awning travel locks

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Chuck Johnson

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Nov 9, 2005
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Does anyone have experience with the after market travels locks advertised to keep the awning from unfurling during travel?
Product info, comments (critical or otherwise),suggestions etc, are welcome.
Cheers.

Added: It's an A&E, 3 years old and I've had a problem with the pawl assembly. The pawl would not engage the toothed wheel and would unfurl. A new assembly appeared to have a series of detents as opposed to the tooth and pawl and did not seem as strong to me. I managed to obtain an entire spring assembly salvaged from a newer model RV which had storm damage and it works like new. Believing in Murphy's Law, I'm trying to prevent an accidental unfurling while while making a strategic withdrawal from Winter's onslaught here in PA to our R&R location near Polk City,FL.

Many thanks to all who replied. Lots of good ideas.

Cheers,
Chuck
 

Tom

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We use velcro on the ones that aren't electric.
 

Bob Zambenini

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I have a 1999 model A&E and  a lot of folks had them unfurl,so  I put on the Awning Saver and never had a problem. Then with the newer design A&E assembly, I had mine changed at Camping World. Its is supposed to be much better in wind, but I still use the Awning Saver and would not be without it.

Bob
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I don't think the straps that go around the awning are are of any real value.  An "unfurl" results from the inability of the roller pawl mechanism to withstand high winds under certain conditions - not from failure of the arm latch mechanism. An "awning saver"device, on the other hand,  is a  back-up for the pawl lock and should prevent the roller tube from turning under any circumstances. 

That said, I don't use either type and have never had a problem. The newer awnings (and slide toppers) seem to have been designed to be much more resistant to this sort of problem and you don't hear of it much any more. The type with the aluminum roller cover at the top of the fabric seem quite immune to unfurling.

I also think of it as more of a "western problem", since the strong quartering winds that can get under the awning are more common on the wide open highways of the western US than in the East.  Now before some Easterner jumps on me, yes, I know some people have had "unfurls" east of the Mississippi.

Just my $0.02 worth...
 

jerryarlyne

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Palmdale, CA.
Hi Gary,

>> The type with the aluminum roller cover at the top of the fabric seem quite immune to unfurling.<<

I have to disagree with that, on my last coach I had the awning unroll and it had the metal cover on it. That is when I bought the Awning Saver and never had another problem since then.

>>I also think of it as more of a "western problem", since the strong quartering winds that can get under the awning are more common on the wide open highways of the western US than in the East.  Now before some Easterner jumps on me, yes, I know some people have had "unfurls" east of the Mississippi.<<

I agree that it is probably more common in the Western and the plains states. I-40 across Texas and Oklahoma in particular.
 

Tom

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Clarification - just noticed I said "velcro on the ones that aren't electric". The only one we've had a problem with is the one over the entry door. It was, as Gary suggested, in high "western winds". The plastic OEM locks don't hold it. When we were at the factory, the tech told me that my velcro straps around the awning arms (not the fabric) was a better solution than he could install. The other non-electric awnings don't move and the electric one is solid as a rock.
 

Jim Godward

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Tom,

>>The plastic OEM locks don't hold it. When we were at the factory, the tech told me that my velcro straps around the awning arms (not the fabric) was a better solution than he could install<<

The locks that are on the awning arms are not all that effective so I think you have been lucky.  The real problem is as Gary stated, the roller tuns and lets the fabric unroll.    Friends of ours, 4 of them, had the velcro straps and all had their awnings blow out within about 5 miles of one another.  Great Montana winds.  These were on relatively new MHs about 3 years ago before the new design.  The awning saver is one that really does work because it stops the roller from turning.  Don Jordan and I have an alternate solution.  We have a wind break mounted an inch or so below the awning that prevents the wind from getting under the awning between the roll and the side of the MH.  Seems to work as we have not had a problem in 4 years of Montana winds!  VBG
 

Tom

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James Godward said:
The real problem is as Gary stated, the roller tuns and lets the fabric unroll.

