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Old 06-20-2017, 08:46 PM   #1
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A word of caution on the new "self-dumping awning

Was out camping last week in a well-treed and protected campsite with my 2 month old 17B. We were going on to town for the day and I thought about retracting the awning, but recalled the claims of "wind sensor" and "self-dumping" features so I left it open. Bad idea.

I returned after some rain to find the awning full of water and sagging about 18". One of the arms is bent, the canvas is stretched and damaged, and the back side doesn't retract all the way.

So, Tammy advised me to contact Dometic and find someone in the area. She said it should be covered under warranty. However it plays out, it's going to be a pain in the butt st least. So I strongly recommend at least partially retracting the power awning both at night and when you're away. Would've taken me 30 seconds...
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
Was out camping last week in a well-treed and protected campsite with my 2 month old 17B. We were going on to town for the day and I thought about retracting the awning, but recalled the claims of "wind sensor" and "self-dumping" features so I left it open. Bad idea.

I returned after some rain to find the awning full of water and sagging about 18". One of the arms is bent, the canvas is stretched and damaged, and the back side doesn't retract all the way.

So, Tammy advised me to contact Dometic and find someone in the area. She said it should be covered under warranty. However it plays out, it's going to be a pain in the butt st least. So I strongly recommend at least partially retracting the power awning both at night and when you're away. Would've taken me 30 seconds...
sorry you had this experience.....
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:17 PM   #3
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Always a good idea to retract when going away.
At Osoyoos last month a little storm came in quickly. I'm sure the New awning folks were ok. A number of us with the older awnings who were on a walkabout hustled back to home base to secure the canvas. The whole "storm" wasn't more than 15 or 20 minutes. Like the OP states it only takes a few minutes. When I was picking up my new regulator at a local small RV
Shop I got talking to the service manager, he told me they were selling a hundred awnings a season. 10 over Memorial Day weekend alone. Think proactive be retractive.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:31 PM   #4
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Brenda, very sorry to hear that you had that problem.

We left ours out when we went on the wine tasting tour when that storm hit and the awning was retracted when we got back. Then we reopened it and it retracted twice more when sudden winds picked up as we were sitting under it. The settings on the sender unit that signals it to retract are adjustable. Ours seems to be pretty sensitive. I have not tried it with rain on it though.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:35 PM   #5
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Living in the PNW, I would never leave an awning out at night or when gone from the campground. But then that's easy for me to say because I've never deployed my awning.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:37 PM   #6
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.. But then that's easy for me to say because I've never deployed my awning.
That's how we ended up with our Scamp's. I needed to get out the manual every time I wanted to let it down.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:48 PM   #7
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That's how we ended up with our Scamp's. I needed to get out the manual every time I wanted to let it down.
My problem is in my head. The first time I deployed the cheapo awning on my tent trailer fifteen years ago, some of the plastic parts broke. Can't get that out of my pea brain...

But I really don't miss it in the PNW as I camp in the shoulder seasons and winter. That's my excuse anyway.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:51 PM   #8
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My problem is in my head. The first time I deployed the cheapo awning on my tent trailer fifteen years ago, some of the plastic parts broke. Can't get that out of my pea brain...
You are definitely not a pea brain.

If it makes you feel any better, the Carefree Fiesta is one sturdy awning. You won't break it. Besides, you should deploy it every so often to clean the vinyl. Water gets trapped inside the roll even if you don't use the awning - just from going down the road. It can quickly grow mold/mildew and deteriorate it.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
Was out camping last week in a well-treed and protected campsite with my 2 month old 17B. We were going on to town for the day and I thought about retracting the awning, but recalled the claims of "wind sensor" and "self-dumping" features so I left it open. Bad idea.

I returned after some rain to find the awning full of water and sagging about 18". One of the arms is bent, the canvas is stretched and damaged, and the back side doesn't retract all the way.

So, Tammy advised me to contact Dometic and find someone in the area. She said it should be covered under warranty. However it plays out, it's going to be a pain in the butt st least. So I strongly recommend at least partially retracting the power awning both at night and when you're away. Would've taken me 30 seconds...
So I am supposing that you had the new tabs or whatever fix they are doing? Does the awning normally tilt at all or just not supposed to need to with self-retracting?
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Besides, you should deploy it every so often to clean the vinyl. Water gets trapped inside the roll even if you don't use the awning - just from going down the road. It can quickly grow mold/mildew and deteriorate it.
Yes, I know that. Mine will probably just disintegrate the second time it's deployed (the first being when my son was camping with me..."Mother!"...well, y'all know that intonation). Maybe someone will drop by to save me from myself.
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:59 PM   #11
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It doesn't tilt at all - just in and out. Should've listened to my gut - even bringing it in half way probably would've done the trick. And, like I said, 30 seconds....

I can't imagine never using the awning! It's one of the top 3 reasons I retired my Aliner (no awning)!

Right now, my biggest concern is how long it will likely take me to get in at an RV place. A couple of years ago, I called the local RV place in July and their next appointment wS in November.

And I sure hope they replace it and not just "fix it". Now that the arm is bent, I'm sure it will be very weak.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:14 PM   #12
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Wow, sorry to hear you had this happen.
I would ask for a replacement, but they'll most likely just replace the arm assembly would be my guess. Hope you get a quick appt and service.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
It doesn't tilt at all - just in and out. Should've listened to my gut - even bringing it in half way probably would've done the trick. And, like I said, 30 seconds....

