Dometic 8500 awning - Torsion spring assembly replacement

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1joester2

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Aug 4, 2008
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Upstate, NY
Hi guys (and gals), been a long time since we had the funds to use the RV, but we're in a better place now financially and it's time to do some needed repairs.
I have the Dometic 8500 awning with a broken torsion spring latch. I ordered what was supposed to be a direct replacement assembly.
The new unit has a tag attached to it warning that use of the assembly on awnings under 19 feet in length can result in damage to the spring. Has anyone here ever replaced the assembly, and had the same warning on a new unit? Can I use this just with fewer pre-torsion rotations?


I'm familiar with the dangers of springs and know what to expect when I release the shaft end.... especially with a broken spring lock.


-Joe
 

1joester2

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Upstate, NY
My awning is 12 feet. 7 less than the required minimum, yet this was the replacement torsion assembly.


Everything looks to fit and I want to believe it will work. Seems to me the only issue would be a stronger "roll up" strength. I cannot see how the spring could be damaged if rolling up the awning is kept under control.
 

1joester2

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Aug 4, 2008
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938
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Upstate, NY
Lots of views with nobody offering experience.
I reached out to Dometic and (surprise) they say the torsion assembly I bought is not compatible with my awning even though it was advertised as the replacement.

According to the guys I bought it from, I can install the torsion assembly with the heavy duty spring and only use 2 pre-tension windings..


Time will tell.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
I've replaced a couple torsion springs and had several more dismounted for other repairs. To some  extent you can compensate for the heavy duty spring with less turns.  The potential flaw is that you need enough turns to have some tension across the full range of extension and hold the roller tight when fully retracted.  I'm not sure that 1-2 turns is enough to do that, but don't have experience to say it won't either.  Personally, though, I would exchange it if I could do so without major expense and had the time to wait for the replacement.

I'm guessing that spring assembly physically fits your model but is excessive for the smaller size.  I encountered a similar thing with a powered Carferee awning. At 19 feet, mine was on the borderline between the standard version and the "XL", extra-long version which had heftier components.
 

ELeland

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Dec 21, 2017
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203
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Jupiter, FL
I just had to order a replacement for mine.  There was a storm blowing through this morning and I rolled it up to prevent any damage.  It had been acting up for some time and when I went to deploy it, it wouldn't hold any longer.  I assume the teeth are all stripped. Getting the Amazon Prime delivery on Monday here in GA and of course I forgot my folding ladder that is sitting at home in Florida.  Time to make more friends at this campground....... :)  I did bring every conceivable tool though.
 

1joester2

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Aug 4, 2008
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938
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Upstate, NY
Cost to replace would essentially double the cost so I went ahead and used the HD spring.
I installed with 2 turns and used short screws/tape to hold it in place via the pop rivet holes. Roll up felt good (felt normal) so I went ahead and riveted it.
My next move is to lower the entire awning in the parked position by several inches so water and debris doesn't have a place to collect while rolled up. I also have 12 feet of 1 foot wide Eternabond to install across the top of the awning to provide a barrier between the awning and the weather when it's rolled up. That should extend it's life until I upgrade to a newer RV.
 

Deano2002

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Apr 21, 2013
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873
Location
Morris, IL.
I dont understand why less rotations (wind ups) is going to make the difference, you need the correct amount of rotations under tension to unwind the other way. You are winding it up to unwind it
 
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