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  1. #1
    Rolling Along
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    Patio awning tore off last night..

    <Sigh>

    We never leave our awnings out, in fact, we rarely use them at all because of wind (I want them in the rain, and it's typically windy when raining!), but last night was supposed to be still as death. Left the awning out, and woke up around 4AM to a huge crash as it came down on the patio. Miraculously, nothing seems much worse for the wear, it broke all my clearance lights on the way down (no big deal, wanted LEDs anyway, good excuse to change them) and put a tiny scratch in one of the screens. Could have been MUCH worse.

    I expected to find the mounting rail in the fallen awning, but to my shock, it was still up on the rig! Looks completely undamaged. I'm kind of wondering "how" this happened at all, it wasn't that windy (in fact, it wasn't windy at all), and from looking at it, I can't exactly figure how the awning could fall without taking the mounting rail with it. There are 2 screws that tore out that seemed to be to keep the awning from shifting on the rail, but the rail itself still happily sitting up above my back patio.

    Glad I had my socket set to roll the awning back in, tell you that much! Equally shocked at how lucky I am/how little damage it did and trying to figure out how it fell in the first place. Could it have been installed wrong, not sitting on the rails (just held up by the 2 screws?). IDK, but tell you what, what a nightmare that could have been if that was the issue and it came off on the highway!!

    Counting my blessings, and I'll get it figured out, but love any feedback or color on what could have happened here.

  2. #2
    Long Hauler geotex1's Avatar
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    Since the switch to a plastic cording to retain them within the track, I have seen dark colored awning fabric pop out with little effort in the heat of the day... Not your case though. Any chance you were under trees and a raccoon crashed down on it? Been there...
    Rob & Nikki + Cloverfield
    2020 Grand Design Solitude S-Class 3350RL
    2015 RAM 3500 Longhorn Laramie Crew Cab, Long Bed, 4x4 Dually Cummins/AISIN

    Mountains of Pennsylvania

  3. #3
    Rolling Along
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    Quote Originally Posted by geotex1 View Post
    Since the switch to a plastic cording to retain them within the track, I have seen dark colored awning fabric pop out with little effort in the heat of the day... Not your case though. Any chance you were under trees and a raccoon crashed down on it? Been there...
    ROFL. I suppose it could have been. No dead racoon though as evidence. I think it was just a freak wind gust, when I went out to survey the damage (at 4AM!) it wasn't "still as death" but maybe 5MPH? I was out there for a good 30 mins getting it rolled back in and stowed for transport home, and I didn't hear or feel a single gust. I do think that's probably what it was though, just a freak high speed gust that hit it just right. I'm more curious how it tore off without taking the track with it?! Is there some release if there's too much stress to prevent exactly that from happening? I'll try go snap some pictures in the AM to show what I'm talking about, but the "rail" that it appears the awning rides on it still happily secured to my RV (and doesn't even appear damaged from the experience). Kind of wondering if that's how they are "supposed" to (expected to) fail, or if it could have been a setup/installation problem on my particular awning.

    No, I'm not going to try to warranty it, my dealer is backed up for months; even if I need a entirely new awning, it's just not worth the hassle. And I don't think I do, all the mechanics worked fine (rolling it in manually). Will test the electrical when I get home, but no reason to think that's broken, electric motors can usually take a good shot without being damaged.

  4. #4
    Site Sponsor Jerryr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overtaxed View Post
    ROFL. I suppose it could have been. No dead racoon though as evidence. I think it was just a freak wind gust, when I went out to survey the damage (at 4AM!) it wasn't "still as death" but maybe 5MPH? I was out there for a good 30 mins getting it rolled back in and stowed for transport home, and I didn't hear or feel a single gust. I do think that's probably what it was though, just a freak high speed gust that hit it just right. I'm more curious how it tore off without taking the track with it?! Is there some release if there's too much stress to prevent exactly that from happening? I'll try go snap some pictures in the AM to show what I'm talking about, but the "rail" that it appears the awning rides on it still happily secured to my RV (and doesn't even appear damaged from the experience). Kind of wondering if that's how they are "supposed" to (expected to) fail, or if it could have been a setup/installation problem on my particular awning.

