Our ’92 Starcraft came with a cheap awning. No use going into details about how it worked or what we didn’t like about it. It was the standard crappy awnings most tent trailer manufacturers include with the camper. When we were planning the camper remodel and new awning was high on the list. After a lot of research and Internet surfing we decided to get a Fiamma F35 awning. There were a few things we liked about the Fiamma awning:
- Fairly light
- Enclosed in a clamshell aluminum case, instead of the vinyl bags found on most tent trailers
- Quick and easy to set up
- Can be set-up in carport mode or attached to the camper body
- Length: 8’2″
- Overhang: 7’5″
- Weight: 19lbs 10oz
Above: Awning removed.
Tent trailers that have an existing bag awning will need to replace the awning rail. Because of the shape of the Fiamma case the standard awning rail will not work! Trust me on this, I learned by experience. You can order the proper awning rail from Fiamma.
Above: Cutting the awning rail to fit.
I decided to leave the old awning rail in place. This was a “just in case” decision. Because the original rail followed the curvature of the roof, I could not install the new rail in that location anyway; the new rail must be absolutely straight.
Above: New rail at the end of the camper roof. Notice how the old rail actually overlaps the new one due to the curvature of the roof.
Above: At the center of the awning is a web strap to easily lift the awning out of the case. Very nice touch and extremely convenient.
Above: The awning rolled out of the case. The back edge of the awning material is permanently attached to the case.
Above: Bottom of the leg pole. The length of the pole is adjusted with a flip lock cam assembly. It will not slip — unlike the twist lock system our original awning has. Also the foot of the leg has a hole in the center for easy staking in the ground. The leg can also be attached to the body of the camper, which we found to be the most convenient method.
Above: Accessories — the red strap is a back up for the red button locks. I guess the guy lines are for the extra set of tent stakes. Never used them. We almost always attached the legs to the side of the camper.
Below is the instruction sheet that was included.
Dealing with wind
Wind is an awning’s worst enemy (along with an awning that is not pitched correctly to drain water in the rain). For the past 20 years I have been using the Camco Awning Hold Down Strap Kit below.
See the Shademaker Awning page for pictures of the hold down kit in action.