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Old 09-28-2015, 06:38 PM   #1
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Oh No!! Drove off and bent the awning!!

We were really distracted today. We don't normally put our automatic awning down that much. We drove off with it down. Driving slow but hit something, bent the arms about a foot backwards.

It would go up and I did hear a snap like it locked. But I am afraid to drive it on highways now for fear it might come loose open up and cause us to crash.

Can they be tied down securely? Or does the whole thing just have to be removed and we're stuck and need a tow?
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Old 09-28-2015, 06:52 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear.
I would get some zip ties to hold the arms to the opposing frame at the top. The bigger the better. Rope would work too. Disconnect the power to the awning too.
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Old 09-29-2015, 05:40 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear that. I'd make a check list and before starting out go through the list, It's so easy to get distracted. I know the list is a pain in the ..... but, replacing things is more of a pain. Good luck with your awning. Safe travels.
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:00 PM   #4
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Don't worry, we've all done stupid things and I doubt that will be your last one!

The check list is a must! Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-29-2015, 12:59 PM   #5
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You are now an Official RVer. You can't be an Official RVer until you've done something stupid. By the way, I am an Official RVer.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:30 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your gentle kindness!

Here's the RV.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5...RuMGNzaXB0eGpN


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5W...ew?usp=sharing

Dometic support said the motor is what holds the awning tight. We did hear it "snap" against the side of the RV when I retracted it, even with the arms bent backwards 10 inches and twisted a bit.

It felt immovable. For safety I also wrapped a 1300-lb rated nylon come-along around the top of each arm assembly, passing it through the arms such that it cannot slip downward., and ratcheted it tight. The nylon ties were also repositioned.

Drove a few hours today on Highway 101 through the Santa Barbara area and the awning never moved a bit.

But it's going to be a very expensive lesson replacing the bent arms. We hope to wait until we return home in several weeks to do that at our home base.
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Old 09-30-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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You might check around with the RV tech shops in the area. It is likely that, if you are lucky, you can get some gently used parts, IF, the damage was localized. Otherwise you have probably gained as really expensive RV Lesson. As Jethro might say, "Rule # 23 - Don't forget to do a Walk-Around."
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:16 AM   #8
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You might want to check with a good machine shop. There's a possibility that they may be able to straighten the supports!
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:31 AM   #9
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It sounds more like wind damage to me. It was caused my the wind blowing to the rear of the motorhome as you drove off. Wind damage is covered by your insurance. A lifetime ago, I sold auto insurance. A customer had a new car, and bird doo-doo ate thru the paint on the trunk. I put a claim in under Falling Objects. The company paid the claim. Eddie Elk.
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:37 AM   #10
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Well, join the club! I did the same thing on our Yellowstone trip, drove off with the awning still down and my daughter didn't tell me it was still down either. Fortunately, we only brushed against the end of a pine tree branch and a fellow camper ran to us and told us the awning was still deployed. Thank goodness we didn't damage it and we were only a few campsites away from ours when told.
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:42 AM   #11
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Trying to bend aluminum back to its original shape is tough. Your insurance will cover the damage. As a pilot, a checklist is a must do.
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:41 AM   #12
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I've had two awnings blown off and my insurance covered them both.

I'd suggest filing a claim.
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:57 AM   #13
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I used to use 2 heavy duty wire ties per arm. Then I found these bungee cords @ a flea market ,they are about 6 inches and they have a ball @ the ends. I put 2 together and put 1 set towards the top of the arm and a set towards the bottom. I have never forgot too put the awning up but use them for safety.
Here is what they look like.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spritz View Post
I used to use 2 heavy duty wire ties per arm. Then I found these bungee cords @ a flea market ,they are about 4-5 inches and they have a ball @ the ends. I put 2 together and put 1 set towards the top of the arm and a set towards the bottom. I have never forgot too put the awning up but use them for safety.
Here is what they look like.
Happy travels,
Tim


https://www.vetfriends.com/catalog/i...all_5189_2.jpg
Locking the arms will NOT keep the awning from unfurling while driving! This has been discussed on here extensively. Securing the arms gives you a false sense of security.
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