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Old 10-02-2022, 07:46 PM   #1
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2002 31' Classic
Georgetown , Texas
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awning questions

We have a 2003 Classic. The main Awning has 2 aluminum supports (1 at the front and 1 at the back). These supports are build with 2 pieces of aluminum tubing where one piece slides inside the the tubing. I have a problem with the inserted piece getting stuck in the tubing (on both the front and the back).

It appears to be oxidizing.

Is there any thing i use to remedy this what will not damage the aluminum tubing?
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Old 10-02-2022, 08:08 PM   #2
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I'd buff the inner arm with a Scotch-Brite pad and lube with silicone or Dri-Slide.
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Old 10-02-2022, 08:20 PM   #3
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At the risk of boring you with a chemistry lesson, yes, aluminum is highly prone to oxidation, which is why it is never found in pure (elemental) form in nature. Aluminum metal is covered with a tough oxidized layer, chemically similar to garnet.
Problems occur when that layer is compromised by exposure to chlorides, caustic, or mercury, for example.
Most lubricants will not be an issue once you deal with the ongoing chemical attack.
Can you safely disassemble the arm, clean the contact areas well (outside and inside surfaces, maybe Walbernize) and then apply a conventional hydrocarbon or silicone lubricant? I think the key is cleaning off whatever is attacking the metal.
Good luck!
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Old 10-02-2022, 10:28 PM   #4
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Aluminum oxide, Al2 O3, is the same formula as Corundum (think Ruby and Sapphire). Hardness of 9. So you're sliding two sticks of Corundum against each other.
Aluminum will oxide very quickly after the oxide is carved off, so you're always going to be dealing with the oxide.
Lubricate to make those Ruby bearings slide across each other. Get them straight first.
The fight now will be who likes to use what lubricant on their Rubys.
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Old 10-03-2022, 05:22 AM   #5
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Many time it seems that the problem extending the main support arms for a manual Zip Dee has more to do with how and where you're actually pushing than the amount of lubricant involved. My awning has the helper handles on the arms, allowing me to push them up in a straight line.

But, this only works if I stand facing away from the trailer and push them up. Doing this puts my arm in a line parallel to the awning arm and the lift is almost friction free. If I stand facing the trailer and try to pull the helper handles, the force is going up but at a slight angle away from the arm. This causes the upper portion of the arm to bind against the surrounding lower portion, making it very difficult to extend no matter how much lubricant is applied or how clean the parts are.

Here's a link to the helper handles, with a picture of a guy standing like I'm describing pushing away from the trailer. It seems quite minor on first glance, but if you turn and face the other way it just doesn't work as well.

https://awningsbyzipdee.com/products/lift-handles/

If you're having trouble extending the main arms after cleaning and lubricating, I'd suggest having someone watch while you do it to see if your line of force is parallel to the arm or at an angle away from it. And, if you don't have the helper handles get them - they make extending the arms much easier.
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Old 10-03-2022, 05:54 AM   #6
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awning questions

++ Richard 5933 , I found this video on YouTube helpful. At a point in time I thought my awning just didn’t look right when deployed. Not wanting to dislodge the awning arm I gave Zipdee a call and asked how many position hole stops were on the support arm, the tech checked and reported back that there were 4 hole stops. I was only deploying to #3. Hope that tidbit helps someone.

https://youtu.be/fLsKflCqhkY
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Silvr_Bullet View Post
++ Richard 5933 , I found this video on YouTube helpful. At a point in time I thought my awning just didn’t look right when deployed. Not wanting to dislodge the awning arm I gave Zipdee a call and asked how many position hole stops were on the support arm, the tech checked and reported back that there were 4 hole stops. I was only deploying to #3. Hope that tidbit helps someone.

https://youtu.be/fLsKflCqhkY
Yup - I was afraid to go past the third hole at first. First time I tried going to a fourth hole I made sure to do it on the end without the spring. Now I typically open the door end to the fourth hole and the other end to the third to allow drainage in case the sky opens up.
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:25 AM   #8
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Yes, we were told by our dealer:
“Go four over the door.”
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Old 10-03-2022, 08:42 AM   #9
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Yes, we were told by our dealer:
“Go four over the door.”
We have also always gone to the fourth hole over the door and the third on the other end. We have to use the fourth on the door end or the top of the door scrapes the awning. If you use the fourth hole on both ends and it rains the awning will hold enough water that you may not be able to open the door.

We have always used spray aluminum lubricant on the sliding arms of the awning. This has always worked for us in preventing any type of corrosion and it keeps the arms moving smoothly. As soon as we detect any hesitation in the arm movement, we use the lubricant.

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Old 10-03-2022, 09:13 AM   #10
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We had similar problems with our 2007 awning, even after cleaning and lubricating. Turns out in our case the primary problem was that the two sections of tubing were not aligned straight and were binding. The solution was to press inward slightly while operating.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:15 AM   #11
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To stop scraping awning over door install roller at top edge of door, awning will glide not scrape causing wear. Zip-dee sells roller not exp. & easy to install, other sellers also have them.
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