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Old 03-04-2018, 08:37 AM   #1
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THOR #10421
Awning collapsed

While camping last week, we left for a couple of hours and when we returned, the SMALL amount of rain we had collapsed our awning. Now let me say, I know we should have put the awning in before we left, BUT, even had we been in the MH, we could only have prevented this from happening had we went outside and noticed the water pooling on top. I asked several of the folks at the campground if it had rained hard or if it was windy and they all told me it only rained for about 15-20 minutes and it was not hard nor windy. You could tell it wasn't wind because both sides of the arms were collapsed outward, due to the awning falling under weight.

I called our dealer and of course, was told extended warranty would not cover this but our vehicle insurance should (no surprise there!) and I needed to have someone come and remove the awning (a "professional") for that reason. A sort of funny aside to that, the guy said he could tie the rolled up awning and cylinder to the two a/c units on top, I told him no, we would take it in through the rear emergency window and lay it inside the MH....geez!

What I'd like to ask/know is, how hard should I push to have this taken care of under warranty? Something had to have caused the awning to pool the water such as a weak shock, not enough motor tension, etc. because, if this small amount of rain had collapsed it, then the awning is basically useless because you'd never be able to have it out with any amount of rain. Problem is, I have no way to prove anything now because of the damage and it bent one of the shocks. This was the first time we had it out when it rained ANY.

A little more to consider is this, before we bought the MH, the salesman told me the awning had a sensor on it so if it was too windy, it would automatically retract (uh huh). After I got home, I took the motor head housing off and guess what? Yep, no $115 sensor inside meaning this option was not installed on our awning; that's right, $115. I did a LOT of research on the awning and know this for a fact and I would never have known it wasn't installed without having looked inside the housing. I realize this probably wouldn't have prevented what happened but it MIGHT have because the sensor would have detected motion that wasn't normal.

The crux of the issue is this, my insurance will pay to have it fixed but I have a $500 deductible and it's likely my premium would go up due to having an issue so soon after having owned it for only 4 months. I can buy the arms (brand new) for $700 and I can fix it myself. I know I could "fudge" and get the whole assembly replaced but that just isn't honest as the arms are all that's damaged. I figure at the most, probably $250 labor, plus $125 I paid to have it taken down, $700 for arms, approx. $1100 to repair. Really, all I'd be saving would be the $250 labor since I could do it so I'd only be out $825 minus $500 = $325. But the money isn't a big deal, it's more I was lied to, even if not intentionally, plus the fact the awning should not have done what it did, period. I honestly feel the dealer should pony up for some of it, if not all based off me being told the $115 sensor option WAS installed and just plain "taking care" of a good customer. I doubt they will but we'll see. The awning is a Travel'r Adjustable pitch, made by Carefree of Colorado.

If anyone has experienced something of this sort please let me know how it was handled, what you did, etc. Just looking for advice and I guess to vent a little considering all the (expletive deleted) I've had go wrong on this well north of $100K MH......


(P.S. This is the fourth RV we've had and second with an electric awning, NEVER had this happen before, even after being in some heavy downpours.)
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:05 PM   #2
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Silly question: Did you tilt the awning at all?
Edit: Tiltless awning..ah nevermind.

I would guess that you won't get anywhere with a warranty claim and just go with insurance.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:36 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about the problem with your awning. I looked up your awning on the Carefree website and found this warning:

Pooling
When water collects on the top of the fabric, this is known as "pooling". This can occur during inclement weather or if a running air conditioner discharges over the awning. The water is dumped when the awning is retracted. It is recommended that if water accumulates on the top; retract the awning in steps (8"-12") to dump the water. This will help prevent the fabric from stretching or distorting.
The effects of wind and rain on an awning are unpredictable. Severe damage to the awning and the vehicle may result. IF WIND OR EXTENDED PERIODS OF RAIN ARE EXPECTED, ROLL UP THE AWNING AND SECURE FOR TRAVEL.

I doubt if your warranty will cover your loss. It appears unless you have a significant tilt in your awning, water pooling is a problem. That is probably why they no longer make the fixed pitch awning (discontinued in 2012).

