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Old 05-02-2013, 07:32 AM   #1
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Replace manual awning with electric

Has anyone replaced their manual awning with an electric version? I'm curious if it was a project able to be accomplished by an average skilled person. Or if you had the job hired out what was the approximate cost for the awning and installation.
What should I be looking for when choosing one brand over another? Just by a quick Internet search they seem to be lighter and more flimsy than their manual counterparts.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:11 AM   #2
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Just by a quick Internet search they seem to be lighter and more flimsy than their manual counterparts.
I can put you in touch with a friend who will gladly let you have the electric awning off his rig .
No angle adjustment to block the sun , knee action support arms to drain water, ( they have a tendancy to hold water till they have several gallons of water then dump, with the resulting splash )
JMHO. After listening to him and others complain , I'd stick with manual .
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
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True that, no angle adjustment.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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Like Skip said times many times. The slide under the awning makes it is so flat it is next to useless and the auto retract may or may not work properly. Good example of an engineering feat by someone who has never used an awning.

Don G.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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I purchased electric arms from Carefree to replace the manual arms on my awning. I've had a few trips since I bought them and have another this weekend, so I haven't swapped them yet. If I ran into problems with the swap, I didn't want the rig out of commission and miss a trip. I've got down time after this weekend's trip so I plan to start the swap next week.

I don't see anything about the swap that would prevent a mechanically inclined person from doing it. I have a 21' Dometic awning mounted on a 2008 Fleetwood Terra. An initial examination of all the pieces and parts leads me to conclude that mounting the arms up top will be as simple as pulling off the old arm and bolting the new one into the same location. The new arms are shorter by 7", so I'll need to drill new holes for the lower attachment points. It's necessary to drill a hole to run the wiring inside to the switch location and I need to run the power to a 12v source. All this seems straight forward enough. I don't know that the things stated above are so for all models of motorhome, but for mine it seems a very easy swap.

The arms I bought are adjustable. There is a specific height above the entry door that is necessary so the door can be opened and closed without hitting the awning. The Carefree website has the details. I can adjust the pitch, and once adjusted, the awning can be retracted and extended in the selected position without any further adjustment. The arms also have the auto dump feature and can be manually retracted.

I've read many, many reviews. As you see from the other responses, there are many people who are adamantly opposed to electric awnings. In my reviews, I found many people who will never again choose anything but an electric awning. I chose to convert to electric because I think the convenience of pushing a button to run it in and out far outweighs any of the negatives. It's a personal choice for each owner.

I'll take photos and keep notes about the swap to share on this forum. When I'm done, I'll let you know what I think.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #6
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We had the carefree system installed a few mo. ago. The company is in the San Diego area. They came to our home and installed it in our driveway.
The installer pointed out to us that the arms can be adjusted to drain water off either end, by raising front or back as needed.
Our awning is 21ft and installed in the same location as the old one. So far it has worked as advertised. No problems yet. He demonstrated the auto retract ability but have not needed it at this time.

There may be a Dealer in your area, if you need a phone no. you can look it up on the web, or if you want I can get it from our receipt.

Good luck, we like ours.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:46 PM   #7
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We had the carefree system installed a few mo. ago. The company is in the San Diego area. They came to our home and installed it in our driveway.
The installer pointed out to us that the arms can be adjusted to drain water off either end, by raising front or back as needed.
Our awning is 21ft and installed in the same location as the old one. So far it has worked as advertised. No problems yet. He demonstrated the auto retract ability but have not needed it at this time.

There may be a Dealer in your area, if you need a phone no. you can look it up on the web, or if you want I can get it from our receipt.

Good luck, we like ours.
I am in the SD area - what is the name of the company you used?
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #8
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I am in the SD area - what is the name of the company you used?
The name of the Co. is "Shade Pro". Our very close friends and shirt-tail relatives had their MH updated using the existing fabric.
Our awning was shot, we called them and for around $2100. they came to our house and did the installation, removed all of the trash and did a great job. We live in the Inland Empire 100 plus miles from El Cajon. No extra charge for mileage.
They are located at 9448 Bond Ave. 922021. Phone #(619) 328-1620.
As you can tell, our experience with them a pleasure.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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Oops----92021
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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After fighting with my manual awning numerous times I bought an electric awning kit from Camping World. Had it delivered to my local RV guy who installed it in a couple of hours. It is indeed adjustable if you want to bother with that; I am a woman alone without the strength to make the adjustments by myself. It's been over 6 months now with almost daily use - I would never go back to that arm-wrenching manual awning. It has no bells and whistles. If I am leaving I put it in. If it's raining I put it in, as wind often comes with rain. I don't do an elaborate outdoor living area set up, so I don't use it to protect my "porch". It meets my needs perfectly.
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