Installing an awning & add-a-room - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-11-2002, 11:47 PM   #1
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Installing an awning & add-a-room

Hello. I am in the process of ordering a new Scamp 16' trailer, and the sales rep is advising strongly against buying a better-than-factory supplied awning in the hopes that I could add a screen room. He claims the trailer cannot handle such an awning but he does not make a convincing case.. his strongest argument against it is that he has heard negative feedback from customers who went this route.

I had hoped to get a Carefree Spirit awning.. the type that uses vertical arms that lay along the wall of the trailer when the awning is retracted for travel. I thought I would ask all of you your opinion before I go and do something foolish. Thank you. Rob
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Old 11-12-2002, 12:26 AM   #2
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:wave Rob,

Care Free of Colorado Looks like a very good awning.

I would ask a few questions:
*****1. “How would the straight supports fit along the sides of the Scamp?”
*****2.**“Do they have mounting brackets that will work with the curved survices of the roof?”
*****3.**“How much does it weigh?”

I hope this helps.
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Old 11-12-2002, 12:39 AM   #3
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Support Arms

Thanks for the advice. I did ask Carefree about the curvature of the sidewalls of this type of trailer, and they were not concerned.. The arms can be custom made, for an additional charge. The sales rep at Carefree was unsure though, whether any Scamp owners had installed this type of awning. (That is, an awning with attached support arms.)

The appeal of owning one of these wonderful compact trailers is diminished if a screen room cannot be added. I think perhaps I should contact Scamp again and ask to speak to someone who can be very specific about the supposed reasons these awnings can't be used. Thanks again.
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Old 11-12-2002, 12:52 AM   #4
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I don’t know if you have considered a free standing screened in room. I have seen several and it looks like a good option to me.

Easy-up makes a nice free standing room which you can use with or without the screen sides.

Also, Jim and Carol Upton have an interesting self contained room.

<img src=http://forums.casitaclub.com/pics/25390.jpg/>
Kyle at California Fun Toys

Also, check out this one - Florida Room
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:39 AM   #5
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Screen rooms

The old Trilliums could be ordered with the Carefree style awning. The arms have a curve to them to match the trailer. We've seen quite a few old Trilliums with this style of original awning. The awning obviously is not a problem so why would there be adding the screen room to it?:cblob Sounds like they just want you to buy one of their awnings.

Free standing screen rooms are nice (we have one) but there's nothing better than an awning and screen room attached to the trailer (have one of them too). Best are the ones with the roll down privacy sides. (don't have that :cry )

I say go for it.
Nancy
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:43 AM   #6
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I wouldn't

Rob, I wouldn't do it, if I were you ...

The Scamp (as well as other molded fiberglass trailers) isn't constructed to withstand the vibration of something attached to the outside of the trailer ... other than stuff in locations the manufacturer intended.

While you might get brackets to fit (for top and side), you'd have to pierce the fiberglass in places that are not reinforced ... and therefore not up to the vibrations and resistance caused by running down the road.

Morgan, my long time bud, unfortunately found that out while trying to secure his folding boat to the side of his fiberglass trailer.

Any bolts or fasteners would vibrate in short order, causing the fiberglass to crack and possibly leak.

Not picking on Casita here, but long ago when first installing awnings on trailers, Casita had a problem with securing the awning brackets in a fashion that wouldn't leak ... not initially, but later, down the road.

You have to remember that the outside of your trailer will sustain 60 mph+ (97km) winds running down the road ... not to mention a whole bunch of bumps. And when you pass a semi going in the other direction, the wind speed and force is doubled.

I sincerely don't think your installation would stand the test of time.

You'd be much better off putting up a separate screen room ... or perhaps building your own to fit under the Scamp awning as delivered from the factory.
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Old 11-12-2002, 10:03 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone. I just viewed a video Scamp mailed me of the upper and lower halves of the egg going together. It is suprising how thin the fiberglass skin of the trailer is- it can barely hold up it's own weight until the two halves are seamed together. Now I understand Charles concern about attachment points over the very long haul.