My awning is a lateral arm design and does not have the pooling problem. The wind sensor was tested by pushing up on the motor side of the awning with a broom handle. This was done by the service tech in the PDI when I purchased my RV...few bounces and it retracted.

I have no doubt you could replace it by your self but I would use someone that has done it before. The tension in the rail can cause difficulty in the replacement and it is easy to damage the mechanism. Go the route of the insurance company, bite the bullet and consider it lesson learned.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:33 PM   #4
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Question: What is your insurance deductible?

I suppose that this points to the fact that nothing should ever be taken for granted; when dealing with these rigs?
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Question: What is your insurance deductible?

I suppose that this points to the fact that nothing should ever be taken for granted; when dealing with these rigs?
Its in his post:
Quote:
The crux of the issue is this, my insurance will pay to have it fixed but I have a $500 deductible
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:51 PM   #6
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THOR #10421
I had same thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miramar Owner View Post
I doubt if your warranty will cover your loss. It appears unless you have a significant tilt in your awning, water pooling is a problem. That is probably why they no longer make the fixed pitch awning (discontinued in 2012).

The wind sensor was tested by pushing up on the motor side of the awning with a broom handle. This was done by the service tech in the PDI when I purchased my RV...few bounces and it retracted.

....consider it lesson learned.
I think we're on the same page about this because I noted that on their web page as well. Although the awning has the adjustable pitch, I took pictures of it being in the last notch which gave it very little pitch. Yes, I SHOULD have took better notice and yes, I SHOULD have tested it at the PDI but just a couple of oversights on my part which, as said, "lesson learned".

I guess the was I'll look at it is it would have been just another issue they would have had to fix and it would have been in the shop 2-3 weeks waiting on diagnosis and repair....another reason I'm going to fix it myself. Thanks for the advice on having someone else do it but I am more confident in my ability to do it RIGHT than even the dealer who may or may not have someone who would do it better. I mention this because, during the PDI, they did note several of the LED's were out in the light strip and would fix it. When it was replaced with a new one a week later, the new strip was short by about 4 feet. The tech said that's the one they sent...ummm, NO...that's a 16.4' GENERIC LED light kit that was ordered, NOT the one that comes with the unit. At that point, I told him to forget it I would either live with that or fix it myself since I didn't want to have to drive it 50 miles roundtrip AGAIN to have it MAYBE fixed right.

*** JamieGeek, not a silly question at all, in fact, VERY pertinent! Mine does have the adjustable tilt feature. As mentioned above, this is something I should have checked beforehand, but to my misfortune, I failed to do so, again, assuming the factory had set the pitch and/or it wasn't adjustable.

You guys are great, thanks for the input!
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:58 PM   #7
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THOR #10421
EXACTLY Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Question:
I suppose that this points to the fact that nothing should ever be taken for granted; when dealing with these rigs?
Right down to even the smallest detail! I did what I THOUGHT was a pretty thorough PDI with the dealer, noting some minor small details such as the bathroom sliding door hanging up occasionally, shower door coming off track due to a misalignment of the bracket which holds it in the track, I even noted small spots on the flooring where some glue had overlapped , etc. but alas, I missed the VERY significant awning problem that would bite me in the arse later!

Thanks big guy!
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Its in his post:
I DID miss that, and I shouldn't have!!
Forty years of selling insurance...
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharrisv65 View Post
I missed the VERY significant awning problem that would bite me in the arse later!
We always seem to learn to make good decisions from expericne...

...Which often comes from making poor decisions!

I'm sorry that your arse took the hit for it!
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:20 PM   #10
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THOR #4488
A wise man once said:

A fool never learns.
A smart man learns from his mistakes.
A wise man learns from the mistakes of others.

Let all pray we can be wise, not smart.

