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Old 05-05-2017, 04:39 PM   #1
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Awning & belly band alert for 2nd Gen trailers

Just got home from taking the trailer up to ETI to get the busted rear window replaced. And a few other things looked at.

The Canadian border guard was having a real hard time not laughing when I told him the reason for heading to the factory - Dirk's $500 mowing job (rock flew up and shattered the left dinette window). I'm sure he wanted to look professional, but I did see the corners of his mouth twitch a few times.

Stayed at Cottonwood, which is almost literally across the highway from ETI. Quiet neighbors. Highway traffic covered up by my sound machine at night.

ETI put more foam and such in the frig vent area and said it's all taken care of. They also put some stuff over the windows - I didn't look at it. My windows weren't leaking but I guess they wanted to be pro-active about that.

Got the brake controller situation fixed - will post on that thread after I take a few photos to explain what all was going on there. In a while, so for those waiting with bated breath for the resolution are just gonna have to wait.

Okay, for the alerts:

On the work order they wrote down "belly band" and I found out later what all that meant. There will be an email sent from ETI regarding this at some point soon (according to Nigel). I guess there were some problems with some of the rivets used and there's a possibility of a leak happening somewhere down the road. I don't remember exactly what Nigel said, but maybe something about bad rivets.

Anyway, they pulled the belly band and then tapped a thin metal thingie into each rivet to see if it was fine. All of mine were. Yay! The email will probably give far more detail than I just did. And won't use the word "thingie".

This morning I went back to ETI as I had forgotten to get them to look at a loose screw (no, not me! ) in the awning casing area at the front end. We put tape underneath as the screw was hanging down pretty good.

Turns out those screws are used for adjusting. My awning was sloping down pretty good at the front, so Reace did a bunch of adjustment to it this morning (out in the front parking lot; fortunately in the brief bit of sunshine that appeared). It still has a little bit of a tilt to the front, but that's okay as that's where the excess water will come down. He said one end needs to be lower than the other anyway.

He said that I need to be careful when I retract the awning. He suggested that I stop it just before it hits the metal lip that extends out to make sure it doesn't get caught underneath. That happened to someone and it really mucked things up. Mine was getting close to getting caught on the lip, so I'm really glad he adjusted it for me.

There's also some screws on top of this box-like mechanism that can stick out and tear the awning. Again, that happened to someone and ripped the awning. So, one more thing to add to the "things to check periodically" list.

It was quite windy, so I got to see the awning retract in the high winds. All worked well. Yay!

The trip was also a really good test for the anti-sway part of my hitch due to the strong winds for a good portion of my trip back. I could feel the winds hit the truck/trailer and I could feel movement, but it was never swaying or freaking me out. Yay and yay and yay!
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:47 PM   #2
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Thank you for the report. I am happy to hear that ETI is continuing their work of addressing issues quickly as they arise. With anything new, the unknown occurs, but there is always a solution. Safe travels.
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Old 05-05-2017, 05:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post

He said that I need to be careful when I retract the awning. He suggested that I stop it just before it hits the metal lip that extends out to make sure it doesn't get caught underneath. That happened to someone and it really mucked things up. Mine was getting close to getting caught on the lip, so I'm really glad he adjusted it for me.
Yep it was us! The awning was retracting when we were at the Bluebonnet Rally a few days back - saw just before it went under the slide that it was going to go under the slide - too late to do anything. Didn't have remote in my hand at that instant - new awning is supposed to be arriving soon. Dometic notified the RV repair place that it is being shipped soon and will be covered under warranty. When it goes under that lip it twists the awning pretty good followed by a loud pop as the metal lip breaks away from the trailer! It had appeared to be on the way to doing that one time about two weeks before the catostrophic event but I saw it coming and pushed the awning up to clear the lip. Never did it again until Bluebonnet. By the way, not only was the lip ripped off, the plastic end cap broke as did one of the slide "thingies" at the outside rear of the awning. The awning also has a nasty tilt to it so I am assuming the arms got bent too. Reace was great to work with on getting the fix started and it looks like Dometic is stepping up to the plate.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:06 PM   #4
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Did you ever have Escape plug those holes in the bath/exterior for you? How does it look now?
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:10 PM   #5
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Did you ever have Escape plug those holes in the bath/exterior for you? How does it look now?
Sorry, forgot to mention that. Yep, they fixed that, under warranty, and you can't even tell what happened. Nigel said they used "magic" when I complimented him on the work.

So, now I don't need to put a cat decal over it.

BTW, Reace said the guys in the shop were admiring my license plate frame. Covered with pictures of kitty cats.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:12 PM   #6
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Yep it was us! The awning was retracting when we were at the Bluebonnet Rally a few days back - saw just before it went under the slide that it was going to go under the slide - too late to do anything (snip).
Dang! Did it damage the fiberglass at all? I'd be worried about that.

And it could have happened to ours if I hadn't asked them to look at that loose screw. Whew!

Glad it's getting taken care of for ya.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:54 PM   #7
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Have to say, a practically new electric awning should not destroy itself when it retracts. Glad mine is manual.

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Old 05-05-2017, 08:09 PM   #8
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:47 PM   #9
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The awning story is difficult to read, ouch.. Sorry that happened Dave, hope it's a one time report.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:23 PM   #10
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The awning story is scary
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