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Old 10-07-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
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Learn from our awning disaster!

Howdy,

FYI...While camping our way home this last July, the awning on our new 5.0 was destroyed. We had used it a half a dozen times and two days before on the Oregon coast during a light rain. While driving in eastern Oregon we hit a dry thunderstorm with 50mph winds and blowing dust. When suddenly our awning opened about three feet or so. Before we could get pulled over and stopped, the rivets attaching the feet of both lower arm assemblies gave way and the whole awning was dragging and flailing about in the wind. It was apparent that is was going to need to take it completely off to continue travel. My poor wife was trying to hold on to the awning in strong winds and keep it from damaging the trailer while I cut the torn vinyl and unbolted the upper mounting brackets. After getting it off I had to take the arm assembies off the roller to load the whole thing up. SUPRISE! They are spring loaded and damm thing nearly took my thumb off as it unsprung. Then I lash the roller to the truck which is 10' long onto a 6' bed with 5'er in tow to continue our journey. We were very lucky that no major damage was done to the trailer.

Reace was a champion through all this. Carefree of Colorado was not so much and will not deal with the public. Replacement parts are sold only through RV dealers. And my replacement cost was around $600.00 and a month to get.
I installed it myself with the help of two others.

From here on out, my awning will have a strap on the front end to keep it from ever opening up while driving. To this day I am not sure just what caused it to bellow open. I believe I had closed it properly and the black lock knobs were tight.

I am sure most of you have had thousands of trouble free miles concerning your awning. I wanted to share this disaster story. Maybe it can prevent this happing to someone else.

David



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Old 10-07-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

Probably doesn't apply in this case, but I like to take care of all operations and checks when hooking up and unhooking. When I travel with my buddy Keath in his trailer, I stand back unless he asks me to do something.

I adopted this approach after watching a couple guys back down a boat ramp. The truck braked, but the 26' boat with twin inboard/outboard motors did not, causing probably $6,000 damage to the legs. Seems the helpful friend had unhooked the bow-line from the trailer...

baglo
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:22 PM   #3
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

just ordered some straps from Amazon, better safe than sorry....
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:37 AM   #4
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

Two for $11 and supports a fellow egg owner's small business, Little House Customs: http://www.littlehousecustoms.com/store Find it about 2/3 the way down the page.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #5
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

I saw those listed but they seem too long as they go around a box awning vs just the supports. I did not wish to cut them and maybe mess up the velcro. Found a set of adjustable ones elsewhere.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

Dave and Sandy,
I'm sorry to hear about your awning accident, and I'm glad it didn't result in more extensive damage or injury.

A friend gave me a couple of strong velcro straps for the awning arms. Until that time I had not considered them necessary, but once I began using them I was delighted with the sense of security they brought. I even use them when the trailer is parked at home.

I don't know about others, but I always close the awning when we are away from the trailer and also when we go to bed at night.

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Old 10-08-2012, 08:50 AM   #7
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

Hi: Garand...Good idea too. A sudden wind caught a campers rope& pole awning at Niagara Wine Escape once and they were away touring. By the time I got there the awning was flipped up on the roof with the legs pointing skyward. Tiedowns are a must.
I bought a roll of doublesided velcro to use as a lash to hold a coffemaker to the pole on the Boler counter...but it has many app's as you can cut it to the proper length needed to hold an awning closed.
Seems we always "Close the door after the horse has bolted". Alf
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

I was about to send a question concerning the awning. Yesterday, I was camping near key west and decided to open up the awning. I checked out Tammy's video. My problem is I loosened up the black knob on one side too much and the flat nut and knob fell out. I now can't get them back together. Anyone have any ideas on a fix? I don't understand why the awning is made this way and if I missed something on the instruction video?

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:31 AM   #9
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

Hi: Roger from Florida...The black knobs allow the inner support arms to slide up, extend and lock to help prevent flapping. The white travel locks are to clamp the inner/outer arms together. It might take an RV. tech some time to replace the knob and nut... but I'm sure it can be done. The biggie problem could be the spring loaded aspect of the roller while taking the arms apart. I don't think I would attempt the repair. Alf
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:32 AM   #10
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Re: Learn from our awning disaster!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger from Florida
I was about to send a question concerning the awning. Yesterday, I was camping near key west and decided to open up the awning. I checked out Tammy's video. My problem is I loosened up the black knob on one side too much and the flat nut and knob fell out. I now can't get them back together. Anyone have any ideas on a fix? I don't understand why the awning is made this way and if I missed something on the instruction video?

I haven't had that problem YET, but its easy to see how it might happen. I suspect you may have to disassemble the lower portion of the awning leg to get the nut and knob re-mated. It might be a bit tricky to get the bottom portion rejoined, but patience should get it back together.

HTH,
Dave
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