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Old 03-04-2018, 06:26 PM   #11
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Easy way to check the auto retract on a C of C Latitude patio awning. With awning fully deployed, just hit the front end of the roll with a pole twice quickly. It diesn't tale much of a hit to start the retraction.
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Old 03-04-2018, 06:40 PM   #12
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Not sure exactly which awning you have, but my Carefree the pitch is/was set by me to run to the end furthest from the door & has stayed that way since new, never have had a pooling problem.
On my particular awning you can set the pitch to no more than 3 holes (as per manual) difference & it will still roll up/out without having to readjust.
I'm sorry this happened & I've seen it many times, but unfortunately you can kick/scream all you'd like but it's an insurance claim & will never ever be a warranty claim.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:17 AM   #13
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Will post more to this reply when back at the computer next week but we had similar problem. While at MH in light rain, with awning at maximum pitch, no wind, and awning fully rolled out per instructions to prevent pooling...... the awning arm/bracket at one end ripped off the MH side. The bracket pulled out of the top two mounting bolts and thereby pulled the bottom bolt out of the wall. Photos will follow when I post again

Contacted Carefree and discussed. Pulled installation instructions from website. This is an OEM awning, not a consumer available awning. Installation instructions specify mounting the bracket arms with 4 evenly spaced bolts. Thor mounted it with two top bolts and one bottom bolt. Was referred to the OEM Carefree rep, but my emails apparently have fallen into a black hole.

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Old 03-05-2018, 09:50 AM   #14
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THOR #10421
Questions Scubes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubes3 View Post
While at MH in light rain, with awning at maximum pitch, no wind, and awning fully rolled out per instructions to prevent pooling...... the awning arm/bracket at one end ripped off the MH side. The bracket pulled out of the top two mounting bolts and thereby pulled the bottom bolt out of the wall. Photos will follow when I post again

Contacted Carefree and discussed. Pulled installation instructions from website. This is an OEM awning, not a consumer available awning. Installation instructions specify mounting the bracket arms with 4 evenly spaced bolts. Thor mounted it with two top bolts and one bottom bolt. Was referred to the OEM Carefree rep, but my emails apparently have fallen into a black hole.

Thor A. C. E
29.3

Scubes, so sorry you had a similar issue, just curious which awning you have? You mention only three bolts mounting to the MH, was it only on the one side or both? Do you have the wind sensor option on yours? You mentioned it was at maximum pitch, was that upward (almost flat) or downward? One IMPORTANT question, is your canopy mounted to the side of the MH or on the roofline (like mine)? The more I thought about it, this COULD be an issue since there would be a lot of the water coming off the roof channeling over the awning, not running down a rail to the side possibly. Just a few questions I'm curious about.

Mine is a Travel'r Adjustable Pitch model in black, was SUPPOSED to have the wind sensor but does not. The brackets mounting mine to the MH side have 4 screws (might be bolts but cannot tell yet since they are still attached), they aren't "evenly spaced" but there are two on top and two on bottom. These brackets were barely harmed, one side not at all, the moving arms on both ends were what was bent/destroyed.

I tend to agree with what TravelingTexan said about it not being a warranty issue (at least one that would be hard to prove) BUT, SOMETHING HAS to be the cause of this and it can't be from a normal rain. Like I mentioned before, this is our fourth RV and second with an electric awning and all of them have been out in significantly more rainfall but this is the only one to have failed and in a LIGHT rain.

You mentioned yours happened while you were in the MH, so even though I was gone, I doubt I would have caught it unless I just happened to look outside. With this having happened now, especially to someone else, then the awnings, in my mind, should NEVER be used except as shade against the sun, NEVER in ANY rain unless you are at the MH and you check the awning every 2-3 minutes to make sure no water is pooling on top, which is darn ludicrous! I'm going to continue to do some research to see if I can find others who've had a similar issue, or maybe us two are just dang unlucky!

I've attached some pics of my damage.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:24 PM   #15
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That looks very similar to the awning we have on our Axis. So far so good for us: have had it extended in the rain (tilted) without issue; I'll have to pay more attention now when it rains.
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Old 03-05-2018, 01:14 PM   #16
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If it were mine I would not even consider a warranty claim. I donít think youíd have a snowballs chance on a stove of getting anywhere. And if I had a $500 deductible and a $700 repair Iíd probably not file the claim either. But thatís just me. Iíve heard too many stories like this and now I pretty much only extend the awning when Iím going to be sitting under it. It doesnít look very strong to me. Perhaps we could wish it was stronger but it isnít so there you go. Good luck with the repair.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:01 PM   #17
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Good to hear

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
That looks very similar to the awning we have on our Axis. So far so good for us: have had it extended in the rain (tilted) without issue; I'll have to pay more attention now when it rains.
Glad you haven't had any issue with yours. Mine and Scube's may have just been an anomaly, or maybe we just had a bad luck incident. I swear if I'd have had any idea it would have rained that day, I would've run it in but it was sunny and clear, just happened to get that light shower in the afternoon.

