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Old 05-09-2010, 05:40 PM   #15
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Even with the heads securely fastened with the knobs the awning can catch wind and unroll. It then looks like a spinnaker on a sailboat and can easily rip the entire roll off of the trailer. Spring tension helps keep the awning rolled, but at 70 MPH and driving with a cross wind, things can happen.

Earlier ZipDee awnings had a z-lock -that kept the awning from unrolling. The z-lock was eliminated on later awnings and replace with a travel latch which should do the same.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
curbside window only awnings CAN unroll during travel with enough SIDE WIND, once the spring fatigues. that typically takes 20 years, but the small hook/latches on the window awnings are useful in that regard.
Not really, we took a 80 mph side hit on the Oregon coast, awnings came up, much to my suprise. Installed these on the small roadside awnings; suprises over.
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:28 PM   #17
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Not really...
yes really.

(unless the NOT is in reference to 20 years...)

the full length street side window awning on my moho started doing this at about age 15.

a 79, so in about 94.

it was sorta fun to watch as this happened OVER carz passing on the left.

they would QUICKLY slow and happily let me INto the left lane.

it was sorta like a visual left blinker...

after it happened with a semi in the left lane, it was time to add d'hook.

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-09-2010, 06:54 PM   #18
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Hi, without pictures showing exactly what you are talking about it's hard to give a perfect answer. So, In most cases where the arms got bent, it was because of the upper arms were hooked onto the latch pin on the lower arms instead of on the roller ends. With the awning fully closed, the safety hook in place, and the two end knobs properly tightened, I don't see anyway that wind can open it, short of a hurricane, litterally ripping the mounts off of the body. Even though we can all be in a hurry and not secure things correctly, I also use Velcro on the arms as a back-up. I also agree with 2air that most of these type problems are "operator error".
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:14 PM   #19
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I agree with Robert, we've taken some monster wind hits and the curbside full length has
never had a problem. (Dog those babies down and check every few hundred miles, though).
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:11 AM   #20
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Zip Dee Hell

Thanks for all the feedback. Regarding the rotary knobs shown in the photo, these two knobs or wheels only hold the retractable frames in place. If your cylinder spring fails you can easily pull the awning fabric to full extension even with those knobs locked in place.

My rotary knobs were/are fully locked down and my secondary 'safety catch' was locked down as well. The safety catch on my factory awning is located at the rear leaving the front free to unfurl almost five feet as we motored down the road. If I keep the Zip Dees, I will add a second safety catch and carry the two large C-Clamps that finally held everything in place.

I would again suggest that everyone add a second safety catch about a foot from the leading edge if your trailers is installed near the back as mine was. Or a second in near the rear if you do have one installed in the front.

Regarding "Operator Error" there will be operator error on almost any product like this over time given a large enough number of installations. That said, two things bother me about this product: 1) If the awning springs fail you are in for a very bad day(s). Other awnings I've had on SOB's allowed for a second form of fairly easy retraction; 2) The forced action of pushing out the aluminum struts can result in time of having a bent aluminum strut. My thinking is I had one slightly bent support strut to begin with as the rear side was always difficult to put out or in.

I'm waiting for a reply from Zip Dee. Thanks all the comments and suggestions!
Bill
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
withOUT pictures it's hard to guess at ANY of the issues here.

94.9% of the problems with z/d awnings are operator errors.

and 5% are related to DRYNESS/sticking inside the strut arms.

the small hook ((travel latch)) riveted to the tube cover is a relatively recent addition to the product.

and only a 2ndary/back up mechanism (think belt/suspenders)

and it's located at the rear because the spring is near the rear on the patio awning, as i recall.

the rotary/WHEEL turn knobs at each end will totally secure the roller.

Attachment 102180

EVEN without the internal spring, but the ROTARY knobs need to be firmly tightened.

there are 30 years of patio awnings out there doing FINE without the hook/travel latch.

curbside window only awnings CAN unroll during travel with enough SIDE WIND, once the spring fatigues.

that typically takes 20 years, but the small hook/latches on the window awnings are useful in that regard.
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sorry shinny but the z/d bits may be the BEST parts on the stream, and the design has ~40 years+ of reliability...

THAT's the primary rub against the z/d parts, the design is LONG toothed and so MANUAL.
_________

while it's fine to contact them directly this stuff is also covered under the a/s warranty

and a qualified a/s dealer should be able to handle repairs.

cheers
2air'
94.9% operator error; I would say more like +94.9%! I am personally part of the +94.9% club; a set of rafter arms and a nice scratch on one the body panels later; what can I say. Go to the Zip Dee video on U-tube and watch until you have it memorized; that cured me.

Ed
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:31 AM   #22
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I have seen you mention this before, bit I am not sure which part you are refering to...
Quote:
2) The forced action of pushing out the aluminum struts can result in time of having a bent aluminum strut.
You have main arms and rafter arms, which one of these are the struts?
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:26 PM   #23
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A&E still sells awnings for Airstreams.

I still prefer Zip Dee awnings.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:25 PM   #24
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Zip Dee Hell Update

I spoke to Richard at Zip Dee this AM and he directed me to Benlo RV in nearby Cabazon in the Palm Springs area. The good news is my Airstream is in one of their inside storage units next door. Richard said that it sounded like the canister spring 'came un-sprung.' Richard agreed that the spring holds the awning closed, but that the single safety catch at the rear should provide protection in these rare cases.

