Originally Posted by jdouglas
Hello- my wife and I recently returned from a 4 day camping trip and we were totally frustrated by our awning. We have a 28 ft. International 2007 CCD. The awning is manual and always seems difficult. My question is whether or not there are automatic/electric awnings or conversions for our Airstream? Any links or source material is appreciated- happy new year- jfd.
Most of the awning companies I work with make electric awnings, and some make upgrade kits to convert an existing manual awning into an electric one. The bad news is that neither Zip-Dee, nor anyone else, makes such an upgrade that will work with the curved arms used on an Airstream.
The only option would be a lateral arm power awning. These are found on high-end motor homes and have no vertical arms. Rather, they use folding horizontal arms under the awning fabric to support the awning. All of the major companies, Zip-Dee, Carefree, and the originator of this design, Girard Systems, make this type of awning.
My fear is that due to the need for heavy external mounting brackets that must be attached to the roof and the high moment arm weight when deployed, that this style will not be suitable for Airstream use either. I don't believe that the structure will take the weight. Plus, they are only available in 120VAC models, which means that you will either need an inverter in your trailer to power this type of awning or need to be connected to shore power.
PS: Zip-Dees are very easy to operate once you are shown the proper technique and assuming that you keep the sliding arms lubricated. If you get down this way, give me a shout and I'll be glad to lube, adjust and operate them with you. Zip-Dee also makes handles that attach to the arms to make it easier to deploy them.