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Old 04-24-2015, 07:49 PM   #1
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Awning latch

I have used my awning exactly once: when I was at home I deployed the awning just to make sure it worked. Since I was unfamiliar with it, I carefully followed instructions when I rolled it up, including moving the awning latch to the "CLOSED" position.

Late this afternoon I returned to my trailer after a windy day in New Mexico. I heard a flap-flap-flap from outside that seemed unusual. I went out and saw the the awning had partially unrolled, making it loose. I looked at the awning latch and saw that it was in the "OPEN" position. I moved it to "CLOSED"; the spring-loaded awning spun tight.

Can this latch move from "CLOSED" to "OPEN" on its own? Has anyone else had this happen? Since I never use the awning I have been ignoring the latch, but I guess I need to add it to the departure checklist.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:54 PM   #2
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Strange. Not had that experience.
In addition to the open/close lever, there are locks about half way up the arms, but I also add a Velcro strap around each arm to make double sure it's secure.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:02 PM   #3
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Except for once I've never used my awning either. Now I might never use it. (Back in high school I also had trouble understanding some key concepts with Algebra II.)
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:12 PM   #4
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Since the contraption as a whole made me nervous, I also added Velcro straps to the top of each arm to help secure it to its bracket on the trailer body. Left in my hands, the awning is just an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:20 PM   #5
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It is interesting, 2 of the hottest states and yet shade is not desired? You will need shade on those hot days where you use the a/c or even want to sit outside, the shade is at least 10-15 degrees cooler than in the sun. In addition the shade will keep your trailer cooler, at least on one side. I keep the straps also and they give me a visual lock status. With having to turn the latch to open and also unsrew each arm as well as unlock the arm, someone was messing with you. I find it hard to believe it can come open uninvited with these 3 steps involved.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:20 PM   #6
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If it's any consolation, I had to review the video I made after not opening the awning for several months. If you follow all the steps and add a strap you should have no issues.
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Old 04-24-2015, 08:22 PM   #7
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Hi Professor Propane- ours started to come open after driving from Lee Vining through Yosemite and finally just west of I-5. Lucky we didn't see it torn off. Seemed weird so many miles had passed , however we were travelling at relatively low speed with little wind until then. Reace's sage advice is to pull on the strap prior to going mobile.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:03 PM   #8
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I was advised by my buddy to roll the strap into the awning ( have it a couple inches to the left of the edge of the awning fabric ). That keeps the strap from flapping around. I suspect a flailing strap may have been what opened your latch.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
Reace's sage advice is to pull on the strap prior to going mobile.
I don't understand this??
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:08 PM   #10
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If you tug on the strap and the latch isn't secure, the awning will start to unroll.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:40 PM   #11
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Flailing strap, hmm.... On earlier stops the strap did bang around at night, keeping me awake. I solved that by putting a 2" long piece of foam pipe insulation on the strap above the knot at the end. I was quite proud of myself for solving that problem, not thinking that the flailing strap might indicate another problem with the awning. Duh. After discovering the unlatched latch today I also found that the screw securing the front arm was loose. Maybe someone was messing with me after all, or maybe the contraption just came loose while I was going down the road. I'll keep an eye on it from now on.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:45 PM   #12
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Could be somebody was envious.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:47 PM   #13
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Strap did not move from center as always over the last 8K+ miles. The weird thing is that it seems that the latch normally locks itself when you return it from open. Worth including in Exterior Checklist.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Flailing strap, hmm.... On earlier stops the strap did bang around at night, keeping me awake. I solved that by putting a 2" long piece of foam pipe insulation on the strap above the knot at the end. I was quite proud of myself for solving that problem, not thinking that the flailing strap might indicate another problem with the awning. Duh. After discovering the unlatched latch today I also found that the screw securing the front arm was loose. Maybe someone was messing with me after all, or maybe the contraption just came loose while I was going down the road. I'll keep an eye on it from now on.
Don't think anyone needed to mess with it as these things are well known for coming apart.
We kept a strap on ours. The "open" and "close" do not really match where the locking mechanism goes so it can be impossible to tell looking at that.

Also, believe it or not, one of the most common things people forget is to roll up the awning. They drive away with it still out! At least you are ahead on that one.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:56 PM   #15
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Could be somebody was envious.
As I was leaving the park this morning I saw a Casita pull into the campground, but when I returned tonight I didn't see it parked anywhere. A suspect!
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:34 PM   #16
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As I was leaving the park this morning I saw a Casita pull into the campground, but when I returned tonight I didn't see it parked anywhere. A suspect!
Probably the Casita for sure, can you imagine how envious they must have been

OK, just went out and put a nice hefty velcro strap on the arm. I've never really trusted the lock and the thought of the awning opening on the highway

Actually an awning is the one piece of equipment that I'd said that I'd never have. But since it was standard on the Escape I ended up with one. Have to say I really like it, so much better than a tarp and poles etc. and I really like the instant shade and sometimes, keeping the rain away from the door.

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Old 04-24-2015, 10:45 PM   #17
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I would like to use it more but the wind seems the be unpredictable many times. The awning maker-Carefree was very courteous and said they would replace if necessary. They also offered to send out Velcro straps, but those side ones are not as important as the single lever at top right of the rolled up awning. And yes it is not clear as to what position it is in which is why am sure that Reace's suggestion to pull on the strap had to come from experience.
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:54 PM   #18
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Most sorry sight I've ever observed was a tent trailer on the shoulder of the Upper Levels highway. I guess the guy forgot to latch the roof section to the trailer body, because the entire tent portion, and the roof, were laying out on the ground behind the trailer.
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
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And yes it is not clear as to what position it is in which is why am sure that Reace's suggestion to pull on the strap had to come from experience.
I camp with my buddy, who has a 19. He helps when getting set to leave camp, but I still run through my check list. I need to know that everything has been done, and nothing undone ( as could happen if somebody thought the latch was open when it was already closed ).
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:55 PM   #20
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Camco awning straps can be bought from etrailer and elsewhere. We have another kind but I don't see them available now.
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