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Old 07-06-2011, 05:47 PM   #1
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1972 23' Safari
1974 25' Tradewind
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Awning Advice

I have an existing awning on my 1974 tradewind. I originally wanted to replace it with a Zip Dee but the arms have very large mounts. I'm not sure how to repair or cover this area. Can I use a zip dee tube with the existing arms? I think it is a A&E. It has larger rectangular arms that have curved edges.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
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I would stick with the A&E. The arms are much stronger and easier to deal with than the Zip Dee. I have Zip Dee on our Excella, and A&E on the Caravel. I much prefer the stronger A&E. I would think that you can get what ever parts you need.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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If you had to you could rivit a patch over the area then install the Zip Dee. When we restored our 65 Safari we chose Zip Dee over A&E for the beautiful Sumbrella Cloth and when you deploy the awning the arms are in line with the awning. The A&E sticks up way above the awning which has always looked unnatural to me. Zip Dee maintains a bit of higher resale value and their service department is second to none. Just my opinion.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:59 PM   #4
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The A&E awnings are available brand new from Dometic. They are roughly 2/3 the cost of a Zip-Dee, and in your case you can pretty much use all the existing mounting holes in your trailer without having to plate over and make new holes.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. So based on the images - it is an A&E awning? And I can either buy a replacement tube/fabric section or replace the whole awning and it will mount in the existing holes - correct?
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:40 AM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. So based on the images - it is an A&E awning? And I can either buy a replacement tube/fabric section or replace the whole awning and it will mount in the existing holes - correct?
Zip Dee awning will not cover the holes from the A&E. But, you can either plate the old holes, or install rivets in them.

Also, you cannot use the A&E arms on a Zip Dee roller tube.

Lastly, the per year cost of a Carefree or A&E awning is much more than a Zip Dee.

Zip Dee fabric lasts 20 to 30 years.

Carefree and A&E awning fabric, lasts 5 years, since they both use vinyl impregnated cotton.

Zip Dee uses Sunbrella fabrics.

Andy.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:37 AM   #7
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Andy's got it right. With all due respect to Jim Foster, my experience is just the opposite. I've broken two sets of the SOB arms and two SOB brackets. They were a real pain in the neck to operate, also. Never, ever, had a problem with Zip Dee hardware. The ZD mounted about nine inches higher and they used aluminum fill to cover up the old holes. Carefree hasn't made the curved arms in about two years. And, as tkasten says, the SOB's look strange. You've got an Airstream - put the best awning on it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:08 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. So based on the images - it is an A&E awning? And I can either buy a replacement tube/fabric section or replace the whole awning and it will mount in the existing holes - correct?
Correct.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:49 PM   #9
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We have a 1966 Airstream Safari. We are price shopping for a awning. We also need all the parts.
How much is a 12' Zip Dee awning as a whole?
I've been so lucky to have found a aluminum slatted awning and the parts being sold now for a 66 safari.
What would be a fair asking price for this original aluminum 66 awning?
Anybody have some opinions on the difference between these two awning choices.

Another summer without shade? No way. We are trying to fix that.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #10
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Our experience:

We replaced my former carefree awnings with ZD awnings that blew off the trailer in high winds in Del Rio TX. The plates were constructed over the former holes that the carefree once were mounted on and it actually made a great presentiment of the coach.
Options are great for the roadside either two based on dimension or one. Price is the basically the same, so we went with two, just in case one broke, it wasn't a big one.

This last weekend our new ZD's were easy to snap to get the water off and roll right into place,locking into position for movement down the road. Well worth the investment and you don't have to worry about the colors becoming obsolete, due to them being a "classic".
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichSM View Post
I have an existing awning on my 1974 tradewind. I originally wanted to replace it with a Zip Dee but the arms have very large mounts. I'm not sure how to repair or cover this area. Can I use a zip dee tube with the existing arms? I think it is a A&E. It has larger rectangular arms that have curved edges.
I may be interested in some parts if you decide to replace it.

I think the old arms are nicer looking on a vintage.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:34 AM   #12
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I agree LIPets I'll let you know
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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I had an A&E and dumped it for the above reasons. Also, when I checked, A&E parts were not available. Another big factor is you can't get any advice from the A&E factory, you have to go to a dealer. I could not find a dealer willing to deal with a 40 year old awning. The Zipdee factory folks are real user friendly.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:06 PM   #14
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Ughh, just ordered A&E awning

Man, I wish I would have read this thread first. Just bought and paid for a 16' A&E awning. I went though a local RV dealer. Only reason was because shipping other items from the US has been a PITA. Sorry Andy, really wanted to keep going through you. Am I gonna kick myself if I go through the trouble of installing this thing?
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:20 PM   #15
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Man, I wish I would have read this thread first. Just bought and paid for a 16' A&E awning. I went though a local RV dealer. Only reason was because shipping other items from the US has been a PITA. Sorry Andy, really wanted to keep going through you. Am I gonna kick myself if I go through the trouble of installing this thing?
Sorry, but it was your choice.

Andy
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #16
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Sorry, but it was your choice.

Andy
Hey guys, here is an update. The awning has been installed. The instructions weren't that clear, and it's obvious that they took the parts for a straight armed awning and just bent the main arms. It would not install properly until we cut the small arms off. They were too long. I mounted the bottom brackets to the molding that runs along the bottom, which also has the metal base of the floor. There just didn't seem to be anything solid below that or the arm length probably would have been fine. The arms were also stuck together and had to be worked in order for all of the parts to slide properly. That being said it looks pretty good when finished. Next time I will order the zipdee, just for the ease of install.

Thanks again to this forum for all of the help, and links to great resources. We have done just about everything imaginable to this trailer. Next we polish
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:20 PM   #17
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Hey guys, here is an update. The awning has been installed. The instructions weren't that clear, and it's obvious that they took the parts for a straight armed awning and just bent the main arms. It would not install properly until we cut the small arms off. They were too long. I mounted the bottom brackets to the molding that runs along the bottom, which also has the metal base of the floor. There just didn't seem to be anything solid below that or the arm length probably would have been fine. The arms were also stuck together and had to be worked in order for all of the parts to slide properly. That being said it looks pretty good when finished. Next time I will order the zipdee, just for the ease of install.

Thanks again to this forum for all of the help, and links to great resources. We have done just about everything imaginable to this trailer. Next we polish
Since your going to polish the trailer, you will get more awning experience.

Remove the awning, "BEFORE" you start to polish.

If you don't, that black gooey stuff from the polishing process, will get all over the awning.

Andy
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:13 PM   #18
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This thread fits right in with info that I needed. A couple of more quick questions. Where is the best place to purchase the appropriate curved arms, and other hardware, to fit our '69 31 foot Sovereign. And how long (front to rear) should the awning be for optimal coverage, and vintage appropriateness. Like everything else on our AS should be, but isn't.
thanks, bill b.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:11 PM   #19
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If you contact Zip Dee they can tell you the exact size awning for your AS.
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Old 07-30-2011, 04:31 PM   #20
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Awning Advice

Another advantage of the Zip Dee is the support that the manufacturer offers for all of its products regardless of age that have been installed on Airstreams. A & E/Dometic essentially told me that I was on my own regarding repair parts in 1999 so I junked the A & E awning on my Overlander and installed a new Zip Dee and couldn't be happier with its quality and performance.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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