Originally Posted by jgeurin
Thanks for the post Pway1. I am the original poster on this thread.
I have thought about possible causes for the failure too. If you go back and inspect posts 3,4, and 10 in this thread you can see that there is a metal mounting ring on the outside of the winch which attaches to the winch with 2 machine screws that mate with 2 nuts in a nylon ring inside the winch assembly. It looks to me like the engineers that designed this assembly meant to use 4 machine screws, based on the number of holes in the housing and on the number of hexagonal indentations (for seating the nuts) on the nylon ring, and also looking at the number of holes on the mounting metal ring outside of the assembly. When I tore into the thing to inspect the damage, I wondered if a lack of structural rigidity from omitting a couple of screws could have caused the gears to pull apart when stressed, allowing them to slip. The fact that a visible separation in the 2 halves of the housing is a sign of a damaged winch is another reason that I suspect this. Could this just be due to a shortcut of assembly of the unit by Fiamma at the factory?
I think that the misalignment of the switch that stops the retraction is a good hypothesis too. I took extra pains to make sure that I had good re-alignment and that the switch engaged properly when I re-assembled everything.
My awning still works great with the new winch.
Many thanks jguerin! Your write-up is certainly the most completeband interesting of any I have seen on this subject of interest to F65Eagle owners!
You have the advantage of me with all the work you have done as I have not yet delved into the actual motor/winch assembly on ours yet as we have not encountered any problems. Many folks have though, and so I am certainly concerned!
In accordance with the recall information from Pleasure-Way, I currently have safety straps on our awning to ensure it cannot come out on the highway - this as recommended by both Fiamma and Pleasure-Way, while we await a proper fix from Fiamma.
I continue to use our awning (carefully!) at campsites and carry a telescoping ladder to deal with the travel straps - a bit of a pain!
I looked at the pictures you referenced & think I understand what you mean about two versus four machine screws.
However I am looking at the pictures of the winch casing (Which I think, by looking at the pictures, seems to be plastic) and I see counterbores in each half of the casing that look like they are intended for machine screws and nuts to tightly clamp the two halves of the casing together - I can't really see what is in this location though in terms of fasteners.
In any event, it will be interesting to see what Fiamma come up with in terms of a fix for Pleasure-Way owners and if it includes any extra securement for the winch casing halves.
I did get a bit of advance info that I am not taking yet as official that the fix will
likely entail a modified end cap for the lead bar that will hopefully eliminate the possibility of misalignment between the endcap and the microswitch as the theory at present seems to be that has been the cause of winches being overtorqued and destroyed when the awning is already fully retracted but the motor doesn't know, and the operator keeps pushing the retract button!
It will be inteteresting to see the wording that comes along with the "Fix."
Personally I would think that it should tell whomever is doing the work (be it RV shop or owner) to at least open the end cover and see it there is any indication of separation of the winch halves to know if perhaps the winch has already been damaged and should be replaced even if it has yet to fail.
If Fiamma permits owners to do the work myself when the fix is issued, whether or not it says to do that, I will plan to do that!
While awaiting details of the fix, today I am making one small additional change to the wiring for the awning.
I am splicing a simple on/off toggle switch into the 12v+ supply wire to teh awning controller (red wire on Pin A3 of the connector) just as an extra precaution that some electrical glitch might cause an unwanted deployment.
This should really be redundant, as there is a relay fitted in our vans that cuts the supply to this wire when the van's ignition is on. I checked that today and it does work. Not sure if Airstream Interstates are wired the same way.
I gather Airstream vans have some sort of warning buzzer that we do not - I am guesing that it warns you if the awning is not fully retracted when you begin to drive?
I think I will leave my add-on switch in the circuit just for a bit of extra peace of mind even when Fiamma do come out with the "Fix!" Couldn't hurt!
May even continue to use the safety straps too after the fix since I bought the ladder! At least for a while !
When we bought our van I really didn't want the electric legless awning that is a potential source of extra problems and cannot be sloped fore and aft in light rain for run off. I wanted just a manual waning with legs!
Unfortunately I was told that the factory was too busy keeping up production to accept custom orders so I gave up on that! If ever I need to replace this awning that is what I would go for! Sometimes simple is best!
Cheers, and thanks again for your info ....... Brian.