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Old 04-25-2017, 01:37 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Georgia
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THOR #6090
High Wind Issues w/Slide & Awning

I keep hearing about issues with slide outs and awnings during high wind. We are traveling out west this summer and I've heard winds can get pretty bad. I would like some suggestions on what to do during high winds while at a campsite and while driving down the road to prevent damage to the slider awning or the regular awning. I had read someone used beach balls and 550 cord on their slider, but they had suggested to pull in the slider every time you leave our RV.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:48 AM   #2
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THOR #4488
The slide awnings are designed to billow and retract when the wind catches them without doing them any harm. It can be annoying when trying to sleep, however. I have simply pulled in the bedroom slide at night. I have never had a slide awning actually damaged by the wind.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:19 AM   #3
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THOR #3789
I agree with Miramar Owner. We have been in 45 MPH gust winds with no problems but the annoying sound of the slide awnings going in and out all night. We have also brought in our bedroom slide just to get some sleep. We NEVER I say again NEVER leave the main awning out when we are not there or when the winds start to move the break away and never tie it down. If you have to tie it down the winds are to high.
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:57 PM   #4
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THOR #6138
We have a 34.2 Miramar with full slide and have tried running a rope across the awning and tying it down. It was a pain in the ". ". And didn't work in high wind. Finally just pulled in the slide when we went to bed. Nice and quiet then.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:01 PM   #5
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Have had no issues with slide toppers in wind/storms... Only time we pulled in slides for weather was for Hurricane Matthew (tropical storm at our then location)... Of course we also relocated away from trees for that one.

For the awning - we do use tie downs (strap, spiral dog stake, spring) - at least for long term stays... Only roll in awning when predicted gusts exceed 20-25mph... Have had no issues doing so.
On 6 month stay - rolling in the awning all the time gets old quickly. The straps give a buffer of safety.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:11 PM   #6
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THOR #3922
awning damage

They may be designed to billow and retract, but it doesn't always work. Three weeks ago I was camped at Orange Lake FL. We had a moderate breeze - less than 10 mph. All of a sudden we were hit with a burst of wind that lasted maybe 2-3 seconds. It completely destroyed the awning's rear arm, even pulling the rivets out of their seats. Funny thing was we had towels lying loose on a chair under the awning, and the wind burst never moved them. It also didn't touch the open vent cover over the rear.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:39 PM   #7
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THOR #4488
I don't think anyone was referring to the main awning when they said "billow and retract". That is in reference to the slide awnings only. My main awning will handle brief gusts by it's design (lateral arm) but for extended high winds I always bring it in.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmc View Post
Have had no issues with slide toppers in wind/storms... Only time we pulled in slides for weather was for Hurricane Matthew (tropical storm at our then location)... Of course we also relocated away from trees for that one.

For the awning - we do use tie downs (strap, spiral dog stake, spring) - at least for long term stays... Only roll in awning when predicted gusts exceed 20-25mph... Have had no issues doing so.
On 6 month stay - rolling in the awning all the time gets old quickly. The straps give a buffer of safety.

You must have not spent much time in the Texas panhandle in the spring, 20-25 mph winds are just a light breeze. The awning toppers are designed for "some" wind, but not sustained of 40-45 mph they will suffer, ask me how I know. I've had my main awning billow up til the arms are as if it's extracted & so far no damage, but I agree NEVER go off & leave it out.
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:19 PM   #9
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THOR #5560
Most automatic/lateral awnings have a wind sensor that will retract them when the wind gets to a certain speed (found that one out on accident). Never had a problem with the slide awnings billowing or making noise yet. I just bring in the awning when not around and at night, for me it is just a push of the button.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:43 PM   #10
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THOR #1469
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Originally Posted by MiramarVA View Post
Most automatic/lateral awnings have a wind sensor that will retract them when the wind gets to a certain speed (found that one out on accident). Never had a problem with the slide awnings billowing or making noise yet. I just bring in the awning when not around and at night, for me it is just a push of the button.
It has only been in the past year or two where the wind sensors became standard on some Thor models. Based on reviews I have read they retract the awning at a slow rate of speed and damage is still possible during sudden high wind gusts like we experienced last month.

During my last trip out the slide toppers would billow about a foot during high gusts of over 30 MPH. We basically camped for a week with all slides in since some gusts were exceeding 40 MPH.

Going back to the same place for our next trip in about 2 weeks. Hopefully the winds won't be as bad this time around.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:08 PM   #11
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We have been in some pretty high winds, along the Oregon coast, and though the slide toppers were annoyingly noisy, especially at night, we suffered no damage. The awning is a different story, never, never leave it out when you are not there to monitor winds. Sensors, if installed, can and do fail, and I have seen a number of awnings that have been ripped out and flipped over the top of the motor home. They are not inexpensive to replace.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:48 PM   #12
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THOR #6138
Has anyone had the awning torn off or damaged. It seems to stretch pretty good after a windy day but after a few rolls back and forth seems to be fine. After my experience last winter with it rattling so much an having to pull it in several times I figure a few more times like that this summer and I will take it off. Never had one on any other unit and had no problems. Certainly never pulled in the slide because of the wind before.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by fchabotski View Post
Has anyone had the awning torn off or damaged. It seems to stretch pretty good after a windy day but after a few rolls back and forth seems to be fine. After my experience last winter with it rattling so much an having to pull it in several times I figure a few more times like that this summer and I will take it off. Never had one on any other unit and had no problems. Certainly never pulled in the slide because of the wind before.
A couple years ago we were at Fort Wilderness and a sudden thunderstorm came up. We were at Epcot for the day and I had my awning in. The folks in the travel trailer next to us did not put their awning in and when they came back from Magic Kingdom found not only their awning torn off but also half of the side of their trailer from where the awning arms were ripped out of the side wall. Definitely ruined their vacation.

On my prior class c the awning deployed on me while driving 55 MPH on I95. Luckily I was at my exit. Dometic replaced the awning and repaired the mounting points under a recall they had issued at the time. At the time Forest River did not keep adequate records, by serial number, of items installed on RVs so they did not notify folks about the Dometic awning recall. It did take 2 months to get the new awning installed even though Dometic sent the parts to my dealer 2 days after the incident.
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:40 PM   #14
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THOR #5821
The awnings are kind of a PITA, but everyone, including myself, wants them on their motor homes. When the weather is right, and the sun is in the right position, they really add to being outside, but they will not withstand a lot of wind. The slide toppers, because they are connected along the full length of the front and back, can withstand some pretty strong winds. We have been in gusting winds in the 45 to 50MPH range, and though they flap and are noisy, have never had one damaged. Looking at the stuff that often gathers on top of those toppers, I would not want a slide that did not a topper. Without the topper, you just bring all that junk inside when you retract the slide.
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