RV Awning Danger

Discussion in 'Motorhomes in the News' started by News, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. News

    News NewsHound

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    The following is from an article by injuryboard.com. What's your experience? - have you ever had a problem with an awning?

    "The public should be aware of the dangers involving awnings attached to the side of recreational vehicles (RVs) and horse trailers.

    The hazard is that awnings which have been rolled up and fastened to the side of the vehicle may become dislodged and hang out towards oncoming traffic.

    This hazard is so common that one RV manufacturer stated on its website: "There are two types of RVers --- those that have had their awnings blown off and those that will!"
    A defective awning lock resulted in the death of Terry Bassett, a Uniontown, Alabama city councilman who was returning to his home from a school board meeting. As Bassett's minivan approached an oncoming extended horse trailer being pulled by a 2001 Ford F350 truck, the awning on the horse trailer had broken loose from the trailer and was hanging down towards oncoming traffic. When the two vehicles met, the awning assembly from the trailer struck Mr. Bassett's windshield, killing him instantly.
    This accident was preventable.

    Mr. Bassett's family hired the law firm headed by former Lt. Governor Jere Beasley to sue the manufacturer which caused Bassett's death. Mike Andrews, who handled the case for the Beasley firm, discovered that the retractable arms of the awning were equipped with metal folding locks that were defectively designed and manufactured. The locks were insufficient to withstand the wind which occurs while a vehicle is driving down the highway. Mr. Andrews found a number of alternative designs which are sold to prevent such lock failures. Some of these were available for purchase on EBay."

    "There are two types of RVers --- those that have had their awnings blown off and those that will!"
     
  2. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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  3. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Thanks to your original post Jim i hopefully fall into neither:thumb:
    Geo
     
  4. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Have you not got an awning Geo?:Doh:
     
  5. Forestboy

    Forestboy Funster Life Member

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  6. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: With ALL of our RV's I have always used Tie wraps on the Awnings when travelling. Just something I thought of when I looked at how the various Awnings were attached and held in place. :Wink:
     
  7. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Does this happen with omnistor type units as well?

    (The ones wound out with a pole)
     
  8. kands

    kands Read Only Funster

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    I believe (although I am sure that someone will correct me :Laughing:) that the awnings in boxes (Fiamma, Omnistor etc) do not suffer this problem because, as I understand it, the wind actually gets between the wrapped coils on an American (Carefree etc) awning and exerts so much pressure that the tension on the fabric overcomes the tension of the roll spring and the fabric can unfurl, much like a spinnaker on a sail boat. Tying the legs together is never going to prevent this event, all that will do is stop the legs deploying, if the Ty-wraps are strong enough???? Which I sincerely doubt......
    The boxed type awnings have the fabric enclosed in a box and so do not experience the same forces and I would think it impossible for them to deploy in the same way.
    I hope that I have understood the situation correctly, but this is just my understanding of the construction and failures.

    Keith
     
  9. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    That is the way I see it. It is the fabric only that deploys... But.. I imagine that with 30 square metres of awning in the slipstream the awning clips which are really only secured by gravity could release the legs which might make the incident much worse and damage the motorhome. So I imagine it is best to secure the fabric and the stays.
     
  10. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    These are the answer, or similar home made straps, simply tying the legs together won't stop the fabric being unfurled if hit by a strong side gust .. :Sad:
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  11. oldun

    oldun Read Only Funster

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    I wonder how many times an awning has "deployed whilst travelling compared to the millions of journeys made by MH with awnings.

    Is the risk any higher, for others, than getting hit by a MH that has gone out of control due a puncture or a driver's heart attack?
     
  12. texastaffy

    texastaffy Read Only Funster

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    I have an A&E 2 step awning on my RV & fall into the first catagory. We were heading to Salamanka in spain & had just come off the motorway (been on it for around 3hrs) at speeds of 55-60mph.
    After turning off and taking a wrong road we were travelling about 20-25 mph in a strong crosswind, the awning front arm & canvas fully deployed ripping the canvas off the roller & the front arm bouncing up & down with no control.
    Fortunately this road was pretty quiet & we managed to stop without further damage or incident, however if we had taked the road we should have or it had happend 5 mins earlier on the m/way the effect would have been horrendous by coliding with another vehicle or taking someones head off in a busy street.
    I NEVER travel now without additional straps to both the legs & rollers.
    I hope this will help with the previous warnings to allert other RV's to the inherent danger of these systems.

    Eric
     
  13. American Dream

    American Dream Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for the sound advice.I think I'll invest in a set of straps....Just to be safe.:thumb:
     
  14. Boo

    Boo Read Only Funster

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    Just had a look and mine is an A&E awning...................how do I know what stage awning it is?
    Btw.......I have never used it yet as it has been too windy and I don't know how it works..........forgot to cover that on the handover :cry:

    Soooooooo...............where do these straps go???........any pics please??


    Boo
     
  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Fit one of these, from Linda at Stateside Tuning or Dunc at Starspangled Banner

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Lindy-C

    Lindy-C Deleted User

    Please drop us a line and let us know how you get on with yours Jim, Customer feedback is always appreciated :Smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2009
  17. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi Linda

    fitted mine yesterday, a breeze to fit and looks like a sturdy bit of kit... hopefully no more awnings ripped off..

    For anyone who thinks it won't happen to them.. think again.. fit one of these straps, it could save you £££££££
    .. I was lucky and only lost the fabric but the damage could have been much worse ..

    Jim
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. algill

    algill Funster

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    Thanks for the pictures Jim. It makes it look easy to fit.

    Can you fasten/open it with the awning stick (sorry can't remember the name of the metal thing) :Doh:

    Gill
     
  20. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    Yes, you use the WAND :Laughing:.. to open/close it :thumb:

    Easy to fit ..

    Jim
     
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