solera awning

Power Awning Won’t Retract – How To Test and Replace RV Awning Motor

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Power Awning Won't Retract – How Test and Replace RV Awning Motor

We were packing up after a weekend camping trip to come home and everything was going fine, until it was time to retract the awning…

Are you having problems with your power awning?  Does it refuse to extend or retract?  Is it making a loud noise?  In this article we will look at what could cause you power awning to stop working and how to fix it.

Now, back to my story.  We were just about done packing up, retracting the awning and bringing the slides in are near the end of our to-do list when leaving a campsite.  I pressed the retract button on the awning and it moved a little bit and then stopped.  After playing with it for a minute or two I discovered that it would extend but wouldn’t retract.  I ended up standing on a step stool on top of a picnic table to help roll the awning up while my wife pressed the button.  After we got home I was able to trouble shoot the problem and ended up replacing the awning motor.

Power Awning Troubleshooting and Motor Replacement Video

What makes a power awning stop working?

  • Lack of power
  • Binding or broken mechanical parts
  • Motor Failure

The 3 items listed above are the main causes for a power awning to stop working.  Let’s take a closer look at each cause and what you can do to troubleshoot them.

Lack of power

If the awning motor doesn’t receive power, it will not be able to extend or retract your awning.

Here are the items to check for power problems:

Low 12v power – This could be caused by a bad battery or the 12v converter in your RV may have failed or be failing.  The easiest way to check your power is with the battery meter built in to your RV.

For a better check place a volt meter across your battery and see what it reads.  If you are plugged into shore power you should be getting over 12v.

Try running the awning with the meter on the battery and disconnected from shore power, if there is a large drop in voltage your battery is bad.

Bad or loose wiring – A broken wire or loose electrical connection will prevent the awning from getting enough power to work properly.  It could also lead to an electrical fire.

You can test the wiring by unplugging the awning motor and connecting wires directly to your battery or another 12V power source.  If the awning moves correctly than the problem is in the wiring or switch.

The next thing to check is the switch connections.  Remove awning switch then, using a short piece of wire connect the 12V power terminal to the extend and then retract side of the switch.  If the awning extends and retracts properly you need to replace the switch.

If the motor checks out ok and bypassing the switch doesn’t make a difference you will have to try and trace the wires looking for any loose connections or broken wire.  If you get to this step you might have to get a dealer involved.

Binding or broken mechanical parts

After eliminating electrical problems, the next step should be to look for mechanical issues.  The first thing I would try is the manual override.  On Solara Power Awnings there is a hole on the top of the plastic motor cover, use a drill and socket to try and turn the override.

solera power awning manual override
solera power awning manual override
solera power awning manual override with drill
solera power awning manual override with drill

If it grinds or just doesn’t move you have a mechanical problem.  Remove the plastic covers from both ends of the awning and look for any damaged bearings or broken gears on the motor side.

Motor Failure

If you tried connecting 12V directly to the motor during the electrical checks and nothing happened your motor is dead.  Or if like mine, it makes a lot of noise and moves very slowly, it needs to be replaced.

Step-by-step: Replacing the Motor on a Solara Power Awning

I purchased a replacement motor on Amazon for under $200.  Here is a link if you need to order one Solara Power Awning Motor On Amazon.  With Amazon Prime I was able to get the motor in 2 days and replacing the motor only take about 25 minutes.

Tools Need: Philips Screw Driver, Ratchet with 10mm socket

  1. Extend your awning about 2 feet. This will give you room to work.  Use the manual override if the motor is completely dead.
  2. Tie the awning arms off to the bracket where it attaches to the side of your RV. Do this on both ends.  This prevents the awning from unrolling completely when the motor is removed.
    solara awning tieoff
    solara awning tieoff
  3. Remove the front and back covers from the motor on the right side of the awning.
  4. Pull the wires up to access the quick disconnects and unplug the motor.
    solera awning motor wires
    solera awning motor wires
  5. Remove the 3 bolts that hold the motor in place using a 10mm wrench or socket.
  6. Remove the bad motor and replace it with the new one. You may have to rotate the motor slightly to get the gears to line up and then rotate it back in place to line up the bolt holes.
  7. Reinstall the bolts.
  8. Reconnect the wires and test the motor’s operation. If it works properly continue.
  9. Replace the covers.
  10. Remove the ropes securing the awning arms.


