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Old 09-04-2009, 10:22 PM   #1
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Haboob kills awning

A buddy from Casa Grande called me a couple days ago and said a haboob had hit her place in the desert the previous night. In the morning this is what she found.

The surprising thing is the awning was in the stored and secured position when the haboob hit.

I think there may have been a microburst within the haboob to exert enough force to open the secured awning. The end result, no matter what the cause, is a destroyed awning. Because it's an older RV her insurance won't cover it.

If you visit central Arizona in the summer you need to respect the force of a haboob...expecially if you are on a highway in your RV when one hits.

This is a photo from the state of Arizona of a haboob.

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Old 09-05-2009, 01:52 AM   #2
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I never heard of a haboob before. Very interesting. How damaging are they to they to solid structures (stick buildings) and the surfaces of a RV? Are we talking about sand blasting of glass, paint and decals?

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Old 09-05-2009, 02:53 AM   #3
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Dirt Devils can do the same thing. While in Arizona, we could not leave our awning out unless we were under it as they come up so fast from no where.
Mike, RVIA & RVSA Certified Master RV Technician
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:27 AM   #4
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One scenario for the unrolling is that the prawl in the roller mechanism failed and the roller reeled out the awning and then the whole awning was pulled from the MH at one end. I have an awning lock to prevent this http://http://awninglock.com/index.shtml
There is debate about the need for a lock but I opted to get one.
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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We stayed at a CG in Brenda, AZ a few months ago. The year round residents in the park chain down their 5th wheels and out buildings because of these sudden bursts of wind. They recommended we do not leave our awnings out when not home. A couple of years ago the host said a burst came through and flipped a fifth wheel over crushing the electric hookup pedestal. There were people in the 5er but were not seriously injured.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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The grit and dirt gets into everything when a haboob rolls through. If you're out in the open desert (no trees or structures to block the wind), it certainly can do damage to paint and such. However, the greater danger is the wind shear that can hit the ground with 100+ mph winds with no warning that can flip 18-wheelers or RVs on the highway.

It is amazing to go from sunlight to darkness within a few seconds when they hit.

If you are traveling in Arizona and see a haboob approaching, the best strategy is to get off the highway and find a safe place to park, turn off all lights (so that someone on the highway doesn't decide to rearend you at 85mph), and wait out the haboob. They usually last only a couple hours.

Years ago I was riding from Prescott to Tucson on my motorcycle and saw I was heading into a haboob. The only shelter I could find was under an overpass. I probably inhaled 1/2-acre of terra firma during that storm.

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