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Old 03-12-2023, 05:00 PM   #1
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Default add on awning

we have had our 1997 dodge ram Xplorer HT for going on three yrs Frankly it seems to be a roadtrek in disguise 21 feet long Want to get an add on roll or crank out awning The kind that retracts into a metal long round case We would not do it ourselves would be applied I think to very top of the side wall Roof is plastic No roof rack Any reviews/comments thank you
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Old 03-12-2023, 09:44 PM   #2
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Thousands of miles and all kinds of campgrounds, and we've used ours exactly once. It's one of those things that sounds like it would be great, but in the field, it never seems to actually be worth messing with.

Might get more use if you like to stay put for a few days at a time. We seem to always pick up and move on after 1 night, so we never bother putting it out.
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Old 03-13-2023, 12:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jeana View Post
we have had our 1997 dodge ram Xplorer HT for going on three yrs Frankly it seems to be a roadtrek in disguise 21 feet long Want to get an add on roll or crank out awning The kind that retracts into a metal long round case We would not do it ourselves would be applied I think to very top of the side wall Roof is plastic No roof rack Any reviews/comments thank you
I have Fiamma and use it often. Fiamma also sells mounting brackets for different awnings and vehicles. Mounting to fiberglass requires good backing.

https://www.fiammausa.com/en/fiammas...manual-awnings
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Old 03-13-2023, 12:23 AM   #4
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No, you don't. You want a Moonshade. Trust me on this. Cheaper, easier to deal with, more flexible, and more versatile.
https://moonfab.com/products/moonshade/
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Old 03-13-2023, 02:52 AM   #5
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No, you don't. You want a Moonshade. Trust me on this. Cheaper, easier to deal with, more flexible, and more versatile.
https://moonfab.com/products/moonshade/
Is it a sale pitch? Is it really easier than an attached awning? I just don't see it. It definitely is less expensive than an attached and rolled awning. I can get my Fiamma awning erected for a foot or two in seconds and fully erected with legs attached to the van in a couple of minutes. And, I don't have to store it.
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Old 03-13-2023, 02:08 PM   #6
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Sales pitch? Nope. We have zero interest in the company, but we have a Moonshade. We sometimes use it instead of the awning that came attached to our van, and we can put it up on other sides of the van depending from where the sun is roasting us, When our built-in awning finally dies, we will have it removed so we can just use the shade. Your pocketbook, your call, but for our money we'd rather have a Moonshade.
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Old 03-13-2023, 03:41 PM   #7
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You can get many awnings cheaper than a Moonshade. The question is the quality but more important for me, are they portable and pack away in a 28" x 6" diameter bag like a Moonshade? I think one advantage of a Fiamma is the retractability but then you would have to permanently install it because you probably are not going carry a 9 foot plus housing otherwise.

I didn't get an awning on my current van because I didn't use it on my other Class Bs which came as a standard and I think they look ugly mounted on the side of the van and of course scream RV if you want to be stealth as much as possible. I do carry a 14 foot diameter screen tent which keeps the bugs away and you can get the picnic table under. That's portable and as compact stored away as a Moonshade. I tend to camp in the south and southwest in the winter and the sun is most times welcoming or the low sun allows shade from the van itself. In the summer I go to the north woods where trees are plenty full for shade but the screen tent is sometimes necessary for bugs. Boondocking while underway I wouldn't put out an awning and most boondocking places don't allow it anyway.
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Old 03-13-2023, 04:17 PM   #8
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We have been both ways on the awning we have on our 07 Roadtrek 190P.


For quite few years, we rarely if ever used it and wondered why we had it. An early adventure with wind was probably influencing us a lot, though.


Then we ran into a very hot and sunny campside in Zion and used it every day for over a week and it changed our mind on it and gave us the experience we needed putting it up and down and how to evaluate and handle the wind. We use it a lot more now and would not want to get rid of it. It was hot the last two years at Custer Park in early June and the site we like gets some late morning/early afternoon hot sun on the door and picnic table side so we used the awning regularly to cook lunch on the propane grille under the awning.


