The answer to this situation may be simple but, so far, it's eluded me. This might be a long post so, grab a beer, soda, some wine and relax and read.
We have an '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD, with the 330 CAT. Mileage, around 44K. Here's the situation. Our door awning, the one over the entry door is electric. The control for it is on a switch panel just inside the door, right by the passengers right knee. That switch resides in a vertical row, along with about 10 other switches. Under normal conditions, that switch which, is a spring loaded toggle, is pushed on one side for "Out" and pushed on the other side for "In". The awning will extend and retract for the most part, normally.
However, here's what happens. If any of you have that same awning which we think is a "Carefree", you know that it has two arms, with what I'd call elbows in the middle of each arm. Now, in the fully retracted position, the elbows are folded in a tight bend and, the awning is against the coach. When you push the button to open or extend the awning, the motor turns, which in turn, turns a shaft that not only un-rolls the awning fabric but also converts sliding mechanisms to slide out the inner portion of those elbow/arms. All's well OK.
But, here's where the problem occurs. If, we let that awning go ALL the way out, that is until the elbows actually "lock" in the open position, when it comes time to retract it, there's not enough power to "Kink" the elbows and start the retraction process. And, if I try it too many times, it runs out of power completely for a minute or two.
If I wait, and manually kink the elbows myself and, push the button to retract at the same time, it will bring the awning in. If, I go all the way in 'till the awing is against the side of the coach and hold it for say, 2-3 seconds, then try and extend it again, there's no power. I have to wait. If, I don't hold it for the extended amount of time, it will go in and out, many times. It's only when the motor is strained for a few seconds that the system seems to shut down.
Now, when I run it all way out to the point the elbows are straight, and the normal switch will not bring it in, I can jump the two wires at the motor with an auxiliary battery and it will bring it in with no problem. Fact is, I can run it in, out, in, out, in, out as many times as I please and, even hold it in the out or in position and still run it in and out, it won't quit. But, working it normally with the switch, it has this problem. Hmmmmmm.
Here's some pics of the switch/wiring behind the switch etc. There's six wires that go to that switch. In doing some preliminary testing, for the life of me, I cannot find any of those contacts, in the wiring housing that attaches to that switch, that are "HOT". No matter what I try and do for combination of testing, touching any combo of contacts, I cannot light up my test light. But, hook that switch to the wiring harness and, out the awning goes and back in again. Now that's magic.
So, sorry for the long winded explanation but, it takes that much to paint as clear of a picture, of a "conditional" problem with this awning. It's like the switch is running out of power if there's a strain on it.
Scott and Karla SDFD RETIRED
2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD Slate Blue 330 CAT
2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Ext Cab 4x4 Toad 2008 Caliente Red LVL II GL 1800 Goldwing KI60ND
It sounds like a classic case of excessive voltage drop - not enough voltage getting to the motor, which is overcome when you connect an external battery to it. A check with a DC voltmeter would likely confirm this, but must be done with the motor under load. This drop could be caused by defective, or too small, wiring to the motor, or possibly by a defective relay. Check those voltages first!
1998 Triple E F53 with 460 Ford
1995 Jeep Wrangler toad
I would go along with voltage drop.
Cause could be corroded connections in the motor housing.
Your arma and mechanism also needs to be cleaned a lubricated. I would suggest using good quality silicone lube. Stay away from some of the petroleum bases as they could damage awning material.
Sorry to hear of your situation too. Let me ask you this, does your door awning operate normally, most of the time? Or, not at all? You see, I would say mine is not an "intermittent" problem, I can actually make the problem happen. And, in terms of analyzing things, that sort of makes things easier 'cause you in effect, cause the problem manually. It's just learning how the system works first that's got me puzzled. I need to know how the electrons flow.
In checking a bad light bulb, I can figure that out. It's pretty simple. You're either getting power to it or not. Then you go to the fuse and to the switch. But, I'm dealing with a motor that is reversible and, so is the wiring to it. And the switch and receptacle for that switch, those are over my head. I'm trying to figure out how I push the side of a rocker switch and make the awning go in and out but, there's no current or volts in the switch receptacle. Hmmmmmm
Have you tried operating the awning with your engine running? That should give you another volt or two. That may work. What is happening is the motor is drawing too much current and the thermal circuit breaker is opening. When it cools it closes and you have power to the motor again. I suspect you have a poor ground and/or loose connections on the power side. (As voltage goes down Amps go up)
The awning motor is bad. Now to a previous statement that there are adjustments for in and out. Well, that comes from NOT knowing your subject and assuming ALL products are the same over the years. Your 2004 model probably does NOT have the In and Out limit adjustments as do the current production by Carefree. The quickest way to verify the motor is to wire the 2 wires to the motor from the switch direct to a 12 volt source and try to retract that way. Doubtful the switch is bad as the motors are usually what fail. The motor has an overload built in and if operating too many times in a row will kick out the overload and you have to wait a few minutes for it to cool down. Doug
FIRE UP My problem occurs all the time with both awnings. They roll our fine, when I bring them back in they come in 1/3 to 1/2 way then the circuit trips. Wait a minute or two and the circuit resets. After you do this a couple times the awnings are in.
I will try starting the motor next time to see if it makes a difference. I agree, I don't think that the motors are getting enough power. My awnings have been doing this since I bought the coach three years ago. If the motors were bad I would think that they would have completely quit by now.