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Old 06-08-2014, 04:13 PM   #1
BigMac
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
Reynoldsburg , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 12
Question Awning Upper Arm Snapped

Hello all, I have a 2013 25 Foot Flying Cloud. This weekend I had it out and had the awning out with secure lines on each side, and we woke up to a loud thud, the upper arm snapped right in two. Has anyone has this happen, and would this be covered by the 2 year bumper to bumper warranty? We got it up and home, and no other damage other than one small scratch, but before I call the dealer just wanted to see if the awnings just cannot handle a rain storm well, if the stainless bars on the zip dee website are stronger etc. I can repair myself if they are not covered, but just wanted to gather some information before I call the dealer.

Thanks,
Big Mac
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:19 PM   #2
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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"Rain storm?" If you had the awning deployed, and not angled for rain runoff, you may or may not get warranty coverage for it. If you came to our dealership, you would PROBABLY get it taken care of, and if I did it, I would make sure you were given a refresher course in awning deployment to make sure it didn't happen again.
Oh, and NO awning can handle a rain storm well. I have a collection of about a dozen tubes and at least twice that number of buckled arms from awnings of all manufacturers and all makes of RV that were deployed in rain, and failed.
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Old 06-08-2014, 04:38 PM   #3
BigMac
 
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I have been camping for 44 years starting with pop up campers and this is my 4th travel trailer and this is the first awning that has ever failed on me, but this is my first Airstream. The dealer did warn us about wind, and the poles bending, but the rain came up while we were sleeping and was not forecasted. Seems like a lesson learned, from other threads I read sounds best to always put an airstream awning in, but that seems to defeat the purpose of having an awning, lol. I think if I would have had it down and leaned one way it might have survived. I think this the worst part of the Airstream, I am not in love with this awning after our 4th trip out. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:11 PM   #4
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Probably the fact they are very thin arms and tubes, compared with many others, doesn't help the situation. Living in Florida for many decades, I learned the hard way about retracting any awning when I wasn't going to be there to roll it up. I guess time will tell if the new power awnings being installed on new Airstreams are any more rugged and less prone to have this happen.
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:37 PM   #5
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Snapped an arm on my sob in a rainstorm. Didn't know you need to drop on side a little lower. Learned an important lesson that day. I've always dropped an arm lower in rain or when leaving the awning out at night where we have a rain chance. Dependent upon your awning angle, the fabric can pocket water which adds to the weight on the arms. Keep in mind that the fabric used by ZipDee absorbs water to a point which makes the fabric swell and become water resistant. This adds weight also. if you have ever been under a ZipDee when a sudden heavy rain starts, you will feel some very light droplets at first. That's because the fabric hasn't swollen up yet.

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Old 06-08-2014, 06:26 PM   #6
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Bent, I could understand. Broken, I am very surprised. I have no idea if they are covered but you will after you call. Is it a ZipDee awning? I would think snapping in two would be a defect. Is the broken arm stainless steel? Glad it did not hurt the trailer. The very big ZipDee awnings have a grommet in the middle near the roller to help drain water. You might consider adding one or two grommets along the roller edge.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Bent, I could understand. Broken, I am very surprised. I have no idea if they are covered but you will after you call. Is it a ZipDee awning? I would think snapping in two would be a defect. Is the broken arm stainless steel? Glad it did not hurt the trailer. The very big ZipDee awnings have a grommet in the middle near the roller to help drain water. You might consider adding one or two grommets along the roller edge.
They stopped putting those grommets in the fabric several years ago. It was very helpful to keep things like this from happening. For those that don't know, or have never sen them, the grommets were spaced a couple feet or so apart, about 3 inches or so from the tube.
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Old 06-08-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the posts, it is the aluminum one, and it snapped right where the insert is to set the height, so I am thinking it must have been defective. A 1978 Airstream in the same campground survived the same storm, but will definitely lower it down at night from now on and have one side lower than the other. One thought I had was to put campdry on it to waterproof like I used to do with my sumbrella on my old Coleman. Worked great and would help the water run off. Anyone try that?
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:51 PM   #9
BigMac
 
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Does anyone know if the stainless steel poles are stronger, on the ZipDee Website, they had both available, left a message at the dealer, so waiting on response to see if it is under warranty. Also, would a center support be wise if wanting to keep it up in the rain, I saw those as well on their website. Thanks for your help, looking for experienced Airstream owners for the true story on these awnings.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:22 PM   #10
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Big Mac, I doubt it was defective... I had the same thing happen a few years ago. Luckily with the help of friends, we were able to cut the bend off and straighten the end off so it could fit back into the tube. If I remember properly, the part is about $35...

