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Old 01-15-2020, 02:33 PM   #1
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Duh!! Why won’t my power awning close

On a recent trip coming home in my Sprinter/Solera I stopped in the Sierras to have my snow cables put on by an installer. I’m at 7,000’ elevation, snowing in the middle of nowhere, just before the xmas holidays. This was my only break in the weather to get through the mtns. on that day also. I was already a little stressed because my DEF light was on even though the DEF was full. According to the manual you have 16 engine starts with the DEF light on before the engine will not start. I had 8 starts left so I left my engine on while the chains are being installed. I thought I would be helpful and opened my awning to keep the falling snow off the installer. ( I’ve never had to put the chains on my rv before; I travel as a solo female w/ my 3 big dogs.) The installer is having a heck of a time, he’s never done an rv w/ duallys before. My camco plastic ramps ended up being a huge help for him.
So, cables on ready to go, I tried to close the awning and nothing!!! I’m about ready to panic. For 45 minutes I’m trying everything; maybe the motor is frozen, nothing in the manual, fuses are fine, my rv tech isn’t answering; probably off for xmas eve. I even contemplated cutting of the fabric ( needs replacing anyways) and roping the arms to the ladder and mirror. So, I finally decide to shut off the engine. I gave another try at the switch; voila!!! awning began to close up. Duh, the engine has to be off for the awning to work! I never knew tgat in 6 years of frequent travel. Lesson learned and what a relief!
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:14 PM   #2
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Right. On my Sunseeker, I know that the jacks and slides require the truck key to be “on”. However the awning works only if the key is “off”. It probably would be helpful for me to write a little note card so that in times of rushed panic, I don’t forget the power logic for the accessories. Oh, and the parking brake logic can get you, too.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:54 PM   #3
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Hahaha - had this same "Duh!" moment enough times now (awnings, slides, night shade, etc.) that it has moved up to about #3 on the "OMG Mental Checklist" when something doesn't work. You'd think it would have moved up to #1, but hey, I guess I'm a slow learner!
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:21 PM   #4
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To the OP: So, your awning will extend with ignition on but won't retract with it on?
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:09 PM   #5
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I just checked; engine must be off to open and close awning. I must have turned the engine off initially and then didn’t want to turnoff repeatedly and affect my DEF situation with engine.
Ps- The DEF light came on with a full tank on my prior trip. I took it to Mercedes dealer who reset the computer and said nothing was wrong. Then it happened again! I’m taking into the dealer tomorrow. This (different) dealership said this is very common in Sprinters (2014) around 40,000 miles. Something with the temperature gauge/ thermostat ( I’m not mechanically inclined.)
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:36 PM   #6
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There really is no logic to it, its all how they plugged the wires onto the board at the BIM module. My 2019 required you to have engine running for awning, slides, and rear stab jacks. I even called tech support and they said "I meant to do that" with some story about they want the engine running so they know voltage is high enough.
than I fixed the problem myself.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:49 PM   #7
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The reason behind it is so there is no way the awning, steps or jacks can't malfunction and operate while traveling down the road. I think the transmission need to be in park also. Don't have any first hand info on any of this.
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:36 PM   #8
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The reason behind it is so there is no way the awning, steps or jacks can't malfunction and operate while traveling down the road. I think the transmission need to be in park also. Don't have any first hand info on any of this.
I had an incident a couple years ago, driving in the city when someone started waving wildly at me. I pulled over; my steps were out and I couldn’t get them back in. I ended up trying to rope them in.
It’s always something testing me......
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Old 01-16-2020, 02:54 PM   #9
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I had an incident a couple years ago, driving in the city when someone started waving wildly at me. I pulled over; my steps were out and I couldn’t get them back in. I ended up trying to rope them in.
It’s always something testing me......

I found my MBS steps will deploy when the magnet falls off the door inside. It looks like a window alarm magnet. with magnet gone steps think the door is open so it deploys steps. The switch on wall is used to make steps stay out if door is shout and engine is off, but as soon as you start the engine that switch should override, but it still will open steps if door opens.
magnet was held on with double side tape. now mine has 2 pop rivets in it.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:08 PM   #10
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Similar experience while parked in my driveway, warming up the engine. By the way, I later discovered that the 120 volts to the TV/DVD player is also cut off. I guess they don't want me to drive while watching Jeopardy .
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:24 AM   #11
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Awning

Not to long ago my grandson helped get us ready to leave camp. He is the go to double check person when present. All clear we buckled up and ready to go. I would bet by now you see where this is going. Just a few feet moving forward the man across the road was yelling STOP. Yes the awning was extended. So you cannot retract your awning while engine is running bu
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:38 AM   #12
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Awning

