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Girard Awning Install

See any differences between the front awning on the left and the front awning on the right?

The one on the left has an awning that was not inserted properly into the guide rail which is why the awning edge is not taut. You can see how taut the edge line is on the right awning.

The lights on the left awning, aside from being a totally different colour and spacing, end almost a foot before the edge. On the right, the lights are uniform, evenly and tightly spaced and end at the edge.

The lights on the left awning are twisted in the lighting rail which is why you can see some lights that are bright and others that appear dim. The lights on the right are consistent as they are not twisted in the lighting rail.

This photo gives you a better sense as to the lighting issue.

There is no way that these lights on the left match the factory lights. They are not even close. One side has a blue colourcast and the lights are loosely spaced and the other side has a white colourcast and the lights are tightly spaced. The lights on the left are twisted in the track which means they point in different directions which gives an unpleasant lighting spread across the coach.

Oh, and the LED strand is too short for the awning on the left. Which is ironic as Girard shipped a replacement awning that was too long and had to be cut back.

To sum up.

Girard awnings can randomly deploy and when they do a random deployment may cause significant damage to your awning. In our case, the dealer experienced the random deployment as they brought our coach into service. The front awning received severe damage and it had to be replaced.

Girard shipped us replacement parts that did not fit and had to be cut to size and they provided replacement lighting that was incompatible with our coach.

It took over six weeks to resolve the issue. We spent almost four weeks stranded at the dealer waiting to find out how this issue was going to be resolved. When Girard, Newmar and the dealer finally agreed on how the issue would be resolved, it took over two weeks to get the parts shipped to the dealer.

We found out about the lighting issue about two hours before we had to leave for our trip south. At that point, I was not going to wait any longer. The dealer did all that they could do and it was not their fault that Girard shipped the incorrect lighting strand.

At least we have awnings that we can use and we can get the lighting resolved later.

The awnings could still randomly deploy. I make sure to unplug them from the 110v outlets before travelling with the coach.

Girard Awnings Recall?

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.