I can't imagine never using the awning! It's one of the top 3 reasons I retired my Aliner (no awning)!

Right now, my biggest concern is how long it will likely take me to get in at an RV place. A couple of years ago, I called the local RV place in July and their next appointment wS in November.

And I sure hope they replace it and not just "fix it". Now that the arm is bent, I'm sure it will be very weak.
You may want to find a mobile repair guy. I found one in San Antonio who was a Dometic authorized warranty business. He was able to do all the stuff needed to get a new awning for our Escape and to install it. Way faster than the dealers who were telling me I would have to leave the trailer with them for 6 plus weeks.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
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My problem is in my head. The first time I deployed the cheapo awning on my tent trailer fifteen years ago, some of the plastic parts broke.
Like you, I was afraid I'd break the awning, so for the first two years of Escape ownership I didn't open mine. Finally I worked up the nerve to do it, and spent a week practicing so I could do it with confidence. I discovered that the underside of the awning is streaked with stains from it being rolled up for so long. So it would be a good idea to deploy the thing every now and then to let it air out, and maybe clean it.

I still don't use the awning much, though.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
It doesn't tilt at all - just in and out. Should've listened to my gut - even bringing it in half way probably would've done the trick. And, like I said, 30 seconds....

I can't imagine never using the awning! It's one of the top 3 reasons I retired my Aliner (no awning)!

Right now, my biggest concern is how long it will likely take me to get in at an RV place. A couple of years ago, I called the local RV place in July and their next appointment wS in November.

And I sure hope they replace it and not just "fix it". Now that the arm is bent, I'm sure it will be very weak.
Hi: blhvet... Sorry about your awning trouble. It took me 3 months to try out ours on our first 5.0 and it was totally manual. The first and only time I used the screen room we were camping next to a nest of flies so we had to leave it open all the time. Alf
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File Type: jpg screen rm..jpg (98.7 KB, 48 views)
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:55 PM   #16
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So I am supposing that you had the new tabs or whatever fix they are doing? Does the awning normally tilt at all or just not supposed to need to with self-retracting?
I really don't know what's going on with the new tab thingies they're replacing the original ones with. After Reace left last week I went to dig out the old ones so I could compare. He took 'em with him. I thought they were tossed in the trash. You'd think with all the photos I've taken of the trailers I'd have one of that tab, but I don't. The replacement ones looks pretty much the same to me (as the originals). I'm hoping someone can take photos of the old and new, side by side (before they install the new ones) to see what sort of difference there is.

Bummer this happened to the OP. Thanks for the heads up. It's greatly appreciated (at least by this owner) when someone posts about a problem or situation they had. Hopefully it'll help others from having the same problem.

And it can be tempting to leave the awning out, especially if the sun is out as it provides more shade for that side of the trailer.
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:17 AM   #17
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Some people have all the luck. Last year at the Rally (2016) I got the good fortune to camp next to Charlie and Lucy in their 5.0TA. During a visit, I admitted that I didn't know how to deploy the awning and they both came right over ... out ... in ... out ...in ... ok I think I have it. So left it out. Well, Osoyous can have "out of no where" wind gusts. I left it out while visiting a trailer a little down the row. Seems that a gust had come up that convinced Charlie and Lucy to roll up their own awning .... and like good ... no ... GREAT neighbors, they rolled up mine too and saved me from learning about RV repair dealers in Osoyous. Thank you sooooo very much you guys!

Since then, through a little practice, I have learned how easy it is to deploy and roll up my awning. I never leave it out all night or if I'm going to be gone out of sight. Its so easy to handle.

Just takes a little practice,

Tom
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:38 AM   #18
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So sorry to hear of your mishap with the awning, Karen.

I let mine start filling with water to see what it did. the fabric started to droop between the arms, and a retracted it a bunch until the build up of water ran off. Leaving it out about 4' sheds pretty much all the water.

While everything else about the awning seems great, I love the look, the electric controls, and wind sensor. If it is just raining, and not windy, I often like to hang out under the awning, often with friends, but can no longer do this. I am considering a free standing awning, one I can place over a fixed picnic table, to give me this.

Quote:
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My problem is in my head.
As much as I love helping folks Karen, I am not qualified in this case, and would likely only do more damage.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:54 AM   #19
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I am considering a free standing awning, one I can place over a fixed picnic table, to give me this.
My 2016 21 ft new trailer did not come with any awning attached.

No use for it on the go as it is the case for us. The occasional stay at a great location will necessitate the use of a variety of free standing canopies, some with full screen enclosure. Still while on the go visiting great places, no time for awning use.

I suspect not having the awning arms on the side ( pre- 2017 models ) and roller on top helps a lot with the aerodynamics (slip stream) while towing.
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:10 AM   #20
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I know with the older style awning, it seemed very challenging the first few times, but with lots of practice in Florida/ wind & rain I can do it in less than 3-5 minutes, even with it tied down. Only works doing it myself.....someone else helping only complicates things.
Lots of people take chances and leave them out.....if something is forecast to come or looks like it might come I bring it in.
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