A moonshade might be nice for some, but not something we would want to deal with when the awning is so easy to use.
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Old 03-13-2023, 04:59 PM   #9
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I'm installing a roof rack to carry a canoe or kayach on opposite side a couple solar panels.
plan to attach the awning to the verticals of roof rack (may elevate it a little) to ease cleaning roof behind awning.
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Old 03-13-2023, 06:50 PM   #10
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You can get many awnings cheaper than a Moonshade. The question is the quality but more important for me, are they portable and pack away in a 28" x 6" diameter bag like a Moonshade? I think one advantage of a Fiamma is the retractability but then you would have to permanently install it because you probably are not going carry a 9 foot plus housing otherwise.

I didn't get an awning on my current van because I didn't use it on my other Class Bs which came as a standard and I think they look ugly mounted on the side of the van and of course scream RV if you want to be stealth as much as possible. I do carry a 14 foot diameter screen tent which keeps the bugs away and you can get the picnic table under. That's portable and as compact stored away as a Moonshade. I tend to camp in the south and southwest in the winter and the sun is most times welcoming or the low sun allows shade from the van itself. In the summer I go to the north woods where trees are plenty full for shade but the screen tent is sometimes necessary for bugs. Boondocking while underway I wouldn't put out an awning and most boondocking places don't allow it anyway.
Sounds cool, what 14' diameter screen tent are you using? We have a Clam, which we love, but because of the internal framework it's still quite large when folded up and stored.
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Old 03-14-2023, 03:25 PM   #11
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Sounds cool, what 14' diameter screen tent are you using? We have a Clam, which we love, but because of the internal framework it's still quite large when folded up and stored.
Eddie Bauer. It's old lasting through four Class B's. I don't think they make that model anymore but I haven't bothered to check. I like the Clams. The screen tent is on the shelf of our current van next to the water hose.
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File Type: jpeg Screen Tent Winnie Dam CG.jpeg (658.5 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpeg Mies Back of Van Storage.jpeg (387.3 KB, 17 views)
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Old 03-14-2023, 05:20 PM   #12
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Eddie Bauer. It's old lasting through four Class B's. I don't think they make that model anymore but I haven't bothered to check. I like the Clams. The screen tent is on the shelf of our current van next to the water hose.
Love it, thanks for sharing. Sure does pack down small! Checked Eddie Bauer, but they don't seem to offer gazebo-style screen tents anymore.

On the other hand, this unit from LL Bean looks decent. Not as big when open, but probably big enough, and probably a lot smaller than our clam when packed. Will have to keep in mind for when our Clam eventually dies. We used to have a screen house from REI, but it literally fell apart at the seams after a few years.

The Clam was great for us last season despite being big when packed. We were camp hosting volunteers at St. Mary campground in Glacier NP, which is famous for wind so strong that it destroys tents, rips awnings off RVs, and so on. We were able to leave it up in some quite windy conditions by running tension lines across the inside of the tent that prevented the roof from popping down. There were times when we gave up and took it down to prevent total destruction, but it's a very robust tent. Thumbs up for that!

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/58395
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Old 03-14-2023, 06:06 PM   #13
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We use a Moonshade because an attached awning is so rarely in the right place to block sun. I want to be able to move it around depending on how we're parked in relation to the sun. I don't know if there's a good quality alternative to the Moonshade on the market but I hope someone comes along because I think they cost about double what they should.

