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Old 02-15-2008, 04:22 PM   #1
bnbcarr's Avatar
1992 35' Airstream 350
estero , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Unhappy Awning Frustration

I have a saga that I am dealing with that began last summer when my then two year old patio awning started to unravel at the seam by the door. I called Linda at Zip Dee and was told that there was nothing that they could do and that I should go to a sail maker.

We have a repair tech in South Florida - Greg Blue - who will remove and replace awning fabric. So, I called him to get the awning off. (You should know that we live in our 350LE full-time but don't take it off the pad.) He called ZD and had Linda agree to take in the fabric and re-sew it at no charge. Yippe - right .....WRONG!

The fabric was sent to ZD by Greg in October. I kept calling to get a status and was finally told in late November that ZD was not able to sew the fabric as it fell apart and so they sent it into Sunbrella for analysis. More waiting! Then I was told that the analysis would still take another couple of weeks but I could buy a new patio awning for half price. I said I would wait since the warranty is 3 years.

It is now Jan of 08 and I called Sunbrella to get an understanding of how long the analysis would take only to find out that my fabric was never sent to them! The word I got was that Jim (Pres of ZD) had it on his desk and forgot to send it. Yikes!

Jump to Feb 4 and I call ZD again. Word is now that Sunbrella doesn't know what happened to the fabric but would replace it at no charge. All of my other awnings were new at the same time as the patio. So, I talked to Linda about replacing all of the awnings and ZD agreed to give me a 33% discount on the other three. So nice ... but I am thinking that they could have gone to bat for me and gotten Sunbrella to supply fabric for all of the awnings. Do you agree? Well it is water under the bridge at this point since I did buy the new awnings.

Now I am trying to find someone who is willing to put them on in a timely fashion. Greg has personnel challenges and time conflicts with his full-time job and family obligations. He has said he would see if he could find someone to help on a Sat or Sun but not until after the Fl State Rally....more waiting.

I emailed Lew and he is willing to help but can't get to me until after the snowbirds leave at the end of March or early April. More waiting...

Does anyone have a contact in Southwest Florida that might be able to do the work in February?

In the meantime, I will continue to wait...

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Old 03-03-2008, 06:56 AM   #2
bnbcarr's Avatar
1992 35' Airstream 350
estero , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Question some progress...

Well, I have received the fabric and I was able to contract to get the awnings up last week. There are just a few "glitches". The patio awning fabric was sewn about 5 inches too wide for the roller assembly. I'll talk with ZD about that today. But the other concern is a sag in the fabric. There are pictures. They aren't showing when I preview the post but hopefully will attach when I submit?

Can you tell me if the sag can be corrected? Should there be more rivits? The awning where it has been attached at the seem is tight. The roller bar pocket is loose. Is this something that can be corrected or do I need to have the fabric resewn?

Thank you.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:33 AM   #3
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1995 28' Excella
Artist , at Large
Join Date: May 2004
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What a saga!
Well it looks like you're almost there!

The sag is NOT normal.
The GOOD news is that it can be corrected.

It looks to me like the tension spring inside the roller needs to be tightened.
The process is very much like tightening the tension on a window shade.

By the way, if you pull down on the center pull strap, does the sag tighten. if it does you may just need to shorten the pull down strap.

Some one might jump in here, but the simplest method would be for you call ZipDee ask them to fax you the directions.

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Old 03-03-2008, 08:56 AM   #4
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Central , Ohio
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Link to the instructions for adjusting the tension if you decide that's what needs to be done:
Awnings By ZipDee
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
bnbcarr's Avatar
1992 35' Airstream 350
estero , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Talking getting there...

Thank you! both. I was able to speak to Jim at ZD and he told me that the rivets need to be 2" vertically away from the awning tube seam and then straight along the tube and at each seam, and one in the middle of the panel - at least 3 rivets for each of the bedroom window awnings and more on the bigger ones. On the patio awning the rivets should be 2 1/4" from tube seam. Well, needless to say, that is not how the rivets were done. So, when the installer - now using Currier Master Mobile - comes back for the patio awning, I will have them redo the others. I'll also have him check the tension again because I understand that the awning should be able to be open without rolling up unless a little pressure is applied to roll it - right? Mine "spring" right back up if I un-hook the pull down strap.

As for the patio awning, ZD has agreed to re-sew it AND pay for the return shipping.

You are right, I can actually see a light somewhere wayyy down this tunnel now.

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Old 05-04-2008, 05:12 AM   #6
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1992 35' Airstream 350
estero , Florida
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Thumbs up Oh so close...

Just to update the "saga". The main awning was put on yesterday - May 3! Yipeee!!!

The minor glitch - that roller piece that holds the middle awning bar up has gone missing. No wonder since we have been waiting for this happy day since last October.

I'll call ZD this week to get the part and we will be good to go.

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