Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES FORUMS > Gear and Product Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  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 10-16-2021, 07:17 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
scbwr's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 2,328
Lippert Solera 18 volt Awning Arms

https://store.lci1.com/18v-universal...it-18v-69.html

I decided that it was time to convert our manual Dometic awning to a power awning. After having an electric awning on our last travel trailer, I found the manual awning to be a major pain and longed for the joy of simply pushing a switch to open or close the awning! Since our awning fabric is almost like new, I decided to upgrade the awning by having the Solera battery powered awning arms installed. I had the work done by RCD sales in Sunbury, OH and they were very professional in all aspects of the job. I had contacted quite a few RV dealers and the service manager at RCD was the only one to respond to my emails and phone calls.

I picked up the MH yesterday and felt I would give an initial impression and review.

When I was researching this product, I couldn't find many reviews, so I hope this review will be helpful to folks that may be thinking about converting their manual awnings.

After getting home with the rig, I operated the awning a couple of times and it works well. Once opened, the arms are within reach so you can pull down one or both sides to change or adjust the angle of the awning. The joint in the arm mechanism that controls the amount of tension needed to retain the adjustment is adjustable and I may be making a slight adjustment to one arm. The replacement arms installed beautifully, and the only tell-tale signs of the manual arms are the lower metal brackets for attaching the manual arms. I've read where other owners have removed these brackets and replaced the with reflectors which is something I may do.

One advantage of these replacement arms is that no wiring was required (tapping into the coach's wiring system, adding switch, etc.) which reduced the amount of labor time. The trade-off is that the power switch is located at the bottom of the right awning arm which means you may get wet if you have to retract the awning when it has started to rain, but that wasn't a deal breaker for me. And, I've thought about the possibility of relocating the switch inside the motorhome as it doesn't seem that it would be that difficult.

Lippert claims that on one charge of the 18 volt battery, you can operate the awning 20-25 times. The charging cable has a fairly long cord and will easily reach a nearby 120 volt outlet in a basement compartment. In an emergency, the awning can be retracted with a socket and a drill, and a ladder (at least for my rig).

You have to be aware of the fact that due to the nature of the switch and operating system, the awning can retract with the awning tube below the fabric rather than on top. Once you know that, you can easily correct it as you begin retracting the awning.

Based on just my first impressions, the weight of the Lippert arms combined with the weight of the awning fabric (17' awning) will make this awning fairly stable in moderate breezes/wind. The awning is definitely more stable than the electric awning on my travel trailer. Lippert states in the manual that the awning should not be tied down as damage could occur to the arms. I'll see how it does when we make our winter trek (hopefully) or when the camping season resumes next spring and I'll update this review.

Based on my research, I saved at least $1,000 compared to having the awning replaced. The kit is designed to be a DIY project and if one can do the installation, the Lippert kit is definitely one way to save a lot of money, especially if you don't need to replace your awning fabric.

If you have a question, simply reply or send me a PM. Obviously, I need to use this awning in the coming year before I can say too much about durability, operating cycles between chargings, stability in wind, etc.

Thanks for reading this review!
__________________
Retired but busier than ever!
2012 Newmar Bay Star 3302
5 Star Tune, SumoSprings, Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, Blue Ox Avail
Brake Buddy, 2015 Chevy Malibu
scbwr 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 10-18-2021, 03:08 PM   #2
Community Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Full timing
Posts: 2,910
Any way to monitor the charge level of the battery?
RCD does a good job, we used to live about 30 miles from the Sunbury store up in Cardington.
__________________
2018 Road Warrior 427/2016 golf cart (gas) sold
2013 Can Am Spyder RT Limited
2017 Ram 3500 w/Aisin w/4:10
2 Dachshunds DJ (RIP 9-12-19) & Joey (RIP 5-14-21)
hamm2018 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2021, 11:46 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
scbwr's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 2,328
No, there isn't a way to check the charge level. I'll just charge it up after a moderate amount of use or before heading out if the MH has been in storage for a while. The charger has a light for indicating whether it is charging or has been fully charged.
__________________
Retired but busier than ever!
2012 Newmar Bay Star 3302
5 Star Tune, SumoSprings, Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, Blue Ox Avail
Brake Buddy, 2015 Chevy Malibu
scbwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2022, 05:44 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
scbwr's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 2,328
UPDATE: Although there hasn't been any interest in the Solera arms so far, I will give this a little bump. We did take a 5 week trip, and the awning worked very well. We didn't have the greatest weather, but I did use the awning and I'm happy with the performance of the power arms. It's definitely far better than dealing with the old manual awning.

I'm still thinking about routing the power switch from the awning arm to insid the MH, but I need to look at the wiring a little more closely.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
__________________
Retired but busier than ever!
2012 Newmar Bay Star 3302
5 Star Tune, SumoSprings, Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, Blue Ox Avail
Brake Buddy, 2015 Chevy Malibu
scbwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2022, 01:58 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by scbwr View Post
One advantage of these replacement arms is that no wiring was required (tapping into the coach's wiring system, adding switch, etc.) which reduced the amount of labor time. The trade-off is that the power switch is located at the bottom of the right awning arm which means you may get wet if you have to retract the awning when it has started to rain, but that wasn't a deal breaker for me. And, I've thought about the possibility of relocating the switch inside the motorhome as it doesn't seem that it would be that difficult.
I wonder if Lippert will offer a wireless remote at some point - or if you could retrofit one yourself.
__________________
2021 Casita Spirit Dlx - San Antonio, TX
Skibane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2022, 08:36 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 419
Thanks for the Info ! For once the search function got me what I was looking for. I had 2 issues with my manual awning, 1 spring has been broken for some time, and twice I've had to fix leaks where the top bracket was bolted through the awning rail into the roof.
I liked the idea that the Solera arms attach below the awning rail. Plus not needing the spring replaced, and the thought of not having the unsightly lower brackets, etc etc.
After reading your experience, I just ordered a set through Amazon ($618 plus tax). Only exception was I got the ones with the 12V switch I'll need to run inside the RV.
I also think I'll be able to walk under the extended arms and not bang my head like the manual ones.
Thanks again for posting.
__________________
1999 American Dream 40DVS
Spartan Chassis, Cummins ISC 330
Meames1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2022, 01:10 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
scbwr's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: North Ridgeville, OH
Posts: 2,328
I hope it works out well for you! I hope you will give an update after you have them installed, and enjoy!
__________________
Retired but busier than ever!
2012 Newmar Bay Star 3302
5 Star Tune, SumoSprings, Roadmaster Steering Stabilizer, Blue Ox Avail
Brake Buddy, 2015 Chevy Malibu
scbwr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
awning, lippert



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
Solera 18 Volt power awning rseibenick iRV2.com General Discussion 0 05-17-2020 03:57 PM
Replaced carefree one touch awning arms with new eclipse arms tomgagne Monaco Owner's Forum 1 08-25-2017 07:52 AM
Swapping awning arms for power arms ? kustom Class A Motorhome Discussions 0 03-26-2015 03:32 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.