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Old 10-19-2004, 06:13 PM   #1
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zip-dee doo dah day

OK, tell me the truth, have any of you ever had the wind tear off or damage your awning? I spent the night in my A/S last night and a helluva storm blew in. I was awake all night listening to the awning bang against the trailer - I'm not kidding, at times I felt like I was nearing lift-off. But it was too dark and too windy for me to attempt closing the awning so I left it open (uh, because I've never opened or closed it by myself ).

I really want to keep the awning open as the rains have set in and it's nice to enter the trailer from the protection of the awning. And, sheesh, if I have to close it everytime I think it's going to be windy, then I might as well leave it closed.

Any thoughts or ideas? (BTW, the directions for opening and closing the zip-dee suck!)
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:30 PM   #2
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safe or sorry?

Your best bet is to close it up ...however, I leave mine up in all kinds of weather; I like to get in the door without getting wet too You can add a set of stakes and guy straps/lines to help keep it under control; something along the line of these from Camping World I camp frequently at Myrtle Beach, SC and this is what they use on the permanent trailers on the ocean front, I have been there during some pretty violent summer storms and have never seen them lose and awning yet.

FWIW I have had my el cheapo canopy up on my popup in 45 mph gusts and haven't lost it yet, but I always stake and guy it out.

Aaron
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Old 10-19-2004, 06:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
Your best bet is to close it up ...however, I leave mine up in all kinds of weather; I like to get in the door without getting wet too You can add a set of stakes and guy straps/lines to help keep it under control; something along the line of these from Camping World I camp frequently at Myrtle Beach, SC and this is what they use on the permanent trailers on the ocean front, I have been there during some pretty violent summer storms and have never seen them lose and awning yet.

FWIW I have had my el cheapo canopy up on my popup in 45 mph gusts and haven't lost it yet, but I always stake and guy it out.

Aaron
Thanks, Aaron, that's a great idea and I'll check out camping world. I did notice this morning that my airstream neighbors down the lane had closed up their awning. I was so panicked that I called the RV park from work and asked them if the maintenance man would close my awning - for a small fee of course. Aargh! I've got to get out of Oregon while the gettin' is good - and where I can practice this stuff in dry weather
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nettepdx
OK, tell me the truth, have any of you ever had the wind tear off or damage your awning?
Uhh, well, yes. The first time we used the trailer. Keep in mind, this was our very first experience with an rv of any kind! We stayed at a regulation campground the first two days, then went to our show site.... I can still see the twelve year old kid's absolutely HORRIFIED expression as he asked: Aren't you gonna chock your wheels? LOL
We moved to the show site the night before the show was to start. About eight or so units were parked, and two huge marquee type open tents were up for the next day. We left five, yes indeed, FIVE, standard poodles loose in our 31 foot unit, and ran for a quick supper with friends.
Did I say this was our first time out with a rv? Because we were so new (or stupid) nobody checked the weather, or even the sky.
You can see this one comin' can't you? Too bad we didn't.
We were about done with dinner when The Storm hit. It really does deserve those capitol letters! Once it began to slacken, we made a run for the grounds. Man! All those poodles were wild-eyed and Very Glad to see us! I remember standing under the awning, with it full of water, a folding chair in my hands, using it like a squeegee to work the water off from the underside, in finally hada to holler for help and have a second person assist.... it was raining so hard and so fast, it took two of us to merely keep even! Just wanted to get enough water and weght off to be able to drop the awning....... didn't care about rolling it, just wanted it dropped!
In a very short but intense time, we went through high winds, extreme rain, and then came the ...... hail. Uh-huh, we had it all. And so did the awning.
The next day, at daybreak, we noticed the marquee tents were down. Not only down, one of them was never found! Serious here.
We managed to get our awning not exactly rolled, but able to travel with it, called Zip Dee, who directed us to a SOB dealer down the street from them for temp repairs.
We had helped two ladies in a motor home secure their awning for travel, most of the other units didn't look too good.
On ours, we had hail damage, and at some point, the wind must have used the awning like a lift point, lifted and then slammed our trailer back down, breaking a stab jack! No wonder those dogs were so darn happy to see us! We also later learned one of the units had been totaled by their insurance company.......
Other than the awning, we did not have any substansial amount of damage to our unit.
The storm had several good effects for us.... we are never so stupid as to leave a fully deployed awning up if we're not there,,,, we now 'tilt' the awning, or put it down...... we check weather radio much more frequently... we appreciate the toughness of the Airstream design..... and both of us have learned to drop the awning with no other help if needed......

Elizabeth
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Old 10-20-2004, 07:02 AM   #5
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Exclamation Why even...

