Jump to content


Photo
* * * - - 1 votes

Awning Safety


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Mable

Mable

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 16 October 2012 - 12:58 PM

OK, so I was traveling south on I65 in Indiana last Sunday and got hit with very strong winds gusting to 50mph. Two miles north of the closest exit and already being blown sideways (2002 pace arrow 35g). I heard a loud noise and felt as though I was going to tip over...my awning had unrolled about 6 feet and was blowing over the top creating a sail. There i was para-sailing down the highway almost on my side. Pulled onto the shoulder and nursed it to the exit and a truck stop. With the wind blowing as strong as it was there was nothing I could do so a parked between two semis and rode out the storm until morning. In the morning a driver helped me unroll it and then got it back in place. Don't want that to happen again, any suggestions?

Thanks, bob
  • 1

#2 desertdeals69

desertdeals69

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,246 posts

Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:56 PM

It sounds like the brake was released or just doesn't hold. I changed my arms to the new style which has a crank and worm gear, no springs. It won't release unless you crank it out.
  • 0

#3 wolfe10

wolfe10

    Advanced Member

  • Moderator, Super
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,756 posts
  • Location:League City, Texas

Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:12 PM

Bob,

What brand and model/style of awning do your have? The locking mechanisms vary with brand and model.
  • 0

Dianne and Brett Wolfe
1997 Safari Sahara 3540
Moderator, FMCA.com Forums
Chairman, FMCA Technical Advisory Committee
Member, FMCA Long-Range and Development Committee 2007-2009
Moderator, http://www.dieselrvclub.org/(FMCA chapter)


#4 Mable

Mable

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13 posts

Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:45 PM

Hi again...it is A&E systems by Dometic...I don't know the model #.

It is a pull down, with locking tabs and a screw knob tightener on each strut.

It has a lock on the roller on the right end that self engages when it is rolled up...you have to unlock it when you want to pull it down.

Thanks, Bob
  • 0

#5 hermanmullins

hermanmullins

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,660 posts
  • Location:Whitewright, TEXAS

Posted 16 October 2012 - 04:32 PM

Bob,

Welcome to the Forum.

Sorry for the problem. One thing you may try are Velcro straps. You can put one around arm and strut, tight and as far up as you can reach. I had this happen to me is AZ. But was the driver side living room awning that blew out 15 to 20 times in one day. As you had, we had heavy gusting cross winds. However I could slow down to a crawl and BAM it roll back end and just a little bit later flap it would unroll again.

What I did was stop at a Hardware Store and bought some PVC pipe, Pipe insulation, duct tape and cable ties. I got 3 foot pipe. Dust taped about 6 inches of Insulation to each end of the pipe. I placed the pipe about 18 inches up the strut with the same amount below the bend and cable tied the pipe to the strut.

This would not allow the awning to unroll. Kept it on that window, except when camping, til we sold the coach. This would not work on your large awning but is great for window awnings. The Velcro Straps works on the large awning. You could lock the arm and put the strap around the strut and lock.

FYI, if you have ever had your awning straps flutter and roar in the wind, try this. Twist the strap once or twice and re hook the strap. No more flutter and roar.

Herman
  • 0

"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
Whitewright, TEXAS
'02 Monaco Dynasty, 40-foot 400 HP ISL
Chevrolet Silverado (M & G air brakes)
U.S. Navy PR-3 1956 to 1964

Southern Region Vice President for Six-State Rally Association
Lone Star Chapter FMCA Past President
South Central Lucky Rollers
Rally in The Pasture


#6 ClayL

ClayL

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 180 posts
  • Location:Full Timing - SD for 11 years now snow birds
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 17 October 2012 - 09:50 AM

Securing the arms does not solve the problem.

Side winds get under the awning and put enough pressure on the ratchet mechanism to extend the awning with the arms still securely locked in place.

There are a number of awning locks on the market.

This is what I use. It is cheap and requires no holes to be drilled. You can get the parts at any hardware store.

You can see the instructions HERE.