I think it is probably best to order the trailer without an awning, and then plan on laying up marine plywood inside the trailer's skin to spread out the stress.. Man- what a lot of reverse engineering for the end-user to have to do. It would behoove Scamp to determine how to make this important option viable for buyers. I for one, would be willing to pay plenty for the convenience of an attached screen room, etc. Thanks again, everyone. Rob
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Old 11-12-2002, 05:59 PM   #8
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attached awning

FWIW, My vote is for 'free standing'.:wave
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:14 PM   #9
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Agree Don

Agree Don, there are lots of ways to skin a cat (with an exterior screen room).

Rob, something else to take into account ... and I saw this happen just a couple of weeks ago. Unexpected wind and rain storms can really destroy awnings/screen rooms.

I don't want to tell you how many times, in the middle of the night, I've been awakened by a strong storm ... and hurried outside, pulling my pants up and my awning in. If you have a whole attached screen room thingie ... well, it wouldn't be as easy to pull in on a moments notice.

Also, about the strength of fiberglass eggs. I've been around them longer than most ... there is a great deal of structural strength ... and precious little to rot on these little fiberglass wonders ... which is why many here on Fiberglass RV are proud to own 1970's vintage rigs.

The only thing you have to keep in mind ... is when you do get your fiberglass trailer ... you have to treat it more like a boat than a traditional stick built trailer.

Just like you wouldn't be quick to drill a hole in a boat ... you should always think twice about the consequences of drilling a hole in your trailer.

Doesn't mean you can't do it.

Fiberglass RV'er Pete D just fired up the jig saw and cut a fan sized hole in the roof of his rig to install a Fantastic Vent fan (something you make sure you order, ok?).

I'd have to have a couple of courage-builders before I did that ... but, given enough thought .... these rigs are plenty durable and you can modify to your heart's content!
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Old 11-12-2002, 06:26 PM   #10
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Scamp awning

Just because someone's done it ... doesn't mean the awning modification will stand the test of time ... and that's the important factor to consider.

After a couple of 100 nights and 10's of thousands of miles, things only structural engineers and Morgan B understand start to happen.

While I wouldn't put it past any salesperson to say "don't buy this, buy mine" ... in this case, I think the guy is right. I'm sure most folks who roll their own end up with problems.
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Old 11-12-2002, 08:06 PM   #11
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Extra room

Last week I purchased a ''Fast pitch'' tent as a multi purpose room. I must have something that I can erect on my own, so I told Canadian tire it would be back pronto if i had any trouble ! Well I spread it out(9x9x5'7'')pulled up on the centre hub with one hand, pulled down to lock, same hand, and lifted up to its full height!! Done in about 4 mins and that was the first time. It has 4 large zip up screen windows and full fly,all the poles are permanantly in place.The fabric is called Dri-Tec .I am thrilled ,it can be a screen room or extra accomodation.I may put it up under the awning. I'm tickled pink:red
It was $200.00cad, but will save me alot of frustration ,trying to put up the ''Easy Up'' was anything but.
Sorry if you all know about this tent I'm so happy with it.I had to tell you:banana
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:01 PM   #12
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Holy Cow

I am so glad I joined here, and cannot say thanks enough for all the thoughtful responses. Only in America! I don't have the trailer ordered yet, but will let the group know if I decide to do something foolish in the awning dept. I agree with the person who recommended that I treat it more like a boat.. I worked as a shipwright building a tallship, and have spent time around a few fiberglass hulls, also.. I am amazed at their repairability, but of course it is better not to damage them in the first place:) Thanks. Rob
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Old 11-12-2002, 09:51 PM   #13
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Hi
I hope, the only in America includes us Canucks.(ha):r
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Old 11-12-2002, 11:46 PM   #14
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My Acadian ancestors are rolling in their graves... I should have said, 'Only in North America!' :) Ha!
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