Electric Awning Switch Relocation
For 3 1/2 years we’ve been struggling with our electric awning switch and its factory installed location. It was located down low at floor level just to the side of the entry door and the step well just inside the RV. The manufacturer must have felt that the only time you’d be deploying or retracting the awning, that you’d be standing outside at ground level with the door wide open. Even then the steps are in the way and whether you’re inside or outside, you have to practically stand on your head to operate the switch.
Factory Location Of Switch
I unscrewed the 4 Philips head screws that hold the switch in place and pulled the switch away from the wall carefully until I could determine how much spare wire length was available. As I had suspected, the wiring came down from above as I was hoping since the new location was to be higher on the wall. The switch is a two-way toggle switch for the “out” and “in” moving of the awning. The wiring consisted of four 12 gauge wires (white, black, green, yellow) bundled together with spaced strips of electrical tape.
On the back side of this wall is our bath room where the electrical panel is located along with our generator on/off switch and hour gauge. The void in the wall for the electrical wiring and vertical vent for the plumbing to extend up through the ceiling and roof is located here. I then removed the electrical panel cover and surrounding wood panel to expose the void and to locate the four wire bundle from above its current location.
I then was going to pull all the wire for the switch up through the void but realized that with the connectors on the ends of the wires, they would not pull through the small opening inside the wall that the wires ran through. So I pulled enough wire to reach the level where I wanted the new location to be and cut the 4 wires. This meant I’d have to install new connectors which I already had in my electrical repair case.
New connectors being applied.
I then marked the new location on the wall and with a hole cutting bit, drilled a 1” hole and then with my jig saw cut it into a 1” x 1-1/2” rectangular hole. I then dropped the wires into the void while Carol with a coat hanger with bent end fished for the ends of the wire bundle as I lowered them into the void.
Now all I had to do is connect the wires back into the awning switch and set it into the hole while Carol looked over my shoulder to make sure it was square and level. Once we had it square, Carol held it in place while I screwed the 4 screws through the switch panel and into the wall.
This was a relatively easy job and only took less than an hour to complete. As you can see, the switch is in a much easier convenient location for deploying and storing the electric awning. You can see the hole down at the bottom of this picture after removing the switch. All I have to do now is run over to Home Depot and get a blank plate to cover the hole. I do not want to fight the Black Friday crowds and traffic today, so I’ll wait until tomorrow. Going to Home Depot is the highlight of any day as I could spend all day just wandering the isles looking and wishing.