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Old 01-09-2020, 12:01 AM   #1
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Relax Zip Dee Awning

Help!
Ive read the posts on the very many issues with the zip dee awning. Zip Dee has been very helpful but we still cannot got our awning in.

Weve had numerous issues but most recently we replaced the gear and that was the easy part. The hard part is that now our awning will not go in all of the way. Weve tried beating the 30 second rule with silicone but with no help. Weve sprayed and cleaned and sprayed and cleaned.

Weve been told that there could be a short causing this. Im not sure what to do at this point. Im not feeling like this is a short - it seems like a timing issue or sensor or????

Has anyone converted to a manual awning from the relax? Weve had so many issues that Id really like to get rid of it. This is supposed to be fun!

Im attaching pictures and will appreciate any ideas!

Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2020, 06:38 AM   #2
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Have the same issue...

Dpyates, we have the same issue with our 2019 27' Globetrotter's ZipDee power awning but it's occasional - sometimes it will retract fine and others will stop at the same point as your photo.

I took a video of it and contacted ZipDee. They asked me to send them the video and promised to have their specialist contact me. Crickets... Called again and the person found my correspondence and said they'd get back to me. Still waiting - that was last summer.

The awning will go in if you press the extend and then retract buttons. I'm concerned this may not work when we need it. I have a hard time believing they can't figure this out...
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:26 AM   #3
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I have had similar problems with ours on our 2016 27 Int. Only after numerous cycling of the extend/retract button did I get it to fully retract. Eventually, it just started to blow the fuse, so I suspect that it was the start of a short that caused the problem. I now have an appointment with Airstream mothership in Jackson Centre in June to get it fixed. I live in northern Alberta so it is going to be a bit of a hike. The reason I did this is because I have found local Airstream dealers to be not all that competent, especially dealing with issues like this.

I see in your photo that you have the emergency cables hooked up. If your awning still will not close using the cables, then I suspect that the roller motor has gone bad as hooking up these cables directly to the battery bypasses all the awnings electronics and sensors. That being the case, you will have to manually retract your awning. The instructions for this are in your manual. It is a bit of a pain, but doable following the instructions.
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:51 AM   #4
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Only have open and close buttons. Are these the same as extend/retract buttons? We hooked up the cables because we keep getting instructed that we could have an interruption in power causing our issues. I find it hard to believe because we are hooked up and nothing else has shown any issues.

One question though - the motors run but how would we know that one is out? Sorry, with this awning I take nothing for granted. Our box is under the sink and was replaced a year ago. The only way we can find to reset is unplug the cable and re-plug in. Would a bad motor cause the awning not to retract all of the way? Thanks!!!!
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Old 01-09-2020, 11:53 AM   #5
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We only have open/close on our keypad. Is that the same as extend/retract? Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2020, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpyates View Post
We only have open/close on our keypad. Is that the same as extend/retract? Thanks!
Yes, sorry - open and close are the correct terms. By the way, ZipDee recommends pressing "Close" if power was disconnected - this will reset the system.

When ours stops short during the close process, I press Open then right away press Close and it will retract all the way.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpyates View Post
Only have open and close buttons. Are these the same as extend/retract buttons? We hooked up the cables because we keep getting instructed that we could have an interruption in power causing our issues. I find it hard to believe because we are hooked up and nothing else has shown any issues.

One question though - the motors run but how would we know that one is out? Sorry, with this awning I take nothing for granted. Our box is under the sink and was replaced a year ago. The only way we can find to reset is unplug the cable and re-plug in. Would a bad motor cause the awning not to retract all of the way? Thanks!!!!
Yes, close/open is the same thing. The cables simply allow you to bypass all the electronics and sensors and provides a direct connection to the roller motor so you can unfurl the awning and roll it back up. It does not extend the arms, that is another process.

If the roller motor works with the cables then your issue is indeed with the sensors or motors located in the awning arms. If it is just a sensor issue and they are "out of sync", then a reset may help. Unplug the power to the trailer and pull the awning fuse. Once that is done, replace the fuse, plug the trailer back in and then hit the close button. If nothing happens try the open button. If you are not blowing the awning fuse and things still are not working, then you likely do not have a short and the problem exists with the awning arm motors or sensors located in the arms. If that is the case, you will need to have it diagnosed at a dealer.

Mine acted pretty much the same as yours only I started blowing the fuse each time I hit the open button so clearly I have a short somewhere. I am told by Zip Dee that this is where it gets expensive. You can remove your awning arms and send them to Zip Dee and they will either replace the motors and sensors in the offending arm(s), or replace the arm(s) altogether.

Replacement arms are quite expensive, in the thousands of $s. My local dealer will not work with me in just removing them and sending them to Zip Dee, they simply remove and replace, which is the expensive option. Oddly enough, they have never done one.

We were planning a trip to the east coast this year so I booked it into Airstream in Jackson Center. Maybe they are more amenable to repairing them (cheaper) than just replacing the awning arms. We will see.

