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Author Topic: Replacing awning. Recommendations?  (Read 722 times)

drisley

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Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« on: July 25, 2017, 04:31:40 PM »
We've got a Carefree awning which, well... isn't very care free. ;) It's original to our coach (2002) and it's seen better days. It has been a headache since we bought this rig last year, but here in Blairsville we saw a freak storm that destroyed the fabric. We did an onsite repair, but I'm ready to move on to something that is easier to use.

Multiple people I've talked to say I should switch to Dometic (A&E). Looked at the 9100 power awning and it looks decent. Any experiences?

And while the power awning is nice, also considering just sticking with a new manual. I would imagine a brand new Dometic manual awning would still be a massive improvement over this 15-year-old Carefree. And I heard that the electrics don't drop very low. It is nice being able to control the angle of the awning for low sun.

Also, recommendations for best deals? I'm based in Tampa area.
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Rene T

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 04:43:24 PM »
We've got a Carefree awning which, well... isn't very care free. ;) It's original to our coach (2002) and it's seen better days. It has been a headache since we bought this rig last year, but here in Blairsville we saw a freak storm that destroyed the fabric. We did an onsite repair, but I'm ready to move on to something that is easier to use.

Multiple people I've talked to say I should switch to Dometic (A&E). Looked at the 9100 power awning and it looks decent. Any experiences?

And while the power awning is nice, also considering just sticking with a new manual. I would imagine a brand new Dometic manual awning would still be a massive improvement over this 15-year-old Carefree. And I heard that the electrics don't drop very low. It is nice being able to control the angle of the awning for low sun.

Also, recommendations for best deals? I'm based in Tampa area.

Why not just replace the fabric?
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drisley

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 05:10:12 PM »
We repaired the fabric. Fabric not a major issue at this point. But, even the hardware is annoying to use. End up fighting it often. And my fabric would cost $800 to replace. Looks like I could get a whole new awning for maybe $1300 or so.
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ArdraF

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2017, 05:34:45 PM »
If you decide to go to a manual patio awning the one thing I would mention is the awning arms which can be a major health hazard to one's head.  I got tired of cleaning up bloody heads so I started hanging towels from them to make them more visible so we wouldn't walk into them.  But I had to use safety pins to keep them from blowing away.  So then I started wrapping towels around the arms and that at least lessened the damage!  Some awnings are more difficult to handle than others.  Our first one was in a box that kept it nice and clean but it was a bear to use.  Our current motorhome had the option of a Girard electric awning which I really like - but $$$$.  With any electric awning it's nice to be able to pull into a site when it's hot, press a button and start shading the refrigerator side immediately.  I admit to now being spoiled.  ::)

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kdbgoat

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 06:11:10 PM »
If it were mine, I'd stay with the manual. To me, it's not a big deal to walk around the arms. I've had 3 different RV's, two with electric and one with the manual. I liked the manual one best.
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drisley

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 08:05:57 PM »
Yeah, every awning I've had has been manual. Never had electric before. I know that it's another thing to break, tho.
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AStravelers

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2017, 06:54:04 PM »
Are there any RV'ers with power awnings who would chip in with their experiences? 

That is kind of what the OP is asking.  Also I am interested as well.



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ArdraF

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2017, 07:07:04 PM »
Quote
Are there any RV'ers with power awnings who would chip in with their experiences?

In addition to my reply #3 above our experience has been positive.  It is important to have the anemometer adjusted properly or it will either retract when it shouldn't (not much breeze) or it will not retract when it should (too much breeze).  The one thing that is true of all awnings is that a sudden large gust might do it in.  We have a friend who had a brand new Marathon coach with a gorgeous paint job.  He was at NASCAR when a huge wind gust whipped his electric awning up over his roof.  Of course, the awning was damaged but so was the paint and he had to take it in for repair.  But the same thing can happen with manual awnings if the wind is right.  I recall one time in Baja when a wind storm blew in while we were asleep.  We we were all outside in the middle of the night in our PJs trying to get our manual awnings in before they broke.  It was a struggle but nothing got damaged.  I guess what I'm saying is that none of them are perfect but they sure are nice to have when it's sunny or raining or just plain hot.  We have awnings on all windows, the patio awning is that Girard electric awning and the others are manual.  I really disliked the manual patio awnings on previous motorhomes that were a safety hazard because of the arms.  You didn't dare walk with your head down or you would do some head damage.

