Is the Casita awning for rain? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-06-2016, 11:31 AM   #15
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RogerDat, do you have pictures of your setup? I'd like to see what you do. Thanks
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:49 PM   #16
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Our first Casita had no awning (we bought it used), and it was okay. Our second Casita we ordered new and got the awning. Loved it. Since the Casita fridge is on the street side, we frequently deployed the awning part way, to shade the fins and give it the best shot at cooling. As others have said, we also enjoyed sitting under the awning in light rain; plus, it's nice to be able to leave the trailer door open. We installed a window vent cover so water dripping from the awning edge didn't run inside the window.

We also have two screen houses, neither of which is a Clam and which are good for buggy situations. (We'll get a Clam if/when one of these other two ever wears out!)
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:39 PM   #17
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Name: Valerie
Trailer: 2016 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Mississippi
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Hmmm. Sounds like the awning has its benefits but if it's pouring rain and we still want to sit outside we'd better get a Clam. I think I'll start with the awning and take her out a time or two and then decide if we need to add the Clam. The Casita accessories and extra items I think I need (before we've even gotten the Casita) are adding up so maybe we'll postpone the Clam a month or two! Thanks for everyone's input. I live in the south and it rains a lot here -- it's often sunny, then rainy, then sunny again all in a few hours and I don't want to have to go sit inside when it's raining!
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:07 PM   #18
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The Clam does come in 2 sizes, large and small. The small is just right for a couple, otherwise the large is for a group.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:30 PM   #19
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I know that most owners like their awnings and that is fine. But I didn't share their enthusiasm with the stock Fiamma awning. It's not that it isn't made well, but a few things I really disliked about it were:

1.) To me, it always looked like it was a total afterthought installation. Those weird "home-made looking" aluminum mounting brackets they used to install it to the curved shell don't add anything to the aesthetics of the trailers' lines. These awnings were really designed for installation tight against a smooth vertical wall, not a curved wall. Also, the gap that allows the rain to come in right down the side of the trailer testifies to the poor methodology of how they install them. You can't sit under it in the rain without the water running down the side of the trailer, and all over whatever is under it near the trailer shell. And yes, I know all about the gutters and pool noodles, and several other half-baked "cures" used by many to seal the gap. I too had sealed the gap on mine, but then it became nothing more than a large entrapment gully for whatever detritus crapola would fall into it, and then remain stuck there until it was painstakingly cleaned out by hand with considerable time and effort expended. What a pain!

2.) The next pet peeve I had with the factory awning was constantly walking into those stupid angled deployment poles when the bottoms were inserted into the holders mounted on the lower side of the trailer. Seemed like every time I'd turn around I was running into one. I also didn't like the fact that unless you had the tarp deployed almost straight out horizontally, it would also rub and chafe against the top edge, (opposite the hinge,) of the entry door whenever you opened or closed it. Again, not an impressive or practical design feature of this installation in my opinion.

So, my solution was to remove it outright, which was a decision I have never once regretted, and I think the trailer's lines look so much cleaner without that silly thing hanging on it. We now use our Clam enclosure and are also very happy with it. I stake my Clam down when we are set up, and it has resisted wind gusts in excess of 70 mph without damage. You can't say that about the factory awning. There are many horror stories of people leaving them deployed for "just a quick trip to town to grab a few things" and coming back to find it wrapped around their trailer's roofs all twisted to crap. Usually damaging the trailer as well as the awning in the process. No, for my take on the factory awning, you can keep it. I'm glad to be rid of mine.
Thanks for reading... (Incidentally, the second picture has my new galley window that I installed - really lightens up that dark little sink/stove corner.)
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:47 PM   #20
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Yep, love the Casita awning. It's always there when you need it, quick and easy to setup and take down, use it for both rain and shade. The only downside is the initial expense.

I can see why people like the clam enclosures but I just don't want to mess with something like that. That's precisely why I got rid of the tent and pop-up.

