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Old 07-19-2013, 12:10 PM   #1
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1962 24' Tradewind
Saint Louis , MO
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 106
Practicality of vintage pole awnings

We have a 62 Tradewind with an intact awning rail on the curb side. I am tempted to get a period-correct pole awning of the sort that VTS sells.

But the rail is *really* high on the camper--we'd certainly need to use a stepladder to use it. And it looks to me like sliding the awning edge through a dozen feet of rail would be pretty challenging.

Could anybody with experience with this sort of awning give me an idea of how much of a pain it is to live with in real life?
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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1967 20' Globetrotter
Englewood , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 101
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We had the same reservations as you in regard to a rope and pole awning. I went ahead and made one because I didn't want to go to the expense of installing a new zip dee. I also love how they look on vintage airstreams. We had our maiden voyage a couple weeks ago, and I am happy to say that the awning worked great and was surprisingly easy to install. We did need a small step ladder. My husband fed it into the awning rail and I pulled it along with a long rope. They take a bit more effort, but I think they are worth it. Also, when some strong winds came up, the awning did fine. If we had a zip dee, we would of had to pull it in.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:51 PM   #3
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1963 28' Ambassador
Lyme , Connecticut
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I have a big pole awning for our ambassador. If I'm staying for less than a couple days, I don't usually set it up. It takes my wife and I about 10 minutes to get it all set up, with poles and stakes set. It stays up in all wind and rain conditions, never any problems. I did put big springs on my guide ropes.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
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Originally Posted by seldencove View Post
. I did put big springs on my guide ropes.
Not sure I'm picturing that, can you elaborate? I would also like to add a pole awning at some point.

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Old 07-19-2013, 03:06 PM   #5
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1986 25' Sovereign
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 317
I love the vintage pole awnings. It worked easily and well on our 16' and had planned to do the same for our new 20' but it came with a zip dee. one of the things I don't like about the zip dee is that poles on the trailer gets in the way of walking where the vintage style route, the poles are completely out of the way.

As far as the rope to pull the awning through the rail, I sewed mine up with keder awning rope (found at sailrite) which is SO easy to sew on to the awning fabric and then thread through the rail making it a breeze to use.

you can see some pics and find out more about them here... Vintage Awnings

I've attended rallies with Kristi, she does beautiful work.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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1963 28' Ambassador
Lyme , Connecticut
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It's a 1" x 8" spring tied to my guide lines. It helps the awning flex in heavy winds and rain without ripping the stakes out of the ground. Works well for me.

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Old 07-23-2013, 07:14 AM   #7
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We like our vintage style awning. It does take about 10 minutes or so to set up and two people (for us.) We have to remember to take a step ladder and our bench because we can't install from standing on the ground. Our friend who has a similar awning can set his up on his own, but Mike and I haven't acquired that talent yet.

We got our awning from Marty in California (Marty's Awnings.) Our friend got his from Kristi who advertises here on the forums in the classifieds section. We think they are both great, very similar in style. I don't think you could go wrong with either, Marty had a style of fabric we wanted is the reason we chose her.

If you'd like to see ours in person, send me a PM, I bet we aren't too far from each other.

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Old 07-23-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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We had a rope & pole awning on our '64 GlobeTrotter (sold a couple of years ago) and have a framed pole awning on our '56 Safari. I just love the look of these on the vintage trailers...somehow Zip Dee's just don't "look right" to me on the older units. We have a great step ladder/platform/bench that we got at Lowes a couple of years ago that makes installing the awnings much easier. After a couple of times practice, I am able to install either by myself. The step ladder/platform/bench is a great multi-purpose piece - we use it for extra patio seating and an hors d'ouvre table when it's not being used as a step stool while camping and a polishing platform at home. It folds up pretty flat for travel & it's aluminum.

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Old 07-23-2013, 10:35 AM   #9
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1966 24' Tradewind
Livingston , Texas
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Haven't saved up for a vintage awning for our Tradewind yet, but really enjoyed the canvas pole awning that came with our 1965 Playmor. It did take about 10 minutes to set up, but was never a problem in all but the worst weather. I liked the ease of off-season storage off the trailer, as the rig was stored out -of -doors.

I would recommend finding some reflective guy line, as those lines are difficult to see at night.
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1966 Tradewind
1969 Chevy C10

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Old 07-23-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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Use the small diameter swim pool noodles over ropes also reg. awnings use small or large noodles over arms, saves accidents [maybe]. Saved me from hitting arms many times, and pain.
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