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Old 05-11-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
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Installing A & E Awning Arms & Canvas

We have a 71 23' Land Yacht without an awning. I just got all the hardware for a A&E 5000 awning. The arms are in good shape as is the tube.

I have no idea how to install the awning or the arms. It looks as if the bottom brackets screw into the frame near the bottom of the trailer, what do the upper brackets screw into?

Should I try to install new canvas or should I go to a dealer? Where can I buy new awnings?

Thanks,

Floyd Terrell
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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Installing A & E Awning Arms & Canvas

Greetings Floyd!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theterrells View Post
We have a 71 23' Land Yacht without an awning. I just got all the hardware for a A&E 5000 awning. The arms are in good shape as is the tube.
My Overlander had an A & E Travel Awn 5000 when I first purchased it in 1995. What I learned in the six years that I tried to maintain that awning was the following:
  • Unless things have changed since 1999, A & E (Dometic), no longer offers any parts of the Arms for Airstream applications. I have heard rumors that they are again making awnings for new Airsteams, but they would have a slightly different radius than what was used on our Vintage Airstreams . . . but it is possible that they may also have decided to address the Vintage Airstream market as well.
  • The awning tube can appear to be in perfect condition, but one or both tension springs can be broken as they are totally concealed by the awning tube. Depending upon the age of the awning parts that you are working with, you may learn the same thing that I did with mine . . . new parts were no longer available to replace my broken tension springs so my Airstream dealer searched out a pair of used tension springs (those lasted two years before one failed).
  • The awning material can be replaced in a number of ways. New fabric can be ordered in the proper size for your awning tube from an A & E awning dealer. You can have new material sewn for your awning tube by an experienced tent/awning maker utilizing a fabric of your choice. The original A & E Travel Awn 5000 utilized a vinyl bonded to a canvas bottom layer . . . this tends to be a humidity trap in humid climates. My suggestion would be to consier having a replacement sewn utilizing Sunbrella fabric as it breathes making the area below the awning much more comfortable . . . Sunbrella is what Zip Dee utilizes.
My suggestion would be to be absolutely certain that all parts of the awning arms and awning tube are in good condition before procedding with installation. Should you find that any parts are needed, ascertain whether they are available before proceeding. During the six years that I tried to maintin my Travel Awn 5000, I spent 90% of what a new Zip Dee awning would have cost . . . then finally gave up and purchased a new Zip Dee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theterrells View Post
I have no idea how to install the awning or the arms. It looks as if the bottom brackets screw into the frame near the bottom of the trailer, what do the upper brackets screw into?
The brackets were one of the troublesome features on my Travel Awn 5000. The lower brackets are intended to have one screw that goes into the vertical rib with the lower two screws going into the coach's floor. A similar case for the upper brackets . . . one rivet into the vertical rib and two rivets into the skin on either side of the vertical rib. Try contacting customer service for A & E/Dometic and request a photocopy/pdf of the installation/operation instructions . . . I had to make several attempts back in 1995, but they finally did provide the three pages of instructions (unfortunately, those pages disappeared from my binder several years ago or I would be happy to forward them to you).

Quote:
Originally Posted by theterrells View Post
Should I try to install new canvas or should I go to a dealer? Where can I buy new awnings?
Since your awning is already totally disassembled, installing new material shouldn't be terribly difficult. A & E/Dometic should be able to provide new material for your awning tube . . . or you might be able to purchase a new awning tube with the material already installed. Your fabric choices both type and colors is likely to be much larger if you work with a local tent/awning maker who may be able to get Sunbrella fabric that is "breathable" rather than the canvas backed vinyl that was typically offered on the A & E awnings.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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