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Old 02-21-2020, 08:31 AM   #1
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Manual Awning VS Power Awning

Deciding on what awning to get on my new 19' seems theirs problems with both set up.

After reading threads on the power awning not being able to use in the rain I was thinking of getting the manual as its cheaper also. I was thinking it be trouble free. But doing more research seems the trailer is really Designed for the power awning. Looks like the manual was a after thought as it does not fit into the body like the Manuel does. I see they been some post on the manual opening in the wind. what our the advantage and disadvantages of both ?



What our your thought and experience with either awning .
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by NEWYORKHILLBILLY View Post
After reading threads on the power awning not being able to use in the rain I was thinking of getting the manual....
I always use my electric awning in the rain, either only open halfway, or with an added fabric support. It is true that it does not perform as easily in the rain, but it can be used and to me has other better benefits.

Both will do a great job!
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:08 AM   #3
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We had a manual awning on our Casita and a power awning on our 21
Both styles work well but the power awning did require some adjustment to get it to work properly
I have deployed both my manual and power awning in the rain without issue

Neither awning likes high winds and the power awning supposedly has a automatic high wind
retraction sensor . Based on my experience I can’t tell you if it works or not , all I can say is it didn’t automatically retract for us in pretty high winds

I could live with either style of awning so for me it would come down to the price difference between manual and powered and what other option would that price difference buy
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Old 02-21-2020, 09:53 AM   #4
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Since everything breaks eventually, consider which is more important long term - reliance on a battery powered remote control or manual reliance using your own hands.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:31 AM   #5
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The one thing I find most useable on the manual awning is the practice of adjusting the support arms at time of deployment. In rain situations a considerable tilt with runoff directed to the ground drainage direction most appropriate. Just have to make sure the door corner clears the underside of the awning cause you’ll be going in and out of the camper for liquid refreshment if you like to set outside during a soft rain watching birds feed and puddles form as you straighten up your tackle bag and wait for the hatch.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:49 AM   #6
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And nothing beats a good hatch.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #7
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I was into ETI a few weeks ago and took these pictures of how the manual awning is attached.

Personally I would not get the power awning again as it does not dip down to drain rain or allow for east cleaning before retracting. It also uses up battery every time you deploy it.

However it does look great, keeps the material out of the ultraviolet light when closed and there are no arms to interfere with opening of the awning windows...or to walk into.

I also use a telescopic painters center pole and ABS pipe as a ridge pole to shed any rain if we are outside and want the awning fully deployed.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:30 AM   #8
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On the log house here I have usually three robin nests if not four or five plus those in the apple trees. There are no cats so robins get pretty comfortable. Jake has no interest in nesting birds. So when the grandkids are here we go down to the garden and dig a few worms. I boost the youngn’s up to nest height and let them feed the young birds. Might not be correct but they all fledge, parents produce a second clutch and have returned year after year to the good nesting sites for the past 14 years. Baby birds provide me with a reminder of my dad who was fond of saying
“You remind me of a young robin, all mouth and no brains”.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:44 AM   #9
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Not only does the electric not work well in rain, it doesn’t work well in providing shade. With the winter angle of the sun, you can’t do the aggressive tilt and slope angles necessary to provide shade at different times of the day.
The electric also cannot be staked and secured so it can remain out while camping. We have stakes and ratchet straps that we can pop the legs off and set them at a 90 degree angle to the ground then stake and use ratchet straps to secure. An accessory screen room or shade cloth can then be added which are more things the electric can’t do.
The electric is good for out and back easily, and if the sun is directly overhead will provide shade. Open partially and it will somewhat work in rain.
Just saw a new 21 at Quartzsite with the manual awning and it was fine with the trailer and owners were quite happy they got it. Didn’t see any design issues, looks like it belongs on the trailer.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:51 PM   #10
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I did not have the choice when I bought my 2018 19, the electric awning was standard. I love the convenience, and it does withdraw itself in high winds. So far in a year of camping, I've had 0 trouble with it. For me it works fine in the rain partially retracted; we also did what a few folks have suggested and use a telescoping pole with perpendicular rod at the end to prop it up, so it sheds rain. This has worked very well. It also looks great because it's sleek and well integrated onto the trailer. Lots of folks with manual awnings who have seen it are very envious.

