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Old 07-25-2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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Zip dee removal

I removed the smaller ( 4') of my two zip dees to replace the fabric. The tension in the roller was really strong. Like a monster window shade.
So I am wondering two things, will I be able to get tension back on it rolling it up with the new cloth on?
And when I take off the bigger one off a.... 10' version, will the tension be too much to handle?
What I did on the first was to remove the cotter pin on one side, and then take the roller off to slide the fabric off, then I removed the arm on the other side.Did not have to , but I figured I would clean up the roller off the trailer.
I am thinking I only need to remove one side to get the fabric on and that will retain the tension on the roller.
How about some experienced zip dee removers??
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:28 PM   #2
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It was not tough to remove and install, the thing we learned was to leave most of the arm in place to unwind and rewind the arm. Just unbolt the piece that mount on the trailer itself by unbolting it from the arm. Leave the other end attached to the trailer, so your helper doesn't do a credible imitation of a helicopter when you pop it off.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:02 PM   #3
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I replaced the spring in my longest awning last summer. I definitely agree with Overlander63. You need to detach the arm from the camper and use it to unwind the spring. You can contact the nice people at ZIPDEE and they can tell you how many times to wind it up to set the proper tension.
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
I am thinking I only need to remove one side to get the fabric on and that will retain the tension on the roller.
If you remove the fabric with tension still on the roller, it is going to unwind in a hurry.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:26 AM   #5
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and how. So you just disconnect one end? That is what I had done originally, but then got the other end off to clean the rust off. If I leave one end attached the tension should stay on it?
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:17 AM   #6
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For the patio awning, the proper tension will require a bit of a nudge to start rolling then awning when it is all the way out. Window awnings are quite a bit tighter because they depend upon the tension and the hold down strap to keep the awning stressed rather than strut bars like the patio awning does.

Tension is adjusted by winding a spring inside the roller attached to the strut on one end. As noted by several here, the tension is adjusted by winding up the spring by rotating the strut bar around the roller tube.

Also, as noted, be very very careful when taking apart the awning or adjusting the spring tension. There is a lot of energy there and it can fling things around if it gets loose.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:27 AM   #7
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and how. So you just disconnect one end? That is what I had done originally, but then got the other end off to clean the rust off. If I leave one end attached the tension should stay on it?
Alan,
I may be repeating what other have said but I'm trying to be clear. For the patio awning, the spring is on one end (I think the rear but you should confirm). You disconnect the arm on that end and unwind the spring. Then you will have no tension. If you disconnect the other end, I think the cannister will try to turn to release the tension and that's not what you want.

After you have done what you need to do, you re-tension the awning by winding the arm on the spring end.

The folks at Zip-Dee are very helpful, I suggest you give them a call to confirm everything.

Be careful winding and unwinding the spring, the awning arm could give you (or the trailer) quite a wallop if it got loose.
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:17 PM   #8
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Hi Alan,
Never unbolt the cast aluminum head from the arm it is attached to and you will have a nice long lever to control the tension on the spring.
If you do you risk taking your fingers off when it unwinds.
I've heard of some pretty nasty injuries so make sure you have the mechanics figured out before you start.
The Zipdee manual gives very good instructions.
Al
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:20 PM   #9
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The Zip Dee web site has lots of info and downloads

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Old 07-26-2008, 08:08 PM   #10
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The secret to winding and unwinding the awing is to extend the awing completely. ZipDee only uses one spring, on the door side it is at the forward end of the tube. Once extended rest the awing tube on a step ladder. Remove the arm at the trailer body and drop the tubular section of the arm off the solid part of the arm making sure someone is holding the solid section of the arm as you remove the tubular section. Once you have separated the arm you can unwind the spring using the 4 ft arm as leverage. With this much leverage it is not hard.

When rewinding the spring you will apply one full revolution for each ft of the awing plus 7 revolutions. For the tension on the smaller awings I would check with ZipDee
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:25 AM   #11
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Hi Alan,
Never unbolt the cast aluminum head from the arm it is attached to and you will have a nice long lever to control the tension on the spring.
If you do you risk taking your fingers off when it unwinds.
I've heard of some pretty nasty injuries so make sure you have the mechanics figured out before you start.
The Zipdee manual gives very good instructions.
Al
Wish I read that before I unbolted it!! No injury... but it was startling. Thanks for all the info, everyone.
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Old 08-24-2008, 03:52 PM   #12
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Just to follow up now that my new fabric is in hand-
-I plan to mark the spots on the new fabric exactly where the rivets went on the old fabric for the 4' awning that has the tube totally off right now.
-Then; rivet it on to the tube, and mount it.

-As for the bigger ten footer...I will disconnect the back end of the tube where the cotter pin is, keep the other end attached at the cast aluminum head...so it shouldn't unroll violently, and I can rivet the new fabric in place and roll it back up afterwards.

Does this sound right to those who have done it before?

I am really looking forward to seeing the new look!
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:46 PM   #13
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Fabric is in

I got the new fabric for my 4' and 10' roadside zipp dees.
I think I did the replacement plan out of order though.
I riveted the fabric to the tube using the old awning as a template. Then slid the roped part into the shell, and attached the front side of the awning to the arm. Rolled it up to then attached the back side with the cotter pin thru it, and it promptly unrolled with no tension to hold it.

So, do I take out the rivets and roll the tube to get tension on before the fabric is attached?
Or; release only the front of the tube from its arm and roll it that way? I am not quite getting the method here.

Zip dee was going to send me instructions, but I have not heard back form them.
If its 3' long from trailer to tube, you would then roll it 4 times?
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Old 09-07-2008, 03:25 PM   #14
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On my old Zip-Dee, I disconnected the left arm (when looking at the awning from outside) from the TRAILER, not from the shaft of the tube, and now use the arm as a lever to wind up the spring inside the tube. No need to un-rivet the fabric. You'll have to figure out the right way to wind it, and how many turns to get the right tension. Other posts here have gone over that, I believe.
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