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Old 04-26-2018, 09:24 PM   #1
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Awning problems..

Re; my 1995 t1950..(awning vintage 2005)
#1....on the ends of my roller bar there is no opening to access the accessory track..they must have installed the pull strap before the end caps. I need to access it for my sunshade hangers..I remember having had the same situation in an earlier unit and DH drilled out an opening in the end cap edge--these end caps are some sort of plastic,not metal..advice?
#2.....My travel brake lever seems to wedge tightly against the end cap making it extremely hard to get the roller bar lock to release and work properly up OR down..once it releases it works fine..I really am hoping it could.be an easy fix..silicone spray helped very little.It actually looks bent toward the end cap..Can these be fixed?replaced?. I will be camping all summer at a lake where bad storms come up very suddenly so getting it back into a stored position in a short time is necessary. Thanks..Janalee
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Old 04-27-2018, 09:53 AM   #2
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Hi Janalee,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janalee View Post
Re; my 1995 t1950..(awning vintage 2005)
#1....on the ends of my roller bar there is no opening to access the accessory track..they must have installed the pull strap before the end caps. I need to access it for my sunshade hangers..I remember having had the same situation in an earlier unit and DH drilled out an opening in the end cap edge--these end caps are some sort of plastic,not metal..advice?
What brand of awning is it? Most end caps are aluminum, because they hold a lot of spring tension. So it should be pretty easy to drill. Just make sure you don't hit any rivets holding the cap on.

Another option is to drill a larger hole in the channel on the tube, just inside from the cap. You might have to drill a couple next to each other, but then you could slide things in on an angle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janalee View Post
#2.....My travel brake lever seems to wedge tightly against the end cap making it extremely hard to get the roller bar lock to release and work properly up OR down..once it releases it works fine..I really am hoping it could.be an easy fix..silicone spray helped very little.It actually looks bent toward the end cap..Can these be fixed?replaced?. I will be camping all summer at a lake where bad storms come up very suddenly so getting it back into a stored position in a short time is necessary. Thanks..Janalee
Not sure what you mean by this, what brand/model is the awning? If it's just the release lever on an A&E, that changes which way the awning winds, then you can probably just try to bend it out a little, away from the cap. If that doesn't work, then you'll probably have to replace. However, replacement will likely mean removing the cap, which is under very strong spring tension and is very dangerous to remove.

Either way, I would recommend getting on a ladder to work on it in the rolled up position, because everything is under much less spring tension that way. Should something break or give way, it'll be less dangerous.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Hi Janalee,



What brand of awning is it? Most end caps are aluminum, because they hold a lot of spring tension. So it should be pretty easy to drill. Just make sure you don't hit any rivets holding the cap on.

Another option is to drill a larger hole in the channel on the tube, just inside from the cap. You might have to drill a couple next to each other, but then you could slide things in on an angle.



Not sure what you mean by this, what brand/model is the awning? If it's just the release lever on an A&E, that changes which way the awning winds, then you can probably just try to bend it out a little, away from the cap. If that doesn't work, then you'll probably have to replace. However, replacement will likely mean removing the cap, which is under very strong spring tension and is very dangerous to remove.

Either way, I would recommend getting on a ladder to work on it in the rolled up position, because everything is under much less spring tension that way. Should something break or give way, it'll be less dangerous.
GOOD IDEA JON! Thanks...
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:29 PM   #4
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Janalee, Take some pic of the release lever problem and post. And the end cap issue too.

Seeing what you are up against can help greatly with a fix.

I'll wait for the pics before typing a lot on the wrong problem. Some of the release levers have to have the tension off of them to move easily. If that is the problem, there are ways to hold the tube in such a way it will back off that pressure and then flip the lever. But yours may have other issues. Seeing will really help.
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:44 AM   #5
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Hi guys...first of all JonK, I discovered my accessory track DOES have an opening!
Now I have posted all the pictures of my problem awning..you will notice it is way out of alignment --it will close and "lock" on the right so for now I will bungee the left arm in order to move it to camp unless we come up with a solution..my brother wants to remove the top left bracket and move to the left (rear side)--they are presently at their extreme settings.(.funny thing is they aligned correctly to bring it home but were stuck and had an awful time opening it and then wouldnt align at all.)..this okay to do?
JohnB..as you requested I have posted all the pictures as a new album.I do know how to release the pressure-the problem was the lever wedging against the end cap!.(the end caps ARE metal not plastic as I thought.)The right one which is the affected one (where the travel brake is ) appears to be crooked..can I try to tap it straight? Or will it then jam the brake tighter..
Right now the way it is, I AM able to open and close it for my purposes..do you guys think I should just let it be for this summer? Just move the top left mounting bracket? Losing my touch and nerve it seems..lol! Thanks! Janalee
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:35 PM   #6
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Hi Janalee,

There are few things that we need some more info on your awning to help figure out if it is put together wrong or not. You stated:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janalee View Post
#2.....My travel brake lever seems to wedge tightly against the end cap making it extremely hard to get the roller bar lock to release and work properly up OR down..once it releases it works fine.

