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Dometic Power Awning Spring Tensioning

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We recently installed a new Shade Pro fabric on our Dometic power awning. I researched the installation thoroughly, u tube and such and feel we did everything correctly. But, now the awning will neither extend or retract. I was able to roll the awning back up by hand while "bumping" the motor with my remote. The fabric also did not roll back up squarely and has moved slightly to the front of the trailer. I am able to move it about a foot off the trailer wall and then retract back but that's it. I believe I "pinned" the tension spring end of the roller correctly based on the one video I was able to find. My question is: Should I attempt to re-tension the spring and it what position should the awning be in? Retracted to a foot or so off the trailer wall or completely removed? 

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The standard process is to wind the spring with the awning 2' away from the coach wall. The number of turns depends on the length of the awning:

up to 12ft long awning = 8 turns
13-14 ft = 9 turns
15-16 ft = 10 turns
16.5 - 18ft. = 12 turns
19 ft-up = 13 turns.

The spring should be wound in the direction that tries to pull it back into the wall of the coach. Then as it extends, it winds the spring even tighter. 

The tensioning of the spring is a dangerous process. If it gets away from you it will cause serious injury (People have lost fingers performing this process), so make certain that you have the process figured out completely, including how to hold the spring tension firmly during the entire process.

Mark & Teri

2021 Grand Designs Imagine 2500RL, 2019 Ford F-350

Mark & Teri's Travels

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     Let’s start with the fabric moving. First it should be centered on the tube. Then the plastic end folded under so the end cap will hold it.

   Now if you  cut it off too short. All is not lost.   You will need to install a set screw on the plastic round insert into the metal tube. If it is cut back to the fabric, then a set screw in the fabric will need to be done.

  But do all the above cautiously. Think about it first.


   Then is the awning centered between the rails on the rv. If not then it needs to be centered. Then put one setscrew through the fabric and the plastic insert into the trim piece of metal it is in. Do just one end first. Incase it needs moved.

   Then the way it sounds the spring may be wound backwards. Yep I did it before my self.

   The spring needs to put motion to roll the tube up when it is extended. The motor will put it down. And up. If it is wound up correctly. If not it will just sorts sit there.

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I wasn't aware of the "cord tucking" until yesterday. They are not under either end cap as I did not remove the cap on the spring side of the tube. I also know I did cut the motor end cords too short and did not place them inside the tube. This is part of the problem as the fabric shifted towards the motor end with the initial roll up. I am hoping that after centering the awning again and securing it, I won't have to deal with the spring.

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We have a different brand (Carefree), but... I'm betting there could be a similar issue for you that we had after replacing the arms.  The motor attaches to the retracting wheel... with a CLIP.   We didn't have the clip pushed down enough, we started winding it up, and BOOM, the whole thing unrolled in a flash.  We had to reseat the clip better, tap it with a little hammer, I think.  

You might check that, IF the motor is working, but nothing is happening.  Might not be your issue, but something to check, just in case.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello!  I found this thread via an online search.  We just replaced the canvas on our Rockwood camper with a 20' awning.  Unfortunately, during disassembly, the idle end with the spring spun out from my grip and I now need to re-tension the spring.  I see the mention about the 13 turns for my length canopy, about 2' out from the unit.  My question I'm trying to confirm, so I rotate the spring clockwise as I'm looking FORWARD at the awning?  This is my assumption, but wanted to confirm so I'm not doing this multiple times.

Thanks in advance and this has been extremely helpful.    Took the wife helping push the button while I helped roll the new awning up, so I know my tension is incorrect based on the above comments. :)

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