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Old 08-21-2009, 09:30 AM   #1
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Can anyone figure out what happened here?

We can't figure out how the rear awning pole bracket along with the pole ended up like this--sheared in two. We thought both bracket and pole were intact when we left home, but when we got to the campground, this is what we found. We assume that the hook at the bottom of the pole was not secure and the pole whipped around in the wind. Surprisingly, there is no damage to the awning or to the skin of the Airstream.

Not that it matters now--the damage is done--but I would be interested if any of you have ideas about what could have happened.

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:37 AM   #2
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My guess is that it may have been a poorly cast piece of aluminum and fatigue eventually found the weak spot. Just a guess.

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:40 AM   #3
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I have never seen that one before. You sure are lucky that the loose pole didn't beat the crap out of the back of the trailer.

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Old 08-21-2009, 09:50 AM   #4
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could a low hanging branch got caught in the hardware and yanked it?

one other thought would be a sign on a post came out and grabed it snapping the bracket.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #5
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Did you loose the rafter arm as well?
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #6
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Contact ZipDee

Ours broke also and when we called ZipDee to order a replacement they indicated that the piece had broken on other Airstreams as well. Our awning was relatively new at the time, and the part was replaced free of charge. ZipDee is a great company to deal with, and their awning is also first rate.
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Old 08-21-2009, 01:28 PM   #7
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Yes, we did lose the awning pole. Since we live in the Chicago area, I did take the Airstream over to Zip Dee in Elk Grove Village. And, yes, they are super to deal with. Although they didn't mention any weakness in the metal or mention that they had seen this break before, they did not charge labor to replace the part. They are definitely into great service.
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:40 PM   #8
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Looks like due to the pressure of the support arm on the locking/travel catch caused the pot metal piece that broke--this ie due to Chicago area bad roads ----
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:30 PM   #9
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That's a weird one...glad there was not more damage.

Just for the heck of it, we lash the two arms of the Zip Dee together when we travel...using a velcro cord wrap... we put one at the upper end at the narrowest point and one at the lower end at the narrowest point...don't know if it would help if something actually broke, but it does stabilize the poles some so they don't vibrate as much.
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Old 08-31-2009, 02:16 PM   #10
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Hi Caryl -

Not sure if there's a cause and effect associated but...

During our current trip i was closing the awning during a wind and noticed that the nut holding the rear rafter arm was missing. The bolt had worked it's way about halfway out and was torqued (seemingly from stress during travel). I can imagine that at speed, and not properly secure, the our bracket could've sheared in similar fashion.

Upon further inspection - i found that the corresponding nut/bolt on the forward rafter arm was also very loose...

Would be very interested to see if others are finding the same issues at the connection points.

All the best -
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:13 PM   #11
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Yeah it looks like poor casting defect to me too, what else is there that it could be?
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:33 AM   #12
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Smile Broken rear awning pole - speculation

My totally speculative response is that the pole popped off its pin at the bottom, and moved away from your trailer, and hooked on some nearby (relatively stationary?) object. The leverage of the bottom section of the pole is about 4:1, given the relative lengths. so it might not take much to snap the bracket. I think you may have lucked out in that it was probably not a vehicle or person that was the stationary object, and of course, did no significant damage to your trailer.

My poles rattle a lot due to age, so I use a couple of velcro straps around each pair to prevent noise and movement while travelling. Hope that helps avoid any future problem.

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Old 10-21-2009, 10:37 AM   #13
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Count yourself lucky, we came south on 95 out of Las Vegas the other day in a windstorm;
saw three coaches on the side of the road with blown-out awnings.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:09 PM   #14
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We, too, have been using velcro straps on both awning poles to reduce vibration as several suggested on this thread. When we have the repair work done at Zip Dee, the technicians also tightened and adjusted all three awnings. We have noticed that they are all tighter and snugger than before the accident. We are happy campers now and feel like we missed a bullet in this incident.

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