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Old 07-30-2017, 10:42 PM   #1
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Awning Fabric Removal Help Please

I own a 29' 92 Excella with a full awning package. I'm stripping off the old deteriorating clear coat and thinking about polishing. The side awnings are literally held together with awning tape. The rear awning is in a little better shape, but, I think it's time to replace them all. I plan to buy the new canvas from Zip Dee. Is that the right way to go? .

Who has some experience removing the old canvas and installing the new canvas? I'd appreciate any tips for doing this. If I remember correctly Zip Dee offers pdf instructions on their website, but I'd also like to here from them that's been there and done that.

Thanks,
Pete
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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No personal experience, but in another thread, I recall reading that it's virtually impossible to successfully install new fabric on the old Zip Dee rollers. Apparently you need a jig to line it up properly so that it rolls out correctly. Zip Dee sells a package with a complete new case, roller, and fabric that was recommended for replacement. More expensive, surely, but might be the best way to get a successful installation.
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Old 07-31-2017, 01:23 PM   #3
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I have removed and reinstalled mine....i did it to have the seams restitched.

It was relatively easy. It required two people. First, I unwound the rear rafter arm's tension. Next, drilled out the rivets that fasten the fabric to the roller. After that, I took off the rafter arms and slide the roller out. Then, I took out the screw at the end of the last slat of the awing cover. That allowed me to slide the slat out. At that point, I had the fabric and last slat on the ground. I used a screwdriver to pry the crimps in the slat open . After that, the fabric slid out of the slat....I had my seams restitched and basically reinstalled the fabric in reverse order from above. I used silicone spray to make sliding the fabric in the slat easier and channel locks to recrimp it.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatleys View Post
No personal experience, but in another thread, I recall reading that it's virtually impossible to successfully install new fabric on the old Zip Dee rollers. Apparently you need a jig to line it up properly so that it rolls out correctly. Zip Dee sells a package with a complete new case, roller, and fabric that was recommended for replacement. More expensive, surely, but might be the best way to get a successful installation.
Thank you.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I have removed and reinstalled mine....i did it to have the seams restitched.

It was relatively easy.
Yes, I.made it to the Zip Dee site and downloaded their pdf for removing and replacing the awning fabric. It's exactly as you describe. I'm glad to here that based on your experience it's totally doable.
Thanks for boosting my confidence.
Pete

p.s. Do you remember what size bit you used to drill out the old rivets. Also, they mention their primal rivets were steel but to replace with large flange 1/8" aluminum. Were the steel rivets difficult to drill out?
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:45 PM   #6
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I do not remember the size bit I used, but it zipped right thru the rivets with no damage to the fabric. I replaced mine with aluminum rivets and put a stainless washer on them to give more grip to the fabric.
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Old 08-01-2017, 12:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I do not remember the size bit I used, but it zipped right thru the rivets with no damage to the fabric. I replaced mine with aluminum rivets and put a stainless washer on them to give more grip to the fabric.
Thanks for that, good to know.
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:14 AM   #8
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aluminum rivets and stainless washers

CRH: Consider galvanic corrosion when mating aluminum and stainless steel, especially when there is moisture involved. The core of the awning is likely to be damp very often. The aluminum will be eaten away, and then the rivet is history !
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Old 08-02-2017, 10:25 AM   #9
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The washer I used is under the rivet head, between the rivet head and fabric. Those rivets are on the underside of the awning. They stay dry when it rains and I would guess very dry when the awning is rolled up.... at any rate, I put the washers and rivets in 3 years ago. They still look like they did when I put them in.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by canman1 View Post
CRH: Consider galvanic corrosion when mating aluminum and stainless steel, especially when there is moisture involved. The core of the awning is likely to be damp very often. The aluminum will be eaten away, and then the rivet is history !
;

I hear what you're putting down, but Zip Dee put that swap to aluminum rivets right in their instruction. I question they'd have said to do that if it was going to have such an epic fail. And if that problem was occurring, I believe, they'd have changed that instruction.

Thanks for your concern, though.

Pete
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRH View Post
The washer I used is under the rivet head, between the rivet head and fabric. Those rivets are on the underside of the awning. They stay dry when it rains and I would guess very dry when the awning is rolled up.... at any rate, I put the washers and rivets in 3 years ago. They still look like they did when I put them in.
Sounds like they are working just fine.
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Old 08-16-2017, 05:52 AM   #12
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Removing awning for restitching

Can someone please direct me to the how to video for awning removal? It is no longer on the zip see site. Have searched YouTube to no avail !
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I have removed and reinstalled mine....i did it to have the seams restitched.