Someone here suggested cable ties and another velcro. As I see it that would only hold the outriggers in place. Once the spring goes look out.

The tech at Benlo has been fixing awnings for 22 years. He said he has seen this happen maybe a couple of dozen times with the spring issue. Might have been a bad day at ZipDee or at the AS factory or just a defective part. My AS will be out of action for two to four weeks while they take it off, inspect and order replacement parts. I have to pay for the parts and labor and then see if ZipDee will reimburse them in a timely manner.

I called Richard back at ZipDee but he was out to lunch. They gave me to Linda. Linda was the polar opposite to Richard. She told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, that their products had been tested, and that the patio awning could not unfurl if the safety clasp was in place. Further, Linda said that their engineers had proven that in a case like this the awning would only unfurl from the back. Well I know what I saw, and yes it did try in the back too, but it really came loose all the way to the front where there was not safety catch.

The tech told me that based on what he's seen, and if this was his trailer he would install not, one or two, but three safety catches. As you'll notice in my photos, the single safety catch ZipDee provided was starting to bend upward and would have likely failed too at some point. The C-Clamps in my photos were my saving grace to limp home.


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Old 05-10-2010, 03:58 PM   #25
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Those round wheel stops hold the arms of the awning tight to the trailer. If the spring in the roller tube breaks it is possible for the awning to unfurl even though the wheel stops are tight.
On my awning I have a Zee Lock which is locked when the awning is in the travel position(rolled up). When locked the roller tube cannot rotate.
When you unfurl the awning you are supposed to leave the lock unlocked.
In my opinion every awning should have the Zee lock.
Al
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:31 PM   #26
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Your issues are clearly the exception. I would suggest that you contact zipdee and let them make it right.
Airstream warrants the trailer from hitch to back bumper. Yours is new enough to still be under warranty. Make a claim with Airstream if Zip-Dee denies your warranty claim with them. In fact, you probably should let them know just in case and so that they can add it to their warranty log of issues with the product. If they keep such a log...plus, it could have been installer error, i.e. Airstream's falt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post

the rotary/WHEEL turn knobs at each end will totally secure the roller.

cheers
2air'
I know that this is true. My hook broke off because my roller tube got bent. For over a year we have traveled at 75 MPH on the interstate for hours at the time passing semis and other high profile vehicles and have never had the awning unfurl. Yes, the majority of the awning staying retracted was thanks to the spring, but I don't think my spring is all that tight. When I begin retracting it I have to push on it until it is about half way rolled up. Then it will finish retracting on its own.

I am not a tall person (5'-6" here) with a 20 year old back injury and I had always had issues extending the patio awning on our Airstream. It is either 19' or 20' in length, I forget but it is heavy. I purchased a a set of Lift Handles, I think they were under $25/pair at the time,(Awnings By Zip-Dee) and that made a tremendous difference in my ability to lift our awning. That, and $16 bucks for a latch hook kit for the front end is way cheaper than throwing away a new awning that is about $2K IIRC and replacing it with a new other brand.

I know you are frustrated to have paid so much for a new trailer to have this happen, but any problems I have had were a result of operator error. What I don't understand is why Zip-Dee doesn't include something as inexpensive as the lift handles on a product they sell for so much.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #27
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poor quality ZipDee arm

Hi, We purchased a 2008 20' Safari from Colonial in July of 2008. While we have never taken it out on the road, we do have a nice setup here on our property. Last July we extended the awning as per usual procedure.... However, when it was time to retract to close up for the weekend, the front arm bent and we were unable to get the awning put away. Being the front arm we were able to take arm off. The arm was bent, see photos. Colonial after several weeks and several phone calls and and the photo replaced the arm under warrenty. It seems like the awning was under too much tension. At the very end of the roll up it almost pulls me off the ground ! While waiting for the new warrentied arm we had a spare off of an 1977. Boy, the difference in metal weight and quality was amazing ! The 1977 arm was so much more sturdy !! Installed new front arm. The back arm then bent ! Unfortunately, my husband in taking the back arm bracket off ran into a spring attack ! Dent in bottom panel and a still numb finger.... Looks like the quality has gone down in metal used and if the Factory (or Colonial ) installed the awing, they must have wound the spring WAY too much !! Two strikes ! Did I mention that once the weather warmed up on of the silver vinyl trim sections just fell off. The 1972 and even the 2005 is much better quality than the 2008.....
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:02 PM   #28
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ShinyRd...

Wow, I feel for your frustration over the awing spring breaking/unhooking...

In looking at your pic's, I see where the awing fabric was still a bit loose - from trying to furl the awing by hand, I assume - a real challenging task, at best, and a nasty job on the road when it's been flapping in the breeze!

I guess my question is, if you were able to furl the awing normally, in effect completely inside the alum covering slats, wouldn't the threaded stowing 'wheels' hold the entire awing assembly tight enough against the trailer body, that it wouldn't be able to unfurl - even with the unattached internal spring?

Our older AS doesn't have any secondary hook locks, and I've never seen any need - till your posts, of course!

We have one hook lock on the long window awning on the road side, and, unfortunately one of the rivets holding it have come loose - so I've removed it for now - but have many road miles on it without any sign of that awing coming unfurled from road speed winds, etc -

I guess I'll take another look to reattach the hook for additional safety - maybe the springs were stronger in the older units, as that sucker doesn't seem to move one bit when furled...

Your awing alerts have given many of us notice to keep an occasional 'eyeball' on our treasured shade canvas...

Ray
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