Make a caravan-channel opening tool

Words and photography: Burgert Turnbull

The aluminium channel extrusion surrounding your caravan is useful, especially for mounting your tent fabric. But sometimes there just aren’t enough openings in the channel for all your needs – and we’ve got the solution.

A picture is worth a thousand words – so one glance at the photo will tell you exactly what I mean by ‘channel tool’. The diagram is also pretty self-explanatory: I use this simple piece of equipment for making entry points into the channel surrounding my caravan.
Now, I can safely assume that I’m not the only caravaner who has ever needed to make at least one extra opening on the channel, specifically at the back of the caravan – perhaps for a washing line. I needed to make two extra openings in the channel on either side of my Sprite Tourer’s tent, because no provision had been made to thread the side walls from the top down. Once you’ve made your own tool, doing this extremely simple.

Making your channel tool
Cut a flat bar of mild steel or 
aluminium, 100 mm long by 60 mm wide 
by 10 mm thick. Now clamp the metal bar in a vice and, using a hacksaw, cut a groove 8 mm deep by 3 mm wide along the middle of the top edge of the bar.

Putting it to use
Right, so now you’ve made your new tool – simple as that! The next step is even easier. Insert your new tool over one edge of the channel and bend it out just enough so that your tent sides are able to slide in and out, without catching or using excessive force. See, it’s not necessary to get your caravan outlet to do it all for you!

This article appeared in the June 2013 issue.

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