In June we had to replace an awning arm - it was a bit bent where the gas shock connects, and that's where it gave way and bent further. We had it replaced.
Today we discovered how the original arm had become bent in the first place. If the main door is open while closing the awning, the arm can easily catch the edge of it. Then things bend.
I *did* manage to completely remove the arm and beat all of the bends back into submission so that the awning can be retracted with the top of the gas shock disconnected. But the bent spot is now weak so we're looking at another repair job.
Should we just do away with the awning altogether? Given the fact that the awning arm attaches to the body about 2 inches from the door hinge, I can't think of any way to prevent this from happening again. I'm beginning to think that a big mesh shade or batwing might be a better idea for shade. No, it's not automatic. But it's also not bendable metal. And it would never cost $250 or more for repair. (although it might cost $120 to replace if it blew away).
Current thinking - leave the awning retracted, find a replacement part somewhere, replace it ourselves. Save a couple $100. Then we have options. Still probably going to pick up a batwing and test it out.