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awnings for winds?

concretejungle

Adventurer
Wanted to have a discussion on awnings and windy environments.

for the record, i've had an ARB 2500 awning on my 80 series land cruiser for a few years now. I've really enjoyed it and ended up getting the room for it. It's a great product in general, both are actually. In the woods with trees acting as a wind break, these products do work well and i've enjoyed them. Also, in general conditions that we normally experience on camping trips, they work well and provide shade and rain coverage.

Occasionally i get the opportunity to camp in areas that have high winds, such as desert settings, mountain tops or beach camping.

In a few circumstances, the wind or rain (rain was my fault, didn't have the awning pitched for rain shed) the awning failed. The aluminum extensions and legs are a double edged sword so to speak. They are light-weight for the right reasons but this also means they are not strong. I've had 4 poles collapse on me. So far, i called ARB and they sent me new ones at no charge. That was excellent customer service and that's a great reason to purchase their products. However, i've had the two on the awning now, bend, again.

Last weekend i was camped on the outer banks of NC and the winds picked up and we had some heavy rains at night. The awning was staked out completely and i had the pitch in the awning so it would shed water. The awning leaked and the room leaked. in the end, i had standing water in the awning room and bent poles.

So, this brings me to discussion on what would you deem appropriate for wind ratings on an awning and/or awning room? Are there any awnings on the market that are really designed to handle heavy winds? Looking at some of the fox wings and the shadow awnings, i don't see them as being any stronger? Am i wrong about that? Is it just the nature of the beast that the awnings are not designed for wind loads? I'm not an engineer but wondered if the two extension arms were designed as aluminum box that extended out, would that give the awning the strength it needs to handle water on the awning and wind blowing against the room?

Would love to hear your thoughts. :coffeedrink:
 

WeLikeCamping

Explorer
The MIL's RoadTrek has an awning with aluminium square tubing for supports. Flimsy is how I would describe it. Being a newbie, I didn't secure the awning properly, the wind blew it over the van and pretty much destroyed the aluminum frame work. I've since learned how to do it right. Now, with my big trailer awning, it has no ground supports, it just extends out from the sides of the camper on scissor arms. So, what I did is purchase two steel extendable poles, and I already have ratcheted tie downs. I anchor each outer corner with a tie down, then I extend the poles up through the corners where the tie-down is connected. This has proven to be a solid system, fairly easy to rig and tear down and has maintained through some pretty strong gusts. You can kinda see it in this image:
awning.jpg
 

concretejungle

Adventurer
ON the ARB awning/room, i've found that without the room attached you can lower the awning slightly and stake it out well and it does pretty good in heavy winds. If you install the room, that's really where the problem starts. The room acts like a parachute and really takes the wind loads and applies it throughout the entire system. You can see the poles bending as the wind blows on the awning room.
 

Nd4SpdSe

Adventurer, eh?
I find the opposite, with the sides on, it adds weight, but mainly, it stops the wind from getting under the awning to bring it up. My main issue is with the twist-lock poles not being able to handle a good amount of force when I torque down on the ropes, which I'll fix with some holes drilled through and some pins. We went though the remnants of a tornado with winds registered above 50km/h before the local weather station went NA, and the only problem was the poles.
 

spressomon

Expedition Leader
When I pulled trigger on my current Fiamma Ti45 awning there were very few choices in the marketplace; almost a decade ago. It will handle moderate winds (15-20mph) with just stakes holding the feet down. For windier conditions I guy out from the top of the pole. I did buy the wall & door kit for it but its just too bulky to haul around without a big trailer in tow.

I'd buy it again if for some reason it disappeared. Or was sold with my 100 it is attached to :D.
 

concretejungle

Adventurer
You can see from this picture that the walls of the room are under stress from the breeze. This wasn't even windy.

EDIT: well, the pictures won't load... :mixed-smiley-030:
 
I have the same ARB 2500. We've had it in steady winds of 15 knots and gust of at least 25 knots with out issue.

We also had a pole snap in the first heavy rain we experienced traveling in Mexico. We had both legs lowered all the way and the water pooled on top till it broke. What we've done since is keep one leg at normal height and lower one all the way down(tighten the guy lines) It drains great and we just finished rainy season in Central America without any issues. And we also had great customer service from ARB. They sent us a new pole to Guatemala free of charge.

