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Old 12-04-2008, 04:16 PM   #1
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2005 28' International CCD
Northridge , California
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Posts: 5
Angry awning in at night

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we were camping in San Clemente, CA
There's no truth to the song "It never rains in CA". About 1:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving day it rained. Minutes later we heard and felt a crash and it was the awning on our 28' CCD. One of the support arms broke in two and the other bent causing us to be unable to open the door until help arrived some 8 hours later.
I contacted ZipDee who advised me that the awning should not have been out in the rain and that in fact I should put the awning in every night.
It takes two of us to put the awning out and two of us to put it back in the closed position.
No one else in the campground had a problem, just us with the flimsy support arms on our trailer. When I was able to get out I checked and everyone else had their awning out and none were damaged by the rain - there was no wind.
Does anyone put there awning in every night as suggested to me today by Linda Johnson Zip Dee Customer Service Manager? Has anyone had any good experiences or bad experiences in dealing with ZipDee.

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Old 12-04-2008, 04:26 PM   #2
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1962 28' Ambassador
Phoenix , Arizona
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Sorry to hear about your awning. We do not have a Zip Dee but have been around them enough to understand the problems. Everytime we have been camping with our group and it rains, either the Zip Dees get rolled up or one end gets lowered to allow for the water to run off. Additionally, when the wind picks up, they usually get staked to the ground with a strap and a stake to prevent the awning from getting stressed by the wind. We have some friends with a brand new 28' AS and a similar event ocurred.

Louis & Sergio

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Old 12-04-2008, 04:29 PM   #3
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1963 24' Tradewind
San Diego , California
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If there is any chance of rain or wind I will put put the awning up at night . I live in San Diego and that rain was much needed. I hope it didn't cause any other damage or hinder your trip. We don't get much rain here. A few years ago we went 181 days with out any rainfall, I beleve the record here for no rain is 182 days. Come back to San Diego, we have over 300 days of sunshine a year.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:38 PM   #4
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Mesquite , Texas
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Sorry to hear what happened Jack, but in answer to your questions --

I haven't personally dealt with ZipDee, but I have always heard pretty good things about their customer service and support.

As for stowing the awning every night - In all honesty, I can say "sometimes". I know that it is just a matter of time until I get bit. On more than one occasion, I have had to clamber out of bed in the middle of the night to put an awning away when the wind got up. I usually drop one or both ends before I go to bed so that any rain will run off rapidly. So far, I haven't yet had to put one away in the rain (fingers crossed and knocking on wood).

I have seen many awnings damaged or destroyed by water alone though. If here isn't enough pitch to the the awning to allow water to run off quickly, and more important, completely, it will form a pool in the awning fabric. As the fabric sags, it makes a bigger pool and catches more and more water until it either stops raining or the awning fails.

Springtime in TX is always risky for awnings. I sometimes go camping several times in a row where the awning is never deployed because of either the threat of rain or high winds or both.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:43 PM   #5
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Our awning stays out unless there are winds or thunderstorms forecast. We always drop the back arm at leat 6 inches lower than the front.

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 12-04-2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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2007 19' Safari SE
La Center , Washington
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When I purchased my new-to-me 2007 AS, which comes with a ZD pre-installed, the dealer spent quite a bit of his dealer-prep time on awning setup and takedown, and told me several times: don't leave it out at night or even if you are going to be away from the AS for a while. He told me about lowering one arm to shed rain. Now I know why. Sorry for your troubles.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:00 PM   #7
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Dewey , Arizona
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Been there, done that...
Now I roll it in every night. One person should be able to roll it in and out with no problem. It takes me about to minutes to deploy the awning. I do not lock it to the trailer overnight.


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Old 12-04-2008, 05:08 PM   #8
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In my experience, no matter how calm the night may be, if I leave the awning out the wind will suddenly reach near hurricane levels at exactly the time I am in the deepest sleep. I will get up, put the awning away and the wind will immediately stop until the next time I try to leave it up at night.

So I don't anymore.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:23 PM   #9
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We never leave the arms fully extended overnight or when away from the trailer - and - one arm will always be lower than the other - if wind is at all a possibility the awning gets rolled up - our (my) lessons didn't involve damage but I can tell you that it is a miserable experience (practiced a couple of times) dancing around outside in the black of night wearing nothing but jockey shorts trying to wrestle the awning up during a windstorm .... (highly entertaining for my wife I might add ....)

Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
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"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:24 PM   #10
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I keep an eye on the weather and a couple of oldtimers. If their awnng goes up - mine is right behind.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:44 PM   #11
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We always put the awning away at night and if we are leaving for a side trip...and it stays put away if there is anything stronger than a light breeze blowing. There's nothing worse than having to get up in the middle of the night and put it away, either. It's just not worth it to leave it only takes once and you'll be a believer. We have left it down during light ran (with no wind) just so we can enjoy the sprinkles protected...but the back end of the of the awning is a "notch" lower than the front so the waer can't accumulate. Even if you have the awning anchored down, if the wind is strong enough, it can catch your awning.
TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:47 PM   #12
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

We have a 2005 25FB, named Lucy. She with the ZipDee awning. In the last 2 1/2 years we have spent 340 nights in Lucy, and have extended and put it back up hundreds of times.

We leave the awning out almost all the time when camping. We do not put it up overnight unless high winds are forecast. We do usually dip the awning one notch on the front (the side opposite the door) in case of a renegade rain storm.

The only tine that we ever had any trouble with the ZipDee was when got distracted and failed to put the upper side supports under tension. The awning started to roll itself up, and one of the upper side supports fell off the reel end. It scared the crap out of me, but I was able to recover it with damage to the awning or the Airstream.

It is very easy to forget to put the upper supports under tension.

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
WBCCI #3628 -- AIR #14872 -- TAC #FL-7
2015 FC 25' FB (Lucy) with HAHA
2005 Suburban 2500 Quadrasteer (Olivia) & 2018 Silverado 2500 (Lillian)
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:15 PM   #13
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Broken Arms and 300 Miles from Home

I want to start this off with I'm the one who would always leave the awning out. My wife (who is a hell of a lot smarter) always said "put the awning away. We were in a WI state forest campground when I left ours out overnight, storm, rain, broken arms at 4 am.

To this day we don't leave the trailer with the awning out, never never do that.
I'm NOT an old man.............
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:34 PM   #14
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I was a rookie this yr and didnt know any better. I had the Zip DEE set up on MISS KITTY here at home. I had the chairs and table and grill out. We had supper outside. I came into to watch something on the big screen.
Well Would you know A POPUP thunderstom came before I realized it.
Before I could get out of the house to the trailer it was to late. The ZIP DEE was over the trailer, the wind had torn off one of the support arms and threw it completely over the trailer. I was able to wrestle the Zip Dee down and get it rolled. I found the support arm the next day in the driveway 10 feet beyond the trailer.
LESSON LEARNED Never leave a ZIP DEE without Adult supervision.
We don't leave it unattended anymore.
Ps I got my rear SOAKED in that deal.

Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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