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Old 04-12-2007, 02:32 PM   #1
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When to roll her up?

Hi...we are wondering if anyone can give us a general rule of thumb as to how much wind is too much to have the awning out? I think I am being too much of a chicken about opening it up when it is blowing a bit outside. I just don't want to incur any damage by leaving it open when we should not.

Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:05 PM   #2
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A good rule of thumb I use is that if the wind is blowing too hard for me to comfortably sit outside and enjoy myself it's probably time to roll it up. Once you get use to it, rolling the awning up, or extending it, is a quick and simple task. Never leave the awning extended when you leave for the day and, again, for me personally, I often roll it up before I retire for the evening. Trust me - it isn't any fun to crawl out of a warm bed at 3:00 a.m to secure a wild awning! I'll admit that a lot of my cautionary stance comes from camping on the Florida coast - but I've had weather catch me off guard elsewhere too.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:18 PM   #3
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If you've asked yourself the question - it's time to roll it up ....


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Old 04-12-2007, 03:20 PM   #4
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When to roll her up

Yea, what Cracker said.
Done the 3 AM thing.
Got the T shirt, and the new awning parts that got broken.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:25 PM   #5
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It's making the coach move!

If the wind is causing the coach to move, roll her up. I have had to fight a powerful wind to roll one up and its really bad if you wait too long.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:59 PM   #6
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... not to mention rain. A quick thunderstorm caught us once, the water pooled on top and the rear support arm folded like a cheap umbrella. Not good times.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:25 PM   #7
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I've got to be real sure of the weather before I leave camp with my awning out. Always be sure to rig it with one arm adjusted shorter than the other. The sideways slope helps prevent rain pooling in the middle.

See: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...age-25266.html
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Old 04-12-2007, 05:07 PM   #8
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And don't leave your rig unattended with the awning out! I can't tell you how many times Maria and I have had to rip down to the park and try to roll up people's wildly-flapping awnings while they're away!

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Old 04-12-2007, 06:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the sage advice folks! I seem to have a curse on me with this issue. If I pull that awning out...even on the most calm peaceful morning, by noon it's blowing a gale.

The whole mechanism seems to me less than hearty/sturdy so I figured a conservative approach was best. And now with what you all have said I can see I was right.

At least I know my cute patio lights will last for a loooong time becase it seems I will barely ever get to use them!
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Old 04-12-2007, 07:22 PM   #10
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For what it's worth......

The Girard fully automatic awnings found on the Prevost and other big bus-type MoHos have a with sensor (anemometer) on the top of the roof for each awning. They feed information into a microprocessor that will retract the awning at a pre-set wind speed. This is set by a variable control located deep inside the PC board. It ranges from 12 mph to 30mph. The factory default setting is 22mph read for a constant 20 seconds, not a gust. Anything over that will void the warranty.

Having said that, if your awning starts to flap or buck beyond your comfort level.....bring it in! Also, I usually don't leave mine out after I retire due to the possibility of a sudden rain, which might damage it form water weight.
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Old 04-12-2007, 07:46 PM   #11
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Didja ever notice....

That whenever you use an RV park and the weather is hot and sunny, you're parked so that the big awning is on the NORTH side of the Airstream? Yet if it's hot but too windy to use the awning, sure enough you're site will have your curbside awning facing due south!

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Old 04-13-2007, 08:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
The Girard fully automatic awnings found on the Prevost and other big bus-type MoHos have a with sensor (anemometer) on the top of the roof for each awning. They feed information into a microprocessor that will retract the awning at a pre-set wind speed. This is set by a variable control located deep inside the PC board. It ranges from 12 mph to 30mph. The factory default setting is 22mph read for a constant 20 seconds, not a gust. Anything over that will void the warranty.

Having said that, if your awning starts to flap or buck beyond your comfort level.....bring it in! Also, I usually don't leave mine out after I retire due to the possibility of a sudden rain, which might damage it form water weight.

Wow! That's a lot of wind Lew! We normally use 25 mph as the point where "whitecaps" start forming on waves. I would have folded up long before that! We use to have a 12 x 12 screen room that was tough as nails! It was held up by shock cords looped over horizontal aluminum ridge poles. I've watched that room lay over 3 to 4 feet to one side - with the shock cords stretched to 3 times their length - only to bounce right back upright when the wind stopped blowing. Unfortunately, out Airstream awnings are attached to the rigid body of the Airstream. Not very forgiving!
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:57 PM   #13
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Nope!

