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Old 04-01-2009, 08:25 PM   #1
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how much wind is too much

I am concerned about how much wind is too much to keep my awning up. It seems to me that the support members are not as robust as I would have thought they should be. Presently we are camping at the Texas Gulf Coast and the winds have been consistent at about 20 knots. To me that seems to be too much, but below that would probably be fine. So, is 20 knots the upper range, and do I have to roll it up every evening, and every time I leave for a day trip of sight seeing? Just feels like a lot of effort. I have used stakes and line to stabalize it. Please let me know your thoughts.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:06 PM   #2
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Unfortunately, a wind gust can cause a lot of awning damage (and potentially outer skin damage)...and it can happen with Zip Dees as well as heavier awning designs...nobody's immune. Mother Nature dosn't seem to care what brand it is...she's a strong lady. The problem is that if you wait till you determine it's too much wind, it can be too late to react...and the bigger the awning the more "lift" it can have. To be safe, we do not deploy our awning when it seems "iffy"...we always put it away when we leave the campsite for any length of time and we always put it away at night....no fun getting up in the middle of the night to do it (been there), nor is it restful hearing it billow during the night wondering if it's getting to be too windy (been there, too). We have practiced so that we can deploy or put away the awning quite quickly. Tie-downs certainly help, but they are no guarrantee. Also, if it's breezy we don't hang lights, etc on it so that if we do have to take it down quickly we don't have to fuss with them.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:37 PM   #3
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Rules of thumb for awning retraction:
If the weather forecast is for anything over a light (10mph) breeze, retract the awning.
If the weather forecast is for moderate or more rain, retract the awning.
If you see storm clouds on the horizon, retract the awning.
If you are leaving for more than an hour, retract the awning.
If you are going to bed, think really hard about retracting the awning first.
If you hear the wind rattle the awning, retract the awning.
If you feel the wind moving the trailer, retract the awning.
And, of course, if you see your neighbor's awning fly past you, retract the awning.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by TBRich View Post
To be safe, we do not deploy our awning when it seems "iffy"...we always put it away when we leave the campsite for any length of time and we always put it away at night....no fun getting up in the middle of the night to do it (been there), nor is it restful hearing it billow during the night wondering if it's getting to be too windy (been there, too). We have practiced so that we can deploy or put away the awning quite quickly. Tie-downs certainly help, but they are no guarrantee.
Exactly. We lost an awning in eastern TN last year, gust of wind at 3am took it, we are very careful during the day and never go to bed with the awning out. The newer ones really are pretty lightweight, but the heavier ones can still catch the wind and come down on your head.
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Old 04-02-2009, 05:50 AM   #5
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100% agreement with all posted so far.
My rule of thumb is that if there is even a hint of doubt, roll that sucker up.
The damage that a good gust can inflict on your awning and TT are great - I don't take any chances.

After a windy week, we went out to where our TT is stored/set up to spend the weekend and found someone else's awning in our driveway - and his TT was a MESS.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:20 AM   #6
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I put my awnings up at 10 mph - but several in this Airstream park leave theirs up even to 25 mph. We have had several days of 20 - 30 mph winds and they still keep theirs down - oh well.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:35 PM   #7
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Thank you. All of your information is good. For the Curbside (large) awning, it just seems like a lot of trouble setting it up and then concern that one would need to monitor the weather so carefully. The street side awning and the rear awning are very easy to use, and seem much less susceptible to the higher winds. Too bad the Curbside has to be so complicated. At least to me it is.
When the Curbside awning is used, what is the best way to stake it? Is one stake sufficient on each side, or do you use multiple stakes?
Thanks
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:51 PM   #8
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There are several different types of awning tie down straps made. They should be available at about any RV dealer and probably also at WalMart. These straps work very well and allow you to keep the awning out in windy weather.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:37 AM   #9
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another question on awning rails

The rear awning has two check rods that swing up and sit against end caps that are attached to the exterior of the trailer. (forms a triangle) This is how the awning stays in the open position, but it also seems that it would really stabilize the awning in the event the wind comes up. The question is, why did they not do a similar setup for the street side (much longer) awning? That awning opens up when you pull the center strap, and then the loop in the strap gets attached to a hook that is mounted on the side of the trailer. If this street side awning had the check rods on the arms like the rear awning, then it would not invert in a gust of wind. Any thoughts on that? Would anyone recommend adding the check rods to this awning?
Thanks,
Barry
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:52 AM   #10
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We do not have an awning with this trailer. Instead we have opted for a large 12'x12' EZ-Up. Even the EZ-Up is prone to sudden winds. Last year as we were chatting with fellow rally friends in their site on a pleasant afternoon a sudden light breeze came up and swooped the large EZ-Up up and over our coach as we watched. The EZ-Up landed upside down wedged between the oposite side of our coach and a small tree. No damage but it surely illustrated how a breeze caught the canopy as if it were a parachute. A past camper that we had had a screened room attached to an awning and that made it all less suptepticle [sp?] towind.
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:12 AM   #11
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With the awning out in windy conditions, it can be very scary. We learned this last fall, the wind came up right away and the two of us had a really hard time trying to hold the awning down, both pulling down on the awning arms... the wind was lifting us off the ground nearly. I actually think the pressure of the wind on the arms/supports may have caused a couple of leaks from where they attach to the outside skins.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:18 AM   #12
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With the awning out in windy conditions, it can be very scary. We learned this last fall, the wind came up right away and the two of us had a really hard time trying to hold the awning down, both pulling down on the awning arms... the wind was lifting us off the ground nearly. I actually think the pressure of the wind on the arms/supports may have caused a couple of leaks from where they attach to the outside skins.
This happened to us as well with our '63. We had no warning at all anything was going to happen, and Marie got a flying lesson that afternoon. If it hadn't been for a neighbor grabbing her legs as she left the ground, she would have had a brief and painful flight over the trailer.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:02 AM   #13
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On the other hand...

We had the large awning deployed on our former 5'er at our home. I had parked our convertible under it top down on a sunny day. We left in our Camry for a shopping trip into town. When we came out of a store we noticed dark clouds to the east over where we live. I thought to myself that I was lucky to have the convertible tucked in under the 5'er awning. As we returned towards our home it was evident that a large cloud burst had taken place. Standing water and water flowing in the culverts along the roadside spoke of the intensity that this brief storm held and I was patting myself on the back for the decision to have left the ragtop under the protective cover. However as we drove down our driveway my relief turned to horror. he awning was in place but the collected rain water had created a large bladder holding maybe 30 to 50 gallons of water. the bottom of the 'bladder' was resting upon the top frame of the convertibles windsheild. I determined that trying to slosh the water (way too heavy to push up from the awning bottom) may send all that water into the car. I rigged up a siphon with garden hoses and as soon as the portion of the awning lifted from the car's windshield I carefully dove the car out. WHEW!!!
Neil.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:52 AM   #14
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Awnings and winds

Zip Dee offers a "center support" that should be used for the larger awnings, such as 12 feet or longer.

It offers a great amount of additional support, that minimizes wind damage.

It's also wise to "tilt" the awning when leaving the trailer, or when going to bed for the night.

Should it rain, the water has a much better chance of "not pooling," by running off without any damages.

Andy
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