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Author Topic: Awnings - power vs manual  (Read 7976 times)

albertaangler

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Awnings - power vs manual
« on: January 28, 2010, 10:35:37 PM »
Any distinct disadvantages to then power ones?
We're looking at unit with power and overheard a salesman at another booth of the rv show loudly proclaim that he'd NEVER have a power awning. Only heard a few words as we walked past do don't know the whole context.
So just wondering??
Don,
... if there is no fishing in Heaven - I'm not going.

Mastermtn

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 11:38:46 PM »
Any distinct disadvantages to then power ones?
We're looking at unit with power and overheard a salesman at another booth of the rv show loudly proclaim that he'd NEVER have a power awning. Only heard a few words as we walked past do don't know the whole context.
So just wondering??

Love my power awning...can set it any distance away esp during windy periods..can draw it in
just so and be happy!!! Only downside is there is no auto shutoff when extending and you can
burn the motor out if you press it....otherwise IMHO it is very nice feature to have...

So-- is this a distinct advantage...I don't know....but it is nice feature...



Rich
37.984N. -120.381W 2010's- Shawdow Cruiser
+5.7L Tundra lifted; w/ two roof Thule  cargo boxes

If we knew what it was we were doing,
it would not be called research, would it?
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seilerbird

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 09:47:05 AM »
Definitely a plus to have an a power awning.

Dar

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 10:05:28 AM »
I asked a similar question here a few months back because we were considering changing out our manual to an automatic and I received neighs. It seems that there are some improvements that still need to be made but since I don't own one I couldn't tell you all the issues.

I did observe when walking around campgrounds that the power awnings I notice only seem to extend straight out which is only helpful if the sun is directly above you. We generally angle ours down to block the sun coming in  facing curbside (rising or setting). I do not know if this is standard of all power awnings.
Dar & Bill
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seilerbird

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 10:07:07 AM »
No, the ones on our Providence came down at an angle.

John From Detroit

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 10:27:43 AM »
Well. as it has been said there are two sides to every coin.

Save this one has 3 sides or 4

First there are 2x2 types of power awnings.. (I think there are 3 or 4 companies that make 'em but the two biggies are A&E and Carefree of Colorado, and the others copy one of their designs)

I will start with A&E.. Of the two I like A&E's awnings better... But read on.
The older A&E uses a "Lighthouse" wind sensor, it's on the roof of the motor home and the failure rate on this device is astounding.  The one I had failed quickly and the one I have has never worked properly.. A&E will not look at it, they refer me to dealers who are not able to do anything about it, I may have to design my own wind sensor some day.. If so I'll use the Carefree old design, which was an aeronometer and actually worked.  But I like the awning better... I just override the sensor.

A&E awnings, like most awnings, slope down they have a more "Traditional" arm structure (Though I detect a possible problem there too.. I have not yet had a problem with 'em)

Carefree's awning comes out more flat. it uses a different support system that does not have arms coming down.. On paper this looks better but I worry about it in the rain

The carefree old-style wind sensor though.. I like better.

The new designs use a motion detector on the end of the awning arm (Both companies went to this design) when the arm starts bouncing around in the wind.. IN it comes.

THIS (Auto-retraction in the wind) can be a PLUS and a half if you leave it out while you go to church or to the store or movie or _________.

Manual awnings... These tend to stay where you put 'em a bit better, epically if you tie 'em down (I do not recommend tying down an automatic due to auto-retraction)

If you want to "enclose" your patio area, then they work better with the awning mounted screen houses (Again no auto-retraction)

And of course they are less expensive.. LOTS MORE WORK however.

Given the choice between manual or automatic/electric.... I'm very happy with the A&E power awning I have and would not wish to change.... Though there are a few changes in the awning I might make (but that's a model choice or rather a size issue) and has nothing to do with the awning itself.
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 10:41:45 AM »
Lots of different models and folks often confuse how their particular one is installed on their coach with a general characteristic. Also, a few models do not have wind sensors, so that's a whole other discussion.
For reference, we have  a Carefree electric without a wind sensor.

In general the electrics do not offer as much downward tilt as manual awnings. Depends on the make & model, though. That's a drawback when the angle of the sun  is low or the rain is slanting in.

RVs with slides on the same side as the awning often have the awning mounted above the slide, so as to clear it. That puts the awning very high and reduces it effectiveness considerably. A slide also limits the downward angle. You can, however, mount the awning on the slide itself if you limit the length to that of the slide.

Wind sensors: everybody has a story and exasperation with them is common. They bring the awing in unexpectedly on calm days or fail to bring it in in time to avoid a sharp wind gust. The sensors fail or get knocked off by tree limbs or whatever. They aren't reliable enough to leave the RV and expect the wind sensor to protect it from a sudden storm, so one has to question if they are useful at all.

All that said, it is lovely to be able to deploy or retract the awning at the touch of a button.  You are much more likley to do both if it is convenient, so it's a handy feature.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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BruceinFL

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2010, 11:03:26 AM »
I agree with  Gary about the use. We rarely put out the awning because it's such a pita to extend and retract what with also attaching awning clamps. We will never leave the RV with the awning out...learned a hard lesson when we were gone for a short time and a big wind came up or having to get up in the middle of the night because a big tstorm came thru. However, if we had an electric awning, we would use it much more often than the manual one. Next awning will be electric.
Bruce A.
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RedT

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 02:06:38 PM »
My last coach had a manual awning, my current coach has an automatic electric awning. My experiences:

It's so easy to extend and retract the electric awning!
The wind sensor (thermistor) does work - after I properly set the DIP switches.
The electric awning is either in, partially out, or out. But, I can't control the angle.
My awning does automatically shed water during a rain.
With my remote control, I can extend or retract the awning without going outside in the dark, or during a high wind, or....

