Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-25-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
Winnie-Wise
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 336
I Learned About RV'ing From That...

Ever read the 'I Learned About Flying From That' series in Flying Magazine? While I have a story for that magazine too, here's one for RVing. (We should have a thread just for these kinds of stories.)

On a recent trip to Southern California, not only did I discover that I might have the dreaded 'Winnebago Leaking Windshields' frame rust and rot, I had another little adventure.

Going across the San Rafael-Richmond bridge, the wind was really bad and hitting the passenger side of the motorhome pretty hard. I could hear a roar and joked that it was going to rip the awning off the side of the MH. I got across the bridge and there is a turn-out lane at the end of the bridge, so I decided to stop to check out everything.

As I looked in the mirror to pull over, I could see a few feet of blue awning fabric. 'That can't be good' was my first thought. Stopped and at first I thought I might be able to open the awning enough to then be able to retract it, but I discovered that it had ripped about five feet at the roofline. The wind was blowing so hard that I was afraid that if I opened it, it would turn into a sail and rip everything off the sidewalls of the MH. I couldn't really drive to a spot where the wind might not be blowing so hard, so I had no choice but to go up on the roof and cut the awning fabric off. A fellow RV'er that had stopped helped my teenage son hold and pull down the awning fabric to the ground. The whole time I'm thinking that if the fabric comes up and over the roof, I'm going with it, right into the 60 MPH traffic. The wind was probably gusting at 35+ MPH and it was a freezing wind, and of course the rain was pounding too. Got the fabric cut off but the frame was bent at the front, so I used the fabric pull-down strap from the awing to tie down the frame and rails, then drove on, looking for a Walmart so I could buy some rope and tie everything up more securely. I ended up getting a couple of short bungee cords, but rope or long zip-ties would have been just as good. (More stuff to get for the tool box!)

Once we got to southern California, I went and got an estimate from Camping World to replace everything: $1,700! Since the frame and arms were bent, I removed the entire awning roll and frame just so I didn't have to worry about anything falling off while on the road.

Hindsight tells me that for the for the price of a couple of zip-ties or bungie cords, I could have had the frame and rails fastened down and saved myself a ton of money. I'm guessing that the wind pounding the awning allowed one of the travel locks to lift just enough to allow the wind to lift the awning tube out of the travel position and once it started to pull away, it allowed the other end to pull away and start to unroll the fabric. After that, there's not enough time to get stopped without damage. Oh, well... spending more of my kids' inheritance, I guess.

So, what's your 'I Learned About RV'ing From That...' story? -RT
RTegarini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
Winnie-Wise
 
CaptBill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Indian River, De
Posts: 362
Sorry for your troubles, but I guess you could say, "it could have gone worse".

This is a well-documented problem with ALL makes of motorhome, who use this type of awning. Ty-wrapping or bungie-cording the awning arms will NOT prevent this problem, and here's why: When a strong, sudden gust of wind hits the awning side of the motorhome, the gust gets under the awning roller, and tries to push upwards. This will cause the little awning lock cam in the end roller, to release, and the awning will unfurl, EVEN IF THE ARMS REMAIN SECURED to the motorhome.

What you (and others) need to do, is to install one of the several different awning roller locks, which prevent the roller from turning, if the ratchet lock in the roller and-cap, breaks.
__________________
CaptBill
USAF 1965-1971; USCG Master
2002 Horizon 36LD - 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4
Indian River, De
CaptBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 12:52 PM   #3
Winnebago Master
 
FIRE UP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 1,588
RT,
Well Sir, been there done that! A few times. It's not a pleasant experience huh? I've had it happen on both sides of the RV. The awning side and the slide topper side. That sucks. In my answers to one of the threads here, I posted some pics of my compartments. I don't have very many "Boxes" in which I carry a ton of junk. A very large percentage of my stuff is either mounted on a wall, ceiling, etc. or in a shelf.

What this is all alluding to is, in a situation like you just had, and I've had in the past, I want to be able to go right to the components/parts/equipment I need to maybe help remedy my situation in as short order as possible, because, like you in your predicament, I was fixing "Billowing awning/slide topper" problems in high winds and on the immediate side of the road.

So, if, and many times it a rather large IF, you think you can do a temp fix, i.e. tie down awnings, slide toppers, add screws to stabilize something, and more, it pays to HAVE some stuff like what you needed, i.e. rope, bungees, self sticking Velcro, and more. I've even used duct tape to wrap around the entire awning/slide topper tube and then tape to the side of the coach. It worked flawlessly.

