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Old 05-23-2016, 10:50 AM   #1
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THOR #2142
Slide's Lock-in Travel Bar

All, just a fix of something that bothered me since I got the RV.

Not sure how well the Travel Bar will work holding the side Slide "Locked" in place should it ever decide to extend during travel but I do feel sure that mine might not have done much as if fit so loose that the Travel Bar moved around while driving.

So while I was making my weekly visit to Lowes I picked up a foot (smallest size they had) of a threaded 1/2" bar and an adjusting bolt. At home I cut 1 1/2" piece of the bar and using the adjusting bolt extended the of one end of the Travel Bar.

Now at least the Travel Bar fits snuggly with more than just a couple of threads on each end holding it in place.

See Picture.
Slide Lockin bar.jpg

Doc
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:01 PM   #2
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Frankly I tossed my locking bar somewhere and don't even think about it.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:17 PM   #3
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THOR #2142
Jamie,

After reading of someone's Awning deciding to extend while in transit I'm a bit gun shy.

Doc
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:11 PM   #4
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocMike View Post
Jamie,

After reading of someone's Awning deciding to extend while in transit I'm a bit gun shy.

Doc
Doc,

That was me and the reason the awning deployed was Dometic issued incorrect installation instructions and OEMs followed the instructions. When Dometic issued the recall Forest River could not notify owners because, unlike Thor, they did not maintain adequate records of ownership or build sheets listing serial numbers for their coaches.

In the case of an awning there is only one motor which serves as a brake to prevent issues from happening. Schwintek slides on the other hand have 2 motors which both serve as brakes. The braking function is automatic and, I believe, the motors must be unplugged and removed to disengage the brake.

In my opinion, the chances of an awning failure are twice that of a slide failure (1 brake vs 2) so in preparation know how you can use a strap to keep the awning secure while traveling in the event it does fail. Me, I'll just extend my trip, call a mobile tech and open my wallet.

I am reminded of this issue whenever I walk behind my shed because I still have 13 feet of the 16 foot awning tube that I intend (some day) to use as a post for a bird feeder. The remaining/missing 3 feet of the tube (the end housing the motor) had to be cut off and turned in under the recall.

As a side note, the awning experience is one reason (there are others) that I keep my FMCA membership active. The first thing I do when the new Family Motor Coaching hits the mailbox is look at the recall corner. One this that I find consistent is that with common recalls (e.g. the Lippert steps) Thor is normally one or two months ahead of the other OEMs in issuing the recall notification.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:24 PM   #5
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THOR #2142
Dave,

Sorry it was your story, really sounded nerve wracking.

I have a bag of bungie cords, a canister of various size Zip Strips and some rope...hopefully I'll have enough should the Awning become a problem.

Doc
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:40 PM   #6
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Doc -- I got the awning manual from Carefree Travel'r. There is a procedure for retracting the awning when there is no power to the motor from the coach (basically jumping the motor from am external battery). But there was no manual retracting procedure. I sent an email to Carefree and asked them what the manual procedure in the event that the motor died. Here is what they replied to me:

Obtain the awning Owners’ Manual from the Carefree Travel’r wbsite at: Carefree Awning Owners' Manual. You will need a set of jumper cables to retract the awning using an alternate 12VDC source if power to the awning fails. These jumper cables are nothing more than two wires with alligator clips on one end and bare wire on the other to attach to the alternate 12VDC source. Disconnect power to the awning and attach the jumper cables to the rivets on the plastic housing of the motor. Attach the other end of the jumper cables to an alternate 12V source.

If the motor is still not working after trying the jump start, the awning will need to be manually rolled in. Remove the 2 screws that are holding the motorized arm to the roller tube. *****Please note: If the awning is partially closed someone will need to hold the arm channel as the pressure from the gas shock will open the arm all the way. Once detached, you can walk the arm to the full extension and allow it to hang in place. Also, be sure to support the roller tube once it is disconnected. ** Carefully detach the roller tube from the motorized arm.

