Really, really dumb question

We just purchased a 1990 Layton with a pull-out awning. It opens great... yada yada - here's the dumb part: How does it retract? My husband rolled it up by hand, but isn't it supposed to go back by itself? We saw a turny-latch thing that mentions (words to this affect) roll out and roll back, but the awning never moved to go back into it's original position until he cranked the entire thing by hand.

Any help will be greatly appreciated (even if I am embarrased!).



New Member
Really, really dumb question

Yep, Normally retracted by a coil spring within the tube. Must be broken, which is a common occurence. Easily replaceable... Good luck.
Really, really dumb question

Only dumb question is one you don't ask! I would contact the awning manufacturer or go to camping World. Most awning that I have seen are either A&E or Carefree of Colorado. That isn't saying their are other manufacturers. But parts for these two brands are readily available, I know because I have owned both. And they stand behind their products too.

If the spring isn't broken you can release one of the legs of the awning and turn it to tighten the spring. I believe you have to turn it counter clockwise but don't quote me on this and don't do it until you find out. Do you have a manual with the awning? The manufacture should be able to supply one, probably through Acrobat Reader and online.

Good Luck.


'02 Southwind 37U/Workhorse
'01 GMC Sonoma w/Brake Buddy


Senior Member
Really, really dumb question

My A&E will not retract until I pull the lever at the top (with my hand) to the up position. Check your owner's manual and if you don't have one, contact the dealer (via net works) and ask them for instructions.
Good Luck and Welcome to the forum. :)
Really, really dumb question

Here is a question to ask yourself. Did the awning offer any resistance when you initially pulled it out? If yes, than maybe the problem is with the toggle lever only. If no, then possibly it's the coil spring.

Good luck


Senior Member
Really, really dumb question

Sounds like my old Falkner. If you flip the thingy to roll up and it doesn't without alot of help then try to wind the inner springs.

On mine you need to wind both the same amount of turns. I beleive it was 6 turns for a 15' awning. You need to be very careful because they are spring loaded and you don't want to catch your hand or finger while you are taking off the end cap or winding. Each cap will be labeled as to which way to turn.


* put thingy in "roll up" mode.
* get your ladder out and check out how the end caps are connected to the roller housing and arrow on which way to wind.
* remove one cap slowly.
* wind accordingly (check manual if you have one)and replace cap.
* now do the same for the other side.
* put thingy on "roll down" and test it. Make sure you hold on to it when you switch the thingy to "roll up" mode because now you should have tension on it.

If it has tension but not enough, repeat steps and wind each side a few more times until you are satisfied with its operation.

Good Luck and keep us posted.


Senior Member
Really, really dumb question