The Lowdown on Camper Van Awnings - Part II (Shady Boy)

In The Lowdown on Camper Van Awnings - Part I, we covered Fiammas, the model we ended up buying for our VW van.

A second awning option we considered was the Shady Boy brand, which is manufactured by Equinox Sunshine Products Ltd.

Equinox, which is located in a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the baby of Wolfgang Vogt.

Vogt, who has been in business for over 12 years, told me in an email that his lightweight awnings come in four colours (burgundy, sky blue, mountain blue and silver), take only 30 minutes to install, and can be mounted on any camper van.

When fully deployed, the Shady Boy is 10 ft wide and pulls out 6 ft deep.

The purchase price from Equinox is $258 USD plus options, and Vogt will ship to locations in the US and Canada.

In order to better service the US market, Vogt has also teamed up with Country Homes Campers (CHC) for distribution and technical support.

Salim Miro from CHC told me in an email that their base price for the Shady Boy awning is $293 USD, plus another $39 – $45 for shipping and handling, depending on the location.

Because its made of special reflective material, the silver awning is an additional $12. Miro also said that many customers order extra poles, which cost $35.

(Note: Miro said that their $293 base price is inclusive of the stainless steel mounting brackets, whereas the $258 price quoted by Equinox is not).

Country Homes Campers has, in turn, lined up two garages in California that will install the awning.

The first, the Volks Café, has its shop in Santa Cruz.

It’s the garage that Canadians Sharon and Gerry Channer used to service their VW van prior to, and after, their epic three year road trip to South America that we profiled in November.

The second garage is Personalized Vans and Trucks located in San Jose.

Because Shady Boy Awnings are so light – less than 15 pounds – it is natural to wonder how they stand up in heavy winds, such as those found in La Ventana on the Baja, the kite-surfing capital of Mexico.

But the chatter at various online forums indicates that there are a lot of satisfied Shady Boy customers out there.

In upcoming entries, we will cover other awning options.

Photo #1: Shady Boy Awning courtesy/copyright © 2008 Country Homes Campers