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Old 03-09-2019, 10:18 AM   #1
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Girard awning-check your bolts

This has been written on here before. When I read it, I assumed that the problem had been corrected by Newmar, as I believe it was first reported in 2017.

Yesterday as I was preparing to do a roof project, I glanced at my bolts securing the girard awning to the roof rails. What I saw was very concerning. This is the result of a single use of the awnings. Prior to my last trip the bolts where secure, and did not dig into the aluminum mount.

After this last trip, I now have 6 bolts digging into the aluminum, and I know what caused it.

The awnings remained stowed for the duration of the trip, but the winds were excessive the entire weekend. We had 12 hours of 25-40mph winds on Saturday, and both drive days the winds were 15-20mph. This force caused the bolts to sink into the soft aluminum frame.

A washer is required between the bolt and aluminum frame. I have shared this with Newmar and Midway.

Newmar has "never seen or heard of this problem", so I was glad that I was able to bring it to their attention via an email sent on Thursday March 7, 2019 @ 5:25pm CST. This email was acknowledged via a voicemail left on my phone yesterday afternoon, and will be discussed on Monday along with my HWH slide issue.

Attached is a picture of one of the bolts.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-09-2019, 10:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redbaron73 View Post
This has been written on here before. When I read it, I assumed that the problem had been corrected by Newmar, as I believe it was first reported in 2017.

Yesterday as I was preparing to do a roof project, I glanced at my bolts securing the girard awning to the roof rails. What I saw was very concerning. This is the result of a single use of the awnings. Prior to my last trip the bolts where secure, and did not dig into the aluminum mount.

After this last trip, I now have 6 bolts digging into the aluminum, and I know what caused it.

The awnings remained stowed for the duration of the trip, but the winds were excessive the entire weekend. We had 12 hours of 25-40mph winds on Saturday, and both drive days the winds were 15-20mph. This force caused the bolts to sink into the soft aluminum frame.

A washer is required between the bolt and aluminum frame. I have shared this with Newmar and Midway.

Newmar has "never seen or heard of this problem", so I was glad that I was able to bring it to their attention via an email sent on Thursday March 7, 2019 @ 5:25pm CST. This email was acknowledged via a voicemail left on my phone yesterday afternoon, and will be discussed on Monday along with my HWH slide issue.

Attached is a picture of one of the bolts.Attachment 237400Attachment 237401Attachment 237402Attachment 237403
Looks like a washer just on 1 side? Any reason not to put washers on both sides?

Special washers Loctite?
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:46 AM   #3
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Looks like a washer just on 1 side? Any reason not to put washers on both sides?

Special washers Loctite?
The picture I posted is how the factory delivered it.

The proper fix is to add a washer on the opposite side. I have not done anything yet, as this is such a dangerous oversite on Newmars behalf, I wanted it to be part of my official warranty complaints.

I am very curious as to what fix they will reccomend, and finally, I wanted to publicly document the issue for future owners that may have a problem.

Many owners never climb up to the roof, and will be unaware of a problem with the awnings.

I can see how easy it would be for the manufacturer to blame the end user for the damage. The manufacturer could say that an end user had deployed the awning in too high of a wind condition, when in fact the damage happens even with awnings closed.

My bolts are easily fixed at this point.

Imagine if all bolts eventually go thru, and then the awning was deployed with 0mph winds, and falls off. How do you prove it? That is why I am making sure this is documented. It will help Newmar, Girard, and owners before anyone is in that situation.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:49 AM   #4
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And, are those split (lock) washers? How about bolt/fender washer/bracket/Nordlock washer/nut? Looks like another slide motor bolt problem ....
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:52 AM   #5
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And, are those split (lock) washers? How about bolt/fender washer/bracket/Nordlock washer/nut? Looks like another slide motor bolt problem ....
I would like to know the best option. There is a lot of force on 6 bolts. Getting it right is important.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:02 AM   #6
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I just found another thread regarding this issue. I believe this is what I referred to in post 1, which I had assumed Newmar resolved by the time mine went into production June 2018.

