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Awning Rattle Resolved

Epigram

Active Member
After looking in the manual and around the vehicle, I realised that Mercedes hadn’t stolen a march on VW by providing clever storage for a set of spanner’s in the door pillar.
Instead I had a very noisy and irritating rattle that was all too prevalent on our local lanes.
After a lot of driving around, and being driven, I eventually concluded that it was coming from the awning. This was frustrating because I had been in two minds whether to order the awning and,if I had realised it made so many noises, I probably would not have bothered.
There are a few posts here but quite a lot on the VW California forum about awning rattles. I have posted as a separate thread because it’s awning specific.
Checking that the awning had been retracted symmetrically made no difference.
Wrapping the joints for the extendible legs in foam helped but did not eliminate it.
Additional foam between the legs and the awning cover also helped but did not eliminate.
The final “fix” was two heavy duty elastic bands (wrist bands for festivals etc.) stretched over the awning cover. These were purchased on e-bay and are the same colour as the awning and not noticeable.

A bit of a faff when opening or closing the awning but silence is golden.

I hope this helps anyone who is still searching for their free spanners but it would be interesting to know if other awnings don’t rattle without resorting to such drastic measures.

Two more rattles to go: A loose dashboard fitting and a faulty passenger seat base. Both faults accepted by the local dealer and parts on order from Germany. After that all the crockery and pans can go back so that It can rattle and squeak to its heart’s content!
I have a few spare heavy duty rubber bands to give to any MP owner struggling with an awning rattle if they are passing the Wye Valley in the next few weeks.
 
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Andy B

Andy B

Member
VIP Member
Hi Epigram,

Interesting ....... I too have a rattle that seems to emanate from above head height on the drivers side. My MP has gone back to Mercedes, but no fix achieved ! I was beginning to think that it was probably from the awning, but not certain. You have spurred me on and I will now investigate this further. I too will be interested to see other posts from fellow MP owners about this subject !! I’m pleased that you have resolved your rattle with the rubber bands. Having a silver awning it will not be quite so easy to get the right colour bands !. Like you, I am beginning to regret having the awning, especially as the table and chairs take up so much room in the boot. Looking at the Westfalia accessories, they offer a fabric “fly-sheet” style awning that mounts to the awning rail. A little more hassle in putting up maybe, but no metal parts to rattle !


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Happycamper

New Member
Are you sure the retracted legs are properly secured within the awning cover? Namely by clicking them into their slot and finally tightening the butterfly screws. Mine were loose when I bought the vehicle and fell out a couple of times damaging the paintwork when I started to open the awning. Apols if I'm stating the obvious.
 

Epigram

Active Member
Hi Andy B
The pieces of packing foam of varying thickness are around the leg joints and between the extension mechanism and the awning cover.
The bands I from e bay are grey and not noticeable, if symmetrically placed at each end - see photo, sorry about the rain!
 

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Epigram

Active Member
Hi Happycamper
Yes that was one of things I tried but forgot to mention. The legs have to be properly slotted in.
I too had a narrow escape from damaging the paintwork as the legs dropped down with the awning partly open.
It’s worth mentioning again.
Forewarned is forarmed.
 

Method7

Active Member
Looking at the Westfalia accessories, they offer a fabric “fly-sheet” style awning that mounts to the awning rail.
I love the idea of a awning but struggle with having to haul it around all the time so when our MP Horizon came up without one we decided to get A KiraVans railsail.

We haven’t tried it yet but I’m pretty confident it will work well.

 

Ranger67

Member
Are you sure the retracted legs are properly secured within the awning cover? Namely by clicking them into their slot and finally tightening the butterfly screws. Mine were loose when I bought the vehicle and fell out a couple of times damaging the paintwork when I started to open the awning. Apols if I'm stating the obvious.
Do your awning legs clip in tightly? Mine just slide in and when opening just fall out again even with the screw tightened. It seems the rotating hinge is loose and therefore right on the edge of the awning that part swings out as soon as you open it which pulls the leg out. Needless to say the other half now stands under the awning as I wind it out as it has hit the paintwork and now I have some scratches on obsidian black which is not good.

