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Old 07-06-2012, 08:59 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by nairnchyz View Post
We have a 1974 31' International with full length Zip Dee awning in excellent condition. I have noticed in pictures of several other coaches of similar length and vintage as ours that there is a centre "rafter" installed. Our '74 does not have this centre "rafter" and there is no evidence that one was ever installed. Would this have been an optioanal add on accessory from Zip Dee or? Would I be correct to assume that the purpose of this centre "rafter" would be to afford additional support?
We also have that center arm installed on ours. I had stopped using it because wind would pick up the awning and the center piece would come loose from the roller and slam back against the trailer. I called zip dee and was able to order the pieces I needed to get that thing working properly again. Very inexpensive. According to Zip Dee, that section offers no structural support to the big roller. It is purely designed as an assist to draining off moisture. Ultimately it pushes up on the awning in the center and forces water to run off rather than accumulate in the center like a big water balloon. Imagine a steady rain... A side benefit is that, as mentioned above, It holds the awning up off the door.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:04 AM   #44
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Although I have a smaller trailer - wind and awnings may act the same way - with a centre support that distributes the over all weight to be I would thing about the same as two smaller awnings in one.

I have had a tremendous amount of wind here where I am living stationary.

Once I figured out that my awning can go another notch - I have not had to use tie downs at all. I know zip dee says not to - but they probably think I am tying them down with no flex - I have a spring rated the same as the spring they have inside the out stretched awning arms. I only need them when there is an up draft - that can come and billow the awning from underneath.

The office told me they are made to pull off and roll up if the wind is too high - but I just can't actually see that happening without some serious damage. So to be on the safe side I pop the deck tie downs on at the front ends - this gives flex up and down - but still does not put too much stress on the mounts.

I have had some really high winds well above 15mph that is for sure - and she is pretty good. If the trailer start to rock on the shocks then I know it is time to bring the awning up - but even that is a chore.

There was one time the winds came from no where - and I would never have got the awning up without it catching and most likely have been trashed - so all I could do was to tie it down and hope for the best. It was absolutely fine.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:08 AM   #45
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casa your post came in at the same time - so I stand corrected - I thought those centre arms I see has some support element other than just lifting the fabric. Ha.

Well then - the bigger the sail the more speed you get - so I would assume my little modpod could take twice as much wind as your big 19' awnings....
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:39 AM   #46
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casa your post came in at the same time - so I stand corrected - I thought those centre arms I see has some support element other than just lifting the fabric. Ha.

Well then - the bigger the sail the more speed you get - so I would assume my little modpod could take twice as much wind as your big 19' awnings....
So did I till I called them. Seems weird huh. It is a darned long roller to have no center support but it seems to work. It has been on there for 28 years!
But I still routinely tie/strap down my awnings now. The straps look tight but they are just barely snug, the wind pushing against them takes out the slack. And we deal with a lot of wind down here in S Texas. And the one time I walked away from the trailer without the awning being tied is when a freak wind came in Pedernales State Park. You can see what that did. But a couple of hours gently tweaking it betwen a couple cedar trees got it straight enough for the ride home... Those things are pretty tuff!
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:26 AM   #47
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I have purchased a 1989 Excella: The manual opening awning strap is missing. I have tried pulling the arms out by standing on a step ladder and pulling at the top, but haven't pried on anything. The awning doesn't open. Any suggestions?
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:51 AM   #48
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There are thumb wheels at both ends of the big awnings and sometimes a locking lever. Loosen the thumb wheels and push them out of their slots. The lever should be on the right end of the roller. It needs to be pulled out to unlock the roller.

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Old 06-05-2013, 10:16 AM   #49
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You can get a replacement pull out strap from Zip-Dee. The original is sewn in and the replacement is riveted on top of the old one ( that you cut off ). I did it on our former AS and it worked well.
Before that I had tied a rope to the old one so I had something to pull out to deploy the awning. Not sure how to get it out if you don't have a pull though.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:20 AM   #50
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One person on each arm pull out awning evenly pull strap is probably rolled up to far by prev. owner. One person can not pull awning out w/out strap or 2 people on arms. Don't ask me how I no, we all make mistakes
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:27 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57Air View Post
I have purchased a 1989 Excella: The manual opening awning strap is missing. I have tried pulling the arms out by standing on a step ladder and pulling at the top, but haven't pried on anything. The awning doesn't open. Any suggestions?
Sometimes the strap will be hidden if someone releases the strap when the awning is rolling up. That happened to me when the awning rod slipped out of the strap loop.

After releasing the lock down knobs at each end, hopefully you can get on the ladder near the center of the awning and feel under the awning with your hand and locate the strap. If that does not work, get two lengths of rope. Tie one to each of the awning brace arms, near the top where they connect at the end of the roller. Two people pulling on the ropes should easily open the awning.
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