Awning trouble - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-17-2009, 06:26 AM   #1
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Sunday we had some strong, gusty winds and I stopped at my usual turnout to drain the WH and fresh water tank before the climb. I discovered that the awning had unrolled about a foot or so and was trying to become a sail. Fortunately, I was able to find a deep road cut a quarter mile down the road where there was enough shelter from the wind to deal with the problem. I had to open the awning a couple more feet, straighten it out and then roll it up again. It seemed to be fully locked down; I wouldn't have thought it possible for it to unroll. Maybe it was just the strength of the wind that day (50 mph gusts were predicted).

Another first was having blowing rain come in through the refrigerator vent, enough to seep out where the wall and floor meet under the refrigerator door. I was able to stop most of the water with a sheet if plastic placed inside the lower part of the vent cover. When we dry out I'm going to try to fashion some kind of permanent dike inside the vent cover. All in all, this trip was more "interesting" than most!
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:32 AM   #2
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It seemed to be fully locked down; I wouldn't have thought it possible for it to unroll.

I was able to stop most of the water with a sheet if plastic placed inside the lower part of the vent cover.
I've seen plenty of trailers where the owners use a small bungy cord to keep the case closed. Use the cord on both ends. It seems the locking mechanisms on the case awnings is less than the best. That means one has to carry a small step ladder tho.

I have some friends with a monster 5th wheel. My friend has cut some flexible cutting board material and uses that to block the Frig vents. Works well during storage and travel.

Curious to see what you come up with Bob for these issues. Glad there was no permanent damage too.

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Old 02-17-2009, 08:40 PM   #3
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<snip> I discovered that the awning had unrolled about a foot or so and was trying to become a sail. Fortunately, I was able to find a deep road cut a quarter mile down the road where there was enough shelter from the wind to deal with the problem. I had to open the awning a couple more feet, straighten it out and then roll it up again. It seemed to be fully locked down; I wouldn't have thought it possible for it to unroll. Maybe it was just the strength of the wind that day (50 mph gusts were predicted). <snip>
Bob, you were lucky glad you caught it before things got really bad.

I think you are right on! Have only seen three awnings that became sails on the road but in each case it was a day with high wind gusts. One was the 'canister' type like on a Casita/Scamp and the other two were the 'open roll' type. One of the 'open roll' types was on a Class C and when it opened up on the highway it pulled the motor home off the road where it overturned.

I had a motor home with an 'open roll' awning when I first saw an awning failure. From the next day till now I have always used a pair of lashing straps on mine. Bungee cords are also popular but my concern is that a bungee cord would have enough give to allow a gust of wind to get into the awning and then the sail effect would take over.

Here is a look at my Awning Security:

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Old 02-18-2009, 05:55 AM   #4
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One of the 'open roll' types was on a Class C and when it opened up on the highway it pulled the motor home off the road where it overturned.
That's the kind of thing that could spoil your whole day!

I should have said mine is an AE 8500 series awning, open roll, no case. Some sort of security straps would be a good idea. I've actually been considering ditching the awning in order to reduce weight. Might improve fuel economy too. We never did have an awning on our Casita and didn't really miss it. Maybe I could store the awning in the garage just in case I ever want to sell the trailer. Thanks for your input.

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