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Old 04-12-2021, 09:58 AM   #1
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Question To tie down or not to tie down?????

Just received our new 2021 212QB after having ordered it last September. This is the first travel trailer we have had with a power awning (the other two had manual awnings). I used to tie down the manual awnings on the previous TT's and had good luck with the tie-downs (the 'screw' type anchors). But during our PDI, the dealer's tech told us that the power awnings were not to be tied down at all. So I figured okay, because I have never had a power awning before. Yet I have seen videos on You Tube showing TT owners tying down their power awnings with the same 'screw' type anchors; putting the straps over the ends of the roller like I have done before. SO, it is okay to use the tie-downs on these new power awnings or not?
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:21 AM   #2
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I have tied mine down in the past but I don't like the stress it puts on the fabric attachment point to the camper. If it is windy enough to need a tie down, I just bring the awning in. I'd rather be safe than sorry...
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:22 AM   #3
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Electric awnings are really fragile.

Most have an auto dump system. If to much water is on the awning, the gas strut collapses, and the awning dips, and the water drains off. A tie down may restrict this feature.

Also wind can destroy an electric awning aluminum arms quickly. It is highly recommended if not around, at night, wind is picking up to bring it in. It is also recommended to have it in during a rain storm.

I have tipped mine, which really helps with rain run off. One end is down 1 click, the other end is down 2 or 3 clicks. My awning is really stable in downpours. In wind more than a light breeze, I bring in. If there is wind and rain, often I will leave it open 1 to 2 feet, just to have a little protection when opening the door.

A lot more electric awnings get damaged than manual awnings.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:22 AM   #4
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Had a power awning on my TT. Have a power awning on my MH. Never "tied down" either of them, but have SERIOUSLY considered it.

More often, we just roll it in if we know there will be inclement weather. Not so much for rain as I have a pretty good pitch on mine, but for wind. Doesn't take much wind to cause them to start dancing pretty good. We have forgotten a couple times (on BOTH rigs), and have been VERY lucky not to have suffered any damage. (knocking on wood).

If I were going to do it, I'd make it so the tie down straps could be disengaged in seconds. Nothing like fighting with straps or something when you're trying to roll the awning in with a storm brewing.

Something else to watch out for is that in most private CGs we've stayed in, and even some other parks, they don't want you putting ANYTHING in the ground.
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Old 04-12-2021, 10:26 AM   #5
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I contacted CAREFREE years ago with that question and the response was, "We don't recommend it, but if you do be sure you use the roller and not the arms". So I did it that way for over 9 years, just snug so it wouldn't lift up.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:50 PM   #6
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Smile Thanks for the information

Thank you to those who responded to my question. I guess I am going to just leave it untied, and take it in at night so no surprises in the morning. It is very reassuring to have responses from those who have so many responses on this site...i appreciate picking your brains. Thanks again.
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Deacon101 View Post
Thank you to those who responded to my question. I guess I am going to just leave it untied, and take it in at night so no surprises in the morning. It is very reassuring to have responses from those who have so many responses on this site...i appreciate picking your brains. Thanks again.
You're welcome!!

I will say that if you wake up to a weird thumping on the side of your rig, it's probably the awning you forgot to pull in. I'm a pretty big dude, and it impresses DW to no end how fast I can move when I realize that's the awning blowing around. Like I said, I've managed to retract it without damage a few times.

Just last time out, my dog alerted me to a weird noise. Heard the dog grumbling about something, listened, heard the tell-tale "thump" of the awning being picked up and dropped by the wind, DW says "did you leave the awning out?", I ran to the door just in time to see it blow up over-top of the rig, then slam back down, then blow straight in against the side of the rig. I threw my arm up to hold the drum against the side of the camper while the awning canvas was flapping over the roof. Wondered what the heck I was going to do since my arm was already getting sore. DW reached between my legs and pushed the awning retract button. I could feel the awning spooling back on the drum and shouted "THAT!! KEEP DOING THAT!!" Awning got rolled up safely. And no damage. We were LUCKY. AGAIN!

