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Old 01-04-2015, 07:01 PM   #15
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And what would ZipDee recommend?
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From 45 years of sailing experience: "If you're not using it, stow it." A rule we had is if 20 minutes passes and you aren't in it, under it, on it, or through it, then stow it.
Bill
The Zip Dee rep suggested/recommended that if you're not sitting outside under the awning, enjoying the shade, or preparing to sit under the awning... then the awning needs to be stowed.

He (the rep) told me in no uncertain terms - do not leave the trailer for the day, for the afternoon, for the hour without putting the awning away. The awning is intended for use as a sunscreen, not protection from rain and wind.

The street side awning is a little different story. It can withstand quite a bit more wind but even the street side awning is not indestructible.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:10 PM   #16
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"Our four awnings only go out on very calm days. I watch surrounding trees and awnings and if there is movement, we secure ours. Better safe than sorry." That's pretty much what we do. We have one large patio awning, one somewhat larger awning, and four small awnings. Two of those small awnings are under the patio awning, so we have the option of just providing shade for the windows or shade for a patio. The five small awnings have quite a angle to them when out, so rain runs off easily. The patio awning has a much shallower angle, so rain can pool on it easily. For that reason the patio awning is out only when we're home AND the forecast is severe clear. When the wind gets to about 15 mph I'll bring in the patio awning (if out). When the wind gets to about 25 mph all awnings come in.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:23 PM   #17
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Some folks seem to think it is something that you have to put up in order to not be banished to hell or something like that. It you are not using, it put it up. Most of the time we are in the shade anyway and don't need the thing. It is a pain to put up. If the awning is pointing down wind and it is parallel to the ground, it should not hurt it to see 15 MPH winds. The wind can excert a hugh amount of force on the supports and brackets. The brackets will work loose over time and cause leaks and other problems.

Perry
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:35 PM   #18
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When we had A&E and CareFree awnings we learned to put them in anytime there was wind enough to ruffle our hair even a little. With our 1985 23' ZIP Dee we are sitting in Alabama right now along the coast with 15 to 20 MPH winds and have it angled down on one end into the wind and no problem. ZIP Dee even says to take them in when when it gets to windy for you. Just one of the many reasons we won't ever buy another brand: these things are built to last AND they keep making any part you need for them.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:44 PM   #19
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Awnings in the wind

For those of us who have the power patio awning, or at least for me, I will sometimes not have it out at all. Use is only when I want to be shaded from the sun and with the stories about the power patio awning failures, I certainly do not want any extra strain on it.

The other awnings seem to be very sturdy, but once again, in a heavy storm it is always good to be a bit conservative.

Simply good judgement might be the best preventative to damage.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:13 PM   #20
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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2 years ago at Aluma Fandango a bunch of fellow Airstreamers had their awnings out. It was clear and sunny, when they went site seeing .

A few hours later a rain storm blew in while they were still out, fortunately for most a fellow ran from trailer to trailer retracting awnings but he couldn't get to all of them.

One Zip Dee collapsed when the roller and arms bent in half from the water on the awning, it wasn't rigged for wet weather .

Thanks to George M. Sutton RV the event sponsor, they had a tech on site and they brought a new Zip Dee from the store and installed it on site. The guy that owned it learned an expensive lesson that day and everyone else learned to put them away when not under them.

Last year Sutton's tech guy helped retract a new Zip Dee power awning that failed after 3 uses. He had to disassemble the motor from the arm, roll in the awning and reassemble so the guy could travel. I wonder if the guy went manual after that or had it replaced under warrantee.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:44 AM   #21
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My point with the Zip Dee is that they wouldn't have needed to replace the whole awning. Even for ones as old as ours Zip Dee has the parts.


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Old 02-10-2015, 08:25 AM   #22
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We have no rules about wind speed but after 12 years (with some trial and error) we've evolved into:
  • awning rolled up overnight
  • awning rolled up when away
  • awning out only when at the campsite
  • awning rolled up as soon as the question gets asked
I can pretty much guarantee that you will find yourself moving in the same direction once you've climbed out of bed in jockey shorts to try (emphasis on the word "try") and roll up the awning at 3 in the morning in driving thunderstorm or you have to abandon your meal at the restaurant table to rush back to the campsite when the wind unexpectedly whips up. There are lots more examples ..... all of them mitigated by the practices listed above.


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Old 02-10-2015, 08:57 AM   #23
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I think those are excellent rules! I fell into the same rules, unspoken, after seeing posts on this forum about damaged arms. I use anchors and guy rope when the awning is out, for insurance, unless I know the weather is going to be calm, even when I am just sitting under the awning.
Larry
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:11 AM   #24
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Hypothetical question just to to confuse things even more. My Safari came with a ZipDee screen room that has never been installed. If it was up how would that effect the requirements (wind speed etc.) for rolling the awning up? It just seems like putting the screen room up and taking it down is not as quick and easy a process as ZipDee advertises. Bug season is approaching so just trying to decide if it is really worth all the effort.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:23 AM   #25
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The awning on our Sport is my least favorite feature. We may go for months and not deploy it. Bottom line is that if I am not in sight of it, I put it away.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:29 AM   #26
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Hypothetical question just to to confuse things even more. My Safari came with a ZipDee screen room that has never been installed. If it was up how would that effect the requirements (wind speed etc.) for rolling the awning up? It just seems like putting the screen room up and taking it down is not as quick and easy a process as ZipDee advertises. Bug season is approaching so just trying to decide if it is really worth all the effort.
It would mitigate the wind some BUT rain is another story.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:02 AM   #27
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We got woken up by a Tornado in the middle of the night with the awning out. It was only a Class 0 Tornado. Somewhere at around 80 mph winds the awning struts failed and the awning rolled itself up. The only damage was the struts and the strut attachments to the trailer skin. I'm sure the awning will withstand 40 mph easily.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:22 AM   #28
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I was always more worried about the tremendous strain put on the roof and sidewall areas of the RV than the potential damage to the fabric and struts.
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