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Watch Your Awning


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I'm probably the most careful person I know when it comes to putting my awning in even in a light breeze. The other day it was calm, I was chipping golf balls at a bucket about 10 ft from the side of the motorhome. A gust of wind hit, awning billowed up in the center, ripped the support out of the motorhome on the rear side, and flipped it up on the roof. Carefree Eclipse.

I was shocked. No wind was forecast for that day at all. Luckily no damage to side of motorhome or roof. Awning braces both look ok. I got it somewhat rolled in and the back awning support tied off where it can't beat against the coach. Called every mobile rv service on google for this area, only got 2 return phone calls. Busy time of year. One could get here in a week. One whose website advertises service in every town around me and towns even farther away said "well you're a little bit far for us to go". well ok don't advertise that you'll service stuff 30 miles further away than I am.

I had been helping the Michigan contingent put up a gazebo earlier and they wandered over. They've convinced me we can fix it ourselves so I'm waiting for the exploding rivets and roll of butyl tape to arrive via Amazon.

When I was cleaning up existing butyl caulk and the awning support I found the source of trouble. The paper tape was still on most of the butyl caulk. The bottom rivets were all corroded and broke easily.

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I feel your pain, couple years ago the wife an i were at one of our favorite campsites, gettin ready to call it quits for the day. It had been a peacefull day, as i stood up to roll up our awning a rouge wind came thru camp, it was just one but created soooo much damage. It ripped off one side compleatly off the rv, it bent all the poles. It took a couple hrs an several folks help me use tie straps an bailing wire to tie it to the coach to get home. I was VERY surprised to discover all the parts i needed came from amazon. On this new to me coach it takes a hot sun with no wind before i unwind this awning.

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I was spoiled with the Class C we had, the awning was pretty much bullet proof and withstood multiple storms without a problem.

We bought our coach in late 2008 and on our first long trip in 2009 we were at the Perry GA fairgrounds and I was sitting in coach drinking coffee, it was dead calm and then a wind came through and the awning billowed.  It didn't break but the awning arm bent and I couldn't pull the awning in.  Had to go to a local farmers coop and buy a ladder, large C-Clamps, and a heavy piece of metal.  After ~3-4 hours I had it straightened enough to get the awning to come in.  At home another day of work and got it work OK but have to keep it lubricated . 

The awning is a Carerfree of  Colorado One Touch, which I think means if you touch it once it breaks. 

We now only use it sparingly and never ever in any type of wind. 

 

If you found some of the rivets corroded you can bet there are others.  You can do a temp repair now but plan on a better repair later.  When I remove my belt molding and aluminum extrusion on my rear passenger side pretty much all the screws were rusted off.  I bought a pneumatic rivet gun, rivets & drill bits, and replaced about ~25 of them.  Just found a spot on my lower belt molding that was and fixed it recently.  I now will carry the gun/rivets to be able to fix as necessary.  The wise thing to do would for me to just pull all the belt molding off and redo but that is a daunting task.

Edited by jacwjames
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No wind then BANG. Yep happened to me too, twice. Girard Awning. Electric , automatic retracting.with those scissor arm that fold into it.   Last time when it broke one arm and the motor gears, I took  the whole thing off. Left it off. Would cost over $1000. to repair. (New arm, new motor assembly,new awning fabric.

I  just put my chairs on the side of the coach where it’s shaded or stay in the A/C. No more worries about wind damage. They look nice but they’re a PITA (IMHO). No matter how careful you are, you’ll have a problem with it someday.

Jim

2000 Dynasty 40’ ‘04 Liberty Toad 

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I feel your pain, couple years ago the wife an i were at one of our favorite campsites, gettin ready to call it quits for the day. It had been a peacefull day, as i stood up to roll up our awning a rouge wind came thru camp, it was just one but created soooo much damage. It ripped off one side compleatly off the rv, it bent all the poles. It took a couple hrs an several folks help me use tie straps an bailing wire to tie it to the coach to get home. I was VERY surprised to discover all the parts i needed came from amazon. On this new to me coach it takes a hot sun with no wind before i unwind this awning.

