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Old 03-18-2018, 03:42 PM   #1
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Sigh, we are not having good luck with our new Airstream

Those of you who follow this forum will recognize me. We camped for 10 years in a Winnebago Class C, then decided to downsize. We traded off the Winnebago and bought a new 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 23FB last April.

Before we even took it out the very first time, the Dometic air Conditioner quit. Took it back to the dealer and got a new AC. Went on a 10 day camping trip up the Natchez Trace Parkway. Had a wonderful time, but, the door wouldn't close all the way. It would latch enough to hold it closed, but was about 1/4" proud, and the dead bolt wouldn't engage. Dealer fixed that too.

That is old news, and you will find other threads where I talk about them at length.

New news. Took the girl camping this weekend. It started spitting rain Friday morning, so I put the ZipDee awning out and we sat under the awning and watched it rain. Very relaxing. Friday evening, I went to put the awning away because I don't leave it up if I am asleep or away from the trailer. The lower arms of the awning would NOT retract. After struggling a while, I noticed that the lower awning arms were significantly BENT! They were extremely curved. I ended up having to take the awning arms and awning OFF THE TRAILER so I could tow the trailer home. I am going to have a discussion Monday with ZipDee. Depending on what ZipDee says, I may have a conversation afterward with Airstream. I am attaching a photo of the bent awning arms laying on the ground after removing everything. (The awning is currently laying in my garage on the floor.)

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Old 03-18-2018, 03:58 PM   #2
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The issue is that the water "pooled" in the awning and the weight bent the arms. One has to extend one side arm fully and one stop less on the other side to get the slope necessary for the water to drain off. Typically the low end is at the end of the trailer away from the main door.

While not explicitly mentioned in the current or past owner's manuals, ZipDee is trying to say that their awnings are not suitable for being extended in the rain, let alone wind.

If the extended awning roller is basically level to the ground, the awning material will sag in the middle with water and when the water load gets heavy enough, the damage begins.....

This will be one very expensive lesson unless your insurance will pay the bill. This event, unfortunately, is not a viable warranty claim to either ZipDee or Airstream.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:03 PM   #3
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Bobbo sorry to hear of your varied troubles.

This one was a user issue, sorry to say, Switz explained it. Always have the awning on an angle (one arm a notch or two lower than the other...usually the one furthest from the door) if it's raining so that the water can run off.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:30 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=switz;2078168]

While not explicitly mentioned in the current or past owner's manuals, ZipDee is trying to say that their awnings are not suitable for being extended in the rain, let alone wind.
/QUOTE]

No awning is.
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:03 PM   #5
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In my owners manual (the one from Zip Dee), it explicitly says to lower the awning arms to create slope. And, it says failure to follow those instruction is not covered under their warranty.

See pages 2 and 3:
http://nebula.wsimg.com/34d0c6e027d0...&alloworigin=1
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:08 PM   #6
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I believe I have seen similar posts about the power awnings on the newer AS models, like mine. ZipDee describes the awning as a sun shade only. It is not intended to be used in the rain, apparently even a little rain or wind will damage the awning and it not covered under warranty. I am envious of others who can leave their awning up most of the time.
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Old 03-18-2018, 05:26 PM   #7
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While what has been said here is true about the awning, I would still contact Zipdee to see if they can help. You never know if they might send you some arms if you or your dealer will install them. Be nice ; )

Unfortunately there can be many things wrong with a new AirStream just as there are many things wrong with most new campers. I had a list of 12-15 Items when I took my AS to Jackson center. They will fix them all. If you can return to the mothership, you would get better service than most dealers with your issues.

You will learn new things with your AS over time that seem like problems, but are not. As an example: If you couldn't get your door to work and they fixed it, that's fine, but it should still seem hard to close! The correct way to close the door is to firmly shut it; then press hard at the latch to make it "click". That seems like a problem, but most AS work this way (at least the new ones).

Your tongue jack may be a 3000 lb. jack. The Atwood manual for it says not to use with an equalizer jack. Why is it undersized? (They went to a bigger jack in 2018) Buy the $12 crank from the manufacturer or on Amazon, and crank it the last few turns if you need to rather than seize up the jack. AS will not replace if it is still working.

Your charger in you trailer is a single stage model. Replace it now with a progressive 4 stage before you boil all your batteries away.

Tires! Oh don't get me started!

Spend some time here looking up what you need. I'm sure all here will be glad to help you. PM me with any questions.

Turk
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:45 PM   #8
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Sigh. Since posting this, I have discovered that it was, indeed, user error. It was not, however, the error that switz spoke of. It was more basic than that.

I did have one side lower than the other so water would not pool. However, this is only the second time in the 11 months that I have owned this trailer that I have put the awning out and I made a basic, bonehead mistake. I am posting a picture of the trailer with the awning deployed. See how long it takes you to see my mistake. I agree that this is not a warranty issue. If Zip Dee does not offer assistance, I am not going to try to make a fuss. Fortunately, I was able to remove the awning without damaging it any more (as far as I can tell), so all I need is a pair of arms and re-installation. Hopefully, it won't be TOO bad.

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Old 03-18-2018, 07:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turk123 View Post
Your tongue jack may be a 3000 lb. jack. The Atwood manual for it says not to use with an equalizer jack. Why is it undersized? (They went to a bigger jack in 2018) Buy the $12 crank from the manufacturer or on Amazon, and crank it the last few turns if you need to rather than seize up the jack. AS will not replace if it is still working.

Your charger in you trailer is a single stage model. Replace it now with a progressive 4 stage before you boil all your batteries away.
Thanks for the advice. My jack is a 4,000# model, and I put a PD4655V in my Airstream the week I brought her home. I had the converter/charger before I had the trailer. The Parallax never even got plugged in at home.

I pulled a bone head stunt on this one. This one in no way reflects on Airstream or Zip Dee.
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Old 03-18-2018, 07:55 PM   #10
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Yup..... the upper arms are not where they should be.

I don't remember the "mode" that they call it, but the only time the upper arms are to be in that position is when the awning is only partially deployed.

Sorry for your troubles. Unfortunately, I also learn best by doing.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:01 PM   #11
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Sorry to hear of your troubles. As a newbie, I bent one of the arms on my Zip-Dee due to not knowing how to put it away correctly. I was able to straighten it out by my self, and it has worked fine since (four years). So maybe your arms can be fixed also.

There's a video at
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:02 PM   #12
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Forgot to extend the arms to the locked position?

Sorry to hear of your troubles but, good to hear you learned from it! Many don't.
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:03 PM   #13
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Thanks for sharing. Lessons learned are of much more value when you share them with others. Sympathy for your challenges. Keep on learning, traveling and smiling. Pat
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:09 PM   #14
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Maybe someone else will learn from my mistake. Even if I had discovered that it was my fault before posting, I still would have posted this thread. I just would have admitted in the first post that it was my fault.
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