Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > MH-General Discussions & Problems
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-14-2017, 02:22 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Flyin4Fun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 124
CAREFREE Power SmartVisor - Windshield Shade

For 2 years I had looked for a REPLACEMENT MOTOR for my Carefree 12 volt motorized sun visor. It is 43 in wide with a part number of QF0406A MA36L(left) or R (right). I contacted Carefree of Colorado directly and was told that this style of motorized sun visor had been discontinued for several years. Aside from scrapping the entire unit and upgrading to their newest version, my only option was to buy reclaimed or recycled sun visors just for the purpose of stripping the motor off of it. I was seeing prices anywhere from $275 all the way up to $500 for ONE visor.

Within my company, I have 25 years experience with mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic devices and was confident I could come up with a replacement motor. In the past I have designed custom planetary gear boxes for small diameter 12-volt motors used in pumping applications and was confident I could come up with and inexpensive motor which would be suitable. 13 months ago, I was able to source ”off-the-shelf” components to create a duplicate, Although Much Higher Quality, motor than originally provided in the Carefree of Colorado power sunshade. It is actually the gearbox on the original motors that fails. They chose to use a phenolic primary gear. Unfortunately, this material fails (shears teeth) after many cycles. The component is made of inadequate material.

As it stands, I have tested 2 motors in a bench mock-up cycling continuously (up & down every 0.1 hour) for 10 months... Each one without a single failure. I am confident that the components in this gearbox and the motor assembly will provide many years of service.

I am interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced a motor failure of their Carefree SmartVisor Power shade. I believe that Carefree of Colorado should have made available, a replacement motor for many years after discontinuing the product line. The only advice they could provide to me was to upgrade my shades to their new version! I didn't like being put in that position, and fortunately I was able to create an alternate.
__________________

__________________
Flyin4Fun is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
falconman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the Road
Posts: 754
I'm not surprised that new parts are not made anymore but am surprised that it was so difficult to find a suitable used replacement. I and probably many others removed those shades when upgrading to MCD type one piece shades. I'm really shocked at the prices you are seeing. I've had mine on CL much cheaper with no bites.
__________________

__________________
Dan & Arlene
2005 Monaco Dynasty Diamond IV
Chasing the good weather
falconman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 09:48 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
ImagesByHawk's Avatar
 
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 164
I too had the same issue. I found a couple of replacement motor ends at a service shop that specializes in refurbing interiors. The shop manager hangs onto the used components that are discarded replaced with brand new. He had several of the CareFree Shades in his personal stash at home. The two drive motor ends set me back about $20. My shades are operational once again.
__________________
2004 HR Ambassador 38PDQ
http://usa-rvnomads.com/
ImagesByHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2017, 12:45 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Flyin4Fun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagesByHawk View Post
I too had the same issue. I found a couple of replacement motor ends at a service shop that specializes in refurbing interiors. The shop manager hangs onto the used components that are discarded replaced with brand new. He had several of the CareFree Shades in his personal stash at home. The two drive motor ends set me back about $20. My shades are operational once again.
I should have mentioned that I did, on 2 separate occasions, locate and purchase a used motor. If I recall properly, I paid about $25 plus shipping each time. However, with the replacement motor installed, it only took a matter of a few trips for the exact same failure; the primary drive gear was stripped. I'm sure this pattern has repeated itself on virtually every motorhome with this model of motorized shade. The driver's side is the first to fail; ultimately the passenger side will fail as well.

It was out of my frustration (after replacing the same motor twice) that I decided to build a gearbox capable of this Very light-duty. There is no doubt that this was a design flaw from the very start. There was only one gear in that gearbox which uses a phenolic material... all the rest are metal. I can't imagine that it saved them more than $0.25 per unit! I will stop short of accusing them of designing into their product - Planned Obsolescence. But at the moment I cannot think of ANY other reason for using the WEAKER MATERIAL on the ONE GEAR that takes the HIGHEST LOAD.

