Saturday, September 3, 2011

Working on the Coach in Gillette

Our door awning failed on us when we were coming out to Gillette after Rick tried to retract it and the motor cam broke and the awning shot out to the extended position -- with a VERY loud bang! Rick removed the awning so we could travel (hard to drive with 3' of awning sticking out) and when we got to Gillette, contacted Carefree Awnings to see what could be done. They were very helpful and referred us to Eastside RVs here in Gillette who were very happy to help. Fortunately, they were able to fix the motor drive in only a couple days and Rick was ready to re-install it.

When Rick finished mounting the awning (and splicing the power wires he had to cut when removing it), he found that it would not fully retract as seen above. Fortunately, Carefree Awnings has a complete service manual available on the web and detailed the motor stop positioning switch which is adjusted by turning (a little at a time!) the red hex socket located in the upper left on the motor roller. This worked great, but Rick still had to adjust the left/right awning position by loosening the hex socket on the arm support brackets on both sides and move the awning roller a bit to the left.

Happy Rick! The motor works great, the awning goes in and out and fits perfectly with the housing. Success is sweet indeed.

Orinda worked hard on the awning job by holding the ladder (and even had to climb a couple steps up, which she does NOT like). Her reward is lunch at Pokey's Barbecue to use a gift certificate Rick won at the Star Gazing Party. Cool!

Pokey's looked interesting and was very busy for lunch. We soon figured out why as the food was terrific.

The Pokey's mascot welcomed us to a great lunch of barbecue, which made Rick happy he went to the star party to be able to win the door prize.

The last job for the day, after a great lunch, was to install the LED lights we bought at the Escapade vendor booth. We learned at a presentation on LED lights that there are many different lights now being sold with a wide variety of quality being offered. Some lights require a specific positive/negative polarity at the light socket and since normal halogen lights are not so fussy, you might need to re-wire the coach fixtures to get them to work with LEDs. Fortunately, you can also get LED "bulbs" with an electrical bridge installed meaning they will work regardless of polarity of the socket. Rick figured this was well worth the extra $4 per bulb.

The lights we got cost $14 each and have 120 lumins out of 6 LED pads. They just click in to directly replace the old halogens.

Wow! These LEDs are at least as bright as the halogen bulbs, do not heat up (the halogens run at a very hot temperature), Offer a whiter light color and last for many thousands of hours. Not only that, but they use almost no power. This must be the light source of the future. The only down side is that these cost $14 each, compared to $3 for the halogens, but the benefits are worth it. We noticed an immediate drop in temperature in the coach when using the LEDs. I suspect we will slowly convert more of the lights in the coach to LEDs, but will only do the most used ones now.


Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

I now know a bunch more about my door awning-thanks. I hope I do not have to use that knowledge any time soon:)

squawmama said...

We had the same door awning problems too this summer but luckily we did find someone to fix it and even though it took a while to get the part in by the time we were to leave they had it. Thanks for the info on LED lights... it is hard to pay 14 dollars for them but I understand thay last a lot longer. Glad you had a GREAT BBQ lunch too!
Have fun & Travel safe