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Author Topic: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions  (Read 5762 times)

2dalake

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Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« on: January 14, 2009, 12:05:33 PM »
I will soon be replacing my A&E manual awning on the Journey.  I am looking at the A&E 8500 and 9000 plus series and debating vinyl vs. woven acrylic fabric.  The price difference is minimal so $$ is not the issue.   My local independent RV mechanic advises that some of his customers (when he has replaced older, vinyl awnings) have not always been satisfied with the woven acrylic fabric.  He claims it can stretch and sag and that it is not as easy to keep clean as vinyl.   I wonder if he is just being 'old school.'

While my existing awning is overall worn and troublesome, especially when storing (in spite of repairs and adjustments), the vinyl is in pretty good condition considering it is 7 years old and the previous owner spent three winters in Florida.   

Any opinions or real-world experiences are appreciated.
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

John Canfield

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Re: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2009, 12:43:36 PM »
I'm fairly certain A&E uses Sunbrella fabric - I have years of experience with Sunbrella on the various boats we have owned over a 20 year period.  Sunbrella is the gold standard for outdoor fabric.

Our boats were always kept in Florida (or Texas) and the sun was brutal - we found the fabric would generally last for up to ten years, but it was not very abrasion-resistant.  Most times we would need to replace it due to holes being rubbed in the fabric.  Typically we would get new about every five to seven years.

All of our window awnings are A&E fabric and after three years they look good (as you might expect.)  We're on our second patio awning so we don't have an evaluation for that.  The slide toppers are vinyl and they have not aged gracefully they have had a tough life - we have camped many, many times in windy conditions and the toppers are always (it seems) in motion.
--John
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2dalake

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Re: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2009, 01:17:54 PM »
John, thanks for the feedback.   I did some research on Sunbrella and the claim is it is 'water repellent' not waterproof.  Sunbrella also admits that the fabric can lose it water repellency over time and may need to be re-treated (they recommend 303 Fabric Protectant). 

I've been known to sit under my awning in the rain....especially if the weather is not cold.   Now I wonder if the Sunbrella will always keep me dry like my old-fashioned vinyl does?   

My DW says I think too much.....she says 'just do it.'
2007 Country Coach Allure 470 Siskiyou Summit, 2012 CRV Toad; 2014 F150 Toad; Air Force One toad brake.

John Canfield

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Re: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 03:53:05 PM »
Now I wonder if the Sunbrella will always keep me dry like my old-fashioned vinyl does? 

Absolutely, but it will (like the man said) need to be periodically sprayed with a silicon waterproofing.  My guess is maybe once a year, every other year?  Maybe every five years - probably depends on the use.  Clean it and spray when the water repellent properties have totally broken down - you will see it "bleed" droplets of water on the underside.

Yup - listen to wife!
--John
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MPG8.8

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Re: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 10:33:38 PM »
I'm finding this very interesting.  The fabric on my 10 year old Adventurer is starting to wear thin at the corners and where it mounts to the coach.  The hardware seems to be in good shape but I have had to replace a few parts.  I don't know if I should just by the fabric or the entire awning replacing everything?

John Canfield

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Re: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2009, 10:43:00 PM »
The fabric might be at the end of its useful life.  There are a lot of variables involved - how much sun exposure, how often it has been operated, etc.  If the hardware is in good shape, price out new material and compare to a new awning.
--John
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 07:38:28 AM »
If I had a manual awning, I would go back to the 8500 vinyl fabric.  It's what you want personally.....an awning that will keep your stuff dry, but the fabric is hot (vinyl), or an awning that will keep the shade cool but rain will come through (the 9000)
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Clay L

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Re: Awning Replacement, Seeking Opinions
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2009, 11:03:27 AM »
My window awnings are acrylic and about three years old.
I had the vinyl patio awning replaced with acyclic fabric two years ago. I find the acrylic easier to keep clean than the vinyl.

The care instructions mention that re-waterproofing might be necessary at some point but I have not had to do mine yet.

I got the awnings (metal covered type) from Gamblers in Quartzite and installed them myself. Gamblers did the replacement of the vinyl with acrylic fabric that matches the window awnings.

As I recall the window awnings were about $80 each and the acrylic fabric plus labor was about $200. It is the metal covered type while the vinyl wasn't.
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats), Sali (toy poodle)
Settled down after full timing for eleven years and snowbirding for one year in a 2004 Winnebago 35N Sightseer, Workhorse W 20 Chassis. Honda toad

 

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