Just now, Rikadoo said:

i used stainless screws when repairing my belt line, however now the other side is starting to fail, UGH!

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Same here two years ago. I used these to screw back into the wood block inside the wall. 

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427EE68C-F0C8-457A-9DE6-2F6C697C18AC.jpeg

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Back in 2001 with our 1997 Aerbus we were in the infield of Talladega Speedway for the Fall NASCAR race.  We were in the Frontrunners club in the forth turn.  Went to take a nap in between practice runs on Saturday. Nice bright afternoon, no winds.  Then before I could even get out of our coach when I felt it rock, a microburst hit.  Took our awning right off the side of the coach and laid it on the ground.  Did the same to others.  Rolled over a souvenir trailer and tossed tents around like paper bags.  Was covered by our insurance.  We always put our main awning in at night and when ever we are away from the coach.  We had smaller strap awnings installed over each window so we have those out most of the time.  We have turned off the auto retract wind feature as all it does is retract and then put the awning back out time and time again in a short period of time.  There is no guarantee to prevent any type of damage from many situations.  A good insurance policy to cover such incidents helps.  Stay safe, Satay well 

Dick and Sandy near Buffalo, NY

2015 HR Ambassador 38DB

2000 Ford Explorer Toad

 

 

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16 minutes ago, vegaman19760 said:

Back in 2001 with our 1997 Aerbus we were in the infield of Talladega Speedway for the Fall NASCAR race.  We were in the Frontrunners club in the forth turn.  Went to take a nap in between practice runs on Saturday. Nice bright afternoon, no winds.  Then before I could even get out of our coach when I felt it rock, a microburst hit.  Took our awning right off the side of the coach and laid it on the ground.  Did the same to others.  Rolled over a souvenir trailer and tossed tents around like paper bags.  Was covered by our insurance.  We always put our main awning in at night and when ever we are away from the coach.  We had smaller strap awnings installed over each window so we have those out most of the time.  We have turned off the auto retract wind feature as all it does is retract and then put the awning back out time and time again in a short period of time.  There is no guarantee to prevent any type of damage from many situations.  A good insurance policy to cover such incidents helps.  Stay safe, Satay well 

Dick and Sandy near Buffalo, NY

2015 HR Ambassador 38DB

2000 Ford Explorer Toad

 

 

I would think an auto-retract would not auto-extend the awning.  Doesn't make much sense to me.
Glad you got it repaired.

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24 minutes ago, dl_racing427 said:

I would think an auto-retract would not auto-extend the awning.  Doesn't make much sense to me.
Glad you got it repaired.

There was no auto retract feature back in the late 1990's..  That was a rail awning that required people to set out the extended rails connected to the side of the coach.  That auto retract feature came out in the early 2000's.  It was supposed to be a safety feature on automatic awnings that at a certain wind speed it retracts the auto awning and when the wind dies down it would extend the awning back out.  Newer styles will retract the auto awning when strut sensors feel a certain deflection. and extend back out when those deflections stop.  I have seen awnings strapped down with screw in ground lugs get pulled out of the ground and tossed over the top of expensive high end coaches..  Mother nature does not care what precautions you take.  Stuff happens.

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On 1/22/2022 at 10:35 AM, Rikadoo said:

I feel your pain, couple years ago the wife an i were at one of our favorite campsites, gettin ready to call it quits for the day. It had been a peacefull day, as i stood up to roll up our awning a rouge wind came thru camp, it was just one but created soooo much damage. It ripped off one side compleatly off the rv, it bent all the poles. It took a couple hrs an several folks help me use tie straps an bailing wire to tie it to the coach to get home. I was VERY surprised to discover all the parts i needed came from amazon. On this new to me coach it takes a hot sun with no wind before i unwind this awning.

i used stainless screws when repairing my belt line, however now the other side is starting to fail, UGH!

While stainless screws will certainly work & not rust, I have been advised to only use stainless pop rivets because screws are known to back out over time due to vibrations as we head down the road. Perhaps if backed up with caulking on the threads of the screws they might stay put?

Bart from VA

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