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Old 03-25-2007, 02:19 PM   #1
OrangeKid
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Portland , Oregon
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Stupid Awning Tricks

We had never used our awning on our 23' Safari SE LS in our first two trips, but during our third outing to Zion it was warm one afternoon and we decided to open the awning after a day of hiking. We had not opened it since the dealer showed us how and thought we remembered how to open it.

My wife pulled out the awning with the long hook and I attached both rafter arms on the snap stud assemblies of the main arm tubes instead of on the shaft of the roller. I then proceeded to extend the rafter arms on both sides. The result was severely bent main tubes and main arms bars on both ends of the awning. The awning was up, but there was no way we were going to retract it.

We had to unbolt the main tube arm from the lower attachment point on both ends of the awning in order to retract it. After unbolting both arm tubes the awning almost fell but luckily we were able to grab it, roll it up and attach the latches. Using duct tape we taped the main arm tubes to the rafter arms and lower hinge bars in order to drive home.

Ziip Dee was happy to sell us the front and rear main arm bar and the front and rear main arm tube assembly for $228 delivered. The repair was easy and straight forward. The awning is like new. I guess the moral of the story is read the instructions before doing something stupid like this, especially when one is tired.

Our camping neighbors were very nice people and pretended nothing was wrong as we struggled with our awning for several hours. We all had a big laugh over it after the ordeal was over.
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
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I did the same thing on the second trip with my new trailer. The awning was easily fixed with new parts, etc., but it was a frustrating weekend spending several hours at the campground trying to figure how to safely get home with a bent awning...

bk
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:37 PM   #3
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Well that's great that you can laugh it off as experience under the belt. I have to tell you that for me it doesn't get any easier each time I pull the awning out. I have to stop, think, go back, try again, before the light bulb finally comes on. I have even resorted to the instructions when the light bulb was a little slow. The thing that I always remember that the dealer told us when he showed us how to do the awning is "you should never have to use force". So when I get to the point I feel I'm using force, I recheck, and yell, "Doug! Could you come here for a minute?" That last part prob'ly won't work for you though.

-Jamie
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information!

Sorry that happened, but thanks for the information. We have had our 2007 Safari 23' for two weeks, but have not tried to put the awning out. Now, we will read and follow the directions! I did not know it bent so easily.

Thanks again!!
Pat
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:45 PM   #5
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Here is another tip:
If it is raining when you go to bed,
roll the awning back up for the night!

Check out the bend in that arm!
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Here is another tip:
If it is raining when you go to bed,
roll the awning back up for the night!

Check out the bend in that arm!
Or if it's raining lightly, make one arm a little shorter to tilt the awning just slightly and the rain will roll off the "downspout".

-J
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:24 PM   #7
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Yep, I've bent the support arms on my SOB awning years ago in a rain storm before someone tipped me off on the proper way to set the awning (if you weren't goint to be around to attend to it).

Those awings can take a lot of rain if you remember to tip one side lower than the other. Tip it enough and you can take a deluge without damaging the awning. Now wind is another story.....

Jack
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Old 03-25-2007, 04:35 PM   #8
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Awnings... like pop up tents... should go to bed before you do..
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:02 PM   #9
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gee... zip dee....?

I'm not being overly impressed by the Zip Dees on the new ones.... they seem so fragile! My A&E is really sturdy compared to these... and easy to put out too. Too bad they're not making them anymore...
Marc
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:04 PM   #10
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Our awning was bent similar to azflycaster's but not as much. I did not have the presence of mind to take some photos.

starflyte1 the arms are very strong but when they are extended they act as levers and a moderate perpendicular force in the middle can bend them. The instructions are clear but I was too lazy pull then out. I can recall thinking before any damage was done that I really ought to read the instructions. After the damage I wished I had.

dougjamie I can laugh it off now, but not while we were struggling with the awning not sure how we were going to roll it up and be able to drive home. No one was injured amd no permanent damage to the trailer resulted so I can now laugh it off and take it as a lesson learned. Setting one arm shorter that the other is a good way to allow water to run off the awning and keep the awning from being damaged.
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Old 03-25-2007, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Ms75Argosy
I'm not being overly impressed by the Zip Dees on the new ones.... they seem so fragile! My A&E is really sturdy compared to these... and easy to put out too. Too bad they're not making them anymore...
Marc
While at first inspection the Zip-Dee seems to be a light weight compared to some of the massiveness of the A&E line, I've found my Zip-Dee is a much more stable awning in wind than my old A&E was on my SOB. In setting it up I also appareciate that you don't have to be a gorilla in dealing with those awning arms.

Jack
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:28 PM   #12
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Me too! Me too!

I did the very same thing as I was inspecting my trailer for potential purchase. I drove back two weeks later to haul it home, with a couple of brand new hinge bars sitting on the seat beside me.

Apparently, this is my preferred method of learning new things.
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Old 03-25-2007, 07:38 PM   #13
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Rtfm!

The first thing we learned in the RV tech certification course.....RTFM!!!

As this is a family oriented forum, I will not detail what all the letters mean, but it says 'read the .....manual'. You can fill in the blanks appropriately
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster
The first thing we learned in the RV tech certification course.....RTFM!!!

As this is a family oriented forum, I will not detail what all the letters mean, but it says 'read the .....manual'. You can fill in the blanks appropriately
Come on Lew, you're taking all the fun out of being a guy.
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Over59
Come on Lew, you're taking all the fun out of being a guy.
Remember...................I'm 'SUPPOSED' to be the professional .
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:26 PM   #16
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Manuals

So many cars, appliances, even sewing machines today have so many more capabilities.
My wife's sewing machine repair guy refers to the computer machines as RTB machines(READ THE BOOK).
My neighbor across the street is still trying to figure out how to chorted the time the headlights turn off on his 99 Buick.
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Old 03-25-2007, 08:27 PM   #17
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Remember...................I'm 'SUPPOSED' to be the professional .
The guy the guys call after being a guy.
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Old 03-25-2007, 09:02 PM   #18
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Experienced?

Hi, it was some-what difficult for me to set up my awning at first too; But, now everytime I set it up, we get some wind and my wife tells me "Roll it back up before the wind ruins it." There-fore Mine has been opened and closed several times already, but not used much.
Also when setting up my awning, My wife, still, times me with a Sun Dial.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:01 AM   #19
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We used to have a SOB 5th wheel. I sometimes deployed the awning while it was parked across from our garage to shelter our convertible from the sun. One time we were in town (in another car) when a sudden rain storm hit. When we arrived home we found the awning had collected all the raindrops that must have fallen and looked like a very large bladder of water.......directly over the convertible. There must have been 100 gallons, certainly enough water to fill the convertible like a bath tub. My first thought was to carefully back the convertible out from under that mother of all cloudbursts but noticed that the awning was resting on the top of the windshield, most likely saving it from collaspsing. So I very carefully draped a garden hose into the "bladder" and siphoned much of the water out then moved the convertible. Then I retrived a cold one from the garage refer and sat on the deck. Whew!

Neil.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:09 AM   #20
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Eponimosity...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
Come on Lew, you're taking all the fun out of being a guy.
We need guys like Mr Farber! Otherwise we'd all be Mr Fubar!
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