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Old 08-14-2006, 09:37 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I thought it was super cool.

Advantages: nothing that could deploy while you're driving. Probably a "fold and toss in the door" as you leave the campground. If ripped by a storm, unlikely that the poles would damage the A/S. With the right fabric it could be a do it yourself project. This type awning would be good excellent to add a screen room onto. Also no awning arms to bump into.

Disadvantages: Probably would be a pain in the ass to put up without two people, would take longer to put up and take down. Need for soft ground to put stakes and guy wire holders in.

It's the pain in the rear part that made me think and buy a ZipDee. Vintage pole awnings are very nice, but labor intensive to put up and down.
I would have not used it once during my last 10 day trip, while I could have used the ZipDee every day.

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Old 08-14-2006, 09:49 PM   #16
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I was reading the thread, and I was sad to see the damages, and during that time I did not really noticed that it was rainnig like hell outside, I had to jumped out to put one side down,
that thread may have save my awning...

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Old 08-14-2006, 09:51 PM   #17
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I agree with Uwe as to the ease of deployment being a big factor in getting a Zipdee. The other is, in the mountains of Northern Arizona you would need Harry Stampler (Bruce Willis) and his crew from Armageddon to get the stakes in the ground.


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Old 08-14-2006, 10:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JimGolden
Do you all have any recommendations for a suitable alternative to Zip Dee? My Excella needs a new awning, and they're $1400 as quoted me by Zip Dee.

I'd always heard Zip Dee was "The Cat's Meow" when it came to awnings. I don't know what else is out there.
Jim, My 1967 Safari has a factory installed Carefree of Colorado awning on it and the only real problem with this 39 year old awning is worn canvas and the two locking screw plastic knobs that are crumbling from UV exposure/time. I would think that since my local Airstream dealer sells Carefree that they probably still make one that can fit your coach. They sell online as well as from rv dealers. Hope this helps with your search for alternatives to ZipDee. Ed
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:05 PM   #19
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Sorry to see this to minnie's mate he had the same problem about a month ago with his new zipdee awning. That is a bummer you have me scared to leave my awning out at night now...I find the the Zipdee is hard to put away with several beers or wine in me before bed... Quick story that may or may not make you feel better but its a story... My business partner and his family have a holiday rambler its nice but it's no Airstream....anyhow his wife and kids spent most of July in Flagstaff so a couple of weeks ago we had business in Flag him and I went up to retrieve his trailer and bring it back to the heat of the valley.... His awning was having some trouble it rolled up but it seemed to have lost the spring action in it, so there was a little bit of lose canopy flopping after it was rolled up.. not much just about 5-6 inches so we locked it down and secured for the trip for the trip south bound on I-17.....about 20 miles south of flag I noticed in the mirror the awning was looking a little kite like so we pulled over at the next exit to secure it again...on down the road about another 5 miles a truck zooms up next to us in the left lane.... window down and they are screaming.... your nawnning..... WHAT?? .. Your nawning......WHAT I CAN'T HEAR YOU.... YOUR AWNING........I look….. Oh MY GOD.... Dude... your awning... its gone... ripped off clean all 21 feet of it! Poles flopping in the wind at 65 mph..... fortunately it didn't hit anybody or anything.. but... that little mishap will cost a couple of bucks to I guess it could be worse for what ever it’s worth....
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."- Mark Twain

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Old 08-15-2006, 06:38 AM   #20
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AZ, so sorry to hear about your loss, and so young.
I never got over the loss of my first awning.

When I was cutting my teeth on my first RV, SOB 36 ft class A, I lost the 28 foot Carefree awning within 6 months. I never replaced it.

I have wondered about the practicality of an awning, , wind most often accompanies rain, so when you need the awning the most you wind up rolling it up in order to protect both it and the trailer (from the rocking, rolling, and stress on the trailer and the awning components.

While I have seen sun-bleached inexpensive awnings, unattended, and (per mentally) deployed, laden with hundreds of pounds of water, or buffeted by hurricane force winds and still standing, I fully realize that this is not my lot in life.

While I have Zip-Dee awnings all around my Excella, just installed a roadside, I do roll the curb-side up whenever I leave the rig, and do keep the rear end pitched.

I think of my awnings as heat controls for the Airstream, and a sun shade only. I have kept it down in the rain, while staked on occasions

It occurs to me that images of airstreams festooned with awnings full deployed is as idealistic as a little white bungalow, flower boxes overflowing with brightly colored blooms, surrounded by a neatly kept lawn and a cute little white picket fence.

Now excuse my while I roll up my awning.

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Old 08-15-2006, 07:48 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by azflycaster
I woke up Saturday moring and found my awning arms had bent due to the downpour of rain we had that night. The foward arm has almost a 90 degree bend in it. I forgot to lower the one end to allow for the run off. Must of been having too much fun at the camp fire the night before. I rolled it up (with some help) and removed all the arms for travel. I'll give Zipdee a call today and see what they will do.
Man, I feel your pain. Like AZstreamin said, been there done that. I had the same problem and same bend with my rear awning arm when my '06 Safari was less than a month old although my rear awning arm was one notch below the front. Once it starts to bend, it goes to a 90 degree before it stops. We can have some fierce down pours in July thunderstorms in Atlanta. I didn't expect Zip-Dee to offer any compensation since no warranty covers acts of God or Nature.

