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Old 05-14-2006, 08:24 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Fort McMurray , Canada
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 65
Awnings - Waterproof???

We have just returned from our first trip with the new airstream- new to us that is......It poured the ENTIRE weekend. We had the awnings up, and were hoping to at least sit outside under them. However, we noticed that they don't deflect water, etc....I never considered it before, but are there awnings that are made to suit the Airstreams that are waterproof? Or is there a way to waterproof the ones that we have? Thanks....
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Old 05-14-2006, 09:25 PM   #2
Frank S
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 316
Hi Tin Lizzy--We use one gallon of Thompson's WaterSeal which is a waterproofing for wood decks & fences, brick patios, and concrete driveways. Can buy it at just about any hardware, Lowes, Home Depot. We apply it with a paint roller on a pole, while standing on a picnic table at a campsite, with the awning extended. It darkens the awning a little, is a great waterproofing, and lasts about 5-years.--Frank S
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:08 PM   #3
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1959 24' Tradewind
Astoria , Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 227
My experiences with the awning and rain are very dissimilar, and I wonder why. I camp/fish on the Olympic peninsula of WA in the Hoh rain forest in Jan and Feb each year. I deploy the awning to cover my BBQ and lawn chairs, and we stay dry. It rained 7 inches in three days this Feb, but I stayed dry under the awning.
I'm unsure why I'm lucky and you are not. I've done nothing to waterproof my awning.
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Old 05-14-2006, 10:30 PM   #4
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hi tin lizzy

i'll assume you have zip dee awnings.
u might want to visit their website and read.

the acrylic material they use requires NO waterproofing. in fact using a water repellant will decrease the performance of the cloth. perhaps someone has already applied w/p of some sort and that's the issue.

also the awning cloth needs to be cleaning occasionaly. dirt can affect performance.

if they have gotten really dry...the cloth will leak until it has absorbed some water. the fibers expand and performance improves....especially near seams and stitching.

so my suggestion is clean them well with soap/water.
deploy them and wet'em down.
look for signs of wear and repair as needed.
zip dee does offer a cleaning product, but the site also explains how to use common household soap.

i've never problems with mine. often leave them open for weeks at a time.

i doubt zipdee would encourge the use of thompsons water seal....for this purpose. it does work great on wood and decks.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 05-14-2006, 11:28 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
Fort McMurray , Canada
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 65
When the rain came down it saturated the awning, and seemed to 'drip' from a few isolated areas, as opposed to leak completed through the entire awning everywhere. The awnings look to be in pristine shape, as the trailer was really well cared for otherwise....Maybe I just figured they would act much like a tarp and deflect all water completely....Hmmmmmmm.....
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:51 AM   #6
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1998 31' Excella 1000
South Berwick , Maine
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 707
Make sure one end of the awning is tipped so water doesn't pool or collect in one spot. This will certainly cause the awning to drip and puts a tremendous amount of stress on the fabric and awning supports. If the water is allowed to properly run off, there should be no leaks.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:28 AM   #7
Frank S
1973 27' Overlander
peoria , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 316
Hi TinLizzy & 2airishuman--My awning is 1970's vintage, and is not acrylic, but appears to be canvas (green & white stripe). I have used Thompson WaterSeal three times in 15-years, with great success. My awning looses waterproofing over time. I would agree with the above comments that if your awning is acrylic a different stratigy for waterproofing may be required. Another thought! If your awning only drips at a few points at the seams, move your chair to a dry spot.--Frank S
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:39 AM   #8
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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Make sure the awning is clean. I used a brush with a long handle and wash them down, top and bottom a couple of times a year. If I have to put them away dirty, I'll wash them when I get home.

Like others have noted you do not need to apply anything to them. Once they get wet, the fibers will expand to prevent anything from getting through. Note on heavy downpours before the awing fibers swell, you can feel some mist as the big drops hit the awning. Also as said before, have one side lower which will channel the water off the awing. Keeping both sides at the same level will cause pooling all along the roller tube.

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'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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