I've got a Carefree Eclipse power awning that was installed on my motorhome in May of 2007. Its worked great up until about a month ago. It started having trouble retracting when we were boondocked, so I assumed that it was caused by low voltage. Fired up the generator and it retracted. Now it won't retract even when hooked up to shore power, so I know its not low batteries.
It extends fully without any trouble. When I hit the retract button the motor runs (can hear it) and the awning starts to move, but doesn't seem to have enough power to start retracting. It will start to roll up about an inch, then drop back down, then repeat. I can get it to retract by grabbing the center of the awning and hand-twisting it for the first couple of rotations, then it continues very slowly on its own. Once fully retracted, it continues trying to roll up, again moving about an inch, then slipping, then moving again. I have to turn off the power to the awning to get the motor to stop.
I've checked the power to the control box, and its getting 12v. Haven't removed the leads to the motor itself yet to test the power there, but may do that next.
Scary part is that now when we drive anywhere the awning unrolls about 6" and will slap back and forth against the side of the RV. It has never gone out more than 6", but how do I know it won't on the next trip?
Anybody have this happen to them? Could it be a bad (weak) motor? Not enough tension in the roller arm? Would appreciate any input from the forum members before I have to call an awning repairman.
Your carefree awning could have a generic problem with the hub between the motor and the aluminum roller. What has happened to others is the the hub is just slid on to the motor shaft with a single flat side. With use the hub will round out and you lose the drive to the awning roll. Check with Carefree as they have a new design hub and motor assembly. Depending on age of your awning and your smooth talking they might cover the repair.
As a quick fix the hub on the other end of the awning is identical and with a little mechanics you could swap them.
Thanks for the quick responses. I think codelld and Vulcaneer may be right - did a little more research on the web and apparently Eclipse awnings made between 2006 and 2008 had one flat side on the end caps to engage the motor driveshaft, and a lot of them have failed. My awning was installed in 2007, so probably has the bad end cap. I can't check it as we are currently on the road, but will disassemble the motor housing when we get home and check the end cap for wear. I'll also check for any pinched or damaged wires, as was suggested. I've tied off both arms to the side of the RV to avoid any unfurling on the drive home.
If it is the end cap, I'll swap it for the other one, then order new ones from Carefree with the two flat sides.
I agree. It sounds to me like something in the motor assembly has slid out of position. Something is not engaging as completely as it should. Don't use the awning until you can get it looked at. And see if you can find a way to secure it so it will not unfurl when you travel.
These things are not magic. If you can find a way to get up there to take it apart, you might easily find the problem yourself. Usually just takes a phillips head screw driver to take the plastic cover off of the motor assembly. Then everything else is in plain site. A problem should be obvious. Maybe just need to tighten a screw or two.
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Mine was doing the same thing and it turned out to be a pinched electrical cord at the joint on the awning arm. After going through every check and step I connected the motor to a jumper and it worked fine, thats when I discovered the pinched wire.