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Sunday, August 25, 2013

RV Awnings

So, I have never used the awning on the side of my RV. It was opened one time, in 2 years, and that was by the installer of my window sun screens.



I suppose the awning may shade the window to keep it cooler inside. The solar shades serve the same purpose and are much easier to put up and take down. I can reach the tops of my windows without a step-stool or ladder. 

The awning is a pain for one person to open and close. I have thought about having the awning converted to an automatic awning but am not sure it would be worth the expense.  

I would prefer to spend that money on solar panels. 

I walk around the RV park and see awnings open and no shade under the awning. 

If I park my RV with the windshield facing North - the RV creates shade on the passenger side in the afternoon. 



I would like to know how often you use your awning and what your thoughts are about RV awnings in general and automatic vs. manual. What if yours was damaged? Would you care enough to replace it? That's another concern. I have read about sudden winds destroying awnings.  

Resale value does not concern me. I do not plan to sell my RV. 

I may have the awning removed. If anyone is interested in purchasing an awning send me an email.  

22 comments:

  1. We're using our awning more this summer than we ever have because of the direction we are parked. Most of the time Jim doesn't put it out and if it were just me, it wouldn't ever come out because it is too much of a pain. It really does keep the rig much cooler when the sun is beating in our door.

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  2. Teri, I'm with you. My awning was opened one time six years ago by the dealer in the pre-delivery inspection. I wish it had been an option.

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  3. We've lived full-time in our rig almost 13 years. One of those "sudden winds" tore off the first awning, so what's out there now is the replacement. When/how much we use it totally depends on where we're at and how windy it is. Ours is not automatic so we have to be careful of changes in weather. It really did help keep the rig cooler when we were in South Texas, and I think we used it more then than any other time. I guess I wouldn't want to live without it even though we really don't use it often. When we need it, it's there.

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  4. Our motorhome came with an automatic awning, so we use it quite a bit because it puts itself away in bad weather. Ours is handy when there's a gentle rain and we can stay dry coming in and out of the door. In windy weather, it's not as good. I can see how an awning might be something you would be willing to do without.

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  5. I like my awning as much for the rain as for the sun shade it provides. We have a screen that can attach to the awning and be staked to the ground. Between the two of them they really do provide great shade. All that said, it is a pain to put out and take back up unless there are two people or you have a short RV. We don't leave it up if it is windy at all but in a lot of places you don't know what will happen when you leave so that means mostly we have to put it up when we leave. So I'd like to have an automatic that would put itself away in bad weather if it comes up while we are away. But I really do like my awning. However, if you haven't used it and don't miss it then I'm not sure it's worth the trouble to use or to sell.

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  6. I use the awning and find if I go a few weeks without using it then in the groove bugs build up their little nests and it's a pain to get cleared out. Our rig is now just under 2 months old and the groove was full of that build up.

    If you don't use it and plan to keep it I would check this out becuase it gets nasty.

    Erik

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  7. If ours was manual, not sure how much we would use it. The automatic is nice. We do keep the weather in mind because we have heard the stories about wind damage. We put it in most of the time before we leave and at night. It only takes a minute to put it in and take it out.

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  8. Our awning stays out 24/7. Only comes in during bad storms or travel. We did have an automatic awning on our fifth wheel which was nice when it worked. Once we caught a strong wind and did not get awning in. Something twisted so awning never rolled up correctly.
    Our motor home has manual awning works better than the auto awning we had on fifth wheel. We keep this one strapped down so it takes a pretty strong storm to cause us to bring it in.

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  9. Ours is also automatic, but so far we have rarely used it. We like to hike et. outsie, and Craig is starting to cook more often, but we are not in the habit of sitting outside very much. By the time I'm done cooking and cleaning up we are often ready for a short time just reading in bed or a brief TV watch.

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  10. I have found that my awning has really made a difference in how much the rig heats up. It also gives me the option of being dry as I take Emma out. My first rig had a manual awning. I used it regularly except in Texas. It's too windy there. I didn't find it that much of a pain to put out and take in.

    I now have an automatic awning. The pluses are the ease of putting it out and taking it in... just a touch of a button. The automatic wind gauge to bring it in works when it wants to. Sometimes when there is no breeze at all. Another disadvantage of an automatic awning over a manual one is that you cannot adjust the angle of the awning with an automatic one. I find that to be a pain.

