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timmy67 07-08-2008 10:36 AM

Awning operation
 
2 Attachment(s)
Please forgive my ignorance regarding awnings but when I have unrolled my awning should there be tension in the spring? I'm curious about it because the first time I went to roll it back up, it took 2 of us and the it didn't roll up tight. Also should there be a bunch of slack when it is extended, or should the awning be tight? My Airstream is a 1984 Soverign and I have a feeling this is the orinigal awning. Thanks in advance.

Tim

Silverhobby 07-08-2008 12:09 PM

Your tension springs in the ends of the roller tube may be broken or need to be re tensioned.

Jim Foster 07-08-2008 03:02 PM

Should pull it's self back to the closed position. Might take two to keep it from snapping back, but should not have to push it back. Get that tension right and it will be tight when in the out position.

Tom Nugler 07-08-2008 03:27 PM

Looks like an original Carefree Awning to me. Iíve been rolling mine up by hand for years.:o It can be a real PIA at times.
The springs are probably broken off inside the tube. Mine are. The fabric has also gotten stiff and somewhat brittle so it bunches and won't roll smoothly. With all the other little problems this seems to stay at the bottom of the list.
Carefree still makes awnings but apparently not like the ones we have. This might be a place to start.
http://www.carefreeofcolorado.com/rvttpa.asp?m=01020100

Good luck,
Tom.

ckeysor 07-08-2008 06:57 PM

1 Attachment(s)
My 86 Soveriegn has a Zip Dee (not care free). My spring is not as tight as I would like and I plan on re-tensioning soon. A zip dee can be tightened by taking the left head casting from the arm and spin it then put it back on. Can't remember now if you spin it counter or clockwise, but you will know if it has any tension at all because it will want to unwind on you. Attached is a picture of mine for comparison.

Jim Foster 07-08-2008 10:38 PM

Our '65 Caravel has a Carefree just like yours. We removed the awning to install an aluminum cover, so had to re-wind the spring. We did it by turning the arms round and round until there was enough tension to roll the awning to the closed position.

If the spring is not broken, it's an easy job.

balrgn 07-09-2008 03:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ckeysor (Post 587702)
My 86 Soveriegn has a Zip Dee (not care free). My spring is not as tight as I would like and I plan on re-tensioning soon. A zip dee can be tightened by taking the left head casting from the arm and spin it then put it back on. Can't remember now if you spin it counter or clockwise, but you will know if it has any tension at all because it will want to unwind on you. Attached is a picture of mine for comparison.

Spin it clockwise facing it. Just installed a new one. It took a few adjustments to get it right :wally:

Pfredd 07-09-2008 06:43 AM

Are you sure you have those end "stabilizer" bars installed correctly?

On Zip-Dee awnings they hook on to the roll tube, not the latch like you appear to have. The first big wind that comes along and you will sheer those right off....

lewster 07-09-2008 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ckeysor (Post 587702)
My 86 Soveriegn has a Zip Dee (not care free). My spring is not as tight as I would like and I plan on re-tensioning soon. A zip dee can be tightened by taking the left head casting from the arm and spin it then put it back on. Can't remember now if you spin it counter or clockwise, but you will know if it has any tension at all because it will want to unwind on you. Attached is a picture of mine for comparison.

If I were to do a re-tension of the Zip-Dee torsion spring I WOULDN'T START BY REMOVING THE ARM FROM THE HEAD CASTING!!!!!! The spring is still under tension, and removing the bolt that holds the head casting to the rafter arm can cause major damage to YOU when it helicopters out of control!!! I've seen this happen by folks not familiar with the winding process!!!!

The preferred Z-D procedure is to remove the rafter arm....STILL ATTACHED AT THE HEAD CASTING......from the side wall of the trailer and use the arm as a lever to complete the tensioning of the spring. This gives you a safety factor AND a leveredge factor not available from a deteched head casting. Have a second person hold the fully extended awning away from the trailer so you have clearance for the arm as you wind it clockwise (as you face the awning,) and you'll be fine!:D

balrgn 07-09-2008 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lewster (Post 587907)
If I were to do a re-tension of the Zip-Dee torsion spring I WOULDN'T START BY REMOVING THE ARM FROM THE HEAD CASTING!!!!!! The spring is still under tension, and removing the bolt that holds the head casting to the rafter arm can cause major damage to YOU when it helicopters out of control!!! I've seen this happen by folks not familiar with the winding process!!!!

The preferred Z-D procedure is to remove the rafter arm....STILL ATTACHED AT THE HEAD CASTING......from the side wall of the trailer and use the arm as a lever to complete the tensioning of the spring. This gives you a safety factor AND a leveredge factor not available from a deteched head casting. Have a second person hold the fully extended awning away from the trailer so you have clearance for the arm as you wind it clockwise (as you face the awning,) and you'll be fine!:D

You are most correct! That is the process we used. Good heads up!

