’t have a “T” slot.

The rail extension is manufactured using G350 steel, and the two crossbar mounts are 3mm steel CNC-folded that are fully adjustable to crossbar spacings (from 600mm to 1150mm).

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The support points are extended out to around 1350mm on an awning extrusion. All parts are laser-cut, CNC-folded, then primed and powder-coated, and the complete product weighs 8kg. The bolts, nuts and washers are 316 stainless.

The AWN-XTENDA is not limited to canopies, as many utes and other SUVs with roof rails use crossbars that can only be spaced out by a metre or so, which is under the required minimum of 1.2m for the larger, popular 270-degree awnings.

One thing Steven highly recommends is installing the internal support frame or braces on the fibreglass or ABS plastic style-canopies if they are available.

“Some canopies would have the structural integrity and don’t require the internal support frames, but if they are available, we advise to install before fitting the awning to the AWN-XTENDA,” he said.

The AWN-EXTNDA can be purchased directly from Offtrax.

RRP: $445

Glenn Marshall


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