Solera 12V XL Power RV Awning Review and Installation

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Review and How to Install the Solera 12V XL Power RV Awning


Hi there shade enthusiasts. Today we're going to be taking a look at Solera's 12 Volt Extra Large Powered RV Awnings. These are available in either a black to white fade or a white to black fade. You can get them in a variety of different lengths to match your RV, camper, or even your enclosed trailer, and you can get arms to match as well as they're available in either white or black. Additionally, all these components are available separately so you can customize your own kit or repair an existing awning. So if you're tired of everybody going over to Jerry's campsite because he's got the shade, well you can get the extra large awning that has an additional 1'8" over traditional awnings.

So take that Jerry. That means this awning's going to extend a full 9'8" compared to your standard 8'.This is also a great upgrade over your manual awning so you don't have to grab the strap and pull it out or find your crank lever to retract the awning or extend it. With a simple press of a button, we have full control over our awning and we're not wearing ourselves out. Another great feature this awning has over traditional awnings is how easy it is to adjust the pitch. You simply grab the pitch arm here and you can pull it down.

You can do this on either side. What this does for you is it gives an angle to your awning, so if it's raining outside, you've given it a path so you can choose how that water runs off so it doesn't run off to anything in your campsite. So what this means for you, even if you're away and your awning's extended, you don't have to worry about it.From this angle, you can really see how the pitch arms change the angle of our awning. We're at the fully extended position right now, but as I pull down on the arms, you can see that it's starting to change our angle. This'll make it easier for rain water to flow off and not pool up on our awning, and it'll also help us maximize the amount of shade that we can get underneath of it by changing the angle to match the sun.If you're not using the pitch arms, and you just want it in the standard position, you can lock it in place by pressing on the tab here at the bottom and then pulling the arm forward.

It'll snap in and now the pitch arms are locked in. This is nice if it's a particularly windy day and you don't want the RV awning moving around. You'll want to keep in mind if you do have the arms locked in, the pitch arms can't be adjusted so the automatic dump also won't work.The awning's constructed of a durable vinyl, it's going to be easy to clean, and it has cold-crack protection that's good down to negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a black weather guard on it to help it be resistant against the elements and UV rays. At the end of our awning, it has a valence.

