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Discussion Starter #1
I want to add an 8' long awning to my camping trailer with RTT setup and want to ask about preferred brands. I would like to install the awning to cover the "cooking" side of my trailer to replace the blue roof in the second photo. When last looking into this a couple of years ago, as I recall, it seemed that a few of the brands would suffice, as most of the awnings appeared to be very similar in design and manufacture quality. Realizing that this can be a highly subjective subject (as most purchase assist requests seem to be), has awning technology changed any lately to cause a separation of one or two brands from the others? Is it still as much as latest/sales pricing as much as anything? As I also recall, it seemed that I had figured I may as well go with an ARB, for lack of any reason not to, in hopes of as best quality as available in a standard awning setup. I tend to purchase for quality rather than lowest cost when considering these type things, but am not at all indifferent to saving money. I do not want to buy something the first sharpish windstorm out West will create problems for. Any advise and hands-on experience will be appreciated.
 

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I'll weigh in on this for ya... it might not be exactly what you are looking for but it's a start.

Basic Rectangular awnings
1) ARB
2) CVT
3) Rhino Rack
4) Eezi-Awn Swift

270 degree awnings
1) Alu-Cab Shadow (no poles required; practically bomb-proof in terms of quality and wind resistance)
2) Rhino Rack Foxwing (poles included but store separately; must use lines to stake down poles as awning has no wind resistance support)
3) Rhino Rack Batwing (appears to be brand spanking new design with poles folding up into awning; stake lines are still required I assume)
4) Eezi Awn Manta

Tarp
1) Slumberjack Roadhouse

FWIW, I've personally owned the Rhino Rack Foxwing awning (sold) and the Alu-Cab Shawdow (currently running). I like the 270 degree coverage and the fact that you can attach a full wall-kit to make a room out of it... same can be done with the basic rectangular ones too.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Darkhorse. I will stick with a basic rectangle but had forgotten about CVT. I do have a CVT RTT that is holding up well, so I will look into their awnings as well. I have no plans to add in either walls or a floor to the awning, just need shade from the sun and protection from rain while cooking and/or sitting around. Appreciate the feedback.
 

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Eezi is the company i'll be going with. i like the integrated vertical support polls and the free standing deployment (unless windy)
 

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I went with ARB. Sturdy. With an approaching storm you can collapse the legs to create a sort of shelter. Downsides are that the larger awnings are unweildly for one-person operation (but can be done easily in calm weather) and they have to be completely unfurled to use.
 

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Some shameless self-promotion, but we've done side-by-side comparisons between Smittybilt, ARB, and Tepui. I won't bother to copy and paste everything, but there's a solid amount of info on our site at ovrlxnd.com If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.



 

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Discussion Starter #10
I went with the ARB 2500, should be arriving soon. I liked that the top is not one of those "breathable" fabrics and is supposedly designed to shed water. Some of the others recommended by fellow FJers look to indeed be very well made and should provide shade and rain protection galore, but I did not have the disposable cash to seriously consider them. Thanks to everyone for the help.
 

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I have a fiamma F35pro on the FJ which is different then any of the mentioned awnings above. The fiamma has a hard aluminum case which would handle elements better/longer then canvas, especially if parked outside.



I also have the Foxwing on my trailer but think the alu-cab shawdow or the ezi-awn bat or manta are far superior then the competition. Only downfall is they are heavy so your anchor point must be solid.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I stand corrected. Nice one Ferby. I'm headed to Big Bend as soon as I get my awning installed to the trailer. Looking for the Big Brown Truck daily now.
 

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smittybilt is a pain to open up with one person. i sold mine
They're all the same design, and they're all easy. Maybe I'll shoot a video later. The secret is leaving the poles mostly extended.
 

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There is also the Kirkham Auto Canopy. It takes a few more seconds to set up because you have to clip it to your rack first, but it is nicely made (in the USA).

Kirkham's Auto Canopy @ Kirkhams
 

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I went with the ARB 2500, should be arriving soon. I liked that the top is not one of those "breathable" fabrics and is supposedly designed to shed water. Some of the others recommended by fellow FJers look to indeed be very well made and should provide shade and rain protection galore, but I did not have the disposable cash to seriously consider them. Thanks to everyone for the help.
Good choice, I love mine. Keep some good tent peg handy (I have snowpeaks) and some paracord so you can tie it down in wind. Also if you to have it get blown in the wind, the arms that get damaged are only 12 bucks each to replace. It is really nice that they designed it so the 'weak' point is also a cheap fix. Do yourself a favor and stake it down every time unless you know know know there won't be wind.
Also make sure you practice deploying it solo when there is no wind. It isn't too hard once you get the hang of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the info BC Dan. I have been using a blue tarp for the same purpose and always set out guy lines to hold it up (won't work without) so I will continue using the same method for the ARB. I saw a video on U Tube where the guy demonstrating an awning deployment shows he has marks on his horizontal poles to get the correct amount of pole extension to make the horizontal pole-stab to the vertical pole easier. That seemed to be a good idea. Dealing with the ARB (or similar brand) in the wind cannot be any more a PIA than dealing with the blue tarp has been and I can easily see blowing it off until the wind dies some. Mostly, I want to prevent getting rained on while cooking but typically don't cook when it is a driving rainstorm out anyway.
 

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I was up on a hill top in wide open country by an airmail beacon. Stupidly I didn't have it staked. A gust came up and flipped the awning up over the top of my FJ. As you might imagine I said all the special words while getting it flipped back. That ends up twisting the side poles, one was recoverable and the other wasn't really. 12 bucks later I was back in business. I made sure to buy two, ARB has those poles on back order in the spring when people tend to break them. Now I stake compulsively.
 
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