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Old 05-29-2006, 09:02 PM   #1
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How tight is too tight?

I just finished installing my last new awning. Zip dee (depending on which part of the installation instructions you read) says to wrap seven or ten wraps and then one wrap per foot of awning width.

I wrapped (tensioned the spring) 31 times for a 20' 9" awning. It just doesn't seem to wrap up as tightly as the old awnings.

So, how much is too much? can you tighten the spring more to compensate for age or am I looking for something to break if I do that?

-Alden
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:34 PM   #2
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Put on an extra turn and then check it. As long as you don't go crazy everything will be fine. Be careful a runaway spring can be dangerous to you and the skin of the trailer.
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Old 05-29-2006, 10:06 PM   #3
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Fairly easy..

Alden,
Several yrs ago, I redid the small awning over the side bedroom window.
As I recalled, I only turn mine abt 17 turns. You might not be too far off on your's. Supposedly, the spring and internal rod size are the same for all awnings. Just the number of turns requirement, which sepends on the length of the awning.
This web site for ZIP DEE explains it..http://www.zipdeeinc.com/RV Products/RV-adjust-spring-tension.html
It shows 27 turns for a 20 ft...
take care..
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:29 AM   #4
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Hmmm, I think I'll give Zip Dee a call. As I said, their instructions contradict themselves about the number of turns.

Thanks for the input!

-Alden
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:08 PM   #5
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A quick call to the helpful folks at zip dee and the answer is at hand.

The guide they give (7 turns plus one for every foot of awning) is a starting point. They did caution that with an older spring that over tightening may cause it to break. No recommendations on the number of turns.

If it breaks a new spring is available ($108 + $20 shipping).

I'll put off trying to tighten it more until after we go to the beach next week.

-Alden
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Old 05-31-2006, 02:44 PM   #6
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Hi Alden,

Thanks for the info as my parts are suppose to be in today or tomorrow...can't wait!!!


One question for you....They are saying 7 turns plus one for every foot of awning....try not to sound stupid but would that every foot be for the length of the awning tube or the lenght of the actual cloth being rolled onto tube??

Also ...I get great ideas in my sleep....I have to sew up the seam on mine to attach to tube...figured how am I going to do this??? I'm going to put my portable sewing machine on a rolling dolly in my driveway and move it slowly across the seam to be stitched...thought maybe someone out there might be able to use this idea.

Thanks again, Ann
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Old 05-31-2006, 03:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alden Miller
A quick call to the helpful folks at zip dee and the answer is at hand.

The guide they give (7 turns plus one for every foot of awning) is a starting point. They did caution that with an older spring that over tightening may cause it to break. No recommendations on the number of turns.

If it breaks a new spring is available ($108 + $20 shipping).

I'll put off trying to tighten it more until after we go to the beach next week.

-Alden

Another helpful guide is to extend the awning fully and then let the pressure off of the pull. If the awning starts to roll up on its own, then you need to back off one turn and conversely, if a gentle push does not start it rolling up, then you can add one turn.
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Old 05-31-2006, 08:46 PM   #8
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Like Mark advises that is what I did with mine. When I bought my used trailer it was almost impossible to open the awning. I could barely hold it fully unrolled and get the arms hooked over the roller tube;and I'm 6foot three!
Read Zip Dees manual and released 6 turns from the spring tension. Now it is a joy to use.
Al
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:12 PM   #9
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Parts came in and the awning is on....looks sweet!!

Did 7 turns plus 6 because the fabric was about six feet out...so 13 turns.

Just had a nice cold one with the hubby under it
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:36 PM   #10
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I think you might need more turns. It's 7 turns because it's rolled out plus 1 turn for every foot in lenth. Your awning is about 11 feet long + 7 = 18. That is a starting point. You want it to stay when rolled out, but roll up when you start to push it back.
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Old 05-31-2006, 09:39 PM   #11
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man......... that's the info I was looking for earlier...thank you AZ
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:27 PM   #12
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Sorry, I have been busy the past couple days.

azflycaster is correct, it is 7 turns plus one turn for every foot of width of the awning.

I installed my second and third awning a little differently than the instructions from zip dee.

I first unwound the tension from the tube. Then removed the old awning and slat. I attached the awning to the slat and installed it back on the trailer. Then I removed the tube from both awning arms and slid it into the awning. I re-attached the tube to the arms and wound the spring for tension.

I found this much easier to control than trying to slide the awning into the slat and onto the tube at the same time.

-Alden
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Old 06-01-2006, 01:00 PM   #13
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I had to pretty much rebuild mine...Took mine off the top rail by sliding the roller cover out...pole was already off for the sewing repairs needing to be done to awning. I then installed a well WD'd rail back in place..then slid pole back in and riveted it. Then spring ...then arms,

I have 13 turns on mine...my pole is 12' so looks like another 6 rotations. That should give it quite a bit of tension...that follow up project is tonight when I have more hands.

It was pretty easy I think so if anyone out there is debating on taking this job on I'd say go for it.

Thanks for the help Alden & AZ!
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:15 PM   #14
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hi canvas'er

with new springs it is wise to use them a bit before unwinding....
i've noticed that afteer 15-20 prolonged deployments that the springs relax a little, so what previously rolled up quickly now will stay out better.

i mention this because
if you ever need to take up the awnings in winds....
you DO want them to rewind smartly....
too loose and the awning will rise like a sail!!!

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-01-2006, 07:40 PM   #15
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I just got around to fixing my bent awning tube

I tryed to fix on traler but could not so I removed the tube and straighten it.It was hard to bend on the trailer.It is a lot better now I think I may tighten it up in a few days about two or so rounds.

Does anyone know when stripping the clear coat off a trailer it it will hurt the awning and what they do about the awnings

Billy
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Old 06-01-2006, 09:56 PM   #16
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A Little Secret

Hey Gang,

With all this talk of awnings, there is a little known trick to keep those awning springs in top shape and delay the on-set of rust. Rusted springs are the major reason for spring failure in roll-up style awnings. When ever you get a new awning or replace a worn spring, coat the spring with a waterproof grease, silicone spray, battery terminal sealer or DuPont Dry Teflon lube (the best IMHO).

This will effectively seal the spring against water intrusion and rust and will make it last far longer than a bare spring!
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Old 06-01-2006, 10:09 PM   #17
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Not to get off the subject..

Quote:
Originally Posted by housebg
I tryed to fix on traler but could not so I removed the tube and straighten it.It was hard to bend on the trailer.It is a lot better now I think I may tighten it up in a few days about two or so rounds.

Does anyone know when stripping the clear coat off a trailer it it will hurt the awning and what they do about the awnings

Billy
Billy, the norm for stripping is to remove the awning completely but..I'd venture a guess and, say that' just doesn't happen often..You can leave it on, just be careful when you apply the stripper~Work slowly and have a clean rag handy for quick rescue..
Let me add this, just in case someone reading this mis understands..
I wouldn't advise stripping the metal cover part of the awning itself..
Sounds like you're about to go for it...
HAVE FUN~!!
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