OP, you made the right decision. Use your trailer for a bit before buying your accessories. Let your needs dictate your purchases.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
I know that most owners like their awnings and that is fine. But I didn't share their enthusiasm with the stock Fiamma awning. It's not that it isn't made well, but a few things I really disliked about it were:

1.) To me, it always looked like it was a total afterthought installation. Those weird "home-made looking" aluminum mounting brackets they used to install it to the curved shell don't add anything to the aesthetics of the trailers' lines. These awnings were really designed for installation tight against a smooth vertical wall, not a curved wall. Also, the gap that allows the rain to come in right down the side of the trailer testifies to the poor methodology of how they install them. You can't sit under it in the rain without the water running down the side of the trailer, and all over whatever is under it near the trailer shell. And yes, I know all about the gutters and pool noodles, and several other half-baked "cures" used by many to seal the gap. I too had sealed the gap on mine, but then it became nothing more than a large entrapment gully for whatever detritus crapola would fall into it, and then remain stuck there until it was painstakingly cleaned out by hand with considerable time and effort expended. What a pain!

2.) The next pet peeve I had with the factory awning was constantly walking into those stupid angled deployment poles when the bottoms were inserted into the holders mounted on the lower side of the trailer. Seemed like every time I'd turn around I was running into one. I also didn't like the fact that unless you had the tarp deployed almost straight out horizontally, it would also rub and chafe against the top edge, (opposite the hinge,) of the entry door whenever you opened or closed it. Again, not an impressive or practical design feature of this installation in my opinion.

So, my solution was to remove it outright, which was a decision I have never once regretted, and I think the trailer's lines look so much cleaner without that silly thing hanging on it. We now use our Clam enclosure and are also very happy with it. I stake my Clam down when we are set up, and it has resisted wind gusts in excess of 70 mph without damage. You can't say that about the factory awning. There are many horror stories of people leaving them deployed for "just a quick trip to town to grab a few things" and coming back to find it wrapped around their trailer's roofs all twisted to crap. Usually damaging the trailer as well as the awning in the process. No, for my take on the factory awning, you can keep it. I'm glad to be rid of mine.
Thanks for reading... (Incidentally, the second picture has my new galley window that I installed - really lightens up that dark little sink/stove corner.)
In fact I can say that about both our awnings we have had. Once we were on Ohio Key with our awning deployed and the legs tied to the picnic table as described earlier. While we were out for the day a freak storm came up and hit hard enough to rip the awning off the bulgemobile next to us. It blew over the top and broke through the window on the rig next to it. Ours was solid and secure upon our return. Since our seal was not half baked, it acts as an effective seal as well as an effective gutter(thus no accumulation of detritus crapola). Can't actually run into the legs since the table kinda blocks access.
I must say though that mine is a factory installed Catalina 2500 on a Scamp.
Also your trailer does have a nice clean look and the window looks great!
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:53 PM   #22
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Name: George
Trailer: 1997 16' Scamp
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Can awnings be used in rain?

Hi,
We use our awning in rain with a bit of common sense. We have a 97 Scamp 16. When We bought it I was told that the awning was broke and that owner had never used it. I found the 2 scissor poles with the clamps and location pins had been snapped off. I went to a metal dealer and bought square stock of the same dimensions but with a thicker wall. I repaired the awning and set it up. On our first use during camping at a state park, rain caused the awning to collapse as the water pooled and the weight was too much for the upright poles which released and shortened. I was told to set the awning up with one side lower than the other so rain will run away.
After much experience, we have settled upon attaching the upright supports to the trailer. I through bolted and used fender washers for more area and strength. Under good conditions, we extend the entire awning but always keep an eye on the weather via internet. In windy conditions we only let the awning out about 1/3 to 1/2 of it's area. We lower it to the point that it will just clear the door. We used it this way while camping on the Barrier islands of the East coast of Florida last winter during a couple of days of sustained 20 mph winds with no trouble. With the awning out 1/3, we have a somewhat dry area at the door and a dry spot for the grill and chairs.
We use the awning as a convenience. We have a 10 X 14 coleman tent that we use for a lounge and exercise area. The tent also managed 2 days of 20 mph winds with no problems. it does have a rain fly which doubles up the number of support lines. Even so, I added 6 more lines at the corners and middle of each long side with foot long stakes.
The awning can be used with forethought or it can be broken which was the condition of mine when I purchased the trailer.
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Old 06-07-2016, 05:40 PM   #23
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I don't always extend the awning fully when anticipating rain and wind. Reefed in half way it provides protection from the rain and isn't as affected by wind.
Not concerned about the rain, just the wind.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:08 PM   #24
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Florida
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I just purchased a used casita 17, that the owner had removed the factory awning. I've been considering my options and have totally enjoyed reading the pros and cons. I just have two questions.
Is there an aftermarket awning that's better than the original?
And what is a Clam?
Thanks and have an awesome weekend!
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:34 PM   #25
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Marti's Awnings makes some snazzy Vintage Trailer Awnings and then there is a Vintage Trailer Supply that also sells awnings VintageTrailer Awnings

Bag awnings are another option. Awning essentially rolls up into a bag on the trailer awning track.

