Well, this stuff has to happen now and then. When leaving our last campground in Moab Utah I had a problem with an A&E window shade. A few times prior while retracting or pulling it out, it made a "crunching" noise, but it did deploy. The window awnings are under constant tension and are held down by a nylon strap that attaches to a hook on the MH wall.
I inspected the awning tube but due to the design, you cannot easily disassemble the unit. The ends of the awning tube are riveted and the spring tensioner is inside the tube. There is a tensioner on each end of the tube.
While breaking camp at Moab I pulled the awning strap and the tube didn't retract. I twisted it by hand and with significant pressure and a lot of crunching noises, I got awning to roll up and used some bungee cords to hold it in place.
Upon arrival at Grand Junction Co, I called around and finally found a Dometic dealer in town. I ordered the tensioner, just one as the left tensioner still seemed OK. The part wasn't too expensive, about $24, but it was in Indiana. I paid for 2nd day shipping to get it to CO. so I could leave on Saturday as planned. It was another $20 for express shipping.
Now the "I feel dumb part". I waited until Thursday to take the assembly apart, because once I drilled out the rivets, if the part didn't show up it would take lots of duct tape and bungees to hold the unit together until I got to the next stop. So after getting the phone call from the RV dealership saying that the part was enroute, I set to work taking the unit apart. I drilled out 2 rivets and the assembly slid out pretty easily. Sure enough, the rod that runs through the middle of the spring was locked up tight. There is a little disk at the inside end that fits into grooves inside the awning tube.
This part is not rocket science. It looks like my moms old screen door spring with a screw on each end into the rod. The end cap rotates and puts stress on the spring, viola the shade rolls down. Take the stress off, the shade rolls up. But as I looked at the unit, I really couldn't see anything WRONG with it. As I fiddled with it, I realized what was wrong with it. The disk at the inside end is supossed to rotate on the rod like a wheel on an axle. It was stuck tight on the rod. I retrieved my trusty WD40 from the tool box, put a couple of sprays here and there, and hit it with a wrench.
Yep, it works perfect.
So, now I have a new tensioner spring racing it's way here from Indiana, (which is already been paid in full on my credit card) which I don't need.
So it was a $45 lesson. And I got something else to store in my tool bay for a rainy day.