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Old 11-16-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
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Paramount Awning Not Shedding Water

Anyone out there with the new Paramount awnings on a Tiffin Bus or Zephyr? We bought our 2013 Bus with two Paramount awnings as we use it in Alaska where we fish in rainy areas. This summer we found that when our awnings on our Bus were extended water would pool on the slide out cover area (horizontal) and cause the awning fabric to form large pouches between the support arms. This meant that when we tried to retract the awnings the fabric would ball up on the roller and stall the motor, preventing retraction. We could not use a broom to push up on the water pockets as they were located above the slide outs. Essentially, I had some $15,000 worth of awnings that would not shed water.

As a temporary solution, I found that by tying rope to the ends of the support arms and pulling them down about 10" I could get the awning positioned so water did not pool in the upper areas. I then tied the ropes to 5 gallon buckets full of water. This worked OK, but I also had to turn power off to the awnings and disable the auto-retract function. Definitely not good. It appeared that if the entire awning assembly could be tipped slightly, water would not pool up top.

This October I took a trip to Red Bay and asked the service department to correct this problem so I could use the awnings in the rain and still have the high wind protection operate. Both Tiffin and Paramount refused to accept any responsibility for this problem at first. Based on my work around fix I used in Alaska, I calculated that there needed to be wedges put under the hardware that attaches the awnings to the roof. My calculation indicated that the wedges needed to be 5/8" high on the edge toward the center of the coach, and taper down to 0" height on the outer edge.

Tiffin said that if they used any sort of wedges under the awning mounts, Carefree would void the warranty remaining on the awnings. The warranty is only for 1 year and I had only 2 months remaining on it, so I told them it was not an issue for me. They insisted on me signing a waiver of the remaining part of the warranty before they would do any work on the coach awnings.

Tiffin fabricated 4 wedges for each awning out of black plastic. The wedges were 22" x 8" x 5/8" thick on one long edge and zero thick on the other long edge. Because of the weight and length of the awnings they needed to put the coach into one of the catwalk bays, the same one they use for side rail repairs. The work took about 2 1/2 man days (one day in the bay) but that did not count the time it took them to taper the wedges out of 22 x 8 x 5/8 plastic.

Once the wedges were on, the mount plate area well caulked, and the awnings reinstalled, I took the rig to our camping spot and ran a test with a hose. The fix worked perfectly. Despite my best efforts, I could not get any water to pool in the area where it formerly lay. After I got home I had 2 days of rain on the rig with the awnings fully extended and no rain pooled on top.

The only issues which I was afraid I might have caused with this fix was that the awnings might not fit smoothly with the fiberglass farings of the front and rear caps due to the wedges. In fact, they actually fit better. I think this was more an issue of exactly where the rig builders placed the awnings. The wedge didn't cause any additional fitting problems. The second issue was that the outer rail of the awning might be too low for practical use. On my rig, with the coach dead level, the awning lead rail is about 6'4" above level ground with the wedges under the mounts. If that gets too low due to raising ground levels in that area, I can retract the awning a bit to be sure the rail doesn't become a head knocker. The awning arms have no problem clearing the slide outs when extending or retracting the awnings.

I'm pleased with the fix and how it works. From what I understand this is a "one of" repair until Wade Humphries and company can decide what they are going to do. The work was done under warranty as the coach is less than a year old, but if I had had to pay for it, the cost for time and materials would have been in the area of $ 2200. If Tiffin was not going to do anything to solve the problem, I fully intended to do the job myself. We have an equipment shed where we keep the rig that has trusses I could use to support the awnings when I picked them up, and a location where I can get the plastic to make the wedges out of.

If anyone is interested in the fix, I can email them a few pictures I took while the Tiffin folks were doing the work. Send me your email address in a PM.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:28 PM   #2
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Paramount awning on Allegro Bus

I too am having issues with the Paramount Awning on my 2015 Allegro Bus. In the owners manual it states "When properly installed, the robust design of the Paramount allows the awning to function as a cover for slide-out rooms only, even in inclement weather. When there is rainy weather, retract the awning to the slide-out position to keep your room protected."
We had our awning in that position last night and the over night rain built up so badly that the fabric pooled with water to the point it was touching the top of the slide! There was so much weight that the awning would not retract or extend.
A call to the Tiffin service dept. told me to push up on the awning to drain it and that the Paramount owners manual said not to use the awning in the rain! I managed to get most of the water out of the ends but the support arms prevented me from getting the water out of the center area. I finally got a sump pump up on the roof and pumped about 25 gallons out before the unit would function again.
This is our 3rd motorhome (2nd Tiffin) and we had no problems before we got the Paramount unit. The coach is only 2 months old and we have a large list of repairs for the it's first dealer visit. I hope the Tiffin reputation is as good as I hear it is.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:14 PM   #3
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If you're a member of the Tiffin RV Network forum you can go to A Part of the TiffinRVNetwork € Login and see 106 posts and a mess of pictures on the subject. Unfortunately, you need to be a member before you can see these posts.

Seems like Tiffin is still refusing to accept responsibility for this problem, which I think is definitely WRONG! Unfortunately, it is what it is. I thought better of Bob Tiffin but it seems I was badly mistaken.

Since they fixed my problem we have found no problems with the awnings shedding water. We now have just short of 30,000 miles over two years and it works fine. If you have to do this fix yourself I have a source for the plastic wedges and a few hints that may make the job easier. PM me or post and we can go from there.

Had Tiffin refused to fix the problem I was going to do the work myself, but after almost 4 weeks at Red Bay and me having to get quite ugly about it, I bullied them into doing the job. Whatever you do, make sure Tiffin knows of your problem (in writing) before your 1 year warranty time period expires. After that I expect you have NO LEGAL RECOURSE.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:20 PM   #4
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There is a very recent posting on TRVN of a member who has stated Tiffin will not fix his paramount awnings even though they originally said they would !
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:11 PM   #5
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Had a similar problem with my (new to me) 2008 allegro tga34. Horizontal slide topper pooled water during rainstorm and lead to leak into the coach. Temporary solution was to wedge a 1x6 board between the slide roof and the topper to introduce some slope to the awning. Of course, I had to remove the board before retracting the slide.

Permanent solution was to move the anchor point for the awning from the lower attachment rail to a second attachment point that is integrated with the rain gutter.

No more water polling with either solution.

Seems like a design flaw not to have a sloped awning.
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