Case or roll up awning for 17' Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-24-2010, 11:21 AM   #1
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Name: Keith
Trailer: 1973 Boler 1300 (gone) 1985 Bigfoot
Alberta
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I searched and searched, but never seem to land on the answer I'm looking for!

We currently have an older awning on our 1985 17' Bigfoot - slides into the C-channel and put up the poles and guy lines, and it's up. However, it is a tremendous PITA to take it in and out of the rail, especially with my (not so tall) wife helping. Plus, the poles and lines are a real pain with 3 kids and the dog running around, not to mention the inability to drive a peg in in most campgrounds around here!

We had a bag awning on our Boler, which alleviates the installation problem, but not the poles and ropes. We had a Fiamma F45 on our Westfalia and loved it, but it didn't have the fixed mounts to the van, just the vertical poles. So it could get picked up my a big breeze. We had a Shady Boy on our other Westfalia, and it is a great, minimalist design, but not what we need.

So do any other owners of the 17' range FG trailers have any insights on the application of a cased awning such as Fiamma/Dometic/A&E/Carefree on a curved shell trailer? I am aware of the issues with the rain getting between the awning and the trailer, but I'm OK with that - not really a rainy part of the world here. I would like something simple to unfurl, and fixed to the side of the trailer. Ideally 10'-12' long, with an 8'-10' extension. My biggest concern is getting it mounted and open, then not being able to open the door

The cost of awnings, especially locally, has me looking to order one and pick it up at the border rather than ship to Canada.

Pictures, advice, warnings, recipes (kidding) are appreciated.

Keith
calgary, AB
1985 Bigfoot 17'
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:53 AM   #2
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I usually see a Roll-Up awning on BigFoots. Usually they are CareFree of Colorado: Fiesta units like what Reace puts on Escape trailers. You have to order the special curved legs, and be careful to measure for leg length as well as Awning length. My Fiber Stream's Fiesta Awning is 10' (roller tube length, the fabric is shorter) and extends 8'.

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Old 07-24-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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The awning on ours is an A&E 8500 open roll vinyl, which is fairly easy to deploy. That being said, I think the best awning is no awning. Awnings come with problems, like mildew and staining if they are not cleaned properly. Open roll awnings can be easily damaged and can unfurl in high winds. One can usually find some shade to sit in, if you don't have an awning. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #4
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I searched and searched, but never seem to land on the answer I'm looking for!

We currently have an older awning on our 1985 17' Bigfoot - slides into the C-channel and put up the poles and guy lines, and it's up. However, it is a tremendous PITA to take it in and out of the rail, especially with my (not so tall) wife helping. Plus, the poles and lines are a real pain with 3 kids and the dog running around, not to mention the inability to drive a peg in in most campgrounds around here!

We had a bag awning on our Boler, which alleviates the installation problem, but not the poles and ropes. We had a Fiamma F45 on our Westfalia and loved it, but it didn't have the fixed mounts to the van, just the vertical poles. So it could get picked up my a big breeze. We had a Shady Boy on our other Westfalia, and it is a great, minimalist design, but not what we need.

So do any other owners of the 17' range FG trailers have any insights on the application of a cased awning such as Fiamma/Dometic/A&E/Carefree on a curved shell trailer? I am aware of the issues with the rain getting between the awning and the trailer, but I'm OK with that - not really a rainy part of the world here. I would like something simple to unfurl, and fixed to the side of the trailer. Ideally 10'-12' long, with an 8'-10' extension. My biggest concern is getting it mounted and open, then not being able to open the door

The cost of awnings, especially locally, has me looking to order one and pick it up at the border rather than ship to Canada.

Pictures, advice, warnings, recipes (kidding) are appreciated.