If I had the choice, I would change out the Relax awning for the manual one. As you have discovered they are anything but "Relaxing". Mine went out 1 week into a 2 month trip to southern California and I had to manually open and close the thing everytime we moved, which is a huge pain. Unfortunately, it was not an option given the temps and single AC. The experience has soured me on the whole thing but I will have to get it fixed $$$ before I can even think about selling it.
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Old 01-09-2020, 06:23 PM   #8
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Another cause that the relax awning doesn't complete a full open/close cycle is LOW batteries. If your batteries are below 12.2 amps,,,,, then that could be your problem. Just one more thing to rule out.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:16 AM   #9
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I am sorry to hear all these problems with the automatic awning, but it gives me satisfaction in my decision to have gotten the manual.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:53 AM   #10
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I purchased my AS in Denver and the day I picked it up was a pretty cold morning. 27 degrees. The technician that did our PDI was very thorough and expected it to not fully extend on the first try because of the cold. It took 4 tries to get it all the way out. It retracted just fine though. Could it be that is because of the cold temps?
Works great above 40 when we used it.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:03 PM   #11
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We, too, suffer with this horrible awning system. When we were at Alumapalooza last summer, we had ZipDee (Greg and his tech) come to our unit to see what they could do. They claimed that because they did not have a multimeter (how in hell do you have a service van without a multimeter?) there was nothing they could do, and simply walked away. They truly could not have cared less for us. My opinion of ZipDee reached the lowest level possible. I truly cannot understand how Airstream corporate can continue to ignore all the issues with such an unreliable system and such horrible, unconcerned supplier.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:26 PM   #12
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I can't speak for the electric awning but the manual awning is pretty good. We got caught in a nighttime tornado without warning and it didn't fail until 80-85 MPH. Then the upper struts buckled and the awning rolled itself up. The only damage was to the struts. The material is heavy and strong. Compare it to the awnings found on cheaper trailers. I feel comfortable leaving it up in winds up to 40 MPH.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikebrady62 View Post
I purchased my AS in Denver and the day I picked it up was a pretty cold morning. 27 degrees. The technician that did our PDI was very thorough and expected it to not fully extend on the first try because of the cold. It took 4 tries to get it all the way out. It retracted just fine though. Could it be that is because of the cold temps?
Works great above 40 when we used it.
Mike, I wish it was the cold temps; wouldnt need it then. Nope, mine was misbehaving in the middle of summer, 80 degrees and connected to shore power in my driveway.

Thanks for sharing your experience though!
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:40 PM   #14
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I had a similar issue this past summer. I called zip Dee and their tech person told me to hit the open switch, let the awning open about then hit the open switch again. This will stop the awning from opening. Next hit the close switch to reset and close the awning. Going forward, they said to always hit the close switch before hitting the open switch, and any time the awning is open to leave the power switch ON. This resets the sensors memory so it knows where to close to. This worked for us with no further issues. I hope this helps you.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:04 PM   #15
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No Relax awning

I have had to replace my arms and control board, very $$$$. I also feel Zip Dee needs to address this issue. I feel Airstream is in control since they are the user of these DEFECTIVE awnings. Mine was replaced August 2019 on a 2016 Classic. The old awning had all your symptoms until it stripped the gears inside the arms. I did not know about Zip Dee re-working them if sent back. I may have opted for that option. Buyers can put the pressure on by NOT purchasing any unit with this problem awning.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:42 PM   #16
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Having has the manual awning I can tell youd its a pain
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:10 PM   #17
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This is good information. The Golden Rule with the Relax is to have a master switch because of excessive draw when idle (open or closed}. Then, when put into use after the power interruption, press the close button first. This resets the computer arm extension values.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:46 AM   #18
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. I’m going to go down the process of elimination this weekend. Wish me luck! Thank goodness my neighbor is an electrician and he is going to assist.

The crazy thing with this awning is that it is/was a $4000 plus/minus option. Divide that by the number of actual uses without stress and it’s a very expensive sun shade. After all of my research it’s crazy that this thing has a mind of its own and not even Zip Dee knows what it is thinking given any moment. Did they not even try it out? Where are the companies that would treasure having Airstream and us as partners? None left? I’d never recommend this awning to anyone for the simple fact is no one knows even how the thing works or is supposed to work. Are we all supposed to magically know that close means reset? How about earth to Zip Dee. I’ve hit my head way too many times getting under the sink to unplug the dang thing and reset the box. How about a simple fix to this? Airstream how about some pointers to your partners. I could go on for some time here.

Sorry just venting. These are things that drive me nuts. Yes zip dee just tell me how to fix your great product and what can I do so it won’t happen again next month. I have no confidence in if I do spend big bucks again to fix that it will even work and if it does for how long. Seems like it’s all band aid fixes versus understanding the system and if your a lucky one that the band aid stays on you are very fortunate. The problem is they don’t even know. By the way zip dee we don’t know that up means down and down means up. I’m not sure their electronic guy ever met with their mechanical guy building the thing.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:58 AM   #19
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When you manually use the awning Up/down are you able to use any of the tilt features for rain? I guess you can get really good at the manual process in case of winds and such?
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:00 AM   #20
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Where is the master switch? Did you have one added? I have a cable disconnect in and out of the box under the sink.
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