Awning Install - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-04-2014, 02:40 PM   #1
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Name: Wendy Lee
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Awning Install

Dear Fellow FGRV Members,
First off, I wish to thank Greg for his wonderful posts and pictures regarding his Shademaker Bag Awning. I'm really leaning toward getting some type of awning installed on my Scamp 13er, as after scouring the Internet, finding one tall enough to clear the drip rail over the door seems almost impossible. Unless you're willing to spend a pile, and in that case, I'd rather spend the money on an attached awning.
I want you to know that I've also scoured this forum on all the awning install posts I could find, My only remaining concern is in using either rivets or SS screws.
My 13er (2012) only has the upper side cabinets (dinette), no front or rear cabinets. In Greg's great work, he "hid" SS screws behind his upper and rear cabinets, as well as inside the closet (I do have a closet, of course).
What would Scamp do if I took my camper to them and asked them to put in a Fiamma? Would they use rivets and awning rail?
With all the stresses that awnings go through (use, even mild winds), I would think that rivets would become loose after time. This is why I liked Greg's idea to use SS screws, but it would appear that I have nowhere to "hide" them in my 13er...is this correct? Thank you so much for your help and wealth of knowledge...all of you....I am learning tons!

Sincerely,
Wendy
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Old 01-04-2014, 02:42 PM   #2
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Oops, when I mentioned "getting one tall enough," I was talking about buying a 10 X 10 EZ Up type awning. I can't find one high enough to clear the drip cap...I get my clearance at 78" minimum. Thanks, and sorry for any confusion. This is why I'm thinking about an awning install on the trailer.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:17 PM   #3
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We figured out how to get our CT13 Uhaul under a 12 X 12 Coleman canopy by making temporary supports for two legs to raise one side, then backing the trailer under and removing the extensions. We did use a peaked canopy, 10 X 10, by shelter logic that we got from Northern Tool for about $100 that we could back right under with plenty of clearance. Now we are using a Shademaker bag awning that gives more coverage area coming out the door. Rail is riveted on.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:31 PM   #4
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Hi Mary and Bob,
Did you rivet the rail on yourself? If so, would you be willing to share how you did so (e.g., how long the awning rail was you used, the spacing you placed the rivets at, and what size rivets). Also, I am familiar with the shademaker as I had one on my old pop up camper. There are the two side pole support brackets (black plastic, the little "nipple" end of the pole anchors into). Did you rivet those too? I'm trying to understand how NOT TO drill too far and get into the marine fabric, etc. Rivet sizes would be great, as well as placement. Greg's post about his shademaker awning install should help with all the rest, so long as I use rivets, right?
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:40 PM   #5
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Wendy Lee,
We just replaced our damaged Dometic awning with a new Fiamma F45. We have been camping with it two times, and so far are very pleased by the easy deployment and nice appearance. They are pricy, but about the only game in town if you require a "can" to shade the awning material from the elements.
I custom fabricated the mounts which are very similar to what Scamp sells. I used stainless steel bolts with sealing washers on both sides of the mounting plates to provide a water proof sandwich. Scamp uses sealant in lieu of the washers on their new trailers. The success of the washers requires that the hardware is tight, and stays tight. I used nylox nuts to keep things tight. I would not use rivets to hold on an awning.
In your case, the rear hardware would be exposed on the inside. Fiamma included molded plastic covers for the protruding screws, which should remove a little of the unsightliness. Our trailer has rear cabinets and all hardware is out of sight.
Scamp sells the Fiamma awnings and their custom brackets that are not available from Fiamma.
Good Luck,
Russ
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:16 PM   #6
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Dear Ruscal,
If I am to understand you correctly, Scamp uses some type of sealant in lieu of washers, but (I'm almost afraid to say this...here goes), even if I went to Scamp for the awning install, they'd still put the awning on with SS bolts, right? They don't just use the sealant, I"m sure, so no matter what option I have for an awning, unless I use rivets, SS bolts/screws are in order? Sorry to be so duh...