It was a lesson well learned for us. We lower the front if we expect rain. If it looks/feels like a nasty windy storm we put the awning up. We also put it up if we are leaving the campground. It is kind of a hassle, but we don't want to risk a damaged awning away from home...
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew05 View Post
We lower the front if we expect rain. If it looks/feels like a nasty windy storm we put the awning up. We also put it up if we are leaving the campground. It is kind of a hassle, but we don't want to risk a damaged awning away from home...
We put ours up every night regardless of the forecast. The very name tells you it isn't for sure, right? It's a 'forecast'.

Hey, what are the odds that the weather forecast is correct in your area? Here, it's only about 50/50.

I hate to gamble with my own money.

ps: if you do this, you'll want to keep a can of silicon spray; makes it a lot easier if you spray all the sliding parts once every few weeks...
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Mac 44 View Post
Does anyone know if the stainless steel poles are stronger, on the ZipDee Website, they had both available
Big Mac, the aluminum bars are ridiculously weak where the holes are drilled for the pin. The stainless steel bars are going to be a lot stronger. The next weakest link is probably the square tube they are supported in, but in any case. I just order a set of stainless steel bars to replace my aluminum ones. $80 each vs $40 each for aluminum. The guy in the parts department told me this aluminum bar thing is an Airstream factory specification. They normally come with the stainless steel bars for everyone else.
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:06 AM   #13
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I sprung for the stainless bars, no more fearing little winds now! They slide nicely and look great. I shoot everything with silicone every few deployments.... keeps everything silky smooth! Good investment in functionality.
Zip Dee gave me a discount as I bought arms and rafters for 2 trailers.
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:23 PM   #14
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Thumbs up Stainless steel post oh yah

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
I sprung for the stainless bars, no more fearing little winds now! They slide nicely and look great. I shoot everything with silicone every few deployments.... keeps everything silky smooth! Good investment in functionality.
Zip Dee gave me a discount as I bought arms and rafters for 2 trailers.
So help where on their web site do you get that info ? I would like that upgrade !!
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LAWBC View Post
So help where on their web site do you get that info ? I would like that upgrade !!
http://awningsbyzipdee.com/media/19b...07ffffd523.pdf

But call 800-338-2378 ask for the parts department. You're looking for a pair of part #2.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:46 PM   #16
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Reynoldsburg , Ohio
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It is on the parts listing, they have aluminum and stainless steel listed. I got word back from dealer, not covered. I am very disappointed to say the least that a $72 grand camper has an awning that cannot withstand a shower, this was not a storm, and when I talked with customer service at Zip Dee, she was very combative, their product is the best, but it is not designed to hole any weight at all. I asked what is it rated for, because when I am camping, every camper had awnings out, most with tie downs, permanent sites with campers with vinyl screen rooms, all still standing, even the 1978 Airstream with the Stainless Polls, still standing, mine broke right on the pin hole. I am 45 years old, been camping since I was 1 in a Coleman popup, then a various campers and have never had an awning break on me, I anchor it down, bring it down slightly, and all is good. I cannot believe you design a camper awning that cannot handle some amount of rain without breaking. My first disappointment about my Airstream purchase for sure.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:00 PM   #17
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I talked with Zipdee and looked at the info on the website. I would do the upgrade except that you have to release and retension the springs to replace the arms. That does not look like a project I can do on my own so I will be sure I keep my awning rolled up after dark, when I am gone and in any wind.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:47 PM   #18
BigMac
 
2013 25' Flying Cloud
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Here is a ytube video to show you how to take it off, it is not hard, you are only replacing the top #2 Arm on the diagram, not sure if you can make the entire awning stainless steel, but this was pretty easy to get off, of course I looked up this video to try to unbend the one that did not break, and got it off and bent back pretty well, but I am replacing both with stainless and taking it in when strong storms come from now on, but in a light rain I want to hopefully be able to tilt it to one side and let it out to sit under and enjoy the soft rain. Ironically, I found another video showing how great these awnings are in the rain, lol. I thought that quite funny. http://youtu.be/yBIPa_jasBw

Good Luck.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:05 PM   #19
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You can replace #3 without messing with the spring but that is always aluminum. To replace #2, according to ZipDee, you need to take tension off the spring.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:14 PM   #20
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My stainless steel bars just arrived. They appear to be a lot stronger than the aluminum.
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