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Old 07-24-2009, 10:21 PM   #1
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Vintage Carefree Renewal

I have another old Carefree awning that is still in good shape except for the spring assemblies. The shafts are corroded, the nylon sleeves are worn through, and the caps are shot. I have did find some replacement caps, but have had no success finding other NOS, or replacement parts to repair them with. I'm not sure that I could get them apart without destroying them anyway.

That being said, I'm taking the restoration hat off and slipping on the Mad Inventor's Cap to retrofit new spring cans into the old Carefree awning. The new springs set for this modification came from an AE donor awning.

To begin with:

The primary difference between new and old is the stationary shaft diameter on the old set is relatively small in comparison with the new set.

The other difference is on the finger ends that fit inside the roll tube. The new set uses a tri-finger configuration that is slightly larger in diameter than the straight finger setup on the old set.

Over the next few weeks I will try to document the conversion from old to new spring sets.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:07 PM   #2
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be careful

Make sure that you end up with the same number of thumbs after the swap as before. Those springs are dangerous.
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:27 AM   #3
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Make sure that you end up with the same number of thumbs after the swap as before. Those springs are dangerous.
Oh yes they are. I've seen the damage to personnel and property thay are capable of. I have plenty of experience working with awning and roll up door torsion springs, and a healthy dose of respect for them. They can be very very dangerous.

This conversion is different than the previous one so I'm working as I go. I work in engineering and metals so I stop if I don't get the numbers and anticipated results.


Thanks for the reminder.

Kevin
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:50 AM   #4
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I have a couple of 70s awnings. Anybody interested send me a PM
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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Hi,
I own a 1970 23' Safari and have been looking for an old style awning. Do you know if they can be cut down to the right size?
Mike in Dolores
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:31 AM   #6
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Hi,
I own a 1970 23' Safari and have been looking for an old style awning. Do you know if they can be cut down to the right size?
Mike in Dolores

The roll tubes can be cut to length if you find one that is too long.
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:58 PM   #7
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Carefree Awning

Is it worth it to put new fabric on an old (72) carefree? and also repair the springs?
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:07 AM   #8
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Wow...I forgot about this thread. Been too busy camping and such.

I wanted to keep the old curved arms, so replacing the fabric was an easy decision. Spring repair is a different matter, as I have not been able to locate”off-the-shelf” replacements. If your springs are in good shape you should be able to re-use them. The plastic end caps can be replaced but fitting the new ones over the shaft collar can a bit of a challenge. Replacement end caps are available at www.odmrv.com. I picked up a couple several weeks ago.

If your springs are broken then you may be forced to improvise unless you stumble on some old springs that are still serviceable.

I’ve also modified and old set using modern A&E spring sets from a salvaged awning. It wasn’t very difficult, but it did involve some machine shop work. The big difference is in the spring shaft. Most modern spring sets use an aluminum pipe shaft which is larger in diameter than the original Carefree's which used a solid shaft configuration. I did not document the first set, which I should have. I have another set that I plan to modify and I ordered the parts a couple of months ago, but we’ve been busy camping and traveling on the weekends so everything has been sitting on the part shelf in the garage.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:48 AM   #9
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Carefree awning

The springs still work kindof and aren't broken just old and help somewhat but mostly I roll it up by hand on a ladder. Can the spring but be rolled up another turn of 2 to give it more rolling power? My other problem is the hooks on the arms that lock the awning in place are broken so theres not a way to keep it from flapping up in the wind, short of tying it down to the ground with string and a rock
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Old 10-25-2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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The springs still work kindof and aren't broken just old and help somewhat but mostly I roll it up by hand on a ladder. Can the spring but be rolled up another turn of 2 to give it more rolling power? My other problem is the hooks on the arms that lock the awning in place are broken so theres not a way to keep it from flapping up in the wind, short of tying it down to the ground with string and a rock
If your awning needs assistance to rollup your springs may be tired, or under tensioned. You can increase the spring tension by adding a turn or two to the set but if they are tired it may, or may not help.

If your awning is a 15' awning, your springs should have 5 wind turns each.

DISCLAIMER!!! I would caution you to use extreme care when working with torsion springs if you're not trained, or experienced with them. The stored energy can be very dangerous.

What hooks on the arms are you referring to? Can you clarify?

Here is a copy of the Carefree Installation Instructions and Owner's Manual for your use.

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:18 PM   #11
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Carefree awning

Once the carefree awning rolls out there are brace bars that keep the awning from flying up under windy conditions like a sail. At the end of these bars there was a hook that catches on the roller to lock it in place so it doesn't fly up. Both of my hooks (they are a black metal) are broken off. Another thing is that the arms them self don't seem to be long enough to extend for the hooks to latch, once the awning is fully extended. There are two rectangular arms, one slides in the other and they extend outwards, except it seems that they should be about a foot longer. Since I haven't had this brace working on the last few trips a storms have caused the awning to flap causing damage to the edge where it attaches to the trailer. A few pics would explain this and would try to take some soon.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:57 PM   #12
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It sounds like yours is, or is similar to a A&E Universal 9000, 8500, or 8000 series. Does your have two sets of curved arms on the front and on the back?

The main arm hinges on the bottom, and the other (with the sliding bars) hinges on the top?

There is a slide assembly that fits in the top arm, and there is the catch that fits in the top of the main arm. They are available on ebay.

Do they look something like these?

A&E Awning Slider Catch Kit Replacement Pkg. 830472P002:eBay Motors (item 140352441913 end time Nov-13-09 13:23:06 PST)

SLIDER ASSEMBLY FOR DOMETIC A&E AWNING INNER ARM SLIDER:eBay Motors (item 360073040004 end time Nov-14-09 05:54:54 PST)

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:32 PM   #13
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Carefree awning Hook

Here's a pic of the broken hook and the arm (It's the inner arm that slides out with the hook.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:50 AM   #14
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Here's a pic of the broken hook and the arm (It's the inner arm that slides out with the hook.

I will look at mine when I get back in this afternoon and PM you this evening.

Any visiable identification labeling on your arms?

Regards,

Kevin
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