If I had it to do over again, however, I would probably go with the manual. 3 reasons... the first is cost. The second is I think the electronic mechanism is certain to go belly up one day, and I'll have to replace it. The system seems pretty fragile to me, maybe it isn't, but it seems that way. The third is it has a remote control. If I lose it or break it, it will be another item that needs to be tracked down and replaced. It's become one more thing I have to think about when taking down camp. Where is the remote?? Did I take it off its magnetic holder and put it in the drawer?? I've forgotten once already, and it did fall onto the floor in transit. While not broken, the buttons are slightly askew. I think it will bust completely if it falls again. So we've had to add moving the remote for safe keeping to our "pre flight" checklist.

Sorry for not having a definitive answer, i.e. I have the electronic awning and would never be without it. I can't really say that. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Best of luck making a decision!
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:05 PM   #11
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We have a 2017 19 with the electric awning. So far so good. We do use it in the rain but not during any overly windy situations. Often just put it half way out or giving it a nudge upwards if there is water pooling. I may try the painters pole idea to prevent a puddle forming up there. It's a long story but I did have the automatic dump feature do its job once and it worked well and I was able to just pop it back into place. I struggle with what I would do if i was buying today. There a plusses and minuses with both systems as is the case with most things.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:12 PM   #12
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I have had 2 power and and 2 manual awning Escapes, so I'm in a somewhat better position to compare the 2 by at least the power of 2....power awning all the way. You leave it out partially in the rain without issues, it should retract automatically if set up correct in the wind as it is never recommended to tie down an awning and leave it.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:17 PM   #13
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Another vote for electric.
The awning reaches out a long way out, so surprised to hear that it doesn’t perform well for shade. I like the option of going between part way to all the way.
On our previous awnings, it was all the way out or not out at all. Love the idea of being able to adjust. I’ve had manual on my last two trailers and on several occasions had to get up in the middle of the night to take it down. Compared to the manual, it’s a process.

After hearing all the things that can go wrong with the electric, I feel like I must have just gotten lucky as mine has functioned the way it ought to. Maybe I’ll be back on some day cursing it, but until then, I’m a cheerleader for electric.
Seems to be that what most have chosen, seems to be the best idea. Glad most are happy with what they have selected, but if I get another Escape, I’ll be springing for another electric.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:20 PM   #14
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We have the manual one as that was the only one available in early 2016. It has served us well and would get it again.

If I were to go with the manual awning on a new escape, one question I would have for ETI is regarding "Eggscape's" first picture: why not install the long horizontal awning attachment rail up higher on the shell notch out? The picture makes it look like there is a pretty substantial slope from the roller back to the shell. Seems like you'd want it to slope away from the shell so water runs off instead of collecting in this "valley". Alternatively, could the awning arms be shortened up to achieve the same result (maybe not without interfering with the door)?
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:22 PM   #15
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I'm in the 'just grateful to have an awning' group. I had an all-molded-towable without one. Put it on after the third year of ownership.

I actually use my manual awning for shade, rather than protection in the rain. For some reason, every time I'm camping in the rain the wind is blowing too and neither awning would be safe in that condition.

One benefit of a manual awning that I found when I was camping in the Badlands during my Big Trip, it was flippin' HOT. I don't have A/C. Ten Forward was parked west to east with the door on the south side which was the full on sun side. I was able to deploy the awning, but NOT raise it. I'm thin enough I could get in and out of the trailer without the door 'scratching' the awning. Keeping the awning in the down position, really shaded most of the trailer from the hot sun. That wouldn't have been possible with a power awning.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:27 PM   #16
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Oh and to add another advantage of the power, the kids haven’t clothes lined themselves due to the lack of arms.
Not sure if it’s still the case, but at least one window couldn’t open unless the awning was out. Someone else could probably speak better to that.
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Old 02-21-2020, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
...and there are no arms to interfere with opening of the awning windows...or to walk into.

