Wednesday, July 11, 2012

RV awning issues

Dear R.V. Shrink:
My wife is always insisting that I roll the awning up when we go sightseeing or shopping for the day. I have camp all set up and would rather keep things covered. We witnessed an incident last year, watching an awning blow up and over a motorhome in an unexpected storm while the occupants were away. I think it was a fluke and not staked down as well as I do. I also have a middle support pole. Could you convince her she is paranoid? I hate rolling it up and down all the time. --Polie Roller in Pocatello 

Dear Pokey:
I am not suggesting you should roll your awning up every time you leave your site, but I think I would err on the side of caution with your wife. An awning is nothing more than a sail on the side of your rig. Mother Nature has a way of getting your attention at the drop of a hat. I, myself, have seen several awnings ripped off. It takes minutes to roll one up when you leave for any amount of time and that same amount of time to drop it back down. If you lose it to a windstorm it will often cost you more than a few hundred dollars in fabric. Usually the hardware is bent and anchor bolts are ripped out, causing damage to your siding. You will also spend much more time dealing with your insurance company and awning installer than the few minutes it takes to roll it up.

--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I can afford to replace my awning, I will roll it up every time I'm not in a position to monitor it. A freak rainstorm filled mine to the point that it bent the spindle and destroyed the fabric.

Doug and Sheila said...

Torn and bent awning parts are very common. I saw two just last week. The manual awnings take a few minutes to put up or down. That is why I have an electric awning. It takes 30 seconds to go from completely open to closed or vice versa. This makes it much easier to stop and push the button and roll it in as I am leaving and easy to put back out when I return.

Terry and Cecelia said...

Lost my awning to a sudden wind storm in South Dakota. The wind pulled one side completely off and threw it it up on top of my MH. Now I am very cautious about leaving it open.

Dennis said...

It is definitely best to roll it up when you leave. Even when you are in your RV and have the best tie down straps in use bad things can happen as they did to me. A wind gust caught my awning and ripped the supports lose. Then it flipped the whole assembly on top of my trailer and cut the roof badly. Not only did we have to replace the entire awning assembly but we had to have the roof replaced also.

Anonymous said...

We had one flip over the trailer in the middle of the night, not only destroyed the awning/poles/frame, it punched a hole in the roof of the RV..We also had a kind soul put ours up when were on a day trip, we have put one or 2 up for others also..We now have an electric awning..problen solved.

Tomharg said...

Wind isn't the only problem, heavy rain can do serious damage as well. Some friends left their awning up overnight secure in the belief that the tilted awning would shed any rain. Along came a downpour late that night and caused the awning to sag in the middle so badly that the roller was bent and had to be replaced -- and it weren't cheap! Beware, water is heavy (duh?) and enough of it coming down quickly can overwhelm even a tilted awning!

Wolfe said...

I'm not sure if this is crazy or plausible, but I once saw someone taking DOWN the side-support (stiffener?) poles each time they left but leaving the rest of the canopy extended and able to freely sag and retighten based only on the weight of the roller hinging outward -- supposedly as a shock-absorber type of concept. This looked precarious to me, but they insisted it was the safest, 2nd to rolling it up completely which they didn't want to bother doing. Sure enough, when wind or rain struck, the canopy bowed, dumped any rain off the fabric, and re-extended itself without harm -- while others who had it "fully" up had their stiff canopies beaten or flooded MUCH worse. Is this actually an advisable practice, or is it as crazy sounding as I think it is (even if it does seem to work)?