My main issue is with the twist-lock poles not being able to handle a good amount of force when I torque down on the ropes
We started having this issue too as the cam locks wore down. I used a flat chisel n hammer and roughed them up a bit. It helped a lot.
 

80t0ylc

Hill & Gully Rider
Wanted to have a discussion on awnings and windy environments.

for the record, i've had an ARB 2500 awning on my 80 series land cruiser for a few years now. I've really enjoyed it and ended up getting the room for it. It's a great product in general, both are actually. In the woods with trees acting as a wind break, these products do work well and i've enjoyed them. Also, in general conditions that we normally experience on camping trips, they work well and provide shade and rain coverage.

Occasionally i get the opportunity to camp in areas that have high winds, such as desert settings, mountain tops or beach camping.

In a few circumstances, the wind or rain (rain was my fault, didn't have the awning pitched for rain shed) the awning failed. The aluminum extensions and legs are a double edged sword so to speak. They are light-weight for the right reasons but this also means they are not strong. I've had 4 poles collapse on me. So far, i called ARB and they sent me new ones at no charge. That was excellent customer service and that's a great reason to purchase their products. However, i've had the two on the awning now, bend, again.

Last weekend i was camped on the outer banks of NC and the winds picked up and we had some heavy rains at night. The awning was staked out completely and i had the pitch in the awning so it would shed water. The awning leaked and the room leaked. in the end, i had standing water in the awning room and bent poles.

So, this brings me to discussion on what would you deem appropriate for wind ratings on an awning and/or awning room? Are there any awnings on the market that are really designed to handle heavy winds? Looking at some of the fox wings and the shadow awnings, i don't see them as being any stronger? Am i wrong about that? Is it just the nature of the beast that the awnings are not designed for wind loads? I'm not an engineer but wondered if the two extension arms were designed as aluminum box that extended out, would that give the awning the strength it needs to handle water on the awning and wind blowing against the room?

Would love to hear your thoughts. :coffeedrink:
An awning - or portable awnings, like we use in overlanding & camping has to be light for ease of setup, use & transport. The aluminum poles are flimsy, when you figure that their purpose can include supporting a room exposed to the forces of wind. Breezes are one thing, but that's not the problem. Obviously, most awnings & rooms are not designed for wind, when you consider the poles provided by the manufacturer.

........... So, what I did is purchase two steel extendable poles, and I already have ratcheted tie downs. I anchor each outer corner with a tie down, then I extend the poles up through the corners where the tie-down is connected. This has proven to be a solid system, fairly easy to rig and tear down and has maintained through some pretty strong gusts........
Sounds like a pretty good suggestion, but of course, still has limitations with the awning frame still being light (flimsy) aluminum.

ON the ARB awning/room, i've found that without the room attached you can lower the awning slightly and stake it out well and it does pretty good in heavy winds. If you install the room, that's really where the problem starts. The room acts like a parachute and really takes the wind loads and applies it throughout the entire system. You can see the poles bending as the wind blows on the awning room.
I think you've got the picture. ARB, or most manufacturers for that matter, are not going to come out and admit that their design doesn't hold up well in substantial winds. They want to sell their product that is perfectly fine - if breezes were the only wind they were exposed to. I recently got an Alu-Cab Shadow Awn. I researched awnings, as most folks do, ahead of time. I had read that the Shadow held up better in winds than like, the Foxwing. Also watched numerous youtubes and visited several blogs including EP and came to the conclusion that the Shadow was what I wanted. But, after installing on my rig, I saw a post here on EP that an owner had some wind damage on his Shadow. You can read on this thread about it: http://forum.expeditionportal.com/threads/153957-Alu-Cab-Has-Landed-In-The-USA!/page53
I couldn't find for sure, but pretty sure he wasn't tied down, reading the post describing the event & damage. This awning is very stout and when "tied down" (as Alu-Cab calls it and insists that is necessary when the "wind starts pumping - like down on the cape") holds up well in wind. I also purchased the wall kit, but have not set up yet while camped. Also can not find any reviews of the wall kit in winds, either.
 
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