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Old 06-08-2014, 01:27 PM   #1
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Awnings: are they really up/down/up/down ...

We were out this weekend, in typical Georgia summer weather. Which is to say sunny during the day, with evening thunderstorms 2 days out of three. Last night--because of all of y'all's warnings--as we tucked ourselves in for the night, I put the awning up (I mean "up" in the Southern way, i.e. "down," or "away"). But does this mean I immediately fold it up as soon as we stop using it every day during the summer, given this weather pattern? It's easy enough, but I do hate repetitive tasks!
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Old 06-08-2014, 01:39 PM   #2
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Yeah, pretty much up and down if you want to be safe. One thing you can do is to use the big spiral tie down stakes and run a strap from one side to the other across the awning about 25% of the way from the front edge. Helps a lot. People in FL leave awnings out like this but still watch for the big storm days. But still....., it is safer to put it up.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:06 PM   #3
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If you don't put it away when you are not there you will find it on the ground after surprise thunderstorm. Ask how I know.
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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After learning the hard way with my first trailer years ago, I caution on the safe side. If I believe thundershowers are in the forecast, I retract the awning for the night. Normal rain doesn't scare me and in those situation I will drop the awning overall and pitch one side even lower before retiring. Typically it['s not the rain that scares me as the higher winds that can ruin an awning. I had bent the arms on one awning (SOB) at Myrtle Beach SC. Not from storms but from a brisk ocean front beach wind. I bought a large spring loaded tie down strap after that and always used it at sites that had ocean or lakefront exposure. I've never used it with the Airstream awning but I still carry it just in case.

Sometimes an unexpected storm blows up over night and upon hearing the thunder of the oncoming storm, I've done the in the dark retraction awning routine.

I never leave the trailer for any length of time with the awning down if there is any chance of storms. I consider the ZipDee a pretty easy awning to retract and it just doesn't take that long to let it roll back. No need to engage any of the locking systems in this case.

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Old 06-08-2014, 02:44 PM   #5
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We put ours up after losing our road side awning in SW Texas in 2000. What we found out was there was no wind advisory unless the winds hit 40 MPH or above. We now have a NOAA WB radio as well.
If we buy a new Airstream next year, I'm going to pay for the retractable Zip so I can do it all from inside when the storm is starting to brew.

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Old 06-08-2014, 02:49 PM   #6
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I agree with the above post. I'm 71 and can retract in less than a minute. Good up to 20 mph wind without tie-downs. Sal
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Old 06-08-2014, 02:55 PM   #7
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Living in the desert, I don't leave mine out, unattended. The wind does come up unexpected. Ever see a dust devil under an open awning? Dust storm before a monsoon squall line? My limit is about 10 mph, when it starts to flap.
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