I have used one for several years. It would take one heck of a side wind to overcome it.
  • 0

Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), katie & Kelli (cats)
Full timer domiciled in SD for 11 years. Now snow birds with a house in western CO
2004 Winnebago Sightseer 35N - Workhorse chassis


#7 boguslaw

boguslaw

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 20 posts

Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:51 PM

I had the same issue on a Carefree of Colorado awning. Heavy crosswinds unfurled part of the awning, then it tried to open (the arms moved a foot or two). I was able to pull off the highway and wind it back in(with the motor), duct tape the aluminum fabric cover down and continue on my way. Premier RV in Junction City changed the motor but I kept it to see what the issue was. The failure was not apparent but after reading some posts on this forum, I was able to determine the hub that bolts to the reel tube (that the fabric winds on) slipped from the output drive of the motor/gear assembly. There seemed to be excessive play in the flat part of the output shaft and the hub. The hub is cast aluminum.

I emailed Carefree who confirmed they made a design change and the new ones have two flat spots on the shaft. I don't know if the one that was installed was of the new design. I also saw on this forum a way to fix the old one so now I have a spare. I filed out the hub to make room for a shim so the output shaft and hub fit tight.

I also made a safety hold-down similar to that described by ClayL, just in case. Mine isn't as user friendly as I am unable to hook/unhook it from the ground with the awning rod. I'll probably change it. I had the thing unfurl 2 other times, never a good thing as it's hard enough to drive in cross winds without wondering if the awning is going to open. I paid for 2 motors and Carefree replaced one under warranty.

Jim Boguslaw
2007 Country Coach Tribute
  • 0

#8 smokeater75

smokeater75

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 71 posts
  • Location:Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:41 AM

I had a similar problem while crossing Interstate 80 between Reno and Salt lake, strong cross winds, I put zip locks on my awnings, there easy to put on and take off. Not sure if this will help in your situation. smokeater75.
  • 0

#9 Born2travel

Born2travel

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Location:Anderson, IN
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:28 AM

I went from the "will" to "has" had an awning unfurl list last year. The internal lock is on the front of the roller and mine unfurled at the rear. Had I spend the $40.00 for a lock before it would have saved me arounf $700.00. I used the one at http://awninglock.co...expid=1952912-2 but there are others out there. Some are home built from common stuff.
  • 0

#10 QuiGonJohn

QuiGonJohn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • Location:Davie, FL

Posted 23 October 2012 - 12:42 PM

Well we have had our rig since April and just went to the Grand Canyon and back in Sept. We have had no problems with the awning, even though we were in some good wind. But still, I think I may have just been lucky and I want to look into getting some kind of lock.

In comparing the self-made one that ClayL listed vs. the one Born2travel listed, I think the bought one seems more reliable and more user-friendly. Has anyone else had experience with this one?

Also, we have an awning that covers our slide out. Do you recommend something to be used with that or are they usually not a problem.
  • 0

#11 QuiGonJohn

QuiGonJohn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • Location:Davie, FL

Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:24 PM

Well I contacted the seller of the Awning Lock that Born2travel mentioned and he put me in touch with the inventor of it.

He has a modified one that will work on the Slide-Out Awning. He said the "peg" lock the slide-out comes with might break. I was leaning toward getting that one too, but then I started thinking, do I really want to have to get the Awning Rod, walk around to the slide out and undo the lock every time I want to open the slide-out? And what if me or my wife forget it, then we will rip the awning.

Operating the mechanism when doing the Patio Awning is no big deal. You have to be out there anyway, you already have to work with the Awning Rod, etc.

I am starting to think I might just do better to rely on the "peg" interlock for the slide-out awning, maybe reinforce it.

What do others here think?

SlideOutAwningPeg.jpg
  • 0

#12 desertdeals69

desertdeals69

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,246 posts

Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:15 PM

Keep it as simple as possible. As we get older we tend to forget things that have to be done!
  • 0

#13 Wayne77590

Wayne77590

    USMC (Ret)

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,102 posts
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:59 PM

Are you talking about the A&E Topper Awning that has a "C-Clamp" with a lever sticking out? The technical name is "Anti-billowing" mechanisim, lock, gadget, etc.

