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Old 08-14-2006, 06:15 AM   #1
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Angry Awning damage

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.
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:21 AM   #2
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Sorry

I always have a fear of wind, rain, with the awning. Last time we camped we had left for an errand to the store and a wind storm blew in when we arrived all the stuff under the awning was scattered all over the camp sight I always tie the awning off no matter what thank goodness. Anyway while we were trying to roll the awning up I was in the middle holding it, I really thought I was going to be air born. Sorry to here about yours good luck with Zip-Dee.
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:34 AM   #3
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Unhappy Ouch!!! Bummer!

Sorry to read that! Good luck. You know it could happen to any of us--even with the rain tilt in place we've had some hairy moments especially when camped near the Great Lakes where we've run out in the middle of the night to put the awning up as the wind just picks up and really hammers things.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:31 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear of your awning woes. Hope ZipDee will treat you right and you get it back going in no time. Let me know if you want some help with the repair. How was the rest of the outing?

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Old 08-14-2006, 06:15 PM   #5
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Brad - The outing was very good. The weather tried to kill the pot luck, but it went off a little late and no one went hungry. The crayfishing was not as good as last year. Maybe we are putting a dent in the population!
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:20 PM   #6
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I called Zipdee today about the bent arms on my 7 month old awning. No problem, give us $302 + shipping and the new arms are on the way. The gal on the phone was very nice, but could not send me anything for free, warenty or not. I will speak to the company owner next week and see what he says. I am very disapointed in Zipdee. I have heard for years what a great product they have and great costomer service to back it up. I paid $1250 for this awning and the first time it got wet, it bent like paper. I am not impressed!
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
I called Zipdee today about the bent arms on my 7 month old awning. No problem, give us $302 + shipping and the new arms are on the way. The gal on the phone was very nice, but could not send me anything for free, warenty or not. I will speak to the company owner next week and see what he says. I am very disapointed in Zipdee. I have heard for years what a great product they have and great costomer service to back it up. I paid $1250 for this awning and the first time it got wet, it bent like paper. I am not impressed!
Sorry for your troubles. I must say that after putting on my awning today, and having to re-engineer some crucial items ( on advise from ZipDee), I am no longer impressed with ZipDee awnings either. The lady on the phone was nice enough, but had no real solution at all. You can read about it on my Overlander thread, if you want. I think that it has the beginnings of a great awning, but has thin and wobbly arms, and a very poor fit for vintage Airstreams. I also found that the drill sizes in the manual are wrong, at least for vintage skin...the holes for the sheet metal screws would have been too large to offer bite for the screws. Luckily I tried it on some scrap aluminum sheeting first. So, for me the ZipDee hype is definitely diminishing.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:35 PM   #8
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Awning Damage

Sorry to see the damage. I got caught in a wind/torrential rain storm that blew up last year at our rally in Va. Beach last year. Several of us sustained damage. The motor home lost a casting(where it bolted to the shell) and the brand new 5th wheel had one of those new hefty looking awnings ripped off. The other Airstream that was damaged (same piece as yours) we managed to straighten well enough to telescope so he could get it home. I lost a casting (where the lock is)to the rear and the top brace solid piece looked like a large capital "C". The wind and rain rocked the trailer. I went out to collapse the awning and found horizontal rain and gusts in excess of 30 MPH(was hard to stand when not holding on to something). Most unnerving.
I ordered the broken casting and was able to gradually straighten the "C" piece. The jist of this is that it took a good wind to damage our awnings and partially rip the massive looking awning off the new trailer (sob) behind us. Not just a gentle breeze.
Good luck
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:46 PM   #9
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sorry to hear about your awning AZ.

i cannot stress this enough, always always always drop one end of your awning! mine has successfully made it through a 4 inch rainstorm we got in one afternoon in south dakota!

i drop one awning arm one notch even if there is not a cloud in the sky, it is too easy to forget it until later when it is too late.

as i side note, my friend rickstream has a 35 year old zipdee on his excella that has 2 large brass grommets installed about 4 feet apart one third of the way up in the middle of his awning. they are always a great discussion item, "why are they there?" our best guess is that they are drains in case the awning tries to bathtub.

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Old 08-14-2006, 07:49 PM   #10
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What's a good alternative to Zip Dee?

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.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:10 PM   #11
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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.

Me neither. It all sounds really good, Sunbrella fabric, ease of use, etc. I was looking all over before buying the ZipDee. I had a A&E on my previous trailer, and it had a lot of trouble with the springs, but seems to have been better built than the ZipDee. It just seems like a bit of a bummer when you do spend that kind of money and than get an ill fitting ( in my case) awning from them, with no other explanation than " bend it to fit".
On the other hand, many on these forums are very pleased with their ZipDees. Goes to show you, nothing is perfect!
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:24 PM   #12
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Uwe ~ When I installed mine, I had a problem with the latch being on top of the vista view window. Two calls later to Zipdee and I was told I could shim the latch up to be even with the edge of the Vista view frame with some gasket material (6-12 sheets). I wound up grinding area that was over the window off. The service person said that would work also. I did not get a warm feeling from the level of service I got at that time.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:33 PM   #13
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Pole Awnings

I've got to say that when I was at Cherry Blossom, there was a lovely small vintage unit with a "newtique" awning of the fold up variety. It attaches to the trailer using a special piece of trim with an opening shaped like a "C". The awning itself has a heavy cording on the edge that fits to the trailer. It's slid into the "C" groove from one end then pulled thru. I've seen vintage units with this same piece above the wheel wells and flat fabric "wheel curtains" used to protect the tires from sun degradation.

