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Old 09-30-2014, 09:04 AM   #1
JDD
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Power awning arms

Considering replacing the manual A&E patio arms with 12v power arms. Awning itself is good so really only need the replacement arms. Any experience or advice on this?
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:36 PM   #2
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JDD There's a lot more to it than just replacing the arms. I believe you'll find you need to replace the whole thing.
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:45 PM   #3
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want to hear more
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:59 PM   #4
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In order to have a power awning you first need a power awning. The arms have no motor its in the awning tube. One other thing the power awning arms are not compatable with anything other then a power awning, they wouldn't fit your tube. Good luck.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:14 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I am looking at the Carefree Eclipse replacement arms. I haven't spoken with the Carefree folks yet but the information they put out talks about replacing the arms only as long as your tube and fabric are in good shape. I have also talked with fellow campers during my travels that have done the replacements and have anywhere from $1,000 to $1,600 tied up in the upgrade. If that approach is feasible then I'm looking for other comparable options.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:27 AM   #6
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http://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/a-v-wiring-221641.html#post2250832

JDD
Try the link above.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:39 PM   #7
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A/V wiring - iRV2 Forums

JDD
Try the link above.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:33 AM   #8
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I did this a little over a year ago. I have a Dometic 21' awning. I bought the Carefree arms that allow awning angle changes online for about $600. The motor is in the arm. I did the changeover in about two hours. I had a helper, which you'll need. My helper was my girlfriend, with limited mechanical abilities, but she followed instructions and that was all that was needed.

I put an extension ladder up on the front end of the awning to hold it up and working from another ladder, removed the original forward arm. The spring for the manual awning is in the tube. I used a pair of large punches to let the tension off the spring. Before you pull the original arm from the roller tube, place one punch in the end of the tube and hold it. There's a lot of tension on the spring. Pull the arm off and then let the spring release tension by inserting the punches alternately (put one in before pulling the other) and slowly rotate the arm until the tension is gone.

Make sure the rig is level and use a level to line up the new arm. You want it perfectly plumb to avoid binding up as it extends and retracts. Mark the mounting hole locations and drill the holes to attach the new arm to the rig. Use the non-leveling Dicor to fill the old holes and pump it into the new holes before installing the screws so no water seeps into the walls.

You'll need to drill a hole for the wiring as well. I was fortunate in that the panel that has my slide controls, thermostat, etc., was located on the curb side interior wall directly in line with the awning arm. I drilled the hole through from the outside, tapped into 12 volts, and installed the switch in the same panel. Fill the hole for the wires with Dicor as well.

The rear arm was the same process, just much quicker as there is no wiring. The Carefree comes with screws to attach the motor head and idler to the awning tube. Mine loosened up not long after installation, so I pulled the screws out and replaced them with rivets. I'd suggest you use rivets.

This is a general description of the process, but I think covers it fairly well. I believe anyone with moderate mechanical aptitude can do the job themselves. I highly recommend it. I love the power awning and will never again have a manual.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:51 AM   #9
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Power arms

Hey wydglydrydr, thanks for your installation recap. Couple of questions:

Did you buy you arms from a retail shop or private own? $600 seems like a very good price. From your description the spring tension has no use once released? The spring stays in the tube, just not used? Is your switch mounted inside and out or just inside? Do you keep the awning rolled up while performing the replacements, or or do you roll it down and set icon the ladder?
Did you shop for other brands or is th Carefree the best application?

Thanks again for the information.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
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A/V wiring - iRV2 Forums

JDD
Try the link above.
ChasA, your link is not about power awning arms. Wrong link maybe?
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:13 AM   #11
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We lost our manual awning while driving down the road.

Replaced the whole thing with a powered CareFree Eclipse, cost $2332.16 with tax.

I'm very happy with it and would do it over again.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:20 AM   #12
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Sorry, I don't know what happened.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Hey wydglydrydr, thanks for your installation recap. Couple of questions:

Did you buy you arms from a retail shop or private own? $600 seems like a very good price. From your description the spring tension has no use once released? The spring stays in the tube, just not used? Is your switch mounted inside and out or just inside? Do you keep the awning rolled up while performing the replacements, or or do you roll it down and set icon the ladder?
Did you shop for other brands or is th Carefree the best application?

Thanks again for the information.

My arms were bought new through Amazon.

The springs provide tension so the manual will retract. When you remove the existing arm, you'll be looking at the end of the spring. Use a means such as I described to hold the spring in place when you remove the arm, then allow the spring to slowly unwind. Once the spring tension is relieved, simply slide it out of the awning tube. The motorized head on your new arm will turn the tube to extend and retract it, so the spring is no longer necessary.

My arm kit came with one switch. It's not weather resistant and is mounted inside. The panel where I installed it had plenty of space and for me it was quite simple. I removed the screws that held my slide switch in place which opened a hole large enough for me to access all the wiring and tap into a 12 volt source. I bored a hole for the switch and plugged it in. The black switch with white lettering matched everything else on the panel so it looks like it has always been there.

The awning was retracted for the install. I wedged an extension ladder under the rolled up awning to support it when I removed the arm. Spend a few bucks at one of the big box stores for the rubber cushions that go on the end of a ladder. It will prevent marring the side of the rig. I supported the forward end and removed that arm first. When the new arm was in place, I moved the ladder to the back and repeated the process on the trailing end.

At the time I did mine, Carefree was the only company selling motorized arms to retrofit an existing awning. Others may be available now. I saw pricing that ranged from the $600-ish that I paid up to over $1000 for the same product. I suggest you try Amazon to see if they still have them. If you can't find them on Amazon, shop around and hopefully you'll find them at a decent price.
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