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Old 08-15-2006, 07:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
I woke up Saturday moring and found my awning arms had bent due to the downpour of rain we had that night. The foward arm has almost a 90 degree bend in it. I forgot to lower the one end to allow for the run off. Must of been having too much fun at the camp fire the night before. I rolled it up (with some help) and removed all the arms for travel. I'll give Zipdee a call today and see what they will do.
Man, I feel your pain. Like AZstreamin said, been there done that. I had the same problem and same bend with my rear awning arm when my '06 Safari was less than a month old although my rear awning arm was one notch below the front. Once it starts to bend, it goes to a 90 degree before it stops. We can have some fierce down pours in July thunderstorms in Atlanta. I didn't expect Zip-Dee to offer any compensation since no warranty covers acts of God or Nature.

Since then, I retract the awning when we leave the camp ground if there is any chance of rain or if we are in Florida. I don't bother locking it down, just rolling it up. I haven't bothered retracting it at night unless there is a chance of rain either. However, we were in central Florida over the 4th and I retracted it while we left for the afternoon. While we were gone there was a short Florida down pour. When we returned, there was a family trying to figure out what to do with the ripped awning on their Class A. It had ripped where the awning connects to the motorhome.

The guy I talked to at Zip-Dee was very cordial and very helpful. I also ordered a pair of the lift handles when I ordered the awning arm. I told him I was short for my age (5'-6") and had problems getting enough leverage to get the awning up to its top notches and he admitted that he had problems too and he was tall. Quite frankly, for $28 MSRP, Airstream ought to include them on all their trailers. I honestly can't imagine how seniors and free wheeler women manage these heavy awnings on the longer coaches.
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Old 08-15-2006, 08:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Do you all have any recommendations for a suitable alternative to Zip Dee? My Excella needs a new awning, and they're $1400 as quoted me by Zip Dee.

I'd always heard Zip Dee was "The Cat's Meow" when it came to awnings. I don't know what else is out there.
We had a Carefree on our Tradewind and experienced no problems. Chummy has an A&E which causes us nothing but problems. The fabric is original and looks great but I attribute that to it frequent inability to open. The springs arms, and anything else mechanical on the awning is just plain awful. A&E does replace the parts but it means camping without the awning and trips to the RV repair place to have it fixed. When I replace it I will do it a Zip Dee.
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:17 PM   #23
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I had a very similar experience. The morning after I first installed my "Tropical Room" a thunderstorm came up and dumped a lot of water on the awning. Mine bent the front lower arm.

The lady at Zip Dee was very nice and had the parts coming to me that same day.

This experience gave me an appreciation of what the awning is and what it is not. What it is is an easy to deploy and retract sunshade. What it is not is an all-weather device. It's a very specialized device, and it's built only as heavy and sturdy as it needs to be for camping use.

The same attributes that make it pleasant to use in nice weather become a liability when the weather turns bad. Sure, it's lightweight and it's easy to use. It's also easy to retract if bad weather threatens.

I did a full jump-out-and-retract in a sudden thunderstorm two nights ago. One of my neighbors laughed, but he had his awning only one-third deployed. Another has his awning hanging from his fifth-wheel now.

Azflycaster, I don't think Zip Dee has any liability for this. Your awning is not the roof, or the porch, of a house, and nobody has ever claimed otherwise.

It took one for me to learn, too. If rain is coming, give the awning the most radical tilt that you can. If wind is present, too, get wet and put the awning up. Leave it unattended at your own peril.

Lamar
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:55 PM   #24
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What about stuff like this to help with storms/wind? Do they work?


http://www.campingworld.com/browse/s...=13073:src=TSC


http://www.campingworld.com/browse/s...ps/skunum=2359
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:07 PM   #25
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Ed, thanks. I'll look into those.

The folks I spoke to on the phone at ZipDee seemed really nice. Just an awful lot of money...IMHO anyway
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Old 08-15-2006, 07:10 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 Overlander
Lew, that was humble and honest, good job. You can't speak for the manufacture so you offer alternatives. Good to see your eggs aren't all in one basket.
Unfortunately, the post that Randy mentions has been deleted from this thread by the 'powers that be' for the impression of 'soliciting business'. I considered it an offer of assistance in obtaining other brands of awnings..... just in case any of you were wondering what Randy was referring to. I don't desire to repeat the post!

On to the next topic!

FWIW, awning de-flappers will hold the fabric from 'flaping' when the wind direction is coming side-on. They do little of nothing to save the awning from excess wind loading nand breakage or damage. They just keep the fabric quiet. That's what I know.......make up your own mind about them.
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:17 PM   #27
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hi azflycaster....

ouch that photo hurts....but it does show what happened.....

13 years ago i left my awning up level during a 5-6 inch downpour...
awakened to a crash thinking a tree limb had hit me...
tried to open the trailer door but could not...
awning roll had bent in the middle and collapsed against the door....
trapping me...and scared me senseful....

ended up buying another roll....it was my fault....

did you see this thread about my near miss last year?
http://www.airforums.com/forum...hlight=ragbrai
big winds and the awning held fast....

also contacted customer support recently. i wonder if they are in some sort of transition....didn't seem nearly as sharp as past contacts...

best of luck with new struts...
might check ebay too....everything sometimes...

and i think zip dee owns sunbrella or is it carefree?

cheers
2air'
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Old 08-15-2006, 09:31 PM   #28
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Some months (a year?) back, ZipDee was purchased from family ownership by an internal group. Usually this means that the purchasing group had to take on debt to pay the former owners. So, often the new ownership is under financial pressure.