.I really am hoping it could.be an easy fix..silicone spray helped very little.It actually looks bent toward the end cap..Can these be fixed?replaced?
To this first problem, we need a few more pics. Need the awning up in the stored position. Take a pic of the end cap where the release lever is location. We need to see what position the release lever is when awning is rolled up in the stored position. I will post mine below so you can see what I am referring too.

There is also a need on how to release excess tension making that release lever hard to almost it seems impossible to flip it to be able to retract the awning. I will explain more below in pics. how to release the tension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janalee View Post
Now I have posted all the pictures of my problem awning..you will notice it is way out of alignment --it will close and "lock" on the right so for now I will bungee the left arm in order to move it to camp unless we come up with a solution..

my brother wants to remove the top left bracket and move to the left (rear side)--they are presently at their extreme settings.(.funny thing is they aligned correctly to bring it home but were stuck and had an awful time opening it and then wouldnt align at all.)..this okay to do?
At this point, we do not know if your awning is mounted wrong OR your awning has shrunk. More on this below in pics. At this stage I would say, "do not" move the left rear bracket as if the awning has shrunk you moved it to a not good place for a new awning. And there are now 2 more holes in the camper gutter rail which creates another problem. If we do find the awning is mounted wrong, then I can explain how to move the bracket and seal up the holes to not leak. More on how to help this below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janalee View Post
JohnB..as you requested I have posted all the pictures as a new album.I do know how to release the pressure-the problem was the lever wedging against the end cap!.

(the end caps ARE metal not plastic as I thought.)The right one which is the affected one (where the travel brake is ) appears to be crooked..can I try to tap it straight? Or will it then jam the brake tighter..

Right now the way it is, I AM able to open and close it for my purposes..do you guys think I should just let it be for this summer?

Just move the top left mounting bracket? Losing my touch and nerve it seems..lol! Thanks! Janalee
I will explain the pressure release below in pics. The metal end cap that looks a little crooked, that does happen. It is because of the way it is riveted on with excess play in the holes. I have seen that and had it before but it does not affect the awning from working right.

Our camper was outside tonight after getting a good wash for spring startup. So I took these pics for you to show the points I going to talk about.

Your A & E awning is a little older than ours. Dometic changed the end caps and the awning tube locking lever on ours which is newer. But they work the same or should.

First is to determine if the awning side arms are mounted on the camper correctly. This will determine if any mounting brackets need to be moved. See this pic, with the awning stored, check with a tape measure the dimension at the top area and compare it to the lower part of the awning arms. Since the awning arms have 2 parts that slide inside of each other, measure the top and bottom of the same arm. While they may not be 100% exact I would expect them to be within 1/4" maybe a little more. But not an inch or more. Please verify this


Next is the reality or an awning living in the sun. They shrink. My awning fabric was replaced in May 2013, 5 years ago. Mine has shrunk and the width at the side of the camper is longer then the width at the roller tube. See here the back of the camper end. The awning and the awning arm look fairly parallel.


Now let's go to the front of the camper. Now the awning fabric and the awning arm are not parallel.


Not understanding these awnings shrink like this, one would think the front top mounting bracket on the camper is in the wrong place. But not so in this case.

See here. Since my awning is new enough and there is not a lot of dirt trapped in the awning tube slot, I can slide the material to the front or the back to make the material on the tube go to a different place. So I moved it. You take the tension off the material by releasing the top awning arm and then I can just pull it or push it where I want it. Look now at the back of the camper which was parallel 5 minutes before. It is now not as parallel.


And the front of the camper which was very much out of parallel is not not so bad.


Here is your awning: The rear, looks out of parrallel.


And your front, not so much out of parallel.


When the front to back location of the awning material end at the awning tube gets way out of whack with the material end at the gutter rail, the awning can roll up favoring one end or the other and then the awning arms on the side of the camper will not lock in tight or fit right to be able to lock. This sounds like what you are describing.

If the awning arms are mounted to the camper correctly, check and measure that to confirm, Then odds are high your awning fabric has shrunk in length at the awning tube in relation to the length at the gutter rail which can create a roll up problem.

On the gutter rail there are 2 small screws normally on the bottom side of the awning that hold the awning to the gutter rail in location. They look like this.




