Removing Fiamma F45i Awning from Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-27-2018, 01:23 PM   #1
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Removing Fiamma F45i Awning from Casita

Wondering if anyone has removed their Fiamma awning from their Casita 17. I need to remove the awning to repair the support arms. It appears there are three brackets affixed to the roof and then the awning is secured with three phillips head screws into the base of the awning. Two seem accessible but the front bracket above the door is set very close to the roof and inaccessible.
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:04 AM   #2
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I have recently had my awning removed for me by a gust of wind. I would not recommend wind as a removal method.

I had to remove the case from the brackets so that I could pound the 3 brackets back straight again. The awning came off brackets and all. I consulted the installation guide (came with the trailer). Also available on the Fiamma site. Those machine screws hold the base of the case against the bracket. There is a nylok type nut at the other end of the screw, inside the case. You have to open the awning 6-12" to get at the nuts to remove them. Then the bolts should pretty much drop out. Save 'em. One of those "Z" shaped screwdriver thingys might help to hold the head of the screw while working on the nut with a box wrench or some such. I expect that after you remove the three screws the awning will rotate away from the bottom and lift off of the bracket easily. Probably want a helper.

In terms of TMI because this doesn't apply to your repair but FWIW, there are fiberglass shims under the brackets on my 16'. The shims are fiberglass flats about the size of the bracket bases. The brackets are fixed through the shims into the roof by four 3/16" rivets of unknown length in each bracket.

The holes in each bracket have a vaguely improvised look to them so I was unclear whether replacement brackets would have holes that lined up with the originals so I elected to label the bent brackets location and straighten them for reuse. There appear to be two shims (at least) under each bracket. The 17 may have a straighter wall over the length of the awing than my 16 so it might not need shims.

There are great gobs of sealant along the bottom the case of my awning because I sealed the trailer/awning gap with gutter strip material which had to be cut to fit between brackets which meant I wanted to seal the bracket/gutter joints. Whether the extra sealing was necessary I don't know but I do know what I did was well sealed against rain.

You won't have to go that far but this is just a heads up to look out for them for others as long as we're discussing it. I suppose I should post a separate thread after I get it all sorted out.
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:50 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve L. View Post
I have recently had my awning removed for me by a gust of wind. I would not recommend wind as a removal method.

I had to remove the case from the brackets so that I could pound the 3 brackets back straight again. The awning came off brackets and all. I consulted the installation guide (came with the trailer). Also available on the Fiamma site. Those machine screws hold the base of the case against the bracket. There is a nylok type nut at the other end of the screw, inside the case. You have to open the awning 6-12" to get at the nuts to remove them. Then the bolts should pretty much drop out. Save 'em. One of those "Z" shaped screwdriver thingys might help to hold the head of the screw while working on the nut with a box wrench or some such. I expect that after you remove the three screws the awning will rotate away from the bottom and lift off of the bracket easily. Probably want a helper.

In terms of TMI because this doesn't apply to your repair but FWIW, there are fiberglass shims under the brackets on my 16'. The shims are fiberglass flats about the size of the bracket bases. The brackets are fixed through the shims into the roof by four 3/16" rivets of unknown length in each bracket.

The holes in each bracket have a vaguely improvised look to them so I was unclear whether replacement brackets would have holes that lined up with the originals so I elected to label the bent brackets location and straighten them for reuse. There appear to be two shims (at least) under each bracket. The 17 may have a straighter wall over the length of the awing than my 16 so it might not need shims.

There are great gobs of sealant along the bottom the case of my awning because I sealed the trailer/awning gap with gutter strip material which had to be cut to fit between brackets which meant I wanted to seal the bracket/gutter joints. Whether the extra sealing was necessary I don't know but I do know what I did was well sealed against rain.

You won't have to go that far but this is just a heads up to look out for them for others as long as we're discussing it. I suppose I should post a separate thread after I get it all sorted out.
Sorry to hear about your awning being removed without your consent, Steve. Really appreciate your experience on the Fiamma awning removal and will attempt it this weekend.
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:15 PM   #4
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Probably not the answer you're looking for, but I also removed my factory Fiamma awning quite a while back. I can't say that I was ever enamored with that thing. Sold it to some other folks who wanted it, and never regretted it. I replaced that ugly monstrosity, along with those goofy brackets they mounted it to, and installed a nice simple Keder rail section on the side of my trailer. I just slide in my simple awning into the track and guy it out to two telescoping aluminum poles at the outboard end. I personally think the trailer looks much better without that Fiamma awning. Those Franken-mounts were created to adapt a flat-backed awning made to be hung on a straight-sided trailer,(aka stick-built,) to a rounded surface as our fiberglass eggs have. Looks like crap IMO.