I agree that the very first time out, the Zip Dee awning can be a rather intimidating contraption but~!
Once you've done it a few times, it's really not bad at all..
The fact that you're having trouble tells me several things:
1. No one showed you the proper techniques.
2. You didn't read the instructions. (You really need to do this~.lol)
3. The Z.D. really works well the more often it's used.
(Try cleaning the white crud off the inner slider pieces)
Lastly, I would never leave it open during high winds..Rain is okay, just tip is lower to the opposite it end..
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Old 10-20-2004, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53FlyingCloud
I agree that the very first time out, the Zip Dee awning can be a rather intimidating contraption but~!
Once you've done it a few times, it's really not bad at all..
The fact that you're having trouble tells me several things:
1. No one showed you the proper techniques.
2. You didn't read the instructions. (You really need to do this~.lol)
3. The Z.D. really works well the more often it's used.
(Try cleaning the white crud off the inner slider pieces)
Lastly, I would never leave it open during high winds..Rain is okay, just tip is lower to the opposite it end..
ciao
53FC
Ha...you're right that no one has shown me the proper technique....no one has shown me ANY technique And the directions - downloaded from zip dee - are horrible! I plan on practicing my zipdee technique if the weather ever cooperates...probably down in Arizona somewhere. <sheesh>

And Elizabeth, that's a great story...to hear that is; not to live through. I can just see those poor poodles going crazy. I guess it wasn't my imagination that the awning lifted my trailer. Glad there was no damage...and glad I wasn't in a smaller trailer
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Old 10-20-2004, 12:53 PM   #7
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From personal experience with A&E awnings on my previous 2 SOB's I can testify that the Zip-Dee's are the best awnings I have ever owned. They tolerate wind much better and are much more stable.

My first experience with a trailer awning was in the early 80's. Our first trip out with the new trailer and we extended the new A&E awning. We left for a few hours and a rainstorm came up. While there was no wind to speak of, we knew nothing about tipping the awing. When we returned we found the awning extended flat against the side of the trailer. The awning rods had bent in half from the weight of the rain that had pooled on the canvas. To say the least I was sick.

We also bent a rod on the same awning at Myrtle Beach due to the heavy ocean side winds. I now own a tie down strap which we normally use to stablize the awning when camped at oceanside campgrounds.

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Old 10-20-2004, 02:24 PM   #8
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Might not be a bad idea to tie down even the short road-side awnings. In Az this spring, our '99 31' Excella was hit by a wind witch (dust devil?) and the long road-side awning wound up with one end down and the other up on top of the AC. I managed to pull it down into its normal position and did not find any damage. Fortunately, our main awning was rolled up. One more for Zip-dee.
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Old 10-20-2004, 02:59 PM   #9
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zip-dee doo dah day

I think the A & E is easier to put up and take down. However, the Zee-Dee is sturdier. I found it easier to put up and take down with a step stool. (So I could reach the locks at the top.) The more I have done it, the easier it has gotten. Keep at it. You'll get it.
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:07 PM   #10
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Here's another vote for the step stool. I think Zip Dee omitted that essential piece of equipment in their instructions! At least for us short people. Annette, we learned by the internet instructions too. We also have gotten lots of help and advice from fellow campers. Seems like there is always someone nearby who recognizes our desperate looks of "Now whatta we do?" while we hang suspended from some unreachable or seemingly unretractable component of the awning. I guess we all have our horror stories--ours happened while camped at Lake Stanley in Idaho and involved a non-ZD awning that ripped from all our tie downs and sailed poles and all up over our pop up onto the other side of the beast. The picture of us getting out of THAT mess wouldn't be pretty! Engineers we aren't. Nevertheless, I love our ZipDee awnings! Now, if we were year round campers instead of seasonal ones, we might finally get the hang of it all! Good luck and here's to dryer weather for your practice sessions.
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:30 PM   #11
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I have a hard time with the knobs that tighten on to hold the awning secure during travel. I am all of 5 ft tall and a long way from those knobs. Trying to tighten and loosen them with that "stick" can really be a challenge.

One thing I found that really helps me put the awning up and down by myself is these nifty little padded handles that I ordered directly from zip dee. They really make raising and lowering the awning much easier. I don't remember the exact price, but I think they were about $30.00 and well worth every penny.
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Old 10-20-2004, 11:07 PM   #12
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Sandi, tell us more, please! What nifty little padded handles? $30.00 may be a bargain here. And by the way, loved your pug's photo!
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Old 10-20-2004, 11:25 PM   #13
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Zip Dee Accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia
Sandi, tell us more, please! What nifty little padded handles? $30.00 may be a bargain here. And by the way, loved your pug's photo!
You can find the Zip Dee accessories here:

http://www.zipdeeinc.com/Accessories.html

and you can reach them at (800)-338-BEST (2378).

I really like my handles and now that I have looked at the site again, I will have to check into the awning helper.

Thanks for the Pug compliment! She was very proud of herself.
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:06 AM   #14
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short cuts

Nice to hear from all you shorties. Stepstool....ha! I have a bleepin' ladder for that job.

The guy who opened my awning had one of those padded handle things and he swore by it. I'll look into that.

I'm glad to hear such good reports on the zipdee. Mine is the original and a little stained but otherwise in perfect condition.
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