What you've learned from this experience will help you prepare for possible future potential issues. You can't prepare for everything but, a little forethought, just might help get you out of a bind and to a better place to do a more permanent repair. I carry at least 5 kinds of TAPE. Duct, masking, electrical, packing, self adhering sealing, double sided 3M, and last but not least, teflon for sealing threads etc.

One NEVER Knows when any one of those might be needed and, maybe even for a use not intended for their design. So, I'm glad you were able to do a "road repair" and get to civilization for a more permanent fix and, it's really nice that a "passer by" RV type, stopped by to assist. That's priceless.
Scott
__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '08 GL 1800 Gold Wing
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 01:23 PM   #4
Winnie-Wise
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 319
I've learned the hard way that there is never, ever any substitute for a spotter when trying to back in somewhere.

Doesn't matter the mirrors you have, the backup camera, nothing beats a set of Mark 1 eyeballs (and maybe a radio.) May take a few extra moments to have the co-pilot step out and get in position, but take the time and do it right. Even better, get out yourself and look things over before getting into the seat and hitting "R", even if the campground guy is standing there saying "Don't worry, I'll back you in... "

Especially (!) when the dear campground folks have been trimming trees and left a 3' stub of a branch that is hanging down higher than your backup camera but lower than your roof cap. How do I know? I can give you about $3,000 worth of reasons why after the repair...

Ed
__________________
Ed & Joie
2004 Vectra 40KD
Freightliner Chassis and Cummins ISC
emiddleb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 07:59 PM   #5
Winnebago Owner
 
traveler of california's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 249
Didn't your insurance company cover the cost of repair?

Nick
traveler of california is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
Winnie-Wise
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler of california View Post
Didn't your insurance company cover the cost of repair?

Nick
You could look at it as the repair was covered between my prior insurance premiums, my deductable, insurance payout, and perhaps a future rate increase but my real point was that I learned the hard way the value of a spotter second set of eyes, and by not using one it was a costly mistake.
__________________
Ed & Joie
2004 Vectra 40KD
Freightliner Chassis and Cummins ISC
emiddleb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 09:51 PM   #7
Winnebago Owner
 
traveler of california's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 249
Oops! I didn't make myself clear, as I was referring to the OP and his awning loss. Sorry for the confusion. The reason I asked is that I lost an awning about 2 years ago and it was covered.

Nick
traveler of california is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #8
Winnie-Wise
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 336
Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler of california View Post
Oops! I didn't make myself clear, as I was referring to the OP and his awning loss. Sorry for the confusion. The reason I asked is that I lost an awning about 2 years ago and it was covered.
Nick
Not sure if my insurance company covers the loss or not; I haven't called them and for the dollar amount, I might not. I've never made a claim and when I do, I kind of feel that it should be for a lot more, since they will likely increase my premiums, one way or the other.
RTegarini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #9
Winnebago Camper
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 19
i guess its just bad luck but I`ve never thought of the wind ripping the awning. Thanks for the story, I`m gonna have a look for those locks. My buddy back his TT into a tree limb that went right thru his trailer. DW is always out with the radio when I back up....but probably the most important thing is too always look up before you back up.
Fred1609 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
Winnebago Owner
 
traveler of california's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 249
Your loss would be a comprehensive loss and will not affect your rates if you make a claim since it is not an at fault incident. If you are with a company that would raise your rates you should consider a new company.

I had a loss of an awning, my cost were about $1400, I paid my deductible and the company covered the balance.

Nick
traveler of california is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2012, 01:11 PM   #11
Winnebago Camper
 
Sealevel Ram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: San Mateo, FL
Posts: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by traveler of california View Post
Your loss would be a comprehensive loss and will not affect your rates if you make a claim since it is not an at fault incident. If you are with a company that would raise your rates you should consider a new company.

I had a loss of an awning, my cost were about $1400, I paid my deductible and the company covered the balance.

Nick
Ditto this.
Your insurance company should cover at least part of this.
I have had two awning incidents in the last 8 years. The last one was so serious that my insurance got involved.
__________________
Sealevel Ram, 2004 Ultimate Freedom
"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." Red Green
Sealevel Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rving


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What I learned Wayne M General Maintenance and Repair 17 07-17-2011 08:28 PM
Installing a Sat Antenna- Lessons Learned Belgique Electrical | Charging, Solar and Electronics 9 12-18-2007 02:48 PM
Propane Leak Detector - Lesson Learned LK23 General Maintenance and Repair 13 02-21-2006 07:49 PM
Lessons Learned JamesOne General Maintenance and Repair 21 11-06-2005 01:53 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×