I sure hope it is temporary since ZipDee seemed to be one of a few small, quality companies which was doing well.
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:45 AM   #29
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Vintage awning- foldup kind

I am going with this alternative to Zipdee---
it fits my model year (And pocketbook) better!

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...Code=VTS%2D400
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:29 PM   #30
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Zip-Dee alternative

Carefree of Colorado makes curved arms that fit Airstreams. The arms are extruded aluminum available in several finishes, and the full selection of Sunbrella fabrics is also available. PM me if you would like more info..........
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:17 PM   #31
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Carefree

Carefree of Colorado says "Airstream puts the awning rail in the wrong place".

We had a heck of a time with Carefree because two different sets of arms would not fit mid 70 trailers.

Carefree refused to take the awnings back, because they said "Airstream doesn't know where to put the awning rails".

After considerable deliberation, and only because of a personal contact, Carefree took the two awnings back.

Strange, Airstream has put the awning rails in the same place for over 40 years.

Seems to us that the awning manufacturer, would design their arms to fit a particular brand trailer, correctly, instead of faulting the trailer manufacturer.

We also take exception the Carefree's warranty program, in that everything and anything is the fault of the installer, or the trailer owner, at least according to one of Carefree's female big wigs.

This is first hand experience with Carefree.

Andy
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Old 08-19-2006, 05:39 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
~snip~
and i think zip dee owns sunbrella or is it carefree?

cheers
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Sunbrella is owned by Glen Raven Mills we do a fair amount of work for them. They have one plant about an hour from my house dunno if it is a Sunbrella plant or not.

Aaron
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Old 08-19-2006, 07:08 PM   #33
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hi wahoonc...

yea i was a little fuzzy on this...i knew there was some connection, but couldn't remember what....

zipdee makes a line of house awning...and uses sunbrella fabric. that was my cross connection.
http://www.zipdeeinc.com/House%20Awn...ng-Fabric.html

i think you can select from the full line of sunbrella fabrics and patterns IF redoing the zipdees...

thanks for catching this...

cheers
2air
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Old 08-19-2006, 07:25 PM   #34
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2air,
Believe it or not my brother has a "ZipDee" home awning He had one on his house in Columbus, OH. When he moved to Denver the house he bought already had one on it He says it is a top quality product and has never given him any trouble. I actually have one of each now, my 1975 has Fiesta by CareFree on it, they are okay. My 80 Excella has a single Zipdee on the curb side (thrifty PO ) for shade on the rest of the windows they made these funky slip covers that go over the bottom corner of the window and snap at the top. but they are made out of sunbrella

Aaron
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Old 08-19-2006, 08:38 PM   #35
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We have a carefree on our 75 it was on there when we bought the trailer and we like it everything works as it should. And I will tell you we have been through some nail biting wind with it and no warp or breaking of the arms but I always tie the ends down just a mama thing I guess my husband always states I'm kinda neurotic about the awning and I tell him better safe then sorry. When it get's time to replace we will go back with the carefree.
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Old 08-19-2006, 08:42 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
I am going with this alternative to Zipdee---
it fits my model year (And pocketbook) better!

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...Code=VTS%2D400
That's what we got and are very pleased. I believe in keeping something simple and this fits the Caravel quite well. Plus, I had the awning rail already on the camper so why change a good thing.
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Old 08-19-2006, 09:09 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by HHP
Not really on the former, and yes, to some extent, on the latter. My EZ Awn is looking better to me after reading this thread.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:21 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Not really on the former, and yes, to some extent, on the latter.
HHP -- I have a Hold-Awn. Judging by long-ago threads, it or similar devices have been in use by quite a number of Forums members. It's easy to set up. I don't always rig it if the weather seems exceedingly fair or I'm not going to be leaving our camping area. It's in use on most of our multi-night stops. I tend to roll the awning back in if a coming storm seems strong or windy. I also stow the awning if we're leaving for several hours in unpredictable weather. The Hold-Awn provides some margin of comfort but a storm may catch us unaware some day...
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:58 AM   #39
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FWIW! and remember this is free advice There is a campground at Myrtle Beach, SC; oceanfront. They have several largish SOB's that they rent out. They all have the awnings "permanently" deployed. They use the Hold-awn tiedows. They use 3 on each awning and the awnings are in the 24'+ range. I have never seen one damaged by a storm down there and they do get some pretty severe storms. They do have the awnings tilted for drainage. I will typically leave mine up unless the storm is going to be severe. I do use holdawn's or something similar. I have had awnings up in 40mph gusts and haven't lost one...yet But is probably better to be safe than sorry.

Aaron
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Old 08-25-2006, 04:08 PM   #40
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ZipDee Update

I talked with Jim Webb (President of ZipDee) today about my awning. He is going to straighten the steel bars (very small bend) at no charge to me. I still need to buy new main arms. I thought this was a nice gesture on his part. My cost will now be $160 + shipping + $20 (UPS old bars to ZipDee today). It looks like I will have a fully functional awning in just a few weeks!
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