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Old 01-27-2022, 02:22 PM   #1
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Name: Barbara
Trailer: Bigfoot
Colorado
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Bigfoot awning: replace?

Well, it finally happened. The awning on our 25' Bigfoot shredded on our way to Arizona. Thankfully, no damage to the trailer, but it will take our fingers awhile to recover from cutting the fabric in sub-freezing temps. So, I'm weighing not even replacing the fabric since we seldom use it. Don't get me wrong, we'd love to deploy that 18 feet of deep shade, but we live in fear of the random (but frequent) wind microbursts common to the western states. Too often we've been in hair-on-fire mode attempting to furl a wind-whipped awning. Are there satisfactory alternatives to a trailer-mounted awning? I've done a quick search on the forums without success and we don't really want a beach canopy. Any advice?
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Old 01-27-2022, 08:15 PM   #2
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And only $18.

https://www.amazon.com/iCJJL-Fashion...-32&th=1&psc=1
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Old 01-27-2022, 10:41 PM   #3
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Perfect!

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Lol! I may get one in each color!
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Old 01-28-2022, 11:03 AM   #4
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New Hampshire
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I use a ten foot Easy-Up canopy. I always use Auger tie downs and rachet straps to the frame to keep it from blowing away. If I think its going to be windy during the day, I turn up the corners to where the velcro is holding. For some reason that reduces the chance of the wind catching the top. I have had it in an open field with heavy winds and not had it go flying while others did. If I think it is going to be windy and/or stormy overnight or I am away from the site, I undo the corners completely. Be sure to put pool noodles on the legs closest to the trailer to prevent the legs from damaging the trailer.
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Old 01-28-2022, 12:07 PM   #5
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Name: RogerDat
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A track for a bag awning can be used with little homemade slides that will attach to any tarp.

September in Cody WY with the wind coming down the mountain I had a 5 by 7 poly tarp so just enough space to set up a coleman stove or a folding chair to read. Keep rain from dropping into door way when door was opened.

I also have an 8 x 7 (or 8) poly tarp that is good for milder but still breezy conditions.

For nice weather I have a 10 x 14 nylon tarp. That tarp is longer than camper and 10 foot deep.

I can use 4 (or more) expanding poles. Can double tie out the poles. In an unexpected storm I can just drop the poles. The small 5 x 7 "storm" sized tarp is a few bucks at Harbor Freight or Walmart and I carry 2 knowing the tarp will rip out the grommets before damaging the camper. In bad weather that comes up in the night I drop the poles and tighten the guy lines so it sheds the wind, then go back to sleep.

Not likely to find track longer than 8 ft. for a reasonable price due to shipping companies size restrictions for normal shipping. My long tarp extends past the ends of camper and extends past end of track to poles front and rear to anchor the full 14 ft length using an 7'9" track.

Homemade track bracket is thin aluminum tube with para cord through it and a knot in the two ends that holds a washer on. Slide tube through grommet, washer will not pass through grommet. Aluminum tube slides into track.

These are plastic tube and I think commercial but has pictures of the track attachments in use. I used aluminum tube and washers because the first time I saw them it was in an article for making them.


You also need a bead and para cord where the bead will slip part way into the track and you can use the cord to draw the track side tight by pulling against the bead on both sides of the track.

