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Old 05-31-2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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New awning fabric is on!

On Wednesday evening, I ordered new fabric for the A&E 8500 series awning on our 20' Argosy from Interwest Sports. The fabric arrived via UPS at 1PM Friday! Not being the patient type, I went ahead and put it on the trailer (solo, I might add), wanting to surprise my wife when she got home from work.

All went well with the install, until I had to reattach the front rafter. It seems that whomever installed the awning originally used oversized lag bolts and didn't actually hit any structural member, instead opting to fill the hole with tons of Vulkem, essentially gluing the lag bolts in place. This isn't my idea of a smart thing to do, so I investigated other options. What I wound up doing was using my Roto-Zip to cut an access hole in the interior, securing the rafter with stainless steel hardware (I used fender washers to spread out the load). All that's left now is to make an appropriate cover and paint it after it's secured in place. While not an ideal solution, I didn't want to have to pull down the ceiling and interior endcap to gain access to the backside of the galvanized endcap.

Anyway, the "fun" part was tensioning the roller! I waited for Liz to get home for that part of the project. We tensioned the springs with the awning fully extended, lest we slip with the vice grips and scratch the new paint job on the trailer. 16 turns on each side and it works perfectly!!!

Total time for the awning install (until the issue with the front rafter) was about 45 minutes. Fixing the rafter problem took a while (about an hour, counting the trip to the hardware store), and tensioning the springs took about 10 minutes.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:25 PM   #2
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Sooooo...got any pictures of the new awning???? I'm sure it looks nice ~

Shari
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut
Sooooo...got any pictures of the new awning???? I'm sure it looks nice ~

Shari
Here ya go!
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Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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Old 06-01-2008, 10:17 AM   #4
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awwwwwwwwwwwwwning!

nice!
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:21 AM   #5
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While I was at it...

I wired up dedicated 30 Amp service outside the garage door for the trailer(s).
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:36 AM   #6
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Looking good!!!

Shari
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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about to do the same

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobfowler View Post
On Wednesday evening, I ordered new fabric for the A&E 8500 series awning on our 20' Argosy from Interwest Sports. The fabric arrived via UPS at 1PM Friday! Not being the patient type, I went ahead and put it on the trailer (solo, I might add), wanting to surprise my wife when she got home from work.

All went well with the install, until I had to reattach the front rafter. It seems that whomever installed the awning originally used oversized lag bolts and didn't actually hit any structural member, instead opting to fill the hole with tons of Vulkem, essentially gluing the lag bolts in place. This isn't my idea of a smart thing to do, so I investigated other options. What I wound up doing was using my Roto-Zip to cut an access hole in the interior, securing the rafter with stainless steel hardware (I used fender washers to spread out the load). All that's left now is to make an appropriate cover and paint it after it's secured in place. While not an ideal solution, I didn't want to have to pull down the ceiling and interior endcap to gain access to the backside of the galvanized endcap.

Anyway, the "fun" part was tensioning the roller! I waited for Liz to get home for that part of the project. We tensioned the springs with the awning fully extended, lest we slip with the vice grips and scratch the new paint job on the trailer. 16 turns on each side and it works perfectly!!!

Total time for the awning install (until the issue with the front rafter) was about 45 minutes. Fixing the rafter problem took a while (about an hour, counting the trip to the hardware store), and tensioning the springs took about 10 minutes.
How did you handle the torsion spring, any tips, about to go blindly into this.
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:03 PM   #8
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Looks very shipshape!
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camperski View Post
How did you handle the torsion spring, any tips, about to go blindly into this.
Well, I went blindly into it myself but got lucky and lived to tell the tale. Fortunately, I didn't get hurt taking the dang torsion springs off the trailer, but that was a REAL possibility. There is a good article here that covers the procedures for working on an A&E awnings.

I wound up having to replace the right hand (front of trailer) torsion spring assembly because the clutch on mine was shot and the parts for that older model were not available. Just as well as the new version uses a pallet and gear type clutch vs the older style friction clutch. The cost wasn't bad (about $70) and camping world had it in stock in our local store (Lakewood, NJ).
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:45 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the info...this is on a friends unit...we're going camping Friday....and the awning adventure may well wait till after!
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:00 PM   #11
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Now that you have 30 amp service, and a shiny new awning, when are you going to relax under the awning, listening to the hum of the 15K a/c unit with a cold beverage in your hand?
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:23 PM   #12
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Now that you have 30 amp service, and a shiny new awning, when are you going to relax under the awning, listening to the hum of the 15K a/c unit with a cold beverage in your hand?
Funny you should mention that... I've been a geographical bachelor for the past few days (Liz went to Vermont with a friend). It was wicked hot here Saturday, and since we don't have A/C in the house, I spent the night driveway camping.

Actually I've spent the ENTIRE weekend on the water in the kayak - Friday evening after work on the Navesink River, Saturday surfing some waves on the Delaware (hint, my Perception Prodigy is NOT a good whitewater surfing boat), and back on the Navesink Sunday morning for a Father's Day paddle sponsored by our local Eastern Mountain Sports store.
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Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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