THE NIGHT OF THE FLYING AWNING
Weather Bug said a 30% chance of rain overnight and winds at 4 mph. Not a problem. We discussed pulling in the awning but 4 mph winds are not a big deal and the awning should be fine. Well, that sounded like a good plan. Then reality hit.
Midnight and I was brought instantly awake by the most horrific banging, slamming noises known to mankind. I could feel the RV rocking in the wind and both hear and feel the rain beating sideways on the sides and roof of the RV. The Husband was already up closing the window. He had decided that the wind was now too violent to even consider any attempts at pulling in the awning. We later learned there had been gusts up to 50 mph. His theory was the awning was designed to move and fluctuate in the wind.
Fearing It May Break Loose And Come Through A Window
The noise was by now so loud and the rocking from the awning so violent we feared this long awning would break loose and come through one of the windows. The Husband looked out the bedroom window and realized one end had already broken loose. Whatever it was originally DESIGNED to do, it no longer had the ability to do.
It now became imperative that we get it retracted ASAP to keep the loose end from slamming into the RV and creating further damage. Grabbing clothes, The Husband headed out the door. We quickly realized this was going to be more than a 2 person job. I was needed inside to run the awning retractor button. He was needed outside to hold the broken end of the awning in place so I could get it retracted. A 3rd set of hands was needed to hold the RV door open allowing us to communicate. Without that 3rd person to hold the door we would risk having the wind break the door as it had just broken the awning.
The Cavalry In The Form Of Our Wonderful Neighbors
Enter the cavalry!! Neighbor guy #1 who lives two spaces down was outside pulling in his flags, heard the commotion and ran over. Neighbor guy #2 lives right next door and his entire household has been woken up by the noise emanating from our house.
The Husband and Neighbor #1 pulled the picnic table over to use as a ladder, climbed up and held onto the awning in two spots. Neighbor #2 became our communication guy at the door. When The Husband and Neighbor #1 had a firm grip on the awning, Neighbor #2, while clutching tightly to the door, opened it and told me to hit the switch. I hit retract and the awning came in, albeit with the crooked, broken end still sticking out. But it was now retracted to the point where it would not able to damage the RV.
And The Rains Continued
The category 4 hurricane type wind noises were by then giving us a momentary reprieve even as the rains continued to beat down drenching everyone and everything. A huge thank you to our, now soaking wet, half awake neighbor guys!! Couldn’t have handled this one without you. There’s some beer in your future.
Back to bed we went to try to go back to sleep. After tossing and turning for over an hour I finally just gave up. The noise of that crashing wind smashing into the awning and the awning pitching, bucking, rocking the house was still on rewind in my head. By morning with the wind and rains stopped, The Husband went out to assess the damages. The awning was toast but the RV was fine. Lesson learned. The new awning is now rolled in every night and whenever we are gone, even if the weather forecast says total and complete calm.