View Full Version : Uh-Oh! Three outings and 2 user created mishaps

06-11-2005, 07:25 AM
06-12-05: Update: Picture added
I added a picture of the carnage. You can see the mangled hardware from both ends of the slide awning in the picture.

Well, in two of my three last trips, I have managed to injury my rig. Two trips ago, I snagged a stop sign as I was leaving a campground. The sign was placed well past the stop line, right at the shoulder and I misjudged/never thought of it. Oops - I saw it flailing about in my mirror after the door-side of the trailer brushed it!

Well yesterday, as I was making a 90 degree turn into the Granger, IN KOA, I grazed the off-door side of the trailer. At least I was watching close enough to not actually scrape the trailer sidewall. But what did happen was the leading end of the kitchen/entretainment slide awning caught the tree at about 10' up. The tree leans slightly into the road which accounts for why the sidewall of the trailer was clear of the tree.

Well, it's pretty bad news for me. The awning is not reusable. In fact, I had to take the 5 screws off both brackets that mount to the slide in order to push the awning over the top of the slide in order to get the slide to come out. Today, with some help, I plan to slide the awning out of its track so I can get my rig on the road Sunday.

I'll have to ask the factory to order a replacement slide awning from Dometic. Not sure if I want to try to install it myself or have a dealer do it. Since the track that mounts to the coach above the slide if still usable, with 2 ladders and 2 people, we may be able to do it ourselves (Jeff - buddy!!).

For any of you that may be like me in that this is your first big rig, "swing wide" and watch not only your convex mirrors to ensure you're not hitting anything down low but be mindful of what might scrape your trailer up high that clears it down low.

Jim (the trailer destroyer)

07-02-2005, 07:30 PM
Jeff and I replaced my slide awning today. We took out time (about 2 hours) and did a safe, clean and very nice installation.

I already had the old awning off. Jeff's ideas as always came in handy. Incidentally, the new bracket screws (the one's many had problems with - shearing off) are larger and longer.

Overall, the replacement went really well and I would recommend this as a do-it-yourself (with a buddy) project.

The attached picture shows the tube that Dometic ships the awnings in. I had a trucking company do me a favor and they picked it up at Heartland for me one day when they were in the area.

Take care,


Tom of Ypsi
07-02-2005, 08:15 PM
Hey Jim, Hopefully you got all of your aggression taken out on your trailer and now it is time to enjoy. Hope all goes well from now on. I have not had my trailer on the road long enough to do any damage, it damages itself

07-02-2005, 09:39 PM
Hey Tom,

I hear ya but no agression on my end. I fix what I can/want plus do the mods I want. It's all fun and good learning.

Since my trailer is not stored at my house, each time we go to the trailer for the weekend, I plan what mods/fixes I am going to do.

We are going on a long (miles, not days) trip next week. While at a reunion, when I am not reunioning, I hope to get the satellite dish/receiver up and running. I also plan to do a mod. I will be adding a wall switch outside the bedroom closet for the bedroom closet light. The light is mounted in the center (side to side) inside the closet but is all the way forward, right behind the glass doors and I find it awkward to switch on/off. While at the factory in early June, I picked up a wall mount, single-gang switch so it will match the other switches in the trailer.

Hope you have the chance to get out for an extended trip with your new trailer soon Tom. Keep in touch,


07-02-2005, 09:55 PM
We are stopping at a reunion during our vacation. It is in Kentucky and just luckily happened to fall on the weekend that we will be going from Myrtle Beach to Colorado. Where's yours?

07-02-2005, 10:04 PM

The first reunion is at Lost Island Lake near Ruthven, Iowa (NW corner) - just south of the MN border.

The second reunion a couple weeks later is in Liberty, IL (near Quincy).

Lots of miles! But worth it.


Gary F
07-03-2005, 06:00 AM

I've been thinking the same regarding the switched light for the closet. Please let us know (with pic's) how the install went.


Tom of Ypsi
07-03-2005, 07:39 AM
We are going to get out hopefully next week at least for three days or so. Come Jully 20th we will be gone for 5 days (Sterling State Park) home from three then gone for 10 days( Petoskey KOA) then home for three then gone for nine days (Dayton KOA 6 days then to Pioneer Ohio) home for 1 week then gone for another 6 days (Groveland Oaks). I sure hope the coach holds up since I have all of these trips paid for. I want to do some of my own additions like most everyone else but I spend more time taking care of what I already have. I hope to check into getting a frame mounted hitch for a bike rack.

