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Old 05-23-2006, 06:43 PM   #1
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Awning Aluminum Extesion bar.

As in a previous post I had said that I had a problem when I was awakended by a really hard rain storm.I had forgotten to lower the back side of the awning far enough for the rain to run off and when I had looked out the window I could see it was collecting to much water.I ran and got my rain coat on and just as I had gotten outside to drain the water off it the weight of the rain water started to bend the aluminum bar to a 45 degree angle.After seeing this done I just threw my arms in the air and went back inside until the next morning.Luckily it did not hurt anything on the Airstream but I called Zip Dee and they sent me a bar to replace the broken one.Well..it came in today and I noticed that this one is made of steel rather than the aluminum one I have on it right now.Is this a new change by Zip Dee and are the 2006 Airstreamms getting these also.I even noticed that it is heavier than the aluminum bar.Now I am going to have to get another one so it does not look different unless I can get an aluminum one from them.(I am really picky about detail,but who wouldnt be when you spend this much for a trailer but if all else fails I will live with what works and not worry about it.)Also the bar is hollowed out.Not like the ones I have on the trailer right now which are solid.Thanks
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:20 PM   #2
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At the risk of sounding like a wiseguy, they may have sent you a steel one because it is harder to bend when you fill your awning with water.
Seriously, I am not sure, but they may have had a problem with bending, so they went with a steel replacement.
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:40 PM   #3
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no changes that i'm aware of.....they recently sent me some replacement bits too.....and they are aluminum.....

the obvious thing to do is call them again and describe what you got...perhaps you gave them the wrong part number or wrong awning
model... or they just sent the wrong bits...

given that these 2 metals don't play well when mixed, i serously doubt they want steel bits replacing parts on a current aluminum awning....

and you are lucky the main awning roll didn't bend from the water....that is what usually happens......it can be straigtened sometimes....mine wasn't when this happened 13 years ago....and the repair is much more expensive.

so having the strut fail was a gift....

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman
no changes that i'm aware of.....they recently sent me some replacement bits too.....and they are aluminum.....

the obvious thing to do is call them again and describe what you got...perhaps you gave them the wrong part number or wrong awning
model... or they just sent the wrong bits...

given that these 2 metals don't play well when mixed, i serously doubt they want steel bits replacing parts on a current aluminum awning....

and you are lucky the main awning roll didn't bend from the water....that is what usually happens......it can be straigtened sometimes....mine wasn't when this happened 13 years ago....and the repair is much more expensive.

so having the strut fail was a gift....

cheers
2air'
Having been one of the unfortunate ones to have an isolated storm pass over while the awning was out (and we were elsewhere) if our struts hadn't bent under the weight of the water, the awning would have been completely destroyed. As it is, the main roller now has an ever so slight bend in it, and operation is not affected. Ironically, the struts bending saved the awning as a whole, since doing so allowed enough water to run off. I was able to bend mine back straight, but as far as replacements go, if I had to I think I would just opt for plain square aluminum stock, rather than mixing dissimilar metals - but more than that, replacing the struts in the event of this happening again is far more cost effective than replacing an entire awning, IMHO. I'd rather have the built in safety net the aluminum struts give me.
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Old 05-24-2006, 05:30 AM   #5
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Awning

Yea it seems a bit strange that they would send me something like this when I told them it was an Aluminum part and still they sent me a metal bar instead.I think personally I would rather have the Aluminum bar instead of the metal bar because if this were to happen again it would just bend.Having the steel bar makes me kinda scared that it could take the whole awning down along with some parts of the exterior of my Airstream if this were to happen again.(Knock on wood that it does not.)
I did try to bend it back straight but it took me and another person in the campground to force it straight.We almost had it except for a slight bend in part of the bar.It was just enough to stop everything so I went to home depot and purchased a really cheap hacksaw and cut it short so it would slide into the arm.It works right now but I would like to fully extend it when we start camping again in a few months from now.Fortunantly I have some good time to fix this.On the other hand...We do get hurricanes the next few months also.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:23 AM   #6
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I've got my parts list made...

I need 2 arms, a new spring and the caps that say Zip Dee on the top ends. My PO left it out for about a year I figure flappin' in the wind and the elements got the best of it. Cloth still looks like new but had to remove the rivets and all to get to the guts out of it and find out the spring was shot. Going to be interesting trying to sew it back up to get on the pole as the PO decided to start tearing it off the pole the day I purchased it to make it easier for travel...talk about freakin'...luckily it was on a seam...told here to just leave it and I 'd take care of it.

......been draggin' my feet here on this project as my 16 yr. old son decided to run over my awning pole....just got it back and it looks better than when it left. Local metal guy straightened it out for me.

So see...things could be worse....

Keep us up to date on what they say about the metal vs. aluminum...sounds to me like they may have made a mistake at the factory also. Interested to hear how you make out...might be making my call for parts today or tomorrow.
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:42 AM   #7
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Changes over the years...

Having recently replaced several parts on my Zipdee, I noticed that the top most bar on my awning arms ( the one that actually attaches to the roller head units) is made from solid stainless steel and is quite heavy. There are a few newer Airstreams in my storage yard and on those the same piece is made from solid aluminum... Not sure why they changed but the aluminum has to be alot cheaper than stainless. The part I am referring to is labled #2 on the following diagram.



Here is the full size diagram from Zipdee


-T
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Man
Having recently replaced several parts on my Zipdee, I noticed that the top most bar on my awning arms ( the one that actually attaches to the roller head units) is made from solid stainless steel and is quite heavy. There are a few newer Airstreams in my storage yard and on those the same piece is made from solid aluminum... Not sure why they changed but the aluminum has to be alot cheaper than stainless. The part I am referring to is labled #2 on the following diagram.



Here is the full size diagram from Zipdee


-T
#2 is stainless on mine as well, but #3G is the aluminum one on mine that bent.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:06 AM   #9
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I bought a replacement extension arm assembly from Zip Dee in the past couple of months - it's aluminum. Apparently, the spring died while we were towing and that caused the lobster claw to lose its hold and portions of the assembly ended up on the road somewhere between the Sierras and home. I now secure both assemblies to the rest of the Zip Dee hardware with velcro in order to avoid this happening again.

-Mark
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:12 AM   #10
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Awning

Hey everyone.I just got off the phone with Zip Dee.It just so happens that the reason they sent the stainless awning bar is because they are having trouble with getting Aluminum at the moment.He had told me that they had sent Aluminum that was made to hard and there machines could not bend them.They aready sent a couple or so batches back to the company to get more.Also he had told me that Airstream went to aluminum on just the Safari's to cut costs.The Aluminum bar or #2 bar as seen in above pics only cost about $30.00.The stainless one cost around $75.00.I opted to stick with the better bar.He also had told me that it will not hurt the other Aluminum hollow bar it slides into either.
While talking to him I decided to order another stainless bar and he sold that one also for the price of the aluminum bar so everything will match like it is suppose to.That was very generous of him to do that.Now I have a spare front Aluminum bar that I do not need.Any takers.These things are around $30.00 brand new and It is only 4 months old.I am pretty sure someone would want it cause I now have no use for it.Thanks.
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:04 PM   #11
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Wish I could have helped you unload that bar Devoman...

I just placed my order and have some reference prices..They pro rated my new spring which was suppose to be $108 but I actually got charged $43.20 because they said they are suppose to last more than 10 years....sweeeeet!!

1 part # 21000 Right & Left Head Castings $32.00 each
3 G part # 11400 Right & Left Hinge Bars $21.00 each
Spring $43.20
Total $149.20

They threw the Roller Rivets in.... Very nice people to deal with...now to put it together
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