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Old 11-04-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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Awnings - which one?

I searched and read for a couple hours but didn't find any thread specifically for type of awning and options.

I've got a Ford RB and am looking for a 10' retractable awning.

Fiamma, Dometic, or Horizon? I've seen a bunch of people pulling the mounting brackets or tearing the sheet metal due to wind, etc. My rig is bare metal on the inside so I can mount without concern to paneling, etc. I want something that's really robust, easy to deploy, and minimal or no maintenance on tightening bolts, etc.

Fire away!

Thanks
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: Awnings - which one?

If mounted to the body they really need to be reinforced on the inside. Even after that, if it becomes a sail body damage can happen. Mine started to produce stress cracks
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: Awnings - which one?

I saw said stress cracks on a couple rigs in the SMB parking lot Fresno. Def no bueno.

Besides mounting to the sheet metal, what other options are there? Raingutter, I suppose. I saw a forum member (Eli) had fabbed some brackets. How are those working out?
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: Awnings - which one?

I think Eli quit making them. Don't recall is somebody picked up the torch.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:23 AM   #5
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Re: Awnings - which one?

One other option to consider is just purchasing an "Easy Up" or other type of portable vendor tent. The type you see at craft fairs, vendor booths, etc. We looked into a fixed awning and in seeing other Sportsmobiles with them we found them to be somewhat limited. They will only be on one side of the van. Wind seems to be an issue with any of them. If you go off road, branches will be an issue. Our Easy Up can be easily moved as the sun moves, we can put it on either side of the van, or in the rear. Sets up and takes down easily. If it's really windy, it can be spiked down if necessary. Everyone's situation is different, but for us, the Easy Up was a good option for us.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: Awnings - which one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oclv
One other option to consider is just purchasing an "Easy Up" or other type of portable vendor tent. The type you see at craft fairs, vendor booths, etc. We looked into a fixed awning and in seeing other Sportsmobiles with them we found them to be somewhat limited. They will only be on one side of the van. Wind seems to be an issue with any of them. If you go off road, branches will be an issue. Our Easy Up can be easily moved as the sun moves, we can put it on either side of the van, or in the rear. Sets up and takes down easily. If it's really windy, it can be spiked down if necessary. Everyone's situation is different, but for us, the Easy Up was a good option for us.
Yes or get a real cheap one at Walmart. When the wind blows it down no big deal...
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:33 PM   #7
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Re: Awnings - which one?

Pros/cons of the Fiamma other than the mounting issues:
>>>Quick and easy to deploy.
>>>Provides shade if positioned correctly.
>>>If staked out well, they can withstand reasonable wind.
>>>Adding nylon sides makes for a nice room if you have a propane fire during mildly cold weather.
>>>Easy to retract when on the move.
>>>Helps in rain no doubt.


Cons:
<<<Can become a sail in high winds which can do body damage to your vehicle.
<<<On a Econoline van (depending on the vans lift and terrain) the barn doors can hit the awning if not fully raised.
<<<To the above, water can pool if no slant can be applied.
<<<Its not something that can be put up in camp as standalone shelter and must be retracted each time the vehicle moves. It is kinda nice to come back to camp and not have to set something up.
<<<Trees/limbs are a minor/major issue depending on the terrain while on the trail.
<<<During fall, leaves can make a mess if awning collects water...the leaves are kinda hard to clean off.

I'm sure others have pros and cons and I might have misse a few myself
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:59 AM   #8
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Re: Awnings - which one?

To add a couple to Dave's post (which is very accurate).

Pro's
  • Does not take up any room in the van while stored[/*:m:nzeleexw]
  • Can be easily setup by one person[/*:m:nzeleexw]

Con's
  • Expensive to buy & mount[/*:m:nzeleexw]
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:22 AM   #9
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Re: Awnings - which one?

Not so expensive to buy if you get the ARB awning. It takes a few more seconds than the expensive alternatives but it is still quick and easy, can be staked down for wind and is pretty robust. Mounting to the vehicle, ah well, there's the rub. I have Eli's brackets but I have no idea how you'd do it if they are NLA. Anyone know what happened to the person who was getting them going again?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:19 PM   #10
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Re: Awnings - which one?

Or a blue tarp.

Versatile, cheap, doesn't wreck bits of your van. Not so quick to mount, but once you get a system pretty easy. I used one more for rain than sun protection. Got some cheap telescoping aluminum poles, although many times I just guyed it straight to the ground, with the top attached to brackets on top of the penthouse.
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