Awning supports block window in Camplite 14DBS

Started by RV Squirrel, September 17, 2022, 10:02:52 PM

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RV Squirrel

The supports for the awning in our Camplite 14DBS travel trailer block the window on the front right side.  Unless we have the awning extended, we can't open the window!  IMG_7444.jpg

I was recently on a short trip when the wind picked up just before nightfall... I closed the awning, which meant that I had to close the window as well. This really cut down on the cross-breeze, because the tiny kitchen window is the only thing left on that side, and it doesn't open all of the way.

I'm wondering if I can "shorten" the fabric roller tube, and move the offending awning support so that it sits just behind the window, and just in front of the wheel well.  At first I was concerned that I'd have to mount the support where a vertical aluminum beam goes up the side of the trailer, but after looking at it, I noticed that the support is mounted with big (#14?) hex-head sheet metal screws at the top and bottom of the trailer.  So instead of drilling new mounting holes into vertical posts, I'd be drilling them into the horizontal beams that run along the top and bottom of the trailer.

Ideally, I'd like to move the front support 18 to 22.5 inches to the back.  The current fabric is 9' wide.  I think that I can buy new fabric that is 7.2' wide.  I think that the roller spring assemblies are only 42" long, so I'd have enough space for both roller spring assemblies even if I removed 22" from the roller tube.  I know that I'd have to move the light fixture.  Here is what I was thinking:
- remove fabric roller tube from trailer (carefully so as to not get injured from uncoiling spring mechanism)
- remove roller spring assembly from one side
- remove around 22" of the roller tube
- move awning support 22" to the back of the trailer (which would put it around one-half inch from the front of the wheel well)
- install narrower awning fabric on roller tube, and reinstall roller spring assembly
- replace fabric roller tube on trailer

Has anyone ever done this and lived to talk about it?  Or are there newer/better options available nowadays?  I just looked for Dometic awning parts, and it seemed like there weren't many available online.


Merlin

On my awning, which looks the same as yours, I can unclip the bottom on the vertical support while in the stowed position and swing it out of the way of the window. I have a small board used as a brace to hold the support out. The bottom clips on the support are also used to swing the support vertical and make the awning into a porch when deployed, so they are made to do that.

I've looked at YouTube's on awning fabric replacement and it looks daunting. I was considering that because of the discoloring on my awning. It doesn't seem like that's a fun thing to do. (And risky). I really don't see any way to shorten the tube. Much safer to just spring for a new shorter awning.
Michigan

RV Squirrel

Hmm... I never thought of unclipping the support from the bottom.  I just tried to do this myself.  I wasn't able to swing the support to the left or right, but I was able to swing it out a bit... enough to open the window a few inches.  How long is the board that you use as a brace?

My fabric is getting discolored as well.  I'm not able to extend the awning when it is parked in the driveway since it is sandwiched between the house and the fence.  Water collects there and never gets a chance to dry out. 

There is an RV show in our area, I'll probably go there tomorrow to get an idea of what the new awnings look like.  I know that there are new motor-driven awnings that attach to the upper side of the RV.  They look nice, but I wonder how secure they are.

Merlin

Yup, it doesn't open the window more than a few inches, but it does add nice ventilation right by the bed. The board is pretty short.

Stained awnings are universal! Post back what you find at the show. I'd be interested and others might too.
Michigan

RV Squirrel

#4
I went to the RV show.  I noticed that the new RVs do not have the type of awning that I have on the Camplite 14DBS.

Most of the awnings were like those made by Solera.  The braces for these are mounted to the wall of the RV.  If I were to install one on the 14DBS, I'd have to mount it someplace where there was a vertical aluminum tube behind the siding of the RV.  I plan to check, but my guess is that I won't be lucky enough to find something like that in the narrow area where I would like to move the awning support.  The cost is a bit prohibitive too... I did a quick search, and a basic manual (non-powered) unit costs more than $1300.  This is for a 10' wide awning.  Ideally, I would want something that is 8', but they do not seem to be available in this size.

I also noticed some smaller awnings such as those that you might see on a class B camper.  I've had a hard time finding a vendor for these online, but I think that they may be made by an Italian company called Fiamma.  However, since I cannot find install kits, they don't really seem to be an option.  They also seem to be bit flimsy, but if folks think otherwise I'd love to hear it.

