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Old 08-17-2018, 04:25 PM   #1
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Carefree Slide-out Awning Spring Repair

First, I know better than to start any repair late on a Friday evening. Second, think about what youíre doing before you start. Anyway, the forward bracket on my slide-out apparently caught a tree at sometime in itís past and got bent. I wanted to straighten it. This is the left-end bracket where you apply the tension but, regardless, I removed it without incident and straightened the bracket on my bench vice. When reinstalling the bracket I re-tensioned the spring in the wrong direction - discovered my stupid mistake - and released the tension to start over. When I started tensioning it in the correct direction this is where things went to hell. Whatever was holding the other end of the spring let loose and now thereís no resistance when I try to apply tension. It just rotates easily. It looks like Iíll have to pop the rivets on the end cap and pull everything out of the tube - but can anyone tell me what to expect? Did I break something, or does it just have to be re-attached?
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:04 AM   #2
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Cracker, I have no idea on your question. I wish you luck. Please post back what you find out. It'll help someone else.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:08 AM   #3
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You may have broken the spring. IIRC there is a set screw at the inner end that holds the shaft in place, it may have sheared. New tension assembly is about $75.00.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:16 PM   #4
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It took me the better part of the day to figure out how the spring assembly goes together as it came out of the tube in “unrelated” pieces. In essence, the 1/4” diameter rod, with the high density plastic ends, is actually in compression and resides wholly inside the spring, with the cog that prevents rotation of the spring pushed into the smaller diameter spring coils (while the spring has to be stretched to make this work) and bearing internally on the matching rounded male end of the 1/4” rod - while the other end of the rod bears on the opposite spring end that secures the spring to the aluminum tube. Nothing secures the cog to the spring aside from the grip created by tightening the spring. That’s what caused things to come apart when I incorrectly tightened the tube in the wrong direction. The spring coils loss their grip on the cog. I haven’t been able to find a schematic of the spring assembly. Suffice it to say, the opposite end of the awning tube is nothing more than a free-wheeling axle - and it has nothing to do with the spring assembly. My only question at this point is the proper number of turns required to set the tension before I replace my awning.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:23 PM   #5
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As a rule, manual awnings- 1 turn for each foot of fabric length. For example on a 12 foot awning we do 12 turns.
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:19 AM   #6
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Ok - so for my 12’ slide-out I would use the 12 turns you recommended. With that done, should I install the awning with the slide fully extended, then release the tension and allow the roller to take up the slack in the awning? This would probably use up 1 1/2 to 2 of the 12 turns. Then, as the slide-out is closed (37.5”), with a 2.125” diameter tube, that would use up an additional 5.6 turns. for a remainder of 4.5 turns in tension at the closed position. Does that sound about right?
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:23 AM   #7
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on a manual awning, that number of turns is with the awning retracted. if you fully extend the awning first, I would wind it 14 to 16 turns.
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:53 AM   #8
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Is this a slide out topper or an awning?
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:32 AM   #9
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It’s a slide-out topper.
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