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satxron

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2017, 07:23:33 PM »
Takes me about 2 minutes at slow speed to deploy or put away my 17yr. old Dometic manual awning. I would like power if it was a free thing but I won't pay for the upgrade. I figure if a hurry, I can have it up and away in less than a minute. The new fabric was about 200 bucks and easy to install.
San Antonio Texas
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 08:35:46 AM »
You didn't mention which Carefree model you had or the type of problems you experienced, but the Carefree Eclipse electric I had worked decently. It had some tilt angle adjustment, but not as much as most manuals.  I don't think the Dometic electrics are any more functional and the ones I'm familiar with have zero adjustment for angle.

Most manual awnings deploy easily enough, but it's still more than just pushing a button. Manual awnings do have more angle adjustment than the cantilever-type electrics, but the downside is the arms that are sometimes (often?) in the way. A personal preference call, I think.

Quote
I would imagine a brand new Dometic manual awning would still be a massive improvement over this 15-year-old Carefree.

What sort of improvement are you expecting?  Obviously a new one that works right is an improvement over any old one that isn't working, but a new electric would also be an improvement in that sense.  Manual awning technology hasn't changed much at all in 25 years, so you shouldn't expect much that way.
Gary
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2dalake

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 05:05:49 PM »
I think you need to answer a few questions for yourself about how you use your awning and what are your expectations.

1.  Do you like to be able to provide maximum shade by lowering the awning if necessary?
2.  Do you like to be able to lower your awning enough so it drains water well and allow you to sit outside when it is raining?
3.  Do you mind the issue of the arms.....the probability that you will bang your head once in a while?
4.  Do you want to be able to deploy your awning even when it is breezy...like at the beach? 

I've had both and the manual awning will allow you to answer yes to all of the above questions (except #3).  My current Carefree Eclipse has IMO only one positive over a manual awning....it is easy to deploy and stow (as long as the motor works).  None of the auto awnings are as strong as the manual with the arms.  If folks are really honest, those with most automatic awnings, even the very expensive Girard, will admit they are useless if there is any breeze or wind.   Most of them cannot be tilted very much so don't provide a lot of shade and are pretty useless if it is raining.

IMO, I would get a new manual awning, especially if you don't have a slide on the patio side of the coach.  I have four slides so even if I switched to a manual awning, it would not work well over the slide.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 07:31:57 PM by 2dalake »
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Triple Slide Jayco

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2017, 07:32:25 PM »
I had a manual for a few years and didn't use it much, (I was new to camping and didn't know how to use it) Once I figured it out it was a so so luxury, I replaced the fabric (bought from Ebay) pretty easy. However, my new TT has an electric and works off of the remote with the TT as well, I use it at any given time now, its easy, just push a button, plus its nice when I can now say to my kids (who are finally old enough to help out) "Can you put the awning in or out" they push the button and voila.!
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99dart

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2017, 09:26:15 PM »
Are there any RV'ers with power awnings who would chip in with their experiences? 

That is kind of what the OP is asking.  Also I am interested as well.

We got our MH with power awning in April. It is easy to extend, but slow as molasses in January coming in. As stated it doesn't have any adjust ment for lowering the extended end. Or, tilting it for easy rain run-off.
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wackymac

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2017, 08:09:47 AM »
99dart---but slow as molasses in January--haven't heard that in years.  When we were kids my mom used that term a lot.
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Mile High

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2017, 07:59:16 PM »
99dart---but slow as molasses in January--haven't heard that in years.  When we were kids my mom used that term a lot.
She must have had a Carefree electric :)   My buddies A&E can go out and in twice before mine retracts, but still like my Carefree.
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Stephen S.

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2017, 11:14:40 PM »
With my manual Carefree awning I can detach the bottom of the arms and stake them in a vertical position. Then add stakes and ropes to stabilize the awning.

