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Old 04-12-2019, 08:08 PM   #1
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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Some Girard Awning Tidbits

Our 2019 Dutch Star with the Girard Nova awnings, needed the front awning adjusted. The front edge, above the front door, suddenly started failing to retract all the way, by about 1.5". Since the factory is close by and very good about doing repairs, we decided to make a weekend trip out of the service visit. They were about a month out on appointments.

We drove to San Clemente last night and stayed overnight in the parking lot of Girard Awnings, main facility. They have one 50 amp plug near a loading bay door. We backed up to the door and pugged in (they offer the electrical to visitors). I was told that they would start repairs at 8:30am at that facility. Their employees arrived early and started work at about 7:00am.

I checked in at 8:00am and was told that they actually do the work at another facility, about two miles away. I called their service, at the other facility, and was told that the facility only holds two coaches and it would be about an hour before I could go over there.

About 30 minutes later, a service rep (George) showed up at our door. He said he could do the adjustment their, at the main building. I showed him the issue and he felt it was a limit switch issue.

On a trip in January, I noticed both awnings were not closing all the way. I read through the manual and it seemed like a limit switch adjustment was needed. In your package from Newmar, you should have a black plastic tool that looks like a coffee stirrer. It has an allen head at one end for adjusting the limit switch(es). I adjusted the limit switch on the rear awing (there are two, one in and one out, on each awning/motor). I made the adjustment and the rear awning closed fine.

No matter what I tried on the front, it got better, but still didn't close all the way. Dang.....George adjusted the limit switch and sure enough the awning went in, but still hung up a little. There is an aluminum guide arm inside the awning box that needed to be tweaked.

Okay....here is where the tidbits come in. First, I never knew that on top of the awning box (can be seen if you stand back) is a rubber cap. If you remove that cap, you can use a hex head wrench, I believe 1/4", to manually retract the awnings. He had a couple of straight shaft hex head wrenches and gave me one for use with a screw gun. (The box of donuts helped).

He also stated that the awnings are not always adjusted correctly from Newmar or any manufacturer. He cautioned that the limit switch should be adjusted just enough to close the awning. If you make it close too tight, it can stretch the material and make it look like "bacon" on the edges over time.

Now here is an interesting point he made......if the motors are adjusted so that they keep running when the awning closes (closing too tight), they will continue to run until the thermal limit switch shuts them down. The thermal limit switch can keep the motor from operating from 20-45 minutes until they cool off. If.....during that time, you try to deploy the awning, the awning will remember that, but not deploy. Once the awning motor cools down, it will operate and do what the last command asked of it (deploy). This could explain why some had issues with them deploying unexpectedly.

I also bought and brought with me, three additional anti-sail arms. I intended to have them add one on the kitchen slide (center) and two to the FWS, one on each end. He actually placed one about 6" - 8" from the front edge on the kitchen slide, making a good point.....the wind catches them at the front edge and makes them open. On the FWS slide, he added one about 18" from the front edge, again for the same reason. So I only have two on the FWS, front and one in the center.

Lastly, while talking to the receptionist, another gentleman walked out, who is the Girard rep for Newmar. We discussed the lack of washers being used. He said they're trying to get Newmar on track and use the carriage bolt and correct washers (split lock and flat).

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Old 04-12-2019, 08:54 PM   #2
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Great write up Don.
Thank you for doing the legwork.
I'm glad there is a manual work around for a dead unit. When I asked Scotty about manual retraction during our PDI , he said we would be SOL. The adjustment tool looks just like the one I have from the Carefree over the door awning from my old Camelot.
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Mike
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:44 PM   #3
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Guess Im gonna have to find a new coffee stirrer

Wondered what that was for.
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Old 04-13-2019, 06:25 AM   #4
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OK, I'll bite, what's an anti sail arm and are you using them on the awnings or slide toppers?
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:35 AM   #5
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Here's another tidbit (from my Carefree manual). If you are doing adjustments and cycle the awning in an out without a rest period, it will trip the thermal (as described by Don). Your first thought will probably be "the remote quit working" ... be patient. BTW, if the awning thermals, use the "stop" button".
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:56 AM   #6
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Thanks Don,
I have an appointment on the 18th. I was planning on going to the Calle Avanzado address is this the one you went to?
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soniccruzer View Post
Thanks Don,
I have an appointment on the 18th. I was planning on going to the Calle Avanzado address is this the one you went to?
Service is at 990 Calle Amanecer San Clemente, CA 92673. They do have 50amp service there also. Chuck Singleton is service manager.
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
Our 2019 Dutch Star with the Girard Nova awnings, needed the front awning adjusted. The front edge, above the front door, suddenly started failing to retract all the way, by about 1.5". Since the factory is close by and very good about doing repairs, we decided to make a weekend trip out of the service visit. They were about a month out on appointments.

We drove to San Clemente last night and stayed overnight in the parking lot of Girard Awnings, main facility. They have one 50 amp plug near a loading bay door. We backed up to the door and pugged in (they offer the electrical to visitors). I was told that they would start repairs at 8:30am at that facility. Their employees arrived early and started work at about 7:00am.

I checked in at 8:00am and was told that they actually do the work at another facility, about two miles away. I called their service, at the other facility, and was told that the facility only holds two coaches and it would be about an hour before I could go over there.

