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Old 03-26-2013, 07:45 PM   #21
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
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The spring rolls the tube up to the rail on the trailer. When the awning is extended the spring is at maximum tension, when the awning is rolled up the spring is at minimum tension. The spring actually swings the arm away from the trailer in a counter-clockwise direction when looking from the rear of the trailer. The tension on the arm is not really that much when you hold it at the end. If you let it go the swinging 5' arm is what does the damage.

When you install the awning you extend the awning and while one person holds the end of the tube another person winds the spring using the arm as a lever. It is not difficult strength wise to wind the spring using the arm as the lever. It is more difficult holding the tube because is just kind of hanging out there with no support and trying to roll itself up. You are also trying to keep the fabric stretched so you don't hit the trailer with the arm while swinging the arm to tension the spring. Supporting the tube on a step ladder makes the job much easier. Also if you have the "Z" lock at the front of the awning it makes the job easier because you won't have to fight the tube rolling up while you wind the spring.

So to get to the question, yes leave the awning rolled up with the wheel locks secured and you can safely remove the lower section of the arm, what ZipDee calls the "hinge bar." Be careful that you do not move "main arm tube" because it is a long lever that can rip the wheel lock brackets out of the trailer. Have your helper stabilize the main arm tube while you remove the hinge bar. You can also remove the main arm tube from the main arm bar if you want to use the main arm tube for leverage to help straighten the hinge bar. You can check this PDF to verify the names that ZipDee uses to identify the various parts. http://awningsbyzipdee.com/media/19b...08ffffd523.pdf

I hope this helps answer some questions.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:59 AM   #22
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The new arm came yesterday (thank you ODM!). I was surprised by how short it was - it apparently doesn't go very far into the larger part of the arm. I was expecting something 3' or 4' long, but instead it's maybe 2' long. I'm hoping I can replace it Sunday.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skater View Post
The new arm came yesterday (thank you ODM!). I was surprised by how short it was - it apparently doesn't go very far into the larger part of the arm. I was expecting something 3' or 4' long, but instead it's maybe 2' long. I'm hoping I can replace it Sunday.

Doesn't sound right... Are you shure you recieved the main bar? Sounds more like you got a hinge bar.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:21 AM   #24
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Doesn't sound right... Are you shure you recieved the main bar? Sounds more like you got a hinge bar.
Gulp. I used this page and picked the one that said Satin '94-'98 (I have a '95), which is the part number that is showing on my receipt. It's possible I got the wrong one - I did only take a quick look, and I haven't taken the old one out yet so I can't compare to that one.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:53 AM   #25
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It's not very long. Bolts into the tube and is inserted about 1 foot at the most. It was the lower bar that bent on yours, right? Mine was the upper bar. But mine bent from pooling rain while the awning was deployed.

I think you're fine. It only goes up about an inch past that acorn nut in your pic in post #1.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:09 AM   #26
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ZipDee has good youtube videos on their awning products from setting up, to fixing and maintenance.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:49 PM   #27
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It's not very long. Bolts into the tube and is inserted about 1 foot at the most. It was the lower bar that bent on yours, right? Mine was the upper bar. But mine bent from pooling rain while the awning was deployed.

I think you're fine. It only goes up about an inch past that acorn nut in your pic in post #1.
I think you're right. For the record it's just over 25" long. Holding it up next to the camper, it stopped just below the acorn nut that's in front of the blue stripe in my picture, but one of the holes in the new hinge arm lined up perfectly with the horizontal bolt near the bottom of the main tube. (I compared it to both arms on the camper since the bent one is harder to compare.)

Also, I was struck by how much nicer the new arm looks compared to the rest of the awning that has been out in the weather for 18 years. Hopefully it'll quickly oxidize a little bit and blend in again.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #28
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Rub a little automotive cleaner/wax on the rest of the pieces. They'll shine up a bit when some oxidation is removed.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:50 AM   #29
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So, I just did this. 10 minute job, and no problem with tension at all.

My new arm turned partially white at the bend. I think happened when I was pulling up on it to get the bottom bolt in place (it was just a little low). I loosened the wheel lock but I was afraid to release it entirely. I needed to loosen it for another reason - since I'd opened the awning with the arm bent, the lock was holding the arm in an awkward position, and it didn't want to go back to vertical without loosening. There didn't seem to be any tension in the arm even with the lock loosened.

If I were doing it again, I'd put the top bolt in first, not the bottom, then get a helper to pull up on the main tube while inserting the lower bolt, instead of doing it alone. Or I'd confirm whether it's safe to release the wheel lock, which is probably what I was fighting against.

I tried to straighten the old arm, but what I found was that it tended to twist, so simply stepping on it, for example, wasn't going to do the job. I was able to work around that with clamps, but I just didn't have enough clamps to make it happen, so I gave up before I hurt myself, the house, the car, a bicycle, etc. - I could just visualize a piece of aluminum flying across the garage.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:10 PM   #30
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I have one maybe 2 of those arms. Never used it. Over ordered. Let me know if u want it.
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