Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > iRV2.com General Discussion
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-08-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13
Electric vs Manual Awning

New to the forum, did a search found a little…..not sure where to put this since most have awning’s here in general…..

I've lost main arms and rafters $1500+ in damage past two holiday weekends alone from wind gust blowing my canopy's up on my roof and am getting tired of it. In So Cal @ elevation gust and wind devils come out of nowhere, they come at ya fast, no notice, and last time it happen in about 3-5 secs. I hear they make electrical ones that have wind speed sensors that retract before it happens. Anyone have any experience with them, are they reliable and do they work that fast in seconds, if so what model and where to buy?

Or, you know of a way to keep manual ones from getting torn up? I heard of guy that straps the arms down to center blocks keeps the rafter arms knobs loose. He said the center blocks will lift, arms will flex keeping the fabric from tearing. Not sure if I want to upgrade to heavier duty arms and try this or go electric. I'm guessing electric is expensive, but now I have four damaged arms/rafters and one roller tube Dometic/A&E ruined probably $1000 or more. I’m at a point if I rebuild the manual fearful of dropping my awning’s as is w/o trying something different. I usually get parts from Dometic, where is a good place to buy arms/rafters?

Front: 17’ Rear: 20’

Thanks in advance for any advice,


TNTP is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-08-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
Senior Member
TonyDi's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
Posts: 6,238
A few simple answers, electric models with wind sensors will not react fast enough to roll an awning in if there is a gust. They are designed for gradually increasing winds that approach a critical speed for your awnings. If you have manual awnings a lot of folks use a spiral peg hat screws into the ground to secure the ends of the awnings. I would NOT use cinder blocks. A large awning is like a sail and could easily lift a cinder block high into the air and into the side of your RV. My best advice if if you are thinking the wind may be getting high or there is a risk of wind devils bring the awning in.

Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, Jeep Grand Cherokee,with Hemi, hooked up with a Blue Ox Aventa LX, and Brake Buddy.
TonyDi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 01:39 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
RickO's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Litchfield Park, Arizona
Posts: 10,528
Welcome to the forum! Sorry about your awning damage.

Like Tony said, the wind sensor on electric awnings isn't something most of us trust to protect our awnings from damage. I have a WeatherPro and use an awning strap which runs over the arms... along the length of the tube and is attached with springs to stakes I drive into the ground. Even then, if the wind is getting strong I'll bring it in.

At least the WeatherPro is considered by many to be under powered and I have to give a little tug on the arm when retracting to help the little motor out a bit. I think if I had to replace mine I would consider a manual unit.

Good luck.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
RickO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 209
Yrs ago when I camped in similar situations I used a couple of tie down ropes securely anchored to the ground - got me through a couple of big gust were I would have otherwise lost the awning - going electric isn't going to resolve your gust issues.
ksg5000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #5
Senior Member
GG1's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,064
All of the above answers are correct, I always tie down our electric awning and disable the wind sensor never leave it out all night if the weather looks bad or if its gets too windy it gets put away. Manual awnings can be tied down much more secure than the electric with the screw in anchors but in bad wind have a tendancy to tear where they are fastened to the coach if left out in bad wind. No matter how good they are tied in strong enough wind they can get torn up.
07 Itasca Ellipse 40fd, 2014 Honda CRV, greyhound lab mix, pit pointer mix(RIP bessie) , shar pei mix, stupid cat, wife
GG1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 02:21 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13
Thanks for the reply's, I didn't think the electrics could react fast enough. I asked a buddy at lunch in my RV park he said his starts to retract at wind speed 27mph, I think my weak arms would have fail @ that or b4....I'm staying in a RV park now, looks like the electrics have little to no arm support and would fail faster if it did not retract fast enough.

So Cal only been here short time but learning the hard way in some locations like high desert and mountains winds come out of no where, unlike even midwest plains where I am from or alot of other US locations I've been.

I have stakes I usually drive in dirt, but this happens when I'm on concrete or asphalt like @ some RV parks like Seattle where I met the guy that suggested center-blocks, he was from So Cal seemed to work for him, I'd never leave the center blocks alone out of short site. I wonder if the RV industry makes an alternative to center-blocks?

What part of the manual arms goes first? I'll look at it close this weekend but I think the arm shears out of the rivets. Reason I ask is dometic makes a heavy duty arms what that means I don't know yet.
TNTP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 02:44 PM   #7
Senior Member
Always-RVing's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 959
I have auto retract A&E awnings that retract when the wind speed reaches a selectable wind speed max. But... I don't trust it in gusty winds. The motor is slow and awnings are not cheap. I have two electric and two manual awnings. The manual awnings have given me more problems than the electric.

When in doubt, I pull them all in.
Fleetwood Providence 2008 40e
Ford F-350 4x4 Diesel 6.0L 2006
Honda CR-V 2006
Always-RVing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2011, 05:57 PM   #8
Senior Member
Superslif's Avatar
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 3,821
The "screw in anchors" will work best even with pads that are gravel. If I for-see a chance of a wind event happening, I will run another line up and over the awning to keep it from acting like a parachute. At times I have tied a line from the awning corner to the picnic table as added a security measure.
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2013 Aerolite Hybrid #232 ES
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by Superslif View Post
The "screw in anchors" will work best even with pads that are gravel. If I for-see a chance of a wind event happening, I will run another line up and over the awning to keep it from acting like a parachute. At times I have tied a line from the awning corner to the picnic table as added a security measure.
Now theres an idea that gets to the heart of the problem I have not thought of. I should drill a hole in a roof rail close to where my awning attaches to the RV then run tie downs over the awning to a stake in the ground if I understand you correctly? Maybe equally spaced from the edge towards center.

I looked last night and the main upper rafter where the rivet goes through the fitting attached to the RV, the rafter itself shears out the edge, rivet stays intact. I'm thinking the wind moves it up and down, fails the rafter then the whole canopy ends up on the roof which bends the arms sometimes and roof equipment. So a thicker rafter with more shear capability as opposed to a thicker main arm may help too.

I'm looking for an anchor for concrete and asphalt?

TNTP is offline   Reply With Quote

awning, manual

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Problems with my passenger window electric Dometic Awning Renden Newmar Owner's Forum 7 11-27-2010 04:46 PM
manual A&E two-step to an electric A&E two-step? motofamily MH-General Discussions & Problems 5 10-08-2010 08:55 AM
Electric Awning Problem - Suggestions?? bigdomino MH-General Discussions & Problems 4 08-08-2010 08:21 PM
one step awning manual type Mabry MH-General Discussions & Problems 6 02-07-2007 05:23 PM
HydroHot Winterization - Disconnect Electric per manual? JavaJelly Newmar Owner's Forum 1 01-01-2007 10:32 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.