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RVing message boards => Remodeling your RV => Topic started by: Buck94089 on September 11, 2017, 04:07:42 AM

Title: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: Buck94089 on September 11, 2017, 04:07:42 AM
I've noticed that I sort of avoid setting up my awning if we're not staying in place for several days.  I'm short and the stick is stupid and the lock on one side or another always sticks and the pin/lock things on the side arms always try to bite me... Is it possible to DIY remove and replace with an electric option?  I'm always so jealous of the RVers next to me who deploy their transformer-RVs with the push of buttons...   
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: HappyWanderer on September 11, 2017, 05:43:47 AM
The grass isn't always greener. Electric awnings can't be tied down and must be retracted in wind and rain.

I often sit jealous of my neighbors with manual awnings that are actually able to use theirs for something other than an expensive sun screen only usable during perfect weather.
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: SeilerBird on September 11, 2017, 05:47:31 AM
Electric awnings are nice until one breaks. The motor for a small awning over the door on my 2006 Providence stopped working and the motor alone was over $500.
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: kdbgoat on September 11, 2017, 06:11:41 AM
I liked our manual awning better as well. We went from bad to worse on our electric awnings. The behemoth we have now is an electric that's 21' long. The slightest breeze has blowing all over the place.
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: NY_Dutch on September 11, 2017, 08:30:24 AM
If you must have an electric awning, Carefree and Dometic/A&E both have conversion kits available for various models. They run around $600 as I recall. Personally, like the others, I prefer our manual awning for more flexible usage.
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: UTTransplant on September 11, 2017, 11:18:53 AM
Another person who really wishes my automatic awning would die so I could get a manual. We could tie manual awnings down and use them in rain. You can't use the automatic if there is more than a tiny breeze! I really don't like mine.
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: Buck94089 on September 11, 2017, 02:44:06 PM
I didn't realize that the electrics don't have the same bracing construction.  So... new question, can I make my manual less sucky to operate?

My biggest complaints are:

- unlocking/locking the tab using the little metal stick.  This never goes well.  Always stuck.  Often someone gets up a ladder or on the roof to do it with their finger, and not easily. 
- the pin-locking slider in the arms are always always a challenge and always trying to bite me.  I guess I should mention I'm usually trying to get the thing up or down by myself, and if I extend/retract either arm too much it and the other side bind. 

I'm 5'2" so I'm on my tippy toes and I don't have the leverage to get the sliding part up very high on the arm.  I can't even see into the arm except a few inches, so I'm doing a lot of it blind.  Any short people have some tricks? 

Should I be lubricating with graphite or wax or something?

I realize I sound like I'm whining about something not so difficult but wrestling with the awning, especially in heat, leaves me needing a nap.  We tend to get to campsites between 6-8pm and I've a lot to get done before nightfall!   

Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: AStravelers on September 11, 2017, 03:30:35 PM
At 5' 2" putting ropes on an awning and tying it down is going to be a challenge as well.  So one of the major issues mentioned about power awnings is not quite as big an issue. 

I can really see that trying to deal with the awning when you are short would be a really good reason to want a power awning. 

As a DIY project, it takes at least 2 people and two ladders to take one down and put one up.  You also need to deal with wiring the power awning to the RV 12V power.   Although you can buy a portable battery thing to power your awning without wiring into the RV 12V system.  http://www.dyersonline.com/dometic-awning-power-wand.html (http://www.dyersonline.com/dometic-awning-power-wand.html)
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: NY_Dutch on September 11, 2017, 09:34:20 PM
Our awning tie downs get clipped on the roller ends before raising the awning. At 5'7", our awning roller is about chin high on me before raising. As for the awning rod, just about any welding shop could extend yours another foot or so to make it easier for you to reach the lock and loop.
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: Rudybaker on September 13, 2017, 08:12:36 PM
i have a electric awning on my 97 Destiny. all it is fit for is a sunscreen on a sunny day if the wind is not blowing. it will auto wind if the wind picks up and there is a manual over ride for that. the only problem is if it gets wet where you forget  to bring it in the motor is not strong enough to retract it. Needless to say from  previous RV's, I would rather have a good manual awning.
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: Mud Puppy on September 14, 2017, 12:12:03 PM
I feel your pain, I am 5 ft. with a 5th wheel. I do not feel like messing with the awning unless I am staying an extended time. I have to use a ladder to reach anything to get the awning out. Then the tie downs all have to be done with the ladder. Once it is all done I love it. I don't worry about the wind or rain. Cathy
Title: Re: replace manual awning with electric?
Post by: massspike on September 14, 2017, 01:05:53 PM
My biggest complaints are:

- unlocking/locking the tab using the little metal stick.  This never goes well.  Always stuck.  Often someone gets up a ladder or on the roof to do it with their finger, and not easily. 
- the pin-locking slider in the arms are always always a challenge and always trying to bite me.  I guess I should mention I'm usually trying to get the thing up or down by myself, and if I extend/retract either arm too much it and the other side bind. 


That tab is a pain even if you are tall. If you stick has a loop on one end, you can try to use it when unlocking as it will let you pull a bit harder.

I like the idea of getting someone to make you a longer stick. I'd suggest: getting a bend put in on the loop end so you can more easily hook it over the tab; lengthening the straight end so it is larger than the strap and less likely to slip out; and getting hand grips added to make it easier to hang onto.