Awnings anyone? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2016, 11:07 AM   #15
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A free standing shelter has a purpose, but its no substitute for an awning.
The Fiama which is offered as Scamp OEM, is certainly one of the easiest to operate, and is favored by many who consider it to be the best in the industry.
I like my Catalina which was half the price and had a bit of a learning curve to operate, but alas it is no longer in production.
Unlike a free standing shelter an awning is a true extension of the trailer and provides shade and shelter always at hand taking only moments to extend or stow. Like having an attached covered patio or porch instead of a shed.
We feel exposed without our awning when lounging around our campsite or fixing lunch outside. It provides shelter from rain, sun and even bird droppings.
You will soon forget the expense when you experience the convenience and comfort provided by an attached awning.
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:17 AM   #16
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I agree with Floyd! I love my awning. I purposely bought and put on the same awning that Casita uses. It's a case awning, easily deployed and stowed by one person. I use it mostly for shade. I HATE schlepping stuff out of the garage, carport and garden shed. EZ-Ups aren't... easy to put up by one person. I have two and really dislike both of them. Don't ask me about totes, I'll tell you I dislike those too! For the same exact reason. Camping should be about fun and not about how long it takes you to pack up to go. YMMV
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Old 10-29-2016, 11:54 AM   #17
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The Fiamma 45 S awning (10 ft. length) weighs about 51 Lbs., not counting mounting brackets, but those should be negligible (less than 5 Lbs.)

FWIW, I removed mine and like the trailer much better without it. Some folks swear by them, others swear at them. I don't miss mine at all. I use a Keder welt slide in awning if I'm only setting up for a night, otherwise I use my Clam screen room.

Weighting down the stand-alone canopy wouldn't require you to pack all that extra weight. Just stake it down good or bring some empty plastic buckets and fill them with water when you get where you're going.

First pic is the 7 ft. Keder rail I installed. The second and third ones show the 17SD without awning. I think it definitely looks more streamlined and cleaner without it. YMMV

The Fiamma awnings, like pretty much most awnings I've seen, were designed to be mounted to a vertical flush side wall, (like most stick-built trailers,) and were never designed to be mounted to a curved surface, (like most F/G trailers.).

My reason for removing it was not based on wind drag or aerodynamics. I just didn't like the gap between the trailer and the awning. It made little sense to have an awning and still have rainwater run down the side of your trailer, making anything near to the trailer soaking wet. Why bother? I have always thought that the mounting brackets were ill-designed and poorly planned for having them be functionally useful with these awnings for anything except sun shade on rounded fiberglass trailers. Understand that I don't have a problem with the Fiamma awning, just with the useless "afterthought" brackets they choose to mount it with. If you're looking just for sun shade, I suppose that they would suffice for that purpose. I happen to live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains more often than not. (It's not called the "Evergreen State" because of having a dry climate.) What good is an awning in the NW if it doesn't provide rain shelter? I also tried several various "cures" for sealing the gap, as many on here have also done, but then only to find that it created a nasty mess of dirt, tree debris and who-knows-what that collected in the trough created by the sealing material in the gap. Needless to say, it was a major pain to clean, especially around those aforementioned crummy mounting brackets, and I soon grew tired of that ordeal.

As an aside, since it I removed it, I really do like the looks and symmetry of the trailer's lines much better without it. As I mentioned above, I installed a 7 ft Keder slide in rail for a bag awning or a rope and pole awning for very short trips, (or to occasionally use in small campsites where there is little room,) and we normally use our Clam screen tent for times when we are going to be set up for a few days or longer. Incidentally, the slide-in Keder awning doesn't allow rain to run down the side of the trailer because it is mounted directly (and tightly) to the trailer shell. No gaps = no leaks.

As also mentioned earlier, there are two basic factions to the awning debate, those who like them, and those who don't like them. Purely a personal choice, but for me - I like it better without it. YMMV
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:14 PM   #18
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Escape seems to be able to incorporate an awning that doesn't have a gap. It's easy in and easy out. See pics.
Even easier now that they are using a power awning that closes itself if it gets windy enough.
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Awning strap 2.jpg   Awning half open.jpg  

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Old 10-29-2016, 12:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
The Fiamma 45 S awning (10 ft. length) weighs about 51 Lbs., not counting mounting brackets, but those should be negligible (less than 5 Lbs.)

FWIW, I removed mine and like the trailer much better without it. Some folks swear by them, others swear at them. I don't miss mine at all. I use a Keder welt slide in awning if I'm only setting up for a night, otherwise I use my Clam screen room.

Weighting down the stand-alone canopy wouldn't require you to pack all that extra weight. Just stake it down good or bring some empty plastic buckets and fill them with water when you get where you're going.

First pic is the 7 ft. Keder rail I installed. The second and third ones show the 17SD without awning. I think it definitely looks more streamlined and cleaner without it. YMMV

The Fiamma awnings, like pretty much most awnings I've seen, were designed to be mounted to a vertical flush side wall, (like most stick-built trailers,) and were never designed to be mounted to a curved surface, (like most F/G trailers.).