Oh, and my awning can stand the rain and wind. Those Fiammas can't.
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Old 07-01-2018, 04:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Probably not the answer you're looking for, but I also removed my factory Fiamma awning quite a while back. I can't say that I was ever enamored with that thing. Sold it to some other folks who wanted it, and never regretted it. I replaced that ugly monstrosity, along with those goofy brackets they mounted it to, and installed a nice simple Keder rail section on the side of my trailer. I just slide in my simple awning into the track and guy it out to two telescoping aluminum poles at the outboard end. I personally think the trailer looks much better without that Fiamma awning. Those Franken-mounts were created to adapt a flat-backed awning made to be hung on a straight-sided trailer,(aka stick-built,) to a rounded surface as our fiberglass eggs have. Looks like crap IMO.

Oh, and my awning can stand the rain and wind. Those Fiammas can't.
We are also looking into the Keder rail system if unable to repair the Fiamma awning for a reasonable price. Did you attach the rail section directly to the fiberglass?
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:29 AM   #6
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Yes. I attached it with 1/4-20 stainless machine screws on the outside along with fender washers and Nylock nuts on the inside. Drilled the Keder rail about an inch and a half from each end, and then on about 1 ft centers for the rest of the mounting screws. The Keder rail is mounted so that all the holes were drilled into the upper cabinets, so they don't show inside the trailer. They're all hidden inside the cabinets. Be sure to use a good sealant behind the Keder rail itself and also a small dab in each screw hole to keep it water-tight. This thing is bomb-proof, unlike the weak and finicky Fiamma awnings.
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Old 07-02-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Yes. I attached it with 1/4-20 stainless machine screws on the outside along with fender washers and Nylock nuts on the inside. Drilled the Keder rail about an inch and a half from each end, and then on about 1 ft centers for the rest of the mounting screws. The Keder rail is mounted so that all the holes were drilled into the upper cabinets, so they don't show inside the trailer. They're all hidden inside the cabinets. Be sure to use a good sealant behind the Keder rail itself and also a small dab in each screw hole to keep it water-tight. This thing is bomb-proof, unlike the weak and finicky Fiamma awnings.
Greg - did you just put sealant over and in the holes from the brackets attached to the Fiamma awning or do something more extensive?
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:56 PM   #8
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FWIW, I didn't do anything to the Fiamma brackets except remove them, but when I bedded the Keder rail, I applied a good bead of sealant to the back of the rail to seal it to the side of the trailer and also added a dab into each screw hole as well. I let it "squish" out as the screws were tightened and wiped off the excess when it was installed. It keeps road dirt out of the joint between the rail and the trailer.

Just as a general rule, for anything you drill a hole for that is exposed to the outside, always add sealant to the hole before inserting your fasteners, whether they are rivets, bolts, screws, etc.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by EggRoll View Post
Greg - did you just put sealant over and in the holes from the brackets attached to the Fiamma awning or do something more extensive?
Greg, I think Perry's asking about the holes left from the awning brackets and how you plugged those.
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:18 PM   #10
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Oops, maybe I misread his comment, but as to filling the old rivet holes, (or any other small holes in the Casita,) my preferred filler is Marine-Tex. It's the cat's pajamas for permanent hole repair on fiberglass, and it blends well color-wise with the gel coat.
https://www.amazon.com/MTI-Marine-Te...SIN=B0014419V0
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:06 PM   #11
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So I was able to get the awning off fairly easily. As mentioned I unfurled the awning slightly to expose the three nylocks, the one above the door was the most difficult as the bolt would spin as I tried to unthread the nylock but was able to get a pair of needle-nose pliers around the bolt head to loosen the nylock. Once the bolts were removed the awning had to be flipped upward and took some force to get it to release but eventually it came off the three brackets.

