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Old 06-22-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
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Zip Dee main arm bar bent- help!

Well we were camping in the torrential downpours in St. Petersburg, FL this weekend and like an idiot I forgot to lower the rear end of the awning so the rain would roll of nicely. So much water built up that the main arm bar at the rear of the trailer bent under the weight. It gets better. So I tried to remove the bent arm so I could retract the awning and head for home. I nearly broke my wrist when the spring tension released. Lesson for all: AWNING IS UNDER A LOT OF SPRING TENSION!! Finally got it removed and back home.

Where is the best place to get a replacement main arm bar? Direct from Zip Dee? Is reinstalling and re-tensioning the awning fairly easy? Any help is appreciated!
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
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I did the same thing. I tried to get the bar straightened at a muffler shop. But, that didn't work as the bar has to be perfectly straight. Got a new arm from a dealer. You can rewind the spring OK, but, you may need a second pair of hands to help.
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:45 PM   #3
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You can give Bates a call tomorrow, they may have something there.
As for retensioning the spring, a helper is a must. I remember it is something like 18 turns, then another turn for every foot of awning length. Put the part of the arm that is closest to the tube back on, and turn the tensioner with it.
If you have the parts, but don't want to tackle it yourself, I can come over next Sunday and assist. Just PM me with driving directions and phone number.
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:59 PM   #4
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Zip Dee Awning Arm

I also had the same problem last year in the UP of Michigan. Removed it when I got home and ordered one (3 pieces) from Zip Dee's website. They are nice folks; got me what i needed quickly in the mail. I think it was about $125 for all the parts plus shipping.

Don....
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Old 06-22-2008, 11:12 PM   #5
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I did the same thing 2 years ago and bent both arms. I was able to send the inner steel piece (upper piece) back to ZipDee and they straightened them at no charge. I bought the two new outer (lower) arms. My total cost with shipping was around $200.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:19 AM   #6
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ZipDee factory is the way to go, check the web site, figure what you need, call on the phone, confirm and they will ship. No problem.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:15 AM   #7
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see step 7 on page 3 to see how older versions of the Zip Dee were re-tensioned. you already know to be careful.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f442...ons-37803.html
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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Also had to replace the rear main arm. Called Zip Dee, Super customer service. They sent instructions with the bar on how t install.

Here's their website with maintenance and parts ordering info.

Take care.
Awnings By ZipDee

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Old 06-23-2008, 01:26 PM   #9
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This is our second (of only two so far) warranty issue, and is currently being addressed at the dealer. One bracket was actually cracked on the rear tension arm (missed on the delivery inspection), and I had to disassemble to forward support arm, because it was jammed due to bending. That was just to make it home with a properly stowed awning.

We almost never used the awning on our SOB, due to its complexity compared to a Zip-Dee. Me and heavily-tensioned mechanisms have issues, or something...
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Old 06-23-2008, 03:58 PM   #10
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Thanks for all of the tips and links! Sorry (but comforting) to hear that others had similar problems with bent awnings.

I tired all day to get through to BatesRV. They either have phone trouble or they're slammed with calls. I'll try again tomorrow.

Overlander63- Very generous offer to help me with this- THANK YOU!! I may take you up on that! I don't want my wife on the other end. I would die if she got hurt too!
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:15 PM   #11
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Well, it's not over yet. I straightened out the awning arm to nearly perfect! I had to take the AS in for the Dometic recall and figured I have them put the awning arm back on while they had it.

I dropped the AS off at BatesRV so they could reinstall the awning arm. Picked it up last Friday and went camping. Went to dispatch the awning and NO TENSION on the awning. Turns out Bates put the arm back on but did not tension it. I blew my whole morning today taking it back (40 mile round trip) and waiting while they retensioned it. When I asked for some kind of compensation for my trouble they explained that they did what I aksed, but admitted it should have been checked for tension before they gave it back to me. I'm told they will discuss it w/ Mr. Bates and get back with me regarding compensation. Does this sound absurd to anyone other than me?!
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kstampa View Post
Well, it's not over yet. I straightened out the awning arm to nearly perfect! I had to take the AS in for the Dometic recall and figured I have them put the awning arm back on while they had it.

I dropped the AS off at BatesRV so they could reinstall the awning arm. Picked it up last Friday and went camping. Went to dispatch the awning and NO TENSION on the awning. Turns out Bates put the arm back on but did not tension it. I blew my whole morning today taking it back (40 mile round trip) and waiting while they retensioned it. When I asked for some kind of compensation for my trouble they explained that they did what I aksed, but admitted it should have been checked for tension before they gave it back to me. I'm told they will discuss it w/ Mr. Bates and get back with me regarding compensation. Does this sound absurd to anyone other than me?!
kstampa,

Welcome to the 'Bates screw up club'!

I bought my '06 CCD there and when I picked it up, it had a laundry list of things wrong with it....even though they were all checked off the PDI list as OK and functional. I was so pissed off.... that I just took the trailer and called Frank Bates about it.

Since I have more certifications than any of their tech staff, he asked if I would correct the problems and send him the bill.....which I did......and he PAID it!! He then offered me a job....which I respectfully declined!

Frank Bates is a stand-up guy, even though his tech staff is somewhat 'challenged'.

You have nothing to loose by calling him directly with your experience.
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Old 08-04-2008, 09:05 PM   #13
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Lewster,
Thanks for the input. I've met Frank before at the 06 Rally and a couple of other times. Yeah, I think he's alright too, but who doesn't empower their staff wtih the authority to make a small credit back to an inconvenienced customer under these circumstances though?! I figured I'd give it till Wednesday (when the service manager said he'd talk to him) before I call him myself. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:14 AM   #14
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Squeaky wheel got oiled yesterday. Frank stood up and did the right thing. Gave me a free detail for having to bring the unit back for the awning arm problem. Thanks Frank!
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