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Old 06-04-2007, 07:01 PM   #1
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Awning and tropical Storm Barry

Well, I made a big newcomer's mistake with the Zip Dee awning on our International CCD this weekend. We set up Thursday just south of Ocala Fla. at a nice little campground on the Cross Florida Greenway. The land was originally set aside in the 1960's when a trans Fla. barge canal was visualized. Fortunately, that plan fell through. What remains is pristine acreage with hiking, bike and horse trails.
Tropical storm Barry was brewing in the gulf, but, I really was not concerned. Unless of course there would be hail or spin-off tornados.
A rainy day in the AS just means more sleep and some television. And, of course a shopping trip or two.
The rain came in heavy over Friday night with winds that were only moderate. I slept like a baby secure in my well made trailer.
The awning was left up as I did not think the winds were strong enough to do much harm. On this note I was sort of correct. What I didn't appreciate was that the awning would fill with several gallons of water with no place to drain. The added weight along with with the wind action caused one of the main support arms to bend like a U.
After the rain eased, I removed this solid aluminum bar. Instantly the plastic sleeve connected to the roller spring spun around rapidly, and bonked me on the head. Not a good morning! A local muffler shop was able to almost straighten the piece with their cold press. But, almost won't fit. Fortunately J D Saunders Airstream in Alachua Fla ( 50 miles away ) had one matching bar in stock and they were open on a Saturday. The parts manager said that Zip Dee use to put grommet holes in their awnings for water drainage. He also said that I was very lucky that more severe damage had not occurred.
A valuable lesson was learned, and, I guess I deserved the bonk on the head too.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:17 PM   #2
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It's good that only the one bar was damaged, it could have been much worse, down to and including damaging the skin from tearing the mounts out.
I'll give a fast rundown on awning use, for others that haven't had the pleasure of learning (yet) from their mistakes:
1-If the weather forecast is for a lot of rain, close the awning.
2-If the weather forecast is for lots of wind, close the awning.
3-If you hear a lot of rain and the awning is deployed, close the awning, or at least angle it so the water will run off.
4-If you hear the awning flapping in the wind, close the awning.
5-If you are leaving for the day, and you aren't 100% sure if it will rain, sleet, hail, or blow, close the awning.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:27 PM   #3
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Terry said it all right there! Always rig the awning with one arm set shorter so it's angled sideways to prevent pooling. Only in the fairest of weather do I drive away with the awning still deployed.

I use a set of Hold-Awn straps but don't count on them for much more than medium breezes.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:31 PM   #4
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I have a habit...

I have gotten in a habit of rollin' er up at night. I have come to ask myself, would I like to roll it up now, or at 2am in my pajamas, half asleep, in the rain, wind etc.

As much as I like to have awning lights up, I now forgoe them so that It is easier to roll up.

On the subject of awnings, I could not be more happy with my ZipDee. I have looked at the other brands and honestly the ZD have the best hardware, best looking and have now some of the nicest prints.
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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Clips

If you use awning lights, use plastic clips - or spring loaded clothspins - to clip them to the awning. They can be popped off quickly and easily if you need to roll up the awning quickly.

Paula Ford
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
If you use awning lights, use plastic clips - or spring loaded clothspins - to clip them to the awning. They can be popped off quickly and easily if you need to roll up the awning quickly.

Paula Ford
Hey, Paula, that was your 1,000th post. Congratulations!
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Old 06-04-2007, 07:57 PM   #7
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With my pole awning it's easy - take it down or be trapped inside with the possibility of tearing it with the door in the morning.

On the CCD - I do the tilt thing in what I expect to be very good weather - any exceptions and down it goes for the night or if I'm away.

Sorry for the hard lesson - hey the do make them repairable so chalk it up to a lesson learned and thank you for the knowledge tidbit.

Good Luck - sounds like you found a great campground.

Mike
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:37 PM   #8
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Put a tail on it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
Only in the fairest of weather do I drive away with the awning still deployed.
Bob,
I'm surprised at you! regardless of the weather, you should never drive around with your awning deployed, Airstreams are not designed to travel with the awning deployed.

