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Old 11-08-2016, 02:53 AM   #1
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Manual Awning vs. Electric...

Thinking about converting our manual awning to electric on our 2000 Monoco Windsor. It's doable. We like the fact that we can adjust the angle on the manual awning to suit our needs for sun, rain and wind, but it is a pain at times. Pushing a single button to open and close the awning is very appealing. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:26 AM   #2
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It's really a personal choice. If you want an electric then do it!

I prefer the manual which my coach came with but have occasionally thought about having an electric just for the convenience.

The manual gives you a full range of adjustments for shade control and rain drainage. PLUS it allows you to deploy the main support poles and stake it out with strapping for support. Many times I have deployed my awning for months at a time with a shade drop, flapping clamps on the fabric sides and strapping to secure the poles to the ground.

The electric allows you to get rid of the large side poles but you lose a lot of the flexibility for shade control. Plus it has to be retracted when it gets windy whereas my manual will take hefty winds when properly secured.

Do NOT leave the coach with the awning deployed even if just for a short time as all it takes is a gust of wind to ruin your day.

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Old 11-08-2016, 04:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr4Film View Post
It's really a personal choice. If you want an electric then do it!

I prefer the manual which my coach came with but have occasionally thought about having an electric just for the convenience.

The manual gives you a full range of adjustments for shade control and rain drainage. PLUS it allows you to deploy the main support poles and stake it out with strapping for support. Many times I have deployed my awning for months at a time with a shade drop, flapping clamps on the fabric sides and strapping to secure the poles to the ground.

The electric allows you to get rid of the large side poles but you lose a lot of the flexibility for shade control. Plus it has to be retracted when it gets windy whereas my manual will take hefty winds when properly secured.

Do NOT leave the coach with the awning deployed even if just for a short time as all it takes is a gust of wind to ruin your day.

Dr4Film ----- Richard

... I really miss my old Carefree with a manual crank and gearbox. My current coach has a mostly worthless Girard,
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:34 AM   #4
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If you move forward with installing an electric awning I suggest you do lots of research and buy one that is dependable.

I had a manual awning on our Class C, it was pretty much bullet proof. We could leave it out and not worry about it.

We now have an electric one on our Windsor. It is a POS Carefree of Colorado One-Touch. Carefree only made this awning for a limited time and soon quit supporting it with parts. The awning arms are flimsy. We had our coach only a short time and on one of the first trips I was sitting in the coach and a sudden gust of wind caused the awning to bellow and the rear arm bent. I doubt an autoretract would have helped as it was a sudden event. Went to the store and bought supplies to fix and it took me 1/2 of a day to straighten the arm enough to retract the awning so we could get home. The arms are no longer available (this was in 2009, the coach was 7 years old) from Carefree. Spent another day fine tuning my repair. SO now we seldom use the awning knowing that is a POS. Wish I had my manual awning.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:36 AM   #5
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I have an electric but after seeing the versatility of some maybe if not all manual ones I think I like the manual. Mine is deployed fully extended and has no way of adjusting the angle.😕


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Old 11-08-2016, 06:12 AM   #6
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Have had many a manual awning and recently on a traded Jayco an electric awning.

Pros:
  • Manual will allow great tilt and drainage.
  • Manual will be easier to tie down in most cases
  • Manual can use deflappers for noise in windy conditions
  • Manual can be set up as a 'car port' to eliminate arms in the way
  • Manual is easier to clean
  • Electric is easier to deploy and return
  • Electric is easier to return in the rain
  • Electric fabric replacement is easier due to no springs
Cons: Other than the opposite of the Pros
  • Electric is lighter material in the arms
  • Electric is held out only by the pressure in the struts
  • Electric can be folded over camper in a sudden gust of wind.
  • Electric not useable with deflappers
  • Manual may be a two person job to retract depending on size


Notes
  • Both can be tied down if auto retract is turned off.
  • With Electric be sure the slope, Top of camper to roller tube, is enough to drain water
  • Both can be a pain if electric goes out or springs break


I have had both and like some of the features of both. The electric was easier when I did not want the extra effort to deploy and return while the manual I liked when on a site for extend periods of time.


Go with what you want or like realizing there are always tradeoffs to any decision.



That must be why we trade our coaches periodically.
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Old 11-08-2016, 07:30 AM   #7
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Electric! Wife can deploy and retract by herself
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:45 AM   #8
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Haven't owned an electric awning myself but i have seen Family's and Friend's in action. From my observations, it is nice just pushing a button. Other than that, they just don't look like something i would want to go with. My old A&E is more robust and will handle wind better. I believe it will have less problems in the long run and if it does ever need service, i figure parts will be easier to find. It's more adjustable as well.

As far as cranking an awning in or out, count me out. The ones i've see in action are a pain (takes alot of cranking) and they look flimsy as all get out.

On our A&E, unlatching, pulling the strap, and setting the arms takes maybe a minute and is no trouble at all for us.

Having said all this, i figure there are good and lower quality awning systems out there. It's certainly possible i've only come across the latter...
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:46 AM   #9
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I much prefer a manual awning. I like to control the amount of slope and be able to tilt one side!
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:50 AM   #10
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The only advantage I see with our electric is the ability to extend and retract easily. I am seriously looking into replacing the electric with a manual which is much more flexible and easy to adjust to specific needs. Also much easier to hookup awning lights or attach a sun shade.

Now just need to see how much it will cost.

I miss our manual awning...no if's ands or buts.
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:14 PM   #11
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I like them both but the manual is more versatile and the electric is more convenient. As mentioned, my last coach had manual and it was much more durable, the new coach has electric and I put it in when the breeze starts to pick up. Only you can decide what is best for your needs. If I was starting from scratch, I would probably stick with a manual awning.
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:22 PM   #12
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Always had manual till we got the present rig. They are Carefree but made like a Girard (since Girard was started by a Carefree big wig's wife) and are adjustable but are up so high they really don't do much. Have already burned out one $465 controller too.
They do make ones that have a double or triple bend in them that do provide more shade.
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crock2Crock View Post
Thinking about converting our manual awning to electric on our 2000 Monoco Windsor. It's doable. We like the fact that we can adjust the angle on the manual awning to suit our needs for sun, rain and wind, but it is a pain at times. Pushing a single button to open and close the awning is very appealing. Any thoughts?
Had a manual on our last coach of 5 years. As others have noted more shade control.

Our present coach has an electric awning ( Dometic weather Pro) and i like it. For a rain day when the awning gets rain weight on it the left spring loaded arm lowers that side a bit, rain falls off, awning goes back to normal.

One function that it states in the owners manual is a 18mph wind activates a retract. Haven't wanted to test that.

Having electric eliminates one of the several setup tasks to be done setting up camp. Also nice to open in the morning and close at night with either the inside switch or the remote.

Bottom line is...... not sure which i prefer.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:39 PM   #14
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Have had both and currently have electric but would rather have the manual type. While the electric is easy to operate WHEN it works properly, it is pain if it fails, and it will fail at some time. If you are lucky it will fail while rolled up and not extended. The little mickey mouse motor that operates it are prone to get moisture inside and foul them out. IF you have to buy a new motor, they are very expensive for what they are. But it boils down to whatever a person wants or likes. If you go with electric, right off the bat find out the procedure to CLOSE it should the motor fail while extended. These things to me are like slide-outs and leveling jacks, no matter how good your preventive maintainece is, it is still a crap shoot every t
ime you use them.
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