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 Post subject: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: September 12th, 2016, 7:46 am 
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Joined: August 24th, 2016, 12:31 pm
Posts: 21
Location: 1997 Premier
Our new to us Chinook had the awning removed and stored prior to our purchase but was included in the sale. The previous owner lost the top mounting brackets and was not able to find them. I have the "C" channel railing used on regular motorhomes and it will work but will require drilling and mounting with several screws. I have never mounted anything in fiberglass before and was wondering what precautions I should take and does it require special type of screw? Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: September 12th, 2016, 10:21 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1956
Location: 1999 Concourse
The ones on my Chinook are basically just screwed in with "pointy screws" right into the fiberglass. Now how I would do it, but then none have fallen off that I know of. I can't remember right now if there was any reinforcement in the wall at those three points - I'll take a look later on when I'm back at the rig.

If I were doing it from scratch I'd place backing blocks on the inside, plus use machine screws/washers/nuts, but I doubt most have that.

Anyway, I'll double check later and post back.

PS: Maybe you can already tell, but on my Chinook there are three of the aluminum "angle" type brackets (supplied by Fiamma) holding the awning on.

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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: September 12th, 2016, 11:50 am 
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Joined: August 24th, 2016, 12:31 pm
Posts: 21
Location: 1997 Premier
Yes the awning was attached by what appears to have been 3 brackets. I tried to find replacements online but haven't had any luck. Like I said I do have the "c" channel rail so I will use it. ( I've been known to be frugal) lol


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: September 12th, 2016, 5:52 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1956
Location: 1999 Concourse
I would think you could get them from Fiamma. I think I have a parts catalog if it comes to that. I believe they still use similar brackets because I just helped a friend to install a replacement awning (non-Chinook, but Fiamma) and the brackets that came with the new one were basically the same.

Something else would likely work, but I'd be tempted to get the "real" ones because they are nicely anodized and for sure don't interfere with the awning case, etc. (Presuming they aren't $4,000 or something.)

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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: May 6th, 2017, 11:47 am 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2017, 10:20 am
Posts: 14
I just bought a new-to-me 1998 Chinook Concourse with a defective awning. My local RV everything store says the gears are stripped in it and replacement parts are impossible to find. They recommend replacing the original awning with another box-style made by Carefree or Dometic. One, are parts like the gear mechanism on the original Horizon awning really impossible to find? Two, if a I buy a new replacement awning, what brand have other Chinook owners found to be the most compatible with the original Horizon? Three, what's the best place to shop for a replacement awning? Four, how difficult is it to install a new awning?

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'98 Concourse


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: May 6th, 2017, 10:32 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Hi Beaver. Welcome! And congrats on your new Chinook :D

Since you have a 1998 and I have a 1999, I wouldn't be surprised if we have the same awning. They are branded Horizon but are basically Fiammas (I think maybe Horizon aka A&E aka Dometic made the fabric but otherwise it's a Fiamma). I just a few weeks ago spoke with a fellow at Fiamma USA because on my awning one of the red retainer clips that hold the "flamingo legs" when they are stowed broke (well, ahem, broke when a friend yanked on it... not really the clip's fault). Anyway, the parts person at Fiamma couldn't have been more helpful, and said that pretty much all the parts are still available except for the flamingo legs (officially called "lateral arms") which are no longer available (so take care of those!). And he said they are happy to try to figure out what a person needs even for older awnings like ours. I had the clips in hand less than a week after I called (plus a couple of end caps that I added to the order). I spoke with Kevin at Fiamma at 800-211-7262. I also have this contact info from his e-mail:

Kevin Lawson
Customer Service / Sales
parts@fiammausa.com
407-672-0091
Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm Eastern

When I called he requested that I get the serial number from my awning, plus snap a couple of photos and e-mail them to him, which I did. Then we talked and I ordered the parts (which were exactly the right ones). I can't believe I've already forgotten this, but I think the serial number was up on the part of the case that is visible after you open the awning, and then look up at the part that is still attached to the wall of the Chinook. In my case, it's the original awning and is an F45+. (It was previously called "The Elegant." Also they still make essentially the same awning but there are some differences and I think now it's the F45S.)

I'd give Fiamma/Kevin a try, anyway.

BG

PS: This summer I helped a friend put a new awning on his RV. It's not a Chinook but the awning was the same basic Fiamma, only the one that's about 14' long (and commensurately heavier!). When the new awning arrived from Fiamma (he just ordered it online from Fiamma directly) we saw that we could re-use the existing brackets on the RV (the old awning was also a Fiamma), so then all we had to do was get the new one up there. (The new brackets were slightly different than the old ones, but not in a way that really mattered.) It comes as a complete unit and you basically just hoist it up into position, then tip it slightly so the top goes in and the bottom out and then let it back down -- that way it clicks onto the brackets and hangs there. At that point it's basically stable and then you put screws up through the bottom of the brackets into the awning to complete the installation.

