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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Broke My Cardinal Rule

We’ve enjoyed our stay here at the Destin Army Resort so much that we extended until next Wednesday, when we absolutely have to “pull chocks” and head to South Carolina.  Our absentee ballots are waiting at our daughter’s house, we want to cast our votes and mail them out in time to be counted.

Despite the lovely weather, we both have come down with colds and laid low yesterday.  Yes, even when you are living your dream, life still happens, including colds.

The sun has been shining and the weather has been so lovely I put out my patio awning and have left it out.  My cardinal rule is that if I’m not sitting under the awning, I put it in.  Breaking that rule has now bitten me in the butt.

Laying in bed this morning, I started hearing rain on the roof.  I got up and went to put up the awning and “Clunk”!  It jammed in the down position.  There was already a lot of rain water trapped on top of the awning.

My type of awning (A & E) has a weak electric motor to get it to retract.  It always has strained to roll up when everything is normal, a design flaw.  It also has an automatic dump feature that if too much water gets trapped on the awning, one end will dip down and shed water.  Unfortunately my awning design does not allow you to dip one end down in advance to drain water.

Of course the best made plans of mice and men often go astray and they have big time.

I’m sitting here, watching the rain pour down, with water draining off the low end.  Marti and I tried several times to help push the awning with brooms to help it roll up unsuccessfully.  Pulling out my owner’s manual, I found there is supposed to be a manual crank at the rear end of the awning to crank the awning up.  Looking it over carefully, I found out my awning is not equipped with that feature.

Further research has left me with two options, one is to disconnect the wiring and install a special wiring harness, connect it to my car battery to help the motor wind up the awning.  The second option is to install an awning strap, then disconnect a screw on the front side of the awning and it should roll up by itself.  Once that is done, the awning is disabled and cannot be used until fixed by an RV technician.

Both the awning strap and wiring harness are in my bag of owner’s manuals.  So I’ll get the awning up one way of the other, but I have to wait out the storm.  Not big on the idea of standing on a  metal ladder with lightening crashing around me. 

Sometimes I have good advice for RV owners.  It would be good if I always listened to my own advice.  Duh!!!

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Ouch! So sorry you're stuck dealing with that. We never leave our awning out either, but because we're always afraid of a random wind gust and don't trust the sensor. Sometimes these large, expensive awnings are not so friendly :(

  2. Doesn't the saying go; You learn by your mistakes. You didn't learn before because you had never made that mistake. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Don't ya love these little surprises? Better than putting the thing out and then having it get ripped in a "micro burst".
    I think that's what it was. It sure rained and the wind was just nuts!
    Learned a little lesson that day, along with the complimentary bath.

  4. Sorry the two of you are not feeling well and then to have the awning act up probably didn't help your recovery. At least you waiting for the storm to abate before standing on the ladder, because that lightning could really ruin an already bad day. Wishing you well.

  5. Who said rules are made to be broken? Not in this case, I'm thinking. :(

  6. I hate it when I break my own rules and it comes back to bite me!

    Hope your fix plan works out o.k.

  7. Sorry about your awning troubles and your colds.

  8. You have to laugh! Every time I read a group of blogs, at least one person has had some type of issue. On our way here to Fernley the other day our slide would not retract. Apparently the batteries have done their duty. Time to replace all 6. Ouch! Good thing Steve is handy and was able to remove and replace them. Made it to Fernley. He is now working with the tech to get our Winegard antenna working. Always something! Hope your awning is an easy fix.

  9. I have the same awning rule. If you think the awning motor on your rig is weak, check out the one on the Winnie View. I am not sure why they bothered to install it!

    Sounds like you are getting a real attachment to the Emerald Coast, let me know if you need a realtor recommendation:)

  10. We always try to keep our awning in as well. We have an automatic wind sensor that to this day we don't know if it works because at the first little bit of wind, we bring it in. We see a lot of people that tie theirs down and then don't worry about whatever storms come up. They are braver than we are.

  11. So sorry to hear you aren't feeling well...ans
    And sorry to hear of the awning woes :( we also have the A and E which tips itself in the rain..thankfully our motor seems to be still strong..but to be honest I'd rather have the good old grab the strap and roll up awning...this electric one only has one height...up way up no I between...unless there is and we don't know how to run it hope all works out for you both

  12. Sorry about your awning troubles and your colds.

  13. Yuck, no fun to have colds. You'll be over them by Huntington beach :) We are very careful about our awning, and never leave it down if we're not there under it. Too many problems!

  14. I can just picture you and Marti poking at the awning with brooms. Hope you are both over your colds soon.

  15. Darn, that's no fun at all. We don't have an electric awning but we did find out the hard way that we should have retracted the awning when it started raining!! Hope your fix works and hope both you and Marti are feeling better soon. Take care.

  16. Bummer on your awning. We've seen too many other awning casualties, so we don't leave ours out too much either. Don't want to take any chances. Hope it's an easy fix, and hope you guys feel better soon!

  17. butterbean carpenterOctober 19, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    Howdy Marti & Chief,
    Greg White printed his ballot out on his printer and mailed it in!!! We need to do a lot of that, because you know THEY'RE doing it like crazy!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Sorry the two of you are not feeling well and then to have the awning act up probably didn't help your recovery.Who said rules are made to be broken?