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Old 12-04-2006, 01:07 PM   #1
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I just came back after two months on the road and 6000 miles without any mechanical problems at all. When we were withing 250 miles of home (I 40 west approx 30 miles west of of the Arizona border we hit 80 mph winds coming in from the north. The motor home handled well but the winds were able to open up the A&E automatic awining breaking the arms off, throwing the roller onto the roof breaking it in half and punching two holes in the roof. The part of the broken arms that orginally stayed with the roller went up and over the other side doing body damage to the coaches side and electrical door compartment. When we stopped and attempted to step out the door, the wind caught the door and wipped it open beyond its stops hitting the side view mirror. Needles to say it took two of us on 3 different attempts to get me back inside the coach and the door closed. We had to drive approx 1 1/2 miles in the emergency lane with the roller pounding on the roof from the winds (still attached to the awning material which was still partially attached by the screws in the awning cover screwed to the roof) to get to a small bluff for wind protection. Once there I was able to get out and climb up on the roof to access all the damage. I ended up cutting off the material from the cover with scissors and throwing it onto the ground. I then had to start the generator and get out the electric drill to be used as a screw gun to undo the 40 or so self taping screws that hold the awning cover to the roof. Once undone, I threw the cover on the side of the road. I then had to plastic tie up the protruding broken awning arms before taking off. In route home I called by insurance co. (AAA) and asked about my coverage...they told me I was a no fault occurrance that would not effect my insurance and that I had a $100 deductable and to take it to my dealer for repairs. I drove it into Barber RV in Ventura CA the next day and the adjuster was there that later afternoon to inspect the damage and take pictures. Friday the adjuster gave to Ok for $12,300 in damage to be repaired. Has anyone heard of or found a method to secure the arm on the automatic awning so they can not open up in the wind? The manuel awnings have lock downs on the arms that the automatic awning do not. I was even thinking of drilling the arms once the new awning is installed and putting a bolt thru them so they cannot spread apart allowing the wind to tear it off the rig again if I ever get into another situation like that again. I even called Dometic (A&E Awning Co) complaing about the design flaw and they said they never heard of that happening before...I think we all know better than that! Be careful out there and carry good insurance...
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:07 PM   #2
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I just came back after two months on the road and 6000 miles without any mechanical problems at all. When we were withing 250 miles of home (I 40 west approx 30 miles west of of the Arizona border we hit 80 mph winds coming in from the north. The motor home handled well but the winds were able to open up the A&E automatic awining breaking the arms off, throwing the roller onto the roof breaking it in half and punching two holes in the roof. The part of the broken arms that orginally stayed with the roller went up and over the other side doing body damage to the coaches side and electrical door compartment. When we stopped and attempted to step out the door, the wind caught the door and wipped it open beyond its stops hitting the side view mirror. Needles to say it took two of us on 3 different attempts to get me back inside the coach and the door closed. We had to drive approx 1 1/2 miles in the emergency lane with the roller pounding on the roof from the winds (still attached to the awning material which was still partially attached by the screws in the awning cover screwed to the roof) to get to a small bluff for wind protection. Once there I was able to get out and climb up on the roof to access all the damage. I ended up cutting off the material from the cover with scissors and throwing it onto the ground. I then had to start the generator and get out the electric drill to be used as a screw gun to undo the 40 or so self taping screws that hold the awning cover to the roof. Once undone, I threw the cover on the side of the road. I then had to plastic tie up the protruding broken awning arms before taking off. In route home I called by insurance co. (AAA) and asked about my coverage...they told me I was a no fault occurrance that would not effect my insurance and that I had a $100 deductable and to take it to my dealer for repairs. I drove it into Barber RV in Ventura CA the next day and the adjuster was there that later afternoon to inspect the damage and take pictures. Friday the adjuster gave to Ok for $12,300 in damage to be repaired. Has anyone heard of or found a method to secure the arm on the automatic awning so they can not open up in the wind? The manuel awnings have lock downs on the arms that the automatic awning do not. I was even thinking of drilling the arms once the new awning is installed and putting a bolt thru them so they cannot spread apart allowing the wind to tear it off the rig again if I ever get into another situation like that again. I even called Dometic (A&E Awning Co) complaing about the design flaw and they said they never heard of that happening before...I think we all know better than that! Be careful out there and carry good insurance...
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:33 PM   #3
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Ouch! That hurts I'd hoped that our automatic awnings wouldn't be susceptible to that, but I guess I was wrong. My understanding is that what's needed is to ensure that the roller can't turn, rather then trying to clamp the arms in some manner. The wind gets under the end of the awning material and exerts enough force to break the ratchet/drive linkage keeping the roller from turning.
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:00 PM   #4
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I had a similar experience in Montana and left my awning blowing across the field up there. My damage was less but I had to replace the awning and the mounting rail. Since then I attach a 4 inch worm drive diameter hose clamp (like the one used for close dryer hoses) at each end of the aluminum awning cover to keep it from opening up and unrolling. I agree that simply anchoring the support arms will not fix the problem.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:01 PM   #5
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We have been in some very robust winds out west and thank goodness never had any problems other than more work at the wheel.

While we were at Forest City in April, we saw this awning blow out.. not a pretty sight.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:09 PM   #6
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Wow Rancher John, talk about GREAT MINDS as I was just going to come in here and make the same post!

GREAT PICS of the "gate experience", they're really worth a visit to your site!

CONGRATS on the new place!!
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:46 PM   #7
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JBowers,
Would you happen to have any pictures you could post here for all of us to see?
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:11 AM   #8
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I do not have the automatic awning. I have had several experiences with the awning fabric blowing loose with the arms clamped. I bought and installed a product from RV upgrades ( one of the sposors) called Awning Saver. The product was easy to install and ENDS the fabric pulling loose and acting like a sail to pull the arms out. Take a look at it and you might have your problem solved.
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:48 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rebelsbeach:
Wow Rancher John, talk about GREAT MINDS as I was just going to come in here and make the same post!

GREAT PICS of the "gate experience", they're really worth a visit to your site!

CONGRATS on the new place!! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd second that. Nice pics of the ranch, Janes oil well wind mill, sqeakin' the MH in.
Where's the Kubota????

When the wind come up, my awning starts to slap a little. That's when I know it's time to quit for the day. Last fall coming across South Dakota, we had to stop 3 times to let the weather system move on east. Long trip home.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:41 AM   #10
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After research I believe I found the best fix for what happened with my awning and the wind. I talked to the owner of the company and he assured me that the problem was at the roller not the arms and that A & E Weather Pro awinings attempt to use the motor winding as the lock mechanism for the roller that will not hold in strong winds. Carefree has a different design so one of these locks is not needed for their electric awnings. The site for the device is
http://www.hometown.aol.com/goldenwgf/
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Old 12-07-2006, 01:11 PM   #11
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Just after thanksgiving, on our way home to Trinidad from Albuquerque, we hit the "red flag wind warning" area. No problems with the main awning but several times, the strong cross winds made the roll out awning over the top of my living area slide slap several times. No damage but the sound was loud and rather frightening. I slowed down about 15 MPH until our heading gave us more of a tail wind. We passed by several simi trucks blown over. Next time we face winds of that magnitude, we'll make it a short drive day and longer cocktail hour.

Larry
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:06 AM   #12
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What & where exactly is the "red flag wind warning area"? Never heard of it.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:45 AM   #13
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What are the options on locks for the carefree brand.
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