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Old 01-16-2018, 01:24 PM   #1
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Default Awning questions

Still trying to educate myself to make the best decisions for us in terms of a
possible Class B purchase.

For many years of travel trailer ownership, we have always made a lot of use of awnings.

We've never owned an electric awning - and almost would prefer manua,l as I am one who subscribes to the "keep it simple" principle when it comes to RV's.

It seems however that almost every new B other than the most basic entry level units comes with an electric awning these days, so as it is just one factor in the decision process, then probably that's what we will wind up with.

I am certainly aware of the need to take awnings down in the event of heavy winds and we always do that. We almost always put the trailer awning away if we will be gone from the RV for any extended time during the day, and we have never (yet) suffered any awning damage. I think the manual Zipdee awning on our Airstream is something like 20 feet long.

Unless it is a case of a real "Frog strangler" of a rainstorm, though, we do like to leave the awning out in the rain to extend our living quarters - and I think this would be even more important to be able to do in the case of a Class B with its much more limited indoor living space.

In rainy conditions, we always slope our awning downward front to rear in order to encourage runoff of rain and avoid "Pooling" in the awning which I know can destroy the awning as it can accumulates possibly several hundred pounds of water if not angled front to back. Sloped as described, runoff is good and we have never had any problem in even quite heavy rain.

I know that that current electric awnings come in two styles, those with legs, and those without.

I am guessing that those with legs can likely still be set up with a fore and aft slope to provide runoff, but I don't know for a fact if that is so.

I have been told that the new Carefree awnings that have no legs cannot be sloped and are not intended for use in rain - that seems very undesirable to me.

Our son in law has a fifth wheel trailer with a very large legless awning (not sure of the make. It not only has some sort of accelerometer that will retract the awning in the event of high wind, but also senses rain weight and will lilt one ebd to dump rain water as needed! Pretty elaborate - not sure how much I woudl trust it though.

I did write to Carefree on this subject to get more info about their smaller awnings for Class B use, but never got any sort of reply.


Would appreciate anyone's comments or advice about class B awnings - am I right in thinking that the type of electric awning with legs can be set up with a rain runoff slope?

Are there any legless awnings that can somehow deal with rain, on must they all be retracted in the event of any significant rain?


Thanks ............. Brian.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:01 PM   #2
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Carefree specifically states that their legless awning is not to be used in the rain. I can say, though, that it is naturally sloped down so rain may run off of it anyway.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:39 PM   #3
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Carefree specifically states that their legless awning is not to be used in the rain. I can say, though, that it is naturally sloped down so rain may run off of it anyway.
Thanks Phoebe

But do you actually mean sloped front down towards back or are you just referring to the normal slope from the awning case away from the vehicle?

Travel trailers generally all have the built in slope away from the trailer, ours certainly does.

But unless you also slope the awning it front to back in times of rain, the fabric will still normally "belly down" and accumulate water.

Over our many years of trailer camping with different trailers and awnings, there have been a couple of times when we neglected to set the front-rear slope and the weight off water trapped in the awning when we discovered it was amazing!

I was in fact surprised that the weight had not ripped the fabric right off the trailer!

I am hoping that if we get a class B that I can use the awning in rain if not also too windy at the time.

I'd hate to wind up buying a unit that came with an electric awning only to have to remove it and replace with a manual one, but worst case I suppose that could happen - hard to pick and choose as there are so many other important factors to also consider when selecting the best camper!

Cheers ......... Brian.
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:11 PM   #4
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Sorry I wasn't clear - the awning slopes away from the vehicle, not front-to-rear. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:39 PM   #5
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Sorry I wasn't clear - the awning slopes away from the vehicle, not front-to-rear. Hope this helps.
That's what I was thinking you might have meant..

From my experience with larger awnings on travel trailers, that "East -West" slope alone isn't enough to prevent pooling of the rainwater in the awning, and the "North-South" slope is needed as well to do the trick!

I imagine it would be similar with the B awnings that I would guess to be in the 10-13 ft length range.


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