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Old 06-22-2014, 08:50 PM   #15
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The ones I have seen don't swivel, they are a fixed roller, but they do the job.

Aaron
And I am going to find one that is stainless steel. My old one on there now is disgustingly rusty.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:35 AM   #16
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If you find some difficulty raising the awning arms maybe they need to be taken apart for cleaning and lubrication. Not a difficult job but if you check out the Zip-Dee website they have a link to a few maintenance jobs and one is just that. I did it on during our last trip out but haven't raised it since so I'll find out next week. I was finding mine were sticking and took some effort to raise and lower.
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:34 AM   #17
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If you find some difficulty raising the awning arms maybe they need to be taken apart for cleaning and lubrication. Not a difficult job but if you check out the Zip-Dee website they have a link to a few maintenance jobs and one is just that. I did it on during our last trip out but haven't raised it since so I'll find out next week. I was finding mine were sticking and took some effort to raise and lower.
I can't keep it here at the house, just took it back to the storage lot. I agree, it needs some maintenance work and cleaning. The PO said it came loose on him while he was going down the highway. He had the fabric replaced but there is a lot of play in the screws and the arms at both the trailer side and at the roller end caps. The arms stick and are getting difficult to move. They don't seem to line up exactly like they show in the video. The support arm seems higher/longer than the rafter arm when you have it rolled up. Makes it difficult to get the locking wheels on. I have small bungees at the top and bottom to keep them side by side and prevent them coming open when I travel.

Before our next trip I'll check out the Zip Dee site for some information. It'll be a good morning project.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:28 AM   #18
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We had that problem of awning getting teased out from under the roller by a high wind at JUST the right angle on a recent trip. Found out that we didn't have the roller tensioned quite enough. It is not difficult to do, but you need 2 people for safety. We also put a second latch on the awning near the front for peace of mind.

Kay
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #19
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Rich, if you're lookin to do some awning arm maintenance while on the road it's an easy job if you're prepared with a few simple items. A couple of box or open end wrenches. I think they were 7/16" to remove the hinge bolt at the bottom. A can of spray silicone lube and some scotch brite pads to scrub the arms clean. That's it. When you watch the video it will really be that easy. While you're at it eyeball them just to make sure they are straight. A bend, even a very little one, just might be the cause of sticky arms.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:06 PM   #20
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Rich, if you're lookin to do some awning arm maintenance while on the road it's an easy job if you're prepared with a few simple items. A couple of box or open end wrenches. I think they were 7/16" to remove the hinge bolt at the bottom. A can of spray silicone lube and some scotch brite pads to scrub the arms clean. That's it. When you watch the video it will really be that easy. While you're at it eyeball them just to make sure they are straight. A bend, even a very little one, just might be the cause of sticky arms.
I have all of that and thanks for the tip on the videos. I am surprised that they actually tell you to bend the arm back in place. I've learned that I need to bend mine, probably because of the accident by the PO. The arms aren't exactly lined up. Maybe I can remove the bolts and bend them to line up better to each other and the locking wheel.

In the "lubricate" video I like where he says "... these arms should be lubricated every 2-3 month, most never lubricate them" and he just keeps on going.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:38 PM   #21
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Why does Zip-Dee put hook lock at back of awning instead of at front? Hook at front should stop unrolling, or 1 front & 1 back.
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:44 PM   #22
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Why does Zip-Dee put hook lock at back of awning instead of at front? Hook at front should stop unrolling, or 1 front 7 1 back.
Seems odd to have 2, but the location is strange. I'm guessing it's not in the middle because of the awning strap so it would go in the front or back and they chose back. Maybe a coin toss decided?
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:53 PM   #23
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I need to get one of those hook rods he was using. I've never seen one before.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:10 PM   #24
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I need to get one of those hook rods he was using. I've never seen one before.
You can call Zip Dee and order one but if you can just find an aluminum rod about 5' long (Home Depot or Lowes maybe?) it just has a hook for your hand on one end and a smaller 60 degree bend on the other with a piece of vinyl stuck on the end to prevent scratching. I would think finding the aluminum rod would be the hard part of making one.

It's very handy, I don't know how you would deploy an awning without one. I could never get those wheels turning without some kind of bent stick.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:26 PM   #25
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5' of rod is way too much. More like 3' is plenty of length. I have a low folding platform that I got at Home Depot to stand on. I'm tall and it's just out of reach and using the hook is a PIA. So I just stand on my platform and use my hands. Then I have a low table to use with my lawn chairs. Rich, if your arms are bent and you try to straighten them like they show in the video it might work. Then again it might not. I don't think that new ones are all that much so you might want to check with Zip-Dee and have an idea before you start. You really do need a hook to deploy the awnings. When they roll up there is only the smallest bit to grab and I don't know if fingers would do it. Of course it doesn't need to be aluminum but thats what came with them new.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:19 PM   #26
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3' is probably right, finished length. You have to make a couple of bends in it. Better too long than too short to start with. My AS is in storage so I couldn't measure the length of mine. Aluminum is light yet strong. If you make it out of steel it'll be heavier and will rust (if you store in the bumper). But you're right, it doesn't need to be necessarily aluminum or even so strong. It just needs to pull out that strap and turn the locking wheels

I'm short, a step stool isn't going to do it for me. I agree the rod is a pain, especially when the sun glints off all that aluminum. You need sunglasses. I'd like mine to be a little longer because of my height. It'd be nice to have my arms lower than higher when straining to turn those wheels.

The PO had it come open on him so I know there is probably some bend. I'll go gently and if it doesn't work out then I'll order a new one (or ones). I'm a cautious (measure twice, cut once) kind of guy.

I'm not worried about the cost, I'll just take it out of the kids' inheritance.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:33 PM   #27
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A couple of things

I bought a very lightweight, two step step stool at HD that is just about right for awning operations, only when I have parked too close to edge of pavement to get it set up properly (the stepstool) have I had to stretch to do everything by hand and that was only when I somehow let the pull down strap wind up under the rolled up awning

Secondly, when you are working with the awning arms, especially if you have used silicone spray on them, make sure you use gloves when trying to get stubborn arms to slide..... get your palm or the webbing between your thumb and finger caught in that and you will need two people to extricate you.... and that's if you are lucky. Lots of power in that awning spring

Dana
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:08 PM   #28
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You are correct Rich. I had not taken the bends into account. I was just thinking of overall finished length. How's the towing with a 4-runner. We had a 6cyl. one some years ago and it had a 5k towing max. I think the V-8's came out the following year and had 7k. Gave us very good service while we had it. My wife graduated from UK. Have not been back to Lexington in a long time.
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