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Old 06-04-2007, 08:50 PM   #9
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If you think it is not going to rain and or you think it is not going to be windy - you must roll up your awing. Only leave it out when you are SURE, if you just THINK, that is not good enough. Take it from me a 3 time loser.
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:57 PM   #10
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You are not the first person that has happened to. We had a late night storm roll in and flood my awning last year. I bent both aluminum arms as well as the steel arm portion. I sent the steel parts back to ZipDee for repair (no charge) and bought 2 new aluminum arms. The total damage wa around $200. That will not happen again......
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artstream
I'm surprised at you! regardless of the weather, you should never drive around with your awning deployed, Airstreams are not designed to travel with the awning deployed.
Sharp eyes Michael! But as I said, the Hold-Awns will last until almost 30mph. Wish I'd have remembered to put wheels on my Honda Genset...
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Old 06-05-2007, 05:42 AM   #12
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Ouch! Sounds like several others have learned the awning lesson the hard way as well.
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henw
Ouch! Sounds like several others have learned the awning lesson the hard way as well.
You can ask Marie (sd90mac) about it. She turned into an impromptu windsock during a sudden storm, when we were trying to stow the awning. I'm sure bouncing around 4 feet in the air can be fun in the right conditions, doing it in the middle of a severe thunderstorm is not the right conditions. And she does not like heights...
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:47 AM   #14
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You guys are lucky!!

We had a 3 AM rain and wind storm come thru here last year, and a lot of folks got caught with their awnings out (of course, the ones in the big MoHos with the automatic retract awnings had NO PROBLEMS). I had a call to the local KOA and had 3 trailers/5th wheels that had the awnings totally separated from the lower rafter arms and had flipped over on the top of the RV. Had to cut them off!!!

At least bent arms are an easy fix!!!!
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:30 AM   #15
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Been there, done that...in my own back yard no less! Sorry it happened to you my friend. I always lower the rear arm to its lowest position at night for this reason so I don't have to remove the awning lights. And when we leave the camp site for any length of time I lower both arms to their lowest positions. I like the grommet idea.

BTW, I was visiting my mom about 20 miles south of Ocala in Summerfield (the Villages) the same weekend. The rain was never really hard, but a little windy on Saturday with some down pours, but nothing heavy Friday night...well, I guess cumulatively it was heavy afterall.
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:50 AM   #16
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OUCH! Glad the damage wasn't worse. That area you are camping in sounds neat, you might put a campsite review in the reviews section if you get a chance.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:20 AM   #17
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Yes, what is the name of the campground?
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:13 AM   #18
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Caming area is the Santos Campground. Run by the Fla Dept of Environmental Protection. Campground was all rebuilt last year. There are about a dozen elec/water hookups and also some tent camping. Dump station. Very clean and there is a full time host present. Lots to do in that area. Not far from Silver Springs and also the Ocala Forest.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:38 AM   #19
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It's nothing unusual for a Florida squall to come thru with winds gusting 65 mph! Twenty minutes later, the sun will be out and any nearby pavement will be "steaming" as it dries off.
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:31 PM   #20
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Lesson learned...

Learned my lesson this weekend, fortunately no damage. We left the campground for the afternoon with sunny skies. Of course as we were out enjoying the area, a storm blew up. My thoughts immediately turned to our fully deployed awning, but we were at least ˝ hour away, so any damage was sure to be done already.
We returned shortly, and as we pulled up to our site, I was horrified to see our awning slightly twisted and pointed skyward. I quickly ran over to examine the damage; there was a bit of rain puddle up, and the center pole had pulled apart, but as I straightened everything out, and slid the center pole back together, I was relieved that there was no damage. It sure scared the @#$% out of me, and taught me to never leave the campground (or go to bed, as Chuck noted) with the awning deployed. We were lucky, but this could have been an expensive lesson…
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