Communicating with the Fiamma Folk - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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I've been talking, via email, with the folk at Fiamma USA to express my frustrations with my mishaps with the awning. I have to say that they've been pretty helpful and rather than avoid confrontation, they've addressed my complaints and misgivings.

They basically claim, in a nutshell, that the Fiamma awnings are for sunshade ONLY. If it rains, roll 'em up! (Of course here in the South, it's hard to predict when a passing shower's going to hit.)

I asked if this was the case, how they could sell those kits to turn the awnings into rooms. The employee explained to me--and I'm paraphrasing here--that the kits "seem" to strengthen the awning and that they have never received a single report of the awning collapsing when combined with the privacy room kit.

While my wife wants to just replace the Fiamma with another brand, I'm going to buy the parts that I need one more time and effect the repairs. We'll see what happens.

I may try to post photos of the damages the awning suffered during the two collapse episodes.

The upshot though: The people at Fiamma are very responsive.
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
I've been talking, via email, with the folk at Fiamma USA to express my frustrations with my mishaps with the awning. I have to say that they've been pretty helpful and rather than avoid confrontation, they've addressed my complaints and misgivings.

They basically claim, in a nutshell, that the Fiamma awnings are for sunshade ONLY. If it rains, roll 'em up! (Of course here in the South, it's hard to predict when a passing shower's going to hit.)

I asked if this was the case, how they could sell those kits to turn the awnings into rooms. The employee explained to me--and I'm paraphrasing here--that the kits "seem" to strengthen the awning and that they have never received a single report of the awning collapsing when combined with the privacy room kit.

While my wife wants to just replace the Fiamma with another brand, I'm going to buy the parts that I need one more time and effect the repairs. We'll see what happens.

I may try to post photos of the damages the awning suffered during the two collapse episodes.

The upshot though: The people at Fiamma are very responsive.
The main problem with using "rain" to describe "rain" is that it means different things in different areas. I am not familiar with the south but I'll wager you get some gully-wumpers on the order of a least two inches per hour. In the southwest we get very little rain but when it comes it comes in four or five inch per hour spurts in just 20 minutes... so that it can carve the canyons out here I guess.

I am going to Alaska in a few weeks and will spend the bulk of my time along the south eastern coast which rains on the order of 0.1 or 0.2 inchs per hour. It rains many days along that coast so I plan on using my Fiamma a lot. If it starts to pour I'll crank it in but I think it will handle a Pacific drizzle.

Ask the Portland people what they think.




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Old 06-09-2009, 04:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
They basically claim, in a nutshell, that the Fiamma awnings are for sunshade ONLY. If it rains, roll 'em up! (Of course here in the South, it's hard to predict when a passing shower's going to hit.)
I 've got a Fiamma Caravanstore ( http://www.fiamma.it/products/fiammastor.asp?Fam=F07 ).
I really can't understand what harm rain can do.
Wind, that is a problem.
But if fastened sufficiently, mine can handle reasonably strong wind.
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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Alas. I've gone over this before, so I'll cover this very briefly.

I did everything you're supposed to do, and then some, to keep my awning safe with rain. Lowered one leg, etc. I even bought one of the bowed central rafters to help shed rain. But a sudden storm crept up on us the first time and collapsed the awning, breaking the central rafter and snapping the left leg and breaking a rivet on the left side. So I made repairs and bought one of the rain-shedding rafters. Not wishing to take any huge chances, I was very careful. However, a moderate rain fell on my awning and collapsed the left side, snapping the central rafter completely in two and breaking the right leg and popping a rivet on the right side and punching a hole in the awning when the whole schmeer collapsed. I had a bear of a time reattaching the right leg.

At any rate...we get a LOT of rain here in the southeast. Not like in the Pacific northwest, but a lot in the warm months. My experience is that the Fiamma awning cannot tolerate even a moderate amount of rain. (I'm sure the Fiamma shills will come running out, now.)

But it's my intention to give the awning one last try. My wife wants to just replace it, but I've looked at it and I can repair it pretty easily, I think. The main thing is that I'm going to have to remove it from the trailer and put in new rivets or, better, replace those rivets with nuts and bolts.

And to reiterate:

The Fiamma USA folk are very, very nice and helpful. Probably this is the reason I'm going to take one more shot at fixing the awning and not replacing it with another brand.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:48 PM   #5
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Bob, I did read your other posts.
But I just wanted to communicate my experience with my Fiamma in my circumstances.
It is in use for years now.
The only problem that I experienced, was while I hadn't fasten it, it was lifted over the roof of the trailer by wind.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:00 PM   #6
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I am from WA, not Portland, but the rain here is about the same. As indicated. we get a lot of rain but we get it all year. Seldom do we have gully washers. We were at the WA meet this weekend and it rained enough to leave puddls on the backk of my PU's vynl tonneau cover but no impact on the awning. I left it out the entire weekend. I was a little concerned about wind but we were protected enough.