At this point I am inclined to stick with Merlin's suggestion for propping the awning support out with a wooden board so that I can open the window a few inches.  However, I may ultimately consider purchasing an 8' awning fabric, removing 18" from my fabric roller tube, and moving the front support back 18".  It seems that if I were to replace the fabric, I'd need to disassemble the roller tube anyway.  I have attached links for two youtube videos that talk about this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnxDLPDoVCc and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsMlDTfO2_Q

finnski11

Quote from: RV Squirrel on September 17, 2022, 10:02:52 PMThe supports for the awning in our Camplite 14DBS travel trailer block the window on the front right side.  Unless we have the awning extended, we can't open the window!  IMG_7444.jpg

I was recently on a short trip when the wind picked up just before nightfall... I closed the awning, which meant that I had to close the window as well. This really cut down on the cross-breeze, because the tiny kitchen window is the only thing left on that side, and it doesn't open all of the way.

I'm wondering if I can "shorten" the fabric roller tube, and move the offending awning support so that it sits just behind the window, and just in front of the wheel well.  At first I was concerned that I'd have to mount the support where a vertical aluminum beam goes up the side of the trailer, but after looking at it, I noticed that the support is mounted with big (#14?) hex-head sheet metal screws at the top and bottom of the trailer.  So instead of drilling new mounting holes into vertical posts, I'd be drilling them into the horizontal beams that run along the top and bottom of the trailer.

Ideally, I'd like to move the front support 18 to 22.5 inches to the back.  The current fabric is 9' wide.  I think that I can buy new fabric that is 7.2' wide.  I think that the roller spring assemblies are only 42" long, so I'd have enough space for both roller spring assemblies even if I removed 22" from the roller tube.  I know that I'd have to move the light fixture.  Here is what I was thinking:
- remove fabric roller tube from trailer (carefully so as to not get injured from uncoiling spring mechanism)
- remove roller spring assembly from one side
- remove around 22" of the roller tube
- move awning support 22" to the back of the trailer (which would put it around one-half inch from the front of the wheel well)
- install narrower awning fabric on roller tube, and reinstall roller spring assembly
- replace fabric roller tube on trailer

Has anyone ever done this and lived to talk about it?  Or are there newer/better options available nowadays?  I just looked for Dometic awning parts, and it seemed like there weren't many available online.


Yes. I did exactly as you laid out. It worked out great. I carefully cut 24 inches off of mine. I then matched the exact hole pattern in the end (drilling ,filing as necessary) and purchased a 2 foot shorter awning and reinstalled. Awning arm now cleared window and stayed just in front of wheel well. I also may have moved the rear awning mount forward a few inches but I can't remember.awning moved and reinstalled.jpgawning moved and open.jpg 
I did enclose the dimensions and pictures of the cut tube.
Unfortunately I sold the trailer (14DB) and can't get more pictures.camplite 14 db awning removed.jpg
awning tube drilled.jpg
aning tube cut.jpgawning end cap reinstalled.jpg   
The spring assembly was not scary at all

Merlin

Michigan

RV Squirrel

That looks great!  You may have just given me the inspiration to give this a try.  Thanks for sharing!

Chappy133

Quote from: RV Squirrel on September 18, 2022, 01:57:16 PMHmm... I never thought of unclipping the support from the bottom.  I just tried to do this myself.  I wasn't able to swing the support to the left or right, but I was able to swing it out a bit... enough to open the window a few inches.  How long is the board that you use as a brace?

My fabric is getting discolored as well.  I'm not able to extend the awning when it is parked in the driveway since it is sandwiched between the house and the fence.  Water collects there and never gets a chance to dry out. 

There is an RV show in our area, I'll probably go there tomorrow to get an idea of what the new awnings look like.  I know that there are new motor-driven awnings that attach to the upper side of the RV.  They look nice, but I wonder how secure they are.

I use the release the bottom clip all the time for ventilation.  I have a small portable step ladder which works perfectly for holding the awning arm out to allow me to open the window 80% of the way.  In windy conditions I bungie the arm to the step ladder to secure it. 

To return the awning arm you need to flip the awning lever to the open position and then remember to flip it to the rollup/close position.  You do not want to leave it in the open position while in transit.

2016 LL 16 TBS
2013 F-150 Ecoboost Supercrew
Easton, PA