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: Awning question for Mojo  ( 1796 )
Rich
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« : April 15, 2013, 07:31:24 AM »

I thought of you when I decided to go looking for awning replacement fabric for my travel trailer. I'm considering both vinyl and fabric, do you recommend one over the other? Also, what's the best way to buy this, it's an 18' A&E awning. Can I buy the fabric and cut and sew it myself, or am I better off buying something ready made?
Thanks,
Rich

Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!
Mike
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« #1 : April 15, 2013, 11:42:09 AM »

Dhris was going to a rally i think. But i iniwnhe use to use recacril. And now satler.
Me i wouldntnuse vinyl caouse i wouldnwant. Possibly wet vanyl to get rolled up and mildew.

Mojo
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« #2 : April 15, 2013, 07:39:29 PM »

Rich:

If its a towable or a gas MH that came with vinyl then I would go with Soluna. I just added this to my product line for towables. It is a 19 oz vinyl coated product that you can only get through MiamiCorp. They have the exclusive for the USA. No one else can sell it. It is a marketing dream for me. :)

Alot of this has to do with your plans. If you plan on keeping the RV for a while then it is best to use good material and thread. They are a royal PITA to change out.

If your not a Miami customer then consider using a vinyl coated product like Tuff Stuff and stay clear of laminated vinyl. It makes a terrible awning as wind will increase the likelihood of de-lamination.

I have seen the A & E replacements and they are junk. Very light, thin vinyl. I got a job once to shorten a brand new A & E awning and I told the customer ( an RV dealer ) never to bring me another as I wont sell it. I was scared I was going to poke a hole in it it was so crappy.

I use acrylic fabrics ( Sattler & Recacril ) on the high end coaches because that is what comes with them and the customers demand acrylic. I would not recommend an acrylic for a towable that already has vinyl. If you make this yourself pay very close attention to the measurements as you sew. The measurement of the fabric from the rv out to the roller tube has to be exact. If not then your going to end up with floppy edges.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Chris
Mojo
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« #3 : April 15, 2013, 08:20:29 PM »

Mike:

I finished one rally a week ago. I am slammed with orders so am back sewing 7 days a week till I leave for Indiana for two more shows. I did the one rally last year but have never done the big International event so it will be interesting. I am adding vinyl toppers to my product line and rolling them out at these events to the gas MH and towables owners. They booked me for two seminars for the first event and two for the International. I ended up having to hire a local lady to staff my booth so I could break free to meet with customers and do inspections. It will be interesting to see how it all goes.

It took MiamiMike and I a week to get the vinyl topper product put together. We studied my competitors product line up and the materials they were using. He helped me with the fabric selection and between the two of us we came up with a good marketing concept. This all kind of came together at a perfect time and coincided with their release of Soluna. He shipped me a couple cuts to use to make sample mini toppers to show customers.

I know many of the group members have seen me sing the praises of Miami Mike and Miami Corp but how many have a fabric rep come in and help you design marketing strategies ? They have been a Godsend.

I will report back on the rallys and how receptive the RV public is on my new vinyl topper. I am pretty geeked to be offering the countries first heavy duty slide topper
and the first in the USA to offer Soluna fabric toppers. This is what my marketing program is all designed around.

Chris
Rich
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« #4 : April 15, 2013, 09:09:45 PM »

Chris, the problem I see with vinyl is that it needs to be seamed and all I've seen are heat sealed especially since it runs horizontally. Also, like Mike said, water gets in and doesn't get out easily enough to prevent midew. How do you cope with those?
Thanks,
Rich

Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!
Mike
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« #5 : April 15, 2013, 10:15:35 PM »

just wonder why you say  towable or gas you wouldn't recommend acrylic chris?

Mojo
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« #6 : April 15, 2013, 11:08:44 PM »

Typically the towables and gassers have vinyl and they like to stay with vinyl. Most of the towables do not want the acrylic because it is harder to clean. The high dollar coach owners want acrylic because it looks better.

Rich, the acrylic does breath better then vinyl and therefore does not have the mildew problem. But alot of the vinyl now days is made to resist the mildew. I hated to start offering vinyl but was missing out on alot of business.

I use a fell seam on all my awnings. I discussed this with the US honcho of Sattler fabrics and he said they found that during testing that even if you didn't used seam tape that the stitch holes filled in within a few weeks time with dirt and environmental pollution and would prevent leaks. I do not know how true this is but every fell seam I have done on Omega awnings ( and I have done a hundred or more over the last two years ) none have leaked. I do use seam tape though. I do the same with patio awnings except that when I do the fell seam I triple stitch it. One stitch line across the fold and then two across the top simply because of the large expanse of fabric. Have never had anyone complain about leaks.

Most of the big awning makers ( Carefree, A & E, Girard ) use the high tech ultrasound/heat weld on seams. They can afford the equipment where as I cannot. Those machines are BIG money. :)

From what I have read a fell seam is equal to 98 % of the strength of the fabric itself.

Chris 
Rich
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« #7 : April 16, 2013, 05:55:15 AM »

Thanks Chris, you've answered my questions. Based on what you've said, I'm more likely now to just order the vinyl and make it myself.
Now, I need to go to Youtube for the roller R&R as I'm finding that you can see a demo on just about anything you're looking for these days.
Rich

Everything's getting so expensive these days, doesn't anything ever stay at the same price? Well the price for reupholstery hasn't changed much in years!
Mojo
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« #8 : April 16, 2013, 04:59:08 PM »

Rich:

I have an explanation on my website at  www.stonevos.com

I cannot stress enough be extremely careful of that torsion spring. Never unloosen the hold down bolt until you have the spring locked in place. They will unload on you in a second and can damage the inside of the mechanism and can also injure you.

My son had one let go and it blew right out the side of the roller tube. Destroyed the tube and busted the spring.

I have the instructions for the Carefree SOK I, II and III's. They are similar to the A & E's. Send me an e-mail and I will forward you the instructions. I send these to my customers whenever I have a DIY'er. They are simplistic and include pictures.

My e-mail addy is  chris@stonevos.com

Chris
Mike
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« #9 : April 17, 2013, 06:02:03 AM »

Chris. The seat leaking thing even boat canvas rain will wick through the stitches and drip in.  If the canvas job was done and the owner slept on the boat that night and it rained   Drips.  Sunbrella used to have the same ecolanation about the hole filling and the leak stopping shortly. 
Try to rtell a guy oh and. If it drips tonight it will stop after a month with  more time.
Look at ya like tou got 2 heads.

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