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Old 06-23-2014, 09:30 AM   #1
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Awning stuck when closing

Hello everyone

We just flew from WA to AZ to purchase our first Class A motorhome. It is a 2007 Fleetwood Southwind. I had it inspected before we purchased it, but I guess they missed a few things. My issue is, the electric awning opens just fine, but when closing it, it gets about half way closed and then gets stuck. I looked like the support bars were starting to bow. I am able to open it again, but could only get it half way closed. After messing around with it, I got on a ladder and by manually squeezing the hydraulic strut closed I was able to close it. Do those struts need lubing? Maybe I just need to replace them? Is that something one person can do or do I need to take it in? Unfortunately we are several hundred miles from where we purchased it so I can't go back to the shop that inspected it. Any ideas would be welcomed. I'm sure I will have more questions along the way.

Thanks
Al
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:57 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algie1100 View Post
Hello everyone

We just flew from WA to AZ to purchase our first Class A motorhome. It is a 2007 Fleetwood Southwind. I had it inspected before we purchased it, but I guess they missed a few things. My issue is, the electric awning opens just fine, but when closing it, it gets about half way closed and then gets stuck. I looked like the support bars were starting to bow. I am able to open it again, but could only get it half way closed. After messing around with it, I got on a ladder and by manually squeezing the hydraulic strut closed I was able to close it. Do those struts need lubing? Maybe I just need to replace them? Is that something one person can do or do I need to take it in? Unfortunately we are several hundred miles from where we purchased it so I can't go back to the shop that inspected it. Any ideas would be welcomed. I'm sure I will have more questions along the way.


Thanks
Al

Welcome Al. Sorry I can't help you on this problem but be patient, there will be someone come along that has experienced this issue before. It's still earlie for these retired types.

Might also post the brand awning it is and post question also on the Fleetwood section on this forum. Good luck!
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algie1100 View Post
Hello everyone

We just flew from WA to AZ to purchase our first Class A motorhome. It is a 2007 Fleetwood Southwind. I had it inspected before we purchased it, but I guess they missed a few things. My issue is, the electric awning opens just fine, but when closing it, it gets about half way closed and then gets stuck. I looked like the support bars were starting to bow. I am able to open it again, but could only get it half way closed. After messing around with it, I got on a ladder and by manually squeezing the hydraulic strut closed I was able to close it. Do those struts need lubing? Maybe I just need to replace them? Is that something one person can do or do I need to take it in? Unfortunately we are several hundred miles from where we purchased it so I can't go back to the shop that inspected it. Any ideas would be welcomed. I'm sure I will have more questions along the way.

Thanks
Al
Ok I am going to go out on a limb here and anyone that tells me I am wrong is probably right if they have been through this. I am going to tell you to call the shop that inspects it. I am a realtor and you have to be very careful what you say to someone about the condition of a house. I believe that someone that is paid to inspect a motor home has more of a liability. First thing document what happened exactly the first time you opened it. The date and approximate time. Call the shop that inspected it and tell them what the problem is. Ask them for advice on what to check or possible areas to fix. DO NOT FIX IT YOURSELF. Any repairs you do to it will invalidate any chance of letting the responsible party pay for it. The shop was paid to inspect and if they missed something then that is their responsibility to get it fixed. If they do not have any ideas of what to check ask them where they would like to have you take it to be fixed. If they refuse to accept any responsibility then call the attorney generals office in AZ and file a complaint and ask them to investigate.

I know this is pretty hard core advice but if someone gets paid money to inspect then they need to inspect everything and awnings can be expensive to repair.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:34 AM   #4
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Litigation

Yeah, right. Litigation is the answer. I do not believe that the inspector assumes any liabilities of future breakages. How much did you pay for the inspection? But by all means lets's sue them out of business.

Maybe you should have purchased an extended warrantee? We did and broke even in the first 2 years.

Now, about the awning. What could possibly cause it to do this.

Low voltage at the motor.
Corroded connections
Low house batteries
Bad motor

Awning binding
Bent parts
Out of level operation
Weak or broken tension springs
Out of square fabric
Bad mojo

Lubing? Probably not. We've been RV'ing for 45 years and I have never had to grease anything on an awning. Had plenty of problems with them though.

Good luck!
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:50 PM   #5
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My Carefree Eclipse power awning needs a periodic cleaning (wash it with a hose with a nozzle) after it dries lube all the linkages, rails, pivots, and rails with a silicone dry lube. I did mine in March and it made a big difference.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:09 PM   #6
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My electric awning has a pitifully weak little motor. If the fabric is the least bit wet it struggles to close the awning. I suspect the motor needs a good cleaning and it will likely perform some better. The fact that it gets half way tells me it just can't take the load.

Good Luck
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:13 PM   #7
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It could be the struts rusted or maybe on mine each side has litte rubber wheels that slide in a track if they are not rolling it ain't going.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:41 PM   #8
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Many of these awnings have notoriously under powered motors in them. Mine will only retract as it should when the house batteries are brand new or maybe when the engine is running. I have just gotten into the habit of reaching up to give a little pull on the awning arm to help it over the hump while pushing the retract button. Try this before taking anything apart.

Best of luck.

Rick
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:00 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies. Turns out it was just the weak motor and lack of use. If I turn on the generator and also help it along while closing it works.

Al
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:51 AM   #10
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Lube it with dry lube as described above.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ChasA View Post
My Carefree Eclipse power awning needs a periodic cleaning (wash it with a hose with a nozzle) after it dries lube all the linkages, rails, pivots, and rails with a silicone dry lube. I did mine in March and it made a big difference.

I had this same problem and cleaned and lubed all the moving joints with a good dry silicone and it works like a new one. Very good advise ChasA!
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