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Old 06-10-2018, 08:52 PM   #1
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Default To awning, or not to awning?

I'm planning for the upcoming build of my first campervan (a custom build). I'm waffling on whether or not to include an awning, and would like your thoughts. I can see how it might be useful, but since I haven't done any of this sort of travel, I don't really know how useful. Meanwhile, they do seem rather ugly to me when I see them on a van. And I'm not trying to be total stealth mode, but they do kind of scream "RV". Maybe carrying a portable shade structure in the van would be sufficient? What do you all think?

(Side note: the 2019 Sprinter, which seems to be what I'll end up with, has a 360ļ camera system. I'm not sure where the right side camera is, but if an awning would interfere with that system, I definitely wouldn't get the awning.)
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Old 06-10-2018, 09:13 PM   #2
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On my Class B I left off the awning. For one on our two previous Bs we would rarely put it out. We mostly travel in winter, fall and spring and we boondock frequently. If you boondock you may not want to call attention to yourself and in such places like a Walmart you wouldn't put it out anyway. Then when traveling and boondocking and not constricted to the orientation of a camp site you can park in any orientation and the van itself blocks the low sun. In the summer we mostly camp in the woods and have protection from the sun with shade, and with bugs we carry a screen tent anyway that would fit over a picnic table. Another reason we opted out of an awning is it shades the solar panels in many instances especially when we opted to have flexible panels low to the roof. And of course, I agree that hiked up the way they are they are ugly.

The only time I miss an awning is when it is gently raining or drizzling. If it pours with any wind we probably would not open the door or sit outside anyway.
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Old 06-10-2018, 10:22 PM   #3
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We ordered our van without an awning, since we rarely used the one on our previous rig. But Great West missed the deletion on the build sheet, so we have one. I would have preferred that they had left it off, but it was free, so...
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:02 PM   #4
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We ordered our van without an awning, since we rarely used the one on our previous rig. But Great West missed the deletion on the build sheet, so we have one. I would have preferred that they had left it off, but it was free, so...
When considering options, IMO you have to address not just the value of the option to you but also its value to a subsequent buyer. If the deletion of the option decreases the subsequent resale market value of the RV more than the original option cost you, the math would indicate that you are probably better off including it and it's particularly the case with the awning where you don't get any dollar offset for deleting it.
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:05 PM   #5
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After three years, have never used the awning on the fiance's Class C RV. I do not have an awning on my Class B. Have never wished I had one.
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Old 06-10-2018, 11:36 PM   #6
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I suppose a related question is, if I leave an awning out of the initial build, it can be readily added at a later date. I'd assume so, but I'll ask.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:01 AM   #7
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I lack the experience of a lot of you guys as I am still awaiting delivery of my class B!

What i can say however is that we made a great deal of use of the large manual "Zipdee" awning on our 31ft Airstream trailer both for protection against sun - but even more, to be able to be outside and keep dry in pretty heavy rain - unless of course there were high winds in which case the awning would be rolled up to avoid damage and we would be inside the trailer!

When rain was heavy - but wind not a factor - we would simply adjust the awning support legs fore and aft so as to ensure good "runoff" for the rain and continue to enjoy our dry outdoor space - for sitting, BBQ'ing or whatever.

We understood that if you did not angle the awning, literally hundreds of pounds of H2O could acummulate in it and likely destroy it!

More than once we did screw up, and I couldn't believe how much water was trapped up there - luckily the awning survived our lack of attention!

As long as we angled the awning,, all was just fine, and we stayed nice and dry under the awning no matter how heavy the rain!

But now we have ordered our fancy class B with all the bells and whistles, including an electric awning - which I am not really thrilled about although I suppose it will be nice! - I find that it is not really intended for use in rain! I suppose because it has no support legs and so cannot be sloped fore to aft to drain well!

I'd be interested to know what peoples experience has been - are these awnings pretty fragile? I think ours will be a Fiama.

If so, this seems a particularly bad choice for a class B awning!

What I mean is that with a class B, space inside is already at a premium, so why would you not want to do whatever is necessary to maximise usable space both inside and outside the van? Good weather or bad? To me, it seems short-sighted on the part of the RV builders, but they all seem to be going this way I think.

If I wind up ruining our fancy electric legless awning due to abuse in the first year or so, I will look to replace it with a manual awning - with legs (!) so I can slope it for rain runoff as I always have done!

I'll be interested to hear what folks with more experience have to say on the subject! Maybe the new awnings are better than I am thinking!

