There have been numerous reports of the Girard Nova Awnings deploying on their own. I have never experienced this in the limited time I have owned my 2019 Newmar Dutch Star, but I did receive a call from Newmar specifically advising me to leave the awnings unplugged unless I intend to use them.
The location of the plug is in the bays, and although not hard to access, it is an extra unnecessary step and an inconvenience to have to unplug each time.
The reasons for the deployment given where a possible grounding issue, which has yet to be identified. Since I park my RV in a garage, this could be a real problem if the awnings deployed.
The Girard Nova awning has a Emergency break cutout circuit, that is supposed to retract the slides once the break is released and then after 60 seconds will remove all power to awnings to ensure the awnings will not deploy. In spite of this circuit, numerous claims of awning deployments while driving have been made online, and Newmar has confirmed several warranty repairs for this exact problem. I do not have data as to what years are affected, nor how many models.
My goal is to make certain that the awnings cannot deploy, and since Newmar has stated the only way to do this is to remove power, I decided to go along with that plan, but in an easy fashion. What I have installed is a relay controlled power strip.
The plugs will only be turned on when my switch passes 12 volt DC power to the relay. This was accomplished with minimal effort and cost, and restores the luxury of using the awnings safely and conveniently. The switch is located on my left hand side console, in front of my transmission. Not an ideal place, but this was an unused switch for the tag dump, which was replaced with a function on my HWH Active Air. By using this location, I didn’t have to cut into the dashboard, or do extensive work. I will most likely relocate the window up/down button to this position once I receive the custom switch I have on order. For now, I am using the Tag Dump switch, rewired to only make use of the ON/OFF and not connecting to the momentary (ON).
The parts list for this project:
- Controllable Four Outlet Power Relay
- Custom Made wiring Harness
- Custom L-Series switch
- Power Distribution Box
- 16 Gauge Wire
- 12 Gauge Wire
- 10 Gauge Wire
For the custom wiring harness, all that is required is a single 16awg signal wire running to the switch. Since this is a long run going from the bays to the dashboard, I decided to make a custom wiring harness with extra wires for the future. I included 6 different colors of wires in a wire loom, and ran it inside the frame rails to the front of the RV. I then entered the wiring compartment below the drivers seat, and ran it up to the dashboard. This harness is now fully accessible for any future projects.
Making the harness was rather simple, but time consuming. My hands were rather sore after putting all that wire inside the loom. I ended up with a 30 foot harness, which can easily reach the cabinet above the driver, or the center console behind the screens. I also left a pull string in the chase for future wire installation. After taking the time to fish the first wire, it is always wise to leave a pull string behind.
Since I was already running wire from the 12v power bay to the dashboard, I made a secondary harness with 3 10 awg wires (Red/Black/White) and connected to the KIB terminals. These terminate behind my dash into two distribution boxes, one for ignition power, and one for constant power. I will use this to tap in for my Dash Camera, Tablet Power, and other accessory power items in the future.
With the power distribution in place, the switch needs to have a 12v power supplied to one leg, and the positive signal wire connected to the other, so that when the switch is ON, 12v DC power is supplied to the signal wire. I used a common ground for the Negative side of the signal wire. The finished product allows me to now safely cut the power to the Girard awnings with a simple toggle switch, and I no longer have to disconnect and reconnect the power cords.
I originally used the tag dump switch, but have since replaced that switch with a custom switch. This is illuminated when it has power, so it is easy to see that it is energized.