Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Need One of These

This restoration is part cash, part grunt work, part repair work, part staple removal, and part putty-n-paint (making up for my lack of carpentry skills). It is also a bit of a scavenger hunt. Thankfully, parts for the Toyota chassis are readily available and the major appliances are all fairly standard across the mini-RV spectrum. A couple of things are a little tricky, though. The Bargman 1400 tail lights are no longer manufactured, but the lenses are out there on the web (and are on my list) so I'm planning to restore the existing housings. That's for a later date.

What I'm looking for right now is this.

My Sunrader came with a Carefree Freedom retractable awning. Remarkably, the awning is still in pretty good condition, with just one small tear in a corner that looks reasonably repairable. This worm gear, however, is kaput. It is an uncomplicated part, and all it does is turn vertical twist from the crank handle into horizontal twist for reeling the awning in and out.

But Carefree doesn't stock 20 year old parts. Drat. So I've spent a few hours doing Web-based spelunking and it looks as though I could probably source a shipping container full of them from China if I were inclined to start my own awning business. I've yet to find any parts, however, that I could even consider modifying to fit the job.
Next step? I'm trying one of the handful of RV salvage yards and dismantlers in hopes that they have something close. In the meantime, I can use an old 1/2" socket wrench. Hopefully they won't send us to the back of the campground!

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