That clamp is designed to allow the awning to unfurl just a few inches before the "Tab" on the C clamp bumps against the stop. Typically if the C' Clamp is on the forward edege of the awning the Tab is positioned at 11 O'Clock, and if it is on the rear side of the awning it is positioned at 1 O'clock. It allows the awning to move about 2-3 inches when the slide is retracted and there is a bump stop on the wall of the RV. If the awning were tight without movement the wind would cause it to tear. I lost a C-Clamp lock on our last trip. No damage to the awning, but frightful when it billowed out about 4 feet. Immediately slowing down caused it to wind back in. From that moment on I kept the speed down and we then changed directions and the wind was no more problem. Replaced the C-clamp and all is fine.

Anyhow, that is for the topper awning.
  • 0

Wayne, MSgt, USMC (Ret)

2008 Winnebago Destination

2013 Lincoln MKX


#14 QuiGonJohn

QuiGonJohn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • Location:Davie, FL

Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:45 PM

Yes Wayne, I am talking about the Topper Awning. Mine is on the rear and viewed from the front of the RV, it is at about the 1:00 position. It seems that allows it to unfurl a lot and I was thinking of moving it a bit closer, to the 12:00 or straight up position. Would that work or would that not allow enough play?

So if one were to use an Awning Lock that kept the roller from turning at all, are you saying the wind would tear the awning? Would this be any different from the Patio Awning. Most of those do not allow any movement, as you have to flip the latch to change directions to bring the awning down, but those don't usually tear, unless the locking mechanism fails and the awning begins to unwind.

Anyway, the guy with the Awning Lock said that the "C-Clamp and Lever Sticking Out" could break and that is why he recommended the additional lock. I just think that would be too much trouble, we put our slide in and out a lot, we usually don't stay in one place too long. And my thinking was the whole time the prior owners had the RV they never had an issue with this. Since we bought the RV we have never had a problem. So I was thinking just staying with the existing Anti-billowing Mechanism would probably be sufficient.

But I do want to get his lock for the Patio Awning, (which besides all else, is much larger and I'm sure greater forces at work).
  • 0

#15 Wayne77590

Wayne77590

    USMC (Ret)

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,102 posts
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:36 PM

QuiGonJohn,

I'm going by what I have been told and read about regarding the anti-billowing mechanisim. You say that your (let's call it AB) AB is on the rear and when viewed from the front is at the 1:00 O'clock position. Looking at it from the rear would indicate that it woud be at the 11:00 O'clock position. That doesn't seem right to me. Let's look at it from the rear of te MH, and the passenger side. Your present configuration would be 11:00 O'clock. To me, that would allow the awing to billow out about 2- more inches before the lever hits the stop on the side of the MH. You could reduce that by moving the lever to the 1:00 O'clock position, reducing the amount of travel but still giving it some "give." There are two screws, self tapping, in the C-clamp portion of the AB device. Just remove them and you can set the AB to the 1:00 O'clock position. I would strongly recommend using a drill to make a starter hole for the screws. I watched a technician try to use the self tapping screws and he finally got the drill in frustration.

It has been my understanding that the AB device is positioned to allow some movement of the awning and that it diminishes the chance of tearing. I'm just repeating what I was told here. A call to A&E could confirm that.

Now we are both smart, you know as much as I know. Hee hee!

Edited: I just found this video and show at the beginning where the AB device is located. To me it should be in that same position when the slide is in. That is where mine are set. At the end they state 1:00 O'clock.

http://www.shademyrv...tall-video.html
  • 1

Wayne, MSgt, USMC (Ret)

2008 Winnebago Destination

2013 Lincoln MKX


#16 QuiGonJohn

QuiGonJohn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • Location:Davie, FL

Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:01 PM

Well from the video it says Driver's Side 1:00 position. Of course, as I said, on mine, this is viewed from the front and the AB is mounted on the rear of the roller. I think I'm gonna go with it straight up, 12:00. Will reduce the play a little and align it better for the RV Cover I use when parked for several weeks.