Anyone know if this issue would be covered under warranty?
 

Epigram

Active Member
Do your awning legs clip in tightly? Mine just slide in and when opening just fall out again even with the screw tightened. It seems the rotating hinge is loose and therefore right on the edge of the awning that part swings out as soon as you open it which pulls the leg out. Needless to say the other half now stands under the awning as I wind it out as it has hit the paintwork and now I have some scratches on obsidian black which is not good.

Anyone know if this issue would be covered under warranty?
Firstly the legs. I am sure others have better solutions but as a start slot them in slightly protruding (i.e. too long) and tighten the wing nuts. Then squeeze the legs into place and retighten the wing nuts. I don’t really know if this makes them fit any tighter but it’s the best I can do !

Opening the awing: Preferably get someone to stand between the awning and the vehicle to catch them if they fall, otherwise open partially and get the legs down as soon as possible. Really annoying about the scratches. I had a narrow escape. There should be warnings and better advice on opening /closing ! !

Arguably the awning is part of the vehicle supplied by Mercedes and it is their responsibility to fix under warranty. The reality its a Thule awning and most dealers are in the dark.

I mentioned to MB when in for my (ongoing) creaking passenger seat repair. MB put adhesive foam pads at places where they (we) thought it was rattling and I removd the loose foam but the rattle returned, even when driving legless - (the awning not me. I removed to legs to check)

Later inspection (by me) showed small shiney marks on the awning extension bars and the casing. So more pads. This time adhesive furniture pads from Wilkinsons. Cheap, neat and unobtrusive.

At the NEC the other week I spoke to the Thule representative who seemed to be aware of and agree with this approach (if its a problem why don’t they fit additional anti-vibration pads in the factory?

He also said that there is an allen key adjustment to tighten the awning roller under the cover opposite the winder i.e. over the driver’s door. Not needed to try this yet but useful to know.

Bearing in mind the difficulty others have had getting the awning off, if it starts rattling again I‘m minded to ask MB to remove the awning so that I can have a silent winter.
 

Epigram

Active Member
PS I have dispensed with the rubber bands in the picture on post 4.
I now use one of them to hold the tap shut when the fresh water tank is empty rather than removing the fuse.
 

Ranger67

Member
Firstly the legs. I am sure others have better solutions but as a start slot them in slightly protruding (i.e. too long) and tighten the wing nuts. Then squeeze the legs into place and retighten the wing nuts. I don’t really know if this makes them fit any tighter but it’s the best I can do !

Opening the awing: Preferably get someone to stand between the awning and the vehicle to catch them if they fall, otherwise open partially and get the legs down as soon as possible. Really annoying about the scratches. I had a narrow escape. There should be warnings and better advice on opening /closing ! !

Arguably the awning is part of the vehicle supplied by Mercedes and it is their responsibility to fix under warranty. The reality its a Thule awning and most dealers are in the dark.

I mentioned to MB when in for my (ongoing) creaking passenger seat repair. MB put adhesive foam pads at places where they (we) thought it was rattling and I removd the loose foam but the rattle returned, even when driving legless - (the awning not me. I removed to legs to check)

Later inspection (by me) showed small shiney marks on the awning extension bars and the casing. So more pads. This time adhesive furniture pads from Wilkinsons. Cheap, neat and unobtrusive.

At the NEC the other week I spoke to the Thule representative who seemed to be aware of and agree with this approach (if its a problem why don’t they fit additional anti-vibration pads in the factory?

He also said that there is an allen key adjustment to tighten the awning roller under the cover opposite the winder i.e. over the driver’s door. Not needed to try this yet but useful to know.

Bearing in mind the difficulty others have had getting the awning off, if it starts rattling again I‘m minded to ask MB to remove the awning so that I can have a silent winter.
Thanks. I'll have a go at your suggestion for keeping the legs longer. I did slot them in place before tightening previously but they still fell out as soon as you wound it out enough to bring the legs down.
 

BabaJen

Active Member
Speaking from a Cali experience: I realised that in over 600 nights away I have used the Awning all of twice. (My lifestyle is very much hopping from one place to another, mostly overnight stays where I just can't be doing with faffing around winding the awning in and out).