Mary and Bob used a much lighter bag awning that I am familiar with (Shademaker) that probably comes in nowhere near the 45 pounds of the Fiamma. Perhaps that's why using rivets is just fine in their application.

I have the bunkbed option in my 13, and always wondered about putting in an upper cabinet, but thought that the space between the upper bunk and the cabinet might be too narrow (even for a prospective grandchild). Carol H. talked extensively with me about that option and "how to do."

I live way too far from Scamp to get them to do anything, and I have no idea if my local RV store would even consider working on a trailer they don't sell, much less an egg!

Thank you so much,
Wendy
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:24 PM   #7
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Like Russ says, I've heard the Fiamma is a good awning. But he has a Scamp 16, and you have the 13, and I'm not sure if it is available for the 13. Check with Scamp on that. I did the install on ours. I had to go with the Classic model of the Shademaker bag awning because of the short length of my rail. I could only fit a 7 foot rail on our trailer. I used 3/16 aluminum rivets, installed with an air powered rivet gun. The Uhaul has an inner wall so I could not get at the inside of the outer wall to use screws and nuts. The awning rail comes with a lot of pre drilled holes. I put rivets about every 8 to 10 inches, with some sealer in the hole and on the rivet before installing. The plastic sockets are also riveted on. We have been set up for over a month now at our winter location in the south and no problems with the awning. Did lower one leg for better water run off when it rained. The Classic model awning has twist lock poles and rafters, which are not as good as the latch locks on the Supreme model, but the Supreme is not available in lengths less than 8 feet. I bought the optional center rafter, and the roller for the door. Didn't need the door roller. To limit drill depth I either wrap tape around the drill bit to limit how far in it will go or use a piece of plastic tubing on it. We tried a rope & pole awning first but didn't like it, then went with the bag awning. I was concerned about installing the plastic sockets on the curved part of the trailer, but after receiving assurance from another Uhaul owner that it would work, went ahead with the installation. We bought our awning from Interwest Sports. Can't buy directly from Shademaker. We'll be back in NY early March if you're anywhere near us.
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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Dearest Mary and Bob,
Thank you so much for the lengthy and detailed reply. My shademaker bag awning was indeed the Classic as well. I've heard of the Supreme, but no experience with it. I believe Greg used a Supreme in his install.
At the risk of exposing more of my naivete, may I ask a few more questions of you?

1. The rivets as 3/16...do you rememb
er their length?
2. I wouldn't mind a 7 foot awning either...it's what I've had in the past!
3. What was the sealer you used?
4. What does wrapping tape around the drill bit mean? Electrical tape over the drill bit "point" or around the shaft of the drill bit? Would my Dremel 4000 be ok, which has a "depth guide" or should I use my DeWalt drill?
5. In Gregg's post, he put the awning rail approx. 6" over the drip cap over the door, but I'm not sure if he ever mentioned where you put the plastic sockets? For example, are they approximately 1" below the awning rail, set in about 1" from the end of the awning rail? (I'm trying to visualize all of this from my old pop up camper as I write
6. Finally, what is the roller for the door?

Thank you, Mary and Bob. I live in Sanborn, NY, which is near Niagara Falls. PLEASE tell me you live near me??

Warmly and Respectfully,
Wendy
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Old 01-04-2014, 06:20 PM   #9
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Oops...almost forgot, Mary and Bob. I know you have a UHaul with an "innie and outie" layer of FG, but have you any idea of how far in to drill the FG in my Scamp that would be a safe go when getting the holes ready for the rivets? I mean say, 1/2"? Further, if anybody reading this thread has drilled into the FG of a Scamp, how far can you go before touching the "insides" or marine fabric?

Sending Warm Wishes and "Scamp Love" to You All!

Wendy
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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Just don't lean on/push the drill- you'll know when you break through. Not sure what your concerns are about penetrating the "rat fur"- is it that you don't want the inside part of the rivet to show?

