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Old 04-27-2013, 04:02 AM   #1
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Electric Awning Adjustment

I have a Dometic electric awning and it will not retract properly without having to go outside and fight with it. The arms are hollow and rounded and are designed to fit over top of the vertical frame when retracted. However, as it rolls up it gets slightly cocked and the outer arms catch the vertical frame rails on the edges. I have to leave it slightly loose when retracting and then push the arms over a little to make each one fit over the frame, then bump the switch to retract the last few inches of fabric.

I had the same issue with a manual AE Systems awning on my last unit and I tried to adjust it, but never could get it to store right. I always had to fight with it too.

Since this one is electric, I really want it to store right. What and where do I need to adjust it to retract straight and smooth?
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
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The awning fabric may need adjusting fare an d aft and then riveted in place. Ther is a thread on it and OC posted the fix.

Try that first.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:12 AM   #3
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It may not be centered on the roller, roll it out completely, measure from each end and make it the same on both ends of the roller. Using large head 3/16" dia pop rivets, drill thru the side hem and install rivet on both ends of roller.

BTW, this awning is overextended to facilitate centering and installing the pop rivets. There should not be a valley between the material and the roller. The material should go over the roller without the valley.
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The above is from one of the posts on alignment. From OC.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titanium-X View Post
I have a Dometic electric awning and it will not retract properly without having to go outside and fight with it. The arms are hollow and rounded and are designed to fit over top of the vertical frame when retracted. However, as it rolls up it gets slightly cocked and the outer arms catch the vertical frame rails on the edges. I have to leave it slightly loose when retracting and then push the arms over a little to make each one fit over the frame, then bump the switch to retract the last few inches of fabric.

I had the same issue with a manual AE Systems awning on my last unit and I tried to adjust it, but never could get it to store right. I always had to fight with it too.

Since this one is electric, I really want it to store right. What and where do I need to adjust it to retract straight and smooth?
Titanium-X,
I had the same problem with my awning when I purchased the new to me Coachman.
During the PDI from the dealer, I retracted the awning and it caught right on the edge of the bottom of the left rail and at the top of the right rail. On the left side, it would get stuck and pop into place. I looked at the tech and he said they all do that. Having never owned an electric awning I went along with it but it did not seem right.
When I got it home I started to look a little closer to the cause of the arms not lining up and closing properly.
Basically what it is, is that the arms/ track mounted to your trailer side are not horizontally level (lined up) so the retracting arms crash when closing.
You will see on the arms where the metal is rubbing to indicate which way to move the arms when adjusting.
Solution:
At the top of the arms that are mounted to your trailer you will see you have 4 bolts holding it to the your trailer and 2 bolts holding it on the bottom. (some have rivets on the bottom but mine had bolts)
Those screw / bolt holes are slotted for horizontal adjustment.
I am glad I had to adjust mine because the factory stripped all of them so they just spun when tightening but would come out when going the other way.
I loosened the bolts on the top right arm about an 1/8". The factory uses the sticky tape to waterproof the holes so you need to pry the bracket off of the tape to adjust. I was not sure what would happen so I only opened the awning about 6" to keep the weight off the arms. Once loose, I shifted the top of the arm over just about an 1/8". Since I could not get the factory #14 1 1/2" self tapping screws to tighten to the aluminum framing, I went to HD and bought the next size up coated lag bolts QTY: 12
I removed one bolt at a time, filled the hole with decor and screwed in the new bolts.
On the left lower bracket, I followed the same procedure but it would not move like the top did. I ended up just bending the arm / track that attaches to the trailer maybe a 1/8" inward where it was rubbing and that allowed it to not crash when closing.
I replaced all the bolts on the awning following the above procedure.
My awning also had some small self tapping screws half way down the arms that I removed / replaced after filling those holes with decor too.
My awning now closes the way it should without crashing.
The above procedure may have not been recommended by the board but it worked for me!

Note. My awning fabric was perfect in line when rolled up so I figured it was the arms and NOT the fabric that needed adjusted. Check to see which is the case with yours.
*** Be careful when you loosen those top bolts, maybe have a buddy there in the middle of the awning tube to try to hold it while you make adjustments. Hate to see it rip off the side of your trailer.***
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:27 AM   #5
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This is an easy fix with a drill and a pop rivet gun. It is caused by wind flapping the awning material and making it slide in the slot.

Look at the roller and you will find a "dirt mark" where the awning belongs. Give the material some slack by lifting up the roller and tug it into place.

Roll it in and out a few times to make sure it is tracking and pop rivet the material to the roller.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:37 AM   #6
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crunchman12001, your's might have been installed wrong at the factory, but I would say 99% of the awning retracting problems are material mis-alignment. If it is binding on one leg only, your fix is probably appropriate. If it is binding on both arms it is the material. I would be very hesitant about moving the arms on the trailer due to the water intrusion problems possible.

Here are the pictures of the material fix.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
crunchman12001, your's might have been installed wrong at the factory, but I would say 99% of the awning retracting problems are material mis-alignment. If it is binding on one leg only, your fix is probably appropriate. If it is binding on both arms it is the material. I would be very hesitant about moving the arms on the trailer due to the water intrusion problems possible.

Here are the pictures of the material fix.
OC,
I was concerned about moving the brackets too but as I was tightening all the screws, bolts on the trailer, the awning bolts were all stripped out. I did not want to loose the awning in the wind so I had to go to the larger bolts. I filled all the holes with sealant to hopefully make them water tight. I killed 2 birds with one stone.

( I know I hear a pitch coming about the Power awning tie downs )
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by crunchman12001 View Post
OC,
I was concerned about moving the brackets too but as I was tightening all the screws, bolts on the trailer, the awning bolts were all stripped out. I did not want to loose the awning in the wind so I had to go to the larger bolts. I filled all the holes with sealant to hopefully make them water tight. I killed 2 birds with one stone.

( I know I hear a pitch coming about the Power awning tie downs )
In your case, you stopped a major disaster from happening, but as I said, 99% of the problems are with the material.

Ha, ha, fooled ya', no pitch as they are about gone and you missed yours.
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:43 PM   #9
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I appreciate all the feedback and I did do a search before starting a thread, but didn't find the information I was looking for. I'll try realigning the fabric before adjusting the mounting frame. If it is indeed the fabric, I'll get it straight and rivet it into place on the tube. What size rivets were used? I would think that you would want some with large heads so the fabric will not try to pull through.
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