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Old 06-19-2016, 02:11 PM   #15
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
1973 31' Sovereign
Mount Angel , Oregon
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Boondocking tidbit

Yes, boondocking on the Olympic Peninsula with 2 in diapers presents some challenges, but the ZipDee Awning made good use of the 400 inches of annual rainfall. One end down to "catch" all that rainfall was very helpful in stretching our water supply.


Any wind, that awning went up, stowed safely out of harm's way.

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Old 06-19-2016, 02:12 PM   #16
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
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The awning is a large sail and water collector. My sympathies on your misfortune.

Note that stainless arms are available; these apparently used to be default for Airstreams in the past as our 1971 Tradewind has them and it was pretty
much base level trim everywhere.

These are much stronger than the aluminum arms. This does NOT mean you can leave it up in a windstorm, but may give you the extra margin of safety to save future grief.

We normally only leave the awning out in a sheltered area where high winds are not going to be an issue (surrounded by thick forests, for example). To take care of rain, we leave one side of the awning lower than the other; this insures that only a small amount of rain can puddle anywhere before it drains off.

One technique I have seen used to relieve load on awnings in windy areas is to drive ground anchors in and change the lower awning arms from bolted to the trailer to being bolted to the ground anchors. This leaves only the top of the awning and awning extension arms fastened to the trailer. I've not done this personally, however, and there are always conditions that will require that no awning be extended.

Good luck -

- Bart

Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:56 PM   #17
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I'm so sorry this has messed up your weekend.
I wonder what folks do to cover the door from storms and sun?
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:37 PM   #18
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It's a hard lesson ... Sorry it happened to you ... The scratch is not pretty but it could have been worse. Good luck recovering from it... The good news is that you will. Hang in there!
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:43 PM   #19
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Apache Junction , Arizona
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Here in AZ the temp is supposed to hit 120 degrees today. I have been battling the heat for two weeks now. The awning really helps thet AC and the refridge to keep up. Throughout the day there are wind gusts that of course make me nervous. Sometimes I just bring the awning in so I don't have to think about it. Love/hate relationship with my awning. Thank goodness I do have a power awning so not a big deal to take it in and out.
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Old 06-19-2016, 03:46 PM   #20
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That scratch on the side will polish out but you want someone to do it with repainting the damaged clear coat. Otherwise moisture will get under there and strip the clear coat off in very little time.
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:23 PM   #21
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Wheaton , Illinois
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I saw a tip on one of the daily RV blogs relating to water pooling in an awning.

They suggested installing a brass grommet in the awning cloth at the point where the water pools to drain it off. Same kind of grommet found at the corner of tarps

Tip was aimed towards those with awnings that don't tilt but it could be a useful "belt and suspenders" approach for ours.

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Old 06-19-2016, 05:37 PM   #22
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2009 34' Panamerica
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Just so you know....
all replacement ZipDee arms, rafters and supports are available in stainless steel. These parts offer much greater strength and resistance to this tyoe event in the future. AS specs the aluminim parts as it saves THEM money during build, I have all stainless parts and never have broken arms.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:40 PM   #23
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Chatham , Virginia
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Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I don't think you need to be a boondocker to understand how to use a awning
Everyone knows boondockers are the smarter older brothers of us regular campers!
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by greghoro View Post
I saw a tip on one of the daily RV blogs relating to water pooling in an awning.

They suggested installing a brass grommet in the awning cloth at the point where the water pools to drain it off. Same kind of grommet found at the corner of tarps

Tip was aimed towards those with awnings that don't tilt but it could be a useful "belt and suspenders" approach for ours.

The older Zip Dee awnings did have holes with brass grommets along the tube.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:08 PM   #25
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FCStreamer, sorry to hear about your failure with the awing support. As Bart noted about the stainless steel supports, I too have considered buying a set. Looking at the picture of the broken support arm I see there is hardly any metal left once they bore out the stop ( just about where it failed). Have to wonder what it would cost Airstream to put SS on all their trailers, or at least putting them on the 27Ft and up trailers with the larger awning.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:32 PM   #26
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Thanks everyone for your kind words and encouragement. They actually make me fill a little better.

I'm having work done on the ACs tomorrow, and I have the number of a local Zip Dee guy I will call. I will ask about the stainless steel supports.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:22 AM   #27
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Greenwood , Mississippi
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Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
The ZipDee awning isn't really all that intuitive. I'm sure everyone of us who was lucky had someone else explain the "how to" or saw a youtube video.

We should provide a skicky post on "ZipDee for newbies"- especially how to get it down in a hurry! I rather dislike using mine simply because I'm normally alone AND I'm not tall enough to hand crank the lockdown wheels. Getting it up and down is not as bad as lifting full 40 lb propane tanks, but it sure goes SO much easier with two someone helping with it.

I just bought a "Clam" screen room... which I plan to use in lieu of the missing awnings on the Avion. Chose it for several reasons: (A) one person CAN get it up and down fairly simply (B) if it gets fouled up by wind or rain, it's a lot cheaper to replace than an awning (C) with decent tent stakes it shouldn't be able to come apart and foul up anything ELSE like the side of the trailer. My sister, a tent camper of long experience warned me about how bad the 5 inch plastic stakes they include with tents and screen rooms work.

I don't know what I'm going to do if as I suspect, this screen room will "integrate" with the hatch of the EB. It doesn't pack small. Right now it's on the shelf behind the couch in the Avion. Going to have to redo the whole packing job in the truck if I want it for both trailers.

My campground just got hit by straight line winds last weekend. Lawn chairs, screen rooms, awnings, a BIG tree, grills, bikes, golf carts etc. were tossed everywhere. Even one trailer slid almost 4 feet sideways - why it didn't roll no one knows - and even though three screen rooms were damaged none of them whacked a trailer or car.

No one is tall enough to tighten the clamp wheels by hand.
I reach up there with the awning rod to turn the wheels.
I pull down on the clamp wheel with the awning rod for the initial loosening or final tightening.
Use the awning rod in a circular motion to loosen or tighten the clamp wheels.
Also use the awning rod to flip the clamp wheel down out of the awning for deployment or flip the clamp wheel up into the notch in the awning hardware for stowing.
It might have been demonstrated in the walk through at the dealer. I later watched a YouTube video.
I made an instructional video deploying and stowing the little awnings and the big awning and posted it on a thread on Facebook Airstream Addicts where a lady was curious about how to open the awnings.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:43 AM   #28
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1986 29' Sovereign
North Texas , Texas
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I feel your pain. I had a similar experience a year ago. We went to sleep with clear skies and no wind. About 1:30am I was awakened to the sLund of a light shower (or so I thought!). A little while later later...BAM! It sounded like someone hit the side of the camper with a baseball bat. I looked out the window and only saw blue. The water pooled even though I had the awning tilted and bent the roller arm (the outer tube). It swung down and hit the hubcap hard enough to dent it. I was quite a sight to see at 2am in my underwear un the picnic table trying to bend it back and roll it up. A soaking wet 25 foot awning is very heavy to try to roll up! The awning was toast and, luckily, insurance paid out. Expensive learning lesson! I always put up the awning from now on.

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