Based off what some of the ones said, mentioning how to test the sensor, I believe it might have retracted when it started moving due to the water weight. You'd think with today's technology (and there may be one, I'll research it), they would make a sensor that would detect wind and if the awning started moving due to weight and it wasn't being retracted. If there isn't one, maybe I'll invent it and make a million selling it, haha!

Pete'sMH - you and I think alike! I'd rather not file a claim unless it's major but I also KNOW what kind of job I'll do and I bet as good but likely BETTER than the dealer would. At least I'll KNOW it's done right, for sure!

Good luck!
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:58 PM   #18
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We have the 'carefree' on ours, which is set so the rear (toward the rear of the coach) of the awning is noticeably lower than the front, I'm guessing to drain water off. Since it has never been out while it was raining, can't say how well it may or may not work, but, not sure I really want to test it either. As far as wind sensor, it has sort of an imitation wind sensor, which is, if the awning if buffeted up and down it will retract. That I have tested, by raising and lower the outside edge of the awning with a broom. Shake it up and down, it does retract. How well that works in the real world of wind, don't know.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:36 PM   #19
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THOR #10421
Hind sight is 20/20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laco View Post
We have the 'carefree' on ours, which is set so the rear (toward the rear of the coach) of the awning is noticeably lower than the front, I'm guessing to drain water off. Since it has never been out while it was raining, can't say how well it may or may not work, but, not sure I really want to test it either. As far as wind sensor, it has sort of an imitation wind sensor, which is, if the awning if buffeted up and down it will retract. That I have tested, by raising and lower the outside edge of the awning with a broom. Shake it up and down, it does retract. How well that works in the real world of wind, don't know.

Looking at where my setting was on the adjustment, it did not have any tilt to the side, but it was slanted. I guess I should have checked that beforehand and after reading the awning install guide, it states you can adjust it no more than 3 notches different than the other side. Like others have said, lesson learned, although I knew to do this, I just didn't think about it or get around to it, having a plethora of other issues I was fixing. But according to Scubes, who had a similar issue, his WAS tilted, now how much, I don't know. I'm going to see how it does once I get it fixed but I will be watching it VERY CLOSELY and OFTEN. To me, an awning isn't of much use if you can't trust it in a rain. I'm not talking a monsoon but just normal weather and not windy.

That's what I love about this forum, before, I didn't know how or that you could even check a sensor like this. I thought I'd have to wait and see when it got windy enough! Had I known or thought about it, I would have found out it either didn't work or didn't have the sensor, which it ended up not having but I was told it did.

Thanks for the reply Laco!
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Old 03-06-2018, 10:59 PM   #20
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Fixed the awning today!

Awning arms came in a day early so a friend and I installed them and got the awning back working today. Pretty easy task, hardest part was putting the fabric back in the channel while 1/2 of the drum and fabric assembly hung off the back of the MH and moving it as we put the fabric back in the channel, but overall even that wasn't bad. Probably took us about 90 minutes total, most of that just taking our time ensuring everything was in place and done correctly.

On a side note, Scubes3 mentioned in an earlier post that his only had one bolt at the bottom of the arms. One side of mine had two screws at the top and two at the bottom about 3 inches apart. The arm with the motor head had two screws at top, same spacing and only one at the bottom. According to the installation instructions by Carefree, the awning can be mounted this way, it's what they call an "OEM" mount but I added two more screws in the middle of both arms just for support and peace of mind. I guess when the Thor builders were mounting the awning, they didn't feel the Carefree engineers knew what they were talking about, since they only put one screw at the bottom of one arm, rather than two.....
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