I expect I will be removing my commercial roll up awning in favor of a track in that I camp out west, in the mountains, and along the great lakes here in Michigan. All places that have too much opportunity to destroy an awning. Grommets pulled out of inexpensive poly tarp are not really a problem. I carry spare tarp under the cushions.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/8517253...iABEgKKdPD_BwE
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Old 01-28-2022, 12:26 PM   #6
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Name: Bruce & Kathryn
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North Carolina
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I second an easy-up canopy. $110 bucks or so at Walmart, you can set it wherever you like, and you can leave it up without fear. We have had high wind and heavy rain hair-on-fire moments retracting our awning. Hardly use it now.
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:37 PM   #7
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Name: Barbara
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Colorado
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Thanks very much for the advice! I've thought about Easy Ups in the past, but we were thinking of remote shade, like over a picnic table. I hadn't thought of putting one against the trailer. And the tarp clips are such a good idea since we always carry a few sizes of blue tarp. I think we've decided to not replace the awning fabric for now. Instead, we'll try these options. Thanks, again!
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Old 01-29-2022, 07:42 AM   #8
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I had the factory installed Fiamma 10' awning when I bought my trailer new. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have gotten it. I removed it and sold it for the half price just to get rid of it. (New, it was a $1000 add-on.) I installed a section of Keder Rail on the side of the trailer to accommodate a slide-in awning that has a Keder welt sewn to the end that attaches it to the trailer simply by sliding it into the track. Unlike the 80 Lb. Fiamma awning, my slide-in only weighs about 5-6 Lbs., and crams into a stuff sack about the size of a football. The poles are just generic telescopic aluminum poles you can get at any sporting goods store, (or on-line.) Mine doesn't cover the area over the door, but I don't care. It's rigged low enough that I can thread it in by myself, and without a ladder to reach it. I'm 6'2", and when it's rigged out, I don't even brush my head against it, but it's low enough to reach while standing on the ground. A heck of a lot lighter weight, infinitely less expensive than the roll-out awning, and works just fine for our needs. We only use it when we want a "quick overnight or a couple of days," shelter to cook or sit under, but if we are going to be anywhere for more than a few days, we set up our Clam screen tent, (well staked down,) which gives us plenty of room for our camp kitchen, tables, chairs and propane fire ring, and still provides room to move around.
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Old 01-29-2022, 09:25 AM   #9
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We're currently at Rusty's in Arizona. Sitting in our storage area in Minnesota are an easy-up, a five-sided Gazelle, and the monster six-sided Clam. Got tired of hauling these awnings for the little use they provided, especially the Clam. But then we're out all day hiking, whereas others sit around their campers enjoying the view. We're all different!

We used the awning on our Bigfoot and loved it's size, and love the manual awning on our Escape. However the Escape awning is just big enough, whereas the 18' Bigfoot awning was very, very roomy.

We would replace the Bigfoot awning in a heartbeat! The awning on our Bigfoot crapped out just before we sold the camper and the new owners installed another. If I remember correctly it was around $500 to replace, including labor.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 01-29-2022, 09:14 PM   #10
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We have a clam also. I take it to music festivals for jamming and bug defense. I’m looking forward to the new Bigfoot awning. The clam is great if cumbersome. I could get three or four musicians inside for sessions pre Covid. The escape awning was ok also.
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Old 02-02-2022, 04:05 PM   #11
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The fellow who writes the "tinyTowable" blog recommends a product called "Joe Shade." It is portable, inexpensive, and provides shade. It may or may not be what you are looking for, but thought I'd mention it.

https://tinytowable.com/shade-when-camping-2/

I hope you find a good solution that works for you.
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Old 04-01-2022, 07:57 AM   #12
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Name: Ted
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
We're currently at Rusty's in Arizona. Sitting in our storage area in Minnesota are an easy-up, a five-sided Gazelle, and the monster six-sided Clam. Got tired of hauling these awnings for the little use they provided, especially the Clam. But then we're out all day hiking, whereas others sit around their campers enjoying the view. We're all different!

We used the awning on our Bigfoot and loved it's size, and love the manual awning on our Escape. However the Escape awning is just big enough, whereas the 18' Bigfoot awning was very, very roomy.

We would replace the Bigfoot awning in a heartbeat! The awning on our Bigfoot crapped out just before we sold the camper and the new owners installed another. If I remember correctly it was around $500 to replace, including labor.

Enjoy,

Perry
Maybe a stupid question, but are the Gazelle or Clam shelters good in a light rain since they don't have a separate fly? We're considering purchasing our first 'dining tent' but we'd like to use it avoid bugs, sun and even a light rain shower. Thank you!
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Old 04-01-2022, 08:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flourgirl View Post
Thanks very much for the advice! I've thought about Easy Ups in the past, but we were thinking of remote shade, like over a picnic table. I hadn't thought of putting one against the trailer. And the tarp clips are such a good idea since we always carry a few sizes of blue tarp. I think we've decided to not replace the awning fabric for now. Instead, we'll try these options. Thanks, again!
The EZ-Up style awnings generally only work alongside the smallest 13’ trailers. Our Scamp has the standard “low-rider” suspension, and our EZ-Up barely clears the door. On some terrain I have to block up the feet to clear. We normally set it up away from the trailer as a freestanding canopy over the picnic table, which also serves as our outdoor kitchen, but we have used it next to the trailer on a couple of group campouts where we didn't set up our kitchen.

