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Old 09-11-2002, 09:58 AM   #1
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'78 Sovereign Awning

Good Morning.

ALMOST a new owner here. Thanks for all your suggestions so far. NEW PROBLEM According to the past owner, the Sovereign I will be getting has troubles with its awning. The owner says the advertisements for the original awning stated it could be easily lowered and put back by a woman, but that has not been his experience. He says it jams and wants to bend. He thinks the arms of the awning are too light for the weight of the awning plus its roller and suggested I look around for some aftermarket arms that will work with the original awning. I haven't tried lowering it yet, but will as soon as we take delivery. Does anyone have any suggestions. This is the original awning supplied with the '78 Sovereign. I have seen a few pictures on the web with this awning extended. I e-mailed a salvage supplier and he said that arms on awnings are not interchangable so if this one is trashed I will have to get a brand new, errrr used, awning. That would be a big expense and is not an option right now as the $$$ I put out for the AS itself are every cent I have. Any owner with experience with the awning provided with the Sovereign: PLEASE WRITE ME. Thanks

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Old 09-11-2002, 09:33 PM   #2
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Is it a Zip Dee?

If so does it have a bow in the roller that the fabric is rolled on to?

If so there is a way to bend it. It requires 3 people. The proceedure is outlined in the owners manual from Zip Dee. Zip Dee has a web site and the manual is available from them. Godd to have it for other reasons too. BTW the best part, the fix is free. And I got my manual free too when I ordered a part that I needed.


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Old 09-12-2002, 08:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I will check out the name Zip Dee. So far I haven't seen it posted on the awning, but apparently there is a drawer full of manuals for the rig. I take delivery next week. I'll get back to you if I don't understand the process. Thanks again.
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:49 AM   #4
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Awning on 78 Airstream

Look on the awning arms. CareFree has their name on a sticker that you can see in the rolled up position. I don't know about the others.
As for my search, my time is up, I'm just going to have to purchase a whole new set-up, because I have to move due to a DOT road project.
Looks like I'll be purchasing a ZIpDee, just because of the other posts here, and still being able to get parts, if needed.
CareFree changed their design, which made all CareFree curved arms from 1969 to 2000 for Airstream obsolete. If it's damaged, they have no replacements.
It's really crazy to have to spend $1000.00 or so to buy a new awning, just because a $150.00 part is damaged.
So from here on out ZipDee has my business.
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:18 PM   #5
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On my '78 Soveregin International the awning is ZipDee and the name is cast into the ends of the support arms ( the arms are made of an extrusion with castings bolted to the end.

If the awning tube is not bent and it doesn't want to roll up (mine takes a push to get it started) the tension on the spring in the tube may not be strong enough.

Go to the ZipDee web site and find the instruction on how to remove the Awning. This will tell you how to relieve and replace the tension on the roller.

Hope this helps...

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Old 01-05-2005, 06:12 AM   #6
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Z lock

Zip Dee awnings sometimes have a lock feature called a Z- lock.
This is fitted into the forward end of the awning tube.

These devices get water into them over the years and tend to seize. This will cause the awning to act as though the spring is shot or seized.

Zip Dee service will tell you, that if the awning will roll on its own to any degree, the spring is not the problem.

I had the same problem and assumed the spring was alomost shot. I called Zip Dee and talked to them. They sent me a 98 dollar Z-Lock. When I replaced the Z-lock, the awning rolled so easily, it almost snatched me off of the ground.

Replacement is simple and the new one comes with all parts and directions.

go here for directions

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Old 01-03-2006, 07:34 AM   #7
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Zip Dee

If the awning is original it should be a ZIP DEE, just as the others stated, they carry a full line of replacement parts for the awning, and they are pretty helpful over the phone too.

I have an older awning that the retention pins wore out on, on the extention bars...I replaced those and it works wonderfully, I also cleaned them up and lubricated the joints.

ZIP DEE is an awesome product and is designed to be easy to use...if that is not the case it is just in need of some maintenence, good luck

they are easy to find on the web too

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