My guess is that if you bought a new Fiamma F45S you'd be able to use the existing brackets, but of course I can't be positive. But.... maybe you'll be able to get parts for your existing awning.

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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: May 19th, 2017, 12:02 pm 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2017, 10:20 am
Posts: 14
So I called Fiamma as recommended and spoke with Bob Snyder. He asked for two photos to verify that it was an awning they made. It was. I described in my email the symptoms - that cranking the mechanism loosened the awning and pulled it away from the rv a little, but then it would go no further.
The guy who sold it to me a month ago said "a spring was broken" and that's why the awning wasn't working. I took it to my local RV repair shop and they said the "awning gears were stripped" and that I should just buy a new one (for about $850).

Bob at Fiamma wrote back to me to say the solution was a lot simpler. See below:

Hi James,

You have either the F45 Plus or F45 Elegance model awning. The biggest difference is if the awning has dual shock absorbents in the back case where the spring loaded lateral arms attach (see drawings below). The F45 Plus has the Dual Shock absorbers (a 3" plastic piece).

I have attached a spare parts drawing of both models for your review. The winch mechanism has changed from the original models.

What you need to do is to have someone pull out on the awning while someone else is turning the crank handle. The crank handle must be turning for the awning to open. Once you have it opened, lubricate the spring loaded lateral arms at the elbows and both ends with a spray lubricant such as silicone and work the arms until they are free. Springs in the lateral arms push the awning open when turning the handle. If the elbows get too stiff from corrosion, the springs are not strong enough to push it open.

Hope this helps.
Regards,
Bob Snyder
Operations Manager
Fiamma, Inc.
http://www.fiammausa.com


Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to attach the drawings he sent me. But this gives you an idea of how helpful Fiamma is. The original awning on my 1998 Chinook is now working perfectly.

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'98 Concourse


Last edited by Beaver on May 21st, 2017, 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: May 19th, 2017, 1:33 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1956
Location: 1999 Concourse
Excellent!

Just for reference, did you have the Plus with the dual shock or the Elegance (earlier). I have the F45+ with the dual shock on my 1999 Concourse (built first half of '99).

So glad Fiamma came through for you as they did for me. (Kind of sad but not surprising that RV places weren't much help.)

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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2017, 1:32 pm 
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Joined: July 17th, 2016, 5:00 pm
Posts: 140
Mine is attached with three aluminum brackets that take advantage of the Chinooks uneven roof.


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 Post subject: Re: Attaching an awning
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2017, 4:55 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Is yours a side-door model, Willy? I ask because I forget (sorry), and typically on the rear-door models the awning is attached right above the window (over the colored stripe a Concourse would have there) so the area is perfectly flat. Mine is in the latter location and has the three anodized brackets typically supplied by Fiamma for a wall mount (basically flat pieces with a little ledge at the bottom).

I could imagine where on the side door models they'd have to mount the awning up in the roof "dip" so it would clear the door. There are a few other side-door tweaks as well (water tank location, propane tank size, etc.) Here are typical rear-door awnings as done by Chinook (may have to click to enlarge in order to really see them)

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I have noticed a couple of "flaws" with the installation of mine.

One is that the rearmost bracket is about a foot forward of the end of the awning. When tensioning the legs you can see the last foot of the awning trying to bend away from the coach (although it doesn't if you are really careful). I looked at the Fiamma install instructions and they specifically show that bracket right near the end of the awning (that's where the force is), not a foot away . My guess is that Chinook put it where they did as that avoided them having to deal with the inner roof liner - it's not there where they mounted the rearmost foot because of the cutaway for the refrigerator vent area. Further aft it's there. Not that I can see any reason but "ease" for not putting the bracket further back. Also there are no backing blocks or washers - slight flaw although I don't know that any have torn out so maybe no prob in real life.

Two is that one notices, upon putting the awning out, that it doesn't shade the forward end of the dining window, and yet shades the closet :roll: Then you notice that they "had" to mount it so far aft or otherwise the body foot (for if you put the support legs on the body not on the ground) would otherwise have landed on the generator door. Well that explains it. Shading the refrigerator is nice, but it would be nice to shade the window completely. I haven't looked in the Fiamma guidelines to see if perhaps the feet could be mounted higher up. Mostly that's because it's either too windy to put the awning out, or, more often, I tend to park with the couch side to the south or west (I could use a window awning on that side!)

I had actually never put the awning out until a couple of months ago. It might only have been a hollow metal tube for all I knew :? So improving or changing it is kind of low on my list.

Oh, side note on that. I went to put the (apparently never used as it looked mint) awning out, and immediately noticed that the little metal feet were bent (the ones that either stake to the ground or go in the body pockets). Hmm, I thought, that's odd, as it looks like it may never have been used even once. So I carefully straightened them. That's when I noticed that if they are straight they touch the fiberglass body at the bottom of the wall pockets. Oh. So of course I then bent them back to how Chinook must have bent them in the first place. Now they (again) don't touch the body.

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