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Old 06-18-2007, 11:22 PM   #1
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1972 27' Overlander
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Awning unrolls while driving? Help!

I've had my 72 Overlander since last fall and have taken several trips with it. This past weekend, I was returning home with the 72 in tow, with a 50-60 mph side wind. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that the driver side, full length awning had unrolled and was buffeting in the wind.

It's scary enough towing any camper in this type of side wind, but to have a 24 foot long sail open up while driving was very disturbing, especially when I have water on both sides of the road. I slowed down to 30 mph and still the awning would open up on its own. I've talked to a couple whose camper was up on two wheels because the wind got under their awning in a camp ground, so needless to say, I found some rope and tied this awning arms to the other side of the camper to hold it in place and get home.

Has anyone else had this happen?
Is this due to the spring being too loose, or simply too much side wind to be on the road home?
Any help is appreciated.
thanks,
Brad
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:42 PM   #2
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If it is a ZipDee it should have a travel lock to prevent this. It is a hook that secures the roll to the trailer. Some models have a z-lock that prevents the roller from turning as well. Check out the zipdee website for more information.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:09 AM   #3
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Hmmmm....alternate energy source... retro to say the least. I'd never thought of a sail to help my fuel economy.

That certainly must have been a tense moment or two. Glad you got to stop before it ripped off or deformed the trailer.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:56 AM   #4
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It could be a number of factors:

Spring(s) could need re-tensioning or you could have one or more broken (they do break).

The spring's job is to pull the awning buck onto the roller tube and wind it up, so if yours is not staying closed, it's the first thing I would check.

I always use a couple of straps or zip-ties around BOTH arms (front and back) as an extra sefaty.
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:14 AM   #5
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Timely post!

We recently got a trailer with a full length awning on the streetside, and I wondered if the awning would unfurl while driving. Now I know. There are no latches or hooks on ours, nor any place they may have been in the past. I guess I just found another thing to take care of on our trailer...
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:27 AM   #6
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I have been in some strong winds, and not had the awning do as yours has. Keep in mind I don't have a street side awning and our awning is about 3 years old FWIW.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:58 AM   #7
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Brad, your trailer could have a Carefree awning installed. There's a photo of a Carefree and a link to the owners manual here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...ork-25499.html

A bit more info from an owner trying to determine which brand awning they have: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...ing-32322.html

I fully agree with Lew on using zip-ties to hold the awning arms together while underway! 100-packs from your hardware store are pretty reasonable -- I use 11 inchers. That is the only way I can stow my '74 Argosy awning and make it stay rolled.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:21 AM   #8
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Me too...

I had my awning unfurl about half way in a strong wind while stored. The arms were secured, the wind apparently just unrolled it somehow. I was never sure why it occured, it only did it once, never while towing. I may not have flipped the "roll/unroll" lever. This was a Carefree (I think) awning on a '98 Safari.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
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Safety restraint for awnings

Many of our members have a improvised safety restraints on their awnings. I use a lock pin I found at a Farm and Fleet store. Cost less than a dollar. I use one on each end of each awning. I have also seen short bungee cords used or velcro straps. The pins are the highest strenght but are not stainless so I replace them when they start to runs as the protective plating wears out.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:32 PM   #10
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We use large velcro straps -- two on each end. Fine so far. I do like the pins, however. Another good idea.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:33 PM   #11
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Help me understand whats happening. Are the arms also swinging away from the normal position? I first understood all of the mechanism was staying in place and the fabric was unrolling off of the tube the flopping around.
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:42 PM   #12
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This is what we have on our 72 Overlander that holds the awning. These are actually on ebay right now. We also use a zip tie before we leave on any trip to make sure the arms stay put.
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Old 06-19-2007, 03:14 PM   #13
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The hold downs in post 12 are the ones on the curb side on the large awning. The ones he is complaining about I think are on the road side and depend on just the awning springs to keep them rolled up. I do not even trust the curbside ones to hold since I have found them flopped out of their slots after a long bouncy day on the road. Pins are cheap and foolproof.
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:04 PM   #14
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Sorry, I misunderstood.
Tammy
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