They’re too short to clear the door next to most larger trailers. Your Bigfoot will be way too tall. Of course you could put it against the trailer but not over the door, but for a lot of people that defeats the purpose.
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Old 04-01-2022, 12:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mattedfred View Post
Maybe a stupid question, but are the Gazelle or Clam shelters good in a light rain since they don't have a separate fly? We're considering purchasing our first 'dining tent' but we'd like to use it avoid bugs, sun and even a light rain shower. Thank you!
The clam works ok in light rain with the optional side walls which are cheap. I use mine at music festivals to host small sessions of 4 players.
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Old 04-02-2022, 06:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattedfred View Post
Maybe a stupid question, but are the Gazelle or Clam shelters good in a light rain since they don't have a separate fly? We're considering purchasing our first 'dining tent' but we'd like to use it avoid bugs, sun and even a light rain shower. Thank you!
Like any fabric product made for the great outdoors, you need to apply a coating each year to keep it waterproof. You need to buy a couple of spray cans of Scotch Guard water repellent spray and coat it at the beginning of each year before "camping season" to maintain the water repellency of the fabric. At least that's what I do, and my Clam has never leaked. And the "no-see-um" screen mesh doesn't let the rain in either. I have the optional Velcro screen covers, and frankly, I have never needed or used them in over a dozen years that I've had the Clam screen room. I've sat inside it, perfectly dry, in downpours of rain so hard that you couldn't even see the next campsite over from you.
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Old 04-02-2022, 07:53 PM   #16
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Thank you both!
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Old 04-09-2022, 11:39 PM   #17
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Georgia
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I will definitely say to preserve and store all of the awning arms and parts. They are NO LONGER available anywhere, at any price. Dometic has ceased making them and has no spares.

Someone on the BF forum bought a 25 ft trailer that needed one arm and rafter that was damaged beyond any repair, and they figured it would be easy to get new parts. Wrong...... none are to be found. If you do not install the awning, just store the parts till you sell it, it will bring a lot more money and be an easier sell with a working awning. Fabric is easy to replace and not that expensive, not sure why you don't want to do it.

This even caught the BF factory by surprise and they had to change the blocking inside on new models to mount a Carefree of Colorado model that would fit the slight curve of the trailer's sides. Dometic has gone to strictly the electric models that only mount on flat sided trailers.

Charles
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Old 04-10-2022, 09:46 AM   #18
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Name: Karen
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Bigfoot awning: replace?

I would sure miss my Bigfoot awning if something happened to it. Can the Clam shelter be put up by one person?
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Old 04-10-2022, 01:31 PM   #19
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I have a cheap (less than $100) EZ up I bought at Ollies, along with the screening for the sides of it. The first time you put it up and put the fabric on it, you leave the fabric on it and collapse it. I have a couple of straps I put around it to keep it squeezed into a tight bundle and not try to open up.

As far as erecting a EZ up, on person can do it, but you really need two. You stand the bundle up, two persons, on diagonal corners, and back away from each other. Then slide the legs out and finish locking it in place and tightening up stuff.

There are some rather fancy ones that are easily erected by one person. I just wanted something to put over a picnic table, and this works well for that. Its great when you are cooking and eating at the table and don't want the trees dropping all kinds of stuff on you. Pic is a good example. The MH didn't have an awning and the area was heavily tree covered.

For anyone with a Bigfoot trailer that has the awning with the arms with bends in them, I did a thread on the BOCI forum on how I installed a RV Awning Lock on the A&E awning on my BF 21RB and if there is any interest I possibly can repost it here.

Charles
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Old 04-10-2022, 08:19 PM   #20
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Name: Karen
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Charles, thanks for mentioning the RV Awning Lock. I just ordered one for my Dometic Sunchaser awning. Since that model is listed on the Awning Lock site I expect installation instructions will come for that model. I did check out your post on the Bigfoot Owners forum.
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