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Old 02-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
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Unhappy Awning Stuck in the Rail

Being fairly warm for February in Northern Illinois I thought it would be a good time to remove the awning from the GT. The fabric has deteriorated to the point that itís long overdue for replacement.
Having released the spring tension on the roller and getting it ready to drop off the arms I was ready to slide the fabric off the awning rail on the body.
After 2 hours of pushing, pulling, expanding the ends of the rail and lubing with silicon spray it hasnít move a bit. Even clamping a big Vise-Grip to the edge of the fabric just above the rail and whacking it with a hammer wouldnít budge it.
The last vintage trailer I owned had a removable pole awning that freely slid on and off the rail. I somewhat expected the same result as there was a screw at each end going through the spline and rail to hold the awning in place on the body.
After doing a search of the awning sub-forum Iíve come up short on answers. Iím sure someone else has run into this problem before. Anyone with a solution? Iím open to any and all ideas. Iíd like to get this apart and have a new one made before the season starts.

Thanks in advance,
Tom.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:21 PM   #2
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Awning repair

Tom:

Try giving the folks at Zip Dee Awnings a call there in Elk Grove village. Here is their website link: Awnings By ZipDee

They have been helpful to me in the past working a solution for my awning problem. They also can most likely provide all the replacement parts you need.

Don.....
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:30 PM   #3
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The awning in the picture does not look like a zipdee.

It's possible that there are burs on the inside of the rail where the screw held it in place.
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:33 PM   #4
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The awning is a CareFree and was probably installed soon after being purchased.
The hardware is in reasonably good condition. Even the springs in the roller had much more tension on them than I expected.
The screws were run through the plastic spline in the channel and into the body. The spline has cracked and broken. All those pieces are out, the rail cleaned and the crimped sections expanded back to original(mostly)size.
I put it back together and will try again next weekend weather permitting.

Tom.
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:00 PM   #5
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Tom, I have to do the same thing on my Safari. I have yet to check out how to release the spring pressure on the roller assembly. Is there a set of instructions on how to do this? I will also be interested on how to remove the spline from the awning rail, so keep us posted on what you find out. I have been waiting for the weather to warm up to remove my awning and the replacement canvas is around $200.00 from Carefree. No shipping as I am having the material sent to the shop where the awning will be inspected/lubed/re-installed. I have a different set of curved arms to install that are in better condition than the ones currently on the trailer. Then the old arms are going to another forums member in the Des Moines area soon. Hope you find out how the awning slides out. Ed
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Nugler View Post
The awning is a CareFree and was probably installed soon after being purchased.
The hardware is in reasonably good condition. Even the springs in the roller had much more tension on them than I expected.
The screws were run through the plastic spline in the channel and into the body. The spline has cracked and broken. All those pieces are out, the rail cleaned and the crimped sections expanded back to original(mostly)size.
I put it back together and will try again next weekend weather permitting.

Tom.
Tom, Since I never heard back about how to remove the tension on the roller torsion spring I was curious as to if you were able to get the awning out of the rail and off the trailer? Ed
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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2 person job. I know you said you siliconed it...be very liberal with it on the whole rail and let sit for awhile. I had to have my husband pull as I used a small wooden dowel with a rubber mallet to get it to move. It wasn't easy. I removed the awning fabric from roller before I attempted this.

BIGED52....I know you have a Carefree but I would think releasing the tension is very similar to a Zipdee. Go to ZD's websight and just do the opposite of the install. In short you will have to release one of the arms and uncrank it very carefully about 20 or so times. This is also a two person job.
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Old 03-01-2009, 09:37 AM   #8
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Carefree awnings are not very much like Zip-Dee's as far as hardware. Most Carefree awnings I have seen have a small lever at the front of the roller tube. Flip the lever one way, and you can roll and unroll, flip the lever the other way, and it locks in place. You can lock the roller, and remove it, without releasing tension on the dpring.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #9
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Tom, Since I never heard back about how to remove the tension on the roller torsion spring I was curious as to if you were able to get the awning out of the rail and off the trailer? Ed
Iíve cut the fabric off the trailer and taken the whole mess down to the basement.
The caps at the top of the arms are attached to the roller spring rods with roll pins. I punched these out, drilled the rivets out of the end caps and slipped the fabric out of the tube. Don't have any locking levers but there are markings that indicate there may have been some at one time.
I still havenít gotten the remnants of the awning out of the rail. Someone had gone and dimpled the rail every 6 inches or so.
The weatherís been pretty rotten on the weekends. 22 right now. Next time itís above 40 and dry Iíll get out and uncrimp the rail and try to slide the rest of the awning out.
Building a new shelf for under the street side windows this weekend.

