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Old 04-26-2019, 09:33 AM   #1
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Awning in or Out?

I'm rather cautious with the use of my awning because I've seen a couple of cases of severe wind damage on rigs when owners left their awnings extended and weren't there when the wind came up. I've seen awnings left extended most of the time, I've seen them hardly used at all, and I've seen everything in between. I tend to keeping it retracted most of the time, especially when there's any breeze blowing. Am I being overly cautious? How/when do you extend your awning? I'm curious to learn if there's a preference among users of this forum. Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:36 AM   #2
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we use our a LOT in the desert, even in moderate winds. I have a tie down system I use and we can keep it up when most are taking theirs down. I also park with that side of the trailer downwind. That being said I rarely leave it down at night or when we leave for an extended ride. Some manufacturers offer a wind sensor option and it works well.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:39 AM   #3
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You'll find that everyone kinda does their own thing. In-Out-Tied down. I personally put it in if we're leaving for awhile or at night. If it's gets really windy I'll put it in or If I see storms are forecast, I'll watch weather and put in as needed. I too have seen dumpsters full of destroyed awnings and canopy's at CG's over the years. Too expensive to take a chance...that's just me.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:45 AM   #4
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Ours is out all the time, except if high winds are expected.
One thing I learned is that if you tilt it down both sides, it gets way more stiff against the winds.
So now if we are leaving the campsite and forecast is not saying high winds but I suspect it is wrong, I tilt it down both sides.... That also helps with rain...
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:51 AM   #5
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Being someone who has lost one... use caution!

The one that was lost was the old style, pull down then raise support arms. I had even tied it down... Then came a freak and massive thunder storm while we were away from the camper. So much water came down so fast that it snapped the roller! Water had gather even though I had it lower (slightly) on one side.
This storm was so strong that some of the tent campers in the area were literally washed down the hill. CRAZY!

Now I have an electric extend and retract that has a spring mechanism in the case of too much water. That said I am still careful to this day of water and wind with the awning out... I rarely leave the camper with it extended but will go the night if no storms are called for.
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Old 04-26-2019, 09:52 AM   #6
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I also have a awning hold down system that allows me to leave out up to around 35 mph winds. If I know storms are in the area then I will put in. Most times I will put in when we leave for part of the day just in case weather man misses his mark, which is most of the time Later RJD
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:00 AM   #7
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I also have a awning hold down system that allows me to leave out up to around 35 mph winds. If I know storms are in the area then I will put in. Most times I will put in when we leave for part of the day just in case weather man misses his mark, which is most of the time Later RJD
What RJ said ^^^^^

We use tie-downs when we are around the campground (although I think 35 mph wind is a little high), but if we are leaving I'll put it in. Our little white dog likes to have it deployed if she has to go outside to pee in the rain.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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We do not use ours a lot. Error to the side of caution.

During our first year in the fifth wheel we saw a destroyed awning near most of the dumpsters. That influenced me.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:29 AM   #9
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We have the awning tie down brackets and poles that were being sold a few years ago by two forum members, Old Coot and Turbs. Both seem to have sadly left the forum.

With the brackets and the poles for stability, we can leave our awning out all weekend in most cases. Yes you need to use caution if a storm comes through but it allows us to maintain cover across the front of our R/V.

Do a forum search on awning brackets and poles and you will have days of reading.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:43 AM   #10
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I've seen them ripped away by the wind too many times out here in the wild, wild west.

My awning only goes out if I'm using it.

It gets put in at night or if I leave the campsite...even for a bike ride around the park on a clear sunny day.

I almost lost the awning on my previous camper while bike riding around the campground at St. Vrain State Park in Longmont, Colorado.

Was clear on the other side of the park when a freak wind blew through.

Just barely got back to the TT in time before it almost flipped over the top.

Ironically, that was the first of two wind events at that campground while I was there...both July 4th. weekends one year apart.

The other took out just about every slide topper and any awning that was left extended in the entire park...

But that is another story...