Keith
calgary, AB
1985 Bigfoot 17'

Keith, check this company out.

http://www.interwestsports.com/bag%20awnings.html

I have just ordered one the other day
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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The awning on ours is an A&E 8500 open roll vinyl, which is fairly easy to deploy. That being said, I think the best awning is no awning. Awnings come with problems, like mildew and staining if they are not cleaned properly. Open roll awnings can be easily damaged and can unfurl in high winds. One can usually find some shade to sit in, if you don't have an awning. Just my 2 cents.
Lots of birds like sittin' in them shade trees.... They sit there all stuffed full of berrys and worms just waitin' for some unsuspecting camper without an awning.... seeking shade ....
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:35 PM   #6
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Still looking for options...
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:54 AM   #7
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My Bigfoot came with the Carefree 'Spirit' model awning when I got it. Works great
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:18 AM   #8
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Lainey - does your awning have straight arms or the curved (bent looking) ones? The only thing I've read is that since the sides are curved, the straight arms won't work? I don't suppose you could post (or email) a picture?

Thanks,
Keith
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:07 PM   #9
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Keith,

Here you go. Yes, the rails are curved.

I think this is a factory installed awning.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:20 PM   #10
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Name: Keith
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Alberta
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Just an update - still haven't bought an awning (HA!). Must get that done this year. Before August!
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:01 AM   #11
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I know the feeling - I was hoping to have some updates done on the 13' by now. Let's blame it on the long, long winter.
What awning are you going to order?
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Old 05-05-2011, 10:03 AM   #12
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Name: Keith
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I think one of the Carefree ones with curved arms is the best fit. I loved our Fiamma, but I don't think it will end up mounting to the Bigfoot very well.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:22 AM   #13
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Name: Keith
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Found a PDF of the curved arm measurement guide for the Carefree awnings. The biggest annoynace with Carefree is that since each one is custome built, there's no way to order them online. I wanted to order one in the U.S. and have it delivered to the border to save some $$$. ANYTHING in Canada is at least 25% more. Ergh.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:07 AM   #14
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North Dakota
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Just my 2 cents worth

We decided to fore go the awning all together. Found it wasn't worth the added price. They are nice but half the time in ND they have to be down because of the wind.

We decided to go instead with a Coleman 10' X 10' portable canopy. We got the screen room attachment AND the wind shield (not the one that has the screen room always attached)

We haven't done the whole set up yet but my nephew from windy Saskatchewan is the one who suggested it and he uses his all the time. They go up very quickly and fold down quickly and give protection to the things left under it. You have the option of just a canopy or a screen room

Total price for all the set up was less than $180 at Target

Added bonus - we can use it at home, it all packs up into a rolling bag
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:58 PM   #15
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Alberta
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Thanks for the thoughts Chris. We have a 10x10' canopy that we use in the backyard, but isn't really viable for us for camping. One big reason is that with 2 adults, 3 kids and a dog anything that goes IN the van or trailer is to be avoided. We are trying to get as much stuff OUT.

At any rate, I found a good deal locally on a used Fiamma F45 - since we had one on our Westfalia, I'm comfortable with it. At $400 it's a big savings over anything new.
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:12 PM   #16
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Keith - congrats! sounds like you got the problem solved and at a good price

I forget about the space dilemma as it is now just the two of us, a pickup and our dog weighs all of 10 lbs
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:11 AM   #17
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Name: Keith
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My wife picked up the Fiamma F45 awning last Friday and now I just have to find a helper who likes holding heavy things while standing on a milk crate to figure out the best way to mount it!
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Old 05-25-2011, 05:32 PM   #18
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I told my husband he best be getting the replacment parts to put the awning back on before he goes to North Dakota as the campgrounds there lack natural shade.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:07 AM   #19
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Name: Keith
Trailer: 1973 Boler 1300 (gone) 1985 Bigfoot
Alberta
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Got out and made the brackets to mount the case awning. Either my awning is a very old Fiamma, or a Fiamma knock-off - at any rate, the grooves ont eh back of the case don't match up to what Fiamma shows for their brackets. I bought some 1/8" x 3" aluminum strips to bend some brackets out of. I needed to mount the awning up high enough to clear the door. I made 3 brackets attached to the roof and sidewalls, then attached the awning rail to those, and then will bolt the case to the brackets. The awning rail is just good for alignment and holding it all together without a helper! I'll take some pictures when I get it buttoned up.

We got lucky and the awning colour is brown and beige - such a perfect match for the colours of our 1985 Bigfoot!
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:25 PM   #20
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Here's the Fiamma mounted
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