Were in the outer banks (Camp Hatteras) and I noticed a few of the SOB's had lines from their awnings going into tent stakes into the ground. A storm came up last night and I rolled up the awning before going to dinner. When we returned I saw two people's awnings had blown off. Walking around this morning, I noticed that the people who were "staked" still had their awnings out. Anyone with experience doing this? Or is it too risky to leave the awning out even with the staking?
Certainly staking will reduce the risk, but it there is still the potential for your awning to take off like a hang glider, or rip, if it gets windy enough. As a collorary to Murphy's Law this will most likely occur when you are not there. If you are lucky enough to be there, it may be too late to do anything other than try to hang on to the awning roller. When this occasion presents itself discretion and judgement in determining the point of letting go will be required, unless of course you have the wish to experience first hand what Dorothy felt like on her trip to Oz.
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I've been there and it can blow like crazy on the spur of the moment. They don't call it the graveyard of the Atlantic for nothing. Only the ignorant would leave the awning up. Tie downs in the sand are useless.
We were at Myrtle Beach, SC a few months ago, right by the ocean with pretty high winds. Noticing that everyone else in the campground had their awning strapped down I improvised with some ropes and tent stakes.
Made about a 4" loop with a bowline that dropped over the end of the roller tube, then passed the rope down under a tent stake and tied it back to itself with a taught line hitch so I could adjust the tension. One of these at each end of the awning of course. Worked well.
For those that aren't Eagle Scouts or sailors, you can easily look up those knots.
I'd have to agree with what has been said here. These awnings are not cheap and though clearly the tie down methods do help, they are by no means a total solution, meaning that in any wind more than say 25 to 30mph (if not less), as a best practice, I would think that retracting the awning is the best course of action.....IMHO.
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Yes, tie-downs do help, but...as has been said, they are not fool proof.
Some may consider us prudes, but we do not leave the awning deployed when we are away from camp or when we hit the hay. There is nothing worse than trying to put away an awning during unexpected wind or in a monsoon rain storm or in the middle of the night. You'll sleep a lot better knowing you don't have to worry about your awning.
It's just not worth the risk in my head. We have seen so may awnings that have gone "up, up and away" with and without tie-downs...and we don't wish to belong to that club. With a little practice you can deploy or put away your awning in a few minutes.
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Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
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