I have had the awning taken off. Not only have I got rid of the annoying rattle that I knew came from the awning, half a dozen other creaks, groans and crashes when going over potholes have disappeared as well. My last thousand miles of driving has seen the biggest grin ever across my face.

I do realise that for many the awning is an integral part of the lifestyle, and many may be like me, if it came with an awning then it's sacrilege to take it off, but removing it has done my peace no mind no end of good :)
 

Epigram

Active Member
Speaking from a Cali experience: I realised that in over 600 nights away I have used the Awning all of twice. (My lifestyle is very much hopping from one place to another, mostly overnight stays where I just can't be doing with faffing around winding the awning in and out).

I have had the awning taken off. Not only have I got rid of the annoying rattle that I knew came from the awning, half a dozen other creaks, groans and crashes when going over potholes have disappeared as well. My last thousand miles of driving has seen the biggest grin ever across my face.

I do realise that for many the awning is an integral part of the lifestyle, and many may be like me, if it came with an awning then it's sacrilege to take it off, but removing it has done my peace no mind no end of good :)
I think I‘m coming round to your way of thinking. My logic for ordering one was they are easier to take off than put on.
The best use last year was opened 18 inches to stop rain coming in the open side door during a torrential downpour.
Sun hats don’t rattle and have less wind resistance :cool:;)
 

Epigram

Active Member
Last weekend we found ourselves parked up on a hot sunny afternoon (in Castellane) with ideal orientation for the awning to provide perfect shade and come into its own. I have waited two and a half years for this moment and even felt sufficiently confident to leave it open overnight.

Had the spell of the rain magnet finally been broken?

No chance ! By 3 pm the following afternoon, thunder, lightning, torrential rain and parts of the campsite flooded. I pitied the people in tents.

I will do you all a favour, I have bought a sunhat and will keep my (rain magnet) awing stowed so that the rest of you can enjoy some sunshine

BTW The awning is still not rattling which, judging by some of the roads I have been on recently, is surprising.
 
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Samebutdifferent

Active Member
Last weekend we found ourselves parked up on a hot sunny afternoon (in Castellan) with ideal orientation for the awning to provide perfect shade and come into its own. I have waited two and a half years for this moment and even felt sufficiently confident to leave it open overnight.

I nearly fell off my chair laughing at this.

No regrets at junking my awning here.
 

Epigram

Active Member
I’ll stick to rain magnet
Post script :
We are all aware that the tailgate keeps the back dry and provides good cover and ventilation during heavy rain.
I was reminded the hard way that it drops a lot of water when you close it from fully open, much to the delight of Mrs E who was getting grumpy because we weren’t going “out” for a meal in that storm
 

Tee

Member
I have / had an annoying creaking rattle from behind me when driving, especially on potholed and scarred town roads. I thought it was the awning, then the sliding door trim, but sometimes it just disappeared after one of the kids sat in the back.

anyway, it stopped one day and i think it was because I stuffed a microfibre towel lightly between the rear seat and the false speaker following drying said kid after a v wet football session In order to protect the leather and because he didn’t want to walk back.

So I think the creaking was the loaded under seat plastic storage…then again it might not be as these rattles are mysterious things.
 
Grand Tourismo

Grand Tourismo

Active Member
VIP Member
I have / had an annoying creaking rattle from behind me when driving, especially on potholed and scarred town roads. I thought it was the awning, then the sliding door trim, but sometimes it just disappeared after one of the kids sat in the back.

anyway, it stopped one day and i think it was because I stuffed a microfibre towel lightly between the rear seat and the false speaker following drying said kid after a v wet football session In order to protect the leather and because he didn’t want to walk back.

So I think the creaking was the loaded under seat plastic storage…then again it might not be as these rattles are mysterious things.
Aha, found one (it might be yours) just the other day!

The through load hatch on the seat bottom panel just right of the drawer...the metal retaining catch rattles against the seat mount, but not all the time, only when the road surface is rough or you are not looking at it!!...I'm planning a crafty reworking of it when I figure out how!!
 
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