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 Post subject: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:58 pm
Posts: 36
OR Year: 2016
OR Model: RF348RLS
Member ID: ORF-8262
Hi All,
While on our last vacation, I was rolling our awning in for the night when I heard a awful noise and stopped retracting. When I looked at the forward arm, it was bent over the gas strut. It looks like the gas strut froze and resulted in the arm bending.... has anyone had this happen to them? I've had the same issue as many others with the strut noise while extending/retracting the awning and keep the gas struts lubed the best I can to alleviate the noise. I've also researched and found that Carefree recommends replacing the "Longitude" OEM arms with the better and stronger "Travel'r" arms... has anyone done this?

Thanks for any assistance, Jeff

2016 RF348RLS with a 16' Carefree of Colorado Longitude Awning

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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:39 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Columbus, NE
OR Year: 2016
OR Model: RF376FBH
Member ID: ORF-9063
Did it look like this? Seems like there have been several of the gas struts sticking. This happened to me in June. When I called my dealer they said they would replace it with no questions asked. I had to bend and fight the arm back to fold up and secured with 4 large nylon zip ties to make the trip. They told me to lubricate the strut shaft if you start hearing any noises - the rollers are not making the noise.


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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:58 pm
Posts: 36
OR Year: 2016
OR Model: RF348RLS
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That's it! Only difference was that our front arm bent. I hope our dealer working with Highland Ridge fix it as they did for you.

Thanks for the feedback, Jeff

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Maggie (Pointer/Chow Mix)
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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:27 pm
Posts: 248
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
OR Year: 2015
OR Model: 256BHS
Member ID: ORF-8868
I took mine in for some awning work and one of the arms broke while being worked on. I was testing it today (first time out after service) and it worked well. Except, the awning fabric is cracked the entire length where it attaches to the camper. I guess I'm going to have to take it back again. We bought the unit new in February as a '15 holdover.


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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:16 am
Posts: 6368
Location: Spring/Houston, TX area
OR Year: 2017
OR Model: LF318
Member ID: ORF-0756
I think best awning is not extend the thing or no awning. Better off with a large umbrella.

Helps in a sense keeps rain off doorway, but nada with sun. We carry one of those pop up canopy.

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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:10 pm
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Location: Plano, TX
OR Year: 2016
OR Model: 337RLS
Member ID: ORF-3714
Same thing happened to me last month but the left arm. I was able to bend and compress it back in place. When it was retracting I guess the awning motor and arm got in a fight when the strut failed as it pulled two of the mounting bolts out of the side of the camper with it. With awning retracted, it held for ride home but with it sticking out, the ride from New Mexico to East Texas must have placed enough drag to pull all but one bolt out of the wall. My dealer has a new one for me that he replaced under warranty when I get to him.


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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:49 pm
Posts: 6
OR Year: 2012
OR Model: 320RES
Member ID: ORF-9013
Wow, mine doesnt have enough torque to bend anything. Wont even roll up if there is more than a cup of water on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:46 am 
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OR Model: RF348RLS
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They all look like mine, was able to get it somewhat bent back in shape to get home.

Funny thing I've found in my research is that Carefree knows there is a problem with the "Longitude" arms. They themselves recommend upgrading to the "Travel'r" arms which are much stronger. I just wonder why Open Range keeps installing these awnings on our RV's only to replace them later. Maybe enough people never have issues, but I've heard so many instances of these shock struts jamming that I would think they would go to a better built awning.

I'm starting to lean towards COTHAMM idea, just take the entire thing off the RV and never have an issue again.

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Maggie (Pointer/Chow Mix)
St Mary's County, Maryland
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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:46 pm 
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Location: Michigan
OR Year: 2016
OR Model: 272RL
Member ID: ORF-8255
The problem with the awning is that it is not secured properly. I found this out when my awning (making noise) broke in August while on vacation bolts on bracket pulled out of the body. Had to use oversize lag bolts to secure it. there is no support brace in the body that the bolts can secure to for better strength, bad design by OR. Yes my unit is now at the dealer getting repaired.


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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:02 pm 
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Location: Northeast Ohio
OR Year: 2011
OR Model: RT247FLR
Member ID: ORF-0118
The strut freezing happens so often I always open the door and watch the awning close. It seems to happen more the longer it is extended. Luckily I've never had an arm bend. I also occasionally have trouble with one of the arms not closing all the way, usually a small nudge left or right an it'll close all the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:27 pm
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
OR Year: 2015
OR Model: 256BHS
Member ID: ORF-8868
Has anyone tried replacing the strut with a higher-quality unit?


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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:46 pm
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Location: Chesapeake, VA
OR Year: 2015
OR Model: 376FBH
Member ID: ORF-6549
What I don't get is that the point of the awning is as people have previously stated, to provide shade and keep rain from coming in the door. Yet with these new awnings if you leave it out during the rain you could be asking for trouble!! Seems to me that OR would come up with a better awning to withstand the elements! I haven't had a problem with mine yet (knock on wood) but I don't leave it out in the rain and if the wind farts I roll it in.

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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:16 am
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Location: Spring/Houston, TX area
OR Year: 2017
OR Model: LF318
Member ID: ORF-0756
Check those air struts on the awning arms. Shafts do rust, corrode bady. Need to juice them up with your fave lube.

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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:33 pm
Posts: 10
OR Year: 2016
OR Model: 319
Member ID: ORF-8717
We have a 2016 319LRS that we took delivery of in February. In July our home AC went kaput so the wife and I were staying in the 5th wheel while waiting for the ac to get replaced. Went to roll the awning in before we went to bed because you never know if a Florida storm will pop up. When rolling it in the forward arm bent in the same manner as yours. Also the top bolt popped out of the sidewall. Needless to say we were not happy with this happening to a 5 month old RV.

I called HR customer service ant they arranged to ship a new arm assembly directly to me ant to pay the charged for a mobile RV repair service to do the repair. I sent the bill to HR and was reimbursed in about 3 weeks. VERY happy with the response from HR.

Bad news it that the mobile repair gut who does warranty repairs for Carefree awning, tells me that this is not uncommon. The thin gauge of the metal at that point in the arm where the strut connects is very thin and subject to snapping. Also there is really no easy way to replace the struts as they are riveted in.

In the future, rolling in the awning will be a 2 person operation.... me outside moving the arms to ensure the struts are not stuck and wifey operating the switch. Also, when I get time I may look into adding some heavier guage sheet metal in both the front and rear arms 6-8 inches on both sides where the strut connects. That way it will be a little "beefier"

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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:54 pm
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Location: Cleveland GA
OR Year: 2012
OR Model: 391RES
Member ID: ORF-2242
birchyboy wrote:
Has anyone tried replacing the strut with a higher-quality unit?


Birchyboy here are a few links to threads that might provide some answers.TTfulltimer suggested the pioneer awning kit which I put on mine and I have never looked back. The electric awning was to flimsy for S GA rain storms and mine got destroyed, but this arm kit converts your awning to a manual awning and I really like it.

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=11252
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=11150
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=8496&view=previous

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 Post subject: Re: Awning arm bent
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:27 am
Posts: 42
OR Year: 2017
OR Model: 293RLS
Member ID: ORF-11127
Just had this happen while camping and rolling out the awning. Had camper 10 months One arm hung up a bit and then bolts pulled out. Frustrating. Mobile service says have to return to a dealer. That seems wrong when you are set up and camping. Why does the Open range warranty not pay for the mobile people to fix the entire thing? You do have to either have 2 people or if alone, do a little at a time and check for the awning to hang up. I just don't understand why one must pull it all the way back to dealer or a dealer.

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