Only takes one game of chance for me to learn my lesson...
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:55 AM   #11
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Ours is only out when we are at the RV, need shade, and it's not too windy. With the new electric ones it is easy and fast to extend/retract. Why take a chance.
We have friends who use the poles and tie downs and leave the awning out all the time whether they are there or not. To date, they have lost four awnings, even using poles.
The older, manual awnings were much easier to tie down and use anti flap devices. When we had one we more likely to leave the awning out. The new electric models fabric still flaps even when using poles. More susceptible to tears.
Do what you think is best for you.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:02 AM   #12
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Mine is out 24/7 for four months. Anchored down to my deck. I hang too much stuff off it to be putting it in and out. Also rolling it up requires me to move my steps back an forth. If the wind takes it I get a new one. After all
to the best of my knowledge, mine is 16 years old. I could use a new one!
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:21 AM   #13
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Tie downs or not. When ever away its best to put it up. Its easier to put up and then back out. Then it is to come back and find it all bent up. Only takes a few minutes.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:50 AM   #14
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My old Class A had the mechanical awning which seem much more durable and we left it out almost all the time unless it was real bad.

The new TT has the electric and we only put it out while we are using it. At least it is easy to bring in and out
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:57 AM   #15
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Ours is out only when we are there and using it.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:01 PM   #16
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When away we roll it in. At night I normally bring it in 1/2 leaving a little covered area for outside chairs, table.... Light sleeper.... If I hear a storm roll in I will bring it in.

Agree it is very much best to play it safe than sorry. Had wind gust hit us suddenly once so fast that I couldnt get it rolled up . The way it points upward when trying to roll it in caught the wind even worse and i thought it was going to bend over the top.
I litterally hung from the roller end hoding it down until the wind subsided enough to get it in. It can happen fast!
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:25 PM   #17
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[...] I almost lost the awning on my previous camper while bike riding around the campground at St. Vrain State Park in Longmont, Colorado. [...]
That's about 5 miles from my house. It gets very windy in Colorado. People often think of CO as forests, mountains, and John Denver country. Most of it is actually high plains desert (and not terribly pretty country). Back in my earlier days, I lost two tents to massive wind storms ... one an REI model with aluminum poles. It gets SUPER windy here.

We spend most of our camping in the mountains among pine forests. But, we still bring in our awning at night and when we leave camp. It's so easy to do with the electric motor, I'm not sure why I'd leave it out.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:29 PM   #18
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I now put mine in if any wind or away from camp. Three years ago, with tied down awning wind came up while I was sitting under it. Gust pulled legs apart. Three weeks later in Oregon, having coffee inside and felt the wind ramping up (also tied down awning), and slam legs pulled apart and bent. Insurance bought me a new awning. Good luck
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:31 PM   #19
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I've seen 5 minute wind storm clear out a campground of tents, popup shelters that were not staked down and awnings. Beautiful skies, No forecast for storms or high wind and BAM, Gusts came up. I got my awning in just in time as I was sitting under it. It was a manual.

Looked like a war zone. multiple campers with their manual awning flipped over their roof and I'm guessing roof damage from the hardware slamming the rubber roof. So many Popup awnings were twisted up that they had a pile by the dumpster later that night.

For me, It's easy. Out when we are using it, in when we are not. Even with an electric now, no reward, some risk makes it an easy call for us.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:42 PM   #20
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That's about 5 miles from my house. It gets very windy in Colorado. People often think of CO as forests, mountains, and John Denver country. Most of it is actually high plains desert (and not terribly pretty country). Back in my earlier days, I lost two tents to massive wind storms ... one an REI model with aluminum poles. It gets SUPER windy here.

We spend most of our camping in the mountains among pine forests. But, we still bring in our awning at night and when we leave camp. It's so easy to do with the electric motor, I'm not sure why I'd leave it out.
St. Vrain was a 20 minute drive from my old house in Thornton...

Was the go to campground when we wanted to stay close to home.
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