One way to avoid replacing your awning motor is to take care of it.  I wrote an article with my recommendations on when it’s safe to keep you awning out and when you should retract it.  Click Here to read it.

I hope I was able to help you fix your power awning. if not, you may need to make an appointment to your local RV dealer.  If you have any questions or want to share your experience repairing a power awning please leave it in the comments below.

If you’re new to RVing and looking for more tips check out this article I put together with over 100 tips to help you on your adventures.

Thanks for reading and happy camping,


38 thoughts on “Power Awning Won’t Retract – How To Test and Replace RV Awning Motor”

  1. You have some really great tips for taking care of my awning, and I’ll be sure to remember to check for low battery like you said. Mine has been having trouble starting recently, and I figure it’s either that or the motor like you said. If voltmeter trick with the battery doesn’t reveal anything telling, then I’ll make sure to have it looked at a professional, for sure.

  2. Hey Jason I have a 2019 Salem hemisphere travel trailer the awning does nothing it has a circuit board under the belly in the front part of training, when you push the rocker switch to open or close it shows a F3 code on that led circuit board just didn’t want to pull it all the way to the dealer for warranty. Thought maybe you might have a suggestion that’s chuck

    1. Chuck, do you know what make/model you awning is, that might help in diagnosing the problem.

    1. 2018 Cherokee awning will go out but not come back in. Changed motor and still does it.

      1. It sounds like you have a problem with the wiring or switch. Have you checked to see if there is power where the motor plugs in when you press the retract button?

  3. I have a2015 Montana the awning won’t go in or out but the motor is running when you hit the in or out position!

    1. John, It sounds like the gears might be damaged or missing. I would try taking the cover off the motor and have someone press the button while you look at the motor. You should be able to see what is moving and what isn’t.

  4. Question, my awning was working last summer. There is power going to the motor. It makes a click sound but won’t move the awning. Does that mean the motor is shot and needs replacing or is it in my wiring !?

    1. Derreck, without a little more testing it’s hard to tell.
      Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you.

  5. Loved your video . My motor on my Keystone retreat is not make any noise whatsoever I believe it’s and LCI or an LIC awning what can you recommend to do

    1. Jim,
      I would try bypassing the switch and apply power directly to the motor from a 12V battery or charger.
      That would help you determine if the motor is working or not.

  6. Is there a fuse or breaker that is just for the awning? In the wiring diagram it shows a 6 amp LCI supplied breaker but cannot locate that box on our trailer or awning anywhere. Any idea where it might be located? We have determined we are not getting power to the motor on the awning.

    1. Robbie, I think I just answered your question on YouTube, but if that wasn’t you, here you go.

      If it’s not in the main box, it’s probably an in line fuse. I would check the wiring that runs down the awning arm to the motor. It should be somewhere between where the wire exits the camper and the connection to the motor.
      Good luck,

  7. Jason, my awning is noisy going in or out, this just started. If I roll it up backward, it is quiet in boh directions. I took the motor off and by itself it is quiet. Any ideas?

    1. Scott, the gears on the motor could be wearing out, when you run it backwards it pushes on the opposite side which could explain why it works better.
      Sounds like you will probably need a new motor soon.

  8. Normand Ouellet

    Thanks for all the thread, I have a 2012 Sprinter and I hear a clicking noise if I Push open or close the Electric Awning, so its probably the battery that is 7 years old. I will check it out when I go back.

  9. Emily De Falla

    This is a great article and video by my situation is a little different. When I push the switch to retract the awning absolutely nothing happens. I know the battery is good because all the other functions on that panel work from the battery as well, and they all work fine, e.g. the step lights, the led lights on the awning, etc. Could it be a fuse?

    I had to replace the awning a while back and I am wondering if the wiring that was done then might have come apart. Any suggestions?

    Right now it is in my yard and it is fully extended. I am a single 68 year old lady, so I won’t be going up on a ladder with a drill, but it is great to know that is how to retract it in case I need to hire someone to do that for me.

    1. Emily,
      Thanks for the compliment.

      The wiring could have come apart. There is also an inline fuse, that could have blown. It might be behind the panel that the switch is mounted in.

