Awnings on a motorcoach are pretty cool. They provide shade. They provide some bling with LED lighting. And they can extend your outdoor living space.
If you happen to have Girard awnings, they might also unexpectedly extend and cause you lots of problems.
There is a grounding issue in their product that can cause random deployments of the awnings when your coach is put into park.
That is what happened to our coach about six weeks ago. Our dealer was bringing the coach into the service bay when the random deployment happened. They had parked the coach. Then they took it out of park to bring it into the service bay.
The front awning decided to extend all on its own.
Scratch one awning.
As the service manager explained the issue to me, I initially thought it was due to human factors. I mean, how can an awning decide to deploy on its own? What combination of events would cause this to happen?
It seems as though Newmar and Girard don’t quite know. Right now, the issue is being blamed on wiring and/or grounding. Which means that even after being stranded for almost six weeks waiting for the replacement parts to come in, we still have a product that could randomly deploy.
We were told to unplug the awnings from the 110V outlets when not in use and we will continue to do so until there is a proper fix in place.
In our coach, there are two white controllers, one for each awning. They are not hard to find and whenever Girard and Newmar do the right thing, which is a product recall, it is best to keep them unplugged while not in use to prevent a random deployment.
This is likely a widespread issue across the recent line of coaches from Newmar. Our model is a 2016. There are other coaches built in 2017 and 2018 that have experienced random deployments of awnings.
There is a thread about this issue on the Newmar Owner’s forum over at iRV2 which offers some additional insight.
Unfortunate that this issue happened to us. Fortunate that it happened while we were at the dealer as opposed to leaving a fuel stop for an Interstate.