This hangs down in the front to help maximize the amount of shade from the sun's angle and it also helps you know that you've got your awning fully extended because it'll hang down once you reach that point. When you get to your campsite, you can enjoy the shade in less than a minute. We've gone ahead and ran some tests and it extends in about 30 seconds and retracts and about 40 seconds. So that means clean up and going home is just going to be as fast as well.Installing an awning at home is actually relatively fast and easy. There's only a few steps required to get it installed. You will need a few extra set of hands to help you get everything lifted in place, so you want to keep that in mind. You also then need to determine what size is going to work best on your RV or camper, and where you want to place it on that camper. We're using a 12' awning here, so you'll want to keep in mind when purchasing the correct size for yours, that's going to measure from the center of one arm to the center of the other arm. Each arm is going to be about 2 1/2" wide, so you want to make sure you've got all of those clearances. You also want to keep in mind that the arms measure 78" high. In the event that you lose power and you need to retract your awning, you can remove the cover located on the right side arm and manually turn the nut inside with a 7-16 socket. If you have a power drill with you, you can easily hook that up and then it's kind of like having a powered awning again, getting it back in nice and easy for you.Now that we've gone over some of the features, we're going to go over generally how you're going to get it installed. It's going to be the same whether you're putting it on your camper or your RV. We're going to be putting it on an enclosed trailer and the only difference with your enclosed trailer is that the walls aren't really designed to handle this type of load, so we had to reinforce the walls prior to the installation.Now when this product gets shipped to you, it is going to come in a couple of different pieces. You're going to get your legs separate from your roller assembly, so you will need to attach those together. And it's pretty simple. Each of your powered legs has a shaft that comes out of it. You'll slide that into your roller assembly, line up the holes in the shaft with the hole in your roller assembly, and then take the inaudible 00:04:39 screw that's included and thread it down in there. Now you want to make sure you don't thread it all the way down because that can put stress on the head of the bolt which could cause it to shear, so you want to leave a little gap. You're going to use a number two square bit to tighten that down. Do the same thing on the other side.Next you'll want to make sure that your camper, RV, or trailer has an awning rail installed. Most of your campers and your RVs have these running all the way down the top, but if not, you can pick one up here etrailer.com and you want to make sure you secure it with all the included hardware and screw holes. Before you slide your awning down your awning rail, you want to check the end that you're going to be sliding and in from. If it's symmetrical, then you want to take your screwdriver and you want to pry that end open just a little bit. So we're just going to bend the bottom end down. This is going to open it up and make it easier to get our awning installed. Now with a couple extra set of hands, we're going to start sliding our awning down our rail. You can use some spray lubricant to make it slide down the rail a little bit easier. Two people will hold the arms and walk it down as you feed your awning top down the rail assembly.Now that we've got our awning slid down to where we want it, you'll want to adjust your height. We're going to be setting ours to where the top of the arms are flush with the bottom of our awning rail. Once you've done that, use the included hardware and get one bolt in on each arm to hold it up. We'll now take a measurement from our awning rail down to the top of our bracket and put it in the exact same position on the other side. Now we want to make sure that our awning is square. You can use a level to adjust it. You can also take a point on your RV, camper, or trailer and measure the distance from that point at the top and bottom and make sure that those are going to be the same.Now once you've got it all square, you can run in a second bolt on each side to keep it in that position. You'll then want to check your measurements again to make sure that it's square and then we'll install our bottom bolts. Those are going to be located here. You're going to have to go in at a slight angle to get those in. It's always a good idea to double check your measurements before fully tightening them down as they are slotted to make minor adjustments. And then you can install your second bolt. You'll do this again on the other side as well.We can now cut the zip ties holding our arms together and slowly let it out so we can access the hardware mounting holes located behind the arms. With your arms out, if you look behind the arms inside the channel here, you'll see some slotted holes. There's going to be several sets. You'll want to choose two of those sets and use at least two screws on those. You're provided with enough hardware to where you could use four bolts. So we're going to go ahead and put those in now. We're going to be using the center ones towards the middle of our arms here since we already have two bolts at the top and two at the bottom. Once you've got those run in, you'll repeat the same process on the other side.We're going to go ahead and do two side by side at two separate locations. Now if you are going to be installing this on an enclosed trailer like we are, where we had to brace the inside in order to install it, you also need to upgrade the hardware from the self-tapping screws that come with it. We're going to be using carriage bolts with nylon lock nuts and washers, and this is going to clamp our braces and our awning together to ensure that it's sturdy within our wall. But if you're installing it in the more traditional way on your RV, camper, or fifth wheel trailer, then your self-tapping screws that are provided with the awning work just fine.We can now take the small hex-head self-tapping screws that come in our kit and we're going to run those down through our awning rail into our top. We want to make sure that it goes into the plastic beam that is run through the fabric and this is just going to hold it in place, keep it from sliding back and forth. We're going to use a 1/4" socket to run that down. We're going to do the same thing on the other side.You'll find the wiring coming out of the bottom of your right arm. There's a hole in the bottom of the arm there which gives us access to your RV, camper, or trailer. You want to drill a hole through there and you can poke your wiring through. If you so desire, you can take this wiring and reroute it to the top as there's a hole at the top as well so you could route it through the hole on the top. We're using a grommet and some silicone with ours to keep it sealed up to prevent any moisture from entering inside. If you need some silicone or grommets, you can pick those up here at etrailer.com.Next you'll want to find a suitable mounting location for your switch. You will have to provide your own hardware to get your switch mounted up and you'll have to cut a hole in the wall in order to get the switch to mount flushly. The switch could also be mounted on the outside of your RV or camper. We're mounting ours in an enclosed trailer that our customer's remodeling, but if you had a camper or RV, you'd more likely have a panel wall and you'll cut a hole in that. It's going to be easier to cut then the wood that the customer is using when remodeling their trailer here.For your RV or camper I suggest using a one inch hole saw. You could also use the bezel and mark it out and use a jigsaw to cut it out, but a one inch hole saw will be plenty fine for getting it mounted up and it'll be easier. And when mounting in in your RV or camper, those thinner, easier to cut walls, you can take the hole saw and actually use the gun in reverse and that'll give you a nice clean cut. If you run it normally like you would with a hole saw, it'll dig in and grab and it'll start to tear that wood. So I highly recommend going backwards. You'll be real happy with the results.We can now start hooking up the wiring from our switch. We're going to start with the power and the ground wires. They do come pre-stripped so you can pull off the ends there. I do think that there's a bit too much stripped, so I recommend that you do trim some of this excess off. We'll then connect it to our power and ground. You more than likely will need to run your own power and ground wires for this as you'll need at least a 15 amp circuit to power your awning. You can try tapping into some other circuits. Often I use lights in the RV to find access to the wiring, however you want to verify that the wiring in your motor home or RV or camper is going to be suitable to carry 15 amps. If not, then you may just want to run brand new wires directly from your battery.If you need a fuse harness to provide that 15 amp circuit protection, you can pick that up here at etrailer.com. Once we strip both those back, we'll then begin making our connection. I've marked the wire here with black tape. This is our power wire and this is our ground wire. We'll connect our power wire to the red wire coming off of our switch. We're going to be using butt connectors to crimp those together. If you need some butt connectors, you can pick those up here etrailer.com. If you are running your own wires and you also need some ring terminals to make the connection to the battery, we have those as well, and if you need the wiring, we have that by the foot. And then we'll connect our ground wire to the black wire coming off of our switch.Now I do want to mention if you are purchasing this as a replacement, your switch likely already has power and ground going to it. So we're going to move past these two now to the other two wires coming off of our switch, which is going to be the blue and the white wire. We're going to connect these in the same way that we did our power and ground wires here. The blue wire is going to connect to the red wire coming off of your awning. We did have to extend it in order for it to reach our switch, so that's why you see this white wire here, but if we follow the blue wire down to the end of our white wire, you'll see here that it's connected to the red wire coming off of our awning. Your awning also has a white wire. That white wire is going to connect to the white wire coming off of your switch just like you see here.Now if this was your RV or camper, all of your wiring would be hidden behind the walls and you can keep it all tucked in nice. Since our customer is remodeling the inside of this trailer, all of our wiring here is going to be exposed until he gets the appropriate panels to cover everything up. If you did run your own wire, you want to wait to put the fuse in until you've made all your connections. Since we finished all that up, we'll now take a 15 amp fuse, insert it into our harness, and we're ready to check everything out. And I can hear the unit operating outside. Let's go watch it work.Now we're looking to make sure that it comes out nice and smooth. If it's not coming out nice and smooth, you can loosen up the bolts on your arms, readjust it to make sure that it's square, and then tighten them back down. If you're having some problems, you may need to go in and out a few times in order to get it adjusted properly. You'll know it's fully extended once there are no more turns of fabric on the roll arm and your valence is hanging down just like that there. To go back in, simply press the other button, and again, we're just looking to make sure that it's going to wrap up nice and smooth. And now it's a pretty windy day here, but you can see that it's having no problem pulling it back in, nice and clean, fighting against the wind with no problem.And that completes our look at Solera's 12 Volt Extra Large Powered RV Awnings.


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Info for these parts were:

Video Edited:
Jacob T
Video by:
Dustin K
Installed by:
David F

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