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Old 07-20-2015, 06:59 PM   #1
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Question Power Awning vs Manual???

I'd like to hear the good/bad about power awnings vs the manual awnings. Yes the power works great but what about when it rains and you are having lunch under the awning? does it retract automatically? can you tie down a power awning in the wind? what about shade from the sun? The power awnings that I see seem to go out straight as opposed to a downward angle. would that not diminish the amount of shade that you obtain? Your comments from actual experience would b e appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 07-20-2015, 07:13 PM   #2
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The power awning on our 2013 Adventurer is adjustable. the lower arms can be extended or retracted to change the angle. It does not retract when it rains. Rather it has a gas cylinder on the rear arm that will dump the water if it starts to accumulate. There is supposed to be a way to shut off the wind sensor. However we've never kept it out under windy conditions.

The salesman best described the potential operation by saying: Before the wind sensor has had time to react to the first gust of wind the second gust has already torn it.

2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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If the rain water builds up and weighs the power awning down , the knee action at one end will , dump about 10 gals of water ALL at once.
Most power awnings have a wind sensor and will retract in a strong breeze.
You can tie them down , but have to remove all the fuses. Same if you mount a sun shade.
A friend who ended up with a power awning on his new 5er, as standard equipment said " I can't wait till this ..... thing blows off , so I can go back to a manual awning!"
After helping troubleshooting his , when it failed to retract, and watching him struggle to get the shade he wanted, and the rain water issues.
I file power awnings under , one more thing to go wrong , and personally , deal breaker, if I was shopping for a newer coach.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:27 PM   #4
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Our power awning works great, it goes out in a downward slant and gives us plenty of shade. We sit under it in the ran with no issues, it will automatically dump water if it accumulates. The wind sensor can be set for four different settings or turned of all together, so it doesn't retract unless you hit the button. For my money I would take the power awning any day. It takes me about 10 seconds max to put it out or retract it fully. No need for any tie downs or other support for the awning.
Mike & Charlotte
2014 Newmar Canyon Star 3610
Orange County, California
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:39 PM   #5
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We've always had manual awnings (A&E 9000's) till we got the Magna. It has Carefree double awnings that look like Girard. I'd like them to go downward more so they would give more shade. They automatically retracts if the wind gusts and there are four adjustments for that.
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:47 PM   #6
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The first time we ended up with an electric awning I was not happy but the first time a storm popped up in the middle if the night and I just pressed the button to retract it, I decided it was A-okay.
Jimmy (the driver) & Teresa (the mechanic) Newsom
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:04 PM   #7
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I have had both and for me an electric awning it the only way to go. Mine is a Dometic and has the angle down like a manual awning but without the head banging supports. It does self dump in a heavy rain. One nice feature is the fact that it can be partially extended like when I was in Yellowstone and parked 4 foot from a tree. It also has a wireless remote so I don't need to go inside to open or close it. Nothing wrong with a manual awning but with mine I can extend it or close it in in 6 seconds with a beer in one hand, in a rain storm. Can't do that with a manual.
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Old 07-20-2015, 08:50 PM   #8
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We've had both. The manual gives you more options for maximum shade but requires effort! It's easier with 2 people getting it opened and closed but can be done with one.

No problem with one person pressing the "Open" or "Close" button on the remote. Our power awning dumps the water (entertaining to watch!) and is supposed to retract in wind but we've never given it a chance to do that. It is way to high to reach easily to tie down even if you could. If it could be done, you'd have to disable the wind sensor.
Karen & Gary
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traveling in a 2011 Ventana 3433!
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:01 PM   #9
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As to the auto dump rain feature. Friend was sitting under one in the rain when it decided to dump, so got a quick, cold shower!
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:24 PM   #10
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I think the type of awning depends on the type of camping you do. When we were younger, the RV was smaller, our kids traveled with us and most trips consisted of one to three weeks at a campground, usually boating. In those days the manual awning came out and stayed out. If it got windy, we staked it down. Even though a manual awning isn't hard to deploy, it did tale some time.

Now that we're older, travel in a larger RV and typically only stay in one spot for a couple of days, a power awning is much more convenient. We put it out while using it and bring it in when done.

If I were a dry camper, staying somewhere for a week or longer each trip, I think a manual awning would be more convenient/useful.
Don & Mary
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:11 AM   #11
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Our awning is not adjustable and I wish it were. But that is the only negative. The wind sensor has a switch to turn on and off, I'm surprised anyone made an awning that you have to remove a fuse to control the sensor. We can tie our awning down and do if we are staying for a spell, after turning off the wind sensor of course. As stated, our awning has a rain dump feature where 1 awning arm drops slightly causing the water accumulation to run off. I'd never go back to a manual awning.
Steve & Nancy
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:22 AM   #12
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I'll guess I'll be the first to say it but I prefer our manual awning. It just seem much sturdier then the automatic. Sure it's a bit more to put out and bring back in but that's OK. I also like the option of being to tie it down. once we slide the sunscreen in and tie it down it's like another room and a big one at that. JMHO.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:33 AM   #13
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We had our manual awning replaced with a Carefree Electric awning over the week of the 4th. The guys came out to our site at Ocean lakes and completed the install in about 2.5 hours.

Ours does not have a wind sensor (not a problem as we don't leave with it out). For us, the upgrade was about making it easier for my wife or son to put it in if a storm came up and I was not nearby. Our awning has adjustable arms so you can raise it, lower it, or tilt it. Whatever setting you put it on, it will roll back in like normal and then come out as you left it. That way you don't have to keep adjusting it.

They used our roller tube and fabric, so we saved some money. However, our fabric is a little stretched so they will be replacing it for us in August when we go back. I wanted to replace it in July but it is the acrylic fabric with metal wrap and they didn't have it in stock.

Love our powered awning.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:04 AM   #14
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Manual awnings.. High reliability, Lower cost, More work
Power awnings: Lower reliablity, More expensive when things go wrong, More things to go wrong, Aut-Retract may or may not work, But way easier to operate.

Mine is Power.. Wish it was not.

Home is where I park it!
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