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Old 12-11-2003, 06:44 PM   #1
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awning question

I have only had the chance to try my awning two times this summer and both times when the awning
is all the way out I cannot open the door to the
motor home more than half way.

What am I doing wrong? Or is this a normal thing?

Thanks
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Old 12-11-2003, 06:56 PM   #2
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If it is like the awnings on the trailers you need to extend the arms to raise the awning up, I have Carefree's on mine. On the inside of the side arm there is a black handle you pull then extend the arm, and let it lock back in. This also allows you you to tilt the awning to one side to allow water to drain off so you don't collapse the awning when it fills up with water. Which happens when you don't tilt it in a rain storm.

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Old 12-11-2003, 06:57 PM   #3
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Zip Dee Extension

Orland:

Sounds as if you do not have the arms extended all of the way out.

Both the horizontal and the vertical aluminum arms need to be extended to almost their maximum in order for the door not to hit the awning.
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Old 12-11-2003, 07:04 PM   #4
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Unless it's like ours would be if we had a ZipDee...because of the right hand hinged door and the placement of the awning support, the door would only open 90-degrees. One reason we are still without an awning...trying to consider all options and still maintain our near 180-degree operating door.

Silly...

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Old 12-11-2003, 07:27 PM   #5
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Time for an awning class I see.

Zipdees are different, but I will start there first.

Unlock the awning from the coach, turning the little wheels and fold them out of the way. Pull the lock lever if you have one toward the ground.

Using the awning hook pull the strap and extend the awning all the way out, you may need to disconnect the rafters (side arms) from the main arms to reach full extension.

You may need a helper to hold the awning strap. Hook the rafters (they go from the roof of the trailer to the awning roller) to the roller bar. The way to extend the rafter is to pull out on the round knob, and withdraw the inner tube. The knobs are all spring loaded so when you place the rafter on the roller tube push out, it should lock into place. Repeat on the other side.

Once you have the rafters in place you no longer need the helper, maybe.

To lift the awning now pull out on the knob on the main arm and slide the main arm out of the tube. It will also lock in at a minimum point. If you want the main arm higher, just pull out the knob as you lift. Do this on both sides.

Once you have the awning to the full extension use the center support arm to hold it out. This also gives you additional support. If your coach has one use it. The arm is un stowed by pulling the knob and taking the pin out of the holder. There is a hole in the awning tube that the pin goes in. Push the inner tube of the center brace until it is locked firmly in place. The strap can be folded on itself and stowed in the little pocket provided.

DO NOT use the lock lever on the awning, (if you have one)that you unlocked at the start, to hold the awning in the out position other than for setup. Leaving it locked will defeat the awnings ability to flex in the wind and could cause it to be damaged or even torn off the trailer. Many new Zipdee awnings do not have the lock as it has become a common error that is made .

Carefree work the same, sort of.

There are 2 arm locks that need to be open first. Check to be sure the black knobs are loose on the inner arms. Then unlock the awning lock on the front of the awning tube.

Using the hook, pull the awning out to full extension. Attach the rafters to their in use position. Sometimes that is just pushing them up to lock, sometimes they clip in. It depends on the awning. Tighten the knobs on the rafters.

Lift the main arms with the provided handles. The handle is like the knob on the Zipdees. It will lock the arm in place once you have the proper height.

In both cases take down is reverse of setup. In both cases you should drop one end of the awning if leaving it up overnight or for a day while you are gone. A big rain storm could damage your awning. Lastly I recommend an awning tie down system of some sort. The awning can be folded over the top of your trailer if a strong wind comes along and they are not cheap to replace.

Class dismissed!
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:28 AM   #6
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I think I got an "F" in awning class. Or maybe I'm missing some extensions because the existing ones are too short for my awning to open fully. My Airstream is a '71, but I'm not sure if it has a Zipdee or Carefree awning. Does anyone have a picture of how their awning looks when fully extended? Please?

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Old 08-02-2004, 05:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggerbadbrad
I think I got an "F" in awning class. Or maybe I'm missing some extensions because the existing ones are too short for my awning to open fully. My Airstream is a '71, but I'm not sure if it has a Zipdee or Carefree awning. Does anyone have a picture of how their awning looks when fully extended? Please?

bbb
Check out this link. This should help you determine if you have a Zip Dee or not. This page has some good illistrations on it.
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Old 08-02-2004, 09:21 AM   #8
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Thanks Silvertwinky.

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Old 08-05-2004, 06:34 AM   #9
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I got a "C". I didn't know about leaving the awning "unlocked" when extended. I wish I knew about this the first time out. Took me about an hour to figure out the steps on my own.
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:58 AM   #10
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I learned one other important lesson if you have a center support arm on a Zip-Dee. If you decide to raise the awing higher, raise one side, then re-adjust the center support tension, then raise the other side. I recently raised one side and then the other. The center support post now was short and fell out of the hole provided in the awning end. Directly below the post was my wife's favorite canvas chair and as the pole fell like a pendilum, the pointed end sliced right through her chair like a hot knife through butter. Needless to say I am not in good graces with her on this.

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Old 08-05-2004, 11:53 AM   #11
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Brett, I see only one missing lesson in your awning class: arm exercises to develop the physical strength to "snap" those extensions out! Maybe growth hormone to grow a few inches taller would be helpful too. I don't know if anyone else has problems with getting those extensions out, but we sure do. I think a "helper" is essential in this awning put-up activity-cannot imagine getting it done (up or down) solo! A word of caution: remember to not leave awnings up in gusty breeze or when away from the camp! We use ours only on sunny, still days when we are at our site.
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Old 08-05-2004, 02:27 PM   #12
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Addendum:

Proceed to the original steps if you are burly or over 6 foot tall, otherwise
prior to attempting to open your awning, procure a 2 step, step stool so you have sufficent height to reach the upper arms once the awning is extended.

How's that sound
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:02 PM   #13
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I too understand the concern of 'doing it solo'. I found that lubricating the arms with silicone spray and hitting the mechanisms with WD 40 helped in the ability to do it solo. Just cleaning the arms where they slide together will help!

I also agree with the step stool idea. Esp for ease in unlocking the arms and resetting everything back in place. (I have been on the lookout for a small folding stool that is easy to store. Most are somewhat large for the small compartments.)

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Old 08-05-2004, 07:45 PM   #14
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Cheap sacrifice!)

Jack,
I bet you're glad that you made the cheap sacrifice of the chair rather than the side of your trailer! Don't tell Patty I said that though.

Others,
Our door on our MH needs to be closed in order to open the awning without fear of tearing it when fully extended but no side rails are extended yet. It also has a roller attached to the top outside left corner so that when it is tipped slightly for overnight rain run-off, the door won't rub or possibly tear the awning when the kids (me too) forget and open the door too far the next morning.

The best way to get good at that awning thing...go camping more!
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