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Old 04-05-2012, 05:30 AM   #1
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4am awning fun

Here we are at Bahia Honda SP in the beautiful Florida Keys. Forecast for last night low of 74, slight chance of rain 10%, wind 10 mph. I backed the little toad under the awning just in case since the top is kind of a PIA to put on and all is well.

Somewhere around 3am it is raining so just in case out I go and toss a blue tarp over the car and close it in the doors so any rain won't get in and it won't blow off. All is well again.

Then around 4 we are awakened by thunder, lightning and wind. Out I go again, turn on porch light and grab a flashlight. The awning is preparing to launch. Our awning is a power A&E that extends over the slide so it lowers only to about 9'. So in a T-shirt, shorts and a pair of flip flops, standing in a driving rain and about 40mph wind I grab a web ratchet strap and toss it over the awnings arm. By some miracle the hook goes over and catches the strap. Then I proceed to hang onto the other end and duck under a storage bin door for about what seemed like a lifetime. DW was good enough to toss me a jacket so I could stop shivering.

After it calmed down to a dull roar I got the strap attached to the picnic table and one on the other end to the tow plate on the car. Went back in, toweled off and got some dry clothes on. Then we could just keep an eye on it from inside.

I made a pot of coffee and sat down on the sofa to wait for it to be done. Adding insult to injury water drips on my head. The wind had blown rain under the awning and slide topper and was dripping through an overhead light. At that point all I could do is laugh.

Some important lessons learned. Never trust the weather forecast. Take the time to put the top on the car if there is any rain in the forecast you don't trust. Roll up the awning every night even if there are tiki lights, a shade or anything else attached that you have to remove. It is worth the work.

BTW it is an automatic awning but since squirrel flatulence from 2 miles away will roll it up, it is usually switched off.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:12 AM   #2
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We never trust the weather forcast in Florida, just keep an eye on the radar

This is what passed you last night

Current Key West NEXRAD Radar Map : Weather Underground

Scroll down to the radar archives

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Old 04-05-2012, 06:14 AM   #3
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We never trust the awning period. We close the awning every night and every time we leave the MH.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:36 AM   #4
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One thing for sure is GLAD YOUR OK.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:51 AM   #5
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With the awing so high to open over the kitchen slide I don't find it is worth opening most of the time. We also close it if we had opened it when we are not at the site. I like the awing that is on the slide instead of the coach roof.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:16 AM   #6
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One thing for sure is GLAD YOUR OK.
Thanks. Got a little sleep and no worse for wear. The sun is supposed to come out later, there I go trusting the forecast again so everything can dry out and we can go on enjoying the park.

Another part of the adventure of RVing.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:31 AM   #7
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That storm rolled through Charlotte Harbor about midnight. Weather report called for nothing but we learned here in florida, it's the weather people that know nothing. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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BTW it is an automatic awning but since squirrel flatulence from 2 miles away will roll it up, it is usually switched off.
Squirrel flatulence will roll it up, but a 40 mph wind gust won't. I always roll ours up at night and when we leave the motorhome. Sounds like you will from now on as well. Enjoy your stay in the Keys.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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Why did you not simply hit the manual retract switch?


My A&E Weatherpro (What's left of it, long story but well it is shorter than originally) has nothing to do with wind, but it's a long story and I'm happy with it)

Is like yours, the auto-retraction in wind system never, and I mean NEVER has worked properly. So it's strapped down.. Still even with the straps.

When the weather alert sounded the other night and they specifically mentioned the tow where I am parked I went out, removed straps and hit the button to wind it in.

I got a few drops (I mean count the drops on your fingers) of rain on me.. and came in, a short time later all heaven broke loose.. no damage of course, it was stowed.

Next morning, I went out, hit the other button, re-strapped it, and finished waxing the RV.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:02 AM   #10
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Like others I bring all awnings in early evening. One experience years ago made me a believer in bring them in!!
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #11
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And that is the reason we NEVER leave the awning out at night or if we are not at the coach. A little wind can cause a bunch of damage in short order.

It just takes a minute to put the awning away.

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Old 04-05-2012, 12:02 PM   #12
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And that is the reason we NEVER leave the awning out at night or if we are not at the coach. A little wind can cause a bunch of damage in short order.

It just takes a minute to put the awning away.
X2
I wish I had an adult beverage for every neighbor's awning I had seen wrecked from a surprise "just a little wind".
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Never trust the weather forecast.
Mine wasn't at 4am, it was about 6 pm and it was in Fresno CA. My awning (A&E 9000) didn't survive, just too much water in it.
First awning I've lost since I started RV'ing so I guess I've been lucky. Didn't have enough slant on it for the water to run off, besides it never rains in Fresno anyway! Actually rain was forecast, just not the gully washer we got.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:51 PM   #14
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We use the manual retract switch all the time instead of the automatic. Just didn't use it last night since the weather was supposed to be good. Plus I was using it for a carport. Won't make that mistake again.

Now it is 81 & sunny so everything is drying nicely and the awning is ok. Time for a frosty beverage.
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