View Full Version : Question about awning for horse trailer

Aug. 11, 2011, 09:09 PM
I saw an awning for sale on craigslist. It's 18 feet, a couple of years old, from Camping World. He said he paid about $800 or a little more for it. He said all parts are there except a flat metal strip that goes where it attaches to the rv (in my case horse trailer). It has two arms, retracts with a spring.The box on my steel 3 horse slant is 18 feet.He also said he'd put it on for $50 plus the cost of parts which should be screws? and the strip.What do you think about this? I'd like to have an awning at some point, but really don't know anything about them. Thanks for any opinions.

Aug. 11, 2011, 09:28 PM
On some thread in here, someone said the awning was ripped off when it started to fall while on the road (if I remember correctly) and advised against it. Maybe you can try a search of the posts.

Aug. 11, 2011, 09:40 PM
We have one on my 3H GN (you saw the trailer this spring, Coyoteco :) )

I LOVE that awning- I put it out at day shows for the shade, though I don't put a horse under it unless I'm sitting right there with him. Both arms on mine will detach from the trailer at the bottom, so they can be set perpendicular to the ground, you leave one anchored and set one down and anchor it with a tent peg- in my case, the one by the LQ door, so it's not in the way.

I love mine, it has two little brackets that firmly snap it closed when in use and the retraction mechanism on the 'top bar' snaps firmly shut.

RVs are going up and down the roads all day long with 'em on, they aren't failing at some cataclysmic rate ;)

I do try to put it up dry- if I have to put it up wet, when things clear up I'll set it up so it can dry well and cut down on mildew. Mine's 7 years old and going strong.

Here's mine in the background, and Felix's up closer. They are easy to set up in no time, once you get the order of things down pat.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b8dd00b3127ccec3ff9da0918d00000010O08AZN2TRm4Ytw e3nwA/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

better pic, you can see how that leg detaches so it's out of the way. I really appreciate that feature, otherwise it would be in the way all the time.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b5cc20b3127ccecc97275e96db00000010O08AZN2TRm4Ytw e3nwA/cC/f%3D0/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/

Aug. 11, 2011, 09:56 PM
Chall, thanks for the warning. I know they have to be really secured, the addition of clips or dog collars or something, but it's always good the be warned of such possibilities.

Katarine, what a cool pictures! And, yeah, I saw that trailer, along with the most beautiful TWH! The picture reminds me a lot of Spring, complete with Felix there on the table! Why is the one leg in the way if it's not put on the ground? Is is in the way of the door? or, is there some other reason?

Aug. 11, 2011, 10:01 PM
The LQ door won't open all the way, and I like to secure it all the way open so the wind doesn't jerk it around if we're in and out...and if you walk from the LQ to the truck...you have to either duck, or go around, ...so we always set it out and secure it. I use the other one to air out saddle pads on LOL

Chippy says he's fat and happy and likes it when it's too hot for me to bother him :)

Aug. 11, 2011, 10:08 PM
I LOVE my awning. I always secure the arms with bungies too though for travel. I actually had air get into mine and pull it out partially while escaping a hurricane once. The arms didn't come down.

I saw the awning begin to billow and quickly pulled over. I was able to reroll it with some effort. The spring had sprung.

I later got a horseman (of course) to open the ends and redo the spring.

No biggie.

Forgot to say...if he's willing to install it and shows you that its in working order then you've got a deal.

Make SURE that a screw doesn't get put through your wiring though during installation. Had that happen with my first one (used also). When it blew a fuse the guy compensated by installing a larger fuse in my truck (without my knowledge) ....went on the 250 mile trip and found the wiring harness on the truck completely burned.....major problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug. 11, 2011, 10:27 PM
We've had an awning on the side of the trailer for almost 10 years. We've never had a "road" incident. If the awning is properly retracted and stowed it can't come loose while driving. Absent, of course, some sort of catastrophic structural failure.

An 18 foot awning on an 18 foot box? This I don't know about. Get the brand name of the awning and call the manufacturer. Ask them if this will work.

The price for installation is not bad if the installer knows that they are doing. Otherwise it might be a "you get what you pay for" installation.

When you talk to the manufacturer you can also probably get an installation and operation guide. Very Good Things to have. :)


Aug. 12, 2011, 02:29 AM
I know the 18 foot awning and 18 foot box can be a close fit, but if the trailer is long enough for the rails to fit on securely, is there another problem that would come up because of the near-equal length? I read the installation manual on one, and it didn't mention having additional room on the end and the doors shouldn't be impacted. I'll try to call Campingworld and see what they say - they were the original seller.
Don't know about the knowledge base of this seller ...

Thanks for the idea of making sure that he watches out for the wiring.

It certainly sounds like something nice to have, and, Kat, I like the idea of not having to walk around the awning arm - wouldn't have thought of that. I don't know what kind of connection stuff this guy has. Good to look into though.

