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Old 01-12-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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1976 29' Ambassador
orlando , Florida
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Bent Zip Dee Awning

We had a bad rainstorm the other night while the main awning on our 1976 Ambassador was open. The weight of the water bent the main support beam and folded it to the ground. After the storm, I did my best to bend it back and was able to get it to role most of the way up. What are my options now? Is this repairable or do I have to replace it? I am in the Orlando Florida area. Thanks for any help avaliable.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjudd View Post
We had a bad rainstorm the other night while the main awning on our 1976 Ambassador was open. The weight of the water bent the main support beam and folded it to the ground. After the storm, I did my best to bend it back and was able to get it to role most of the way up. What are my options now? Is this repairable or do I have to replace it? I am in the Orlando Florida area. Thanks for any help avaliable.
Bending the roller tube back into shape rarely works, since the bend in the tube, if you wish, has destroyed the tube.

Contact your insurance company and replace the roller tube.

Andy
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
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You'll need a new tube at least. Depending on the condition of the fabric, you may want to replace that as well. The springs should be okay, as should the arms, as long as they weren't bent.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about your failure. Mine was less catastrophic. Mine was the telescoping arm bent between the intentional bend and the hole that retains the telescoping section when retracted.

Andy/Terry,

Can this be successfully straightened? At this point, I can extend my awning but it does not have sufficient tension on it and it pops in the wind so I don't open it.

FYI. this is the right awning arm (not the spring tension arm).

-thomas
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:42 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your failure. Mine was less catastrophic. Mine was the telescoping arm bent between the intentional bend and the hole that retains the telescoping section when retracted.

Andy/Terry,

Can this be successfully straightened? At this point, I can extend my awning but it does not have sufficient tension on it and it pops in the wind so I don't open it.

FYI. this is the right awning arm (not the spring tension arm).

-thomas
Photo's ??

Andy
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tschat View Post
Sorry to hear about your failure. Mine was less catastrophic. Mine was the telescoping arm bent between the intentional bend and the hole that retains the telescoping section when retracted.

Andy/Terry,

Can this be successfully straightened? At this point, I can extend my awning but it does not have sufficient tension on it and it pops in the wind so I don't open it.

FYI. this is the right awning arm (not the spring tension arm).

-thomas
You can try bending it back, but I've always found it will never be "right", no matter how much you tweak it.
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Old 01-13-2012, 05:29 AM   #7
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I did the same to mine a few years back. ZipDee worked with me to get it working again. They agreed to straighten the inner pieces (steel) of the arms and I purchased new outer pieces (aluminum). It was a costly mistake on my part by not having one end lower to allow the rain to run off quickly.

Give them a call and see what you can work out.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:22 AM   #8
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Went to RV Show here in Tampa, FL yesterday. Several seminars, one guy said this about awnings. "If you're leaving for the day, roll it up. If you're going to bed, roll it up. This way you won't have to worry about rainstorms and heavy winds destroying your awning."
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:31 AM   #9
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I agree With Craz. I learned my lesson. I had ours out here at home and a quickie TS came up and I couldnt get out there quick enough and the wind took the whle thing over the trailer. Tore off one of the rafter arms and it ended up 20 ft away. I was able to reattach the arms with large stainless steel screws and there didnt seem to be any further damage,BUT it has never rolled exactly rite since.
LESSON LEARNED if you are goin to sleep or away ROLL IT. it only takes a few seconds and it dont cost anything.BUT replacing a ZIP DEE Costs a bunch.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:46 AM   #10
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Bowed roller Zip Dee awning tube

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamjudd View Post
We had a bad rainstorm the other night while the main awning on our 1976 Ambassador was open. The weight of the water bent the main support beam and folded it to the ground. After the storm, I did my best to bend it back and was able to get it to role most of the way up. What are my options now? Is this repairable or do I have to replace it? I am in the Orlando Florida area. Thanks for any help avaliable.
The dealer in Seffner FL ordered one for me, waiting for it to come in by truck and enjoying the Tampa weather.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
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I believe there is a YouTube clip made by the President of Zip Dee demonstrating how to fix this.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:12 AM   #12
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Photos

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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Photo's ??

Andy
Andy's right photo's would help. Is it the roller tube or an arm, the video Zip Dee has on Youtube is for an adjustment on an arm but not one bent severly, would weaken the arm like bending a spoon back.
Either way parts can be gotten for the Zip Dee, an insurance claim may be the way.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tschat View Post
Sorry to hear about your failure. Mine was less catastrophic. Mine was the telescoping arm bent between the intentional bend and the hole that retains the telescoping section when retracted.

Andy/Terry,

Can this be successfully straightened? At this point, I can extend my awning but it does not have sufficient tension on it and it pops in the wind so I don't open it.

FYI. this is the right awning arm (not the spring tension arm).

-thomas
I took the parts and used clamps and lengths of pipe as holders and levers to tweak them back. Quite a bit of tweaking, are quite small. If you have one handy, you could also try an 800# gorilla.

Zipdee Linda recommended using the receiver hitch as a tweaker.
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Old 01-14-2012, 08:56 AM   #14
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Zip Dee support arms, bent tweaked, bent tweaked, bent tweaked---gave up and ordered stainless steel arms, no more bent arms. They are worth the money from Zip Dee Co.
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woosch
I believe there is a YouTube clip made by the President of Zip Dee demonstrating how to fix this.
Here's a link:
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Old 01-14-2012, 09:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazeevw View Post
Went to RV Show here in Tampa, FL yesterday. Several seminars, one guy said this about awnings. "If you're leaving for the day, roll it up. If you're going to bed, roll it up. This way you won't have to worry about rainstorms and heavy winds destroying your awning."
Double ditto; nothing like waking up in the middle of the night as a weather front moves in and you realize you left the big awning out.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:37 PM   #17
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anyone have a bent roller tube that they worked with. Where can I get a replacement or a similar tube from a local steel supply shop ? It's a 3" 18G galvanized tube ??in long (I haven't measured it yet). hope my pics attach...

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Old 05-22-2012, 06:55 PM   #18
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I actually had pretty good luck, after several attempts and a LOT of studying the awning. Of course I did replace the lower bar and tube, but I was able to get the roller tube back to 95%. The real problem was getting all the bits readjusted so the whole assembly rolled up so the "turnbuckle" lock slots line up exactly when the awning is retracted. I had an issue where the edge of the protective slat was rubbing on the road lock tab. After studying and studying, I realized that both lower support arm rods were bent at just a little too much of an angle. A little flattening with a rubber mallet had everything just right.

Had to get creative with how to bend the roller tube back. Finally found the secret way to do it by myself.
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by texascanuk View Post
anyone have a bent roller tube that they worked with. Where can I get a replacement or a similar tube from a local steel supply shop ? It's a 3" 18G galvanized tube ??in long (I haven't measured it yet). hope my pics attach...

Oooooo, mine wasn't nearly that bad. Don't think you can repair it. Zip Dee sells them for $7.95 per foot.....but the shipping will kill you! I'm spoiled, I'm only about 30 miles from their plant.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texascanuk View Post
anyone have a bent roller tube that they worked with. Where can I get a replacement or a similar tube from a local steel supply shop ? It's a 3" 18G galvanized tube ??in long (I haven't measured it yet). hope my pics attach...

When spring is tensioned is there a stop inside tube if so may be problem with tube from steel supply shop
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