Jim Foster 07-09-2008 10:27 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pfredd (Post 587839)
Are you sure you have those end "stabilizer" bars installed correctly?

On Zip-Dee awnings they hook on to the roll tube, not the latch like you appear to have. The first big wind that comes along and you will sheer those right off....

On the early Carefree awning, such as yours, the arm that keeps the awning extended does not attach to the roll tube. It goes from the attaching point on the coach to a point on the main arm as yours appears to be.

I made arms for our the Carefree on our '65 Caravel that go from the awning rail to the roll tube, so that I can detach the main support arms and connect them to the ground out away from the coach in a vertical position so that they are not in the way. The "outward support" arms are then put back against the coach where they live when the awning is rolled up.

ckeysor 07-09-2008 11:50 AM

Lewster,

Nice safety caveat and I fully agree that your method makes sense.

I didn't really have any problems doing it my way, but certainly can see how that could quickly get out of my control.

Oh and I probably shouldn't mention that I was just reversing the directions from Zip Dee on the rear window awning I bought from you:)
Of course there is a big difference in tension between the rear window and the side awning.

Do you happen to know how many turns the main awning should have?

Thanks

lewster 07-09-2008 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ckeysor (Post 587947)
Lewster,

Nice safety caveat and I fully agree that your method makes sense.

I didn't really have any problems doing it my way, but certainly can see how that could quickly get out of my control.

Oh and I probably shouldn't mention that I was just reversing the directions from Zip Dee on the rear window awning I bought from you:)
Of course there is a big difference in tension between the rear window and the side awning.

Do you happen to know how many turns the main awning should have?

Thanks

Chris (et al.),

One thing I forgot to mention when winding a patio awning: you should remove the outer arm that extends from the main arm (the one attached to the head casting) which effectively shortens the arm length and give you a little 'wiggle room' to do your winding.

Zip-Dee recommends one wind per foot of awning, but that assumes that you just unfurled the awning from it's installation position. In reality, extending adds about 9 winds to the spring, so if you start with your awning fully extended and you release all of the tension, figure 9 winds plus 1 per lineal foot of patio awning.

When properly completed, the awning will stay fully extended by itself (sort of a neutral position), not wanting to retract when you take your hand off it. This is how Zip-Dee likes them. They like you to have to give the patio awnings a little 'nudge' to start the wind-up process. If it doesn't want to retract on it's own after about an 8-12" 'nudge', then you probably need another turn on the spring. If it wants to retract immediately on full extension, then the spring is too tight.

Let me know if you have any other questions!:D

timmy67 07-12-2008 09:27 PM

Reply
 
Thanks for all of the replies everyone. I've been away for a few days and tonight was the first chance I had to respond. I haven't looked over everyones responces but I wanted to say thank you quickly. Enjoy your weekend.

Tim

Jim in Pima 07-21-2008 01:15 PM

Thats a great idea to make a upper support arm on the carefree, we were in a tight campground and did not use the awning for that reason. What did you make the arm from???

Jim in Pima 07-21-2008 01:18 PM

Whats the turns on a carefree awning, I am ordering new material for our 1975 Carefree and will need to re-wind it.

Jim Foster 07-21-2008 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim in Pima (Post 592960)
Thats a great idea to make a upper support arm on the carefree, we were in a tight campground and did not use the awning for that reason. What did you make the arm from???

I used aluminum tubing. I think it's 5/8 OD, 1/2 ID. Made each stand-off rail in two sections connected by 12" 1/2 OD tubing, 12" long. 6" inside the end of the larger tubing, held in place by pop rivets. The coach end has a piece of 1/2" wooden dowel, 2" long riveted inside the end, then a pan head screw inserted at the edge of the dowel, leaving it hang out 1/4" to slide into the awning rail. In the other end of the stand-off rail, I cut a fork to slide over the rod coming out of the roll tube. When together, the two pieces are long enough, that the fork end goes on first, then, with the awning fully extended, I slide the screw end into the awning rail. I then attach the awning material to the stand-off rail using "anti flap" awning clips, so that they stay in the awning rail on the roof.
I install the rails on both sides after I pull the awning out from the house, but before I raise it up. No ladder needed.

It took me longer to type these instructions than it takes me to install the rails.

maccamper 07-21-2008 02:32 PM

Carefree Manual
 
There is a source for your questions about the Carefree Awning, there is a manual in the public photos of forum member qjktx. You can use the links below to find the manual, and I had a post where I described how to increase the picture size for printing. The manual is for installation as well as operation, so it notes the number of windings needed for the various lengths of awning.

http://www.airforums.com/photo...00&userid=6410

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f184/progress-1976-sovereign-41089.html

If these links don't work for some reason, please let me know. Thanks


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