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Old 07-22-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
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Electric awnings use

Have had I several RV but our new one is the first with an electric awning. I like to leave our awning open when staying in the unit and I use a storm strap to reduce the strain in the wind but the new one says to close in windy conditions. I like to remain dry while unlocking the door in a rain. What is your thoughts on using a storm strap on an electric awning. Thanks
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
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There was another thread with the same question recently. Opinions seemed to be all over the place. Some strapped them down somewhat solid. Others strapped them down with some stretching allowed. But most agreed that if you were going to be gone for a time then put the awning in. One cannot easily guess what may or may not happen during a storm. There will be winds that are strong enough to rip the awning off it hinges and or rip the material from the coach. In either case your awning is destroyed.

Depending on the current conditions if we are leaving for more than 1-2 hours we roll it up. To us it's just not worth the chance that we'll guess incorrectly and come back to a disaster that could have been avoided with the push of a button.

Our 1999 MH had a manual awning and they were a lot more trouble to put up and down. It's just easier to protect your investment??

TeJay
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:20 PM   #3
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The make of the awning would help, some are stronger than others, and does it have a wind sensor?
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:52 PM   #4
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The awning is a Dometic with out a wind sensor
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:17 AM   #5
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I have seen too many awnings ripped off the side, with mangled arms and damaged side walls to leave ours extended when we are not around. The manual ones are easier to tie down but still do real damage in wind or even a few minutes of heavy rain. The electric awnings don't provide enough shade protection to make it worth the risk. Press the retract button when leaving and no worries... Or one less thing to worry about anyway.


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Old 07-23-2014, 08:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacearow View Post
I have seen too many awnings ripped off the side, with mangled arms and damaged side walls to leave ours extended when we are not around. The manual ones are easier to tie down but still do real damage in wind or even a few minutes of heavy rain. The electric awnings don't provide enough shade protection to make it worth the risk. Press the retract button when leaving and no worries... Or one less thing to worry about anyway.


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I just experienced the worse of what happens when you leave the awning out. I had mine secured properly and screw augered tight into the ground. Tight and what I thought was secure in light to moderate winds.

After 3 days of beautiful weather, I became complacent, and unbeknownst to me till it was too late, a fast moving storm front brought in 40-50 mph gusts and broke the awning rafter clevaces, tore them off the wall, broke the arms almost in half, flew the awning and arms up top, tore holes in the rubber roof, knocked out the satellite antenna, tore a hole in the slide toppers, broke the vent cover on the Maxair fan, and ripped those anchors out of the ground like they were in butter. We could do nothing but get up there and cut the awning from the rail with a knife at the time, what a nightmare. 9,600 and 2 months later I have finally recovered.

A state park/lake host that is a relative and his wife told me they (campers at the lake) lose 1-2 awnings there every week from winds and folks not retracting their awnings....

My experience/opinion: Do NOT leave any awning out or extended if YOU are not there with it to watch it. I will not leave it out at night either.

One of the advantages of having a motorized awning is the simplicity and ease of pushing a button to retract it to keep it out of harm's way.

Take my advice, you DON'T want to go through what I went through.

This picture doesn't look that bad, but the wind at the time it was taken was about steady 30-40 mph with 40-50 mph gusts. What a nightmare....!! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words and if you look at this close enough, you can see the reality of the damage caused.

DON'T leave your awning out!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:20 AM   #7
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I don't think it is very practical to strap down the Dometic electrics. Several of the RVs near me in this windy Maine coast campground have them and the Dometic arm mechanism "bounces" both down and up, loosening all attempts to support it with straps. Often the strap actually falls off. The Carefree electric awning mechanism is more amenable to tie-downs. I've made a springy one for my Carefree that lets it flex as it is designed to do without letting it fly way up in strong gusts. I still bring it in when winds gust above 25 mph or so, which happens fairly regularly here in the Bar Harbor area.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
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If you need to strap it put it up,if it's rains put it up and you want be sorry.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I don't think it is very practical to strap down the Dometic electrics. Several of the RVs near me in this windy Maine coast campground have them and the Dometic arm mechanism "bounces" both down and up, loosening all attempts to support it with straps. Often the strap actually falls off. The Carefree electric awning mechanism is more amenable to tie-downs. I've made a springy one for my Carefree that lets it flex as it is designed to do without letting it fly way up in strong gusts. I still bring it in when winds gust above 25 mph or so, which happens fairly regularly here in the Bar Harbor area.
Gary I've had a question about those arms and nobody seems to know a correct answer.

