Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-10-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
New Member
2010 28' International
Dulles , Virginia
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4
Using your awning

We're newbie full-timers, now in our third week of travel, and on an extensive cross country journey. Yesterday, upon returning to our campsite in the Great Smoky Mountains NP, after a fairly heavy downpour, we found our awning had collapsed. One of the control arms had snapped at one of the drill points, and was pretty mangled. I've read on the forum how this has happened to a few other unfortunate souls. I called my dealer (Colonial) to inquire about parts and they said "Oh, you should never have your awning up in the rain." Well, if I were there, I would have probably taken it down. But this is a bit confusing because, during our orientation, the technician showed me how I could lower the detents on one side to direct the water off to one side, which in fact was the way I had it set up. So the implication was it was OK to use the awning for some rain protection. And I don't recall them telling me not to have it up when raining.

I'd like to hear how other members use their awnings and their thoughts on this. Do you always roll it back up when away? Do you leave it out when there's rain. Seems to me that the part failed - it's a pretty heavy piece of solid aluminum. I'll be calling Zip Dee tomorrow to see about getting the parts shipped to me.


sbcohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member
1978 Argosy 27
Lacey , Washington
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 160
Images: 8
Blog Entries: 1
What happened to you is so unfortunate but happens way too much. My rule of thumb is when I leave the AS (like out of the area) going into town or ??? then I put the awning down but that is yesterday’s news. Sorry for your problem but the person you called at Colonial did not need to tell you that. Kinda like kicking a person when they are already down. jjustice

jjustice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
pilgrim's Avatar
2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 346
As we prepare for our extended summer trip over the next six or seven weeks, I was reviewing our "policy" on awnings in the rain. I try to roll up the awnings when leaving for any period of time during the day and usually at night, also. There can be a light rain that doesn't bother the awnings. With some of this springs HEAVY rains with winds, I don't want my awnings extended to take that kind of beating. I always try to roll up the awnings (3) when away especially if the forcast
calls for inclement weather. I can always crank them down if I want them extended upon our return - it's not so easy to put them back together while travelling.

I'm sure there are those that will disagree and it's certainly up to each one of us how we handle this situation. I would rather NOT have to replace awnings after a sudden and hard downpour.

Best of luck in your travels....
pilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
1971 29' Ambassador
Leonardtown , Maryland
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 262
Images: 3
Lower one end of the awning. This will allow the rain to run off without pooling on the awning.
Use caution in windy environments. Wind will get under it and roll the awning back over the top of the trailer. Ground anchors and cargo straps will control the awning on a windy day.

Rebee - WBCCI #1325
2002 Classic Ltd 30'
2007 Dodge 2500, 6.7 Cummins
Rebee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
Rivet Master
2005 25' Safari
Trabuco Canyon , California
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 866
Images: 2
I've read enough sad stories regarding awnings I've been quite timid about leaving out when away or when weather is windy or rainy. For me its been quite rare for me to put it out at the beginning of a week stop and leave it out for the entire time.

Last fall in Zion I brought in in daily when out of the campsite. 30+ MPH winds were forecast.

I will leave it extended if I'm familiar with the area's weather, and the forecast looks good.
tpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 08:13 PM   #6
4 Rivet Member
2005 28' Safari
saline , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 407
I never use the awning on any trailer . They are a total pain and not worth the time to put them up. If its not the rain its the wind. I use a table umbrella if I need shade. In fact I am considering removing mine.
Kosm1o is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
Rivet Master
TG Twinkie's Avatar
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,676
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
I agree with Kosm1o; The awning on my trailer has been opened 1 time in a year and a half and only for a few minutes. They are not worth the trouble; so mine will stay rolled up.
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 08:29 PM   #8

2003 25' Classic
Zanadude Nebula , WNY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10,802
Images: 1
Well....yes, no, maybe, sometimes.

Always have it out if camped and we populate the area, never leave it out in a 15+wind/rain storm or we aren't home. The harder the rain the steeper the angle, you can use all the holes in the arm....but watch 'yer head.

