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How to build a tropical roof for caravan?

jennb
New Contributor

How to build a tropical roof for caravan?

Hi... I live in my caran, to which I have attached a permanent wooden annexe. I want to put a tropical roof over my caravan and attach it to the existing roof of the annexe. I would like something similar to the photos. I would prefer to attach a metal frame to the caravan itself as well as to the annexe roof, with ridge capping finishing off the join... but I'm not sure how it would be attached to the van... I would appreciate any advice... Thank you

IMG_20220501_201312.jpg

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to build a tropical roof for caravan?

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @jennb. It's wonderful to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about installing a flyover/tropical roof.
 

Is the caravan located on your private land? If it's in a holiday park, then there can be several rules and restrictions surrounding the installation of a tropical roof, so it's best to check with the park's management on any requirements. Regardless, the structure is essentially a giant sail and needs to be adequately secured to not blow away. 

 

From what I can gather, a custom frame is constructed to fit the shape of your caravan roof whilst providing a flat plane to secure the sheets onto. The tropical roof frame is bolted or screwed into the frame of the caravan.

 

Another option might be to attach one side to the annex and install posts on the other side of the caravan to connect onto. The frame you then construct between the two mounting points will heavily depend on the type of sheeting you'll use for the roof.

 

I've put a rendering together below to illustrate. Let me also mention a few of our caravan enthusiasts @Peggers, @twocutekelpies and @JudithW to see if they have any thoughts.  

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Mitchell
 

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Re: How to build a tropical roof for caravan?

Thank you. The van is on private land. I am really hoping for the tubular steel frame option. I have colourblind for the roofing already. It's just how the metal frame attached to the top of the van, like in this photo. ... that I'm not sure about, and so far Google has not been any help...lol

MitchellMc
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to build a tropical roof for caravan?

Do you know anyone with a welder @jennb? If so, you could have them weld oval flanges onto the end of your tubular steel standoffs. From what I've seen, the standoffs are then screwed through the caravan's roof skin into the timber wall framework beneath.

 

Mitchell

 

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Re: How to build a tropical roof for caravan?

Thank you !... That's what I needed to know... Just how it would attach to the van.... Now I just need to work out where the timber frame is so we can measure...  I take it they all have wooden frames?

EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: How to build a tropical roof for caravan?

Hello @jennb

 

It's great that you've received excellent advice from my colleague @MitchellMc. Before you start measuring and looking at timber, I suggest visiting your local council for the rules and regulations for putting a roof over your caravan. If you look carefully at your photo you'll notice that the entire roof frame is made of metal and has been welded together making it very rigid. It is then attached to the roof of the caravan, technically making it part of the caravan and not the permanent housing structure. 

 

It's not that you can't put on a tropical roof, it just falls under a different set of rules. Some states for example consider a roof over a vehicle as a carport and must therefore have engineering drawings and be built according to code. This is not only for your safety but for those around you as well, as my colleague mentioned you don't want this blowing away in high wind. 

 

Another option is to put in a pergola on the condition that it will be able to cover your entire caravan. These structures all come with technical information on their structure and assembly. It will make submitting plans to the local council much easier. 

 

If you have any other questions we can help with, please let us know. 

 

Eric

 

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