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Old 06-10-2008, 09:57 AM   #1
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Zip Dee - Center support or not?

I will be ordering a Zip Dee patio awning soon for my 27' Overlander. The awning is 17' long. One supplier suggested that I might need to also purchase a center support ($100 +/-) since I live in SE Texas and might have more winds. (I hope he was referring to our weather and not about lot of "Texas Hot Air"!) I have searched this forum and discovered many who had problems with the center support coming out and banging the side of their AS.

Do any of you have experience or thoughts as to whether this center support is necessary or worth the trouble?
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:15 AM   #2
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We have a center support on ours. I was told it wasn't critical, but I use it anyway to help keep rainwater from pooling in the center.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:41 AM   #3
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My 31 came with a center rod, so I have no experience without one. I believe, however, that it must be operator error if the rod comes out.

Pat
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:48 AM   #4
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The center support on my 84 has a spring loaded "latch" to hold the rod in the extended position (the rod also has a spring loaded tip) if you don't get the center latch latched, it can fall. If the latch is proper engaged, I can't imagine it letting go.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vhord View Post
I will be ordering a Zip Dee patio awning soon for my 27' Overlander. The awning is 17' long. One supplier suggested that I might need to also purchase a center support ($100 +/-) since I live in SE Texas and might have more winds. (I hope he was referring to our weather and not about lot of "Texas Hot Air"!) I have searched this forum and discovered many who had problems with the center support coming out and banging the side of their AS.

Do any of you have experience or thoughts as to whether this center support is necessary or worth the trouble?
Vernon,

Zip-Dee does not recommend using a center support rod on any awning less than 20' in length. Yours will be about 17'...... so you don't need one
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by vhord View Post
I will be ordering a Zip Dee patio awning soon for my 27' Overlander. The awning is 17' long. One supplier suggested that I might need to also purchase a center support ($100 +/-) since I live in SE Texas and might have more winds. (I hope he was referring to our weather and not about lot of "Texas Hot Air"!) I have searched this forum and discovered many who had problems with the center support coming out and banging the side of their AS.

Do any of you have experience or thoughts as to whether this center support is necessary or worth the trouble?

Vernon.

A center support is highly recommended, for 2 basic reason.

1. It reduces the amount of rain water that could pool, which in turn, can make the awning collapse.

2. In areas that experience wind gusts, the center support adds 50 percent more strength to the support arms.

Should the center support fall out of it's insert in the awning tube, when the awning is extended, that is suggestive of improper installation.

The center support when properly installed, is a very tight fit.

We recommend a center support for all Zip Dee awnings over 12 feet long.

The center support also, within reason, provides some piece of mind, should it rain or become windy, when the awning is extended, and your away from the trailer.

If you wish, it's also a good insurance policy.

Andy
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:49 PM   #7
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I think Lew and Andy are both correct. When the awning is used as intended, the center rod isn't required. When there isn't any rain or wind I often don't deploy mine.

BUT, if its gusty, or rainy it does help the awning drain and provide strength.

I would certainly order a center support if I were installing an awning for the first time.
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:41 PM   #8
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The only problem I have had with my center support is not extending it tight enough. Mine is similar to the side arms in that you have to give it a tug to apply enough force against the roller. It has a click button to relieve that spring pressure so you can pull it out when storing.

Our mishap was in a situation where I extended the side arms but didn't give the center support arm a tug to extend it out further. That lack of pressure allowed the arm to fall back down to hit the side of the trailer. Luckily it caused no damage to the trailer, but instead took its wrath on Patty's nice chair. The tip of the pole came down like a slicer and cut right through the canvas of the chair as it swung down.

Now I know to raise one side arm, go to the center pole and give it a tug out, then go over to the other side arm and raise the other side arm. The school of hard knocks teaches another lesson.

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Old 06-11-2008, 12:51 AM   #9
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you're lucky that patty wasn't in the chair!

i've had the pins come off the release button so i have to watch that it is pointed correctly so it holds.
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:47 AM   #10
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A common problem with awnings is the fact that people deploy them level. Now that sounds like the way the manufacture meant them to be used and they sure look good in the adds. But mother nature may have had an other idea. A level awning will collect water and droop in the center or either side of the center support. If the awning is set level the center support only delays this problem. Enough water and you have a awing failure.

I never deploy my awning level, even on the sunniest days, always dropping one end as a means of water draining off to that end. To facilitate this I have drilled additional holes in the supports at the half way points between the original holes. That allows for the optimum tilt without dropping the awing to the point of it being too low at that end. On a clear day I only drop the end to the first half point hole. This will cover the short unexpected storm that may happen while we are close by. If we are leaving or at night I will drop it another notch to insure run off during a down pour.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:06 AM   #11
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A common problem with awnings is the fact that people deploy them level.
A good friend of mine did just that yesterday. We are having our local fair and rodeo and he left his level while he went to do some business. We got an unexpected down pour and it wrecked his awning. It bent his main roll up tube. He was upset that no one lowered his but it was his own #%$& fault. BTW - I wasn't there at the time.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:04 AM   #12
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Can the center pole be retro'd into existing awning? My new awning is also a 17' and I feel that it would be weak in any mild gust, which happens pretty regularly here in CO. Too bad I didn't think about this sooner. Lewster is coming by tomorrow to install my (hopefully) soon to be delivered roadside and rear awnings. We could have done a center support pole at the same time.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:09 AM   #13
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Can the center pole be retro'd into existing awning? My new awning is also a 17' and I feel that it would be weak in any mild gust, which happens pretty regularly here in CO. Too bad I didn't think about this sooner. Lewster is coming by tomorrow to install my (hopefully) soon to be delivered roadside and rear awnings. We could have done a center support pole at the same time.
I'm pretty sure it can. Give Zipdee a call at 800-338-BEST (2378). They're great to deal with.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:26 AM   #14
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Can the center pole be retro'd into existing awning? My new awning is also a 17' and I feel that it would be weak in any mild gust, which happens pretty regularly here in CO. Too bad I didn't think about this sooner. Lewster is coming by tomorrow to install my (hopefully) soon to be delivered roadside and rear awnings. We could have done a center support pole at the same time.
I am sure you could install a center support because all there is to the existing awning is a hole drilled in the tube.

However don't think that a center support will aid in the wind. In the wind awnings fail up not down. A wind gust will lift the awning and the center support will fall out of the hole dropping the center support. Even given the fact that the Zip Dees are pinned at the end supports, SOBs are often just friction locks on the supports, wind can tear the supports from the side of the trailer as the awning lift and goes over the top.
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