Motors make life easier. That was the idea behind the horseless carriage when it was invented. The simple design helped many people move around faster and easier than by going on horseback or hitching the wagon. It is the same idea behind mixers, and other appliances you use daily.
The obvious place to start looking is Dometic itself. They make and sell their products plus have a nationwide dealer network to help you get the parts you want. To replace the motor you may have to do some manual work to get the awning in the right position.
To learn more about replacing awning motors, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so you can make quick fixes when you are not near a repairman.
The basic two problems you will run into will be that the awning will not retract and it will not deploy. Those issues have the same sources. One will be that there is a wire loose or frayed cutting the power to the motor.
All you have to do if that is the source of the problem is replace the wire. The next common source for these two common problems would be the power button. It can malfunction due to corrosion, rust, wear and tear and again you will probably have to replace the control button.
A third source would be the motor itself. It can wear down over the years and simply malfunction, overheat, have a short in the wiring, and other small issues. While you may be able to fix these problems yourself, it may be best to call in a qualified repairman as they have the tools to properly diagnose the problem.
Other simple sources would be a fuse was blown or the breaker tripped for some reason. Make sure to check the obvious first to save you from any embarrassing moments when a repairman finds them.
Finally, you may have a bad switch in the control panel. That would need to be removed and replaced for the awning motor to work as it should.
One of the biggest and most common problems you will find with a Dometic awning motor is that moisture got inside the casing and over time the parts corroded to the point that they would seize and not move.
If this happens when the awning is in the extended position, then you will have an easy time removing the motor, taking it apart, and see what parts can be cleaned and which ones need replacing.
But if the motor seizes when the awning is retracted, you may have a tough time extending the awning far enough to work on it. Once you have the awning in the right position, you may have to drill out 3 rivets holding the motor in place.
Then you have to be careful with the spring. You need to be careful about the spring as if you do not put it in a good spot to hold it in its current location it can unwind on you and cause you a lot more problems.
Once you have dealt with the spring, there are a couple of Allen screws that need to be removed before you can see inside the motor. Then take your carb spray or WD-40 and use those lubricants to help break up any corrosion or rust holding the parts firmly in place.
To avoid this issue, tilt your awning in such a way that the water will drain away from the motor.
This may take some mechanical skill and if you are not good with working with tools then you should call a qualified repairman to handle this problem. If you are still under warranty, then that is the only step you can take as any unauthorized repairs may void your protection and leave you with some expensive repair costs down the road.
The first step in this process is to purchase the right motor for your awning. You will need the serial or model number of the motor currently in your awning and that is usually found on the manufacturer’s badge.
During our research, we did come across some interesting information. It seems that Dometic doesn't make its own awning motors. They do sell replacement motors but that price can get to around $700 which is a pretty hefty markup over the actual cost of the motor.
The word is that a company called Fiamma is the company that makes these motors for Dometic and you can buy a motor directly from them for around $220. we have not been able to confirm this bit of information yet but that seems to be the way to go when you want to save some money.
Before you replace your motor, shop around to get the best price possible.
The instructions for this procedure are quite detailed but in a nutshell, here are some of the steps you need to take:
The first step is to open the awning only 2 revolutions. Then, you need to secure the spring to stop any uncontrolled unwinding or any unintended awning movement. Once those are done you need to remove the 3 rivets by drilling a 3/16th inch hole in the center of them.
Unfortunately, you have to repeat the first two steps for each rivet and secure the end cap to the roller tube. After that, you need to insert a cotter pin (provided) through the end cap and torsion rod. Next, tape the cotter pin’s head to the end cap to keep it secure.
Make sure to disconnect the motor from the wiring harness before you drill the rivets. Then make sure to secure the right-hand arm assembly before removing the motor. These are the basic instructions to follow and we will link to 2 different awning motor replacement instructions as there are just too many to place here.
The first one, the Weatherpro, to look at is at this link and for the 9100 you click on this link. These links also have diagrams for you to follow so you know that you are doing the removal and replacement correctly.
There was a recall of these awning motors. The reason behind that action was that the motors could malfunction and open the awnings while your RV was moving. If that took place, you could have an accident or damage your RV against a pillar, tree, and other obstacles.
However, that recall was in 2013 and almost 30,000 motors were affected by this notice. The recall affected the 9100 power awning motor and Dometic admitted that there was a mistake in the assembly process which caused this problem to take place.
The recall notice only affected those 10 to 21-foot awnings that weighed between 43 and 69 pounds and whose serial numbers started with 306 to 314. Even though the recall and the mistake are over, Dometic still seems to have motor issues for its awnings.
They will not pay for replacement motors if the unit has lasted for one year. One thing of note, even if the motor was made in the recall year, Dometic may claim that the replacement was made at the factory and you will not receive any financial relief when the motor fails.
There are many options you can choose to use if you need to replace the current motor on your RV. The first place to check, and if you want to pay high prices, is to go to Dometic’s website or dealers and purchase one.
Be forewarned the replacement motor can cost anywhere between $500 and $800 when you use this option. There are cheaper options available and one is to order directly from the actual manufacturer. We made mention of that earlier as you could save upwards o $500 if you do.
Then if that is not an option, eBay has some selling between $300 and $400 with other options a lot cheaper. Some are in the $200 to $300 range and what you pay will depend on the model you need.
Amazon is selling universal motors for a lot less but whether they will work on a Dometic system or not remains to be seen. But that is the last stop option as there are many RV parts & supplies stores you can find online that advertise they have these motors for sale.
Their costs will vary and you would need to see if they have the type of motor you need. You may want to try used parts stores as well to keep your costs low. How long those units will last is not known but sometimes rebuilt motors are better than the new ones.
Check around your town to see what repair shops are offering and how much their units will cost you.
This will depend on where you shop. Amazon has universal motors going for just under $70 which seems like a good deal. There are some at eBay for under $90 depending on the brand or type of motor you want to use.
Some online outlets that deal in RV parts have theirs listed for around $400 while some owners have found them as cheap as $250ish. It will all depend on where you shop which will determine your actual cost.
Dometic has a very large market as you have already read and one owner turned down the $495 price and saved around $200 shopping online. The best thing to do is shop around your local area to see who has the best price for the best motor and go with them.
You can save on shipping costs if you do that. It is not just the price you have to worry about, it is the cost of shipping that needs to be factored in when shopping online. Plus, when you shop around, you may be able to find sales, negotiate a deal, or come across a nice discount.
There are a few steps to the process as these awnings are not made like the old days when manual operation was the norm and not the backup.
These instructions may work on certain models of awnings. For other models, you can look at the manual at this link.
If you are not mechanically inclined, then let the pros handle the task of repairing your Dometic awning motor. It may cost more but in the end, it will be worth it. Just shop around to get the right price.