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Old 03-22-2015, 09:28 AM   #1
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Do Zip Dee Awning Seams Leak

We've had an AS for about 2-1/2 years, and I think this may be the first time I've left the awning out during a long rain. I'm usually too nervous about wind and close it. We had a light rain most of the night and morning with no wind, so I left it open. There are small droplets running down each seam in the awning. I assume this is normal and/or is there a seam sealer you can use?


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Old 03-22-2015, 09:34 AM   #2
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Quick fix, when the awning is dry, spray the seams— both sides— with Scotchgard Fabric Protector. Should help water bead up and run off rather than soaking through.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:38 AM   #3
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check with Sunbrella. They manufacture the fabric. I believe they sell or recommend a product for their fabric.
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:42 AM   #4
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Good ideas. Thanks


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Old 03-22-2015, 10:31 AM   #5
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According to the Sunbrella website you should use an acrylic seam sealer. There are several good ones on the market. Plastiseam and Sil-seam are two that I have used with good results. Check your local boating supply store.

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Old 03-22-2015, 10:39 AM   #6
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I would check with the factory before I did anything to the awning. If this is a brand new awning it just might have to be "cured" like older canvas tents and awnings. Once the fabric gets wet, for the first time, it swells a bit and the stitching seals itself. This might or not be the case with yours so checking with the manufacturer is the way to go.

Having had an SOB with one of their vinyl type of awning I continue to be amazed at the quality of the zip dee. Mine is going on 9 years old and it doesn't leak a drop, anywhere. When I brought it home after buying it slightly used, I opened it up and hosed it down to wet it completely. It dried in the sun and that has been it save for an occasional light cleaning. Works and looks great.
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:40 AM   #7
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I have been using 303 Fabric Guard Water Repellent on Sunbrella and tent fabrics for years. Says on the bottle that it is recommended by Sunbrella. http://www.amazon.com/303-Products-3...+fabrics+guard
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Old 03-22-2015, 10:41 AM   #8
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I thought if the awning is left fully open in lengthy rain it could fill up like a bathtub, and the weight would be more than the support arms could hold. Or would it run off, we have never tried it.

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Old 03-22-2015, 10:46 AM   #9
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Drop one side and give the water someplace to go. Three buttons on one side and four on the other works well for me.
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Old 03-22-2015, 11:18 AM   #10
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Our AS is just under a year old, but this may the first time it's gotten wet. So I may spray it down at home and see if the seams in fact sealed up.


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Old 03-22-2015, 11:20 AM   #11
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Remember the old canvas tents? They were water proof until you touched them and then they leaked like a sieve.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:11 PM   #12
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Check with your dealer first for recommendations (if it's not written in your owner's manual). Be sure to keep one side higher than the other, so that the water will run off the low side without pooling.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:49 PM   #13
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Sunbrella is not waterproof. It will repel water for some time and then it will leak everywhere. After drying out, it will repel water again. I know this well from my boating days. There is a Sunbrella fabric with a waterproof backing but our awnings are regular Sunbrella. You do need keep one end of the awning lower in the rain, but there is no point in leaving it deployed for an extended time while it is raining.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VT Wanderer View Post
Check with your dealer first for recommendations (if it's not written in your owner's manual). Be sure to keep one side higher than the other, so that the water will run off the low side without pooling.
Some hints I've learned from using my awning in wet weather: along the Gulf Coast is there such a thing as dry weather?

When you lower one end, lower the end that most faces into the wind. That will increase the wind resistance slightly, because the wind will try to push it down rather than lifting it (except that wind gusts always want to lift the awning).
If there's no wind to speak of, lower the end that's farthest from your entrance door to control puddling where you'll walk.
If you use a waterproof— or better, porous— patio mat, position the mat so the runoff from the awning hits the mat, not the bare ground. Runoff is less likely to splash mud that way.
Increase the runoff rate by lowering both ends by one notch, still keeping one end a notch higher than the other. Water runs off better from a steeper slope. And again it also improves wind resistance slightly.
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Old 03-22-2015, 12:55 PM   #15
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but there is no point in leaving it deployed for an extended time while it is raining.
Except that it's better to leave it out until it dries than to roll it up wet.
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Old 03-22-2015, 02:12 PM   #16
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If you use a waterproof— or better, porous— patio mat, position the mat so the runoff from the awning hits the mat, not the bare ground. Runoff is less likely to splash mud that way.
This is excellent advice, I could have used it last month in Florida. The PO had left us a small, porous, nylon mat which I sniffed at, thinking my big waterproof tarp was going to be better. Then the rains came... Curb side wheels stayed nice and clean, street side were covered in dirt and sand.

That porous mat dried in hours because 1. water passes through to the ground and 2. the air gets underneath and dries the tarp and the ground. The waterproof tarp never dried. I had to either use the shower squeegee or (best) stretch the tarp over something like the picnic table.

I think I'll use the small mat for the street side and get something like this for the patio.

Aero-Weave Breathable Outdoor Mat - SeaScape, 6' x 15' - Prest-O-Fit 2-3000 - Patio Mats - Camping World
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Old 03-22-2015, 03:02 PM   #17
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We have a small hole in our ZipDee--just about in the center, up against the trailer. The hole is about 1/4" , and almost perfectly round. Any suggestions for a patch for something that small?
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:24 PM   #18
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Aerospace 303 is what I saw on the Sunbrella site as a "protectant"...
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:25 PM   #19
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We have a small hole in our ZipDee--just about in the center, up against the trailer. The hole is about 1/4" , and almost perfectly round. Any suggestions for a patch for something that small?
I used clear canvas tape on both sides.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:53 PM   #20
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My Zip Dee is original and as close to perfect as it can be. I left mine out on a rainy day and had the same ponding problems with a few drips here and there. It continued to rain for the next few days so what I did was to lower the awning ( the door will rub) and left it out to dry. I was able to get in and out without damage to the awning or the door. I am going to apply a seam sealer this spring. I read somewhere that it not recommended that the Zip Dee be coated with a waterproof spray.
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