They'd probably get ripped right off the body!
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:08 PM   #14
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Also a good idea if you winter camp to roll it in too. Even a few inch or so across say an awning on a 30' will bend the roll. Ask Norby!

Luckily, Zip Dee is right down the street!
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:40 PM   #15
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When we hear it flapping in the wind, we roll it up.
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Old 04-13-2007, 11:03 PM   #16
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I've pretty much gone by the same theory as others, that if it's starting to give you too much movement, it's time to roll it up. Nothing worse than to try to roll up the awning in high wind.

One thing I bought and haven't used with the Airstream is a tiedown strap. This was a thick strap that fit over the top of the awning and attached to springs that were staked into the ground. I used to use this when we did a lot of ocean front camping where the wind is usually present. It did a great job in keeping the awning from flapping around and kept the arms from being stressed.

I still have that tie down strap and probably wouldn't hesitate to use it if we were back doing the ocean front camping again.

In practice I've found that my Zip-Dee is much more stable than any awning on my previous SOB's.

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Old 04-14-2007, 06:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbradhstream
... not to mention rain. A quick thunderstorm caught us once, the water pooled on top and the rear support arm folded like a cheap umbrella. Not good times.
The pooling water issue is easily solved if you raise the front part of the awning up a notch higher than the rear. By doing that, you give the rain a "down hill" slope to drain off the awning. Regardless of the weather, I always notch the front up higher so I'm prepared in the event of an unexpected downpour. Also, unless there are strong winds, I prefer to keep my awning open during a rainstorm. It provides a covered "porch" area for getting in and out of the trailer without the rain following me into the trailer everytime I open the door.

With regards to the wind, if my awning arms are creaking from the strain of wind, that is my indicator to roll it up.
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Old 04-14-2007, 07:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I've pretty much gone by the same theory as others, that if it's starting to give you too much movement, it's time to roll it up. Nothing worse than to try to roll up the awning in high wind.

One thing I bought and haven't used with the Airstream is a tiedown strap. This was a thick strap that fit over the top of the awning and attached to springs that were staked into the ground. I used to use this when we did a lot of ocean front camping where the wind is usually present. It did a great job in keeping the awning from flapping around and kept the arms from being stressed.

I still have that tie down strap and probably wouldn't hesitate to use it if we were back doing the ocean front camping again.

In practice I've found that my Zip-Dee is much more stable than any awning on my previous SOB's.

Jack

I'm not sure I'd trust a tiedown strap for anything other than what you mentioned Jack - as a "quieting device." Beyond that, IMHO, tiedowns provide a false sense of security - and our awnings are too rigidly mounted for the flexibility of the tiedown springs to provide anything more than just enough tension to keep things quiet. If a stake was to ever pull out it probably means the awning is headed south over the trailer! In truth, there's probably nothing we can do to reduce the risk of damage - outside of simply folding them up. Awnings are a "must have" item but they're really a fair weather piece of equipment.
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Old 04-14-2007, 08:36 AM   #19
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Cracker raises a good question about wind speed, "how do you tell what the wind speed is". One answer is to get a anemometer, like a Kistrel or a Halls Brothers. I purchased a hang glider anemometer from Aircraft Spruce for about $22 and it reads wind speeds from about 5mph to 40mph. It works great and it's analog (never needs serviceing or batteries). In the absence of one of these instruments, you can use this guide.
0-4mph glassy water
4-8mph slight ripples on the water
8-11mph sight waves on the water but no white caps
11-12mph whitecaps first start to appear and are randomly spaced
12-16mph whitecaps become more numerous and evenly spaced
17-30mph whitecaps become much more numerous & windsurfers start to appear from nowhere
30-40 mph water starts to look like the top of your cafe' latte'
Enjoy!
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Old 04-17-2007, 09:56 PM   #20
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We took notes from the guy in front of us when camping with ours the first year. He left his out the hole time but let it all the way down so water couldn't pool and the wind couldn't get under it as easily.
We left it out for the hole 6 months it was at the camp ground. Except for one time when they where calling for tornadoes. Had to make a special trip down there (30 miles away) to roll it up then.
Other than that we just let it up or down in front depending on the weather or when we left.
How ever we are usually parked with our back to the wind in a cove. All the camp sites where we camp are in coves of a lake.
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