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Old 06-08-2010, 12:09 PM   #1
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Awning advice

I'd like some of your expertise on dealing with my manual A&E awning, specifically, when to retract it because of wind. I have one of those single straps that goes all the way across the front edge of the awning and is secured on each end by stakes in the ground, with a spring on one end. I keep one end tilted down for water runoff. However, I have become very paranoid about being away from the camper when a thunderstorm might come up. Even when I am in attendance, I'm not sure how much wind is too much. Also, I wonder how much it helps - if at all - to lower the awning without actually rolling it up. If I hear thunder in the middle of the night, should I get up and retract the awning and put away all my chairs and other stuff I don't want getting wet? I would really appreciate some guidelines from you guys who have a lot of experience with such things.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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I put my awning in any time there is a hint of high wind. The awning turns into a virtual parachute when the wind gets under it and putting it in protects it from damage. Tie downs make a difference, but I tend to be cautious, especially at night.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:58 PM   #3
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On our last rig we also had the manual awning. I would stake each end to the ground using anchors, springs and chinch straps. I also would put Awning De-flappers (2 per side) on to keep the fabric from flapping.

One other trick I saw another RVr do in a park one time is on the upper collapsible bar, he drilled a hole through the two bars and installed a hitch pin to keep them from collapsing. Most of the time when the wind comes up it isn't the initial flapping that causes damage it's those arms collapsing and allowing slack in the fabric which then allows the fabric to "whip" harder.

Doing this all would only take me about 10 minutes to set up but I could leave my rig even at the coast with complete confidence that it would be safe. We saw VERY high winds during storms and never a problem with it secured this way.

We now have the automatic awning and I wished I still had my old manual one so that I could leave it out in bad weather and not worry about it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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NWJeper: The collapsing bars you are talking about, I'm assuming are what I call the rafter, which slides back and forth and has a knob that is tightened to keep it in place. I can see how that knob might loosen with vibration from the wind, thus allowing the rafter to get shorter and put more slack in the fabric. Are we talking about the same part? I am sure that at the very least I am going to add another deflapper to each side, where I currently have only one per side. Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:55 PM   #5
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Mjones, Yes the rafter bars. Even though you can reef down on those knobs, a strong wind can still colapse them. Putting a small hitch pin through those keeps them from doing that and keeps the awning tight.

Like I said above, using those items kept my awing safe for years. We have camped out on the coast during some really bad storms and never a problem. Nice to know that at least the stuff under you awning will stay dry and you can come and go from your rig and stay out of the rain while doing so.
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #6
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Excellent. Thanks a lot for your help.
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