I hear you Jim, but it only happens in very high winds. The fabric isn't really unrolling per se, it's really being yanked out hard by the wind..

The awning saver is one that really does work because it stops the roller from turning.

I'll certainly take a look at that.

Don Jordan and I have an alternate solution. We have a wind break mounted an inch or so below the awning

That sounds more like my kind of solution. Do you have a photo by any chance?

TIA
 

Jim Godward

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Tom,

>>I hear you Jim, but it only happens in very high winds.<<

However you want to define it.? It goes out fast and in a really bad situation has turned over RVs.? The road for Livingston to Columbus is famous for winds.? I had a solar panel tore off my last MH there.? Not much left after it hit the pavement.? :-((

>>That sounds more like my kind of solution. Do you have a photo by any chance?<<

No but just for you I went out in the snow storm and took a few!!? Mine is a 1'X3"X 20' long piece of aluminum sheet cut around the center support and then powder coated to match the MH
 

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Gary RV_Wizard

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No offense to anybody, but all these "never had a problem" arguments give me a  chuckle.    :D    I had the measles many years ago. As I grew older I realized that another bout of measles could have serious complications for me, so I started drinking beer [and wine and liquor too]. Since then, "I've never had a problem".  ;D

 

Tom

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Thanks for those photos Jim. They explain a lot and nothing like I imagined. Looks like it would be easy to make/install.

I've been trying to figure out what was different about the big awning we had on the Pace Arrow that didn't budge in 19 years. The arms had stout locking pins that went through the arms to lock them in place in the closed position. Obviously this wouldn't solve the unfurling problem, but they were more robust than the velcro straps we use.

BTW we did have a bad recoil mechanism on the awning on that coach early on which prevented the awning from rolling up properly without some help. When I called Carefree they told me they had a problem with that design and promptly shipped me a replacement mechanism with instructions for removing and replacing the old one. It didn't unfurl on its own, but clearly it was a candidate for that before I replaced the mechanism.
 

caltex

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After reading all the post on awnings coming loose, I was on the way from Oklahoma City to Dallas a couple of days ago fighting a crosswind of 40 mph with gust to 60 mph.  Sure enough, on the shoulder was an RV with the awning material flopping over the top of the trailer.

Guess the sidewind got under the roll and pulled the fabric out. He wasn't having much luck getting it rolled back up.  After seeing that I think I will check out my awning locks.
 

Jeff

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CoilnWrap who sell the  Velcro plug "dogs" for pulling the electrical adapters apart also sell an awning lock which is a simple-to-install  shaft that slides out to engage a knob on the awning barrel. With it in place while you are  one the road the spring loaded barrel is locked in place. http://www.coilnwrap.com/awning/awninglock.htm
 

Jeff

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Bob Zambenini said:
I secure my front arm with a small Dog Collar!

Bob:

If your awning is not electric securing the arms WILL NOT prevent it from unfurling.
 

smokeater1

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While we are still new at this [since OCT] and have not had a problem with our 2005 Minnie while driving, we did have a awning mishap. While camped near the So Cal coast the wind suddenly picked up and blew the awning straight up ! I figured it would be ruined. It slammed back down and we were able to hang on to the arms until the gusts subsided. Finally getting it roll back up, it seemed to be OK.? Guess I will have to think about staking the awing to the ground , and after reading this forum, some kind of awning lock is in our future !
 

Kirk

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As one who has seen the awning problem, I assure you that doing things to the arms will gain you nothing at all. The RV that we were traveling with when that happened had nylon wire ties on each arm. But that just isn't the problem. I looked at all of the products and I chose the "Awning Saver" for several reasons. It takes only minutes to install and requires no modification of the awning or drilling of holes. It is installed at the other end from the pawl to lock the roll at both ends, rather than just one. And it can very easily be moved to a new RV. The cost for most of the products is pretty close to the same, so it really was not an issue.
 

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