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Old 06-09-2009, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
I've been talking, via email, with the folk at Fiamma USA to express my frustrations with my mishaps with the awning. I have to say that they've been pretty helpful and rather than avoid confrontation, they've addressed my complaints and misgivings.

They basically claim, in a nutshell, that the Fiamma awnings are for sunshade ONLY. If it rains, roll 'em up! (Of course here in the South, it's hard to predict when a passing shower's going to hit.)

I asked if this was the case, how they could sell those kits to turn the awnings into rooms. The employee explained to me--and I'm paraphrasing here--that the kits "seem" to strengthen the awning and that they have never received a single report of the awning collapsing when combined with the privacy room kit.

While my wife wants to just replace the Fiamma with another brand, I'm going to buy the parts that I need one more time and effect the repairs. We'll see what happens.

I may try to post photos of the damages the awning suffered during the two collapse episodes.

The upshot though: The people at Fiamma are very responsive.
What is there email address ? thanks i have a prob, one end won`t close all the way .
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:14 PM   #8
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What is there email address ? thanks i have a prob, one end won`t close all the way .
Until you get an answer about the e-mail addy, let me give you a hint for what's worked for me. One of the legs... the side that won't close, isn't in the case properly. You may need to adjust the center bracket that holds the legs in the middle of the case. I keep a philips screwdriver handy. It seems about every other time I have to adjust that bracket either one way or the other. It's not a problem really. Once the legs are FLAT into the case (at the hinge area), both ends close properly and the red button pops out.

Maybe this simple fix will work for you too.
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:31 PM   #9
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thanks Donna i wil try that as soon as we get home, we are in Maine for a few weeks without our egg, i`m not going to do this again ,guess we will sell time share, motels along the way were 50 to 100 bucks and not the fun of egging your way there . thanks again Donna.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:56 AM   #10
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Bob
Now that I have straps and pegs to secure the awning, I make sure I have my awning out when rain is coming. We especially enjoy being able to run under the awning and dry off a little before going in. I do make sure there is plenty of pitch to let it roll off. I can't imagine why rain (little or a bunch) would damage it. My main concern is making sure I try to dry it out soon if we leave before it gets rolled up to avoid the mold.
I guess yours is same as mine on my 2005.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:40 AM   #11
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As I have posted in the past, I have never had a problem with rain, either light or heavy (gully washers). I believe there is a certain technique required in using the Fiamma awning under these conditions.

1) Extend your awaning about 4 ft.
2) Lower the legs and raise the outer edge slightly.
3) Extend you awning to its fullest extent.
4) Very important, insert the center beam and tighten.
5) Very important, roll you awning in until the fabric is tight. I is not necessary to lower one
corner when it rains if you keep the awning fabric tight.
6) Insert tent poles on each end and tighten. I think Fiamma offers these as an optional item now.
7) Install the deflapper strap from RX.
a) I use the cloth carrying bag for my flag and insert the deflapper through it and center it in the middle
of the awning. This keeps the strap from flapping and making a noise in moderate wind.
Wrap the deflapper strap around the center of the tent pole on each end to keep the strap centered.
c) Attach the deflapper strap to the Casita frame front and rear. Retighten this strap periodically.
8) Optional, feed the sun/wind screen (from RX) into the awning rail of the outer edge of the awning. If
you do this step, make sure you insert one of the tie down fastners into the awning rail before the
above step. Stake the sun/wind screenon each corner and two places in the middle. Raise the outer
edge of the awning to tighten the sun/sind screen.
9) Stake the corners of the awning either individually or together in the middel about 6 feet away
from the outer edge of the awning.


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Thats it!
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:17 PM   #12
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Bob
Now that I have straps and pegs to secure the awning, I make sure I have my awning out when rain is coming. We especially enjoy being able to run under the awning and dry off a little before going in. I do make sure there is plenty of pitch to let it roll off. I can't imagine why rain (little or a bunch) would damage it. My main concern is making sure I try to dry it out soon if we leave before it gets rolled up to avoid the mold.
I guess yours is same as mine on my 2005.
I think it was the fact that I had the legs tent-pegged that caused some of the problem. Instead of just collapsing when the water pooled in the awning, the legs actually snapped off at the awning! I really need to take some photos of the damage that resulted so that you guys can understand what happened and that I'm not making this stuff up.

One thing that I think I'm going to do is by two of the central rafters and install them both so that we have another buffer to help the rain pour off.

I'm going to hate it if I make the fixes and the awning collapses yet again. My wife will do the old "I-told-you-so" deal.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:55 AM   #13
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Chiming in from the Pacific Northwet. We use our awning all the time in the rain. We've even sealed the area between the trailer and awning so there is no runoff down the side. Always have the legs on the ground (never on the trailer). Woke up once last Spring to 3 inches of surprise snow at the Washington coast - awning was ok (one leg was shorter so snowmelt was running off). We are always more concerned about the wind, whether it's raining or not. Always put the awning in if it's windy or we are going away for the day. We have even gotten up at 2AM and put it in when we heard it flapping around. We love the awning, feel like it extends our camping during the monsoon season here. Good luck!

Happy Trails
Kathie
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