As I sat waiting with the kids, I hear BANG! Hoping fervently that this noise's origin was anywhere but our campsite, I was quickly disappointed. A rapid knock on the window from a surprisingly calm Steve solidified my fears.
The awning arm had just snapped.
Technically, the piston malfunctioned, and the force of trying to close against the stuck rod caused the support arm to crease and eventually, break apart. This rendered the awning unable to close, causing the weight of the now unsupported awning to hang. Luckily, it didn't rip from Eagle crashing to the ground in a tangled mess.
Steve smashed it up against the camper as best as possible, and we tucked away the scenario for the next 2 days.
This morning, upon examination, and several different thought processes, Steve decided that the best thing to do would be to remove the piston completely, which he did, and crank the arm back into place. Not completely back, mind you, as the arm that holds the whole shebang in place is now in two pieces. Fearful that the awning's secure placement could be compromised once we hit the road, Steve zipped over to the Depot to purchase some zip-ties (somehow we had none left of the 1000s we had last November).
The awning company is Carefree of Colorado.
So, now, we wait a bit to see how we will proceed. On the way through Pennsylvania, we'll look to get it fixed. Not a thought I am pleased with...hoping the cost won't be too ridiculous.
**Update. We traveled from this October 6th, 2012 break until we arrived in Virginia and had it repaired on Nov. 5th. We pulled into a repair shop in Staunton, VA, and 30 minutes later pulled away with a brand new arm, professionally installed, for free. All hail Jayco...for this anyway.