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Old 07-30-2015, 01:53 PM   #15
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Control switches are membrane type switches. Single press and release and it opens or closes depending on which switch. Touch the same switch again and it stops. Other two switches are for tilt/retracting one end or the other for rain water run off.

I think I saw an image of the remote unit. It is a module that needs to be connected into the control panel for the awning and the key fob.

That would be some really powerful EMI/RF to trigger it to start opening.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:01 PM   #16
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Ok, it's a momentary switch. 2 things : I have seen membrane switches with the contacts so close that changing Temps can cause a contact to occur. Does it take a firm pressure to activate or a light touch?
Secondly, pull the switch out and see if there are any stray wire strands which could be cross contacting intermittently between the terminals.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:09 PM   #17
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After reading all of this thread I believe I will install a simple on/off switch which would take the worry out of a possible opening.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:47 PM   #18
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Our Zip Dee relax motor failed. I hand cranked it in per manual and I was within a mile of the dealer to have it replaced when it auto opened. $19K later we are camping again but I did have a switch installed to isolate the awning control.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:01 PM   #19
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The switch unit is one piece. Takes a firm push, think there is a slight click but would need to take a look. So no way to pull to check an individual switch, at least looking at the unit externally.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:01 PM   #20
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The remote control is an option. Around $375, as I recall. I ordered it and installed it shortly after my trailer was delivered. It includes not just the key fob, but a completely separate board that has to be connected to the main board. Without the remote board, there's no WAY a stray RF signal could open the awning as there's no receiver without that board plugged into the stock set up. I do NOT carry the key fob on my key ring specifically because I inadvertently hit the "open" button while it was in my pocket and the trailer was in the shed. The awning began the open process....and fortunately, no damage was done. My only awning issue was the need to slightly adjust the open limit switch while I was camping in Vermont. I called Zip Dee and the tech told me exactly how to do it....after determining that 'yes' I did have the emergency awning kit that came with my trailer. He said that there are too many people who have the Relax awning who either don't have this kit, or don't know they do. My advice. If you don't have this, better find it. It only took a couple of turns with the special adjuster tool and it was fine. His comment was that despite numerous trips to JC, the installers at the factory just can't seem to get the awning adjusted to spec. BTW, I really like the awning.....and am much more inclined to run it out and enjoy it rather than the headache of the manual setup.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:14 PM   #21
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Well, I could go on and on about the problems we experienced with our electronic awning, oh wait a minute...I have already.

Great, one more thing for us to worry about...people, if you contemplate purchasing a new Airstream, please do yourself a favor and go for the tried and true manual model.

That said, whew, I feel better. Unless you are traveling with the battery disconnect in the "use" mode in order to keep the fridge working, I would think, as the awning runs off the 12v system solely, one preventative measure could be to travel with the battery in the "store" mode? Get that fridge nice and cold prior to departure, don't open it, and it should (unless it is 100 degrees out) keep your food cold for a number hours (watch out for that fish though-P/U).. One would think?
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:22 PM   #22
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I have the automatic Zip Dee. Airstream does not instal a on/off switch although Zip Dee recommends it. Also, the fused power lead could be wired direct to the battery bus. There is a fair amount of residual battery drain if left this way. Install a switch and reconnect the fused power lead to the DC circuit bus. This is the bus that powers all the circuit breakers or fuzes. As for the inadvertent opening. I would get Airstream to replace the push button control panel as it could be a intermittent fault that could recur.
If you use a power switch be sure and press the close button before operating the awning. That resets the system after a power interruption caused by turning off the power in the first place. Hope this helps I sure like my auto Zip Dee.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:41 PM   #23
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If the awning is installed on a motorhome, it would be a good idea if it had a provision that disabled power to it when the ignition is on. That's not practical if the awning is installed on a trailer. Placing the trailer's battery switch into Store mode isolates the batteries from the converter and 12v loads... Once plugged into the tow vehicle, the 12v charge line supplies 12v to the trailer and everything should be operable from the external 12v source. Maybe the Luddite in me is coming out. Given a choice, I would opt for the manual awning. Otherwise I would find a way to add a switch to prevent the awning from operating.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:48 PM   #24
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I can read the headline now..... ZipDee hit by hackers... Im glad to hear you were able to stop it before bad things happened.
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:30 PM   #25
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Does yours have a safety hook fixed to the trailer to latch the awning closed? My 2010 16-foot has a small metal hook that latches down onto the awning when it's in the retracted position. This acts as a backup if the two screw-down knobs happen to loosen up and flop over. Of course my latch never lined up perfectly so I never use it, LOL.....
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Old 07-30-2015, 05:45 PM   #26
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Electric Zip Dees, at least on the 2015 Classic, do not have locking tabs. No screw knobs either like the manual awnings.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:09 AM   #27
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Following up on some of the comments/questions, after I spoke with ZipDee yesterday.

dznf0g: yes, it's a momentary switch, ghaynes755 is right except that pressing *any* key will stop an action that is in progress.

