$1,000 Awning Fail?! Here’s How We Fixed Ours For FREE!

TheRVgeeks Awnings & Slide Toppers, Repair 34 Comments

Our Dometic / A&E Oasis Elite power door awning died recently… in the closed position, with no obvious way to get into it. Crowbarring it open would have led to a huge replacement bill. Even if you can’t salvage your motor like we did, you can save a ton… if you know the dirty little secret about this common point of failure.

The Oasis Elite is surely one of the most ubiquitous RV door awnings out there. When we bought our rig in 2005, it seemed like just about every mid-to-high-level motorhome came with one. A version of it is still widely used today.

With so many of these units out there, there’s a common failure, which we experienced recently: motor seizure due to moisture penetration. If you’re lucky enough to have the motor fail with the awning in the extended position, you can easily remove the entire unit for diagnosis and repair. If it fails while closed, like ours did, you’ll need to know the hidden trick to opening it without using force, potentially damaging or ruining it, which we demonstrate in the video. (just to clarify that statement… we focus on the “without using force” technique. The “damaging or ruining” part… not so much.) wink

The secret about these awnings is that they’re not actually made by Dometic. They’re made by a company called Fiamma. And the dirtiest secret of all is that you can buy a replacement motor directly from Fiamma… for less than one third of what you’ll pay for a “Dometic” motor!

That’s right, as of this writing, the typical price we found for a “Dometic” replacement motor for our awning was $688. You read that right. Six Hundred And Eighty-Eight Gen-u-ine United States George Washingtons. For a little 12-volt motor. If that sounds like a lot, it will REALLY sound outrageous when you learn that by simply ordering direct from Fiamma, that same part is only $215. How’s that for mark-up?! That kind of profit margin would land your company a deal on Shark Tank.

Watch the video for details on how we were able to get away with a total freebie on this repair, because you might be able to as well. If your motor does need to be replaced, not only do Fiamma’s prices kick butt, but their customer service puts Dometic’s to shame too. Their assistance was key in our learning how to do this job… and we didn’t even buy a motor in the end.

www.fiammausa.com

Our motor, the “Motor Kit F45 Oasis Left Fully Automatic Polar White” part number 04834A01 is the last part listed on this page: http://fiammausa.com/products/awnings.asp?Fam=A1

And if your awnings or slide toppers are getting a little threadbare, Tough Top Awnings makes excellent replacement fabric for the most common types of RV awnings and slide toppers, plus they offer a discount to RVgeeks viewers.

Visit www.ToughTopAwnings.com and use the discount code “RVGEEKSROCK” when you check out to receive a 5% discount on your entire order.


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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.


Comments 34

  1. The door awning on my 2005 Winnebago Journey 39K stopped working and after looking at your video (which is very well and professionally done), I was able to remove and clean the motor and “VOILA”, it’s ALIVEEEEEE!!!! (~_*)

    I bought the Motorhome 2 months ago and consider myself mechanically inclined (enough to get myself in trouble), so always looking for helpful DIY information. My goal is to start the Full Time RVing journey before the end of 2018. I’m learning a lot from your videos. Awesome job!!!

    Thanks and MUCH appreciated!!!!!!!!

    1. Post
      Author

      So great to hear, Andres! We’re thrilled that this vide was able to help you tackle this on your own and get it fixed! Great feeling, isn’t it?! Hope you’re enjoying the journey on your way to full timing! Safe travels… and hope to see you out on the road!

      1. Yes! Awesome feeling, not to mention the $$$ savings which is greatly appreciated. Super excited of the experiences to come and joining the RVing community.

        Hope Hurricane Florence is not interrupting your travels.

        Stay out of harms way and happy trails.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi James! Sorry to hear your Oasis is giving you trouble. It’s been a while since we’ve had ours apart, so we’re having a bit of trouble following along with the repair you linked to over on iRV2… but if your awning still isn’t retracting, it’s certainly possible that the clutch mechanism has failed. Unlike slide-toppers, these door awnings are sprung so they naturally extend… and the motor pulls them back in (where slide toppers are sprung so they roll up as the slide is retracted). From what we understand, that clutch failure is not an uncommon issue on these awnings (knocking on wood to help keep ours working, LOL!).

      Fiamma USA (http://fiammausa.com) is back up and running again… so you may want to try giving them a call to see if they can help out with diagnosis and parts.

      Sorry we can’t be of more help… but let us know how you make out!

