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Old 08-07-2014, 08:33 AM   #1
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Awning Failure while Driving

While driving down a Kansas highway at 65 mph my awning failed open and tore off. Braked hard when I heard noise and saw arm movement on the awning, but it was almost instantaneous between noise and tear away. Fortunately no one was behind me and I was able to get the tangled debris off the road before anyone ran over the pieces. My RV is an Itasca Sunstar 26HE class A (2013) with a dometic electic full length awning. Two days prior to this I tried deploying the awning and only got a "click" from depressing the switch. On my way toward Albuquerque so decided to get it looked at there. Unfortunately the failure occurrence eliminated that option. This seems a significant safety issue and am getting no response (after 2 days getting the ignore response) from the manufacturer (Itasca) or dealer (La Mesa). And of course I just passed my one year since purchase by 2 days (do have an extended warranty though). Has anyone had a similar experience?
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:36 AM   #2
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Which is why every awning should have one of these:

https://www.google.com/search?q=awni...2F%3B400%3B407
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:05 AM   #3
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Since reading about these mis-haps I have started using wire ties 2 per arm. Cheap fix.
Tim
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:05 AM   #4
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I have been using wide velcro straps since day one.. cheap and effective.. From what I have heard about LaMesa you won't get much help from them. Reason we did not buy from them.. Sales staff is super but service is not.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:21 AM   #5
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In Wyoming I see awnings on the side of the road or RVs with torn awnings all the time. I think it is a relatively frequent occurrence in high winds.

The link that topdownman put in is the product we use to protect against unrolling. It is easy to install and operate. In an abundance of caution we also bungie cord down our awning arms but I don't think those fail that often. My understanding is that it is the roll coming unraveled that is the real threat.
http://awninglock.com/index.shtml
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:39 AM   #6
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Your auto insurance will cover that.

I've had two blown off and they were covered with no problem.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:08 AM   #7
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I secure mine with Tarp straps(large rubber bungees) and the pull out awnings with Wire ties.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:25 AM   #8
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Always trusted to factory retainers on the manual awnings, on my 5 RVs; until I came up out of a draw, on WA-17 and got blasted by a cross wind; best guess 40mph. The, retainers bent, ratchet mechanism stripped and the whole 21' billowed over the roof of the coach, luckily the power poles were on the other side of the road , or the whole episode could have got real nasty. Trying to roll it up while standing in a 3' deep ditch was bad enough. Now have the Velcro wraps on the main , they won't work on the window awnings so , thanks for the links , I'm sure I can find what I need; for them ; there.

gklehner; Awning manufacturer & dealer are going to blame wind for this failure. So , I think you'll be stuck dealing with your insurance for the repair.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spritz View Post
Since reading about these mis-haps I have started using wire ties 2 per arm. Cheap fix.
Tim
Yep X2!
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:27 AM   #10
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Be aware that the awning fabric can still unfurl even if the arms are secured. You need to lock the roller tube to be safe. If you merely secure the arms you may save the arms but can still have the fabric billow out and tear. Just a heads up. And don't ask me how I know this.

Happy trails,
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:47 AM   #11
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This has been beat to death on this forum, but you are correct, securing the arms with velcro or wire ties will not fix the issue. Wind gets inside the awning material, causes it to billow, then will strip the ratchet mechanism. I've had it happen twice. This is why you have to secure the awning roller with a pin so that it cannot turn. Those who have successfully secured their awnings with velcro or ties just haven't been lucky yet

Quote:
Originally Posted by atodalen View Post
Be aware that the awning fabric can still unfurl even if the arms are secured. You need to lock the roller tube to be safe. If you merely secure the arms you may save the arms but can still have the fabric billow out and tear. Just a heads up. And don't ask me how I know this.

Happy trails,
Al
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
This has been beat to death on this forum, but you are correct, securing the arms with velcro or wire ties will not fix the issue. Wind gets inside the awning material, causes it to billow, then will strip the ratchet mechanism. I've had it happen twice. This is why you have to secure the awning roller with a pin so that it cannot turn. Those who have successfully secured their awnings with velcro or ties just haven't been lucky yet
I had one of those spring loaded pins on my old manual awning but if the roller did not stop at the precisely same spot every time, the pin would not engage unless I climbed a ladder and wiggled it.

Can these pins be used on the automatic awnings?
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:03 PM   #13
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Yes, my BIL has one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smlranger View Post

Can these pins be used on the automatic awnings?
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:31 PM   #14
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The guy who makes them say's they wont fit Carefree electric awnings.
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