I also use a telescopic painters center pole and ABS pipe as a ridge pole to shed any rain if we are outside and want the awning fully deployed.
So you do occasionally have one pole in the center that you could walk into. Personally I would find that more irritating than two sloping arms on the ends. Besides allowing great adjustability, depending on where you are camped these angled arms can double as a place to dry a towel, etc. They can also be released from their lower brackets and put straight to the ground and staked. For longer term installations a screen room can then be used.

As far as rain...see the photo of manual awning during a downpour. Unless the rain is driving hard we can keep the awning fully extended and keep items up near the trailer dry and even sit under the awning. The manual awning is very well made but I do agree that if high winds are expected it would not be advisable to keep deployed.

I have my preference, but just glad to see that most are generally happy with what they have.
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Old 02-21-2020, 02:02 PM   #18
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Four things to keep in mind with the power awning.

First: if you forget to turn off the power switch for the awning before you travel each time, it could deploy while driving down the road if your remote falls and the button hits something. Rare I admit...but it could happen. I put a light in the switch to catch my attention that it is powered on...well worth the fifty cents. You can see how I did that in this link.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post272224

Second: you should carry the correct Allen key with you so you can adjust the awning. Last year before camping season I opened up our awning only to find it did not go all the way back in. Reading the manual directed me...sort of...to two hidden, what eventually were determined to be Allen screws. There was no way to eyeball the ends of them to see what they were and there is no resistance when turning...so you are not sure if the tool you have is correct. You also need a ladder to get up there. No Allen key...no ladder and your day just got complicated. You can see details and pictures in this link.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post285805

Third: if you need warranty work or parts for your awning, you will need the part number. It is located on the inside of the awning. Not much help if it will not deploy. So...next time your awning is open...take a picture of the number and write it down in your manual.

Four: it has been know that the little brush attached to the awning box may not clean the twigs and stuff off the top well enough when closing. Someone had an acorn enter the housing and completely destroy the material. So if you are camped under trees you might want to use your ladder and inspect the top before each time you close it.
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Old 02-21-2020, 04:49 PM   #19
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We have had both types as well. Our current Escape 21 has the power awning as that’s all that was available in 2017. So far, it works great. I do wish we could tilt the awning at times for rain or sun angle but then I don’t miss setting up and taking down the manual awning we had on our 2012 Escape 19. Its all a trade off.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:44 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
Four things to keep in mind with the power awning.

First: if you forget to turn off the power switch for the awning before you travel each time, it could deploy while driving down the road if your remote falls and the button hits something. Rare I admit...but it could happen. I put a light in the switch to catch my attention that it is powered on...well worth the fifty cents. You can see how I did that in this link.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post272224

Second: you should carry the correct Allen key with you so you can adjust the awning. Last year before camping season I opened up our awning only to find it did not go all the way back in. Reading the manual directed me...sort of...to two hidden, what eventually were determined to be Allen screws. There was no way to eyeball the ends of them to see what they were and there is no resistance when turning...so you are not sure if the tool you have is correct. You also need a ladder to get up there. No Allen key...no ladder and your day just got complicated. You can see details and pictures in this link.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post285805

Third: if you need warranty work or parts for your awning, you will need the part number. It is located on the inside of the awning. Not much help if it will not deploy. So...next time your awning is open...take a picture of the number and write it down in your manual.

Four: it has been know that the little brush attached to the awning box may not clean the twigs and stuff off the top well enough when closing. Someone had an acorn enter the housing and completely destroy the material. So if you are camped under trees you might want to use your ladder and inspect the top before each time you close it.
Appreciate your tip on the Allen key for awning adjustment and the location of serial number inside the awning. Will double check to make sure we have the correct size in our tool kit and will locate the # on our next voyage out. Already in the habit of checking the top before closing...thanks to you good folks here. Itchin' to get out soon!

Thanks, -The Bea Team
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