I also considered changing the setup to the single front shade. But, I do like having the option of this style shade for driving. Ultimately when I do remove the curtains in the front end and replace them (on three sides) with motorized pleated Shades, I will still leave this style sunshade installed.
__________________
Flyin4Fun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2017, 11:07 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
ImagesByHawk's Avatar
 
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 164
The issue with these shades is the ends are plastic which are subjected to extremes in temp. Super hot in the direct sun and freezing in the winter months. The plastic becomes brittle and cracks from the vibration of driving.

These motors are also very torky, and they can strip gears if there is any resistance. I found that if you aren't paying attention and loose the little teflon washer, they will not work smoothly and often bind up.

If you lubricate them with the wrong lubricant...you'll have a mess on your dash and privacy curtains.

Why they OEM didn't cast these ends out of metal I don't know...I know that the price of Zinc alloy went through the roof before the time my coach was built.
__________________
2004 HR Ambassador 38PDQ
http://usa-rvnomads.com/
ImagesByHawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2017, 11:45 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
CountryB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImagesByHawk View Post
The issue with these shades is the ends are plastic which are subjected to extremes in temp. Super hot in the direct sun and freezing in the winter months. The plastic becomes brittle and cracks from the vibration of driving.

These motors are also very torky, and they can strip gears if there is any resistance. I found that if you aren't paying attention and loose the little teflon washer, they will not work smoothly and often bind up.

If you lubricate them with the wrong lubricant...you'll have a mess on your dash and privacy curtains.

Why they OEM didn't cast these ends out of metal I don't know...I know that the price of Zinc alloy went through the roof before the time my coach was built.
I assume you considered having just a replacement gear machined/fabricated.
Maybe the gear is not removable (I have not seen what your working on, but I'm imagining this is something like the old power window motors in my 80's pickup truck - where Ford also used plastic gears. But those gears just slide off a shaft and can be replaced)
__________________
- Mike
05' Beaver Patriot-Thunder, 42ft w/Tag, Cat C13 525hp, Allison HD4000
CountryB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2017, 04:27 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Flyin4Fun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 124
The Original Post is specifically pertaining to the older style shades... discontinued about 2006-ish. ImagesByHawk was referring to two separate issues;
1) the inline gearbox attached to a 100 rpm 12 Volt DC motor has a gear that fails, causing many people to Upgrade to the nrw model because replacement parts are almost nonexistent.
2) He is also casting light on the ”mounting brackets”... If they can be called that. There's one bracket on each end of the shade designed for a screw to pass through and hold it tight to the ceiling in the coach. This portion of the all-plastic end cap is poorly designed; having a cross section which simply isn't thick enough or strong enough to support the entire weight with the various stresses of the installation.

Of course, those very mounting tabs have broken on my sun shades also. I created a fix utilizing a worm gear hose clamp large enough to go around the entire end of the shade body. After tightening it around the end cap of the shade, I then put a screw through one of the holes of the clamp in the location of the broken ”boss” (or mount). If anyone is interested, I believe I could come up with either a sketch or photographs of this repair. It has held for several years without any issues.

As mentioned in the original post, I have designed a replacement motor / gearbox combination that serves as a direct replacement for the original assembly. This gearbox utilizes all metal gears and simply does not suffer the same fate as the original equipment. If anyone needs these motors... Just let me know!
__________________

__________________
Flyin4Fun is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
power



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Vista Shade on Carefree Awning? reubenray Newmar Owner's Forum 0 08-07-2017 12:31 PM
Repair of United Shade windshield night shade. Deucerod Palazzo Motorhomes 6 01-17-2017 06:16 PM
Carefree power shade unraveled EMPIRE231 Class A Motorhome Discussions 2 08-19-2016 01:17 AM
Carefree Maxi SmartVisor Pilgrimfarms Class A Motorhome Discussions 1 02-28-2014 01:37 PM
Installing Carefree SmartVisor on older coaches dgerstel Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 7 03-04-2008 05:13 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.