Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 06-09-2009, 05:35 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
maccamper's Avatar

 
1974 29' Ambassador
1966 20' Globetrotter
Central , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 664
Images: 4
New roller tube for old Carefree awning

I have a Carefree awning on our '74 Ambassador which is in kind of rough shape. I have already replaced all of the attachment bolts and screws and all the rusted screws and knobs on the support arms.

What concerns me now is what will happen to the end caps and internal spring when I replace the awning fabric. At the rear cap, the center rod will slide out of the cap about 3/4", which I don't think it's supposed to do. The end plugs that go into the support arms look pretty much the worse for wear. Photos are included below.

Does anyone out there know if A&E or anyone makes a new roller tube that either fits, or can be modified to fit into the old curved arms? I know the arms aren't made anymore. I am concerned that if the spring breaks or the end caps break while the fabric is being replaced, I will have to buy a new Zip Dee and put in mounting brackets in a completely different location.

Any information or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Laird
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	frnt arm.JPG
Views:	374
Size:	197.1 KB
ID:	81963   Click image for larger version

Name:	rear arm.JPG
Views:	285
Size:	207.2 KB
ID:	81964  

__________________

__________________
maccamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 05:50 PM   #2
Moderator
 
Kevin245's Avatar

 
Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,390
Images: 9
Laird,

Newer torsion spring sets are adaptable to your curved arms if you really want to stay with them, and don't mind spending an afternoon doing the work. You need a belt sander, a few hand tools, a drill, and access to a lathe.

Here's My Plunge....

I wanted to keep the curved arms (like the look) but was concerned about the degraded end caps. I went to the trouble of making new ones out of billet aluminum before I found a replacement that was similar to the original (new one gets riveted on). But I still wanted to get away from the plastic. When I disassembled mine I found some pretty serious wear and corrosion issues. I quickly found out that replacement parts are hard to find. The issue of replacement parts should a spring, or shaft fail is a big deal that can mean the end of a vintage awning system, unless adaptations can be made.

I had several spring assemblies left over from other projects and started measuring to see if something I had would work. With a little effort I was able to adapt an A&E spring set to work on my old Carefree setup. Most people don't notice the difference. The big change is that the new springs have a built in ratchet locking mech., so it clacks when being opened, or closed.


Modification

Word of Caution...The energy stored in an awning spring is very dangerous and can cause serious injury. Do not work on an awning unless you fully understand how it functions and are capable of doing it safely.

There are two key changes:

1. The overall diameter of the star wheel that rides inside the roller.

2. The shaft diameter where it connects to the curved arms.

They are both slightly larger than the original and would not fit my tube.

The star wheel modification was fairly simple. I used a belt sander to reduce the diameter by approximately 1/8". It took a few test fits but I was able to do it in less than 5 minutes. With star wheel now fit in the roller I moved to making the curved arm connection work.

This is a little more involved. The existing shaft on the AE spring assembly I used was a 3/4" diameter hollow aluminum tube. In order for it to fit the Carefree arms (as shown in your photographs) I needed to reduce the end diameter where it connects to the curved arm to about 5/8". Doing this made the tube to thin, and would not leave enough shaft material to support the roll tube.

To solve this problem I replaced the tube with a 3/4" diameter aluminum. I then turned down the end of the bars to a diameter that fit into the curved arm connections (approx. 5/8"). This took about 30 minutes for both shafts, and the new solid shaft was much stronger than the tube one.

Then I disassembled the AE spring assembly and replaced the hollow shaft with the solid one. The keeper (spilt pin) hole was then drilled and the spring assembly was re-assembled.

I didn’t photo document the modifications as I was going along. But I do have another set that I want to modify for my other trailer. I plan to do this later this month and will document the mods and post some pictures.
__________________

__________________

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 06:14 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
overlander64's Avatar
 
1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
Anna , Illinois
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 5,396
Images: 183
Send a message via Yahoo to overlander64
New roller tube for old Carefree awning

Greetings Laird!

Have you tried contacting Carefree of Colorado? Casual observation of their product literature leads me to believe that their new awning roller tubes should be rather easily adapted to fit your existing arms.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
__________________
Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
overlander64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 06:19 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
maccamper's Avatar

 
1974 29' Ambassador
1966 20' Globetrotter
Central , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 664
Images: 4
thanks

Kevin245, thanks very much for taking the time to respond to the thread. I certainly looked at your own thread with considerable interest as I was looking through the forum listings. You did a great job turning the new aluminum end caps for your awning. I don't have access to a metal lathe, so I will probably have to go with plastic end caps again.

I would be very interested in any pictures and information you could provide when you replace the spring on your next awning project. The inner workings of the roller tube are a complete mystery to me at this point.

Thanks also for the cautionary safety notes, I have read that the spring tension is not to be taken lightly.

Laird
__________________
maccamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 06:26 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
maccamper's Avatar

 
1974 29' Ambassador
1966 20' Globetrotter
Central , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 664
Images: 4
thanks K 64

Hi there Kevin aka Overlander 64.

I have not contacted Carefree directly, primarily because a dealer had told me their new stuff was not compatible with their old stuff. I probably should have been a bit more wary of an "upselling" opportunity.

I will give that a try, thanks for the suggestion.

Laird
__________________
maccamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 06:34 PM   #6
Moderator
 
Kevin245's Avatar

 
Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,390
Images: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
Greetings Laird!

Have you tried contacting Carefree of Colorado? Casual observation of their product literature leads me to believe that their new awning roller tubes should be rather easily adapted to fit your existing arms.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin

Kevin's point is valid. I made several calls last year trying to find replacement parts with no luck at all. But it's certainly worth a few calls. You never know what kind of NOS is just laying around out there waiting to find a new home.


Regards,

Kevin
__________________

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 06:41 PM   #7
Moderator
 
Kevin245's Avatar

 
Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,390
Images: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccamper View Post
Kevin245, thanks very much for taking the time to respond to the thread. I certainly looked at your own thread with considerable interest as I was looking through the forum listings. You did a great job turning the new aluminum end caps for your awning. I don't have access to a metal lathe, so I will probably have to go with plastic end caps again.

I would be very interested in any pictures and information you could provide when you replace the spring on your next awning project. The inner workings of the roller tube are a complete mystery to me at this point.

Thanks also for the cautionary safety notes, I have read that the spring tension is not to be taken lightly.

Laird
Laird,

I will post the pictures and send you a PM when I do the next set. If you decide to pursue this path, and lathe access is an issue you may try the local trade school (High School or Technical College). Around here a small material donation, or a couple of Pizza's will get you a fair amount of shop access. If you can't work that out, maybe we can do a beer trade or something.

Regards,

Kevin
__________________

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
maccamper's Avatar

 
1974 29' Ambassador
1966 20' Globetrotter
Central , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 664
Images: 4
deal

Thanks Kevin,

I will look forward to info on your next adventure. If I can't find a local source for aluminum work, that beer (or wine) trade sounds promising.

Regards,

Laird
__________________

__________________
maccamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Carefree Awning phoney Awnings 7 10-29-2010 10:23 AM
Awning roller on International 25 ft Senshi 1980-1984 International 5 11-07-2008 07:25 PM
Bent awning roller repair gparker Awnings 12 03-09-2007 03:28 AM
? carter shade awning roller tube retro-active-couple Awnings 3 06-23-2004 04:56 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.