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Old 03-10-2014, 11:46 PM   #1
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Newbie Question: Staking Awnings

I have a Class C which I recently purchased 2nd hand. Never had a walk thru talk by a dealer as it was a private party sale. My rig has a fair sized awning, maybe 15' or so. I still have never unfurled it, but when I do there will be times I will want to stake down the supports... at least that's what I assume.

In another thread I read about strapping down an awning. Is that the same thing as staking down the supports? It wasn't clear by the thread what strapping down meant.

The supports for my awning have what may be called feet, and those have holes in them, obviously for some purpose. At first I thought stakes were supposed to be driven through the holes into the ground. Now I'm thinking that maybe stakes are driven some distance from the holes and the supports attached to the stakes with springs or some other method.

What is or are the proper method(s) for staking down the supports of an awning and what other things should I know about in regard to using an RV awning?

Thanks.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:53 PM   #2
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Pick up a couple of metal tent pegs, and some of those canvas adjustable straps. The straps have hooks on both ends. Place the pegs a couple of feet out from the awning. Set Eddie Elk. the awning out, and hook the strap on the ends of the roller, and tighten.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieelk View Post
Pick up a couple of metal tent pegs, and some of those canvas adjustable straps. The straps have hooks on both ends. Place the pegs a couple of feet out from the awning. Set Eddie Elk. the awning out, and hook the strap on the ends of the roller, and tighten.
I don't quite follow... by canvas adjustable straps do you mean tie-down straps that have hooks at both ends and a ratchet to tighten them?

When you say place the pegs a couple feet out, out from where, in what direction?

You wrote "Set Eddie Elk". I have absolutely no idea what that means

You wrote to hook the straps on the ends of the roller. Do you mean the straps are hooked to the stakes on the ground and the roller that the awning is wrapped around, up in the air?
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:20 AM   #4
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Yes the straps that have a ratchet in the middle and S hooks at the ends. Go out at a 45 degree angle from the corners. Doesn't have to be far, only a foot or two and stake the tie down straps to the ground. Iv'e found its a good idea to hook a bungee cord from the ratchet to the top to keep the wind from loosening the straps. I also bought a couple of those awning stabilizers that you clamp on about halfway between the RV and the corner posts. They really help keep the awning from flapping. Without all of that even he slightest breeze will flap the awning just enough to wake you up.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:59 AM   #5
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We have a sun screen attached to our awning We leave the support legs attached to the side of the MH. We attach bungee cords to the bottom of the screen (3) and the other end to tent stakes. This gives the awning a little flexibility in mild winds. Never go to bed or leave your awning out if your going to be gone for a while. Winds can kick-up and damage your awning.$$$
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:17 AM   #6
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I do not recommend putting a strap across the awning to tie downs. The air pressure under an awning is awesome. It can pull the awning right out of the channel it is attached to the motor home. After all it is just a rubber cord running in a small channel. I have seen many an awning ripped right off the coach from wind load. To stake down your awning anchor arms is OK. I use 18" re-bar with T handle for easy removal if necessary. There will be many times when you will have to retract in a hurry when storms roll in.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for the tips, everybody.

Some photos would be an excellent aid.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:46 AM   #8
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Sorry, MH is in storage. Terrible drawing. Hope you can make sense of it. Click on the pic, it gets easier to see
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:01 PM   #9
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After having two awning blown off my advice would be to roll up the awning if the wind is bad enough that you need to tie it down.

And if you leave camp roll it up. Every time.
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Old 03-11-2014, 04:43 PM   #10
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Just to clarify. We have a screen attached to the awning. With hardly any breeze it sometimes blows in on us. So, staking with bungee cords is only to prevent this from happening. The bungee cords eliminate stress on the awning structure and material. The awning should not be staked for windy situations, it should be retracted. Sorry for any confusion.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:23 AM   #11
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Yes staking your screen is fine. But use a spring or bungee that will flex a little with the awning. I use dog stakes with the spiral configuration to stake with, but always use a spring or a bungee to allow flex.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:16 PM   #12
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Awnings and Windy days

Arch Hoagland is correct about the chances of loosing your awning to high winds. You have to take stock of where your camping, both the region in the country and local lay of the land.

