Dometic Replacement Parts and a Couple of Hours of Labor Will Put the Fun Back into Patio Time
When it comes to life outdoors, a patio awning is a necessity. Whether it’s to keep you comfortable in the hot summer sun, or dry during an autumn rain, a patio awning is an exterior feature that few of us can live without. Along with putting down your RV’s leveling jacks and plugging in, deploying the awning is part of a ceremony that means you’ve arrived, and are ready to enjoy all the things RVing has to offer.
So when the awning stops working, it’s easy to see how the RV experience just isn’t the same. It’s a little like cookies without milk, or peanut butter without jelly — you can still enjoy, but it’s certainly not as good as it could be. Happily, if the awning is damaged or has called it quits altogether, there are a variety of replacement options available from the awning manufacturers. For example, Dometic USA offers awnings in both manual and power configurations, and they can be ordered in a wide selection of fabrics, sizes and colors to suit most trailers and motorhomes.
A rooftop tent (RTT) is an option on most off-road-trailer packages, and the Turtleback Expedition is no exception.
The compactness of the Turtleback Expedition and the off-road abilities of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk promote dry camping in remote locations where conventional travel trailers couldn’t be towed.
The rear door of the Expedition swings open to reveal the built-in galley. The stainless-steel table folds up flat to store against the spare tire.
A nice feature is the deep stainless sink with a fold-down faucet and top. The top makes a convenient food-prep area next to the stove.
Camping off the grid in comfort and style requires electricity. The Expedition has that covered with a built-in 30-amp controller for the optional solar panel, battery-disconnect, six-fuse panel and 6-amp charger for the Group 24 AGM deep-cycle battery.
Turtleback equips the Expedition with a 10-inch single-row LED light on each side to provide 360-degree-perimeter illumination. All of the trailer’s lights are LEDs, including those in the front storage box and nose box.
The trailer’s nose box was filled with fuel, tools and basic recovery gear in case we ran into trouble or came across someone needing help. The Expedition has more than 50 cubic feet of cargo space.
Turtleback mounts an LP-gas cylinder on the driver’s corner of the trailer so it’s next to the galley. An optional second cylinder goes on the opposite corner. Two regulators are used: one for the water heater and one for the camp stove.
We were never short of hot water, a luxury for those used to backcountry tent camping. The Expedition comes with a 42-gallon freshwater tank, a 6-gallon water heater and a 12-volt DC pump. An outside shower is located at the rear of the trailer.
The front of the Expedition's pass-through storage compartment can hold an enormous amount of gear. We used it as a mini woodshed and a place to keep coolers.
23 Zero RTT
Turtleback works closely with 23 Zero to provide a variety of rooftop-tent options. The tent had an aluminum access ladder and a 3-inch foam mattress that was equivalent to a king-size bed.
The storage box on the street side has a fold-down door. A spare LP-gas cylinder is mounted underneath, next to the swing-away tire-carrier mount. Top surfaces of the fenders are coated with nonslip rubberized bed-liner material.
Rough and Ready
Three Fingered Jack, one of the most recognizable peaks in the Oregon Cascades, beckons us toward our next destination with the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and the well-equipped Turtleback Expedition.
We recently observed a Dometic WeatherPro power awning as it was repaired on a 2005 Winnebago Itasca. Purchased used only months ago, the coach was in very good condition, save for the original power awning that was hurtin’ for certain. It would deploy partially, but then had to be pulled out the rest of the way by hand — and even then, it didn’t look quite right. Clearly, the previous owner had struck something while the awning was deployed or partially deployed, bending the awning arms and a bracket. Perhaps because of the resulting lack of use, age or both, the awning material had also begun to mildew and rot, rendering it practically useless.
Installing a new replacement awning isn’t terribly difficult, but it does require a few friends, a couple of ladders and a healthy dose of caution. After all, even a small patio awning is a large, heavy and cumbersome piece of equipment that is under spring tension, and must be handled with extreme care to prevent injury. If in doubt, always contact a local RV dealer or RV outlet such as Camping World to have the awning installed for you.
While this awning is being installed on a motorhome, the installation process is similar on a trailer. It’s a simple matter of ordering the correct size (the WeatherPro is available in lengths ranging from 10-21 feet) and installing it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Within a couple of hours, you’ll have it made in the shade.
574-294 2511 | www.dometic.com