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Old 12-22-2020, 11:47 AM   #1
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Wind unrolling the awning

We have a 2013 31’ Classic...was headed home with a high wind hitting us on the passenger side...at 50 mph the awning would partly unroll, even tho it was fastened solid on the ends...I would almost stop and it would kind of roll back up..it was an a skinny Montana road and nowhere to pull off...we got home and everything was fine...this could have ended up in a disaster..
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Old 12-22-2020, 11:54 AM   #2
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The travel latch will prevent this from happening. Does your awning have a travel latch?

https://woodlandtravelcenterstore.co...w-awning-latch
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Old 12-22-2020, 11:59 AM   #3
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I got in the habit of putting a strap around the arms after that happened to me. No worries after that.

And I have a travel latch on this one. Belt and suspenders, right?

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Old 12-22-2020, 12:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
The travel latch will prevent this from happening. Does your awning have a travel latch?

https://woodlandtravelcenterstore.co...w-awning-latch
...that little latch was about 3 ‘ from the rear mount....it tore the cover..now there is a 2” square hole..I covered it with aluminum tape...that latch was worthless........the latch is now in the junk box....
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Old 12-22-2020, 12:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pmclemore View Post
I got in the habit of putting a strap around the arms after that happened to me. No worries after that.

And I have a travel latch on this one. Belt and suspenders, right?

Pat
The arms are covered...Velcro tape..they did not move the center of the awning would unroll
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Old 12-22-2020, 12:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjdonahoe View Post
We have a 2013 31’ Classic...was headed home with a high wind hitting us on the passenger side...at 50 mph the awning would partly unroll, even tho it was fastened solid on the ends...I would almost stop and it would kind of roll back up..it was an a skinny Montana road and nowhere to pull off...we got home and everything was fine...this could have ended up in a disaster..
My former MH had a Carefree awning. While driving through western Kansas on a beautiful day (but windy) I had the awning unfurl, 100%. Sometimes it went straight up or other times it went out, thank god I wasn't passing a semi. The arms didn't come out, just the fabric.
I limped to the next exit and was able to get it furled back up. The spring was so tight, it almost sprained my wrist.
My campground was only another two miles so I arrived safely. Within minutes other MHs were arriving with their awning fabric cut off completely.
I was lucky.
Birds were flying 5' off the ground, and if a tree was in their path they went up and down over the tree. My drink blew off the picnic table. Not a cloud in the sky.
The next morning it was calm and another beautiful day. I finished my trip uneventfully.
The problem is wind hitting the side of the coach and getting under the roller cover. People put aluminum strips to block the wind, or supplement the latch with a pin like a deadbolt.

BTW, I always wondered why ZipDee put the awning latch near the rear of the tube instead of half way or towards the front.
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Old 12-22-2020, 12:51 PM   #7
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Having heard about this potential problem, I put zip ties through the travel locks and the wheel locks before on travel day. A little bit of a hassle, but it makes me feel safer!

Oh, and I've also had to tighten the bolt on the travel lock on the curb side a couple of times... keep meaning to redo it with some threadlock.
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Old 12-22-2020, 01:50 PM   #8
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I would engage the travel latch and discover later it had unlatched itself. I have never understood why ZipDee awnings are supposed to be so good. They were hard to open and close, so we hardly ever used it.
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Old 12-22-2020, 03:44 PM   #9
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The latch is near the back of the awning because that location is right near the center of the aerodynamic negative (outward) pressure profile. It is the best location for a latch intended to prevent unrolling while traveling.
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Old 12-22-2020, 04:00 PM   #10
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The older awnings had a z-lock which prevented the roll from unwinding. It was a better solution, IMO but was subject to failure. The travel latch is the new design which is simple and effective, if properly installed. If there is slop in the connection of the hook to the catch, the awning can grab air and open. Securing the arms and the hand wheels will not help. The awning roller is secure, but the fabric will unwind from the roller.

When properly installed, the travel latch will hold the awning cover firmly on the roll.
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Old 12-22-2020, 04:08 PM   #11
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I also use the rear lock.


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But also found a much better way to tighten the front wheel....
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:12 PM   #12
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Same happened to us last year with 70mph wind near CO/WY border but it was the street side awning. Evidently had worked loose driving through Kansas and into Colorado when we set sail and travel latch long gone. I have since replaced the travel latch fitting and reinforced with Loctite and it seems much more secure than before. I would feel better with the arms lashed since the travel latch is the only thing securing. Any methods for lashing down the arms on the street side awning? I had an adventure trying to crudely do so with paracord in hurricane winds but got it done and made it home without injury or damage to the awning.
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Old 12-23-2020, 09:04 PM   #13
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Old 12-24-2020, 09:54 AM   #14
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Some people do secure the arms, but from a physical perspective it is not very helpful and there are better and more effective measures. One way to better secure it would be to add an eyelet under one of the screws that secures the aluminum cover hinges and then run a zip tie through the eye and around the arm. The tensile strength of a standard zip tie is 50-70 lb. Heavy ones 120 lb. The awning spring is about 25-40 lb rolled. One heavy or two standard will more than do the job.

The way the awnings unroll while driving is due to strong side winds creating strong positive pressure under and inside the rolled awning and negative pressure above it. A 50 mph side wind can create 70 pounds of force while 70 mph gusts can generate over 150 lb of force. Of that force the secured edge will hold back about 60% so the effective force is 35-70 lb. Still more than enough to cause the awning to unroll if the clasp is not secure and as others indicate, without moving the arms at all.
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigHornStream View Post
Same happened to us last year with 70mph wind near CO/WY border but it was the street side awning. Evidently had worked loose driving through Kansas and into Colorado when we set sail and travel latch long gone. I have since replaced the travel latch fitting and reinforced with Loctite and it seems much more secure than before. I would feel better with the arms lashed since the travel latch is the only thing securing. Any methods for lashing down the arms on the street side awning? I had an adventure trying to crudely do so with paracord in hurricane winds but got it done and made it home without injury or damage to the awning.
We use Velcro tape on both arms...
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:08 AM   #16
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Some people do secure the arms, but from a physical perspective it is not very helpful and there are better and more effective measures. One way to better secure it would be to add an eyelet under one of the screws that secures the aluminum cover hinges and then run a zip tie through the eye and around the arm. The tensile strength of a standard zip tie is 50-70 lb. Heavy ones 120 lb. The awning spring is about 25-40 lb rolled. One heavy or two standard will more than do the job.

The way the awnings unroll while driving is due to strong side winds creating strong positive pressure under and inside the rolled awning and negative pressure above it. A 50 mph side wind can create 70 pounds of force while 70 mph gusts can generate over 150 lb of force. Of that force the secured edge will hold back about 60% so the effective force is 35-70 lb. Still more than enough to cause the awning to unroll if the clasp is not secure and as others indicate, without moving the arms at all.
We secure the arms with Velcro tape....all is fastened..it still will roll out partially..
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Old 12-24-2020, 11:30 AM   #17
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I suppose I could have been more descriptive. The zip ties are to prevent the aluminum cover plates from moving and unrolling so the roller is not able to unroll any of the fabric either.
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:53 AM   #18
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I like the suggestion of adding an eyelet and using the zip tie to secure the arms. Seeing the awning unroll with out the arms moving is an amazing sight for sure and one I don't wish to experience again. We don't make a habit of towing in high winds but I have to say with the awning secured there is still nothing more impressive than towing an Airstream in the wind.
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