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Old 03-27-2009, 08:34 AM   #1
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My Awning Replacement Fiasco

I needed to replace my old A&E 8500 awning so decided to support our new local Camping World store (no other good independent RV shops in my area now).

I had them order a new A&E awning for me, the A&E 9000 Plus(nearly identical to the old A&E awning). Left the coach for a day to have old removed, new one installed. They absolutely screwed up. Only one partially installed screw in the drip rail to hold the fabric; stripped out two of the screws holding the brackets to the coach; installed the top brackets below the drip rail instead of above (like the one they took off), thereby lowering the entire awning so my center support cradle could not be reinstalled. Left the center support in the coach, told me nothing about it. Could not lower the awing without getting on a ladder. When I asked the service writer why the center support was on the floor in the coach, he said 'the installer is gone for the day. I don't know.'

Took the coach back and they let me watch the 'mechanic' correct the problems. I asked them not to use a driver-drill to reinstall the screws since two had been stripped but the guy grabbed it anyway. He was clearly not familiar with the install procedure for the newer A&E awnings and I had to show him the install instructions (which I had gotten from Dometic) to help him. All this with the store manager watching.

Bottom line, they got the awning hardware reinstalled correctly only to find that the 20' awning was too heavy for the arms they had ordered (the 'rain-dump' feature is a gas shock in the rear arm and the weight of the awning roller would compress that shock in the stored position). A call to A&E confirmed that there is heavier hardware for the longer awnings. Apparently, either CW folks did not know that or Dometic did not advise them properly. New hardware ordered and I will be going back and watching them again.

They were very nice and apologetic and did refund the entire installation fee. However, these guys are in the 'RV' business. If they can't do something simple like R & R of a manual awning, how can they do more complex work?
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:00 AM   #2
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Wow. There should be no excuse for that from them. Apparently the Manager wasn't concerned? Didn't instructions come with the awning? What a shame.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:18 AM   #3
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I may just be getting old, but when I was young, I thought all the old folks just complained about society going to H in a Hand Basket. Now, I think the same thing. Every thing we get done, everthing we buy seems to be a hassle and requires many trips or phone calls on my part. I think poor service is the norm and good service seems to be the exception.

When people that work for me provide poor service to my clients, I FIRE THEIR BUTTS, PERIOD!

I think if more people did that, the world might learn to be a better place, we need a little pain and reward managment training.
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:33 AM   #4
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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Angry campingb world

i have learned from experiences at camping world....do not go there if there is any other place you can go for repairs...
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:25 PM   #6
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Wow. There should be no excuse for that from them. Apparently the Manager wasn't concerned? Didn't instructions come with the awning? What a shame.
Joe

Joe, I asked that very question. Do you get install instructions with the awnings? They never really gave me a direct answer. That is when I produced the copy I had.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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I believe that "non-answer" was very informative! I would definitely steer clear of that group if at all possible. Wonder if there is a national Camping World location that you can report them to?
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Old 03-27-2009, 06:15 PM   #8
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Some CW service technicians are great.. Others.. NOT so good. Alas, many chains it's that way.. I should tell you of the former technician at my auto dealer (Last I knew he was selling shoes. but he won't be selling me any)

There is indeed a national HQ for Camping world.

Oh, Driver drills.. I have one that will NOT strip out screw heads. It has an adjustable torque feature, at the lowest setting it won't even screw in the screws.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:51 AM   #9
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Driver drills are not a problem if used properly. There are clutch settings or even just quick action by the operator to pull off at the right moment to solve the problem. It sounds like there were new holes made when the placement was changed. Moving the awning back where it should be will leave the new holes. At CW you take pot luck. The service manager you deal with has a nice clean uniform and says the right things and then the job is handed off to some tech. If you get a good tech you are lucky and if not..... You pay prices as if it were a good tech.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:31 AM   #10
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Driver drills are not a problem if used properly. There are clutch settings or even just quick action by the operator to pull off at the right moment to solve the problem. It sounds like there were new holes made when the placement was changed. Moving the awning back where it should be will leave the new holes. At CW you take pot luck. The service manager you deal with has a nice clean uniform and says the right things and then the job is handed off to some tech. If you get a good tech you are lucky and if not..... You pay prices as if it were a good tech.

Jim, you are correct. Driver drills in the hands of a skilled and competent mechanic are fine. I use them all the time on my projects and never have a problem. They were able to use the mounting holes from the old awning (at my request) which made it even more important that they be careful installing the new screws.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:11 AM   #11
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Update on my awning fiasco. Back to CW yesterday to have the heavy-duty hardward installed (I could see no difference in the dimensions or weight of the new hardward...I think the 'rain dump' gas shock is a bit stronger than the previous version, perhaps).

Awning still does not roll up correctly. One end rolls up tightly and the other is loose, exposing fabric that should be covered by the metal shield in the stored position. So...they called A&E who instructed them to measure the fabric. It is not square. Apparently A&E make it 1 1/2 inches long on one end causing it to wrap incorrectly.

New fabric ordered....another trip to CW planned for next week.
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:06 PM   #12
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That's why I do everything myself. That, and the fact that I'm cheap. I can't see paying to have something done that I'm able to do myself. It also helps that I have a degree in auto mechanics and was a tech for 8 years before I burned out on it and became a truck driver.
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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Man that sucks....keep us updated, I am considering changing my awning colors.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:55 AM   #14
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That's why I do everything myself. That, and the fact that I'm cheap. I can't see paying to have something done that I'm able to do myself. It also helps that I have a degree in auto mechanics and was a tech for 8 years before I burned out on it and became a truck driver.
We're gonna install window awnings on our Allegro Bay. Wife say "You don't have time, just take it to CW" I keep telling her "Not a chance, I'm doing it myself" Years ago, I had a Coleman Niagra Pop-up. I took it to CW to have AC installed. When I went to pick it up, the had the camper folded down & they said everything's good. I made them open it in the lot. When the did, They left the 10 gauge (bright orange) power chord hanging from the AC. When I told them it wasn't acceptable, they said "What do you want us to do, that's how it's done." I was so mad I couldn't answer.......never again.
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