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Old 03-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #1
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Replacing the Fiamma

Our experience with (and without) awnings: Our 'o4 SMB was purchased with the Fiamma awning. I was never pleased with the engineering or usefulness of the awning. When it was damaged by a falling limb, I decided to scrap it and find something that suited us better. We bought a 10' square EZ Up canopy and like it much better than the Fiamma. The canopy can be placed against the van where it provides more shade than the awning did. Available screen panels can be attached to make it into a screen house. Opaque panels can provide shade (or privacy) when needed. Enlisting the aid of two granddaughters, we can each pick up a leg and easily walk it to any part of the campsite. It can be placed over a picnic table or wherever the situation dictates. It folds into a compact case which fits nicely on the floor just inside the barn doors. Simple, inexpensive, and it works.

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Old 03-01-2012, 09:46 PM   #2
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Re: Replacing the Fiamma

I have an EZ up and they are convenient as a moveable sun shade or picnic table rain or sun shelter. But the legs and roof profile makes it useless IMHO as a rain shelter for a sliding side door in heavy rain situations - the rain pours down right on the door. and they are kind of bulky for taking up floor space. Our Westy has an attached Shadyboy small awning that works great for sun and rain as long as it is not too windy.

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2012 Sprinter RB SMB PT (ALCES2) aka Moose, chill'n in Anchorage, AK
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:32 AM   #3
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Re: Replacing the Fiamma

We have never experienced any problems, even while camped in some nasty stuff. Our Ford SMB does not have sliding side doors, so maybe that accounts for it. Whatever works (or doesn't!)
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
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Re: Replacing the Fiamma

I like my Fiamma awning and use it regularly. However I have broken two legs to the awning in two years and ordering parts from Fiamma is difficult because their parts catalog is so confusing (at least to me). I have two EZ up canopies that I use when we go to the beach each year for a week, but they are too bulky, IMO, to carry in the van. When I pull my small cargo trailer behind my SMB I then have room for the canopies.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:09 PM   #5
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Re: Replacing the Fiamma

Re: "EZ Up"s ... is there one brand or model that is particularly useful for the uses described above? I find a zillion or so for sale and am a bit bewildered as to what attributes may or may not be important.

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Old 03-02-2012, 01:32 PM   #6
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Re: Replacing the Fiamma

E-Z UP Direct website has the dope on the various models. The heavier duty ones are your best bet.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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Re: Replacing the Fiamma

I rarely use my awning but I do I see its value when taking long trips. I just don't like how it's mounted to my van. A pop up is OK and I've used them from time to time. I now pack a Alaskan screen tent that has a fly for wet weather. It is not as easy to assemble but much larger. I can set up a small propane fire inside which keeps it quite warm in cold temps. But I carry it in my SMB trailer...both the pop up and Alaskan are more than I want to pack in the SMB alone...YMMV. I use nylon panels on my awning with the little red propane fire to keep warm when winds are low.

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