We have a screen shelter (Gazelle G5). It's very fast to take up and down but it's pretty big when folded. We have room for it strapped upright to the back wall in the garage area of our van but time will tell if it's useful enough to come along on every trip. It's nice for keeping the biting bugs away after dusk and also to keep chairs dry if there will be an overnight rain. I don't view it as a replacement for an awning since the mesh is tight enough to keep out no-see-ums which means it's also tight enough to keep out a breeze on a hot day.
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Old 03-14-2023, 08:25 PM   #14
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we have had our 1997 dodge ram Xplorer HT for going on three yrs Frankly it seems to be a roadtrek in disguise 21 feet long Want to get an add on roll or crank out awning The kind that retracts into a metal long round case We would not do it ourselves would be applied I think to very top of the side wall Roof is plastic No roof rack Any reviews/comments thank you
I have a love/hate relationship to the Carefree awning on our Thor. It's certainly not carefree, and not having supports means that it really needs to be still or it will catch some breeze and retract.
Also the motion (wind) sensor seems to eat batteries, and it took me half a year to figure out where the damn beeping came from.
Also, it has started to open-close-open-close about 8 times after starting to drive and hitting the first pothole. Very annoying. Had to pull the fuse until I figure out what's causing it.

Thus, I would not recommend Carefree awnings.

However, it has come in handy a few times, not even so much for sitting under it, as for shading the sun-exposed side of the RV when parking in hot areas without shade. Zion, and even more in Arches, it helps the A/C to reduce temps if part of the vehicle is shaded.
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Old 03-14-2023, 08:28 PM   #15
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Keeping the bugs out is more important than blocking the sun. We have this BugPod too. This is at a Harvest Host winery site.
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Old 03-14-2023, 09:42 PM   #16
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I rarely use my fiamma but when I do it needs to be windless. I also roll it out just a little bit to skip carrying the leg supports.
It does help with hot hot sun.
Where I really need shade is on the back of the van somewhat shading the hard working AC and keeping the sleeping compartment cooler.
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Old 03-15-2023, 10:32 PM   #17
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I have a love/hate relationship to the Carefree awning on our Thor. It's certainly not carefree, and not having supports means that it really needs to be still or it will catch some breeze and retract.
Also the motion (wind) sensor seems to eat batteries, and it took me half a year to figure out where the damn beeping came from.
Also, it has started to open-close-open-close about 8 times after starting to drive and hitting the first pothole. Very annoying. Had to pull the fuse until I figure out what's causing it.

Thus, I would not recommend Carefree awnings.

However, it has come in handy a few times, not even so much for sitting under it, as for shading the sun-exposed side of the RV when parking in hot areas without shade. Zion, and even more in Arches, it helps the A/C to reduce temps if part of the vehicle is shaded.
Well, I shouldn't have said anything. My Carefree awning just randomly self-destructed.
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Old 03-16-2023, 04:47 PM   #18
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With my first Van (a home built B) I used an old Boy Scout Dining Fly with a center pole. The two ends next to the Van had the guy lines thrown over the top of the Van and anchored to tent pegs on the other side. I added length to the two poles next to the Van and tried to set up next to a picnic table with the short center pole mounted on the table top. Later I learned of rain gutter clamps with a hook. I found these at an electric supply wholesaler.

I used three of these clamps and set a grommet in the center of the side facing the rain gutter. So you would only need two regular poles and a smaller telescoping center pole if using a picnic table to support it. The Van's rain gutter replaced two of the poles & guy lines.



Clamps like this are cheap, less than $2 dollars each. The problem is they charge close to $70 shipping & handling on an order. So if you decide to buy these from the supplier below, get with some other people who would like to have these so you could buy about 40 of them and then divide the cost of the clamps & shipping charges between several of you.

https://www.linemen-tools.com/search...H+4044&Submit=

What I learned from experience. If rain comes it will fill the tent towards the far side so you can cut a 1 1/2 inch hole and cement a plastic pcv closet flange to the underside and then an elbow (pcv) and fix a short piece of hose to it as a drain.

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Oatey-43...e_ad&utm_mediu
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Old 03-20-2023, 03:34 AM   #19
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We have a Fiamma manual awning on our self build and it was a must have for my wife. We have had two vans before with manual awnings and at first I thought it wasn’t necessary, however we use it enough to justify it. It sure is nice for the shade or to keep the rain off you while you sit outside the van. Since it was the only must have my wife requested I am happy to have done it.
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