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Old 05-28-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
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Awning decision

I just got a little check for a freelance assignment, and it's burning a hole in my pocket.

Stella really wants an awning. I (Jo) also want an awning. I've had one pre-cancerous melanoma mole removed, and two others that popped up over the winter that I might have to have cut out, too. I figure an awning is WAY cheaper than cancer treatment or a mole surgery.

Problem is, I can't decide between buying a nice $600 awning from VTS or another company, or a cheaper alternative. I fear that making one myself wouldn't last as long, look as good or be as functional.

I'm not crazy about the VTS colors, either. I'd really love purple or fuschia, or something other than a staid stripe. Ideas? I wonder if those Fox people would custom-order a sweet fabric for me.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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I think the Zip Dees are way cool.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:51 PM   #3
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Does your trailer have any of the old awning on it? Did it ever have an awning? I don't know how mechanically inclined you are, but you may be able to piece together all the hardware for an awning, and get new fabric for it.
The older trailers had a slightly different roof contour, but pretty much any awning from a pre-1969 unit would fit, and you could cut down the tube to proper length. I know I make it sound easy, but it's not horribly tough.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:58 PM   #4
Mel
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We used this kind for a couple of years on our Safari - inexpensive and it kept the sun and rain off of us! This year we upgraded to a VTS awning. I agree, the color choice is limited, but since Sparky is decorated in yellow and turquoise, the yellow striped awning worked fine for us. The VTS rope and pole awnings are very high quality and I can recommend them. Others have had awnings custom made, which would probably allow you a greater fabric choice. Good luck!
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:01 PM   #5
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Terry, it sounds like you're talking about one of the roll-out awnings like brand-name ZipDee, rather than a so-called "vintage" awning, is that correct? If so, where do you normally find these pieces? Are they listed regularly on ebay or Craigslist, or do you scavenge them from donor units?

I'd be interested in a ZipDee (style) awning as well, and would love to spend less than they cost new if at all possible...

Thanks!
-Marcus
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:21 PM   #6
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Vintage awnings

Jo/Marcus, The problem with Vintage trailers and new awnings is that the awning arms do not conform to the curved sides of the trailers. I was told by my local A/S dealer that the ZipDee awning arms must be custom bent (by the owner) to the shape of the trailer. That voids any warranty that I am aware of on a new awning so used becomes more desireable. Find a used Carefree awning from a salvage yard like Colaws or Cherokee. If all the mechanical parts are serviceable you can always buy a canvas from Carefree of Colorado or have one custom fitted by a local canvas awning shop. Carefree charges about $200.00 for canvas to fit a '67 Safari. I know as I spoke with them last fall about going this route as my main awning only needs canvas. Check them out! Carefree longer makes awnings for the curved trailers but do stock some parts to repair older Carefree awnings. Their customer service folks are very knowledgeable and helpful. Hope this helps. Ed
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:34 PM   #7
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Stella might like one of these from TCT & A Industries. They offer awnings in all the Sunbrella (even solid purple shades named "Concord" & "Plum") & Dickson fabrics rather than just a few pre-selected colors. The cost is about the same as one from VTS, but the fabric selection is much better. Zip Dee awnings tend to run a bit more dollar-wise and as noted previously, they don't fit the curves of vintage trailers as well as new trailers. I know for ours, another problem was that because out door is hinged on the right, we would not be able to open the door more than 90-degrees with any kind of arms attached to the body. I believe a '67 Safari door is hinged on the left, so it wouldn't be a problem like with our '64 GlobeTrotter. We got a true vintage awning with the fringe & everything for our '56 Safari...otherwise, I would be ordering a second one from TCT & A.

We've used ours 3 summers now (35-70 days per year) and it is still going strong ~

Here's some more discussion (several years old, but still accurate) that you may find helpful:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...gs-5397-3.html

Good luck in finding what you're looking for ~ I'm right there beside you with the chunks of missing skin...too much sun as a youngster in CA!

Shari
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:38 PM   #8
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Ed's response was pretty much what I was thinking. If you can find them you could get the arms from a retired (read junk) unit, and get all the other stuff new. The arms don't wear out, and you can still get everything else for them. My idea has the added advantage of not having to find a spot to stow the awning when not in use, it just rolls up.
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:16 PM   #9
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Does anybody have a photo of a zipdee on a 60s model trailer?

I don't know how far it would slant, how it would look, etc. I like how the vintage awnings come straight out and have lots of room underneath, but I also appreciate the ease of a zip-dee.

She has a rail for a rope-and-pole awning. Shari, I like your setup a lot. Seems like Stella is taller than Maxwell, somehow, and definitely has a longer rail, I think almost 12 feet, and I would love the awning to extend 9 feet.

If I did Zipdee, I'd probably hire my Airstream fixit guy to install it. He's reasonable and nice. Drilling into Stella makes me cringe. Now, to find those poles...
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:26 PM   #10
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The 1969 and newer trailers are somewhat taller, and have a slightly different curve where the awning arms would go 'round, up to the rail.
There are other options, if you can find an EZ Awn, they were sold by the Wally store, and fit Airstreams through 1968. We had one on our '63, and it works very well.
Another option is Colaw, and the other RV salvage places.
Also, that rail will work for virtually all awnings, not just the rope-and-pole ones.
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:44 PM   #11
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Zip Dee makes new awnings for Airstreams and the arms come bent to go over the curve.

I like Zip Dee for window awnings, but much prefer A&E made by Dometic for patio awnings. They are much easier to put up and down than Zip Dee and have much heavier/stronger arms, and are also bent in a nice curve to fit the side of the Airstream. The Zip Dee has a hard bend near the upper end, rather than a curved arm to fit the contour.
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella
Shari, I like your setup a lot. Seems like Stella is taller than Maxwell, somehow, and definitely has a longer rail, I think almost 12 feet, and I would love the awning to extend 9 feet.
Yeah, a Safari is longer than a GlobeTrotter so the awning rail would be longer too. Essentially, the end caps are the same and the length is added to the middle where the rail is. It also is probably taller as it is a different year > thus a differnet body style to some degree. The biggest difference being the window style '66-'68 have those cool frameless windows...

The beauty of having an awning custom made (like TCT & A) is that you can have them make it whatever size you want. If you want it to come out from the trailer 9' or 10' you can order it that way. The only thing to be aware of is that the poles & ropes work best when installed at 45-degrees out from the top of the awning or about 3-1/2' to 4' in addition to the distance of the awning itself. (awning pole height of 7-8' divided by 2 for 45-degrees) No biggie if you are camped out in the middle of nowhere, a bit more tricky if you are packed in at a close-knit rally. The good news is, you can always get a bit more space on your patio side by telling the parkers you have a pole-style awning.

Shari
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:21 PM   #13
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We have a brand new Zip Dee on ours and love it. Inland Andy new exactly what size and hardware we needed with just our serial number. Installed in an hour or so and would have gone faster but I was really care (and nervous) about drilling holes in the skin. (measure 30 times drill once)
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:27 PM   #14
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Find a good tent/canopy maker

I found a clearance sale on outdoor canvas - quite a bargain at $6/yard - and am having a tent/awning company fabricate the awning for our '64 Tradewind. The fabric ran me less than $100, and the quote for fabrication is $85-$100 (includes bead or welt, or whatever it is called - the piece that fits into the rail). Sinced I already own the poles, the total project will probably come in right about $200. And, I'll have an awning that matches my decor.
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