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Awning Options
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MakeFast
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:57 am    Post subject: Awning Options Reply with quote

Okay, so the wife and I are probably going to get an awning before the summer months - here are the options I have found with prices (after shipping and with whatever is necessary to install)

Fiamma 45: 10' for $1092 @ eurocampers.com (might be cheaper from GW, but sold out)
Benefits: ease of use (mechanical extend and retract); large surface area; body mount option for legs
Disadvantages: complicated mechanical system that has more parts to break

Fiamma 35: 9'10" for $797 @eurocampers.com
Benefits: cheaper; body mount option for legs
Disadvantages: smaller surface area

Shady-Boy: 10'x6' for $464 @van-cafe.com
Benefits: cheap; metallic silver could keep things cooler
Disadvantages: permanent holes to mount (big disadvantage to me); wife doesn't like the way the case looks on the vans w/o the awning up

Dometic: can't find this online

Foxwing: for $724.64 @rockymountainwesty.com
Benefits: HUGE surface area
Disadvantages: never seen one in-use/on a Vanagon; what if we don't have 270 degrees to pull the whole thing out; may not have enough 'mounting points' for all the poles/guylines/etc.

Sunseeker: 8'x6.5' for $459.58 @rockymountainwesty.com
Benefits: cheaper
Disadvantages: never seen it on a van; smaller surface area


Am I missing any options here?

The Fiamma seems to be the 'gold standard' and is what we are leaning towards as the ability to attach the legs to the van seems like it would be something worth having (and the wife really doesn't like the way the Shady Boy looks just sitting on the van - for $330 she might get over it though). And I would probably go with the 35 for cost and because of the possibility of something going wrong mechanically with the 45 makes me wary. The wife would prefer the ease of the 45 though, I'm sure.

If anyone has anything to add, I welcome comments. I emailed RMW about their awnings a few weeks back but never got a response - I would like to see them installed.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Van Cafe sell s the Fiamma F45 for a few hundred dollars less. They can probably order you the F35 also.
The shady boy awning is installed with 6 screws in the roof. I wasn't really happy when I bought a van with one installed on the roof. It looked fine and was sturdy but I didn't like the holes in the roof. They take a lot more effort to put up than the Fiamma awnings.


Last edited by syncrodoka on Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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MacFhearguis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May I suggest that you take a look at the Camping Lab Awnings:
http://campinglab.com/awning.html

Fernando is great to deal with, and at only $250 shipped, the price is hard to beat.

I mounted mine with a set of GoWesty brackets, brining my total to around $320.

The 79" awning also has a mosquito net, or room option too.

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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Fiamma 45 10' and I love it. One of the best features is how fast it goes up and down. As in, 45 sec with one person.
It's also easy enough that I'll bring it in at night if I think it's going to be windy so I don't have to worry about it.
They are wicked strong too. I awoke one morning to find a LOT of water pooled. 100 gallons easy. The awning was collapsed on itself. Drained everything off and no damage. Lesson learned. Make sure one corner is dropped so it drains.

I'm not sure I'd pay $1100 for it though. I paid a little more than half that.
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

there's really little better then a crank out self supporting awnig (with feet kit)

for ease of deployment and stowage, you'll find yourself using a Fiamma MUCH MORE FREQUANTLY then a shady boy..

heck I roll our awning out when in the parking ot of the store sometimes..
*note, mine is not a fiamma, but a DIY type of self supported crank out awning.
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CQ
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey that looks great and somewhat affordable.. I may have to get this one too I have been looking myself.
Are the GW mount these (that dont screw into actual body?)

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=2542&category_id=&category_parent_id=
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A well respected wheeler in a completely different forum-

Quote:

We are on our third Fiamma F35 pro. Even owning an ARB, Mombasa and a Hannibal.. it's still my favorite of the bunch and the most versatile.

They're easy to setup, handle wind great (had ours up to 50mph too many times to count) with guy lines out, they rake at an angle if need be for rain/snow and they're just bullet proof. You can mount the legs to a vehicle or to the ground. The material they use for the actual awning is the equivalent to that of an RV awning. The awning is light, i can carry it in one hand and the clamshell case is really nice compared the pouches on the market for others. I dont know what else to say. I'd buy another one in a heart beat.

Oh and we are on our third, not because we had any problems.. just different rigs/setups.
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ddye
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also the EZ Awning from Bud Depot http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=A7905

Significantly cheaper. With that said it is like setting up a camping tent. I have only set mine up once and it took about 20 minutes. Now that I understand it I am guessing it will still take 10 minutes to deploy. Additionally is does not strap to the vehicle so you have to carry it inside. I do want a Fiamma but for the price I felt I could buy a whole bunch of other fun stuff instead. The time to setup does not bother me as I like moving slow when camping.

