Jul 3 2006, 08:50 AM
Our coach is three years old and has A&E automatic, wind sensor, electric main and overdoor awnings. In the three years we have had the unit, we have had the awnings worked on seven times. A&E replaced the motors once, Newmar replaced everything once, and we have had them repaired ourselves five times. They last for a few months and then stop working--the motor quits, a gear breaks, the awnings hang up, or something goes wrong. I'm interested in knowing if others are having problems with this product, or if I just have a lemon. Your comments would be appreciated.
Jul 3 2006, 02:37 PM
Sorry I can't help. But, I'm very interested in seeing what replies you get. We were considering getting an automatic awning for our unit. After reading your post, I think we'll hold off for now.
Jul 6 2006, 10:09 AM
Not only are they prone to breakage, they really limit you on set-up options. Ours is not fully automatic, like Beastdriver's but it too has had its problems. The only real advantage I see is that they can roll themselves up if a high wind comes up,But you just can't trust them.
I really never minded the old style.
Jul 6 2006, 12:36 PM
Our electric awning (with a wind sensor) is not the same brand as yours, but we too have had some trouble, so maybe none of them works well. When we first bought the coach we didn't think the wind sensor was working, so we had it checked out at the dealership. They found nothing wrong, but we are two years down the road now, and we still don't think it works right. Sometimes the smallest puff of wind brings the awning in, and sometimes it stays out when we think the wind is blowing hard enough to pick up the whole coach. Then this past March something began "beeping" and it wouldn't open. We took in it, and they replaced the whole unit. Now it opens and closes Ok, but we still cannot tell any difference with the wind sensor. We do still like the convenience of the electric awning (especially if it needs to come in when it's cold and/or rainy), but we just don't rely on the wind sensor.
Jul 28 2006, 06:36 PM
I think I lied to you in my last reply. I did not think our electric awning was made by A&E, but today I learned that apparently it is. I had to dig out the papers because we are taking it in to be checked AGAIN, and that's when I noticed that the manufacturer was listed as Dometic A&E. As before the wind sensor just doesn't seem to be working correctly, but since our unit is under warranty we decided to try to have it fixed one more time. I'm pretty sure they will say they can't find anything wrong with it. Because of past experience I'm not sure we will ever trust it, but we're not planning to have it replaced either because so far the motor has worked just fine. The next time we get another coach I would still get an electric awning, but I will think twice before getting a wind sensor (unless they are always sold together).
Jul 29 2006, 08:00 AM
Texasrvers: Thanks for the clarification. Actually, since I wrote this post, I have talked to at least half dozen people in campgrounds who have the automatic A&E awnings and almost everyone has had one problem or another. We are definitely going to have them taken off and new, manual awnings put on.
Aug 1 2006, 09:18 PM
Beastdriver, When we took our coach in to have the awning looked at, I learned something and thought I'd pass it along to you. You may already know this, but apparently awnings that were made at least 2 years ago (because that's how old ours is) actually have a wind sensor on the roof that measures the wind speed. When it gets above a certain speed (ours is set at 15mph) it is supposed to close the awning. I guess they have had trouble with that design because according to the service tech the newer sensors are based on vibrations. When an awning reaches a certain intensity of vibrations, it closes. The service tech told us the awning rep said the new ones were much more reliable. Course he also has ocean front property for sale in Arizona. So you can believe what you want to. Just wanted to let you know. PS, they didn't find anything wrong with our sensor. I should have placed some money on that outcome.
Aug 6 2006, 08:07 PM
I also own a Newmar "Lemon". Have had numerous problems in the two years we have owned it. As to your specific question pertaining to the AE awning. Our's too is automatic and it had performed exceptionally well until........this past weekend. The sensor on the roof read "wind" (rightfully so) and closed the awning. After the storm died down I was unable to open the awning. Technician told me that sometimes the arms get stuck near the top and that I should try to free the jam to see if that was the problem. That was not the problem. The awning would not reopen.
However, we did resolve the issue. We have a control box for the awning in the storage bin just outside the door. Wife found a switch on the side of the box (out of line of sight) she toggled the switch and voila the awning opened. I then closed the awning and again it would not open. Toggled the switch again and again it opened. Tried it a few times after that and it continues to function normally. Fingers Crossed.
Good Luck with your awning...our experience has been that the RV industry is not very responsive to it's customers needs.
Aug 6 2006, 08:15 PM
BigRedDoes: Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, the exact same thing happened to us. It worked for a while after that, then they replaced the control box completely, and it worked okay for 60 days, then broke permanently. Good luck, but don't count on it long term!