Too many times that's happened to us. You'd think I would learn. But somehow I don't... Maybe when it happens and twists the arms like a pretzel and I have to replace it, that'll teach me...
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Old 04-12-2021, 02:22 PM   #8
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I came back to my site years ago when we had a popup to find our awning on top of the trailer. With the poles it was a pain in the butt to put up and down, so I left it up when we left the park. Learned my lesson. Now that we have a TT, I make it a policy to bring the awning in every time we leave the campsite and every night. It's just the push of a button for less then 30 seconds, so it's a no brainer.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Deacon101 View Post
Thank you to those who responded to my question. I guess I am going to just leave it untied, and take it in at night so no surprises in the morning. It is very reassuring to have responses from those who have so many responses on this site...i appreciate picking your brains. Thanks again.
Deacon as it is retracted relatively quickly and without effort, we never leave it extended while we are not in camp and never overnight.

We would probably think differently if we had to crank it.
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:06 PM   #10
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I came back to my site years ago when we had a popup to find our awning on top of the trailer. With the poles it was a pain in the butt to put up and down, so I left it up when we left the park. Learned my lesson. Now that we have a TT, I make it a policy to bring the awning in every time we leave the campsite and every night. It's just the push of a button for less then 30 seconds, so it's a no brainer.
X2. - We pull it in every night. I much preferred our manual awning which I could tip down at night and not worry.
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Old 04-12-2021, 07:51 PM   #11
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My electric awning stays out 24/7 when camping. We have trees here in Indiana and even if the wind is blowing 30mph, you never feel it at ground level. I also pay close attention to the daily weather and will bring it in if I feel there is a major threat incoming. I thoroughly enjoy sitting under the awning during an Indiana pop up thunderstorm.
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:07 AM   #12
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Our Greyhawk had a power awning. When we started camping seasonally, we always tied ours down with the screw anchors. Our site was directly across from a farm. Our site could be very windy, while the rest of the campground was not. The kit we purchased came with large springs that allowed the awning to move gently in strong winds. We would bring the awning in if strong winds were predicted, but the tie downs offered insurance incase we got caught off guard.

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Old 04-13-2021, 07:05 AM   #13
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Here in Kansas where we camp, everyone brings them in at night or when not immediately at the camper. You just make it a habit. It's easy to spot the campers who never made it a habit, they are the ones without awnings.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:10 PM   #14
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Iíve learned from having a sailboat that itís a lot harder, and potentially dangerous, to pull in sails when the wind gets heavy. Itís much easier to take precautions before the gusts overpower you. An awning is just a big sail and the same principle applies. Even in slight breezes, Iíll pull in the awning partially or all the way to be safe. Unless Iím absolutely sure of no wind, the same applies at night or if weíre gone. Iím not willing to take an expensive gamble just for a little shade.
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Old 04-24-2021, 03:47 PM   #15
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I'm pretty new to this and I bring mine in every night or if we leave the campground for any length of time. What I worry about is the same with most everything on my Greyhawk is the more I use it the more I expect it to quit working. Just hard to get around that fear. Same one I have every time I move the slide or use the leveling jacks. It's that what isn't going to work today feeling.
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Old 04-26-2021, 12:34 AM   #16
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I bring mine in the first sign of wind, better safe than sorry
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Old 04-27-2021, 05:35 AM   #17
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Had the same tt for years and had no reason to tie it down. The gas struts are there to help stabilize it in light wind and rain. Wouldn't leave it open while you sleep or when your out exploring. You might come back to find it gone.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:09 AM   #18
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i always leave ours out when at camp but i did learn an expensive lesson when a storm came in quick and blew the awning over my camper, $ 500 deductible and 2 new arms later we now always use "hurricane" straps to the deck just in case a storm hits quickly. i do put it in when we go home during the week but otherwise its always out
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:10 AM   #19
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5 years with two different RV's. Camp 24/7 for 4 months in a permanent site. The awning stays out all the time unless warned of a possible storm moving in. The awning is tied down to my deck railing. The first was manual and this one is electric.
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Old 04-28-2021, 07:23 AM   #20
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I've never tied my power awning down in 8 years, 2 different trailers. It's so easy and quick to bring it in and out. I'm of the opinion that it's only out when it's being used, ie sitting under it. It comes in when we leave our site and at night. No worries that way, don't even have to think about it.
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