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Old 03-15-2013, 07:34 AM   #1
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Awning Do's & Don't's

I just received one little snap stud that was missing from my awning. Today is the day I am going to deploy for the first time. I have my tool, watched the ZipDee video, and I am ready. So...after much reading here, I see most awnings are always down. My question is....is it safe to leave my awning out all the time while away for a short weekend? On my old non AS trailer we put it up everytime we left the campground and at night, yet on my T@b we left it up all the time and had a very nice extended social and eating space. I understand if a big storm is predicted to blow thru, but generally what should I be doing with the awning? Thank you in advanve. My AS is 2006 Bambi CCD.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:40 AM   #2
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We have begun tying the outer corners of the awning down with rope stays that end at tent stakes whenever we think we want the awning out unattended. You never know when the wind will pick up and the entire trailer/awning package is much more stable when we rig it this way.
I would hesitate to leave it unattended for more than a short time though. As a sailor I have seen what happens when the wind comes up and you have too much canvass up....
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:45 AM   #3
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The short answer is No. The risk is too great for damage to the awning, trailer and anything else nearly if left unattended. Most of us don't leave it out overnight even when we're in the trailer. I may be more sensitive to this as we are located and mostly visit regions that tend to experience higher winds and sudden rain and I like my awning in one piece. I'm sure there will be other opinions.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:51 AM   #4
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It depends on the weather. If the forecast calls for a lot of rain and/or wind, I put it up. If it's supposed to be calm and clear, I leave it out.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:05 AM   #5
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I always put my up when I leave the campground. I've left it out already & had to hurry back because an unexpected storm kicked up. I also put it up when I go to bed, because the wind has kicked up while I have been sleeping & I've had to go out & put it up. I'd rather do it with my clothes on than in my jammies! I have Zip Dee paranoia!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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Even in good weather I don't leave the awning out anymore. In a very tight campground in East St. Louis last summer, another camper hit my awning and bent it. I was away from the camper at the time. My wife was inside the camper and thought I was putting stabilizers down or something so she didn't look out to see what the racket was. Of course the inconsiderate jerk who hit us drove off. Maybe he didn't know that his stupid camper hit my awning. Maybe he did. I only hope that my awning gave as good as it got so that he had a nasty surprise when he got home. I pounded out the parts so the awning works pretty well, if not perfectly. The Zip-Dee replacement parts would have been more than $500 if I hadn't been able to straighten the parts. Grrrrrr. And there are lots of stories of Airstreamers losing awnings and flags in Midwest microbursts. Put 'em away when you're not there!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post
I always put my up when I leave the campground. I've left it out already & had to hurry back because an unexpected storm kicked up. I also put it up when I go to bed, because the wind has kicked up while I have been sleeping & I've had to go out & put it up. I'd rather do it with my clothes on than in my jammies! I have Zip Dee paranoia!
Me too. We'd been staying at a campground near Knoxville and the weather had been hot and still and the awning had been out for days. I woke up one morning, though, to some ominous clunking and looked out of the window to see a horrible storm brewing. So, in my jammies and at 5am, I was outside putting the awning away. I do tend to stow it at night now

We were caught in a couple of Florida rainstorms, too, and feared for the awning as the water was cascading off it like a small Niagara Falls. I went out and stowed it then as well!

If I do leave the awning deployed now, I fix a couple of guy ropes to it and stake it to the ground - once a tent camper, always a tent camper
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:32 AM   #8
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It depends a lot on the campground you are in, in one campground I stay at frequently many people leave their awnings out most of the time. I was at that campground during a tropical storm and in the campsites there wasn't enough wind to make you think it was necessary to not have the awnings out since all the trees did a good job of blocking the wind, there was enough rain at times though. I did go out on the roads during that storm (it didn't seem like a bad idea till we got out of the campground) and it was difficult to drive and walk outside the campground due to the wind.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:44 AM   #9
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It's a judgement call. Some places the wind can not get through and others it can. If I am in a place that gets wind, the awning is put away. Rain itself posses no problem. I do always lower it down with a good angle towards the back so the rain has no chance of puddling at bedtime. And never leave it out when there is a chance of snow, no matter how much of an angle you have put on it! ( lesson learned the hard way ).
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Old 03-15-2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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I hate to admit it but I doubt that I have unrolled the big awning more than 3 times in 3 years. For one thing, it is a chore and takes a little talant to get it right, and in addition, I never leave mine out at night per some of the above situations. Maybe I'll get brave this year and roll it out again.

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Old 03-15-2013, 10:24 AM   #11
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We learned a hard lesson with ours the first year, when a gust of wind caught it in the night. . Outside in jammies at 3:00am, rolling it in. Didn't destroy it but torked it enough that we had to replace it.

Doug puts ours in almost every night. We have also found the adjustable rope ties to be completely ineffective, and took from another the idea of using long bungee cords to tie ours down. So much better, and they come in pretty colors.

When we have a picnic table, the best way is to attach the bungee cords to the table, which prevents little dog from wrapping herself around the stakes, , or one of us from tripping over same..


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Old 03-15-2013, 10:34 AM   #12
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We hardly ever use it. If it is out, we roll it back up as soon as we no longer need it. Leave it out at night and you are guaranteed to have to get up in the middle of the night to put it away because of a storm. At least that's what's happened to me!
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pappy19 View Post
I hate to admit it but I doubt that I have unrolled the big awning more than 3 times in 3 years. For one thing, it is a chore and takes a little talant to get it right, and in addition, I never leave mine out at night per some of the above situations. Maybe I'll get brave this year and roll it out again.

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That's not good for the awning, from what I've been told the awning springs have a tendency to rust and get stuck, then break if you don't use the awning often enough.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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My first thunderstorm with the awning out, wind gusts caught the awning and rocked my Interstate enough to wake me out of a sound sleep. Now, before going in for the evening, I check the Weather Channel app on my tablet computer or laptop, and if I don't see "Expect dry conditions over the next six hours" I retract my awning. When I wake up in the morning, check the app again, before deciding whether to put the awning out at all.

If I've set up my Privacy Room, that encloses the area under my awning, I'll leave the awning out in worse weather than otherwise. Not only does the Privacy Room block the wind from getting up under my awning, but the added weight and having the sides staked down all around makes it a lot more stable overall.
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