If they are missing, then the awning can slide fore or aft on the gutter rail. Make sure they are in there when the awning material is in the correct spot.

Down at the awning tube there are no screws to hold the fabric in place, they used a solid plastic cord that goes in the tube cord slot. The ends hang out and touch the gray tube end caps. One on each end.




The problem is, the awning fabric at the awning tube and the plastic cord shrinks and contracts to be a few inches sometimes shorter then the gutter rail length. It "seems" the fabric at the gutter rail with the 2 screws, the screw help prevent that end from shrinking but the awning tube ends does not have the positive metal connection of the screw. In 5 years mine has shrunk over 1 inch which is the only reason I can even slide it on the tube tonight as I know the plastic cords went to the end cap the day I put it on.

OK I will answer the latch and pressure release in the next reply.
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:07 PM   #7
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Before getting into the awning tube release, I want to mention, if you slide the material on the tube to a new location and see if it rolls up better or worse then you know the problem. You can try different positions to make it more centered or favored to one end to make it roll up to the camper better and the arms then lock better. Try it and let us know how it comes out.

As I said the tension has to be off the material in order to slide the fabric in the tube slot. Hopefully there is not so much dirt stuck in the slot it will not move. If it is, try some liquid silicone sprayed the length of the awning from underneath in the cord slot area.

Now to the awning tube release lever. When the awning is up and stored the release lever should be in this location so you can grab it with the awning rod.


And here is the awning rod pulling it down.


Please take a pic of your awning tube release lever when rolled up at the the camper like I did. This will tell some good info about your awning.

We can see this pic of yours where the release lever is when the awning is down. I cannot tell here from this pic how this will come out when rolled up at the gutter rail. I'm not sure yet if this pic is OK or not the way the lever is located. Let's see what the top looks like first. And please take a pic when the awning is down looking in the end of cap. I cannot see the end of the lever in relation to the awning tube shaft.


Now to the pressure release. When the tension is off the awning tube lock lever, it should flip real easy. However under tension it can seem even using pliers is real bad trying to flip it. First, do not use the pliers.... that much leverage can break off the lever or the ratchet catch inside the tube.

To release the tension you have to rotate the tube with the top towards the camper. See my red arrow. That is the direction to rotate the tube then the lever will flip easy.


This is how I release that pressure each time I roll up the awning. This is hard to describe in words but maybe with a pic included I can explain it.

Start with awning down and ready to start the roll up process. Then have both awning top arms collapsed and pushed to the camper. In this condition if you lift the awning tube up as there is nothing to prevent the tube from going up with the top arms collapsed.



You can see the black strap in the bottom center of the pic. I am holding the strap with one hand. With the other hand my arm and elbow are on the top of the awning tube with my fingers close to the lock lever so I can flip it when needed. The elbow is on the awning fabric on purpose.

Many times, but just pressing down with my arm and elbow on the awning fabric side closest to the camper, it will rotate the awning tube top towards the camper. This will release the pressure and I can flip the lock lever with that same hand. The strap being held with the other hand holds the tube from starting to roll up.

Sometimes, the lock lever seems more stuck and my one arm pushing on the awning fabric will not release the pressure. In this case, I still have my arm, elbow and hand in the same location. But I bring the other hand up with the strap and turn the tube so the top rotates towards the camper. Then the lever will release.

Once the lever is released I keep my arm/elbow holding the awning tube from rotating and holding it down from rolling up as I shimmy down the tube like that to the middle and then using the strap and pull rod, letting the awning slowly retract.

I do not know the process you were using, however rotating the awning tube with the top towards the camper should help release the pressure.

For your brother, this post may help as it has the awning all apart and he can see the ratchet mechanism inside and how to unwind and rewind it if needed.
Main Awning Replacement -(Lots of pics)

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:18 AM   #8
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WoW, never realized how much they shrink! Will have to look at mine next time it's out.
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:01 AM   #9
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Hi Janalee,

I think John has you pretty well set with next steps. I will say I believe you have an A&E 8500 awning, not the typical Sunchaser that came with Sunlines. They have different end caps from the Sunchaser like John has. Not sure if they are better or worse, but I think they are slightly higher end. An 8500 came with a scalloped front flap, but the Sunchaser only has a straight one.

I don't think there's any hurt in tapping on the end cap with a hammer, to see if it can be straightened. As long as the rivets are all holding and not going to pop out. If the rivets let go, the spring will unwind in the tube, make a lot of noise, but probably won't do much harm as long as your hands are clear of the lock release. The most danger is removing the bolt that holds that spring and end of tube to the side arm.
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Past Sunlines: '97 T-2653 #5089, '94 T-2251, '86 T-1550, '94 T-2363, '98 T-270SR
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