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Old 07-20-2010, 10:32 PM   #1
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Awning side arms not locking in place-what am I doing wrong?

I unfurled my zip dee awning and for some reason the upper side support arms no longer want to lock in place. I seem to be an inch short of the lock pins locking into place. I have the roller pulled out all the way. This is the original 33 y.o. awning with all original parts and no adjustments made. ??
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:36 PM   #2
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Maybe the fabric shrank.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:45 PM   #3
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I think you are referring to the rafter arms. You should place them over the shaft on the end of the roller before you extend them. Once in place you can give them a tug and they should lock in.

It is step 4 & 5 here:
Awnings By ZipDee
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:55 PM   #4
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You also might want to lubricate them with a silicon or Teflon spray to make them slide easier. It's amazing how much that helps to get them extended all the way to the locking position.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:55 AM   #5
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Zip Dee Patio Awning Operating Instruction for Airstream (see video at )
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:55 AM   #6
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I can't lock mine in place either, no matter how hard I pull down on the rafter arm. And I can't extend the awning any more to get the pin to engage/lock. I finally gave up and just locked the Z-lever to secure the extended awning in place (which it says you should NOT do) after the awning rolled-up and ran-away one breezy afternoon. I have used silicone and Inox on the arms - with no change. Actually the rafter arm does slide easily - unlike the main arm assy. I even bought the handles to help and STILL struggle after the roller is too far above my head to push on it.

It was suggested to me to call Zip Dee directly but I STILL haven't made the call.

I'll be following along to see if anyone has an answer.

Laura
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:14 AM   #7
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Okay - I decided to finally call Zip Dee. I spoke with Randy and he told me that I have the a contoured awning with a single Z-lock (added to some of the awnings in the 80's).

So, he believes that the problem is with the Button (i.e. Ratchet Stud) on the Upper Rafter Arm. He suggested that I pull the Button as far out as possible and look for the Roll Pin on it's shaft. The Roll Pin should be facing the hook. If it isn't, rotate/twist the Button so that it is. The portion of the Button that is hidden within the Rafter Arm is beveled and needs to be oriented correctly to engage in the Lower Rafter Arm. You know it's oriented correctly when the Roll Pin is facing the hook end!

Randy also restated that I not use the Z-lock to secure my awning in place while extended. It will likely lead to breaking the lock and cause the awning not to roll up. That would suc

I probably won't get a chance to try this technique for awhile ---- but I hope you can try it soon and report back to say whether or not it works for you!

Laura
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:04 PM   #8
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I viewed the video and am doing everything right. The buttons that lock the pins are fine and work when I extend the rafter arm. They are just about an inch or 2 too long. I lubricated the springs that attach to the hooks. They compress all the way down and still are about a 1/4 inch too long when fully compressed. Perhaps my awning fabric has shrunk a little. On our trip I'll have my wife pull on the awning strap to stretch it while I set up the rafter arms. Fortunately, I have a center rafter support which locks just fine so if I can't get the side rafter arms to lock, at least the center rafter arm will properly support the awning tube and keep it fully extended.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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We rarely open the awning and can't remember what to do. The ZipDee booklet is poorly done. Thanks, MikeSandyZ, for the video.

We haven't been able to extend one arm even after WD40—it's wedged in some way and the release is clearing the arm, so that's not the problem. Have to work on it some day.

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Old 05-11-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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I just got a Flying Cloud 2012 19' - I have run into the same problem addressed above re: the rafter arm not locking into place. I seem to have the pin pointed in the right direction (toward the claw) -- etc. I called ZipDee and they asked for photos. I am waiting on a reply. Meanwhile, in trying to get the awning set-up - it furled back into the trailer and the rafter arms slammed into the trailer, creating a dent (small circular) from the ratchet stud. Needless to say, I am not a "happy camper" about a dent in a not yet used new trailer! The above thread says not to use the Z lock to hold the awning and I don't know what that is. Suggestions??? Thanks, Kay - Inverness
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayMc View Post
I just got a Flying Cloud 2012 19' - I have run into the same problem addressed above re: the rafter arm not locking into place. I seem to have the pin pointed in the right direction (toward the claw) -- etc. I called ZipDee and they asked for photos. I am waiting on a reply. Meanwhile, in trying to get the awning set-up - it furled back into the trailer and the rafter arms slammed into the trailer, creating a dent (small circular) from the ratchet stud. Needless to say, I am not a "happy camper" about a dent in a not yet used new trailer! The above thread says not to use the Z lock to hold the awning and I don't know what that is. Suggestions??? Thanks, Kay - Inverness
Watch this video...it will show you how to open the awning on your newer Airstream. Good luck!

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Old 05-12-2012, 06:47 AM   #12
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Got these from the AS Store several years ago, they do help a lot.

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Old 05-12-2012, 07:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayMc View Post
I just got a Flying Cloud 2012 19' - I have run into the same problem addressed above re: the rafter arm not locking into place. I seem to have the pin pointed in the right direction (toward the claw) -- etc. I called ZipDee and they asked for photos. I am waiting on a reply. Meanwhile, in trying to get the awning set-up - it furled back into the trailer and the rafter arms slammed into the trailer, creating a dent (small circular) from the ratchet stud. Needless to say, I am not a "happy camper" about a dent in a not yet used new trailer! The above thread says not to use the Z lock to hold the awning and I don't know what that is. Suggestions??? Thanks, Kay - Inverness
You don't have Z-locks. They were used on some older units....80's I think. For yours just disregard any conversation about z-locks.

