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Old 08-15-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
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Carefree Pioneer Upgrade Kit Install

Installed the Carefree Pioneer Upgrade Kit today. Thought I would provide a few details and some pics. It wasn't that easy for 1 person ... 2 people would definitely make it easier and safer. I used 2 ladders, a 5 gal. bucket, a power screw/nut driver, vice grips (long handle).

A word of warning ... you need fairly strong wrists. The instructions don't mention it but, because there is a joint in the end assembly, when you remove the cap it will try to twist.

Another warning ... when you remove the end cap, the awning tube will try to swing toward the coach due to the weight of the awning.

Here are some pics to supplement the Carefree Instructions. Follow the Carefree Instructions !! In addition, they mention leaving the spring in the left end of the awning ... try it first. In my case, I had to remove the spring assembly and use the kit end cap because the spring pressure in the rolled up position caused the awning to not unroll evenly ... rolled up fine but unroll ... not so good.

I did not have broken springs but got tired of fighting with the awning. The new manual crank mechanism works as advertised ... money well spent. It is now easy for one person to extend/retract the awning.

I included a pic of the right-hand assembly with spring so you will see what needs to come out of the tube. DON'T PULL TOO HARD OR YOU WILL KNOCK THE TUBE OFF THE LADDER !! Once more ... TWO PEOPLE ARE MUCH BETTER ...
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
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Here's my awning crank ... attaches to portable drill set to very low torque (clutch).

I used 36" long threaded rod but it's variable depending on awning height and your height/reach.

Stolen idea but can't remember where I saw it.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:09 PM   #3
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Funny how our coaches seem to screw up in the same places?

I had to do that mod as well about 15 months ago - after finding that the ratchet design of the original would allow the awning to unfurl when exposed to a lot of wind (coming across 80). I thought I had left the awning unlocked the first time, but there was absolutely no doubt the second time. That ratchet is a total junk design that is not to be trusted! Pretty fortunate the fabric survived 2 incidents where it unrolled completely within half an hour of each other.

Anyway, LOVE the function of the new setup as well. Did mine by myself as well, but as a former RV tech have countless awning installations under my belt so there were no surprises.

I bit the bullet and bought the Carefree crank ($$$) which is kinda nice for it's ability to extend as required to reach the awning under different conditions. -Al
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
Funny how our coaches seem to screw up in the same places?

I had to do that mod as well about 15 months ago - after finding that the ratchet design of the original would allow the awning to unfurl when exposed to a lot of wind (coming across 80). I thought I had left the awning unlocked the first time, but there was absolutely no doubt the second time. That ratchet is a total junk design that is not to be trusted! Pretty fortunate the fabric survived 2 incidents where it unrolled completely within half an hour of each other.

Anyway, LOVE the function of the new setup as well. Did mine by myself as well, but as a former RV tech have countless awning installations under my belt so there were no surprises.

I bit the bullet and bought the Carefree crank ($$$) which is kinda nice for it's ability to extend as required to reach the awning under different conditions. -Al
Yup ... I balked at the price of the crank cuz I have a crank from the Geo Tracker jack but I need to stand on the entrance steps to reach the stored position. But, for $6 at Home Depot I thought I'd motorize. I still use 2 Velcro straps around the arms.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:57 PM   #5
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FWIW, my arms never cam undone. The fabric just unfurled! With enough wind hitting the side of the coach, and the awning roller functionally unlocked, it just proceeds to unroll the fabric! There's enough air pressure to force air to flow between the roller and the side of the coach - with predictable results.

You would think the coach would be all over the road under those conditions, but that wasn't the case. This wind is steady, and there's nothing out there to block it, so the air bag leveling system adds pressure to the downwind side, lowers it on the up wind side, and away you go, dead level!
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
FWIW, my arms never cam undone. The fabric just unfurled! With enough wind hitting the side of the coach, and the awning roller functionally unlocked, it just proceeds to unroll the fabric! There's enough air pressure to force air to flow between the roller and the side of the coach - with predictable results.

You would think the coach would be all over the road under those conditions, but that wasn't the case. This wind is steady, and there's nothing out there to block it, so the air bag leveling system adds pressure to the downwind side, lowers it on the up wind side, and away you go, dead level!
I have the metal cover .... does yours?
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:45 PM   #7
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Yessir, main awning has alum. cover. BTW, all of my window awnings have the metal covers, but not the slide out "topper". Is yours that way as well?
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #8
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Yessir, main awning has alum. cover. BTW, all of my window awnings have the metal covers, but not the slide out "topper". Is yours that way as well?
Yes ... topper is the exception.
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