Manually roll up the fabric and tube, while someone is pushing the non-motorized arm towards the coach. Once against the coach, re-secure the motorized arm assembly to the roller tube. It may be necessary to secure the arms for travel.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:07 PM   #7
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THOR #2142
Ed,

Thanks (I have printed that out)...but that sounds like time to call for Roadside assistance of some sort and just extend the stay!

Doc
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:32 PM   #8
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by bevedfelker View Post
...It may be necessary to secure the arms for travel.
[/I]
That is the hard part. Trying to find a place on the coach which is strong enough to secure the awning arms in place. You may have to identify some anchor points on the roof.

In my case the awning opening at 55 mph caused the awning to tear free from the upper part of the coach. Since I was 6 miles from home, I removed the entire tube and rolled up the fabric and slid as much of it as I could inside the coach. I then disconnected the shocks on the arms to relieve the pressure and using zip ties was able to secure the upper and lower arms to the mounting bar (Dometic arms are somewhat different than Carefree). Luckily only the top mounting bolts were ripped out of the side wall and the middle (partially ripped out) and lower bolts (still in tact) secured the arms until I got home.

I was lucky for a few reasons. It happened as I was decreasing speed to exit the highway. There were no road signs in the deceleration lane of the interstate. We were only 6 miles from the house when this happened. I was able to take less traveled back roads the rest of the way home.

Lessons learned

Never discount the need to have some type of rope and zip ties on board.

A step ladder would have been nice. I now carry a folding 6 foot step ladder/stool in a pass through compartment.

Do not expect anyone to stop and offer assistance. The state cop that was following me when this happened just drove on by.

During the summer it takes time to get a repair appointment. Neither Forest River nor Dometic could find any service center in my area that could take my coach in for 6 weeks. This included RV dealers and independent repair shops capable of doing body work.

RV'ing is an adventure in more ways than one.

The one thing you never dream will happen is the one that will bite your butt.
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Old 05-23-2016, 02:52 PM   #9
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THOR #2121
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post

....cut...

RV'ing is an adventure in more ways than one.

The one thing you never dream will happen is the one that will bite your butt.
Worded differently, but that's pretty much the reason I was given by Cruise America as to why their units don't have awnings. Too many things can go wrong, particularly in the hands of inexperienced renters.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:37 PM   #10
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THOR #1249
I had an awning unfurl and start flying in a serious crosswind while crossing a desert on a previous camper. Was costly and to this day I use velcro tie wraps around the arms as high as I can reach as extra insurance.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:11 PM   #11
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THOR #4145
Another use for the Travel Bar

We were told that our 2014 Palazzo did not need to have the travel bar in place as it was originally intended, i.e., to ensure that the full-wall slide doesn't extend while in transit, and instead put it to work holding our largest and lowest pots and pans drawer closed while traveling. It was unnerving, to say the least, to have that drawer come crashing open whenever I made a left-hand turn! Now the travel bar is extended in place against the face of the drawer and the bottom of the couch, and drawer stays shut as it should.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:52 PM   #12
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THOR #2121
A drawer that doesn't stay closed would drive me nuts. I had a similar issue with the refrigerator door on a trailer fly open with most of our food ending up on the floor. Fortunately we caught it soon after and didn't lose much. What a mess though. The latch was a little too worn. That's one of the major disadvantages to renting anything -- you are never sure about equipment issues.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:57 PM   #13
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THOR #1150
We had the retaining latch break on one of our drawers. That only lasted one trip: I found the replacement latch at Camping World!

These are the guys used in the Axis/Vegas units (at least ours): Heavy Duty Push Latch
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:08 PM   #14
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THOR #1469
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
We had the retaining latch break on one of our drawers. That only lasted one trip: I found the replacement latch at Camping World!

These are the guys used in the Axis/Vegas units (at least ours): Heavy Duty Push Latch
There are 2 types. The RV Designer H315 is rated at 5 pounds while the H316 is rated at 10 pounds of pull.

I installed the 10 pound on my pantry and the 5 pound on a drawer under the stove. They do work better than the locks that are incorporated into the drawer slides.
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