About 30 minutes later, a service rep (George) showed up at our door. He said he could do the adjustment their, at the main building. I showed him the issue and he felt it was a limit switch issue.

On a trip in January, I noticed both awnings were not closing all the way. I read through the manual and it seemed like a limit switch adjustment was needed. In your package from Newmar, you should have a black plastic tool that looks like a coffee stirrer. It has an allen head at one end for adjusting the limit switch(es). I adjusted the limit switch on the rear awing (there are two, one in and one out, on each awning/motor). I made the adjustment and the rear awning closed fine.

No matter what I tried on the front, it got better, but still didn't close all the way. Dang.....George adjusted the limit switch and sure enough the awning went in, but still hung up a little. There is an aluminum guide arm inside the awning box that needed to be tweaked.

Okay....here is where the tidbits come in. First, I never knew that on top of the awning box (can be seen if you stand back) is a rubber cap. If you remove that cap, you can use a hex head wrench, I believe 1/4", to manually retract the awnings. He had a couple of straight shaft hex head wrenches and gave me one for use with a screw gun. (The box of donuts helped).

He also stated that the awnings are not always adjusted correctly from Newmar or any manufacturer. He cautioned that the limit switch should be adjusted just enough to close the awning. If you make it close too tight, it can stretch the material and make it look like "bacon" on the edges over time.

Now here is an interesting point he made......if the motors are adjusted so that they keep running when the awning closes (closing too tight), they will continue to run until the thermal limit switch shuts them down. The thermal limit switch can keep the motor from operating from 20-45 minutes until they cool off. If.....during that time, you try to deploy the awning, the awning will remember that, but not deploy. Once the awning motor cools down, it will operate and do what the last command asked of it (deploy). This could explain why some had issues with them deploying unexpectedly.

I also bought and brought with me, three additional anti-sail arms. I intended to have them add one on the kitchen slide (center) and two to the FWS, one on each end. He actually placed one about 6" - 8" from the front edge on the kitchen slide, making a good point.....the wind catches them at the front edge and makes them open. On the FWS slide, he added one about 18" from the front edge, again for the same reason. So I only have two on the FWS, front and one in the center.

Lastly, while talking to the receptionist, another gentleman walked out, who is the Girard rep for Newmar. We discussed the lack of washers being used. He said they're trying to get Newmar on track and use the carriage bolt and correct washers (split lock and flat).

Attachment 241760
As I understand there is no way to get long enough carriage bolts in after the fact?
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Old 04-13-2019, 09:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWIP View Post
Service is at 990 Calle Amanecer San Clemente, CA 92673. They do have 50amp service there also. Chuck Singleton is service manager.


Thanks Don
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:52 AM   #10
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It's kind of confusing where to go, that's why I discussed both shops. You schedule with Chuck Singleton and he's the one that told me to go to the Calle Avanzado address. I asked him if that's where the work was done.....he said yes. Apparently, the main office at Calle Avanzado is where the service USE to be done and has one 50amp outlet. Just for info.....that address is easy to navigate with a big rig at night (no cars). I pulled in, disconnected the toad and backed into the space with power. It's heavily slanted, so you won't get level. If you get there during the day, the street out front is good sized where you could park and disconnect.

They said the other address on Calle Amanecer will only fit two large rigs. When I went yesterday, they had just brought back their display rig from a rally and had it and another rig at the service center and didn't have room for me. Maybe someone who has been to the service center can describe where the power is and how big rig friendly it is.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:46 PM   #11
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I was there a month ago. I backed in with the help of Chuck. They have 50 amp and ran a cord out for me. They replaced an equalizer bar on my Girard. Took about an hour. I was able to level and spent the night. Room for only about two coaches. I left early before crews arrived. Chuck was great!Click image for larger version

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Old 04-13-2019, 01:48 PM   #12
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Thanks Don, Great info. Always wondered where the manual retract is.
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:14 PM   #13
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Okay....here is where the tidbits come in. First, I never knew that on top of the awning box (can be seen if you stand back) is a rubber cap. If you remove that cap, you can use a hex head wrench, I believe 1/4", to manually retract the awnings. He had a couple of straight shaft hex head wrenches and gave me one for use with a screw gun. (The box of donuts helped).

DSD,
If I read this correctly, you can retract the awning with a 1/4 hex wrench? Obviously used in conjunction with a cordless drill, correct? I guess you could use a a hex socket and ratchet in a pinch.
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Old 04-13-2019, 08:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry davis View Post
Okay....here is where the tidbits come in. First, I never knew that on top of the awning box (can be seen if you stand back) is a rubber cap. If you remove that cap, you can use a hex head wrench, I believe 1/4", to manually retract the awnings. He had a couple of straight shaft hex head wrenches and gave me one for use with a screw gun. (The box of donuts helped).

DSD,
If I read this correctly, you can retract the awning with a 1/4 hex wrench? Obviously used in conjunction with a cordless drill, correct? I guess you could use a a hex socket and ratchet in a pinch.
I'll double check the hex head size when I get home. I have a small battery powered screw gun in the coach, but it wouldn't be powerful enough to bring in the awnings. I do keep a cheap Harbor Freight corded drill in my toolbox. That would work.

The tech told me that a LOT of the awnings need adjustment (limit switch) after a few initial uses. I'm now comfortable with that adjustment. The first time I did it on the road, I used their tool, taped to a rod, allowing me to reach it with just a 7' "A" frame ladder.
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