Check your awning hardware!!!!
I recently had a gust of wind hit my A&E 8500 awning. It snapped the locking bracket on the rafter. (the part that slides down the main support and locks at the end to hold the awning away from the camper.) Luckily we were nearby when it happened and we able to grab the awning assembly before the wind smacked it into the camper doing serious damage.
The bracket was an easy fix, but got me to thinking. I looked at the other end of the rafter.........the part attached to the bracket at the top drip rail. There is a 3/16 rivet...and that's all that holds it. Over time the movement of the awning in the wind had wallowed out the hole in the thin aluminum post, and was near failure.
I removed both rafters from their brackets......cut off the bad section....re-drilled what was left...and re-attached. Took about 45 min or so to do both sides.
The point being...checking those rafters and finding the problem BEFORE they fail....will save you a lot of grief and money.