To make the arms completely straight out, the awning is overextended. I have to bring it back in about 4-5" to keep it from being overextended. When I do that it isn't a straight line. I'm told that doesn't hurt it, but I wonder how it would be when winds start bothering it...
See how the arms are not straight out at the bottom? Or am I over analyzing again?

Another question for the OP and for me, do you clamp down the hand turns when it is out? It says to in the user manual.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:09 PM   #10
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Our electric awning is a Girard. That stands for:

Greatly overpriced,
Incredibly useless,
Really easy to mess up,
Artistic to look at,
Ridiculously complex to repair and
Dumb, dumb, dumb design!

Girard absolves itself of any responsibility by declaring that their product is a sun shade and is not intended to protect against rain (or wind, or much else).
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:22 PM   #11
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Electric awnings use

Our MH has a Dometic A&E WeatherPro Power Awning with wind sensor. Although the wind sensor feature can be deactivated, it is not recommended as "Damage to the awning can occur in high winds if the awning is left in the open position with this feature de-activated". The Owner's Manual warns: "Do not attach or hang any objects from the awning or tie the awning down. If the sensor is activated or the retract button is depressed and the awning rolls up, damage to the awning and attached objects can occur." A further Caution: "The...awning is extremely durable and can be operated during light rain and light wind conditions. However, when periods of heavy rain, or wind is expected; or you leave the awning unattended, the awning must be closed."
I do not deactivate the wind sensor feature. I never tie the awning down or attach any objects to the awning. I always close the awning when left unattended and when experiencing or expecting moderate to heavy winds or rain. I routinely close the awning overnight, and when I occasionally forget have had to do so a number of times during the night due to unanticipated inclement weather.
IMO these preemptive actions apply generally to all electric awnings (and manual awnings for that matter), as well as slide toppers, particularly on larger slide-outs, during more severe weather conditions.
Who needs the potential grief and expense that can be avoided by the minimal time it takes to close the awning?
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Hugh View Post
Our MH has a Dometic A&E WeatherPro Power Awning with wind sensor. Although the wind sensor feature can be deactivated, it is not recommended as "Damage to the awning can occur in high winds if the awning is left in the open position with this feature de-activated". The Owner's Manual warns: "Do not attach or hang any objects from the awning or tie the awning down. If the sensor is activated or the retract button is depressed and the awning rolls up, damage to the awning and attached objects can occur." A further Caution: "The...awning is extremely durable and can be operated during light rain and light wind conditions. However, when periods of heavy rain, or wind is expected; or you leave the awning unattended, the awning must be closed."
I do not deactivate the wind sensor feature. I never tie the awning down or attach any objects to the awning. I always close the awning when left unattended and when experiencing or expecting moderate to heavy winds or rain. I routinely close the awning overnight, and when I occasionally forget have had to do so a number of times during the night due to unanticipated inclement weather.
IMO these preemptive actions apply generally to all electric awnings (and manual awnings for that matter), as well as slide toppers, particularly on larger slide-outs, during more severe weather conditions.
Who needs the potential grief and expense that can be avoided by the minimal time it takes to close the awning?
Like you appear to do, we also do not hesitate to retract our electric awning as well as the manual ones that we had with prior rv's when instructions from the owners manual or common sense dictates us to do so. Unfortunately there are/will be folks who choose not to be as cautious or maybe they're just lazy and will ultimately end up paying the price for this. Just because companies make/sell products that supposedly allows one to anchor these things down in situations not supported by the awning company doesn't mean you have to do so.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:34 PM   #13
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AMEN Doc and JC!

I'm right there with you now.

I've learned my lesson.

Never again.

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Old 07-24-2014, 04:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docj View Post
Our electric awning is a Girard. That stands for:

Greatly overpriced,
Incredibly useless,
Really easy to mess up,
Artistic to look at,
Ridiculously complex to repair and
Dumb, dumb, dumb design!

Girard absolves itself of any responsibility by declaring that their product is a sun shade and is not intended to protect against rain (or wind, or much else).
I have no experience or details about the Girard, but I did a lot of research on the Dometic 9100 and that's what I upgraded to.

It appears to have a great reference/work history from other users and so far knock wood I'm happy with it, but not enough personal experience yet to recommend it without reservation.

Will let you know in a year or so.

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