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Old 05-04-2021, 05:13 PM   #1
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1981 31' Excella II
Tallahassee , Florida
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Did I just make a huge mistake?

I am renovating a 1981 Excella II. When purchased, it was missing the main (Curbside) awning. The previous owners also put silicone all along the original aluminum mounting strip. I cleaned off the silicone & removed the mounting strip.

Today I buck riveted all the holes left in the exterior where that mounting strip was installed - but without re-installing the awning mounting strip.

I DO eventually want to buy another, new awning. Do the new awnings use the same mounting strip?

I am just kicking myself! If Airstream/Zipdee are still using the same mounting, then I probably need to drill out all those new rivets, & put the old awning strip back on. Geez!!!

Am I right, did I just waste my entire day & make more work for myself? Click image for larger version

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Old 05-04-2021, 05:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy2BeHere View Post
. . .
Am I right, did I just waste my entire day & make more work for myself
. . .
Maybe . . . maybe not IMO.



Probably a good idea not to obsess over every little thing like this IMO.

There will be missteps and mistakes . . . lucky fortuities . . . pleasant surprises . . . and other odd-ball hiccups over the next few years . . .

All to be expected . . . all cool . . . happy to be here . . .

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Old 05-04-2021, 05:28 PM   #3
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:52 PM   #4
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Two steps forward, one step back...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy2BeHere View Post
Do the new awnings use the same mounting strip?
Yes, sorry. Could be worse...

Shari
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:56 PM   #5
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1981 31' Excella II
Tallahassee , Florida
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OTRA15 & s1000pre, thanks for the encouragement. Think I'll go make myself a cocktail. Tomorrow morning I'll start removing rivets so that I can install that awning rail. Live & learn.

I got so wrapped up in the process of buck riveting & working with my teenage daughter that I lost sight of the big picture. We live in Florida & I need to get the shell water-tight & back on the trailer frame by June so that we can move the Airstream away from large trees if a hurricane threatens.

Thanks again
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:23 AM   #6
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Slantia!
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:31 AM   #7
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For what it's worth, I would put a good quality aluminum caulking in each hole before replacing the awning mounting strip. That's just me. Maybe over kill but I HATE leaks.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:12 AM   #8
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My question would be what if you didn't have an awning to begin with and how would it be installed? Would the installer just.reposition the mounting strip? I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be removing rivets.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:34 AM   #9
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I do not think the original awning installation was with bucked rivets. Mine was not. And yes, you will need the awning rail to install an awning.
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:28 AM   #10
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Well, now is the time to fix the mistake and reinstall the awning rail.

Don't feel bad, though. I have made so many mistakes during my rebuild that I have dubbed my trailer (unofficially) as "The Err-stream."

good luck!
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:49 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
. . .
. . . "The Err-stream."
. . .
Good one!

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Old 05-07-2021, 08:57 PM   #12
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1981 31' Excella II
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
Well, now is the time to fix the mistake and reinstall the awning rail.



Don't feel bad, though. I have made so many mistakes during my rebuild that I have dubbed my trailer (unofficially) as "The Err-stream."



good luck!


Err-stream, I love it!
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:51 AM   #13
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There are no mistakes when working on an airstream, just lessons.
Good luck
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:09 PM   #14
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1981 31' Excella II
Tucson , Arizona
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I don't know anything about the rivets and stuff . I just wanted to say that the awning of my 1981 Excella II sure does shake (it shakes the entire trailer) in even minor wind, like above 16mph. So, if you are already 'fixing' the awning, you might consider a more secure attachment of the Zip Dee at the trailer. Living alone, and it taking 2 people to retract the awning, I, unfortunately, seldom open the awning, dang it.
Also, I read on the forum that when it rains be sure to have one side of the awning at a lower notch so the rain spills off one end.
Best,
Lynne
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Old 05-09-2021, 03:55 PM   #15
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Its All In Technique

Heads up LynneC... awnings and wind never mix and that is because the awning basically becomes an unbridled sail in breezes above 12mph. Although 'LandYacht' is an Airstream term, they certainly aren't intended to mimic sailboat rigging!

Put the awning away whenever the wind kicks up or you are away from your trailer or else you risk thousands in damage.

The proper technique deploying or collapsing your awning will reduce the effort to a single person task rather than the gargantuan effort you describe. Instructions can be found here:

https://bit.ly/3y0EYXm
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy2BeHere View Post
I am renovating a 1981 Excella II. When purchased, it was missing the main (Curbside) awning. The previous owners also put silicone all along the original aluminum mounting strip. I cleaned off the silicone & removed the mounting strip.

Today I buck riveted all the holes left in the exterior where that mounting strip was installed - but without re-installing the awning mounting strip.

I DO eventually want to buy another, new awning. Do the new awnings use the same mounting strip?
Attachment 394897
Actually, the mounting strip in all likelihood has changed. However, a new awning from ZipDee will include a new railing. You can buy the awning complete with all the hardware (railing, arms, supports, etc.) directly from ZipDee.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:27 PM   #17
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I second notion of caulking along mounting strip as that is place where water will sit for long periods in rainy weather.. Bad place for water to get in and flow down inside walls to wooden sub-floor..


Also agree Zip Dee should provide new mounting strip as part of awning assembly or kit.. Also good to add caulk or sealant around lower awning support mounts.. Typically hose are riveted to hold in place with single rivet, and then heavy sheet metal screws in remaining holes for stronger shear strength..



And yeah, Zip Dee's are very good at being "flexible and adaptable" if mounting geometry off just a tiny bit, but if wind gets under awning fabric and lifts hard, upper "rafters" will fail and you will have miserable remainder of your trip.. Always plan to retract awning at night anywhere wind or storms are remotely possible, and whenever you are leaving the trailer in one of those locations...
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:29 PM   #18
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Man, if that is your idea of a huge mistake, come live in my world for a while. That will realign your perspective.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:50 PM   #19
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1981 31' Excella II
Tucson , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMore View Post
Heads up LynneC... awnings and wind never mix and that is because the awning basically becomes an unbridled sail in breezes above 12mph. Although 'LandYacht' is an Airstream term, they certainly aren't intended to mimic sailboat rigging!

Put the awning away whenever the wind kicks up or you are away from your trailer or else you risk thousands in damage.

The proper technique deploying or collapsing your awning will reduce the effort to a single person task rather than the gargantuan effort you describe. Instructions can be found here:

https://bit.ly/3y0EYXm
Sir Tristan, thanks for the link but that awning is way shorter and a much newer version from my 31' 1981!! I've had plenty of grown men cuss when retracting my awning
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Old 05-10-2021, 05:23 AM   #20
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In any of my projects, it’s not what I know is broken or needs fixing, it’s what I break while fixing things that takes most of the time. Luckily, I like projects.
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