Is the Casita awning for rain? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:53 PM   #1
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Name: Valerie
Trailer: 2016 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Mississippi
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Is the Casita awning for rain?

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!
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Old 06-05-2016, 07:45 PM   #2
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Often rain storms also include wind gusts.
Gusty winds and awnings are not a good mix.

Last year, I saw an unexpected 67 mph wind rip the stakes out of the ground on a Starcraft pop-up's awning, throw the awning up on top of the camper, and bend up the aluminum poles. It
pretty well destroyed the awning and did some damage to the points where the awning attached to the trailer.

During that same storm, our little CLAM Traveler shimmied and shook but was otherwise undamaged and certainly did not damage our trailer.

Awnings will provide some protection from a gentle rain, but do beware of rain storms with gusty winds and hail!

I hope that helps a bit.

Good luck! 😊

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Old 06-05-2016, 07:59 PM   #3
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The awning is great for sun or rain. If the wind is over 15-20 mph we take ours down. To be most effective in the rain it help to divert the rain water that come in between the awning and the roof. There are a few ways to accomplish that. Search the forums for the solution you like most.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:38 PM   #4
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What happened to acid rain?
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
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!
Casita awning works fine for drizzle rain in the Northwest, except for the gap between the awning and the shell - so you have to be creative to keep water from running in the door.

Legs are pretty flimsy so they need to be staked out. The brackets on the sides of the trailer are worse, usable only if there is ZERO wind.
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:53 AM   #6
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We use the Clam for our Scamp, about $300. The awning would have cost about a $1000. The awning does not keep one bug out. Plus it contains our golden, off leash and gives us freedom to walk around in camp. Carl
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:23 AM   #7
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Name: Joe
Trailer: 1999 Casita 17' SD
Ohio
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Let's get something straight!

It's ALL awnings that have trouble in wind and rain.

Common sense is the rule on awnings. If your going to be away for say an hour and pop up thunderstorms are eminent roll it in.

It takes just a couple of minutes to roll in a Casita awning.

Joe
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:36 AM   #8
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Is the Casita awning for rain?

The rain problem (apart from wind) with attached awnings has to do with pooling in the middle. Designs that have additional rafters or arched supports do better. It helps to shorten some of the legs to give it more slope.

I agree that common sense and forethought when you will be away from camp will guide you.

As to whether to go with the factory attached awning or a freestanding... tough decision! Opinions here are divided. Awnings serve different functions: rain, shade, bugs. A lot depends on which function(s) are most important to you.

We use a First-Up freestanding awning because we often set up our camp kitchen away from the trailer. Our main need is shade. It's also inexpensive. If you camp in buggy areas, the Clam seems like a good choice. It appears to withstand more wind than many other designs. If you move from place to place often, attached awnings are convenient and don't take up space inside the trailer. Having dry or shady space right next to the trailer is nice. But factory case awnings are pricey.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:03 AM   #9
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We used the Horizon Fiama awning on our Casita 17SD all three days we were at LCG teardrop & tiny travel trailer gathering last year at Lake Bistineau, LA. Had intermittent rain, some wind, with lots of blowing, wet leaves. Had no problems with either the awning or with the Ozark Trail (first-up) shelter from Wal Mart. The legs of the awning were 'pegged' down as were the legs/feet of the Wal Mart Shelter.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:13 AM   #10
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And that's a reminder it doesn't have to be an either-or decision!
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
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!
Of course rain!. To keep rain from coming between the Scamp Roof and awning case, we used a length of one inch diameter vinyl tubing; stuffed in the gap and caulked with silicone.
For windy days, I add guy ropes in two directions from the outer corners down to long spike pegs in the ground.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:14 AM   #12
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At some point wind will damage your awning. Only a question of how much it takes. Don't forget those guy rope stakes are less effective in ground that is soaked with rain. Mud is not as solid as dirt.


We added an awning track to the roof, to which we attach a regular tarp, dropping one corner helps with drainage. We can use the tarp which is large off the trailer. Tarp is longer than trailer so has a pole in front and behind trailer in addition to the track anchoring the trailer side. Plus 3 or 4 poles and guy lines on the outside edge. We don't spend much time inside :-)


I have considered setting up a small tarp, maybe 4x6 as a storm awning. Figure the reduced surface to catch the wind, with the same amount of anchoring would be less likely to fail and still provide a little awning for door and window on that side.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:27 AM   #13
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We usually place the picnic table half under the awning and bungee the legs down by hooking them at the top of the leg and attaching them to the underside of the table.
After our first rain, I placed a small PVC pipe into the gap and siliconed it in for an excellent gutter which has lasted 12 years.
Mine is a Catalina 2500, the pipe size or material may need to be different for other makes.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
What happened to acid rain?
Apparently, lost in mediocrity like so many others!
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:31 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, 11:49 AM   #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, 12:39 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, 01:07 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, 01:30 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, 03:47 PM   #20
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Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe
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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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