I NEVER leave my awning out at night or when we are not at the motorhome.

With the electric awning, I don't have to tug on straps, set braces, or tighten knobs - just press a switch.

All things considered, I think the lazy side of me prefers the electric automatic awning.


RedT, US Air Force Retired
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Marsha/CA

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 05:29:18 PM »
We have an electric awning and I LOVE IT.  I don't think we would use an awning as much as we do now if it were a manual one.  The manual big ones are really hard to handle.  BTW, ours slopes down-not straight out.

Marsha~
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In case of necessity, alternate transportation is available in the form of 1 old horse.

Mastermtn

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2010, 05:52:36 PM »
We have an electric awning and I LOVE IT.  I don't think we would use an awning as much as we do now if it were a manual one.  The manual big ones are really hard to handle.  BTW, ours slopes down-not straight out.

Marsha~

Ours slopes down also...our protocol is to retract it each evening and whenever we leave...
Love it and use it a lot more than manual ...

R
37.984N. -120.381W 2010's- Shawdow Cruiser
+5.7L Tundra lifted; w/ two roof Thule  cargo boxes

If we knew what it was we were doing,
it would not be called research, would it?
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Jeff

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2010, 06:07:56 PM »
We have the latest version of the A&E Weatherpro and I'll make the following observations:

The new weather sensor is a thermistor as someone pointed out which depends on a change in temperature caused by wind velocity. This works but not very accurately in different weather conditions. Rain will retract the awning on a calm day.(Not good if you are sitting under it,) ;D I set it at the lowest wind speed and it always retracts before it gets too windy but it also retracts when there is no reason to.

A&ED makes two arm lengths for the Weather Pro. IIRC the basement  model is designed for those with a slide on the right side of the coach and goes out horizontally to clear the top of the slide. Our standard version angles down so far that Sue doesn't like it extended all the way because she cannot see out the windows on that side. (This does give much better shade when down.)

The fabric does not roll up as smoothly as our last A&E manual awning and ends up with small wrinkles in it. (It is the same acrylic fabric we had on the manual awning.)

Like others we really enjoy the convenience.

ArdraF

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2010, 06:17:27 PM »
The other major manufacturer of automatic awnings is Girard.  They're pricey but we decided to get one on this motorhome because all our previous manual patio awnings seldom got used because they were so difficult to extend and retract.  We also didn't care for most of the other automatic ones that were available at the time.  I love the Girard!  You push a button and it extends.  You push a button and it retracts.  You can stop it at any point along the way.  No hassle at all.  And the wind sensor is great.

On this last trip we got the early eastern sun on our dinette side and it was pretty blinding when trying to eat breakfast.  I pressed a button on the remote and the Girard went out and kept the sun off the windows.  The other time I love it is when we pull into a site on a really hot day.  I just press the button and the sun is off that side quickly and easily.  Sometimes I extend it to create a "garage" for the toad.  It's nice to be able to keep the sun off the car if we expect to go out in a while (we live and travel mostly in the desert southwest).

We do not leave it extended when we leave the coach.  When we first got it the wind sensor did not bring it in soon enough for our liking and Girard adjusted it at a rally so it retracts sooner than it did.  The other issue is they sometimes retract with just a slight breeze.  That, too, can be adjusted.  When set properly the wind sensor does its job.

Even though it was a ridiculously expensive option, we really like it and don't regret the expense.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

waroland

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2010, 09:16:25 PM »
I asked my local RV dealer about upgrading to an electric awning and the first thing I was asked was about the power to run it. Then I was told about how hard it is to try to run power inside the walls of an RV. I quit asking after that statement.

Bill
2002 Fleetwood Revolution
2006 Honda CR-V

Mastermtn

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 10:13:22 PM »
I asked my local RV dealer about upgrading to an electric awning and the first thing I was asked was about the power to run it. Then I was told about how hard it is to try to run power inside the walls of an RV. I quit asking after that statement.

Bill

Hi Bill,

..there is some nice sticky "C" channel covering that is made to cover up wires
laid in after-construction...(used about 15' in my house)  at Home Depot that comes in
various lengths and colours...I think it would look nice running outside an RV or TT
from the nearest 12VDC bus through the wall (with rubber gasket and white sealant
nicely done)  to the awning channel..thence run it up the awning arm on the motor
end...should be easy enuf to do....wired nice outside flood lights on my TT through
the wall and no leaks....easy to do...just make best guess not to drill through
existing wires...you can tell with some studying of the outlets and lights...perhaps
near a cargo hatch if you cargo bay has 12v lights in it...I see no appreciable
dimming when I have all the lights on and retract or extend the awning...so I
would deduce there is not a whole lot of amperage to run the awning motor...

Rich
Just my $1.02
37.984N. -120.381W 2010's- Shawdow Cruiser
+5.7L Tundra lifted; w/ two roof Thule  cargo boxes

If we knew what it was we were doing,
it would not be called research, would it?
- Einstein

Boondocking with solar, inverters and generator.

broncobilly

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2010, 12:55:50 PM »
does anyone know if its possible to add a roof top wind sensor to a factory installed power awning that does not have the automatic wind sensor closer?

Ned

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2010, 01:12:00 PM »
What make awning, A&E, Girard, Carefree?  I believe the Carefree has an optional wind sensor and remote control that can be added after the fact.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
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broncobilly

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Re: Awnings - power vs manual
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2010, 01:38:42 PM »
Awesome, thanks for the reply, the parts manager at lakeshore rv was able to find the part number and order the kit for me.