Alu-cab awning concern, looking for some insight based on my purchase

Scoutman

Explorer
I still don't get what the fuss is about cutting the holes in the awning bag. Like Dozer said above, every mounting configuration is going to be different therefore requiring different holes to be used. Once you sandwich these mounting holes between whatever bracket you're mounting the awning to and the awning main channel there should be no concerns of water getting in the bag. It's honestly just part of the mounting process. I pulled the material taught, marked the holes and then nibbled them out with a pair of nippers.
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As for the reinforced patch of extra fabric, I'm glad that Alu-Cab takes note of issues that need addressing and corrects them in future productions. If the patch isn't needed enough to warrant the extra stitching then fine. My guess is that they have more negative feedback on leaking stitching than center support pole wear or punctures. If wear in that spot worries you that much then put a coozie or tennis ball over the end of that rod. I typically don't put mine up except in heavy rain.

I have an early awning that was imported as a group buy before OK4wd was the US distributor (or at least that's what I was told) and the awning bag that it originally had had a seam running down the middle of the top of the bag. Once I found that there was water getting into my bag I notified Rin and he sent me out a new bag right away. I have seen water come in the holes of the stitching at the reinforcement pad so personally I think doing without it is a good thing. Is a few drops a problem, no. I will get more water on my tailgate and cooking area from the gap between the awning and my rtt anyways. I assure you that if you contact Rin at OK4wd that you will get a response as he's able to. He attends a number of rally's and expo type events so have patience. I would direct questions to him before I sent them directly to Alu-Cab.
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Fine, now I have an inferior awning because it is doomed to weep in wet conditions because their "testing" is finally complete.
I'm not sure why you're so upset (as evidenced by your last string of posts) but I can assure you that you do not have an inferior awning. If you truly believe this then you should probably take it up with Rin or sell it to someone who can appreciate it. I have yet to see any other awning come close to the convenience and overall quality as this one. It is not the lightest or the easiest to install but for me those are short lived inconveniences to the ease of setup and lack of support poles needed for every day use. No awning (or any piece of kit for that matter) is going to be perfect so pick whatever works for you and your budget.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
I still don't get what the fuss is about cutting the holes in the awning bag. Like Dozer said above, every mounting configuration is going to be different therefore requiring different holes to be used. Once you sandwich these mounting holes between whatever bracket you're mounting the awning to and the awning main channel there should be no concerns of water getting in the bag. It's honestly just part of the mounting process. I pulled the material taught, marked the holes and then nibbled them out with a pair of nippers....
Once you find out what needs to be done - you're both correct - it's no big deal - just get'r'done. I understand the apprehension that the OP had, because I was the same. There needs to be installation intructions included for 1st timers. Most of us that are into off road and overlanding are mechanically & technically savvy. We understand there's more than 1 way to skin a cat. When you've paid $1600 you just want to be sure before poking holes in things and want to get it right the 1st time.

......As for the reinforced patch of extra fabric, I'm glad that Alu-Cab takes note of issues that need addressing and corrects them in future productions. If the patch isn't needed enough to warrant the extra stitching then fine. My guess is that they have more negative feedback on leaking stitching than center support pole wear or punctures. If wear in that spot worries you that much then put a coozie or tennis ball over the end of that rod. I typically don't put mine up except in heavy rain......
IMHO, this part was just poorly engineered. No excuses, no BS - just that. When they reinforce a section, brag about it in the sales photos and then decide it's not necessary and even detrimental because it leaks - IMHO shows that it just wasn't tested completely before releasing it to be sold.



.......I'm not sure why you're so upset (as evidenced by your last string of posts) but I can assure you that you do not have an inferior awning. If you truly believe this then you should probably take it up with Rin or sell it to someone who can appreciate it. I have yet to see any other awning come close to the convenience and overall quality as this one. It is not the lightest or the easiest to install but for me those are short lived inconveniences to the ease of setup and lack of support poles needed for every day use. No awning (or any piece of kit for that matter) is going to be perfect so pick whatever works for you and your budget.....
Upset is a relative term. But, I paid $1600 for the awning and $900 for the wall kit that goes with it. I find out that the wall kit is poor protection from insects. So, I lower my expectations and think, well I can use it for privacy and minimal protection from the elements. And now I find out the awning will probably weep or leak near it's highest point in moderate to extremely wet conditions. So the water will run down and end up where and how much? Depends on Murphy's law and where I put what's most important to stay dry...... I lower my expectations once again. Yes, I agree that it's extremely easy to deploy and one of, if not the strongest frames available in a 270* awning. And very good shade from the sun. Ah, hindsight....if we could look forward with it, maybe we could get what's perfect for each of us.
 
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jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
I tend to believe the explanation about the missing reinforcement pad. I went out for three nights in very wet weather. And, the stitching around all the reinforcement pads WILL leak during a downpour.

Not a big deal. It's still dryer than when you are not under the awning. :)
 

rino

Supporting Sponsor - OK4WD
Wow, something so simple creates such a stir for some folks. :) The awning is a piece of expedition equipment, not IKEA furniture. You need tools, you will need moderate mechanical skills, if not it is best to bring it to a spot that can fit it. The additional 2 hours of time to install is worth the years of service IMO.