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MacFhearguis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
A well respected wheeler in a completely different forum-

Quote:

We are on our third Fiamma F35 pro. Even owning an ARB, Mombasa and a Hannibal.. it's still my favorite of the bunch and the most versatile.

They're easy to setup, handle wind great (had ours up to 50mph too many times to count) with guy lines out, they rake at an angle if need be for rain/snow and they're just bullet proof. You can mount the legs to a vehicle or to the ground. The material they use for the actual awning is the equivalent to that of an RV awning. The awning is light, i can carry it in one hand and the clamshell case is really nice compared the pouches on the market for others. I dont know what else to say. I'd buy another one in a heart beat.

Oh and we are on our third, not because we had any problems.. just different rigs/setups.


Sounds like Dave and Yosh.

In the Spring 2010 issue of Overland Journal, several awning were tested, and were set-up behind the prop wash of an old bi-plane to test wind stability.

The Fiamma won out for fit and finish, but the testers were not happy with the "liberal use of plastic connectors" which they thought was inconsistent with a higher overall quality of the product.

THe Hannibal won overall as the Editor's Choice, and the Camping Lab as a Value Choice(hence my purchase of it.)
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went with the Dometic A&E Catalina, it is the same as the old Transawn 2000.

Durable and cheaper than the Fiamma.

Jeff
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sounds like Dave and Yosh.

yup
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Fernando is great to deal with

Yes, he helped me out quickly when I had a issue with the ladder for my RTT.
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MakeFast
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the tips guys.

@ddye: that is exactly what we want to avoid when we buy an awning Laughing


If we could find the Fiamma 45 for cheaper ($1k is ridiculous, IMO) then we would go that way - GW has it about $130 cheaper for the awning and probably a bit off for shipping and mounts, but still not in the 'reasonable price' range.

I can't find Dometic pricing online - I may call around this afternoon.

If we can't find room in the budget for Fiamma/Dometic (I'm still hoping to find a used one locally - pie in the sky I know, but hey I can dream Wink ) then the camping lab seems like the best alternative. Even if it isn't ideal, it looks to be as good if not better than the other choices and is super cheap to boot!
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juanb
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like what this guy came up with:

http://bodeswell.org/2010/04/10/el-cheapo-20-awning/

I'm going to try it with my Westy. I don't care to have something installed there full time, and $30 is about what I'm willing to pay for shadow Smile

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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should be able to find the Dometic at Camping World. It has been 8 years since I got mine so I do not recall the exact configuration but they had a specific mounting kit for the Vanagon.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/dometic-horizon-case-awnings/32220d

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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's our 2 in a parking lot in 95+ heat in Fl

we had to make a custom set of brackets, certainly not for everybody but I can only have a self supported crank out setup for mom's camper

these are ~$200 from the discount stores, (christmas tree shops here in the north east)

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again certainly not "The Look" for everyone, but we're more function over fashion people anyways.
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have both a 10' A&E TransAwn 2000 and a 10' Fiamma F45. As one who doesn't like taking the awning down because of the slightest breeze, l much prefer the A&E (which is now the Dometic). The difference is that the A&E has rafters that will not collapse in a strong wind. I have had a wind grab my Fiamma and billow it up like a parasail because of the hinged rafters which folded up. I have had the A&E for the entire time I have owned my Van (25 years) and it is still working fine, even after a few mishaps that I believe would have turned the Fiamma into garbage. The Fiamma is on our Casita Trailer and is only 3 years old. I personally think it is over-designed and that the close tolerances keep it from being all that easy to use. I have had difficulty getting it to wind in straight every time so that it will lock into its' case. It has an adjustment, but I have not yet found the perfect adjustment for it so I sometimes find myself winding it in several times to get it locked in the case.

No matter which awning, I always hang a cloth grocery bag full of rocks on the outside corners to hold the vertical polls down. The Fiamma needs to be guyed by lines running straight out to stakes to keep the rafters from collapsing by pulling them straight out.

I have camped out on the beach in Baja and had the awning out for 2 weeks at a time without a problem just by using the 2 heavy rock-filled bags on the A&E awning to hold it down.
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gbrandt
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We got the shady boy even though we were unhappy with the bolt in design. We installed it and put it up on a slightly window day and were not impressed with the stability, its like a kite.

I have read that drilling a hold in the bottom of the legs will help with stability in wind, so we'll try that.

Other than that, it is very light but most certainly did the job it is advertised to do, it gave great shade.

Nice and big too.

Gregor
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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4 stakes and bobs yeruncle
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tpinthepack
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Awning is an old Thule "gimme shelter" from the local bicycle shop. It mounts to either square, or round bars. The item was manufactured by Carefree of Colorado. Works on a Doka also.

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