Presto88 it’s a tough job isn’t it? I have to admit that I wish I had them put on with my original build. I had to pull out all kinds of tricks. Magnets, duct tape, angle grinder. I should have just taken the whole top off, but of course we had a trip to go on...I attached the awning mounts that I bought from John to my J30 today. I went through and removed all of the bolts that hold the J30 to the Jeep, and then went about trying to figure out how to lift the top up high enough to be able to...um... "mount" the mounts. Working alone it quickly became obvious that I wasn't going to be able to lift the top and wedge some sort of support under it to keep it off the frame. I had already drilled the holes for the mounts and with a lamp I was able to see the holes from the front seat of my Jeep. With the use of some rachet extenders, a swivel joint, and a deep socket, I was able to attach the mount to the top without having to raise the top off of the Jeep! It took a bit of work, but they are on there now and I'm happy! I WILL have to get help to mount the awning onto the brackets though. That thing is heavier than I thought it would be.
My biggest piece of advice to anyone else doing it is to make sure the mounting holes in the stainless bracket are de-burred. I forced the bolts through, not thinking much of it. I gunked up my threads on one bolt. Lock nut started getting tight midway through. I tried to force it, and then it jammed up. Couldn’t back it out. So then I had a loose bolt. Had to drill it out, buy a new bolt, and start over. Yes, there was some swearing involved.
It’s great now though. I made some brackets that are affixed to the awning and slide down over the j30 brackets. I can remove the awning by loosening up a few bolts and just lifting it off. Goes on just as simple. The goal eventually is to be able to leave our awning and room setup at camp and drive away. Need to find some sturdy poles though.