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Old 06-19-2016, 01:59 PM   #1
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Zip Dee Awning... Protocol avoiding Disaster

These points are among some everyone needs to be aware. This includes the WBCCI and Boondocker trailer owners of any brand. Part of this post was among another Thread, but I should have saved myself some criticism and started a Thread on my own. If YOU find this offensive... good. You might have saved your awning if you consider each point.

Common Sense is not common, nor gifted to everyone. For 'Boondockers', substitute any term you like that fits your use and maintenance of your trailer.
********


Boondockers understand that having an extended awning comes with caveats.

-Wind. The awning is not designed to handle gusts nor steady winds. Adjust for the conditions. Your support rods can bend and be damaged.

-Rain. You need common Boondocking understanding to have your door entry awning set higher than the opposite end. This way the water does not pool, but runs off and away from your doorway. Pooling water on your awning WILL be fatal...

-Snow. Do not even have your awning extended as it will fail.

-Sunshine. When NOT in your trailer, lower your awning to the lowest setting to avoid all of the above.

-Evenings. It is best to roll your awning up. Unless you can predict the above conditions with a magic ball, it is 100% effective. If it is raining and you are in a sheltered area, secure the ends with some weight. Some disagree with that option, but that is their choice. Not mine.

-Experience. It is best that you and I learn from the misfortunes of others. This is a continuing learning experience. It is not by accident that the longer you own a trailer with an awning... you just might be able to help those in need of advice. It may not be well taken... but neither is forgetting to secure your hitch to the tow vehicle properly on that foggy drizzly morning vacation!

It is disappointing that you learned the hard way, but not the first. Be prepared to use common sense in the use of your awning. No Airstream Owner's manual will discuss these caveats for your awning's use and under what conditions.

I am sure you will be more careful in the future. It was not the failure of the awning, but your failure to apply common sense under possible conditions of use. This is intended to 'educate' those following your disaster, so others can learn.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:46 PM   #2
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Thanks Ray, I wish this info was in my manual before I tried to out guess the weather report and leave my awning deployed over night! I tend to learn things the hard way by trial and error.
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:08 PM   #3
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My daughter & I are OCD about our Zip Dee awnings. Our relatives have SOB ones & don't seem to care as much about theirs. Guess whose bent in half when it wasn't tilted in the rain......think they'll be OCD about theirs now, since it'll be new!
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:19 PM   #4
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No damage but almost. High wind developed after midnight as we enjoyed pleasant dreams.......fortunately my wife, a light sleeper woke me to retract the awning just before the gusts reached over 35mph & took out our neighbors awning. A lesson well learned!
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:53 PM   #5
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Boy, am I glad I read Ray's posts. I won't live long enough to make all the mistakes myself. Very nicely written head's up.
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Old 11-21-2016, 05:57 PM   #6
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If you don't weave the strap back and forth while rolling it up it will not close properly
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:26 PM   #7
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Careful not to weave it back and forth too much or it will shorten the strap too much and it can get sucked inside the roll. Voice of experience.
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:48 PM   #8
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I always zip-tie my awning arms when rolling.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing these tips! I am guilty of not tilting when it was raining, but never again!
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Old 11-22-2016, 01:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Careful not to weave it back and forth too much or it will shorten the strap too much and it can get sucked inside the roll. Voice of experience.
I use the rod to retract it. I'm too short to hold the strap all the way in.

The rod to tighten the two wheels is also a bad idea. I use a little step stool and do it by hand.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:15 PM   #11
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We have a short window shade awning about 20 feet in length on the street side of our Limited. It does not have any lock downs while traveling.

I was caught in vicious crosswinds on eastern Colorado I-76 and the street side awning unrolled on me. It billowed up like a jib sale. I thought it might drag the trailer over on its side, or simple rip out the awning anchors. I rigged a hold down out of some rope and traveled on slowly. The gusts were over 50 mph. I had a hard time standing up in that damn wind. The semi trailers were really listing and fighting to steer straight.

It is a 30 year old Airstream. Maybe the retract springs are getting weak. But now I tie that awning down when traveling.

David
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:02 AM   #12
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I use the rod to retract it. I'm too short to hold the strap all the way in.

The rod to tighten the two wheels is also a bad idea. I use a little step stool and do it by hand.
Ditto,I find it easier and have better control to use a small 3 step ladder to safely open/close the awning and manipulate the awning locks.
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