    No, I'm not going to try to warranty it, my dealer is backed up for months; even if I need a entirely new awning, it's just not worth the hassle. And I don't think I do, all the mechanics worked fine (rolling it in manually). Will test the electrical when I get home, but no reason to think that's broken, electric motors can usually take a good shot without being damaged.
    If your still under factory warranty call Grand Design and request they approve a Mobile RV tech to complete the fix. You should be able to find one willing and free to do the task.
    Jerry & Linda
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  5. #5
    Rolling Along
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    Ya...awnings are the most useless things on an RV. Our 303RLS has two. Will likely almost never be deployed. If there is weather out there you want to be protected/covered from, the awning will not be able to handle it.

    Had an awning blown off our previous RV a few years ago. Never replaced it. Never missed it.
    2018 Dodge 3500 6.7 Cummins SRW w/Aisin
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    We never really grow up. We just learn how to behave in public.

  6. #6
    Site Team Redapple63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Overtaxed View Post
    <Sigh>

    We never leave our awnings out, in fact, we rarely use them at all because of wind (I want them in the rain, and it's typically windy when raining!), but last night was supposed to be still as death. Left the awning out, and woke up around 4AM to a huge crash as it came down on the patio. Miraculously, nothing seems much worse for the wear, it broke all my clearance lights on the way down (no big deal, wanted LEDs anyway, good excuse to change them) and put a tiny scratch in one of the screens. Could have been MUCH worse.

    I expected to find the mounting rail in the fallen awning, but to my shock, it was still up on the rig! Looks completely undamaged. I'm kind of wondering "how" this happened at all, it wasn't that windy (in fact, it wasn't windy at all), and from looking at it, I can't exactly figure how the awning could fall without taking the mounting rail with it. There are 2 screws that tore out that seemed to be to keep the awning from shifting on the rail, but the rail itself still happily sitting up above my back patio.

    Glad I had my socket set to roll the awning back in, tell you that much! Equally shocked at how lucky I am/how little damage it did and trying to figure out how it fell in the first place. Could it have been installed wrong, not sitting on the rails (just held up by the 2 screws?). IDK, but tell you what, what a nightmare that could have been if that was the issue and it came off on the highway!!

    Counting my blessings, and I'll get it figured out, but love any feedback or color on what could have happened here.
    Sorry to hear of your troubles, but glad is was not worst case. Sounds like a pretty freak occurrence.

    I do agree that these things are very under designed. They could be much stronger. The one on my brothers Lance will automatically retract in bad winds or rain.
    2019 GMC 3500 SRW Sierra Denali Duramax
    2020 Reflection 315RLTS

  7. #7
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    Sorry this happened to you... but things do happen. Could be a defective mounting rail, improper installation, or something else.

    But to hear all of the people on here griping about the awnings being junk, not using them, blah, blah, blah. I cook breakfast outside almost every day rain or shine so I use mine constantly. It's out 24/7 unless winds will be up above 25 mph. I strap both awnings down and don't worry about them, if something goes wrong I have insurance.
    Bill & Colleen ~ Schwenksville, Pa
    2019 Reflection 337RLS
    2006 GMC Sierra 3500 8.1L V-8
    Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs

  8. #8
    Setting Up Camp
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    Quote Originally Posted by geotex1 View Post
    Since the switch to a plastic cording to retain them within the track, I have seen dark colored awning fabric pop out with little effort in the heat of the day... Not your case though. Any chance you were under trees and a raccoon crashed down on it? Been there...
    Raccoon gets my vote.
    John & Mary
    2019 Solitude 375RES
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  9. #9
    Site Team WhittleBurner's Avatar
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    Thats freaky, were the arms damaged at all ?
    Marcy & Gary
    2014 Grand Design - Reflection 303RLS
    2015 GMC Denali 3500 Duramax Longbed SRW
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  10. #10
    Site Sponsor
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyBadger View Post
    Raccoon gets my vote.

    Look out below!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bill & Colleen ~ Schwenksville, Pa
    2019 Reflection 337RLS
    2006 GMC Sierra 3500 8.1L V-8
    Firestone Ride-Rite Air Helper Springs

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