What is an awning tensioner?

Aug 19, 2014
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Forgive the stupid question, but as a newbie could somebody explain/ show me what one is?

Thanks
 

Hollyberry

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I think it might mean the guy rope type thing you secure it to the ground with.
Don't try using an awning without one. In the space of a few weeks I helped pull 2 awnings off van roofs, where they'd just flipped up in the wind. One had done a fair bit of damage to the vehicle.
I'm thinking one of these http://www.thule.com/en/gb/products/rv-accessories/awnings-and-accesories/awning-accessories/thule-hold-down-kit-_-productgroup_197095

But there's also http://www.thule.com/en/gb/products/rv-accessories/awnings-and-accesories/awning-accessories/thule-supplementary-rafter-_-productgroup_197103

Thule seem to have a fair bit of info on their site.
After seeing the damage done to the vehicle--it had pulled the awning out at one end, left a hole-- I wouldn't put an awning up without the straps holding it down and I add a peg or 2 through each foot as well.
 
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jdk62
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Thanks....

Will dig out a length of rope then and some tent pegs..
 

GJH

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Sound advice but a tensioner is something extra to the guy/tie down rope. It can mean a spring loaded pole or a tool to tighten such a pole. Google brings up several alternatives.
 

Tootles

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Not quite sure what you mean. We used this type in The Army. (y)landrover_catapult.jpg
 
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jdk62
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Blimey...that looks like my mother in laws knicker elastic....
 

funflair

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Hollyberry

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Sound advice but a tensioner is something extra to the guy/tie down rope. It can mean a spring loaded pole or a tool to tighten such a pole. Google brings up several alternatives.

Does the tensioner mean the metal bit in the strap that you lift up and down a few times, then sort of lock down to hold the strap thingy at its tightest? ( my technical terminology amazes me at times!)
 

GJH

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Does the tensioner mean the metal bit in the strap that you lift up and down a few times, then sort of lock down to hold the strap thingy at its tightest? ( my technical terminology amazes me at times!)
What I meant was like This. It's a spring loaded pole that you fit and then wind the canopy back until it's tight.
 

Munchie

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Be careful, if the pole is central which is usual, if you tighten too much it can bend the front of your awning. Then it will not seat when wound in!
 

Jim

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American Motorhome awnings use these. They have a metal frame they can attach them to. The colloquial name is De-Flapper


 

GJH

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Be careful, if the pole is central which is usual, if you tighten too much it can bend the front of your awning. Then it will not seat when wound in!
We bought two, both for tensioning purposes and to replace the clothes props supplied with our windblocker sides.

With two I also found that I could make up something like the de-flappers Jim mentioned using clingon type eyelets and short bungee elastics.
 

DBK

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Could I ask the OP why the question? Awning tie downs are fairly common although by no means universal. De-flappers or whatever are certainly not in general use here. If we understood the reason behind the question it would help.
 
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jdk62
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I asked the question just because I had heard reference to them and didn't know what they are.

I have assumed that if I open the awning, I can use tent pegs to fix the awning legs to the ground - would these be suffice or do I use ropes and more tent pegs or do I use an awning tensioner..?
 

MikeandCarolyn

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I asked the question just because I had heard reference to them and didn't know what they are.

I have assumed that if I open the awning, I can use tent pegs to fix the awning legs to the ground - would these be suffice or do I use ropes and more tent pegs or do I use an awning tensioner..?
Yes,you can use pegs on the awning legs,but I prefer to use something like this http://www.riverswayleisure.co.uk/acatalog/info_109273.html a tie down kit.It has a spring at the peg end which absorbs shock from sudden gusts of wind. Even so,you need to judge when discretion is the better part of valour and it's time to wind it in .

Mike

Mike
 

pappajohn

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What I meant was like This. It's a spring loaded pole that you fit and then wind the canopy back until it's tight.
The spring loaded pole is an awning rafter and as Graham said, insert the pole between the van side and front rail of the awning then wind the awning in until tight.

An awning tensioner is a device to stretch the awning rafter until the fabric is tight.

Both do the same job but in different ways.
 
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pappajohn

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I asked the question just because I had heard reference to them and didn't know what they are.

I have assumed that if I open the awning, I can use tent pegs to fix the awning legs to the ground - would these be suffice or do I use ropes and more tent pegs or do I use an awning tensioner..?
Tent pegs hammered into the awning leg feet will stop the awning legs being accidentally knocked off plumb but wont stop the awning blowing over the roof in a strong wind.
Tie down straps and steel spikes are the way to go.
 

pappajohn

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I use a couple of these, much more secure than tent pegs.


And these.
 

GJH

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When using tie down straps make sure that the ones chosen do not cause chafing of the canopy (or themselves) through friction. If fastening to/over the arms make sure that they won't cause bending of the arms. Both Fiamma and Omnistor sell products designed for use with their canopies. When we bought ours (Omnistor) we found they were as cheap as universal straps (cheaper than some).
 

durhamahoy

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Thule seem to have a fair bit of info on their site.
After seeing the damage done to the vehicle--it had pulled the awning out at one end, left a hole-- I wouldn't put an awning up without the straps holding it down and I add a peg or 2 through each foot as well.


Hi,
looking at the photos on Thules website, I would be more worried by the river/lake flooding and or the van sinking into the soft ground never to be seen again :D
 

DBK

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I asked the question just because I had heard reference to them and didn't know what they are.

I have assumed that if I open the awning, I can use tent pegs to fix the awning legs to the ground - would these be suffice or do I use ropes and more tent pegs or do I use an awning tensioner..?
I suggest you won't need an awning tensioner if you have one of the normal wind-out awnings commonly fitted to MHs. Tie-downs on the other hand are useful but don't expect them to allow you to keep the awning out in a storm as you might with a typical caravan awning which has rigid legs.

Our Fiamma awning has slots along the outside of rail into which the tiedowns slide with a small bit of tadpole section material. They work fine but I wouldn't leave the awning up if there was any chance of strong wind. Without them the awning can lift in quite gentle breezes if the air gets underneath it. I also put pegs in at the bottom of the awning legs but this is more to keep them in place in case they get accidently kicked.




 
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jdk62
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Thanks for all the responses.
 
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