Since then, I retract the awning when we leave the camp ground if there is any chance of rain or if we are in Florida. I don't bother locking it down, just rolling it up. I haven't bothered retracting it at night unless there is a chance of rain either. However, we were in central Florida over the 4th and I retracted it while we left for the afternoon. While we were gone there was a short Florida down pour. When we returned, there was a family trying to figure out what to do with the ripped awning on their Class A. It had ripped where the awning connects to the motorhome.

The guy I talked to at Zip-Dee was very cordial and very helpful. I also ordered a pair of the lift handles when I ordered the awning arm. I told him I was short for my age (5'-6") and had problems getting enough leverage to get the awning up to its top notches and he admitted that he had problems too and he was tall. Quite frankly, for $28 MSRP, Airstream ought to include them on all their trailers. I honestly can't imagine how seniors and free wheeler women manage these heavy awnings on the longer coaches.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by JimGolden
Do you all have any recommendations for a suitable alternative to Zip Dee? My Excella needs a new awning, and they're $1400 as quoted me by Zip Dee.

I'd always heard Zip Dee was "The Cat's Meow" when it came to awnings. I don't know what else is out there.
We had a Carefree on our Tradewind and experienced no problems. Chummy has an A&E which causes us nothing but problems. The fabric is original and looks great but I attribute that to it frequent inability to open. The springs arms, and anything else mechanical on the awning is just plain awful. A&E does replace the parts but it means camping without the awning and trips to the RV repair place to have it fixed. When I replace it I will do it a Zip Dee.
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:17 PM   #23
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I had a very similar experience. The morning after I first installed my "Tropical Room" a thunderstorm came up and dumped a lot of water on the awning. Mine bent the front lower arm.

The lady at Zip Dee was very nice and had the parts coming to me that same day.

This experience gave me an appreciation of what the awning is and what it is not. What it is is an easy to deploy and retract sunshade. What it is not is an all-weather device. It's a very specialized device, and it's built only as heavy and sturdy as it needs to be for camping use.

The same attributes that make it pleasant to use in nice weather become a liability when the weather turns bad. Sure, it's lightweight and it's easy to use. It's also easy to retract if bad weather threatens.

I did a full jump-out-and-retract in a sudden thunderstorm two nights ago. One of my neighbors laughed, but he had his awning only one-third deployed. Another has his awning hanging from his fifth-wheel now.

Azflycaster, I don't think Zip Dee has any liability for this. Your awning is not the roof, or the porch, of a house, and nobody has ever claimed otherwise.

It took one for me to learn, too. If rain is coming, give the awning the most radical tilt that you can. If wind is present, too, get wet and put the awning up. Leave it unattended at your own peril.

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Old 08-15-2006, 03:55 PM   #24
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What about stuff like this to help with storms/wind? Do they work?
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:07 PM   #25
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Ed, thanks. I'll look into those.

The folks I spoke to on the phone at ZipDee seemed really nice. Just an awful lot of money...IMHO anyway
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:10 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by 68 Overlander
Lew, that was humble and honest, good job. You can't speak for the manufacture so you offer alternatives. Good to see your eggs aren't all in one basket.
Unfortunately, the post that Randy mentions has been deleted from this thread by the 'powers that be' for the impression of 'soliciting business'. I considered it an offer of assistance in obtaining other brands of awnings..... just in case any of you were wondering what Randy was referring to. I don't desire to repeat the post!

On to the next topic!

FWIW, awning de-flappers will hold the fabric from 'flaping' when the wind direction is coming side-on. They do little of nothing to save the awning from excess wind loading nand breakage or damage. They just keep the fabric quiet. That's what I know.......make up your own mind about them.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:17 PM   #27
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hi azflycaster....

ouch that photo hurts....but it does show what happened.....

13 years ago i left my awning up level during a 5-6 inch downpour...
awakened to a crash thinking a tree limb had hit me...
tried to open the trailer door but could not...
awning roll had bent in the middle and collapsed against the door....
trapping me...and scared me senseful....

ended up buying another was my fault....

did you see this thread about my near miss last year?
big winds and the awning held fast....

also contacted customer support recently. i wonder if they are in some sort of transition....didn't seem nearly as sharp as past contacts...

best of luck with new struts...
might check ebay too....everything sometimes...

and i think zip dee owns sunbrella or is it carefree?

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:31 PM   #28
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Some months (a year?) back, ZipDee was purchased from family ownership by an internal group. Usually this means that the purchasing group had to take on debt to pay the former owners. So, often the new ownership is under financial pressure.

I sure hope it is temporary since ZipDee seemed to be one of a few small, quality companies which was doing well.

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