AWNINGS! (Good gawd.) What are they good for?

First, the good news: I’m moving out of my apartment this week, and today I moved my first truckload of stuff into Miles! (I’m not moving into Miles full time yet, but am taking a pit stop with family for February because I didn’t want to start out during the coldest month of winter.)

But when I drove to the RV storage lot for the first time in about 40 days, I was greeted by an old nemesis at my door: the awning. Completely unfurled, and already torn and shredded in multiple places.

The awning over my trailer, fully unfurled and being ripped up by the elements.

I’ve had nothing but trouble with my awning from the start. The very first time I saw Miles at the dealership, a technician was tweaking the motor to make it work. He seemed worried that it wouldn’t work while demonstrating it to me. I was overwhelmed by a lot of details while inspecting the whole trailer, and this didn’t register with me as a big deal at the time.

The very first time I actually used the awning was in Albuquerque during my trip back home. Some mild wind kicked up and rocked the arms around, and suddenly the motor wouldn’t work at all. From what I’ve heard from other RV owners, this seems to happen all the time. (The worst irony? The manufacturer’s name is “Carefree!”) It was hard to get the awning retracted as just one person, and I have no idea how it’s supposed to lock into place without the motor working. I managed to duct tape a zillion different parts of the awning down – not knowing my way around my RV’s systems yet, I just tried to compensate with redundancy after redundancy. I knew the duct tape wouldn’t last forever, especially with exposure to UV rays and changing temperatures. But it got me home just fine.

It’s probably just an issue where something is out of alignment or needs to be tightened. I tried to take it in for repair, but then it became too cold to work on. I had been planning to just call a mobile repair technician once I was living in it.  But, indeed, some of the duct tape has lost its stick in the extreme cold, and wind unfurled the awning again. Add snow to the mix, and nothing about it is safe. The material is already showing heavy shredding.

I haven’t made up my mind yet, but even if I can get everything back to working state, I’m not sure I want to keep the awning at all. Not that it doesn’t offer some benefits, but it sounds like RV awnings have frequent problems. I don’t want to deal with something that’s both hard to repair solo, and represents a big safety hazard going down the road.

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