  2. I see from the comments Fiamma has closed. I need the replacement motor for my Oasis Elite Door Awning. Where else can this be purchased ??

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Nell. Apparently you’re in luck. We just called Fiamma’s main number, and confirmed that they have re-opened and are back in business after the terrible tragedy they experienced. You can find parts on their website: http://fiammausa.com and if your door awning is identical to ours, the part number for the motor should be 04834A01 – “Motor Kit F45 Oasis Left Fully Automatic Polar White.” The price of $255 is about 1/4 what Dometic/A&E charges. In case you need it, Fimma’s phone number is (407) 672-0091. Hope this helps. Please let us know how you make out.

    1. Post
      Author

      The video right here on this post includes everything we did to repair our awning, with one exception: we didn’t show opening up the motor. But that is pretty straightforward, with cleaning and lubricating the crusty parts all that we did. We don’t know anything else about other potential failures of the awning, and unfortunately, as you mentioned, it’s a terrible tragedy about Fiamma, which will probably not be back in business for quite some time, if ever.

      1. Perhaps when your Cap Roller Tube 3310300.000 breaks and you’ll need to fix it will you do the video on the repair then? It certainly seems to be the only repair available. Thank you for all you do for us.

        1. Post
          Author

          We’ll be sure to make a follow-up video if that should happen (not that we’re hoping for another failure there, of course). ;-) Sorry we couldn’t be of more help on this one, Todd. Safe Travels.

  3. Another great tip RV Geeks. Thanks. One lingering question. Where do motor wires detach: from the motor or the chassis the caulking?

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks David! On our motorhome, when you pick out the caulk, the wires that come from the motor are connected to the power wires from the RV inside the wall. There’s enough slack in the wires coming from the RV to pull them out a bit, disconnect or cut the wires at the connector, and take the motor down. The caulk shown in the video is brand new, as we’d recently completed the job by reconnecting the wires, pushing the connection back through the hole into the sidewall, and re-caulking. Piece of cake!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Bill! This was definitely one of those projects where figuring out how to do it was the big challenge, rather than the wrench turning. For us, they’re the most gratifying kind (an epiphany without the contortions or scraped knuckles). LOL

  4. I too don’t have one of these but any knowledge I can gain is stuff I can pass on if someone else has this problem.
    Two big thumbs up from my website “THE HANDYMAN’S HAVEN”
    Keep the great videos coming, I enjoy them all.
    Ray

  5. Another great video! How do you guys gets those great camera shots without killing yourselves? LOL!

    My coach is 10 years old and has the same door awning. I’m definitely storing this to memory!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Craig! A long lens on a tripod on the ground helped keep things reasonably stable. And if you look closely in a couple of shots, you can see our GoPro suction-cupped to the side of the RV, just to the left of the awning. ;-)

    1. Post
      Author

      We were so sure we were going to be up there with a crowbar because of that sneaky little rivet! What a relief. For watching the whole thing without having your own, you can be part of the Elite Rescue Squad, and swoop in to save the day next time one fails nearby!

  6. you both have been such great RV’ers, providing worthwhile information to all out here, I just want to thank you!!With out a lot of the free information I would have spent a small fortune on repairs. CUDOS.

    1. Post
      Author
  7. Thanks for the info. We changed our slide topper with your advice, and it worked well. How about instructions on an engine overhaul for $18.00?

    1. Post
      Author
      1. Post
        Author

        Oh, wouldn’t that just burn you up if we could actually do that after you paid for an overhaul so recently? So, to avoid giving you buyer’s remorse, we’re going to cancel the shoot. That’s how much we love you. :)

  8. Again- a very useful video. Although I don’t have one of these awnings I can now help any of my rv’ing buddies who do…or just have them watch your video.

    Great job, thanks!

    1. Post
      Author
  9. The video was done very well. Thank you.

    Anyone with a Fiamma product is welcome to contact us for technical help or parts.

    Fiamma also made the A&E Horizon awnings for Dometic before they started making their own box awnings and we have component parts available for them as well.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks so much Jeff! We have to say that not only was Kevin L., your customer service rep, amazingly helpful, but we read on several RV forums where others have specifically mentioned him by name as being terrific. Thanks to Kevin, we were able to complete our repair without damaging our awning.

    2. Please share your contact info. My Oasis Elite Door Awning motor turns but the awning won’t move. I think I need the Cap Roller Tube LH 3310300.000 but Fiamma has closed due to the tragedy.

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