The above options require an awning track such as this http://www.sailrite.com/Awning-Track-Aluminum-48 often installed with 3M VHB tape. You might want to shop around for the track prices vary a lot especially shipping for 8 ft long tube.

People with clams can describe them better but they are a quick pop up screen shelter, sort of like a cross between a geodesic dome and a dome tent. Less weight and more compact to transport than a Pop Up shelter. https://www.amazon.com/Clam-Corporat...=1&*entries*=0 Little pricey but supposed to be very good, enough give they don't tear themselves apart in a storm.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:49 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Nancy from MI View Post
RogerDat, do you have pictures of your setup? I'd like to see what you do. Thanks
Don't have a picture handy that shows it very well but these are the instructions I used to make mine
Make your own Awning Track Hangers

Person shows it being used with just a piece of tarp with a grommet but it makes it easy to see the set up.

The hangers aluminum tube just gets fed through the grommet until the washer stops it. Then tube is slid into awning track.

Article has good instructions and pictures, this picture from it is the finished hanger in demonstration use.

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Old 06-11-2016, 08:09 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Valerie Rachal View Post
It seems like I read somewhere that the awning on the Casita is for shade, but not rain. Do you have to roll it in if it's going to rain? So if you're somewhere where there's rain on and off (i.e.: south Florida) do you use the awning or put up a pop-up tent or Clam? We're ordering our Casita this week and I need to decide if the awning makes sense. Thanks!
The ~$900 F45S Fiamma awning provided by the Casita factory may make sense. It doesn't require separate storage and it is very convenient to deploy with the crank. It came with our trailer, which we purchased used, and I like it overall. The Casita installation with aluminum brackets adapting the straight awning to the curved shell is a bit funky, but appears to be adequately strong. The gap between the awning and trailer is an issue for some.

As mentioned, the awning can shade your refrigerator vents (and trailer) which can be important. And, to clarify, the fabric is in fact basically rainproof.

However, the Fiamma manual is a master of obscurity. It's pretty clear that "weather-related incidents" have been reported to Fiamma. Some of the gems in the manual include:

Fig. 8 : We remind you that the awning is a sun protection, so please roll up your awning in case of rain, wind or snow. Otherwise, please take the following precautions: lower one side of your awning, so that water can flow away and place the tension rafter as shown in the figure (not included for all awning lengths).

ATTENTION: We remind you that the awning is designed to protect from the sun, and not from rain, wind or snow. In these cases, we recommend to roll it up!

· All Fiamma fabrics are soldered on the front bar for a high resistance to water : in case of rain little drops of water may form near the front bar and this may happen when the awning is open as well. This doesn’t compromise the awning’s functionality.

So there you go, straight from the source and clear as mud!

We also carry a ~$100 "lightweight" 10'x10' E-Z UP Sierra II canopy. This gives us the flexibility to set up either near to or at some distance from the trailer. Packing the 37-pound 8"x8"x52" canopy has been a bit of a nuisance that I am currently working to resolve.

I'm with Randy; "Use your trailer for a bit before buying your accessories. Let your needs dictate your purchases." It's all very personal as most everyone has different circumstances, needs and desires.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:37 AM   #28
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... So there you go, straight from the source and clear as mud! ...
Well, its clear to me...

It's clear to me that the engineers had input to the guy(s) who wrote the manual, then the lawyers got a hold of it and said, "oh wait a minute.. we have to avoid getting sued by people who don't roll up their awning when a storm pops up." So just enough language was added or changed so they could CYA.

Maybe when a few awnings get trashed in sunny, but windy conditions, and maybe with an injury or two, then the manual will change again and leave one wondering if the awning is for use anytime other than a still night.
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