Replacing awnings?

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Mr Lars

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Mar 17, 2021
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Location
Coleman, TX
Anybody ever replaced hand crank awnings with electric?
Are you happy with the results?
Worth the cost?
Test drove a 2005 Winnebago Journey 39W. Liked it a lot, but biggest downer is awnings are manual.
That, and the tires all around are 12 years old, w/80% tread.
 
Personally, I wish mine came with a manual awning. I have the Solera power awning on my trailer. It is not very stable when extended since there is no real supporting framework.
 
Most electrics physically mount to the body sidewall just like the manual type. Th potential challenge is hooking it to 12v power. That's gonna involve drilling a hole somewhere and finding (or creating) a 12v source that can supply the necessary amps.That could be anywhere from Easy-peasy to a major challenge.

I have seen conversion kits that replace manual awning arms with electric but have never seen a usage report of them. Here is one such. But you still have to solve the power source problem.
Or this electric replacement awning.
 
My first 3 travel trailers had manual awnings. My current fifth wheel has electric. I wish my current camper had manual.

The problem with electric awnings is the fact you can't tie them down. They are much more suspectable to wind damage than manual. They are much more fickle. They are much more delicate. They don't take wind at all.

With our previous campers, we had the awning out all the time. With our current one, it's almost a pain in the neck to put it out. Even though it's electric and operates at the push of a button, it's a constant worry because of wind.

It's just easier to leave it in.

After having had both now, my suggestion to you is, keep the manual. The electric is NOT worth it.

(Others may disagree, that's OK if they / you do!)
 
The problem with electric awnings is the fact you can't tie them down. They are much more suspectable to wind damage than manual. They are much more fickle. They are much more delicate. They don't take wind at all.
You can, but you probably have to jury rig your own system of tie-downs. I made up a harness for my Carefree Eclipse when we camped on the Maine coast for a few summers and nasty squalls were a frequent experience. Nothing fancy - just a long heavy-duty bungee cord, a big S-hook, and a ground auger (doggie leash ties) for each end of the awning roller tube.

As you say, the electrics lack fixed arms, so they are highly vulnerable to gusts of winds. Part of the reason for that is the slides on newer RVs make the arms of manual awnings problematic unless they can straddle the slide. A related reason is that curbside slides require that the awning be mounted high and extend more-or-less parallel to the ground, whereas manual awnings are designed to angled downwards.
 
Anybody ever replaced hand crank awnings with electric?
Are you happy with the results?
Worth the cost?
Test drove a 2005 Winnebago Journey 39W. Liked it a lot, but biggest downer is awnings are manual.
That, and the tires all around are 12 years old, w/80% tread.
Went back Saturday and took another look.
CAT C7, 6sp Allison.
Propane generator, supposedly there is a leak somewhere in the propane system, so no testing the oven, water heater, gas side of fridge, no testing the furnace’s. Climbed up onto the roof, one small patch, and noticed one spot that needs repair. Worst was large areas of the roof membrane has come unglued from the wood underlayment.
For the price that is being asked, in the unit’s condition, it’s a no.
 
After a microburst of wind hit our MH while driving and took our 20' manual Carefree awning I specified the same awning brand and model. It took the RV shop 3 months to locate new power packs for the Carefree awning, but I'm very happy with the result.
For those curious; Carefree power packs are giant gas springs to assist lifting the awning to height.
To prevent a reoccurance I bought an rvawninglock.com pin lock to prevent the roller tube from turning when stored.
DW asked me about an electric awning and I told her the same things Dutchmen Sport said in his reply and it satisfied her; so the world is good.
 
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