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Old 06-15-2007, 02:35 PM   #1
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Fiamma Awning...Yea or Nay?

We're on the fence with the awning option on our SMB.

For those SMB'ers out there who have one, are you happy with the quality and function of this thing?

My wife and I have had our fair dose of UV exposure and need some type of awning, but I'm not sure the Fiamma is the way to go.

A number of options include the Kelty Deluxe SUV/Truck shelter, which REI has for $250. Looks lighter & more versatile.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

-Jeff & Maranda
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Old 06-15-2007, 02:57 PM   #2
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When I go up to SMB in July I will be adding one to my rig. I had one on my 87 Westfalia and used it all the time. You cant leave it open and unattended though.
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:10 PM   #3
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We just ordered the Kelty Deluxe Carport for $300 from REI. You can get it a bit cheaper, but I wanted to make sure I can return it if it is not what we expected. I'll post again once we get it (next week) and I can evaluate it a bit.

We are not going with the SMB awning option because I've heard it is terrible in any kind of moderate and above wind conditions. Unfortunately, Baja is always at least moderately windy. The Kelty allows for a couple different configurations, is light weight and should be much more sturdy based on its design. If it looks good, we are going to have SMB add a couple bolts to the side of the van so we can attach it easily.

Here is the item for those who are interested: http://www.rei.com/product/732929
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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Calclimber & sdwindansea,

Thanks for your replies.

I like the idea of the Fiamma shelter being attached, but I've also heard stories of it becoming a friggin' wind sail, too. Or worse, bouncing along a washboard trail making a racket of noise.

We have an Aluminess 9'x5' roof-rack ordered for the top of our rig, so I'm thinking we could attach the Kelty sunshade without much drama. I like the ability to place that thing on a 45 degree cant, for late afternoon heat wave or strong wind.

-Jeff & Maranda
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonclan
Calclimber & sdwindansea,

Thanks for your replies.

I like the idea of the Fiamma shelter being attached, but I've also heard stories of it becoming a friggin' wind sail, too. Or worse, bouncing along a washboard trail making a racket of noise.

We have an Aluminess 9'x5' roof-rack ordered for the top of our rig, so I'm thinking we could attach the Kelty sunshade without much drama. I like the ability to place that thing on a 45 degree cant, for late afternoon heat wave or strong wind.

-Jeff & Maranda
The only potential problem I can see with what you are planning with the Kelty is that it may be too tall if you have the Penthouse option on your van and it is raised.
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Old 06-15-2007, 05:17 PM   #6
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Good point, we'd need some r-e-a-l-l-y long support poles
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:01 AM   #7
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We received the Kelty Carport Deluxe late last week. It is actually very impressive. It will definitely work in pretty strong winds/gusts if it is properly secured. The setup is very similar in time & "complexity" to a normal tent. Once you have attached all the poles (6 in total) to the carport, you lift up the one side and attach it to the roof rack. The far side then rests on the ground creating a large, protected shelter. One or both sides can also be rolled down for additional protection and privacy. It has many stake and guy line points. Using the two additional poles to raise the far end so it is setup more like a traditional awning is a bit more tricky. They are very wobbly until they are guyed out properly. However, this wouldn't discourage me at all. This is basically perfect for a truck/SUV.

The downside is that it will not work on a Sportsmobile with a PH top, unless you always left the PH down. It will be way too tall with the PH up if attached to the roof rack. We were at SMB yesterday ordering and configuring our van. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out alternatives for attaching the Kelty to the SMB. We could not come up with any possibilities. I had envisioned adding d-rings to the side or rear of the van for this, but there are not any good or logical spots for this.

So, we are returning the Kelty Carport Deluxe. The Fiamma awning is still not an option for us as it is unusable in windy conditions. We will probably end up with a free standing tent like structure. I've had an Easy-Up in the past and while it is very convenient for setup, it is not as good in the wind and it takes up a lot of storage space. Some things we are considering are below, although we won't buy anything until we actually get our SMB. I hope this has helped some...

REI Alcove
Kelty Shadehouse
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:10 PM   #8
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How about some gutter mounts - like those used for CB antennas or roof racks? A couple of those with some modifications might do the trick...

Jay
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsnable
How about some gutter mounts - like those used for CB antennas or roof racks? A couple of those with some modifications might do the trick...

Jay
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do not believe a gutter mount would work with the PH top. Maybe a temporary one that was added after the PH was raised. However, then you would have to remove them before lowering the PH. I think the edge of the PH sits too close the edge of the gutter.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:57 AM   #10
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You could add www.pahaque.com to your list of possible awning options. They have sade shelters and screen rooms.


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