What I still don't get is, (as you say, it should be allowed to have some "play"), but if someone were to use an Awning Lock, that locks the roller from turning at all, then from what you said, that might cause the awning fabric to be torn.
  • 0

#17 chucksmoto

chucksmoto

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

I HAD MY 15 FOOT AWNING BILLOW OUT A FEW FEET BECAUSE OF A STRONG CROSS WIND. Stopped at a hardware store - got a 50 foot piece of nylon rope - wrapped it all the way over and around the motorhome at the center of the awning and that fixed the problem. I have since poked two small holes through the narrow canvas strip at 1/3 and 2/3 from the end - lace 18 inches of small diameter nylon twine through - knots on both sides so the twine won't fall out (need to do this with the awning out) - then with the awning rolled up the twine wraps around the awning and is tied (need to get on ladder or on roof to do this). I also wrap a Velcro strap through the upper mounting bracket and around the top of the extension arms.
  • 0

#18 Wayne77590

Wayne77590

    USMC (Ret)

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,102 posts
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 03 November 2012 - 01:04 PM

Well from the video it says Driver's Side 1:00 position. Of course, as I said, on mine, this is viewed from the front and the AB is mounted on the rear of the roller. I think I'm gonna go with it straight up, 12:00. Will reduce the play a little and align it better for the RV Cover I use when parked for several weeks.

What I still don't get is, (as you say, it should be allowed to have some "play"), but if someone were to use an Awning Lock, that locks the roller from turning at all, then from what you said, that might cause the awning fabric to be torn.



John, I have never seen an awning lock advertised for a topper. They may be there, I just don't ever remember seeing one. I really don't think you are supposed to lock the topper awning.

Here is a link to A&E Dometic instructions for installing a slide topper:

Slide Topper installation

PDF File: worked in Safari - not FF: http://www.dometic.c...a80b54963.fodoc
Let me know if the links do not work.
Notice they use the 12:00 position. My specific installation, and the instructions I got from the "C-clamp" was 1 o'clock and 11 o'clock depending on your orientation.

Editied: p.s., whatever position it is in make darn sure that it has the clearance when the slide opens. If your's is on the rear, passenger side, then the operation will be (I think) a counter-clockwise directon of the roller as it unfurls, and the driver side rear would be a clockwise direction as it unfurls.(That needs confirmationa as I'm just running it through my head - and that's dangerous. At 12:00 O'clock there has to be enough travel for the lever to clear the "bumper" or "Stop."

Good luck.
  • 1

Wayne, MSgt, USMC (Ret)

2008 Winnebago Destination

2013 Lincoln MKX


#19 QuiGonJohn

QuiGonJohn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 174 posts
  • Location:Davie, FL

Posted 03 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

Thanks Wayne.

On the lock, the same manufacturer that is in this thread with the patio awning lock, has one available for the slide topper. But I think I am only going to get the patio one. I don't want to have to unlock and lock the one for the slide each time I bring the slide in and out.

I put the AB at the 12:00 position and will test tomorrow to be sure it clear the stop when operating the slide.

In doing some Google searches on this I found info that said viewed from the front, it should be at 11:00 if the slide is on the passenger side and 1:00 if the slide is on the driver's side. (Opposite positions if viewed from the rear of the MH). But I'm pretty sure mine will work at 12:00 position, as just a small movement of the slide out ought to allow the AB to clear the bumper. If not, I can easily move it back to the 1:00 position.
  • 0

#20 Wayne77590

Wayne77590

    USMC (Ret)

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,102 posts
  • I travel:With Pets

Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

Thanks. Let us know how it goes.
  • 0

Wayne, MSgt, USMC (Ret)

2008 Winnebago Destination

2013 Lincoln MKX





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users