Aug. 12, 2011, 10:12 AM
Campingworld is a seller, not a manufacturer. I'd call the folks who made it and talk to them about any technical issues (including size). They are "the horse's mouth"!!! :)

I'm not sure what brand of awning this is, but there are kits you can get to make the operation electric (very nice with this sized awning, which can be challenge for one person to operate). There is also a kit to change the mechanism from a "spring" system to a hand-crank system. It's much cheaper than the electric option and I'm seriously considering it for our 18 footer (which is a Carefree brand).

Awnings are nice but do bring their own issues. An 18' fully extended represents about 170 sq. ft. of cloth. That is one heck of a "sail" in a high wind. The arms that control the "sail" are made of extremely light weight aluminum. It takes very little force to damage them and this "sail" can easily exert that force. This means you've got to securely anchor the awning when extended. There are lots of ways to do this (hammered-in pegs, "screw in" pegs, weights, etc.). But it does need to be done. Again, the maker should be able to give you some guidance on this.

Good luck with your projects. Awnings are nice is also somewhat challenging. :)


Aug. 12, 2011, 10:32 AM
And make sure your doors on the side of the trailer won't hit the awning. My LQ door is shorter, with a rounded edge, and doesn't touch the awning. The escape door, however, cannot be opened while the awning is out- ok it CAN, but verrrrrry carefully- that sharp corner + hot fabric/rubbery coating= RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPP

Mine is a Carefree as well.

Aug. 12, 2011, 10:55 AM
Thanks for all the helpful information. Campingworld sells Carefree and one other brand, so I'll have to find out which of the two it is, and have to find out about that awning rail. I did print off an installation guide for one of the Carefrees - so I know what size screws should be used and all that. I'll watch the door - I know there is height above the door, but don't know how much of a slope the awning will have, so I'll watch that. My dressing room door is on the curb side so is on the opposite side from the escape door.

I live in a windy place, so know that I'd have to be very careful here. I've lost a lot of things to wind damage. I'm going to follow up on all this today and hope it works out. There are some places where it just may not work, but hopefully, I'll be able to make the right decisions on it.


Aug. 12, 2011, 11:14 AM
I don't have an awning on my horse trailer, but we do have one on our camping trailer. While I'm not worried about it detaching on the road, DH is so he secures it with zipties when we aren't using it.

Yeah, kinda silly, but hey it's cheap and it makes him feel better about "battening down the hatches". I suspect this is a hold over from his shipboard Navy days; if you aren't using it, it's secured!!

Aug. 13, 2011, 09:30 AM
Well, I got it. It's an A & E, and it fit with a little extension. It doesn't interfere with any doors or windows. The hardware is very sturdy and nice - seems a little complicated to open, primairly because I don't know how yet.
The did an awful job putting up the awning rail - don't even want to think of much damage was done to the trailer. I should have done it myself....at least I didn't pay much for the installation. The last time I had so many crooked holes in metal, I had paid a seriously high price. If high price ensured quality work, life would be simple.

Aug. 13, 2011, 09:49 AM
Awnings are a PITA. For every person who loves them there are 3 that have had very expensive mishaps. If you want to put your awning up every time you ride for fear of a big wind (I have seen it many times in camps) then go for it!

One storm that blew in while people were out riding took out 8 awnings!

Go buy one of those nifty little shade awnings from a camping store that pop up and down in seconds. Much better and much cheaper too!

Aug. 14, 2011, 08:26 PM
Well, I'm more familiar with it now. The spring was sprung, so my dh and ds adjusted that. I've opened and closed it a few times and even though it is 18 feet wide, I can easily do it alone with no help. It works well and is quite stable. I'll be careful to secure the arms with velcro ties. This seems to be a great preventative for many of those accidents. I'll look a little more into the wind thing. This seems to be a seriously sturdy awning with simple operations so that puts me in a pretty good position to take a few extra precautions and be in good shape for wind. I think tying down the awning from the corners if I set it up using the poles on the ground helps prevent wind damage.
I live in a windy area and have had free standing awnings/screen houses (and trampolines) destroyed by wind that is not even one of our heavy ones.
Thanks for all the advice in this thread - it's been quite helpful.

Aug. 14, 2011, 10:59 PM
I've got some plastic, about 6" wide, clamps that hold the awning fabric to the horizontal supports midway between the trailer and the leg. Hope that makes sense. They help against the flapping that may tear an awning in bigger wind. If it was really going to be a gale, I'd roll it up. I have an A&E, my second one, and would never be without an awning.

Aug. 15, 2011, 12:02 AM
Thanks potteryshop. Your description is clear and sounds like a great idea. I think this is going to be something that we really like. In my area, there is a shortage of trees:). I was at a horse event recently and there was simply no shade in 95 degree sun......

Aug. 15, 2011, 12:39 AM
Put comprehensive insurance coverage on your trailer (if you don't already have it). Replacement arms in the event of wind damage can very quickly run $750 plus installation. Just a word to the wise from a graduate of the Wind Damaged Awning Program at the School of Hard Knocks. ;)