I was trying to say that on some models you can start and drive away with awning extended. I think slide outs also.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:44 AM   #13
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I was trying to say that on some models you can start and drive away with awning extended. I think slide outs also.
You can probably do that on all models. The ignition interlock is to prevent those items from being powered with ignition on not to prevent ignition with them in an extended/out configuration. Those items probably will not be powered to retract with ignition on.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:15 AM   #14
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Couple years ago we were in Alaska in rented MH, (very old and tired MH , but that's another story(, coming towards us down the highway was another very large MH with its slide out extended. I honked and flashed with no response. Not sure if it was an oversight or intentional. I was busy getting as far to the right as possible!
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:20 PM   #15
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For the DEF light you mentioned, I saved $1,100 last summer when I realized that federal law mandates an extended warranty on emissions systems. I too had a wacky DEF light situation and the Mercedes dealer replaced both nox sensors to fix it. Again, it was covered by law under the emissions systems warranty. Mine had 62,000 miles at the time.

If memory serves, the warranty covers some components for 70k, some for 80k and some for 90k. I think the time limit is 10 years.
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:12 AM   #16
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For the DEF light you mentioned, I saved $1,100 last summer when I realized that federal law mandates an extended warranty on emissions systems. I too had a wacky DEF light situation and the Mercedes dealer replaced both nox sensors to fix it. Again, it was covered by law under the emissions systems warranty. Mine had 62,000 miles at the time.

If memory serves, the warranty covers some components for 70k, some for 80k and some for 90k. I think the time limit is 10 years.
Thanks for the info on the warranty. My service appointment is Monday. I canceled yesterday’s appointment; we had snow & 65 mph wind gusts- no fun to drive in . I mentioned I thought it was still covered to scheduler & that person didn’t know anything.

Great comments from everyone!! These vehicles have so many technicalities to learn. When I bought my motorhome (my first), along with the massive stack of manuals that came with it, I felt like with all the studying I had gone back to school. The old saying about your brain; “ use it or lose it”. I feel like camping is keeping me young, though the unanticipated stuff drives me crazy some days....
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:11 AM   #17
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There was a thread about a year or so back about this issue on the Forester units. For a short time (supposedly 100-120 units) the engine had to be running to move the awning and slides. After many complaints FR finally quit doing that.

On the Foresters there are three displays on the One Control panel. They change based on chassis key and engine status. Pix below:

First pix.. Normal operating view, all systems available with engine and ignition off.

Second pix...key on but engine off, when selecting awning it says it’s offline (same for slide).

Third pix...with engine running both awning and slide icons disappear (compare to pix 1).







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Old 01-18-2020, 06:24 PM   #18
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There was a thread about a year or so back about this issue on the Forester units. For a short time (supposedly 100-120 units) the engine had to be running to move the awning and slides. After many complaints FR finally quit doing that.
Thanks Emm-dee. that is how my 2019 MBS forester is wired, Engine on for slides/awning/stabilizers.
if its 100-120 units and I got one, am I lucky?
I called FR and they said "we meant to do that" with some story about voltage being too low and they want engine running. (but from what I read here, not many are wired that way).

anyway the fix is real easy.
the awning (and jacks) are controlled by the same 'selectable fuse module". That module is powered by a switched output on the board in the steps area where the BIM is located. Mine was connected to a output labeled for a slide, I just moved the wire to the fuse that says Awning" and it now works with engine off. (wire that was on Awning terminal just went into wire harness and was taped up).

I did not change the slide power though. it does require the engine on, PLUS the parking brake has to be applied, so there is some safety there.
(actually its probably just Key on, but starting the engine does provide higher voltage).

I have heard so many complaints about this Schwinn tech slide system so if they want me to run the engine to move the motors (so voltage is higher) I can live with that, but starting the engine to open or close awning? give me a break
But later if I decide I want slides to move with engine off, all I have to do is move the wire on that same board in BIM box to an output that is Hot with engine off (and move fuse to new location as well)
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:38 PM   #19
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My awning and slide require ignition off. However, to put the leveling jacks down the engine must be running and the parking brake engaged. Apparently it takes a lot of steady power for the hydraulic pump.

Retracting the jacks requires ignition only...no running engine. And, after leveling I can run the engine for whatever reason. If the key is on (engine on or off) the jacks automatically retract when the parking brake is released.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:10 PM   #20
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It sounds like there is no continuity between the various models for awnings, steps, slide outs and jacks, sort of all over the place; learning trial and error on what works- or doesn’t
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