Not sure if it's a good idea to hang screens or walls on an electric. I'm planing on getting those too.
Stephen S.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2017, 05:41:41 PM »
I've had nothing but manual awnings for years, and I've NEVER hit my head on the arms. Other people have, but not me. My Dolphin has a Dometic with an aluminum cover, and I really like it. My Daybreak had a Carefree and I like the Dometic much better. I've had 3 Dometic manual so far and all three have been trouble free. The legs can be removed and staked but I don't do that. I do use tie down stakes with ropes and springs if it's windy at all. I was really surprised when I rolled out the awning on my 03, it looks brand new, with that cover on it. If I were buying a new awning it'd be a Dometic with the aluminum cover.
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99dart

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2017, 10:29:25 PM »
99dart---but slow as molasses in January--haven't heard that in years.  When we were kids my mom used that term a lot.

Same here...Mom & Dad said it alot.
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99dart

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 10:35:06 PM »
She must have had a Carefree electric :)   My buddies A&E can go out and in twice before mine retracts, but still like my Carefree.

Took me a minute to catch the jist of that one, LOL. She was usually referring to my sis & I.
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2017, 11:17:38 PM »
I've had two power awnings and would never go back to a manual awning.

The first awning had a wind sensor that had a mind of it's own.

When we bought our current motorhome 13 years ago I had a power awning installed without the wind sensor.

Mine is slow to retract especially if I have lots of power things running in the coach. I lubricated every joint and roller ends with WD40 on our last trip and it improved the retract speed.
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HappyWanderer

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2017, 12:03:43 AM »
Absolutely hate my power awning, will never own another.

Can't adjust the angle, arms collapse and bend if any water collects in the fabric, can't tie it down (arms collapse and bend) so it needs to come in for the slightest breeze. It's an expensive sun shade that can't be used on days that we'd really like to.

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2017, 01:07:11 AM »
Absolutely hate my power awning, will never own another.

Can't adjust the angle, arms collapse and bend if any water collects in the fabric, can't tie it down (arms collapse and bend) so it needs to come in for the slightest breeze. It's an expensive sun shade that can't be used on days that we'd really like to.

Wow, you had quite a few problems. What brand was it?

Mine is very sturdy, especially the arms.
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ducnut

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2017, 07:02:52 AM »
I think you need to answer a few questions for yourself about how you use your awning and what are your expectations.

1.  Do you like to be able to provide maximum shade by lowering the awning if necessary?
2.  Do you like to be able to lower your awning enough so it drains water well and allow you to sit outside when it is raining?
3.  Do you mind the issue of the arms.....the probability that you will bang your head once in a while?
4.  Do you want to be able to deploy your awning even when it is breezy...like at the beach? 

I've had both and the manual awning will allow you to answer yes to all of the above questions (except #3). 

The electric Solara on mine will do all that. The arms have the ability to adjust the awning angle, tilt for runoff, are up and out of the way, etc. I'm quite happy with it.

HappyWanderer

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2017, 12:30:32 PM »
Wow, you had quite a few problems. What brand was it?

Mine is very sturdy, especially the arms.

It's a Carefree. Funny, huh?

Mile High

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2017, 07:59:10 PM »
My carefree pitch is changeable, but our older one was not.   As far as arms bending, do you mean physically bending?  mine scissor in slightly to dump water, but that is supposed to do that.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
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HappyWanderer

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2017, 08:06:36 PM »
My carefree pitch is changeable, but our older one was not.   As far as arms bending, do you mean physically bending?  mine scissor in slightly to dump water, but that is supposed to do that.

Bending. They're supposed to collapse to shed water, then spring back into position. Mine collapsed and bent the arms to the point that the awning wouldn't retract. Same thing happens if you try to tie down - arms collapse and bend.

Mile High

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2017, 02:58:29 PM »
Bending. They're supposed to collapse to shed water, then spring back into position. Mine collapsed and bent the arms to the point that the awning wouldn't retract. Same thing happens if you try to tie down - arms collapse and bend.
Something definitely wrong then - how old is it?  My carefree arms are far more stout than A&E Dometic's.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

danford50

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Re: Replacing awning. Recommendations?
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2017, 05:15:06 PM »
my two cent worth is I had my awning replace including the hardware I had it done by camping world it was replace with solera awning, however mine was replaced with insurance  my out of pocket expense was 500 dollars, the total cost including my 500 was about 1700 dollars
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