      I hope that helps,

      1. Thanks for the response. I had a guy go up a ladder and start to fiddle with it. He got as far as taking the screws off the motor cover. I just happened to hit the awning switch right then and there was a response from the motor and the awning moved a bit. So he screwed them back in and we hit the switch and it worked. I guess the wiring or some connection was lose. I’m going to take it in and have it all checked out. I’m not going to unroll it until I’m sure I can get it back in again. That’s the thing with an awning. You can’t drive to the shop to get it fixed if you can’t retract it! And I’m not going to travel without an electric drill and a 7/16th socket (which I happened to have in my tool box) in case this happens again.


        1. Glad to hear you were able to get it rolled up.
          something must have come loose up there.

  10. Jason, I watched your power awning video, well done, you have some skills. Ditch the battery charger and buy a “Power Probe” or Autel “powerscan” for electrical testing, you will never regret it. I have the Powerscan, it comes with an extra 20 foot extension which is handy around the RV. The Power Probe sells the 20′ extension separately. Again, you will never regret buying one of these tools.

  11. Lci motors are weak as hell. Car window will work for thirty year….lci motor lasts 2🤔

  12. Heard thunderstorms coming so I was retracting my Solera awning and it was rolling up, but then one end of the roller jumped out and I had to hold up the end that popped loose and complete the retraction with the motor, but the arm on the end that had popped loose wanted to jump back out in the deployed position.
    The motor end is secured on its own, but the other end is resting on my open trailer door, otherwise it would be dangling at one end (which would cause bending or stress on the other end with the motor.
    Still to dark to go out and check. I will have to wait until daylight and others at the RV park to wake up.
    From what I gleaned from you, one end has motor and the other end has bearing and gears. I would then have to assume it would be the non motor end because the one end was retracting when I pressed the switch.

    1. Kirk,
      The motor end has the gears, the other end is just a shaft and bearings. If it was moving the motor end is probably good, it sounds like the shaft either broke or came loose on the other end.

  13. Richard K Edwards

    I have learned these motors have chronic problems. Google “Power Awning won’t Retract”. Our TT and awning is a 2016. By late summer 2017 it would not retract, or at least needed help to do so. I hounded Lippert with this information and they eventually “goodwilled” me a replacement. Fast forward to fall 2019 and the blasted thing is doing the same thing again. Spring 2020 and I decided to do a thorough troubleshooting exercise. Checking battery voltage, voltage at the motor, trying with both the main and remote control, all ok. Now doing a little more internet research I see eTrailer is listing two replacement motors. One for units made before 2015 at $188 and one for units made after 2015 at $305. Hmm. Given all the comments on the forums regarding this power awning problem I just have to wonder why someone hasn’t taken Lippert to task and made them do the right thing.

    By the way, with the extend side of the motor working fine you can roll the awning back, inside out, to get the thing secure for travel. The feeble retract side of the motor then typically has enough strength to roll the awning back out.

  14. Hello, my awning won’t go out or in unless RV is running.? I had. Igor replaced last year and it’s beem store. Any ideas?

    1. Hi I have a 2005 Winnebago adventure37b . I replaced the awning motor. Battery’s are charged motor and control box just clicks. I plugged in the old motor after removal and it worked. Help

  15. Anthony DeLuca

    Hi Jason. My fuse blows when I try to take the awning in or out. To have a good look I rolled it out all the way with the manual over-ride but now I cannot get the manual over-ride to reel it back in. I have a feeling there is some mechanical issue that was creating resistance causing the fuse to blow. At this point I think I am just going to have my RV dealer handle it. To do that, however, I need to get the awning rolled in ! Any ideas? I tried to roll it by hand but the resistance does not allow for that. Should I remove the motor to get rid of the resistance?

    1. If you remove the motor, you should be able to roll it back up by hand. Then you will just have to re-attach the motor to hold it in. You might want to tie the arms up with a couple zip ties to make sure it doesn’t unroll on the road in case something comes lose.
      Hope that helps,

  16. Hi Jason,

    My 15 amp fuse blows when I attach the switch to the relay box. Battery seems to be fine because when its unplugged the radio, etc works fine. I think the switch may need to be replaced but wanted to see if you had any other ideas? Thanks

    1. Nicholas,
      I’m assuming you mean the awning switch. Is it blowing when you actually press the switch in to move the awning or as soon as it is connected?

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