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Old 01-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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My dh and I were at CW the other day and were looking at the automatic awning display they have. We thought it would be a nice upgrade to our 35J Itasca MH one day. I then went online to the CW site and read some disturbing news that they don't always recognize that there is water built up or the wind is whipping up...which is the main reason we would look at buying one of these awnings.
We travel for pleasure and are not always at our site when rain comes or gusty winds. I know more than once we've woken up and had to pulling our awning in, and I was hoping this would make our travels easier. But the people who posted seemed unhappy with their purchase, nothing against CW or their installation, mostly the actual product.
Are there other manufacturers other than A&E that make automatic awnings for after market install? Can anyone guide me in my search? I searched the forum but couldn't find a pro/con to the issue.
Thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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My dh and I were at CW the other day and were looking at the automatic awning display they have. We thought it would be a nice upgrade to our 35J Itasca MH one day. I then went online to the CW site and read some disturbing news that they don't always recognize that there is water built up or the wind is whipping up...which is the main reason we would look at buying one of these awnings.
We travel for pleasure and are not always at our site when rain comes or gusty winds. I know more than once we've woken up and had to pulling our awning in, and I was hoping this would make our travels easier. But the people who posted seemed unhappy with their purchase, nothing against CW or their installation, mostly the actual product.
Are there other manufacturers other than A&E that make automatic awnings for after market install? Can anyone guide me in my search? I searched the forum but couldn't find a pro/con to the issue.
Thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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Carefree also makes automatic awnings. We have a Carefree OneTouch power awning that could be automatic, but came without that option installed.

In some locations, we have put our awning out and tied it down for several weeks. In some parts of the country, it is just too windy for us to trust even tying it down. Even where we have some trust in the winds, we would never go away and leave it out unless it were tied down. Since it is electric, it isn't that hard to stow it when we leave...
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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We have the A&E brand on our. I think it's great. It lets me worry less when we go out for the day and it's one button up and down. So, even if you felt uncomfortable, you just put it up. I find we use our awning more because it is so easy to put up and down.

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:56 PM   #5
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I have the A&E 9000 power/automatic awning. It works as advertised as long as I operate it as I should. I have had difficulty with the wind sensor and control board going bad. Newmar factory installation was to blame for this. Once we got that fixed, the awning has worked correctly. A couple of "tricks" to being successful are:
1. Get the dip switch settings for wind sensitivity. Determine which settings work best for you. You'll need to try different settings.
2. Extend the awning only far enough for the slot holding the valance to be pointed straign down (6 o'clock). This leave about 1/2 turn of fabric on the roller bar. This prevents the roller bar from becoming a restraining dam when it rains. Once I did this the rear arm neals (dumps water) and then returns straight depending on the water weight.

Good luck with your shopping.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:24 PM   #6
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We have an A&E Weather Pro. Sometimes I love it (just push a button to put it out or to roll it up) and sometimes I hate it (rolls up for no apparent reason or may not roll up soon enough).

That being said, just because you have a manual awning that is tied down doesn't mean you are protected from the wind. I have seen photos where the fabric was completely ripped off leaving the staked-down frame standing there all by itself.
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Old 01-08-2009, 04:34 PM   #7
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We have an A&E awning with sensor and it works great. When it gets windy I put the awning up before the wind sensor kicks in. I dont like how it flaps in the wind.

As a rule I close the awning when we go out but sometimes I dont. Was out once and a very bad storm came in quick. Returned to the park and the awning was stowed away safely by the wind sensor.

I completly trust the awning in rain. Its simply a spring and it will drop under the weight of water. You can reach up and grab it by hand and pull down to see how it works.
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:21 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. My in-laws have an automatic one, don't know what brand, and they have complained of the awning rolling up when there was no wind and not doing it when there was. I guess there is a way to control the sensitivity of it that they don't know about?
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:25 PM   #9
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Steve...Something to keep in mind.....you probably leave your manual awning out when your away because it's sturdy and and takes some effort to put away. With an auto awning it only takes a couple of minutes and no effort to roll it up. I wouldn't worry about wind and rain issues.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:42 AM   #10
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Hi Folks: Maybe just one more thought to ponder We too live in Florida and as you are aware it takes only a very short time to have high winds or a storm come up. Its not uncommon for it to happen when your away from the site. If you have ever seen a good gust take several awnings and rip them off near by rigs you can appreciate that caution is the best option. We don't have an automatic awning on our 20005 Class A, but it doesn't take me TWO MINUTES to put it up before I leave for any amount of time. Just a thought. Safe traveling bill
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:13 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Snailfan & Lightlover:
I guess there is a way to control the sensitivity of it that they don't know about? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The Weather Pro has a way to change the wind speed at which the awning is supposed to roll up. On ours, which is older, there are several switches (called DIP switches) inside the control box that is mounted in an outside compartment. Putting the switches in various combinations of up and down is supposed to make the awning roll up at different wind speeds. I think new models have switches actually marked with wind speeds on the outside of the control box.

In actual practice, the switches don't always work as they should. High temperatures caused by sun shining on the sensor and moisture in the sensor (a normal occurrence in the rain) can cause the awning to roll up when there is hardly any wind.

Also, obstructions on the roof near the sensor can change wind speed in the vicinity of the sensor causing it to be inaccurate. If the wind is blowing from the door side of our motorhome, the awning can lift up and actually block the wind to the sensor. The harder the wind gusts are, the higher the awning lifts and the less likely the awning is to roll up. If the wind is blowing from the opposite side, it seems to speed up as it blows around the air conditioner and the awning tends to roll up in a slight breeze.

As others have said, the best practice is to stow your automatic awning when you're away. Unfortunately, this makes using lights or sun screens difficult.
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Old 01-09-2009, 04:40 AM   #12
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If you wanted to tie down your electric awning you can disable wind sensor with a flick of a switch. However this defeats the purpose of the awning.

I like my electric awning but if I had the old fashion kind of awning I would not upgrade to the electric. There are good and bad points with both types.
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:00 AM   #13
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IMO,the location of the sensor should be positioned closer to the awning. Even after adjusting the dip switches I've had the awning bouncing in wind gusts but not roll up and roll up when there was no apparent need.

Another problem I've run into is that the awning doesn't have enough of a down angle to block the sun
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:26 AM   #14
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I don't have an automatic awning but two friends of mine do. They like the fact that if their away and wind or rain kicks up it will retract. The one thing they don't like, and you may want to consider in your purchase, is that the awning goes straight from the rig. They would like to have the ability to lower the front edge to provide more shade. Depending on how you are parked relative to the sun, you may not get shade until afternoon. I guess you could partially extend it but I'm not sure how much you'd gain.

This may not be a big deal just thought I'd mention it.
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