Ghaynes755 and BAB are right that a separate board/module is required to be installed to make a Remote control possible. It is optional and our Airstreams don’t come with it by default. So there is NO WAY I could have picked up an extraneous RF signal. So much for that theory.

Guskmg is right that ZipDee recommends a separate on/off switch for the automatic awnings. Airstream did not take them up on that suggestion, but Graysailer has the right idea that we should all install an on/off switch inline with power to the unit. That was ZipDee’s recommendation when I spoke with them yesterday. (They were very cordial and helpful on the phone, btw. I have praise for them and their product through this, lest I be misunderstood. )

Nwrvr – you paid $19K for what?! I hope that was a typo.

Amm3824 – Confirming there is no mechanical safety latch. That could lead to other problems by trying to operate the awning with it in place.

One more tidbit from ZipDee, on the main control board there is a little black switch that resets the awning – if accidently pushed, it could open and close the awning. I’m not sure where that board is on our 28, but will look for it.

Otherwise, I still have no clue why it opened, and I have no assurance it won’t happen again, so therefor to have peace of mind I either have to 1) install a switch, or 2) pull the fuse each time I take it on the road. #1 seems like the right thing to do. I just haven’t figured out the right place to put it yet. Ideally it would be right next to the control panel.

Thanks everyone for your involvement in this thread. Maybe some chance Airstream will pick this up and install a proper switch for it in future.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:38 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybair View Post
Following up on some of the comments/questions, after I spoke with ZipDee yesterday.

dznf0g: yes, it's a momentary switch, ghaynes755 is right except that pressing *any* key will stop an action that is in progress.

Ghaynes755 and BAB are right that a separate board/module is required to be installed to make a Remote control possible. It is optional and our Airstreams don’t come with it by default. So there is NO WAY I could have picked up an extraneous RF signal. So much for that theory.

Guskmg is right that ZipDee recommends a separate on/off switch for the automatic awnings. Airstream did not take them up on that suggestion, but Graysailer has the right idea that we should all install an on/off switch inline with power to the unit. That was ZipDee’s recommendation when I spoke with them yesterday. (They were very cordial and helpful on the phone, btw. I have praise for them and their product through this, lest I be misunderstood. )

Nwrvr – you paid $19K for what?! I hope that was a typo.

Amm3824 – Confirming there is no mechanical safety latch. That could lead to other problems by trying to operate the awning with it in place.

One more tidbit from ZipDee, on the main control board there is a little black switch that resets the awning – if accidently pushed, it could open and close the awning. I’m not sure where that board is on our 28, but will look for it.

Otherwise, I still have no clue why it opened, and I have no assurance it won’t happen again, so therefor to have peace of mind I either have to 1) install a switch, or 2) pull the fuse each time I take it on the road. #1 seems like the right thing to do. I just haven’t figured out the right place to put it yet. Ideally it would be right next to the control panel.

Thanks everyone for your involvement in this thread. Maybe some chance Airstream will pick this up and install a proper switch for it in future.
The $19K was to repair the damage by replacing the AS skin and replace the awning. We had to replace the side panels from the door forward and the forward curved quarter panel where the lower awning bracket tore off, plus of course, the awning itself. Fortunately, my insurance paid except for my deductible. Gee, I wonder if my premiums will go up next year?

At my request, Airstream Adventures Northwest installed a switch next to the awning control panel to electrically isolate the awning and it is on my checklist to turn off before towing. One good thing is that the control module (located under the kitchen sink) was replaced with the most recent update which apparently addresses past issues that caused motors to fail and other problems.

I agree, a safety latch would not be a good idea. If you forget to unlatch the awning the extension arms would tear it off the skin faster than you could shut it off. There is another thread where someone had the experience of his awning motor not energizing to allow the arms to extend which tore the awning's aluminum cover off the top of the trailer. There should be a torque limit switch to prevent this and maybe one has been incorporated in the new control modules. This would be a good question for Zip Dee.

Safe travel,
Steve
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