If so, I think it unlikely that you could succeed in hiding new rivets in this application since the rat fur is in most cases glued to the wall you're drilling in. That makes it more or less a part of said wall, and the inside part of the rivet needs "air" to squinch up in. I doubt that one could succeed in "lifting" the rat fur with the rivet head and concealing the whole rivet behind it.

On the bright side, though: given the fibrous nature of rat fur, the inside part of the rivet shouldn't be that visible.
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:32 PM   #11
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So basically, Francesca I can't install an awning to my camper without rivets showing through on the indide somewhat? That's why I wondered if length of rivet would help? If so , I'm back to an EZ up awning. I don't see how scamp hides their rivets then? I must try to further understand this, but if this us the case, then so be it. Thank you dear, for your time and knowledge.

Sincerely,
Wendy
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:25 PM   #12
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First I'll comment on Francesca's post. I've found that a drill bit going through carpet or similar fabric material may end up catching and winding up threads or material. Therefore Wendy's concern about limiting the penetration is a good idea. Tape wrapped around the drill bit about 3/8" up from the point will limit the depth of the drills penetration. Every time I've tried to limit how far the bit goes in otherwise it will catch and pull in. I like to use a sleeve over the bit rather than tape. Most hardware stores have clear plastic tubing in various sizes that can be bought by the foot. Get a piece to fit over the drill bit, cut it to set against the chuck and leave just a little of the bit exposed, and that will limit the bits penetration. Pop rivets squash up to tighten, and using the correct length will pretty much hide them in the carpet. Another thought would be to cut a round plug out of the wall covering down to the fiberglass and use screws with washers and lock nuts like Russ recommends, then glue the plug back over the nut. Depending on the wall thickness will determine the rivet length, or screw length. I think I may have used rivets about 1/2" long. 3/16" is the rivet diameter. For sealer I used Proflex RV sealant. Door roller, they sell a little roller that you can attach to the top outer face of the door that will roll against the bottom of the awning if it interferes with the door swinging open. The plastic sockets go just under the rail and just in from the awning edge. I strongly suggest that if you do get the Shademaker bag awning that you also order the spring loaded center rafter. It's cheap and will ship with the awning. And now the bad news; we are on the opposite end of the state, just off I90 about 10 miles from the Massachusetts border. Closest we will be to you Wendy will be a camping trip to Fairhaven State Park on Lake Ontario in May, is that doable for you.
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:57 PM   #13
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Dear Mary and Bob,
I am a teacher, and school is in session until June! Oh, that's such sad news! The park is not too far from me, though, it's just that I wouldn't be able to make it unless you tell me the dates, and if it's over Memorial Day weekend, I might be able to come out if I book now! The 26th of May?

OK...approx. 1/2" long rivet, I'll check Scamp as well as Home Depot. Door roller - Shademaker. Plastic sockets, right below the awning rail and "just in" I would see as the left hand side of the plastic socket lined up with the outer edge of the awning rail? How's that sound?
I DO NOT know the thickness of Scamp camper walls. Anybody reading this thread have some information on this?
I was thinking my Dremel 4000 for the drilling...high speed, low torque. Whatcha think? Butyl tape under the awning rail install, right?

Bless you, Mary and Bob. Please let me know your camping dates, I'd love to meet the both of you!

Sincerely,
Wendy
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Old 01-04-2014, 08:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampyTime View Post
So basically, Francesca I can't install an awning to my camper without rivets showing through on the indide somewhat? That's why I wondered if length of rivet would help? If so , I'm back to an EZ up awning. I don't see how scamp hides their rivets then? I must try to further understand this, but if this us the case, then so be it. Thank you dear, for your time and knowledge.

Sincerely,
Wendy
Understand that I'm someone that will always sacrifice cosmetics in favor of serviceability. I attached my just-like-the-big-boys pull-down self-retracting awning with monster through-bolts that are readily visible to anyone inside the trailer.

And given the shade provided/ease of deployment/speed of putting away, I've never regretted it....but others may have a different priorities.

Each to his/her own!
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