For instructions, all instructions are available at http://www.alu-cab.co.za/fitment-manuals and new boxes direct customers to this link for the instructions.

For the awning fabric, the new dual layer fabric does not require a patch for wear as the fabric has greater abrasion resistance. This new fabric also has higher UV protection and keeps under awning temps even lower.

80t0ylc, if your awning leaks or you have any issues please let me know and we can get you straightened out.
 

krick3tt

Adventurer
I was thinking of getting a 270 deg awning but am having a bit of concern with the information contained in this discussion of this brand.
I sent an email to ARB about how to mount it to a Front Runner RR and did they have any experience with that mounting and received an answer that they had no information to respond to me. Apparently, at this time, no one has either the Alu-cab or the ARB awning to be able to discuss the mounting. Should there be anyone with experience with the FR rack and either awning maker I would greatly appreciate your help in order to make an informed decision.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
Wow, something so simple creates such a stir for some folks. :) The awning is a piece of expedition equipment, not IKEA furniture. You need tools, you will need moderate mechanical skills, if not it is best to bring it to a spot that can fit it. The additional 2 hours of time to install is worth the years of service IMO.....
This is an insult and really unnecessary, IMO, because it makes anyone that speaks up, look like the bad guy.....the complainer....the whiner.

…..For instructions, all instructions are available at http://www.alu-cab.co.za/fitment-manuals and new boxes direct customers to this link for the instructions......
Why wasn't this information/webpage available when the products were 1st available to be purchased? For example: In the awning bag install, the rivets and holes in the awning backplate shown in the instructions, only now make sense...after most of us have already installed our bags. I don't know about any other awning owners, but this is new information for me. I was told by another poster (and blessed by you), I believe at the time, to just shove the awning in the bag and punch holes through the bag where the mounting bolts go through. And that was the official mounting instructions at the time. No one knew about the rivets and designated holes in the backplate. What did it take to get this info available to the buyers?

…….For the awning fabric, the new dual layer fabric does not require a patch for wear as the fabric has greater abrasion resistance. This new fabric also has higher UV protection and keeps under awning temps even lower.....
I applaud Alu-Cab's efforts to improve the awning, but I had no idea or warning about the seam's leakage susceptibility until reading this thread. My past comments were just voicing my concerns, per the thread's title.

…...80t0ylc, if your awning leaks or you have any issues please let me know and we can get you straightened out.
Thank you, but really.....if it leaks? Past comments here from other owners show that moderate or worse wet conditions will cause the seam to leak. Initially, when choosing the wall kit, my plans & expectations were that it would be a shelter from most weather conditions. Unless you have some treatment, approved by Alu-Cab, I really don't think there's much you can do. I don't want to make it worse or damage the fabric. Even the single layer original fabric is awesome, it's just the error in design of sewing the reinforcement patch on that causes it to leak. What about a recall that replaces the single layer with the new fabric with instructions for owners that consider leaking to be a serious problem? I realize that shade is the main purpose of the awning, but some owners had other plans - especially owners like myself that also purchased the wall kit. And consider this thought. The reason for the prop was to give slope to the fabric to drain the water off, right? So in the plans for the awning, the designer was considering shelter from falling moisture to be reasonably important.
 
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80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
I was thinking of getting a 270 deg awning but am having a bit of concern with the information contained in this discussion of this brand.
I sent an email to ARB about how to mount it to a Front Runner RR and did they have any experience with that mounting and received an answer that they had no information to respond to me. Apparently, at this time, no one has either the Alu-cab or the ARB awning to be able to discuss the mounting. Should there be anyone with experience with the FR rack and either awning maker I would greatly appreciate your help in order to make an informed decision.
Looks like the webpage mentioned above has a link for the Front Runner rack: http://www.alu-cab.co.za/fitment-manuals
Hopefully, it will answer your questions.
 

krick3tt

Adventurer
80t0ytc,
Thanks for posting that site. It did answer my questions pertaining to the fitment of the Alu-cab awning to the FR rack. Looks simple enough with only two adapter pieces. They suggest mounting the pieces with thru bolts at the FR rack which would require drilling the rack but if I use the system of mounting currently used by how I am attaching things to the FR rack I could avoid drilling. I'll have to examine it further.
 

rino

Supporting Sponsor - OK4WD
80t0ytc,

The old awning reinforcement patches can be seam sealed easily if they do start to leak. I think this was mentioned above a guy used an REI brand kit as well with success. Drop me a PM and I will be happy to send you a kit if your awning develops this issue.

Not sure how long ago you purchased your awning, but yes in the beginning they did not have formal instructions for the bag fitment. They were a small South African safari outfitter back then and the expectation was people would have the awning fitted by a local outfitter, now we have full instructions for all products to help the DIY installer.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
80t0ytc,

The old awning reinforcement patches can be seam sealed easily if they do start to leak. I think this was mentioned above a guy used an REI brand kit as well with success. Drop me a PM and I will be happy to send you a kit if your awning develops this issue.

Not sure how long ago you purchased your awning, but yes in the beginning they did not have formal instructions for the bag fitment. They were a small South African safari outfitter back then and the expectation was people would have the awning fitted by a local outfitter, now we have full instructions for all products to help the DIY installer.
Thanks Rin. PM sent.
 
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