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Old 04-27-2016, 10:18 PM   #1
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Wind sensor available for the ZipDee Relax Awning

Anyone have any info or experience with ZipDee's wind sensor? There's a teaser on this page.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:55 PM   #2
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I just L-O-V-E awning wing sensors. Folks that use them absolutely rely on them to keep their awning safe in a high wind event, or when an unexpected gust pops up and the wind sensor saves their bacon. They leave their awnings out and fully expect that their automated wind sensors will fully retract their awnings and they will be ready to use when they return to their RV.

WRONG!!!!!

I have probably removed at least 50+ awnings from wind damage and repaired at least another 100 or so over the last 15 years as an RV Tech because people relied on an electric, electro-mechanical or electronic wind sensing device to automatically retract their awnings in gusty or high wind conditions.

A wind sensor, will require a minimum of 15-20 seconds of CONTINUAL WIND at the set speed level threshold to start the retraction process. Gusts are not part of this system and no retraction device can respond in a short enough time to save an awning. I have cut many from roofs of all types of RVs in situations like these.

My suggestions to ALL automatic awning owners:

• NEVER leave an awning deployed unattended
• NEVER leave an awning deployed over night
• NEVER use straps of any kind to fasten the leading edge, roller tube or lead rail of ANY awning to a fixed surface….like the ground! This is a disaster waiting to happen!

The majority of awning failures, and these are generally much sturdier awnings than ZipDees, have happened as a result of ignoring the above suggestions.

It's your coach, do as you please, but from my past professional experience, awnings are a disaster waiting to happen of they are not deployed with the proper cautions.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
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Lew, thanks for the advice. My wife and I were down by the beach in Socal recently and we left our awning deployed as we were leaving for a few hours and then realized that if the wind picked up, we'd have a mess. That's why the wind sensor was interesting.

The sensor sounds like a good idea. Given your track record with these things you probably just saved me hundreds, if not thousands!
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:32 AM   #4
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Lew -! Been reading your posts for years now - and genuinely appreciate your sage advice. I left my awning deployed at home one day and it rained. Hard. Very hard. Wound up replacing the main tube. Did the work alone, quite a job. The lesson? Don't leave your trailer with your awning deployed. Hard and fast rule.


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Old 04-28-2016, 06:43 AM   #5
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Usually, by the time the first gust strong enough to retract the awning occurs, it is already too late. Jim from Zip Dee has been working on a barometric pressure sensor that shows promise, but nothing is foolproof, and nothing is perfect. I have a pile of bent and buckled awning tubes behind the shop caused by owner complacency and rain, and mangled arms caused by wind.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:35 AM   #6
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In my experience like Lew stated they are NOT reliable. We had a sensor on a 38' high end MoHo we owned. I purposely left the awning out in some 15-25 mile an hour wind gusts, never closed, despite being on the most sensitive setting. We have and will always close our awning at night and when we leave. No sensor on the AS anyway.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:42 AM   #7
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Anything made by man is inherently flawed and will certainly fail at the worst moment. I know a couple of people with them that after repeated failure have had the sensors disabled.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:52 AM   #8
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The leading edge of a typical micro-burst in the Phoenix area would take the awning off the trailer like Mary Poppins blowing away. If one sees towering Cumulus clouds building, the awnings need to be secured.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:42 AM   #9
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We had a storm front move thru yesterday with 10 inches of rain and 50+ knot gust. Just got back from the post office and drove thru a couple of private rv/trailer parks. Counted 5 destroyed awnings. Some people apparently did not get the message about rolling up their awnings BEFORE the high winds hit.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:06 AM   #10
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Sometimes folks who tie their awnings to the ground at the lead rail or roller tube feel that they're 'invincible' anyway. I've seen lots of that in local RV parks here in FL.

The damage in situations like that are amazing, as not only the awning arms, roller tube and fabric get damaged, but the awning rail that holds the fabric to the RV sidewall often gets pulled out as well!!!!

Don't leave them out if you're not there.


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Old 04-29-2016, 10:10 AM   #11
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Amen to all the above. Think of them as SUNshades. No sun. No awnings.



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Old 04-29-2016, 05:36 PM   #12
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Just curious for those with experience. I would only consider leaving out an awning on a hot summer day to keep some of the heat from beating down on the entire length/side of the trailer.

Do people not check weather reports before leaving with awnings out? Seems like a basic step. Typically, strong winds just don't come out of nowhere. They are predicted fairly accurately. (As a pilot, we routinely check and study weather).

Also, how much is a typical awning replacement on an airstream? My 2016 Classic has a large/electric awning, are we talking generally $3K+, $5K+, $10K+ if it's ripped off?

Like I said, I would only ever consider leaving the awning out on a calm/hot summer day with the sun beating down on the trailer with me away (pets inside with A/C on or fans going).
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