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Old 07-23-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
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Smile Replaced carefree with rope and pole

We recently replaced a Carefree awning with a rope and pole awning from Marti's Awnings. Love it! She even made window shade/awnings for us for the windows not under the large awning. Setting up took about 15 min. the first time out and I suspect we will get quicker with experience. Did take 2 people and 1 ladder to install, maybe because it is a 9 x 15 on an Overlander, but it is well worth the effort. We were parked in one location for several days so we simply took the poles down, left the stakes in and loosely rolled the awning up and secured it above the door near the awning rail when we were concerned about wind. The awning folds up to about the size of a sleeping bag for storage and travel. We kept what was left of our Carefree roller and arms and may have parts for anyone looking to make their old Carefree work, but if you are considering a rope and pole awning, go for it. Can't beat the look or the cost!
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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I love my rope and pole (except for setting it up- I travel solo mostly). Rope and pole rigs can take A LOT of wind just fine. I rig mine with a fail-safe that allows me to leave it up and not worry. It works like this: pole goes through grommet in awning and the guy line is looped over the tip of the pole (I prefer a taunt line hitch). This holds is strong wind BUT should the wind get too strong the pole/awning/rope assembly disengages and the worst that happens is the loose end of the awning goes over the top of the camper. This has only happened a coupe times in over five years of pretty heavy use. I don't worry at all about leaving my awning up when I leave camp.

For rain, loosen up the outside poles so there is four or five inches of sag between poles (I don't use a middle pole anymore). When water accumulates it auto dumps. Alternatively, if the terrain works, just drop one end of the awning about a foot and tighten up the ropes. I should point out that I don't use adjustable poles but ones I have made out of wooden dowel.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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Pictures?

We ordered an awning from Marti just a couple of weeks ago and are eargerly anticipating it's arrival in the next week or so. Would love to see photos of your awning.

Tina
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Old 07-23-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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rope and pole awning pics

Here are a couple of pics of our new awning by Marti.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:17 PM   #5
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I love those awnings...and I will get one or two in the future. I HATE them in crowded camp and Rally areas. At night the ropes are flat out dangerous in low light. I have seen folks triped and hurt from the stakes and ropes. I wonder about liabilities. The worst I saw two years ago was an older fella who tripped on the rope, fell on his 1940's Martin Guitar..(worth way more than any of our Airstreams)...and broke his shoulder.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
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I put a rechargeable solar light on each of my tent stakes to illuminate them at night.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:14 AM   #7
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awning pics

Dynastream posted the awning photos for me. That awning is from Marti and she also made window covers out of the same sunbrella fabric but I didn't have them at the time those photos were taken. I am really pleased with the rope and pole awning and the idea about using solar lights at the stakes is one that I will use. Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:50 AM   #8
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Sent you a PM. I'm interested in your Carefree parts.

Thanks, John H
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:30 AM   #9
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I put a rechargeable solar light on each of my tent stakes to illuminate them at night.
Rodney,

Do you happen to have a photo of these solar lights or the name of them? It seems there are so many styles and price ranges, I wondered what you were using. It seems like a great idea.

Thanks!

Tina
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:11 AM   #10
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Rodney,

Do you happen to have a photo of these solar lights or the name of them? It seems there are so many styles and price ranges, I wondered what you were using. It seems like a great idea.

Thanks!

Tina
Tina, We got ours from Wal-Mart! They were @ $3.00 each. I have since also seen them @ K-mart, Target and Lowes/Menards/Farm stores in our area. Hope this helps, Ed
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by oh2bcarefree View Post
Rodney,

Do you happen to have a photo of these solar lights or the name of them? It seems there are so many styles and price ranges, I wondered what you were using. It seems like a great idea.

Thanks!

Tina
Tina, mine are several years old now. I believe they came from Lowes and were in the $3 range. Like Biged says, there are lots of places to get them on the cheap. As far as I know, you are as well off with the cheap ones as the pricier ones for this application.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:37 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info Ed and Rodney! I didn't know if there were special "camper" solar lights that were a bit different, you know there are so many special camping items out there (read: more expensive) so I'm glad to know I can do a bit of shopping around to find the ones I like best .

Tina
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:53 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info Ed and Rodney! I didn't know if there were special "camper" solar lights that were a bit different, you know there are so many special camping items out there (read: more expensive) so I'm glad to know I can do a bit of shopping around to find the ones I like best .

Tina
On further thought, cheaper might even be better. Mine do not put out a lot of light. This is fine as their job is just to mark off the boundary of the awning area. They do this fine without putting out so much light that they are annoying. Some of the more expensive lights do put out a great deal of light and would be to harsh for my taste.
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:31 PM   #14
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Special Solar Lights!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oh2bcarefree View Post
Thanks for the info Ed and Rodney! I didn't know if there were special "camper" solar lights that were a bit different, you know there are so many special camping items out there (read: more expensive) so I'm glad to know I can do a bit of shopping around to find the ones I like best .

Tina

Tina, As a matter of fact there are special "camper" solar lights! My DW found some with pink exteriors and flamingo prints around the solar cell on the top of the light chamber. She found them at Hobby Lobby. They are not quite what I want around my trailer! However, a recent find at our local Farm and Fleet store has a 2-1/2 foot stake topped with a plastic flamingo that lights up at dusk and doesn't push the tacky meter too high up the scale. Ed
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