Tom.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Carefree awnings are not very much like Zip-Dee's as far as hardware. Most Carefree awnings I have seen have a small lever at the front of the roller tube. Flip the lever one way, and you can roll and unroll, flip the lever the other way, and it locks in place. You can lock the roller, and remove it, without releasing tension on the dpring.
Terry, I believe that the lever you are referring to was a travel lock to keep the awning material from unfurling/opening while traveling. Will this also keep the roller from unwinding when you remove the awning welt end from the rail? Also was this lever on Carefree awnings as far back as '67? I just don't want to have my fingers removed while that spring is under tension. I had hoped that there were some type of instructions available to easily take the tension off the tube so I could remove the canvas without detaching the arms. Then you could slide the welt off the rail and put the new material back on the roller tube and re-tension the roller spring. Maybe Andy from Inland RV would know if no one else does. Ed
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:29 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tom Nugler View Post
Iíve cut the fabric off the trailer and taken the whole mess down to the basement.
The caps at the top of the arms are attached to the roller spring rods with roll pins. I punched these out, drilled the rivets out of the end caps and slipped the fabric out of the tube. Don't have any locking levers but there are markings that indicate there may have been some at one time.
I still havenít gotten the remnants of the awning out of the rail. Someone had gone and dimpled the rail every 6 inches or so.
The weatherís been pretty rotten on the weekends. 22 right now. Next time itís above 40 and dry Iíll get out and uncrimp the rail and try to slide the rest of the awning out.
Building a new shelf for under the street side windows this weekend.

Tom.
Tom, Since your trailer is the same year as mine I will let you know what I find when the weather gets warmer. I have a feeling if your rail was dimpled it might have been done to keep the welt from sliding out of the rail (like by the wind) while awning was deployed. If that is so, was it done by a PO or the factory? Guess time will tell. I will keep you up to date when I get mine near the removal step. Ed
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:51 PM   #12
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My experience with the roller springs wasnít traumatic just surprising.
The awning never would roll up by itself and with help would roll crooked. We were discussing the situation at a rally and decided one of the springs had gone bad.
I pulled the arms away from the trailer about 6 inches, unscrewed the caps and loosened them in the arms. I went to the side we thought was bad and was tapping it out with a hammer when it unwound. Nothing too violent and no digits were lost. I held the cap on the other side with a Vise-Grip while I removing it. It turned back maybe 4 or 5 turns before the tension was relieved.
I would guess springs that were fully wound up could cause a fair amount of damage if just let loose.
I may make a fixture to wind the spring and cap when the time comes to reinstall it back on the arm.

Tom.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:24 PM   #13
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Tom, Thanks a lot! I would have to guess that my springs are fully loaded as my awning unrolls and retracts very nicely and has a lot of tension on the fabric when opened fully. The main trouble with it is the Blue and White stripped fabric is starting to tear and is stained badly in a few spots. I am going to try to get some new fabric from Carefree in a solid color. We have a local shop that has done a lot of canvas replacements on Carefree vintage awnings and he has told me I can save the shipping charge if the material is sent to his shop rather than to me. I will most likely install it myself. I'll let you know how that works out later in the spring. While it's cold I am having the two twin innerspring mattresses that Michael (Artstream) got for me at JC recovered this coming week so they match. The one on the curbside is being cut down and rewired to fit on the adjustable bed frame. The small portion left over will be reworked as an arm rest (when in the dinette mode) and also used to fill in the bed length when the frame is extended in the bed mode. Ihe slides for making the frames wider wont be used and the mattresses will give better seating support than the original foam cushions. WOW I am rambling! I'll update you all later. Ed
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Old 03-22-2009, 09:05 PM   #14
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Talking Finally Got the Awning Off

Just a quick update. The remainder of the old awning is out of the track. It still wouldnít slide out after uncrimping the rail. I spread a spot in the center of the rail open, just wide enough to cut away some of the fabric and polycord spline. Grabbing the exposed ends of the polycord I gave it a good yank and pulled the two halves of cord out of the rail. The fabric was now loose enough to pull off the trailer.
Finding a replacement awning in an acceptable vintage motif had become a major pain. I found a shop a few towns over that will sew up the new one.
Now itís on to reconditioning the lower mounts for the arms.

Tom.
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