We got home about 3pm local time and found that the grass was high and nothing was awry with the house which was a great relief. We started mowing right off and got a lot of the front yard mowed. I decided to unroll the awning on the RV to let it dry out and see how bad it needed cleaning-we hadn’t used it since we got the RV. It was wet so I decided, seeing as the sky was clear and the stars were coming out, to leave it deployed for the night.
We didn’t want to eat in so we went to the local Chinese Buffet for dinner. When we got home it was still clear and calm and I didn’t feel that it was necessary to roll up the awning so I took a shower and went to bed. Later that night I was awakened by rain on the roof of the RV so I thought I better slant the awing down so the rain would run off the awning and not make a bag of water that would stretch the material. I went back to bed and to sleep. Later I was awakened with the crash and boom of lightening and thunder and the awning was flapping and shaking the RV. I went out to roll it up the awning, but the roller and the arms were stuck in the extended position and the awning wouldn’t roll back up. The wind picked up and the became quite fierce Samantha tried to help me but there was little we could do other than to hold the awning down and not let it bend the arms. We held on to add our weight to the arms to keep it from ripping its self apart the wind and rain pounded us and just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse we got hit with hail the size of dimes and we both were soaked through shivering and hanging on not daring to let the awning arms go and tear the RV apart. The lightening was fierce and close, the lights went out and we were wondering if we were going to get blown away with the damn awning. Several times we thought we were at the last of the storm, but we got blasted with more rain and wind accented with lightening. It seemed like an hour our more passed until the storm quieted down enough for us to get some tools and get the damn awning rolled up. One strut didn’t get folded up right but the thing us back against the RV and we called it quits.
When we got inside we both were tired, wet, cold and shivering; we were outside in out pajamas through all this and we were close to having a case of hypothermia. We got out of our wet clothes and dried off as quickly as possible and had some hot tea to drink. Then climbed into bed and tried to warm up. I didn’t warm up right away even though I was using a sleeping bag and had a sweat shirt on.
In the morning we took measure of the awning and the RV. The awning was torn and needs to be replaced one arm that extends has a device to hold it at a particular height needs to be repaired or replace. The good news is that there was no damage to the RV and no leaks.
I think that if we hadn’t held on to the awning we would have lost the frame and the frame would have torn off the RV causing damage to the siding and maybe the awing being ripped off causing the roof to be torn and serious damage to the RV costing a lot of money to repair.
All this could have been avoided by not leaving the awning deployed in the first place….my error that could have caused a lot of grief, but luckily we escaped without injury.
I am now of the opinion that awnings are a pain in the Pah-toot and not worth the money and expense.
So after 2000 miles on this trip our biggest adventure was in our own front yard…. go figure!