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Old 08-29-2018, 12:28 PM   #1
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Solera HYBRID Awning Review

First a little background. The wife and I were having a hard time using the Sunchaser awning that came on our cruiser. She has a lot of metal in one ankle due to a accident and I can not stand very long and sometimes to set up the awning she had to use a ladder which was difficult for her. So we planned to replace the awning also the fabric was getting old and starting to deteriorate so it was time. So what were our choices? Another manual awning or a power awning. The manual awning was out and we were worried with the stories of power awnings failing and having to retract them by hand that was also not a very good option.

So after many hours on the web we found the Solera HYBRID awning. For those that do not know it a combination of both kinds of awnings - a "hybrid". It looks and is a power awning with no motor. You have a crank rod that you hook to a loop and then turn the crank to open or close. You can also stop any place and it stays there. When you closed it locks so no need for travel latches. There is no motor to fail and since there is no motor there is nothing to wire.

So on to the install. The dealer we use and highly recommend to anyone in mid Mo. is Shoemakers Rv in Bevier Mo. just west of Macon Mo. on hwy 36. They have done some work for us in the past and do what they say when they say. Took the cruiser in for a estimate and to get measurements as the short arms on the hybrid awning would be a tad bit to long. Dealt with Aaron the head of the service dept. And while doing the measurements he checked our old awning roller tube and said it could be reused with new fabric and the solera universal replacement arms which saved us some money.

One of the things we like about Shoemakers is they order the parts and when they are there then make the appointment to do the job. So we got the call to drop it off and as they are about 80 miles from the house we dropped it off after hours to be worked on the next week.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:55 PM   #2
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Part two.
We got a call on Thursday that it was partly ready but as that we had reservations that weekend we could pick it up then use it for the weekend then drop it back off Sunday night. The problem was they had to install a new awning rail above the other one so the arms would fit and someone came it and bought the pieces they had in stock instead of the counter person ordering more she sold what was for our job. So Aaron installed the awning By cutting the existing awning rail so we could use it.

Fast forward to the campground and the first use. WE LOVE IT. It works great! Just turn the crank and your done no rafters to put up no more ladders / stepstools just turn the crank. If you want to pitch to allow rain to run off just pull down on the joint or there is a "sleeve" That you can push a button and slide over the joint and the you can tie the awning down if you want.

After using it that first weekend returned it to Shoemakers and they reinstalled the awning with the new rail. When we came back to pick it up the last time Aaron went over everything again so we would have no questions then went in to pay for it -yes we left the first time without paying because Aaron said you pay when the job is done - They took off for the inconvenience of the awning rail and having to make 2 trips. In my book that is above and beyond.
So if you are looking for a new awning I highly recommend the Solera Hybrid Awning and if you live in the area give Shoemakers RV a try.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:23 PM   #3
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That's a good write up/review Dan. Thanks for sharing. That is something I didn't know was out there.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:54 AM   #4
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Thank you Lloyd.

One thing I forgot to put in is that If you have a Solera Power awning and are tired of the weak motor the manual head is a direct replacement. It would not be power but it is better then climbing up on something to use a drill to retract your awning.


Oh! A light bulb just light up what if I could somehow use my drill on the crank rod. Then I would have a True Hybrid - a manual/power or power/manual awning. Ha Ha The wife says drink your coffee and stop thinking - STAY TUNED.
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