Question for those with LED Awning Lights on the Roller Tube - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-30-2014, 07:44 PM   #1
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Question for those with LED Awning Lights on the Roller Tube

Ok, my rig was produced before the advent of the popular LED Awning lights that we see so often these days... so it obviously didn't have them installed when I bought it. Deciding that I liked the look and the amount of light they produced during the evening, I purchased an upgrade kit.

I didn't want the type that adhered to the RV itself... as they shine outward from the rig, and can be a tad annoying to others parked nearby. So I opted for the type that install on the roller and shine inward toward the rig.

Since my awnings are from Carefree, I opted to buy their LED kit. Here's what I purchased:




Fortunately, I have the 4-slot awning roller, so installing the LED strip on it wasn't all that difficult. But then I get to the part where I'm to install the remote control module link between the LED strip & the power source when it hits me... Because the wire will rotate with the awning spool, I'm going to have to climb up & plug/unplug this thing every time I wish to extend and/or retract the awning.

So my question is for those of you who have the factory installed LED lights... Do you have to do this also? Or are those from the factory wired in such a way that this isn't necessary?

While it's a minor inconvenience to have to do so, my main concern is that I also have the 'wind-shaker' modules installed on my awnings. If I'm away, and the wind kicks up to the point the triggers in the shakers are activated... my awnings will automatically retract, which could potentially tear the module and/or LED strip right off.

So I'm thinking there's got to be a better way. Any ideas?
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Old 10-30-2014, 09:36 PM   #2
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I'm just going to throw this out there as I don't have them. How many revolutions does the awning make rolling up? Could you alter the cord with a spiral wrap that would absorb the rotations? Kind of like a phone cord? Even put the cord in a small tube to keep it neat. You asked for ideas, that's mine.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:06 PM   #3
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Seems to me, unfortunately, you'll need to run a dedicated 12 volts to the module or maybe you can source the 12 volts off the motor head. Might be a contant 12 up there and they switch the ground, if that's the case you'd just need the ground circuit.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:07 PM   #4
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Just by looking at the kit you posted my guess is the red wire runs down the awning arm on the inside. Then you would plug the power in there.
Interesting your 2014 didn't have the awning light option mine does. Oh no there isn't any wires needed to plug it into. Just a switch in the main panel are you need to turn on to power it. It does have a dim option so they aren't to bright. But then I don't use mine when I'm parked in a RV park. More as a boondocking thing for us.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawpilot View Post
I'm just going to throw this out there as I don't have them. How many revolutions does the awning make rolling up? Could you alter the cord with a spiral wrap that would absorb the rotations? Kind of like a phone cord? Even put the cord in a small tube to keep it neat. You asked for ideas, that's mine.
Got a better look at what you're trying. My idea was bad. Disregard. Just for grins, what does the kit say to do?
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawpilot View Post
... Just for grins, what does the kit say to do?
Already packed everything up for the evening, including the install instructions... so I'll try to explain best I can.

I have the color LED kit on the right side of the photo I posted. The LED strip is obviously on the black reel in the photo. When installed on the awning spool, that wire plug you see on the end just hangs off of the side of the spool. It is to be plugged into one side of the white control module you see pictured left of the remote control.

The module is supposed to be attached & removed to the spool via velcro strip as needed. Power into the other side of the module can either come from a 12v dc source, or via 110 a/c... and is gained by attaching the red/black looking cord to the immediate left of the LED reel in the photo. That is the cord that is supposed to run along the awning's 'scissor rail' back to the RV.

(The other 2 harnesses shown in the photo are the long black 110 a/c cord, and the smaller red/white 12v dc connector.)

While I do have constant 12v dc power to the awning motor head (courtesy of the wind shakers modules), and could tap that for power... it still doesn't cure the problem of how to make connections to either the module or permanent power source that don't involve the connecting plug(s) from making rotations with the spool when extending or retracting the awning, while the power source remains static. That's where I'm stuck.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:45 AM   #7
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It seems as if you have to disconnect the module from the LED string when you retract the awning. That will keep you from winding up the wiring but that doesn't help you on windy days.

The 'plug n play' is you plugging it in and unplugging it. More like a manual install each time you want the LED string operational.

I don't know if you want to leave the string attached to the roller or not but I think you will have to drag the ladder out and plug the module in.

Does that seem like that's what you'll have to do?
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
Does that seem like that's what you'll have to do?
That's exactly what it seems I'll have to do... which is NOT what I want to have to do. That is why I was asking if the factory installs were made that way... and it seems, they aren't.

So the next time I see one up close, I'll have to take a long hard look at how they're wired & connected to figure it out.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:29 AM   #9
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I imagine the factory set up has something like a slip ring and wiper or brush that passes the voltage from the inside of the motor head to the roller side of the awning. Sort of like brushes and a armature in a motor.

The reel that the LEDs come on seem as if it's a storage device for each time to you take them down. Not really any other reason to put them on a reel unless it's to roll them back on each time.

Your system would probably work really well on a TT that has an awning six foot off the ground but not for a fiver that has an awning parked up there in the clouds.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:42 AM   #10
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Lobbing out a softball. Any way to run power up the arms and into the center of the awning and out the slot your putting the lights in. Granted it would twist inside the roller,not sure how well the wires would hold up. Like I sad. Lobbing a softball
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