Awnings in the southwest??

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Rollie

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Okay this is one of those who cares kind of questions ... but inquiring minds want to know.  For the past few years I have explored the Phoenix area during the winter months preparing to someday retire and escape winter.  One thing I have noticed is that the motor-homes very seldom have the awning deployed.  Is it because of the wind?  Is it because the early morning is cold and you want all the sun you can get?  I have always liked to have the awning out as much as possible ... it looks more permanent ... it looks more inviting ... I paid for it I want to use it ... but alas it seems that most of the RVs I have seen do not.  What gives?? 
Those of you that do deploy ... do you use additional tie downs ... what issues have you had ... just curious. 
 

Betty Brewer

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We love the desert and spend lots of time in Arizona.  We use our small awnings almost all the time but almost never deploy the large awning.  Our reasons are numerous.  First and foremost is the wind.  It can gust at a moments notice and cause huge headaches.  Then there is that  metal arm that a tall person runs into and hits head if not watching closely.  I find it a big hassel to get it out.  I'm not tall enough or strong enough to do this alone and ours is not a push button automatic thing.

It does look homey and  is comfortable with the shade it provides during some hours of the day.  We have not ever spent enough time in a spot to do the "anchor it down real well " thing. 

Now at first I really wanted to have awning out, even bought patio lights to hang from awning for ambience.  Now  I just move my lawn chairs to the side that the motorhome shades and need no awning  at all.  Just our experience.

Betty
 

Ned

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We do much as Betty and Terry do, and in many of the same places.  We have window awnings on all our windows and use them even when parked for one or two nights.  We have used our patio awning, but only where we weren't concerned about wind, or to give some shelter from rain, but rarely use it when wintering in the desert.  We tried using tie downs, but if you really have to roll it up, as when a bad storm is imminent, the tie downs just take too long to remove and you risk losing the awning.  I've seen too many big awnings ripped off, some while I was watching, to trust them in windy places.
 

BernieD

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Like Betty and Ned we seldom use our patio awning. However, since we don't have individual awnings on the curb side and do have an electric awning, I will put it out when the sun shines thru the window by my desk and retract it when the sun goes down or we leave the coach. Too many wind issues.
 

Rollie

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You have proved my suspicions ... I have seen many an RVer follow the shade around the RV.  So just for special occasions when the weather is just right ... or for the entertainment of fellow campers to watch me put it up in a wind storm!
 

Ron

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Like Betty and Ned we hardly ever use the big awning.  We have small awnings over all the windows so that is usually good enough.  On the rare occasion we do extend the big awning we never leave it extended when we are not going to be there and never leave it extended overnight.  We have helped others that have left their awning out and needed to roll it up when the wind came up.  Have even seen a couple awnings get blown over the top damaging the awning and hardware.
 

cuts_up

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We seldom use the patio awning either.  It seems that the only time it's actually cool enough to sit out and enjoy it, there is wind and the threat of the wind picking up.  We do use the smaller window awnings to help keep the summer heat out though.
 

Rollie

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We have the small awnings on all the windows ... except for those that would be under the big awning ... our MH will face the north so we will get the morning sun and have the shade in the evening. And on special occasions, when the forecast calls for calm, we will endeavor to furl out our awning and enjoy the luxury of our little used vinyl canopy.  :-\ 
 

Marsha/CA

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Well, here's another opinion.  At the present we are in Kernville, CA  which is in the 90's with full sun and wind.  We also have awnings over the windows all round the motorhome; but we put our big awing out whenever we can.  It's electric, so I just push the button.  When we leave, I retract it and when it gets windy, I also retract it.  If it were manual, we would probably not bother with it as much.

For us, the awing provides an extension of the coach and we love it. 

Marsha~

 

Clay L

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Well I guess I am going to be the second odd person out.

We spend most of the winter in Bouse AZ (near Quartzite) and we have our window awnings out all the time and our main awning out as much as possible. We do put it up when we leave for any appreciable amount of time though.

In South TX it's a whole nother story though. Down there we rarely put the main awning, just too darned much wind.
 

ArdraF

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We also have small awnings at every window which normally is sufficient.  We've had manual patio awnings on previous motorhomes and rarely used them or, if out, padded the arms well to prevent head knocks.  With this motorhome we finally got the automatic Girard armless (no head injuries) patio awning and use it somewhat more than the others which were too much hassle.  That said, even though I like it, we only have it out when we're there.  Always take it in when leaving because the southwest can be pretty windy at times.  A big gust can make an awning do a lot of damage to a motorhome.  When it's really hot it's nice to have it out because it shades a good two-thirds of the passenger side which includes the refrigerator.  Any time you can shade the fridge side, that's good.  We seldom sit outside under the big awning; it's primary usage is to shade one side of the coach and to keep more sun off the windows on that side.

If it's an either-or, our choice would always be to have every window covered with an individual awning because you can pretty much leave them out most of the time.

ArdraF
 

John From Detroit

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The big advantage of the awning in the south is shade. Anything that keeps sun OFF the coach keeps it cooler

Though this last year in QZ cooler was not a requirement (Warmer would have been nice) if I'm going to be using the AC I'm going to be using the awning if I can.
 

BernieD

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Barb said:
We work our awning about the same way as Marsha.  It just takes a second to retract it, so we never leave it down when we're not there.  Pushing the awning button is also a pink job.

Barb

Not in our coach :'( Marlene is vertically impaired enough that she has made that a blue job :-[
 

Barb

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Code:
Bernie has a blue button

Actually the buttons on my the remote control are blue.  I don't have a regular switch.  And if I do, I don't know where it's at.  Just the remote control, placed at a height that I can reach.  If we did not have an electric awning, we would not use it as much.

Barb
 

Ned

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Barb, better keep fresh batteries in that remote :)
 
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