Brian.
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Old 06-11-2018, 12:25 AM   #8
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When considering options, IMO you have to address not just the value of the option to you but also its value to a subsequent buyer. If the deletion of the option decreases the subsequent resale market value of the RV more than the original option cost you, the math would indicate that you are probably better off including it and it's particularly the case with the awning where you don't get any dollar offset for deleting it.
I would agree from a strictly financial viewpoint. But, I don't like the looks of the awning, so I would rather not have had it inflicted on me. The subsequent buyer can take care of him- or herself.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:24 AM   #9
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Mine came with the manual awning which I thought we would rarely use. Boy was I wrong, we use it all the time!! Ours by the way is a Carefree of Colorado.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:34 AM   #10
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We have an awning on our Roadtrek and use it most of the time ... actually all the time if it isn't too windy. I can't think of anything more enjoyable on a rainy day that sitting under the awning and hearing the rain hit it. Much better that being inside. I wouldn't by a class B without one.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:16 AM   #11
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I would agree from a strictly financial viewpoint. But, I don't like the looks of the awning, so I would rather not have had it inflicted on me. The subsequent buyer can take care of him- or herself.
I agree with you that the awning detracts from the aesthetics of a class B. LTV had a slick option on their class B that heightened the roof and integrated the awning into it.

But my point remains that it's productive to consider how your option choices affect resale value unless you intend to keep the coach until the wheels fall off. I think that is pertinent to options like awnings, generators, battery ah capacity and solar. They may be of little value to the original buyer but when selling the coach, their absence may end up being a deal breaker without reducing the price substantially more than the original cost of the options. IMO, it's not a question of deferring to the concerns to a subsequent buyer. It's more a matter of making educated guesses regarding the downstream financial result when selecting or rejecting options.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:14 AM   #12
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If I sold my Class B I doubt an awning would not make or break a sale considering I have more compelling options in my van.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:54 AM   #13
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In my first B, I never used the awning. So with my second, I ordered it without... never missed it. The third came with an awning... have never opened it. With the order on my 4th, I asked that it be shipped detached on the inside of the van. If the next buyer wants it, they can have it... and get it attached on their own.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:27 AM   #14
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Default Awning a must.

We had awnings on various RVs since late eighties. Except during windy conditions it is a permanent part of our camping setup ritual. Wouldn’t buy an RV without one. We primarily camp on county, state, federal parks or forests, rarely on private campgrounds and never on any Walmart parking or a place alike.
I think appreciation for an awning is based to large degree on the style of usage; more camping less driving, more driving less camping, sleeping vehicle, cruising, parties……
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:27 AM   #15
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We hardly used our awning for the first 7 or 8 years and always thought we would never get another one in the future, but the last couple of years we seem to be using it quite regularly. It comes in handy to be able to get some shade when needed.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:56 AM   #16
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I agree with GeorgeRa that your usage style is an important factor. With our travel trailer we used it regularly, we were always at camp grounds, but it does add more work at setup and takedown, and we had to watch for wind. Now we drive most days, and less regularly use camp grounds, so we would delete it on any custom order.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:57 PM   #17
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We like ours for extra living space in rain and sun. Due to good weather prediction we have avoided rain on our recent trips, but we found a new value for the awning. Parked in the sun we can often open the awning about a foot or so and shade that whole side of the van, even in parking lots. Anything that reduces the "hot box" effect is welcome.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:10 PM   #18
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We like ours for extra living space in rain and sun. Due to good weather prediction we have avoided rain on our recent trips, but we found a new value for the awning. Parked in the sun we can often open the awning about a foot or so and shade that whole side of the van, even in parking lots. Anything that reduces the "hot box" effect is welcome.
This. That one foot or so also helps shade the fridge.

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Old 06-11-2018, 05:58 PM   #19
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We don't use ours very much but it is one of those things that I would rather have and not need than need and not have... We live in the Northwest and it drizzles a lot here and it is like having a covered porch on your house - very nice on drizzly days that are warm enough to want to be outside. But also nice on sunny days for shade. I could live without but can't imagine specifically deleting it.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:39 PM   #20
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LOL - I always though that the high-mounted awnings look bad, like they turn the vehicles into "Quasimodo vans" or something. However this is the first time I've heard anybody else say that.


Our Class B is built on a T1N Sprinter, so we have a side-mounted awning, made possible by the older configuration of the sliding door, and which I think looks much better.

I've found that an awning is something you never need until you really need it. We don't use it much, but we breathe a sigh of relief when we do.

I made a no-see-um screen to fit our awning (instructions here) because we frequently travel in eastern Canada where the flies... OMG, the flies. The flies are beyond comprehension. In that kind of environment, it's not smart to simply walk into the van through an open door - an airlock type configuration will serve much better. Go into awning the screen, proceed to kill several hundred flies, AND THEN open the van slider to get inside. Otherwise we're looking at a two-hour mass slaughter on the inside.

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