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Old 09-22-2019, 12:28 PM   #1
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ARB / Fiamma awning question

Currently I have both an ARB and a Fiamma awning mounted on my vans. With the rainy season getting closer, (well, it's raining now) I remembered reading in one of the owners manuals that the awnings should not be used in rain (really???). I assume this is due to the fact that rolling them up wet can result mold forming on the fabric. Since I do a large amount of winter camping, using the awning in the rain is inevitable, but I did put the ARB one away wet last winter, and within about a week (the first dry day since I put it away) mold had already started to form. Any suggestions on how to deal with this problem?
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:04 PM   #2
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I use this 303 Product - Had been using it for years on the boat with great success, and have been using it on our awning about the last 3 years (apply it at the beginning of spring, and again end of Summer). Never had an issue with Mold... and I have put it away damp (didnt have a choice at the time).
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D92VB2N..._t2_B002AR5G6Y
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Old 09-22-2019, 10:45 PM   #3
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Yup....the 303 products are great, havenít needed the mold and mildew but I use their UV protectant on most things vinyl these days including dash and doors.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:21 AM   #4
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Rain protection is the primary reason I got my ARB awning. It's been put away wet on several occasions and left for up to a few weeks until the next sunny weather when I can set it up to dry it out. No mold issues yet.
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Old 09-23-2019, 06:22 PM   #5
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Well, that's 4 folks with no mold issues, with and without any kind of treatment, making me wonder if the spots I saw were perhaps something other than mold, but in any case it doesn't seem to be a problem. I think I'll take the easy way out and do nothing but use it and keep a close watch. The good news is that the ARB awning isn't too expensive so if it does get wrecked I can just get another. Thanks.............
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:00 PM   #6
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I have a Fiamma in my garage not yet mounted in Seattle for the same reason. I know a few people with ARBís in WA with mold issues after a few days of them rolled up wet.

I wonder how the 303 does, I use the UV treatment on my boat and swear by it.

Please keep us posted if you run into mold issues. Itís the main reason I havenít mounted mine yet.

Rob
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Old 09-24-2019, 06:38 PM   #7
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Nrobert10, Mold issues certainly should be addressed as soon as discovered, but treating the issue is merely a reaction, Preventative maintenance (just like fluid changes) is proactive. The 303 product I mentioned in an earlier post also helps keep mold at bay, just needs to be applied periodically - especially if you're in a humid climate. I volunteered the fact I use it on the awning, but I also apply it to the pop-top canvas (both inside & out)...learned the hard way after replacing Boat Canvas at a cost just over $2K.
I say mount your awning (even if you find you only use it occasionally), and once in a while set aside 5 min to treat it.
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Old 09-24-2019, 08:52 PM   #8
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I just recently installed my Fiamma awning and had been wondering about this topic. The main reason I got it was for this this time of year in the PNW and I certainly don't want to be unable to use it. Hard to know how long it may be rolled up wet until the next dry day. I might just try the 303 product on mine. Thanks for the tip Twoxentrix
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:41 AM   #9
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I think it's also due to the possibility of rain puddling on the awning if you don't have it set with a slant. The weight of it can bend/break the support arms. I have a Fiamma from a friends van that broke one of the joints. I had hoped to replace the arm but so far no luck.

If you use it in the rain be aware of putting it away wet, water collecting and wind.
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:51 AM   #10
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Although mold is certainly an issue, I think the reasons Faimma gives for not using in rain are different. Rain can form large pools of water that are heavy and can damage the structure. Also, thunderstorms often have sudden large wind gusts that can destroy the awning. We lost our awning in a wind gust (although not in rain) that blew the awning over top of the van and bent the aluminum structure beyond repair. For the new awning, we now usually attach the two legs to the brackets on the van. In most soil, staking the posts to the ground I think does not help much. Another way to stabilize is to tie it down to a tree or picnic table. We never leave out at night or when hiking, but we do use it in the rain by adjusting the legs to place the front bar at a large angle. To avoid mold we open it at the first opportunity in nice weather.

David
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