My reason for removing it was not based on wind drag or aerodynamics. I just didn't like the gap between the trailer and the awning. It made little sense to have an awning and still have rainwater run down the side of your trailer, making anything near to the trailer soaking wet. Why bother? I have always thought that the mounting brackets were ill-designed and poorly planned for having them be functionally useful with these awnings for anything except sun shade on rounded fiberglass trailers. Understand that I don't have a problem with the Fiamma awning, just with the useless "afterthought" brackets they choose to mount it with. If you're looking just for sun shade, I suppose that they would suffice for that purpose. I happen to live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains more often than not. (It's not called the "Evergreen State" because of having a dry climate.) What good is an awning in the NW if it doesn't provide rain shelter? I also tried several various "cures" for sealing the gap, as many on here have also done, but then only to find that it created a nasty mess of dirt, tree debris and who-knows-what that collected in the trough created by the sealing material in the gap. Needless to say, it was a major pain to clean, especially around those aforementioned crummy mounting brackets, and I soon grew tired of that ordeal.

As an aside, since it I removed it, I really do like the looks and symmetry of the trailer's lines much better without it. As I mentioned above, I installed a 7 ft Keder slide in rail for a bag awning or a rope and pole awning for very short trips, (or to occasionally use in small campsites where there is little room,) and we normally use our Clam screen tent for times when we are going to be set up for a few days or longer. Incidentally, the slide-in Keder awning doesn't allow rain to run down the side of the trailer because it is mounted directly (and tightly) to the trailer shell. No gaps = no leaks.

As also mentioned earlier, there are two basic factions to the awning debate, those who like them, and those who don't like them. Purely a personal choice, but for me - I like it better without it. YMMV
It cost me 97 cents to solve the gap issue on my factory awning 12 years ago.
A bag awning is a great choice as well, cheaper, no gap, and screen room adaptable, but more complex to deploy and stow and it must be installed.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
My reason for removing it was not based on wind drag or aerodynamics. I just didn't like the gap between the trailer and the awning. It made little sense to have an awning and still have rainwater run down the side of your trailer, making anything near to the trailer soaking wet. Why bother?
I'm guessing the gap is to give wind an exit and reduce the stress on the screws. That said we've had members install rope awnings with no issue.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:24 PM   #21
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Yes Floyd, I also tried several "methods" for sealing the gap, (i.e. pool noodles,, plastic angle strips, etc.) but it wasn't that they didn't seal the gap. It was all about creating a "frog pond" on the roof in that trough which was always a nasty mess.

I don't use a bag awning any more. I found them to be too heavy and hard to stow due to their length because of their having a rigid frame. I use a "rope and pole" soft awning, (other than when we set up the Clam,) that I can just roll and fold up when its not being used. Put it in the track and guy out the telescoping poles.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:28 PM   #22
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I'm guessing the gap is to give wind an exit and reduce the stress on the screws. That said we've had members install rope awnings with no issue.
I'm guessing that it is purely poor designing of the mounting system. Trying to make something work in an application it was never designed to be used in. And a rather poor attempt at that. These awnings are flat on their back sides, and for a reason. They were designed to be mounted to the vertical side of a trailer, not suspended up in the air like they do.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:29 PM   #23
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I solved the gap on a temporary basis. $2 worth of foam pipe insulation solved it for me and no "Frog Pond" as described by Casita Greg. Cut the foam to fit and only use it when it rains. Put in as needed when setting up. Remove for travel and storage. Done. Remember it doesn't have to be an either or situation.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:29 PM   #24
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It was all about creating a "frog pond" on the roof in that trough which was always a nasty mess..
You simply adjust one support arm so that it is shorter than the other, creating a slope.
I also have a screen room that attaches to the awning.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:37 PM   #25
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You simply adjust one support arm so that it is shorter than the other, creating a slope.
I also have a screen room that attaches to the awning.
I don't think we're on the same page here Glenn. To my thinking, what you're talking about has no bearing on what I was talking about. It's not the awning fabric collecting or holding water that I was talking about. It's the actual body of the awning, (the hard part that it retracts into,) when sealed to the trailer's shell, that was causing the problem with debris and such building up behind it.

And yes Donna, I've done the "pool noodles" and "pipe foam insulation" tricks too, but I still didn't like those "solutions" either. It's just me I guess.
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:43 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Yes Floyd, I also tried several "methods" for sealing the gap, (i.e. pool noodles,, plastic angle strips, etc.) but it wasn't that they didn't seal the gap. It was all about creating a "frog pond" on the roof in that trough which was always a nasty mess.

I don't use a bag awning any more. I found them to be too heavy and hard to stow due to their length because of their having a rigid frame. I use a "rope and pole" soft awning, (other than when we set up the Clam,) that I can just roll and fold up when its not being used. Put it in the track and guy out the telescoping poles.
No frog pond, no nasty mess, just a simple and permanent fix.

As for the bag awning, did you actually remove it between uses?
On my LoveBug, the bag awning was permanently installed and traveled well in place.(stowed of course)
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:51 PM   #27
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No frog pond, no nasty mess, just a simple and permanent fix.

As for the bag awning, did you actually remove it between uses?
On my LoveBug, the bag awning was permanently installed and traveled well in place.(stowed of course)
Actually Floyd, I "deconstructed" my original bag awning and just kept the awning fabric. I added a Keder welt strip along the fabric edge where I separated it from the bag awning frame and now I just slide it into the Keder rail track. I prefer this to the complete bag awning because I can just fold it up and it is much easier to stow. I couldn't do that with the complete bag awning because it was too long and didn't bend in the middle. I now also have another "rope and pole" awning that I use as well.
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Old 10-29-2016, 01:01 PM   #28
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I can certainly understand when some people don't want or need an awning at all. A lot of that has to do with where they camp. Depending on the time of the year and the area of the country, in order to eat outside (at the picnic table?) a person would absolutely need a good screen room of some kind because of the bugs.
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