RV Living

Pull Strap Improv

Do you cringe when you hear the word “Engineer”?  I do!

Awning strap-hook

The ubiquitous Awning Pull Strap

Awning End View

End view of the roller bar with three insert channels. In and of itself this is a clever idea. If only they hadn’t botched the design by making it harder to replace parts that deteriorate with age.

Sometimes it seems that engineers try to make things much harder than they really need to be. Take the pull strap on our Carefree of Colorado over-the-window and over-the-door awnings as an example.

I’m sure you’ve noticed them — even you non-RV’ers out there.  The pull strap hangs down below the bottom of the awning and you… guess what… you pull on it to open the awning.

Well, all the awnings I’ve seen are built with rollers, or “Roll Bars” that the awning fabric wraps around and those rollers have three slotted keyways.  The awning fabric slides into one of them. The pull strap slides into another.  And accessories like lights can be slid into the third.

open awning channel

Life would be easier if they designed the channel so that it was open on the end.

closed awning channel

Instead they put a cap on the end of the tube and made it impossible to remove the strap without taking the end cap off (or at least removing the old pop rivets, rotating the cap, inserting the strap, rotating the cap back and re-riveting the cap.

Eventually those nylon pull straps deteriorate with weather and moisture — as did our strap for the over the door awning.  Imagine my surprise when I looked at the replacement parts kit and found Pop-Rivets!

It turns out that the engineer who designed the awning thought that the best thing they could design was a slot that you had to disassemble the entire end cap of the awning (up some 12 feet in the air) in order to slide the pull strap into the slot.

Well, RV’ers are a clever bunch, we are (well, someone else was, I just learned this trick).  It turns out that you can take a 1/4” drill bit and a drill motor and drill into the channel about 1/4” — effectively making a 1/4” opening into the channel.  The old torn pull strap can then be coaxed out of the channel and the new pull strap can be inserted into the channel and you are all done.  No cursing, no sweat, no precarious maneuvering at the top of a ladder.  Done!  Finished.  Complete.

The thing is,  we rarely even USE that awning….

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.



6 thoughts on “Pull Strap Improv

  1. Great solution for the C of C awnings! Our A&E pull cord is in the same slot as the accessory slot, and is open on one end. We put a sunshade on our awning this year, and, as a result of rolling it up with the awning, the leftover pull strap is now longer. In the wind, the hardened end of it was hitting the trailer. Try listening to THAT all night. I ended up bungeeing it off to the side, until I come up with a better idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One thing about RV’ing, Jim, is you learn to be creative!

      Our old coach had the same kind of arrangement as yours and I liked it better. When you buy a used RV you don’t get the same choice about manufacturers of stuff that’s already installed and so I’ve just ignored the fact that it’s not what I was accustomed to. And, we do like the arm and operating mechanism of this one better.

      I should get out there and clean up the drill hole with a file or emery cloth.

      Thanks but no thanks on the noisy strap! And bungees are good for all sorts of things!


      Liked by 1 person

    • Bob and Janice Flanigan says:

      Explorvistas, we had the same trouble with a strap on our previous motor home. We found that if we held the strap off to the side and rolled it up at an angle, it would use up the extra strap and not leave so much hanging out.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Mrs. P says:

    Rick’s opinion of engineers…idiots. Generally able to talk a lot of gibberish as an AUTHORITY and have absolutely no clue about basic physics and its practical application. Such as the argument that some engineers will tell you – it’s physically impossible for a bumble bee to fly…and yet they do. Hmmm?

    One of his favorite expressions: if you get a tough job, one that is hard, and you haven’t got a way to make it easy, put a lazy man on it, and after 10 days he will have an easy way to do it, and you perfect that way and you will have it in pretty good shape.

    Liked by 1 person

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