CAUTION Girard Awning Factory Install
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:05 AM   #7
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You are not providing the proper information when contacting Newmar. When you call Newmar you should say:

“Hello, my name is [...] and I know you’ve never heard of this before. My problem is....”
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by redbaron73 View Post
The picture I posted is how the factory delivered it.

The proper fix is to add a washer on the opposite side. I have not done anything yet, as this is such a dangerous oversite on Newmars behalf, I wanted it to be part of my official warranty complaints.

I am very curious as to what fix they will reccomend, and finally, I wanted to publicly document the issue for future owners that may have a problem.

Many owners never climb up to the roof, and will be unaware of a problem with the awnings.

I can see how easy it would be for the manufacturer to blame the end user for the damage. The manufacturer could say that an end user had deployed the awning in too high of a wind condition, when in fact the damage happens even with awnings closed.

My bolts are easily fixed at this point.

Imagine if all bolts eventually go thru, and then the awning was deployed with 0mph winds, and falls off. How do you prove it? That is why I am making sure this is documented. It will help Newmar, Girard, and owners before anyone is in that situation.
Thanks

I did have this on my FPU list but with a solution would be even better. I can then send them Newmars solution in advance.

I like the idea of the Nord-lock.

What size is the bolt?

Great to here you are making this an issue.

I have said in the past. If Newmar would dedicate a person to read and document the issues. Then confirm the issue in production and engineering then implement changes they would be way ahead.

Just look at all the people testing and proposing solutions for free!!

Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:28 AM   #9
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You are not providing the proper information when contacting Newmar. When you call Newmar you should say:

“Hello, my name is [...] and I know you’ve never heard of this before. My problem is....”
Line one of their script would just be modified to say "You are right, we have never heard of this before"
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:37 AM   #10
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The bolts need a washer on both sides. Not to insult anyone's intelligence, but you're suppose to install, as an example, a 3/8 lock washer on a 3/8 bolt, which Newmar does, BUT they install them in 1/2" holes. The lock washer ends up getting wedge in the hole. If the hole isn't 3/8, then you need a flat washer (3/8 hole) so the lock washer can correctly secure against the properly sized flat washer. Newmar does this all the time, it's like they don't want or know how to use a flat washer. The bedroom guide rails have the same issue, which I've already repaired.

If I recall, there are four bolts per awning support. Mine has five supports, so 20 bolts. You'll need 40 washers to correct the issue. The majority of the bolts (I think they're 5/16 - maybe someone can verify this, like Fan 10) are easy to access, but I believe one on each support is in the middle and you won't be able to reach the back side of the bolt to hold it while loosening it. You can either jury rig a wrench (longer length) to reach it or leave that one alone.

I know many will want the dealer to repair the issue. If you're coach is going in for warranty work, it would be a good time to have it done. For me, it's faster/easier to just do the repair myself, than drag the coach in and leave it.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:37 PM   #11
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As 10 Fan reported in his post. He did not have room to remove the bolt and add a washer. He had to cut a washer to slide past the bolt and retighten it.

Good point RedBaron we should report this to Newmar so they have multiple reports of an installation issue
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:34 PM   #12
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As 10 Fan reported in his post. He did not have room to remove the bolt and add a washer. He had to cut a washer to slide past the bolt and retighten it.

Good point RedBaron we should report this to Newmar so they have multiple reports of an installation issue
Thanks for the reminder on the cut washer. The post is when I first saw the issue. Why not a bigger bolt and a washer to start? What have I missed?
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:47 PM   #13
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The bolts are 7/16 , 5/8 bolt head and 11/16 nut. Would have been a easy fix if the bolt could be removed. Grinding the washers was a pain. I also replaced the nut with a lock nut.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:37 PM   #14
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The bolts are 7/16 , 5/8 bolt head and 11/16 nut. Would have been a easy fix if the bolt could be removed. Grinding the washers was a pain. I also replaced the nut with a lock nut.
Are the existing bolts and nuts SS or the galvanized metal? What did you use?

The notch was not easy, how did you cut them?
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