Iím the happy owner of a 1965 Tradesman. It had been in another family for 3 generations. P&S put on new axles, wheels, toilet, and some other stuff. Great folks to work with. I refinished the beautiful mahogany- which is about the extent of my handiness.
My question for other vintage owners- what awning did you select- vintage style or a more modern zip-dee? (I apologize if this is heresy.) What are the advantages of each type?
I can only think of more than a dozen reasons that I prefer rope and pole...
No body perforations required to install
no added body width/clearance
more fabric options
no mechanisms to fail/maintain
travel aerodynamic unaffected
avoids cluttered appendage appearance
much more appropriate to vintage-vintage twinkie(pre-1969)
unobstructed pathway alongside trailer
not there when not needed
easier to clean
better mildew/stain control
more tie-down/drain configurations in wind/rain
easy to make or specify your own custom size, shape and valance
If you want more of a vintage look and are willing to spend 15 to 20 minutes deploying or stowing and less money, go staked pole awning. If you want not so much a vintage look and want to spend 5 to 10 minutes and more $ go Zipdee
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
I too would go with a vintage awning. I have had three trailers, the first was an old Starcraft tent trailer that was in excellent shape. It came with an awning that took a bit of effort to put up but it was very secure when staked down. We went through some very big winds without an issue and the orange and white stripes fit the color scheme perfectly.
Picked up a new hybrid that came with one of those vinyl awnings that are on all SOBs. Man, this thing was terrible. It molded up in no time and needed to have tensioners installed to keep it from whipping in the wind. It was also terrible in the wind and I would never leave it out when we left camp.
Then we got the Airstream with a Zipdee and man what a difference that made. Great quality and the fabric is easy to take care with not a bit of mold or mildew.
Someone has said, get a vintage awning and if not that then step up and get a Zipdee. I agree totally.
We have a rope and pole and love it. We have put it up and down 20+ times and find it very easy once you get a system down. It takes 5-10 minutes and it really is a two person job, imo. We use a step ladder as well to ensure it is threaded correctly. The start of our awning track is damaged though, which probably makes it a bit more finnicky.
I second Marti's Awnings. She did a beautiful job and it has held up in strong ocean winds. Most people at our ocean front park can't leave their Zipdee like awnings out at all due to wind damage, so I think our awning set up time is less in the end.
A vintage trailer always draws a bit of extra attention, but RVers LOVE to watch us put up the awning. It's like a circus event. We have had people literally line up chairs just to watch.
We had a pole and rope awning on one of our trailers. Deploying and taking it down, and finding a place to store it between uses got old, fast. Some places we liked to stay had a concrete pad to park on, and they frowned on pounding stakes into the concrete. Also, I am short, and had to carry a ladder around to slide the awning into the rail.
Bracket type awnings (Zip Dee) and "rope and pole" (RP) have their pluses and minuses. Depending on your needs both can be annoying to put up or down. I am a fan of the RP awning. I like the look and it will tolerate more wind, if staked down properly, than a bracket type awning. After watching someone struggle to put up a bracket type awing when it go windy - took over five minutes - I was sold on getting our third RP awning for our 65 Tradewind. One person can have our awning down in less than a minute! WE have done that in the middle of the night in the dark. Kick out the poles and just pull the awning off the rail. We leave a three foot rope tied to one end of the awning to facilitate that.
A bracket type awning is easier to put down and set up. People often secure that awning to the ground for safety - don't want it ripped off the side of your trailer. If the ground is hard, we will secure our awning guide wires to a picnic table, tree or rock.
WE have cut our set up time in half by changing out small stakes and thin rope for straps and quick release buckle. Instead of six guide wires, we only have three sturdy ones. We have screws and heavy duty stakes for anchors. Make sure you put a spring between the anchor and strap, which makes for less tension on the awning if it is windy.
Yes, it is quicker and easier for two people to set up the awning, but one can do it with our set up. A picture and/or demo is easier than trying to explain, but here goes. At the far end of your awning track put a small sailing pulley. Attach a thin rope twice as long and a bit more than the awning at the end that you will thread in first. (usually there will be a grommet there), then thread the rope through the pulley, leave the awning at the other end. Yes, you need a two-step stool to do this. Start to thread your awning into the track and pull on the rope, which will help you run the awning along the track. If your track is bent or pinched, you can reshape it. Once threaded, we remove the long rope. This is like raising a sail, but doing it horizontally.
Another cheap option is a pop up awning in a bag, which we travel with at times. Talk about struggling to put up one.
Whatever you go with, an awning adds another room, a place to get out of the sun or rain, a place to store things. Enjoy.
North Fayston - your solution is brilliant for putting up a Rope and Tarp Awning by yourself!
I also have a a vintage awning from Marti's and love it! But I do often travel alone and it's almost impossible to put it up by myself.
How do you secure the pulley when you use this method?
"Yes, it is quicker and easier for two people to set up the awning, but one can do it with our set up. A picture and/or demo is easier than trying to explain, but here goes. At the far end of your awning track put a small sailing pulley. Attach a thin rope twice as long and a bit more than the awning at the end that you will thread in first. (usually there will be a grommet there), then thread the rope through the pulley, leave the awning at the other end. Yes, you need a two-step stool to do this. Start to thread your awning into the track and pull on the rope, which will help you run the awning along the track. If your track is bent or pinched, you can reshape it. Once threaded, we remove the long rope. This is like raising a sail, but doing it horizontally."
I had a T@B that had the rounded awning that was threaded. It was my favorite, I sprayed WD40 in track, it sliced thru like butter, staked it down and I was set. It doubled the size of the trailer and no wind issues. The funfinder has awning with push button awning, easy but never left it open without being there. With the AS and Zip, I hardly ever use it and never would leave camp with it open. Kinda wished I had RP type.
2006 Bambi CCD ("EireStream!!")
2001 Teardrop, Mountain Hardware Tent
For some perfection takes a little longer...
First, it is Colin Hyde of theVAP and owner of Colin Hyde Trailer Restorations that told us about this trick with the pulley to help put up an awning. The pulley is bolted or riveted to the skin of the trailer a few inches out from the end of the awning rail.
It is a cheek block that you can buy at any marine store. It's about an inch long, could be bigger, and riveted to the skin of the trailer about 6 inches away from the awning rail. It's in line with the awning rail and could be put on the front or back or both. Ours is at the rear of the trailer. I now know how to post pictures.
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