So, my purpose for the removal was to see if I could remove the damaged/cracked knuckles from each of the arms. Getting to the knuckles required disassembling several pieces. The knuckles for the arms are pressed in so had to use a punch to knock the pin holding the knuckles. Looking at the Fiamma parts diagram they do not sell just the knuckles but rather the entire arms, which are around $250 each. Wondering if it's worth a call to Fiamma to see if they sell just the knuckles, or perhaps have someone local try and fabricate some?
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Old 07-02-2018, 11:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
Yes. I attached it with 1/4-20 stainless machine screws on the outside along with fender washers and Nylock nuts on the inside. Drilled the Keder rail about an inch and a half from each end, and then on about 1 ft centers for the rest of the mounting screws. The Keder rail is mounted so that all the holes were drilled into the upper cabinets, so they don't show inside the trailer. They're all hidden inside the cabinets. Be sure to use a good sealant behind the Keder rail itself and also a small dab in each screw hole to keep it water-tight. This thing is bomb-proof, unlike the weak and finicky Fiamma awnings.
That's a very clean look with just the Keder rail on there. Do you miss having a portion of the awning overhanging the door?
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:17 AM   #13
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That's a very clean look with just the Keder rail on there. Do you miss having a portion of the awning overhanging the door?
Thanks, and no, I don't find it to be a problem at all. I never liked the way the Fiamma awning, (that I used to have,) would rub against the top of the door when deployed. Also, mounting the Keder rail where I did allows me to slide the awning in while standing on the ground, but still not brush my head against it when it's set up, (and I'm 6'2".) If I had mounted it higher up on the side, so as to run continuously over the door, I would have obviously had to install the rail higher up, which would then require the need for a short ladder to reach the track. I find that the one step out the door to duck under the slide-in awning isn't that big of a deal. Even in a good rain, that one short step isn't going to cause you to drown. Also, the slide-in awning keeps the rain from running down the side of the trailer, unlike the ill-designed mounting brackets for the Fiamma.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:40 AM   #14
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So I was able to get the awning off fairly easily. As mentioned I unfurled the awning slightly to expose the three nylocks, the one above the door was the most difficult as the bolt would spin as I tried to unthread the nylock but was able to get a pair of needle-nose pliers around the bolt head to loosen the nylock. Once the bolts were removed the awning had to be flipped upward and took some force to get it to release but eventually it came off the three brackets.

So, my purpose for the removal was to see if I could remove the damaged/cracked knuckles from each of the arms. Getting to the knuckles required disassembling several pieces. The knuckles for the arms are pressed in so had to use a punch to knock the pin holding the knuckles. Looking at the Fiamma parts diagram they do not sell just the knuckles but rather the entire arms, which are around $250 each. Wondering if it's worth a call to Fiamma to see if they sell just the knuckles, or perhaps have someone local try and fabricate some?
Did you learn anything from Fiamma? I have the same situation with there awning on our 13-foot scam. One of those arm knuckles is fractured from a collapse and the outer cover is somewhat bent, but I'm hoping to just straighten that. Yet $250 for the whole arm sounds daunting. Thanks for your and the original tip of opening someone to remove the awning – I'm going down to give that a try now.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:29 AM   #15
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Wondering if it's worth a call to Fiamma to see if they sell just the knuckles, or perhaps have someone local try and fabricate some?
It looks like you could take them to a professional welder and have them welded.
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:45 AM   #16
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Did you learn anything from Fiamma? I have the same situation with there awning on our 13-foot scam. One of those arm knuckles is fractured from a collapse and the outer cover is somewhat bent, but I'm hoping to just straighten that. Yet $250 for the whole arm sounds daunting. Thanks for your and the original tip of opening someone to remove the awning Ė I'm going down to give that a try now.
What I learned is the knuckles need to be rotated before unfurling the awning. Since we purchased our Casita used the knuckles were already compromised and didn't take much force to completely fracture them. The new replacement knuckles seem to be cast slightly differently and appear more robust. Would need to see a photo of the bent cover to get a better ideal of how to fix. The covers strength is from it being formed, if it's kinked that's going to be hard to repair.
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Old 05-26-2020, 10:45 AM   #17
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It looks like you could take them to a professional welder and have them welded.
Thanks - I got the awning off & wondered the same, though the joint is aluminum and the fragments are gone, so I may check with the welding program at our technical college to see what they can mock up for practice. I don't need pretty, just functional!
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:11 PM   #18
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Here's images of the crippled knuckle. The outer edge looks more twisted/torqued - the no creases or bends. There's also a rear at the edge of the fabrics I hope I can repair.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/t6agBj547g2SP91m6
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Old 05-28-2020, 01:27 AM   #19
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just do a search on the keywords
Fiamma awning arm knuckle.


The knuckles are actually available on their own. You don't have to buy the whole arm. Contact FiammaUS. These awnings are also widely available in Europe, that is the homebase of Fiamma. They are also sold in Australia. So if you can't get one from here you can possibly get them from a source in Europe or Australia. Once you get the part number you can also try looking for it on Ebay, the search should bring up Ebay sites in other countries so that will greatly expand your available sources for replacement parts.


In fact here is a listing for one from the UK, hopefully it is the part you need for your particular model, if not you can still ask this dealer as they say they have a wide variety of Fiamma parts. You would want to contact the seller directly to inquire if they can arrange for you to purchase the item you need and have it shipped to the USA or Canada.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fiamma-Awni...-/322053836065
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:13 PM   #20
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Those turn out to all be knuckles for the swing-down leg supports. Thanks, though, I'll poke around some more.
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