If your in the midwest, i.e. Tornado alley in April through June. You better close that awning every time your not sitting under it. On the other hand if your in Florida in summer, then maybe close it and maybe not. Thunderstorms associated with cold fronts are the ones with the violent winds. They will shred an awning in a second.

Airmass Thunderstorms, that pop up most summer days and are not associated with a front are found most anywhere but usually nearer the coasts are pretty begnine with no wind at all, just heavy rain falling vertically. Take stock of the region and season your in and get a couple of good weather apps on your cell phone that show weather radar. Apps that can be zoomed in and out are best. Some of them will have Thunderstorm Forecast maps as well. Check the forecast every day so you know in advance what days you expect to have to roll up the awning.

The other consideration is where your campsite is located. Are you out in an open field or back in dense woods? An open field in the midwest in June. That is where you need to check the weather forecast daily and remember that in a place like that even small storm cells can pop up which is why you need the weather radar iPhone app.

On the other hand if you in a campground deep in a forest in northern Michigan or down under thick trees in Florida and there are no cold fronts coming through that day then you don't need to worry about it. The trees provide an impressive barrier to winds.

If your on the beach that generally has an onshore flow or offshore flow of wind. Look at the forecast maximum wind for each day. If you have tied the awning down the way I described in my first post you will be good to 15-20 knots of steady wind. Somewhere approaching 20 knots I usually close mine up. Normally at night, again as long as no fronts are forecast to come through I leave my awning out. That is if any winds are forecast to be steady and not gusty. Gusty winds, even weak ones are just a headache and you might as well close it up.

Look at the full-time RV's in the campground for a cue as well. Do the full timers that look like they are only used by locals on the weekends have their awnings out? Are their awnings out but the legs lowered all the way to the ground? Or do they roll them up? That is another good indicator of what to expect for local weather.

I've camped in the midwest in July and by watching the weather and my location after a week or 10 days in the same spot I have only had to roll up my awning once. I had plenty of warning as I saw the cold front and associated high winds coming on my weather apps for a couple of days.

On the other hand I've camped in the same area and it has been during a time of a lot of changing weather patterns and my awning has been rolled up most of the time.

This weather stuff I learned from dealing with weather for 35 years as a professional pilot. My wife and I love to hang out those big colored lights on our awning and sit out under the awning in the evenings. Also it sure is nice to have it out on a drizzling day. Give you more dry space outside.

Oh yeah. We usually slide our firewood and folding chairs and everything under the RV if it looks like inclement weather that day so it stays dry and doesn't blow everywhere.

Well, hope I haven't put you to sleep with my ramblings about awning considerations….
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:05 PM   #13
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All the above advise is great and no need for me to repeat it. If I place my awning legs on the ground.I use these (picture doesn't show it but they come with 2 bolts for the bottom of the arms)

http://m.campingworld.com/shopping/i...m-anchor/12572

I then go about 3 feet out from the end of the awning and use these

http://m.campingworld.com/shopping/i...tie-down/11171

Use the rope looped over the end of the awning roller (not over the fabric) and tightened up to keep the awning in place and the fabric from flopping.

I also use these to keep it from flapping

http://m.campingworld.com/shopping/i...pper-max/26873

This is what it looks like with the arms (legs) still on the trailer




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Sounds like a lot but it's fast and easy to set up after you figure out what you are doing the piece of mind that your awning will still be an awning and not a piece of flying debri is worth it!
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:53 PM   #14
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My awning stake job looks very similar to yours in the photo above. If I leave my awning legs attached to the side of the RV I have a couple of foam noodles the kids use in the pool that I split open on one side. I put those noodles over the awning legs when they are at an angle as I have managed to either stood up and whacked my head on them or walked into them.:bang head: Ouch
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