It was relatively easy. It required two people. First, I unwound the rear rafter arm's tension. Next, drilled out the rivets that fasten the fabric to the roller. After that, I took off the rafter arms and slide the roller out. Then, I took out the screw at the end of the last slat of the awing cover. That allowed me to slide the slat out. At that point, I had the fabric and last slat on the ground. I used a screwdriver to pry the crimps in the slat open . After that, the fabric slid out of the slat....I had my seams restitched and basically reinstalled the fabric in reverse order from above. I used silicone spray to make sliding the fabric in the slat easier and channel locks to recrimp it.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I have removed and reinstalled mine....i did it to have the seams restitched.

It was relatively easy. It required two people. First, I unwound the rear rafter arm's tension. Next, drilled out the rivets that fasten the fabric to the roller. After that, I took off the rafter arms and slide the roller out. Then, I took out the screw at the end of the last slat of the awing cover. That allowed me to slide the slat out. At that point, I had the fabric and last slat on the ground. I used a screwdriver to pry the crimps in the slat open . After that, the fabric slid out of the slat....I had my seams restitched and basically reinstalled the fabric in reverse order from above. I used silicone spray to make sliding the fabric in the slat easier and channel locks to recrimp it.
We removed the awnings last week, my bad for not doing a follow up post. Followed the pdf instructions at Zip Dee (and yours) accept we did not drill out the rivets and we removed more aluminum slats. We just removed the awnings attached to the tubes. The 20' patio awning took three people and we struggled. I did the back side window awning alone and the 20' right side window awning with my wife's help.

I'm polishing the AS, but not sure I'll be able to get the awnings replaced before we head west in September, so that's why I did it this way.

Regards,
Pete
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:45 AM   #14
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Re-Pete Pete; so how'd it turn out?
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:36 PM   #15
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Re-Pete Pete; so how'd it turn out?
Funny you should ask. Just today I have something to report. Polishing has been on going and I'm happy to say, I'm nearly done. I probably still have at least a weeks worth of work on that end. Including, doing a complete end to end final buff with the Cyclo (which I've begun to get ready fort the awnings). I still have about 3/4 the of the lower left side panel to polish and lots of lights to connect (all, new, led marker / clearance lights, new led tail lights and new licence tag holder and light. Plus reinstall all of the awnings.

So, I just got the call this afternoon the small auto and boat upholstery and awning shop my wife found called to say that he was finishing our awnings.

Originally we were just going to have him re-stitch the seams, but upon closer inspection decided to have him make new window awnings and just re-stitch the patio awning.

We picked them up this evening and they look great. As mentioned he (Ray Drury) made new awnings for both the long and short window awnings. He re-stitched the patio awning seams and replaced the 3/16" plastic spline cord which was toast and he made a new flex-key for it. He also made new pull straps for all three awnings. I will post pictures once they are installed. Our cost was $650, and that's because the spline was so damn expensive.

I believe next year when we're back in this area I'll have him make a new patio awning and matching wheel covers.

I almost forgot to mention that I also steel wool'd the tubes to remove oxidation and sanded off the rust places (As best I could). Then I sprayed the areas where the rust had been with cold galvanizing spray paint (RustOleom).

Here are a couple pictures of progress to date. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the tubes, but I'll try and take some tomorrow.

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Old 09-27-2017, 08:39 PM   #16
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Meant to include a couple more pictures.

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Old 09-28-2017, 09:57 PM   #17
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So, here are some additional photos and info.

First the before pics of the awning tubes. They weren't in horrible condition, but the oxidation made them hard to remove from the fabric and even though the rust wasn't bad I could not see leaving it while I had everything apart.

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The next pics were taken today.

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Old 09-28-2017, 09:59 PM   #18
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I meant to include this pic of the cold galvanize paint.

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Old 09-29-2017, 06:20 AM   #19
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I have a '71 Sovereign, and my awning is needing to be REMOVED. Is there a safe, easy way, to take the whole thing down, without knocking myself unconscious?
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:00 AM   #20
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I have a '71 Sovereign, and my awning is needing to be REMOVED. Is there a safe, easy way, to take the whole thing down, without knocking myself unconscious?
Of course that depends on your situation. I both removed and reinstalled my 22' awning completely by myself using the ladder rack on my truck and several A-frame ladders, although I'm only assuming you're asking if it's possible to remove it alone.
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