The one I saw was huge using a total of 5 uprights, two on each side and three along the edge farthest from the trailer. each of these was staked down with two guy wires.

I thought it was super cool.

Advantages: nothing that could deploy while you're driving. Probably a "fold and toss in the door" as you leave the campground. If ripped by a storm, unlikely that the poles would damage the A/S. With the right fabric it could be a do it yourself project. This type awning would be excellent to add a screen room onto. Also no awning arms to bump into.

Disadvantages: Probably would be a pain in the ass to put up without two people, would take longer to put up and take down. Need for soft ground to put stakes and guy wire holders in.

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Old 08-14-2006, 09:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Uwe ~ When I installed mine, I had a problem with the latch being on top of the vista view window. Two calls later to Zipdee and I was told I could shim the latch up to be even with the edge of the Vista view frame with some gasket material (6-12 sheets). I wound up grinding area that was over the window off. The service person said that would work also. I did not get a warm feeling from the level of service I got at that time.
I hear you. They suggested to just bend the awning arms on mine today until they fit.
Why on earth don't they just make awning arms that fit in the first place? You'd think that for the money they ask it would be a perfect fit, right out of the box.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I thought it was super cool.

Advantages: nothing that could deploy while you're driving. Probably a "fold and toss in the door" as you leave the campground. If ripped by a storm, unlikely that the poles would damage the A/S. With the right fabric it could be a do it yourself project. This type awning would be good excellent to add a screen room onto. Also no awning arms to bump into.

Disadvantages: Probably would be a pain in the ass to put up without two people, would take longer to put up and take down. Need for soft ground to put stakes and guy wire holders in.

Paula
It's the pain in the rear part that made me think and buy a ZipDee. Vintage pole awnings are very nice, but labor intensive to put up and down.
I would have not used it once during my last 10 day trip, while I could have used the ZipDee every day.
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:49 PM   #16
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I was reading the thread, and I was sad to see the damages, and during that time I did not really noticed that it was rainnig like hell outside, I had to jumped out to put one side down,
that thread may have save my awning...
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Old 08-14-2006, 09:51 PM   #17
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I agree with Uwe as to the ease of deployment being a big factor in getting a Zipdee. The other is, in the mountains of Northern Arizona you would need Harry Stampler (Bruce Willis) and his crew from Armageddon to get the stakes in the ground.
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:01 PM   #18
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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.
Jim, My 1967 Safari has a factory installed Carefree of Colorado awning on it and the only real problem with this 39 year old awning is worn canvas and the two locking screw plastic knobs that are crumbling from UV exposure/time. I would think that since my local Airstream dealer sells Carefree that they probably still make one that can fit your coach. They sell online as well as from rv dealers. Hope this helps with your search for alternatives to ZipDee. Ed
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Old 08-14-2006, 10:05 PM   #19
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AZfly,
Sorry to see this damage..talk to minnie's mate he had the same problem about a month ago with his new zipdee awning. That is a bummer you have me scared to leave my awning out at night now...I find the the Zipdee is hard to put away with several beers or wine in me before bed... Quick story that may or may not make you feel better but its a story... My business partner and his family have a holiday rambler its nice but it's no Airstream....anyhow his wife and kids spent most of July in Flagstaff so a couple of weeks ago we had business in Flag him and I went up to retrieve his trailer and bring it back to the heat of the valley.... His awning was having some trouble it rolled up but it seemed to have lost the spring action in it, so there was a little bit of lose canopy flopping after it was rolled up.. not much just about 5-6 inches so we locked it down and secured for the trip for the trip south bound on I-17.....about 20 miles south of flag I noticed in the mirror the awning was looking a little kite like so we pulled over at the next exit to secure it again...on down the road about another 5 miles a truck zooms up next to us in the left lane.... window down and they are screaming.... your nawnning..... WHAT?? .. Your nawning......WHAT I CAN'T HEAR YOU.... YOUR AWNING........I look….. Oh MY GOD.... Dude... your awning... its gone... ripped off clean all 21 feet of it! Poles flopping in the wind at 65 mph..... fortunately it didn't hit anybody or anything.. but... that little mishap will cost a couple of bucks to replace.....so I guess it could be worse for what ever it’s worth....
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Old 08-15-2006, 06:38 AM   #20
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AZ, so sorry to hear about your loss, and so young.
I never got over the loss of my first awning.



When I was cutting my teeth on my first RV, SOB 36 ft class A, I lost the 28 foot Carefree awning within 6 months. I never replaced it.

I have wondered about the practicality of an awning, , wind most often accompanies rain, so when you need the awning the most you wind up rolling it up in order to protect both it and the trailer (from the rocking, rolling, and stress on the trailer and the awning components.

While I have seen sun-bleached inexpensive awnings, unattended, and (per mentally) deployed, laden with hundreds of pounds of water, or buffeted by hurricane force winds and still standing, I fully realize that this is not my lot in life.

While I have Zip-Dee awnings all around my Excella, just installed a roadside, I do roll the curb-side up whenever I leave the rig, and do keep the rear end pitched.

I think of my awnings as heat controls for the Airstream, and a sun shade only. I have kept it down in the rain, while staked on occasions

It occurs to me that images of airstreams festooned with awnings full deployed is as idealistic as a little white bungalow, flower boxes overflowing with brightly colored blooms, surrounded by a neatly kept lawn and a cute little white picket fence.

Now excuse my while I roll up my awning.



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