These are available at the AS store...they help a LOT!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	piseco_20lake_20camping_20july_202008_20087.jpg
Views:	127
Size:	88.6 KB
ID:	132154  
AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
ROBERT CROSS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 08:40 PM   #9
Rivet Master
MrUKToad's Avatar

2011 28' International
Chatham , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,345
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 13
We've had our awning deployed on every trip this year, come rain or shine (not wind, though). Angling the awning works to allow the rain water to run off and we've had no problems yet, other than getting a ton of wet new growth leaves off before rolling the awning back up.

Wary of windy weather, I fashioned a pair of guy ropes and carry them, and a couple if big tent pegs and a mallet, in my box of camping goodies. Haven't felt the need to use them yet but I'm sure I will one day.

Initially I wasn't very keen on the Zipdee, it seemed unnecessarily complicated. However, after a few trips and a bit of practice in the yard I reckon I've mastered it now. Hope they're not famous last words!
Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
MrUKToad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 09:07 PM   #10
Rivet Master
TBRich's Avatar

2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,369
Images: 64
I think the length of your awning may be part of the reason the pooling of water happened for you and caused a collapse, despite the fact that you had one end lowered. Generally, that works pretty well. We've never had trouble when raining, but our awning isn't that long...and I wouldn't leave it deployed if there was wind and rain. We do not leave our awning deployed when we are away from the trialer for more than a short walk, and we put it away before we hit the hay. (I have had to get up and bring it down in the middle of the night and that's no fun.) I can put the awning up or take it down in a matter of a few minutes, so I don't feel put upon by the process, and we use it most of the time, especially in our climate. You can buy straps to anchor the awning and we are thinking of dong that. Friends of our use a type of strap that seems to really take the worry out of it.
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair, 4C
Unit #3954
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 09:37 PM   #11
Rivet Master

2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Davenport , Iowa
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,203
Blog Entries: 1
I too have had an arm beak due to the rain. It broke at one of the adjustment holes. If the holes wern't drilled so deep, this could help. When the break occured, the remaining arm came around and dented the trailer.

a thought; why couldn't there be a short awning that came out over the door and allowed the door to open? One similar to the one on the rear of the trailer. Has anyone tried this?
Airtandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 09:43 PM   #12
Rivet Master

2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 7,239
Images: 18
Blog Entries: 51
Hi, my awning gets lots of use, mostly because every time I open it, I have to close it. Seems like every time I want to use my awning, it gets windy. I also won't leave it out while I'm not there, which is almost always. Mostly on trips we use our trailer at night and through the morning, then we take the Lincoln out sight seeing all day, Etc. The most use of my awning is while at at Rally because we mostly hang around the camp sight all day. It's like my oven, I wouldn't be without one, but I don't get much use out of it.

2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
ROBERTSUNRUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2011, 10:02 PM   #13
Rivet Master
TBRich's Avatar

2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4,369
Images: 64
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
...>snip<...because every time I open it, I have to close it. ...>snip<....
Funny, I have also noticed that every time we open our awning we have to close it too, eventually. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Membership Chair, 4C
Unit #3954
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
TBRich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2011, 08:27 AM   #14
Kevin245's Avatar

Vintage Kin Owner
1973 Avion Travelcader 25' , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 8,983
Images: 9
We use our awning routinely. I worry more about windy conditions as it does not take much wind to cause damage. As for the pooling, leaving one end lower works if the awning fabric remains taut.

Our rule...If we leave the campsite the awing gets retracted. Sorry about your misfortune.



"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2006 classic 31 door scraping awning Flying Gypsies Awnings 11 04-19-2011 07:11 AM
How do you know who made your awning? neal Awnings 4 04-03-2011 12:23 PM
Need help with bathroom & awning Airboutique Awnings 5 03-31-2011 07:57 AM
Awning Hooks Kathleenh 1997 - 2004 Bambi 3 03-14-2011 11:38 AM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.