    In either case, I never leave the rig without retracting the awning. You just never know, so it's better to be safe than sorry. I would not want to be without one.

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  11. one day on our next rv an automatic awning would be a must have for us..those manual ones can be a real pain especially for one person to put away!!

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  12. I think an awning is very worth while, but as everyone else says "they can be a pain". They do extend your living area. If you're staying put for awhile you can roll it out and tie it down. Camping world has some awning tie downs that work very well. If you're moving frequently it may not be worth the hassle. Of course being solo makes things more difficult but RVers are pretty helpful as a rule. I'm sure folks would help if you needed it. Also being well rehearsed in putting up and taking down helps a bunch.

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  13. In two years I have never opened my awning. Is hard to do alone. Plus worry about wind grabbing it and tearing it off leaving a mess behind. Maybe I should sell mine too.

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  14. My trailer does not have an awning. In stead I have a not so easy up. One of the brackets have broken, now it is easier for one person (me) to put up. The advantage of this is I can move it for the shade and rain guard at whim.... just restake it where desired. I love having the additional outside space. I tend to put it on the side by the fridge to provide shade on that side. There certainly are good options available if you decide to sell.

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  15. I always used my awning on my motor home and on the trailer. To me it was more of a cozy feeling for sitting out side and yes to keep the heat down inside. They were manual it wasn't that much a problem once you get the hang of it. I had just replaces the awning on the trailer before I sold it.

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  16. Hi Teri-

    We use our awning pretty much every day. We have a very sunny western exposure and need the shade in the afternoon. Our last trailer had a manual awning, and Teri couldn't put it out or bring it in. Out current trailer has an electric awning and she loves it as it is just the press of a switch to put it out or bring it in. We never leave it out when we are gone or asleep, as I've seem what a high wind can do to an awning.

    So we're a bit YES on the awning.

    Mark

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  17. Everyone is so different. I never use my awning. If I was part of a couple and we sat outside a lot, that would be great, and HE could do the awning duty. But I'm always inside, haven't use it, haven't missed it. I seem to be in places where the wind comes up quickly, and since mine is manual, I worry it would get twisted and ruined before I got it down. I've seen that happen to other campers. If it's super hot, like in the 90's, I cover the windows on the sunny side with windshield covers, those round ones that are black on one side and silver on the other, and then lower my shades over them. That makes a big difference.

    I think another reason I don't put out my awning is that I love looking out and seeing the ground, the far distance (lake or field or mountain) and the sky. I have a big view out my windows, and an awning would block some of it and also block some of the light coming in.

    I did look into getting an automatic awning last year, but they are pretty expensive and I was told by a repair guy not to invest in one. He said people love them until they break, and then it's expensive to get them repaired. I have friends that have the automatic awnings, though, and they do love them. :)

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  18. Often times, I do something a little different-- I only extend my manual awning out about 18" or so. Just enough to cover the door, and provide shade/rain protection for the steps and window. By not extending it the whole way, I don't have to fool with raising the arms, setting the top beams, or worrying about winds flapping around the full awning, etc. I find that this "partial" method is much less susceptible to wind, but if I ever need to retract it again, it's just a quick flip of the roller lock to close it.

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  19. If you go to the trouble to use an awning, you better stick around and babysit it. Arizona's wind gusts (on even a calm day) can ruin most flimsy stock awnings in a second. Not worth the worry. If you want shade, throw up a screen tent with a solid roof...you can stake them to the ground at least. Or, if you must have an awning, do what Cowboy Brian did to make his gust-proof.
    Box Canyon Mark

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  20. Oh I love my awning! I use it often when camping. Or at dog shows. I set my stuff up outside, put out a coffee pot for friends to use on a table, sometimes a toaster so they can have toast in the morning. In good weather, I can leave those items out under my awning & know they are safe from the elements. I still place a dish towel over them though. It just makes a nice cozy spot for friends to sit under. Mine is manual, but really, once you get the hang of it, it's very easy to set up. I do it solo.

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  21. I could just ditto Cyn, except for the dog show part. I'm solo, I don't find the manual awning at all difficult, and I use it whenever I can. I don't really feel like I'm "parked and at home" unless it's set up. I hang lights, and sit outside and socialize, and do yoga when it gets warm enough, and read, and whatever. And it keeps the dew off the cushions on my bistro set. I would recommend you at least open out your awning several times and try it - you might find you really enjoy it - before selling it.

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Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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