If while removing the rafter arm from its storage pin, you let it extend and hear a couple of clicks or ratchets, it will be too long when placed over the roller shaft.

Pull the ratchet stud and ensure that the rafter arm tube is all the way compressed over the rafter inner shaft, then lift it and pull it toward the roller tube. After engaging the "hook", tug the rafter arm tube until you hear 3 or 4 ratchet clicks.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:58 AM   #14
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We rarely use the awning since we are not too good at sitting around outside when there are places to see and naps to take. But we finally figured it out a couple of years ago because Barb watched the video and the light bulb moment happened.

It seems simpler once you get it, but it wasn't obvious. Now I have to remember to get Barb to watch the video again because from season to season we forget how to open it.

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Old 05-12-2012, 09:28 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by funkill View Post
I can't lock mine in place either, no matter how hard I pull down on the rafter arm. And I can't extend the awning any more to get the pin to engage/lock. I finally gave up and just locked the Z-lever to secure the extended awning in place (which it says you should NOT do) after the awning rolled-up and ran-away one breezy afternoon. I have used silicone and Inox on the arms - with no change. Actually the rafter arm does slide easily - unlike the main arm assy. I even bought the handles to help and STILL struggle after the roller is too far above my head to push on it.

It was suggested to me to call Zip Dee directly but I STILL haven't made the call.

I'll be following along to see if anyone has an answer.

Laura
What sticks out for me is "..no matter how hard I pull down on the rafter arm ..." If I'm reading that right, it seems like you're working against yourself; shouldn't you be pushing UP on both the awning and the arm?
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:10 AM   #16
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Mine Does Not Work as Easy as the Video!

We have a 23 foot Safari and the awning is manageable for the length and spring tension when pulling the awning out. We use the awning for several reasons:
(1) When raining, we have a "dry/drier zone" for entering and exiting. If your awning is at the maximum height, the door clears without dragging against the awning cloth and the seam that is in the arc of the door opening and closing.

The "second click" you will have to push the awning up to avoid constantly wearing into the awning cloth with the top of the door. I do know from other discussions on the Forum about using some roller to avoid this, but never have given that another thought.

The lowest setting you can only squeeze out of the door if you can manage it. We will use the lowest setting during a rain/windy day to avoid damaging the awning support rods. (When we purchased our AS, one of those adjustable rods was bent and it took us several trips to pull it apart and noticed it was bent. I took a flat surface and a rock hammer to get most of the bend out of it to get it to work without the excessive force it took earlier. Zip Dee replaced the inside shaft at no cost and it has worked fine, since.)

(2) Using the extended pole to unwind the end screws and travel hook was a bit of a hassle, so I stand on a five gallon bucket to do those chores. Since we are on some rougher roads, I need to make sure the ends are tight and secure. Over time the awning can move a fraction of an inch, one way or the other, causing the end screws from aligning like they are suppose to, so you will note that they screw down the shaft at an angle. They are secure, but not like the video, when done with little effort.

(3) Camped in the Spring months in higher elevations, we face the door side of the AS towards sunrise. Air temperature in the morning can be 28 degrees F and the radiant heat on the aluminum siding will be 60 degrees F. We open the door and window shades to "heat" the cold interior.

(4) Summer camping the awning is in the second click while in the trailer. If the wind picks up, we can lower the awning or just rewind it until later. When leaving the trailer on a hot day, we put the awning in the lowest position and for a possible wind gust, take one or both ends, tie a cord to a five gallon bucket, with some rocks in each, to keep the awning from being damaged from wind, bending the support rods. It is 20 degrees cooler under the awning and we keep the two dog pet porters in the shade and they love laying in their pet porter keeping a watchful eye for "grizz".

(5) When raining or possible rain, we will set the side away from the door, one click lower. When it rains, the water will run off to the other side. We will dig a small trench to channel the water away from our "dry zone". If you might need water for minor chores, leave a five gallon bucket where the water comes off of the awning. It is safe to drink, dog water or for water that would be otherwise wasted.

(6) If... if we are in Jackson Center, Ohio again, we will have an awning put on the opposite side of our trailer. We think they are wonderful. The wife has me in charge of the awning, as they are not that easy to lock into place. It sure looked easy on the video, but I have not experienced "easy". Maybe that awning was... specially adjusted for the video?? I will pull the center rod out to clean it off, and even swap sides to keep the wear... even.

We use the awning a lot. It is a tool for the back country to keep the AS hot/cool when it is necessary. Like a sail boat, you only need as much "sail" as the circumstances require.

Zip Dee... your awning has held up and we give it a full workout each year.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:26 AM   #17
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:44 PM   #18
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That's not a BFH........needs to be bigger!
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:27 PM   #19
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I to have a problem with the awning. I does seam like you are working against yourself with trying to lock the arms in place . I to have watched the video, twice now. Not to pick on anyone or anybody but he is a rather large man and and has weight on his side,just saying.Don't mean to offend anyone.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #20
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It's become a joke with us as to how many views of the YouTube video it will take us to get the awning up this time. God forbid were ever anywhere with no mobile reception!! I think we may have actually put it up properly this weekend and it only took 5 of us and 2 phones looking at the video multiple times!! Our friends with their sob rigs with auto awnings think we're nuts but our awning is in perfect shape and I'm sure a new auto one isn't cheap!!
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