I have to agree with Big Al post #21.
Most of these broken claws can be eliminated by:
- Lower the awning when leaving the trailer at its lowest level. A wind can not only break the claw but bend the rod it is attached and the outside rod if fully extended to the fourth, or even the third click.
- If it is not raining, take the awning down for the evening. A rogue wind can do what I stated above. The claw breaks and the rods can actually put a dent into the side of the trailer.
- Drill out the rivet and use a bolt and nut to reinstall. It will not affect the looks of the trailer without the rivet. Who cares? Well, I did not when I was stupid and left the awning out one evening on our first 2006 Safari trip.
- When rolling the awning up after use, make sure that you did disengage the locking mechanism of the bar. This is a bigger cause of breaking a hook. You also do more damage as the awning roller has some momentum in snapping back tight.
- I would say that 90% of damaged hooks and bars are... owner related.
I know. Learned a few lessons that are not in the manual. I bought TWO claw units to the spring section after my experiences in 2006. I have not needed either now for 9 YEARS. I screwed up. No one shows you how to prevent damaging the hook or rods when purchasing. Even the RV salesmen have no clue.
Never had a problem since. When leaving trailer on a sunny day and want to leave the awning extended. Put it at the first click setting, close to the trailer. Wind is less likely to catch it and put excessive pressure on the hook and suspension.
If you have an awning setup 24 hours a day at Lake Mead, Nevada or the Las Vegas, Nevada area with the common 45mph afternoon winds and more... bring tools and extra parts. Your learning curve is going to be very costly, indeed.