RV Awning Danger

News

NewsHound
Sep 12, 2007
48
0
Funster No
282
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!"
 

Geo

Trader - Funster
Jul 29, 2007
10,933
7,594
Mansfield,Notts
Funster No
35
MH
A class RV and Autotrail
Exp
35 +years with breaks
Thanks to your original post Jim i hopefully fall into neither:thumb:
Geo
 

johnsandywhite

Free Member
Jul 29, 2007
2,339
18
Doncaster/Spain
Funster No
31
MH
'A' Class RV &
Exp
11
: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. :winky:
 

kands

Read Only Funster
Jul 20, 2007
1,285
14
Funster No
3
I believe (although I am sure that someone will correct me :roflmto:) 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
 

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,295
86,347
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
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.
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,019
29,507
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Funster No
15
MH
.
Exp
.
Thats why I posted this link a few days ago surely this would go a long way to preventing an awning coming open when driving.
What do you think ScotJimland you've had the worst experience, if this works it's got to be cheap

http://www.campingworld.com/browse/products/index.cfm/Outdoor-and-RV-Accessories/Outdoor-Store/RV-Awnings--Accessories/RV-Awning-Clamp/prodID=6430
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:
 
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oldun

Free Member
Mar 23, 2008
748
162
St Neots
Funster No
1,917
MH
VW Campervan
Exp
Since 2001
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?
 

texastaffy

Free Member
Aug 9, 2008
17
0
Funster No
3,617
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
 

Boo

Free Member
Jan 26, 2009
636
4
Cornwall
Funster No
5,466
MH
A cls
Exp
9 years
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
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,019
29,507
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Funster No
15
MH
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Exp
.
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
Fit one of these, from Linda at Stateside Tuning or Dunc at Starspangled Banner

 
L

Lindy-C

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

Please drop us a line and let us know how you get on with yours Jim, Customer feedback is always appreciated :Smile:
 
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scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,019
29,507
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Funster No
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MH
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Exp
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Please drop us a line and let us know how you get on with yours Jim, Customer feedback is always appreciated :Smile:
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
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,019
29,507
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Funster No
15
MH
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Exp
.
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
 
Dec 12, 2007
638
213
Derbyshire
Funster No
1,014
MH
Fifth wheel
Exp
Since 2007
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
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,019
29,507
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Funster No
15
MH
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Exp
.
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
Hi

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

Easy to fit ..

Jim
 
Oct 8, 2007
323
272
Kent
Funster No
562
MH
Sunlight 640
Exp
Since 2007
Jim

Nice picture. I can see how it fits to the side on the RV, how does it fit to the top above the awning? Any chance of a photo of that.........please? Do you need to drill holes in the roof?

Thanks

Mick
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,019
29,507
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Funster No
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MH
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Exp
.
Jim

Nice picture. I can see how it fits to the side on the RV, how does it fit to the top above the awning? Any chance of a photo of that.........please? Do you need to drill holes in the roof?

Thanks

Mick
Hi Mick

The top bracket is the same, mine is fitted on the roof, about 1" from the edge, it can also be fitted on the roof/wall radius using the supplied curved spacer or on the wall itself .. depends on what suits best.. ie how much wall space between awning roller and the roof.

Jim
 

kkclassic

Free Member
Oct 31, 2008
211
63
South Coast
Funster No
4,738
MH
RV
Exp
1
Just a quick question..... Could you tie a belt/strap round the front end of the rolled awning to stop it unfurling?

Kevin and Tricia
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
32,019
29,507
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Funster No
15
MH
.
Exp
.
Just a quick question..... Could you tie a belt/strap round the front end of the rolled awning to stop it unfurling?

Kevin and Tricia
Hi

Not exactly sure what you mean, but any device that prevents the roller turning will work provided it is strong enough..
Before I had the strap I used an old Phillips screwdriver which I pushed into the end of the roller and secured with gaffer tape to the arm.. this prevented the roller turning.. it worked as a temporary fix.. This idea could be improved on by making a bespoke device like a giant paper clip that would lock onto the rail.. but that means climbing up on the roof every time you want to use the awning.. not very convenient ..
This clamp is probably the best solution..

Jim
 

Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
29,295
86,347
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
Geo used a Coke bottle, it worked a treat::bigsmile: I have the aluminium wrap on my awning, but I still think I will get one, maybe I'll ask Duncan for a "Buy & Fit" at Newbury. :Smile:
 
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