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Old 01-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #1
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Replacing an Awning - Any suggestions?

As the new year has come and we're marching towards spring, i'd like to get going on getting the missing awning on our MH replaced... The previous owners lost it in a wind storm and all that is left is about 1/2" of awning fabric in the rail...
I've had a CareFree on everything i've ever owned and don't know any different about an A&E Dometic vs CareFree other than i've not had to many problems with the CareFree...
I was just at our RV show here in Denver this past weekend and EVERYTHING has got that cool awning that has short arms and collapses in the breeze and some are electric etc. etc.
I was just going to get the CareFree Fiesta with an Alumaguard on it and go simple, but all the cool awnings i saw made me want ONE!!
Should i? SHouldn't i? Is it just looks and less function/reliability???
At this point i'm looking at spending around $1500 but if enough of you say this electric thing is the BOMB-DIGIDY, I'll spring for it!!!
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:19 AM   #2
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Hi TheBeachHous,
The Tampa RV Super Show was last week. I know what you mean by getting caught up in the fast paced glitz of a show. For me, get the awning you described, that met your needs before going to the show. Over time, simple is better.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:37 AM   #3
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I have a power awning on this MH. after replacing the motor last year I was wishing that I still had the old manual awning.
Keep it simple.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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Personally I'd stick with something similar to what you had. We lost our awning in a rain/wind storm in 2008. At the time we considered either a direct replacement, or an electric with the wind sensor. After much deliberation we went with the manual version of the Dometic (A&E) 8500+ awning.

It's a direct replacement for the one that got demolished. Right down to the mounting brackets and rain gutter mounting. It has an aluminum cover and a gas shock on the rear support that collapses if water starts to pool on the awning. Once the rain is shed it returns to the normal position.

The nice thing about this style awning is that it can be adjusted at any angle to block the sun, and the posts can be anchored to the ground if you want to add some type of enclosure. Best of all it was about 1/2 the price of an electric and was installed in only a few minutes using all the mounting holes for the previous awning
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:08 AM   #5
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Another thing to think about is what to do about the mounting holes in the side if you change to something different.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:51 AM   #6
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I like the basic plan, but it would have to have an alum. cover and woven fabric.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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On our last class A I upgraded the manual Carefree to a Carefree Eclipse electric and loved it. Push the button-its out-push the button again its stored. It can be angled just like the manual version. The arms are high enough I can walk under them without hitting my head. That was a unexpected nice feature. I was constantly hitting the support arms.

Jim
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Old 01-17-2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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I have a Careless of Colorado automatic wind sensing awning on my MH. The cup system which is the brains of the auto retract can get broken. My MH was 3 years old when the cups broke. Careless of Colorado wouldn't talk to me about replacement parts, only a repair store. So I called PPL Mh, they referred me to the local store since they had no pieces. The local repair guy couldn't get the cup assy either. Only the whole cup and sender assy could be bought, but you had to find one in old stock somewhere because Careless doesn't have any, they're obsolete and out of stock. ON A THREE YEAR OLD UNIT, they're obsolete.

I will never buy another Careless of Colorado product because of their customer service. Now I often get reprimanded by moderators because of how I word the next part, so let me try a new way. I promised Careless I would tell of my experience every chance I got.

Badmouth was the word I think that got me in trouble last time, so I can't tell you I promised to badmouth them every chance I get. This time I simply related my experience.

Ken
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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The elec awnings are nice but you will find they are not adjustable like the manual type. ie, drop a corner to let the rain flow a particular direction. Also the wind sensor isn't all thats cracked up to be. It cost me $2700 to replace mine because of a sudden wind gust vs a steady blow.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:36 AM   #10
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Go with what I know!!

Ok, so from the sounds of things, i'm just going to have to go with what i know works... It sounds like these new design awnings haven't been thought all the way through yet... We use the snot out of our awning in the spring/summer/fall time so i need something really reliable and something with a good warrenty... So CareFree it is... I'm making my appointment today (which is a bummer because i'll have to take the cover off hvae it done...) But i want it done before the spring time rush comes...
Thanks everyone for your awesome honest feedback!!
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:46 PM   #11
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I have had A&E and Carefree. STAY AWAY FROM A&E. Their motor is weaker and will allow the roller to stall. The Carefree just rolls up like it should.
My new coach has a A&E awning and I am considering spending $1299 to replace it with a Carefree setup.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:42 AM   #12
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Carefree VS A&E

I've had both brands and my experience led me to the opinion that the A&E is a higher quality awning that will give you a little less trouble overall.

Better materials and construction, fewer jams, and better customer service.

Muddypaws
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:29 PM   #13
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I found just the oposite. Oh well.
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