Aug 8 2006, 04:24 PM
Course he also has ocean front property for sale in Arizona
Thanks for the laugh!
Aug 15 2006, 08:36 AM
Likewise, we have had trouble....it did not retract in a wind, ripped the fabric, and twisted the arms. We've had the entire unit replaced, from the sensor to the control box, now it retracts all by itself, at each wind speed setting, with no apparent wind. We have it disabled while the Tech awaits further instructions from Dometic. Definately a nice concept, but one that reached production before the bugs had been worked out.
Aug 18 2006, 09:01 AM
Can't speak to the A & E electric awnings, but have seen a few electric awning failures on Holiday Rambler units. The manufacturer is "Carefree" I believe, must be all the manufacturers are having their problems. When we bought our motor home, I wanted the electric awning unit and was going to replace the manual one with an electric one, but the dealer's service manager talked us out of that thought. We are so glad he took the time to voice his opinion on the electric awnings and their problems. Our manual awnings work just fine, (knock on wood).
Aug 20 2006, 03:19 PM
Funny really but not at the time. Just few weeks ago switch operated not wind sensor (?) A&E awning. Would not go out, no sound...nothing. Got over it. Next campground tried it and out it went! Reading under awning and happen to look up and see a velcro tie hanging from mechanism. Now if we have awning problems again will advise but my guess is velcro really does HOLD and somehow it washed down from roof where at one time we had a canvas cover secured with velcro tie and wrapped, then unwrapped
My husband and I just KNOW it can't be Newmar
Aug 24 2006, 07:59 AM
I'm sorry to hear of so many problems with your awnings. Maybe we just lucked out but ours has been reliable since we got it a little over a year ago. We watched it dip one corner to let rain water drain off. It has occasionally rolled up when we thought it wasn't too windy, but better safe than sorry. I LOVE that all I have to do is push a button so we use it daily whereas our old manual unit was often not worth the hassle.
Aug 24 2006, 02:35 PM
Handicamping, was there a sale? Just rtd from camping and saw several Winnebago Adventure. They all looked new, paper tags but guess that doesnt necessarily mean 2006. Very nice looking MH...enjoy!
Sorry off topic...Kate
Oct 13 2006, 06:47 AM
I've got another problem to add. I have an A&E automatic awning that the water won't shed off of. A&E says it is designed to tilt to one side via the slot in the rear arm when water starts to accumulate. My dealer and myself fought with A&E to replace what appeared to be stretched out material and a sagging not bent roller tube. So my dealer replaced both, and the awning still won't shed the water, A&E claims this can't happen. I have an issue since I this is my 14th motor home and have never had an awning problem, the difference is all the others had carefree awnings, of which one of the carefree's was a power awning. Has anyone else experienced water pooling on your automatic awning? If so were you able to correct it? I am ready to have mine taken off and replace it with a carefree, or possibly seek legal help since nothing says anywhere the awning can't be used in the rain. Heavy storms no question but light rain when you want to sit out they are supposed to be able to handle it, A&E even admits that.
Oct 25 2006, 06:12 PM
I am pleased to report that, after numerous telephone calls and e-mails back and forth between me and A&E awnings, they have agreed to replace my wonderful automatic electric awning by refunding to me what I actually paid for the awning toward the purchase of a new A&E awning. They offered to replace the awning with a new automatic electric awning, but I said "no way." Instead, I selected a manual awning which was installed today by Camping World. While at Camping World, they noticed that my slide out topper awnings, also by A&E, were coming apart (after only 48 months), and I had to replace those too (out of my pocket). One of the technicians at Camping World told me that they are having to replace dozens of A&E awnings because of quality and durability problems. Will the Japanese please step forward and start making American RVs and parts?
Nov 15 2006, 08:37 AM
Just a quick update. As noted earlier, A&E replaced my automatic, electric awnings with manual ones. On the older manual A&E awnings, they had a fairly sturdy pin that locked the awning against the frame for travelling. On the new awnings, they replaced the sturdy pin with a piece of plastic that you squeeze. These "locks" broke the third time I used them. My advice to anyone considering A&E awnings: Run, don't walk, to the nearest exit, and go find another brand.
Nov 15 2006, 01:32 PM
Sorry to hear about your bad luck with the A&E awning.
Our last RV had a A&E awning and the only problem we ever had was the lock allowing it to billow open while driving.
On our current RV we have a Carefree of Colorado and in the 3 years that we have had it, we haven't had a single problem.
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