Girard Awning Stuck?

Your Girard awnings won’t extend? They won’t retract? Are they stuck hanging outside your coach?

That happened to us a few days ago. And the solution for our coach was not something that you will find in a manual.

I was doing some outside work on our 2016 Newmar Dutch Star 4002. It is equipped with the Girard Nova Awnings.

Everything looked fine.

I went inside the coach and pressed the “IN” button to retract the awnings.

The awnings began to retract and, about halfway through the process, they stopped. They were stuck.

The awnings were partially deployed. They would not go in. They would not go out.

What could be wrong?

I did the usual: read through the manual, jumped on the Girard website, searched Google. And, after a few hours of floundering, I gave up and called the service manager at our dealer.

He knew exactly what to do.

Inside one of our bays are two Girard control devices. Our service manager called them “turtles”.

They look like this:

These two are working normally because the two indicator lights at the upper left are on. Not sure why the Girard engineers chose red LEDs as the normal condition light indicator. Wouldn’t a green LED indicator make more sense?

When our awnings became stuck, both those lights were off.

If you follow where they are plugged in, you will find something interesting marked on the outlet:

Well, look at that! They are plugged into a GFCI protected circuit.

Important to note: they are not plugged into a GFCI outlet. The plug is tied to a GFCI outlet. There is no reset button at this plug. We had to go hunting for the GFCI  outlets elsewhere in the coach.

Our service manager asked us to reset two GFCI outlets. One in our kitchen galley and one in our small washroom mid-coach.

He suspected that there was some kind of voltage issue that caused the GFCI circuits to trip. One of the awnings was tied to the GFCI outlet in the kitchen, the other was tied to the GFCI outlet in the small washroom.

Finding said GFCI outlets is a bit of a trick.

In our case, the GFCI outlet in the kitchen was directly underneath one of the top row of cabinets.

You can make out the two buttons in the middle of the GFCI outlet. It takes a bit more work to press reset than I expected. There is quite a bit of travel and you have to really press down.

The reset button for our outlets is in the top position. The other button is a test button. If you press that one, the outlet may not reset.

In the small bathroom, the GFCI outlet was located inside our medicine cabinet.

We tested both of those outlets to make sure they were working before heading back down to the bay which holds the two Girard “turtles”. The indicator lights on the Girard controllers were back on.

Pressing the “IN” button retracted the Girard awnings. Success.

Filed under “Not in the manual” and “The things they don’t tell you about maintaining your coach”.

6 replies
  1. Mike Leath
    Mike Leath says:

    I have a beaver contessa bayshore44ft. It’s a 2007. Can you put a giraid nova awning or two maybe 4 on top of my coach and mold them in on the front and back like the new coaches have

  2. Sondra
    Sondra says:

    I cannot get my two small awnings on the passenger side to retract. I have the American Eagle 2009. I’m trying to find the wind sensor control box would that have anything to do with this issue? Totally lost!!

    • Richard
      Richard says:

      Hi Sondra,

      Sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your awnings. Hopefully you were able to resolve the issue. If they are powered awnings, there are several things to look at: motor, power to the motor, motor controller. With our Girard awnings, we have had issues where the motor would time out if we attempted too many power-on/power-off cycles. We’ve had the awnings trip the GFCI outlet which required a reset. We do not have wind sensors on our small awnings. Our wind sensors on the main awnings constantly misread the wind conditions. We’ll often see one or both awnings retract even though there is very little wind present.

  3. Roy Vecchio
    Roy Vecchio says:

    My Girard nova awning extends on its own, it’s got some kind of glitch. I thought maybe the remote was causing it, I removed batteries and it still did it . Has anybody heard or experienced any of this issues ?


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