07-03-2005, 08:39 AM
Has anyone seen the awnings that are advertised in Trailer Life ? I don't have the mag in front of me now, but it's in every issue.

When the slide out comes out, a ridge pops up in the middle of the awning, then NO water puddles in the center. Great Idea ! The factory should be using these on OUR Landmarks ! IMHO.:)

07-03-2005, 08:46 AM
Hi Bluegrassman:

Follow this link:


They are very expensive! Heartland might consider making these an option, but knowing how they install stuff, I'd probably just buy them separately and install them myself!

Take Care.


07-03-2005, 09:29 AM

Will do on the light switch project pics/details.


Wow - that's an aggressive travel plan. Busier than mine even. I envy you. Camping is better than my current "real life".


07-06-2005, 12:29 PM
Jim my stomach was in a knot while I was reading your post about your misadventure, I am glad everything is back to normal on your rig. I learned the hard way last year in our old rig the three golden rules of RV'ing. 1 IN BEFORE DARK! 2 IN BEFORE DARk! 3 IN BEFORE DARK. WE (I guess I should say ME) sideswiped an old abandoned bus in the dark at a campsite that didn't trim their trees or have decent roads, or any sort of lighting for travelers comming into the campsite at night. Had to have door replaced and the siding fixed. Not to mention, the night before we left it rained and the next day was a real trick getting out of there after getting stuck a couple of times. Needless to say my marriage was tested and survived the trip. Any way back to the subject. I either forgot or didn't realize that the coach's power awning automatically retracts in heavy winds. While at work bright and early this morning I realized I had left awning extended and with the winds picking up from the remains of Cindy blowing thru the Panahndle I headed home to retract it. Was glad to see it was already in. This leads me to another question. At what wind speed or wind guests does the awning activate to retract. Rick & Sandi (TIN CAN TOURISTS)

07-06-2005, 01:23 PM

Thanks for the sympathy on my "boo-boos". I hope most of the learning is over! And it is my personal goal to never arrive at a campground after dark (a Walmart/truckstop - yes). I hope I can keep to that.

Anyway, great question on the awning. And, I am happy to hear yours really worked. I have yet to have mine auto-retract. Guess I have not been in strong enough winds.

All my manuals are in a binder at the trailer, but I found the WeatherPro on DometicUSA's website here. (http://www.dometicusa.com/products/awnings/patio/weatherpro.htm)

The links on the bullet points there had pretty general information. Same for the PDF feature link.

I called them at 800-544-4881 and held for over 10 minutes before I gave up.

We'll, I am hitting the road late this afternoon for 4 days and nights (425 miles each way to NW Iowa for a reunion). Travel safe!


07-06-2005, 01:56 PM
Now that the kids no longer go with us, I like your rules. We they came, we (the kids and I) would get out with flashlights while Nelson backed in. Now that it is just the 2 of us, I'm all for IN BEFORE DARK! Even better, in before dark AND a pull-through site!

07-06-2005, 05:09 PM
Yea had to learn the hard way. Its really important when you haven't been to a campsite before.Hey Jim thanks for the link and have a safe and relaxing trip. Rick & Sandi (TIN CAN TOURISTS)

07-11-2005, 11:38 AM

Dometic responded to my email request by sending me a pdf file (attached) of the User's Guide.

In the guide is the preset trigger point for the wind sensor - 18 MPH.

Lot of other interesting information in there too. I guess I have yet to read every manual for everything in my trailer as none of this was familiar to me.

Here's a few bullet points from the guide:

* There is a spare 15 amp fuse taped inside the control box

* If the wind sensor become water saturated (driving rain), the awning will not open or close if the sensor in Enabled

* The awning will not operate below 30 degrees and if the wind sensor is Enabled, you may hear beeping from the control box when it senses the air temperature is below 30 degrees

* Awning can be electrically retracted if coach power fails, if you can find your supplied auxilliary power cable and have another 12 VDC source

* Awning can be manually retracted (requires 2 people) using the supplied strap. Note that the awning will require service by Dometic or a qualified tech. prior to reusing