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Old 04-09-2005, 04:14 PM   #1
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awning cleaning & conditioning

I recently purchased a 71 ambassador that is in very good condition. One problem, however, is that the awnings have hardly been used. They are both dirty and somewhat stiff. I would like to know what is considered the best way to clean them. Also, how can you condition the material to make it more pliable? They do not have any rips, and I do believe they can look good again. Thank you for your input.
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Old 04-09-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimi
I recently purchased a 71 ambassador that is in very good condition. One problem, however, is that the awnings have hardly been used. They are both dirty and somewhat stiff. I would like to know what is considered the best way to clean them. Also, how can you condition the material to make it more pliable? They do not have any rips, and I do believe they can look good again. Thank you for your input.
There are a few products, Por Marine clean works great for cleaning anything
http://www.por15.com/product.asp?productid=156
Zepp all purpose cleaner works pretty well (Home Depot)
If you can find Campers RV Solution, that is the best I have used on Awnings! Only have been able to find it at RV dealers tho.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:32 PM   #3
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awning cleaning & conditioning

Greetings bimi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bimi
I recently purchased a 71 ambassador that is in very good condition. One problem, however, is that the awnings have hardly been used. They are both dirty and somewhat stiff. I would like to know what is considered the best way to clean them. Also, how can you condition the material to make it more pliable? They do not have any rips, and I do believe they can look good again. Thank you for your input.
The answer depends greatly on the manufacturer of your awning and whether you have a vinyl or fabric awning material -- the acceptable cleaning product will vary betweeen the manufacturers. ZipDee is the "Cadillac" of awnings, and their is a high quality fabric, and I have always had good luck with their "Washout" product for cleaning the blue fancy fabric awnings on my Overlander. You can find the ZipDee website at:

http://www.zipdeeinc.com/Accessories.html

Several years ago, I had the original A & E Travel Awn 5000 on my Overlander, and it was a vinyl monster, and the easiest method for cleaning it was to utilize the same cleaning agents as was the custom for vinyl automotive interiors -- for stubbor spots, I utilized Wesley's Bleche-White (a whitewall tire cleaner sold by most automotive mass merchandiesers).

Good luck with your project!

Kevin
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:09 AM   #4
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I will check to find out the manufacturer this weekend. Is this information on the awning rails or where do I find it?
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:12 AM   #5
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Awning Manufacturer Identification

Greetings bimi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bimi
I will check to find out the manufacturer this weekend. Is this information on the awning rails or where do I find it?
It can be something of a scavenger hunt to identify the manufacturer of an awning as they were often identified by labels similar to those applied to automobile bumpers by the auomobile dealer who sold the vehicle -- these labels often are either illegible or have dissappeared entirely. When this happens, it becomes an issue requiring a bit of detective work -- the shape and size of the tubing in the arms, the attaching hardware, and certain appearance clues will all help to pinpoint the manufacturer.

ZipDee is probably the easiest to identify as they utilize a more unique, nearly square tubing in their arms; and you will often find the ZipDee trademark cast into the aluminum endcaps of the main tube. In addition, the ZipDee is one of the few where the stored awning is covered by an aluminum cover (the cover automatically deploys when the awning is returned to its storage position).

The A & E has a much larger, rectangular cross-section tubing used in its awning support arms. A & E also typically has secondary arms that protrude above the surface of the awning material when the awing is deployed. This manufacturer often utilized labels that were rectangular black vinyl -- the lettering, however, often has become illegible over time.

Carefree of Colorado also has the much larger, rectangular cross-section tubing used in its awning support arms. The secondary support arm typically attaches to the side of the coach about midway between the awning rail at the top and the base support of the main awning support arm. When deployed, the secondary support arm remains below the level of the awning surface.

The attached photos include:
1. My '64 Overlander with its original A & E Travel Awn 5000 Awning in the retracted position -- note the shape and general relationship of the arms to the body of the coach. This is an old (pre-restoration) photo of my coach as the A & E awning became too expensive to maintain and was replaced with a new ZipDee.
2. Moonshot's Carefree of Colorado Awning in its deployed position -- note the position of the secondary awning support arm.
3. Mrs. Silverback's ZipDee Awning in deployed position -- note shape and size of the main awning support arms as well as the position of the secondary support arms (almost level with the awning fabric.
4. Tamara's A & E awning in stored position -- I believe this to be an A & E, but since A & E and Carefree of Colorado appear to be quite similar in the stored position it could possibly be either one.
If your awning doesn't have any identifying labels or casting, and these photos don't help; a photo of the arms and their attaching hardware should help with the identification of your awning's manufacturer.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 04-12-2005, 01:15 PM   #6
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According to zip dee instructions I use mild laundry detergent and a soft brush. Don't use a high pressure washer! Some of the stains cannot be removed using this procedure. I had a leaf get wrapped up in the awning and have not been able to remove the stain it left behind.
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Old 04-12-2005, 05:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel
According to zip dee instructions I use mild laundry detergent and a soft brush. Don't use a high pressure washer! Some of the stains cannot be removed using this procedure. I had a leaf get wrapped up in the awning and have not been able to remove the stain it left behind.
Being an organic stain, I wonder what Oxy Clean would do for that?
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:28 PM   #8
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I'll let you know when the wind dies down enough to open the awnings. Sounds like a reasonable thing to try.
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Old 04-13-2005, 09:24 AM   #9
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I have used Oxy-Clean on my ZipDee to remove leaf stains.
It works great. You do have to let it sit on there for awhile, without drying out.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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Thank you, Kevin D. Allen.

More info on awnings than I ever expected.

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Old 04-27-2013, 06:47 AM   #11
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We use hot water, a bit of Dawn dish detergent and Oxyclean with a long-handled, soft brush. Does a very good job, but may not return it to new.

It may be stiff because of accumulated dirt and grime, and might take a couple of washes and rinses to get it really clean.

We have also used a tad bit of bleach in the final water, brush it in, let it stand a bit and rinse thoroughly. Does a lot for those pesky leaf stains.


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Old 04-27-2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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I use soap and water. Sunbrella makes a cleaner for the awning fabric that should work well.

Be very careful with bleach and other similar products around your aluminum. Bleach doesn't like aluminum.
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