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Old 07-09-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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Awning Paranoia

Took the 2004 Jayco Feather 23B with a 15' Carefree Colorado awning out for a week. Very hot but had a nice time. Commented on the 3rd and 4th that there was no breeze whatsoever. Went out to the beach for a fireworks display which was nice. Inside to bed when suddenly feel the camper shake as wind hit it.

Went outside to put the awning up but the second gust of this unexpected windstorm caused one side to completely rip free from the camper. Neighbors heard and raced out and we were able to get it rolled up so that the other side didn't bust loose.

In the morning, looked at the damage. The top bracket had broken in two pieces and come loose from the camper. The screws holding it in place were still there but it had ripped the screw heads right off. On the bottom, the plastic foot had separated from the arm, pulling right through the rivets.

Needed a new bracket and a new foot (the replacement was metal). The mobile repair van was able to come the next day and fix. Of course the day after that was breezy and I was gun shy so I didn't even take the awning down.


1) The repair guy mentioned something about people staking their awnings, which can help. Does he mean staking the feet into the ground or is this keeping the feet clipped to the camper and adding something else to stake it in?

2) Have seem some stuff on other threads about using canopy clamps. There is a spot for clamps. Is this going to help me if I install these? See them on Amazon for about $45 including shipping. Worth the investment from there or will I find better at the local RV shop? The awning does seem to flap a lot which I'm guessing is a problem.

3) What do you to do to check that things are secure and snug? Any tips? Should I have replaced the screws as I'm guessing the age had probably weakened these. Any other advice from seasoned vets is certainly appreciated.


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Old 07-09-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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Sorry about your awning. I usually tie my awning to something solid. A picnic table, tree, etc. I also try and keep it on a pretty good angle if there is wind. Some people do stake the awning legs to the ground. I haven't done that, but may in the future. I do have the Carefree awning clamps installed on the arms of the awing. It does take the flapping out of the awning.

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Old 07-09-2012, 01:51 PM   #3
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I use the camco de-flappers-inexpensive. I also bought a pair of the smallest screw in earth anchors from Menards. I screw them into the ground roughly below the ends of the awning where the arms are attached then use a ratcheting tie down to secure the awning to the anchor. Works great and cost little. I have never used the awning in "carport" mode which is when you unhook the arm from the bottom of the camper and set it up like a post to the ground. If I did, I would use the earth anchor and ratchet strap to affix the leg to the ground, not pins or stakes.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:53 PM   #4
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I've found that moving the legs from the trailer to the ground not only gives you more room to walk around but it seems more stable. We picked up some Coleman tent stakes at Walmart and I use them to hold the feet firmly into the ground. If it's a really windy day, I'll just take the awning in. So far, no problems.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Stakeing it down will keep it more stable but it also takes longer to put it up if things get really bad.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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My thought exactly clutch. One area I camp regularly has very unpredictable winds. I leave the legs hooked to the camper and am always watching the sky for weather that may bring bad winds.

Now, when mountain camping I get less concerned. While I haven't used the "Carport mode" yet, can see it as useful in some situations.....

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Old 07-11-2012, 06:25 AM   #7
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I too stake my canopy to the ground but use a quick disconnect 1/2-web strap. The problem with some hard cabled setups I see alot of campers do is when that sudden storm comes up they cant easily take down their cables. I used to do the old tent cables with your "special knots" etc and about the only way to take it down in a hurry was using snips and cut all the cables.

The ratchet web straps that come four to a package (Walmart) works out great for us. I have the 15-foot long ones...

The other thing I do which is a bit over kill but I use the 15-inch long screw into the ground earth augers anchors I think they are called. Mine have a small three-inch single blade on them with a round eyelet on top. They go into the ground rather easy and really give you a great anchor point without disturbing the ground. When I unscrew my anchors you cant tell they have ever been there... The web strap connects in seconds and you can ratchet up tight real quick.

My real reason for the anchors is to keep my POPUP trailer side-to-side movement contained. My POPUP has about six-inches of side-to-side movement when the top is up and it will knock things off my shelf setup if I don't watch it close. adding the four corner anchors stopped all of that and I can use the same anchors for tieing down my front side canopy.

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