Rear Patio Awning... Wind Damage Assessment - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 04-04-2016, 12:19 AM   #1
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Rear Patio Awning... Wind Damage Assessment

So I'm sitting out on the patio deck this afternoon, watching the race on tv, and playing cards on the computer. Mid 70s, sunny skies, mild breeze... when all the sudden, WHOOSH! A gust of wind comes along out of nowhere, and rips the rear awning completely off the back of the rig. Bends the stabilizer arms, rips the canopy... the damn thing comes down on me and cuts my leg.

After cleaning things up and getting things put away... my first conclusion is that the "mod" I did last year, moving the stabilizer arm bottom brackets from the patio deck to the rear wall of the rig is a contributing factor to the failure.

When the gust of wind got under the canopy (making it a sail)... even though the orange locking tabs were "locked", they weren't strong enough to keep the legs from extending. This allowed the legs to fully extend so that the canopy was in a near vertical position to the ground. The canopy, being at its full extent & connected to the roller, pulled the entire assembly right off the wall... the screws stripping their holes in the bodywork.

Had the stabilizer legs been secured to the ramp deck... they would have already been nearly fully extended, thus limiting the amount of travel the awning could move.

Bottom line... even though this will probably never happen again... once repairs are made, I will be moving those bottom brackets back down to the ramp.

My first inclination was to simply order a whole new assembly tomorrow... that is until I looked up the price. WOW! It's called a Freedom Wall Mount from Carefree, and they're in the $1,400 range. Having just spent $800+ for those 3 Season doors I installed, that's just a tad more than I wanna spend right now.

So, I began looking up repair & replacement parts. A new canopy will cost me about $270. Both stabilizer arms are bent beyond repair... they're $75 each, and I'm hoping I can just use larger screws to remount the assembly back on the rig. If so, I guess I'll get off fairly cheap.

Anyway, just thought I'd share today's experience. Just because the wind isn't/wasn't blowing hard, doesn't mean it can't or won't.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:06 AM   #2
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Tom,

Sorry about your misfortune. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:22 AM   #3
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Tom, I feel your pain. A micro burst hit us in Florida this year. My rear awning was properly installed with the legs mounted in the original position. Awning pulled off the wall. Having it repaired as we speak. Supposed to be ready today or tomorrow. I'll let you know the cost. My damage, despite the whole awning blowing of the RV, was not as bad as yours. Bummer is just the day before, I had just removed straps from the extendable rods under the canopy to the deck railing that I had used for just an occasion.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:10 PM   #4
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Tom,

I hope the cut wasn't bad enough that you needed major repairs.

I'm surprised there aren't move awnings getting blown off give the track record Dutchmen has for missing the studs or top plate with the screws.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:50 PM   #5
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Tom
Sorry to hear about your awning, but I still wouldn't change from the mood I did after seeing your post. I'm leaving my brackets on the rear and will take my chances. Wind & awnings don't mix no matter how well they are made or mounted. Years ago I lost a 60' one of my home in 15 min. Winds were 60 mph +. Nothing I could have done to stop it.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:53 PM   #6
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Tom,

Sorry to hear, hope your OK, and it's just another annoying wallet hit. I have the floor mounted clips, which I've never been able to get to lock in. I suspect that if you had the floor mounts locked in, it still would have ripped loose.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:18 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, I'm fine. I just meant a knick on the leg... a band-aid took care of that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pdonoghu View Post
...I suspect that if you had the floor mounts locked in, it still would have ripped loose.
I'm not so sure. The brackets on the wall held firm, and the feet of the arms stayed locked in them... which is what bent the arms all to hell. I'm convinced that if I had had those legs locked into the ramp floor... so that the arms, instead of extending up AND backwards, would have only extended upwards (since at full extension, they couldn't have traveled backwards to the extent where the canopy went vertical)... that, while there may have been some damage, the entire unit wouldn't have been ripped off of the rig.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:18 AM   #8
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I just learned something, thanks. Extended the rear awning for the first time a few days ago, and didn't find the stabilizer brackets on the rear door frame as was on my previous other brand TH. Never thought to look on the ramp door......
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Old 04-05-2016, 06:49 AM   #9
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Hell, we used ours the first season without knowing there were arms on the awning. Saw a post on here about it. We dodged a bullet...
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:52 PM   #10
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Wow, didn't know there were any arms, I'm going to take a look, when I open her back up.....
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