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Old 11-04-2010, 09:08 PM   #21
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OK, I watched the ZipDee Maintenance video several times, cursing the guy who made it look so easy, watching him holding the awning out with practically one finger while throwing the ratchet arm around with his other hand. I swear he even let it go for a moment while he was talking. I meanwhile have the pull down strip clenched between my knees trying to make my way to the side to start trying to pull the button out on the main arm to stretch that baby to the next hole. After hearing snickering from behind the bushes here at my RV park, I say I need help. My assistant steps forward.
"Could you just hold this tie strap for a minute, I have to figure out how to do this 'spear motion' with the rafter arm?" He takes the tie strap. I make several 'spear motions' with the rafter arm and in return the roller comes back and hits me in the head. Now the guy is really trying hard not to laugh, but I say wait, I really have to learn how to do this. A few more spear motions and I give up. Good thing I am not relying on this motion to secure my dinner or I'd go hungry. I take over holding the tie strap and with one quick strike, he spears it into lock. At least now I know it works.
I take my can of silicone and spray the s*** out of nook and cranny, wipe with clean cloth and reverse all the steps to put it away. Reward my assistant with a cold Corona. Guess i'll have to start an exercise regime to get in shape for future awning opening practice. Has anyone out there really done this alone?

Carol
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #22
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One more thing...
When my awning is fully rolled out, it will not roll back up unless I start to roll it by hand. I think your spring may have too much tension on it and you may want to check it.

WARNING
To adjust the tension you must disconnect the rear arm which has the spring tension on it and if it gets free can cause damage to you and your trailer. This is a job for two people, if you are not sure of what you are doing, don't do it!

Instructions are here: Awnings By ZipDee
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:54 PM   #23
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Oh, now that is guaranteed to kill me and decapitate the roof of my trailer. I think I will just circumvent the tension by putting out a dog stake out pole and tie the tie strap to it while I make all the necessary arm adjustments....

Carol
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:34 AM   #24
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Hi Carol,
Not sure if this is the same video that you were watching, but it really helped me the first time I used my Zip Dee:

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Old 11-05-2010, 07:38 AM   #25
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Oh, now that is guaranteed to kill me and decapitate the roof of my trailer. I think I will just circumvent the tension by putting out a dog stake out pole and tie the tie strap to it while I make all the necessary arm adjustments....

Carol
That's EXACTLY what I use!

Also, I never was able to lock the upper rafter arms in place - no matter how hard I pull down on the rafter arm or extend the awning - the pin just wouldn't engage/lock in place. Randy, at ZipDee, said that problem is probably with the Button (i.e. Ratchet Stud) on the Upper Rafter Arm. He said to pull the Button as far out as possible and look for the Roll Pin on it's shaft. The Roll Pin should be facing the hook. If it isn't, rotate/twist the Button so that it is. The portion of the Button that is hidden within the Rafter Arm is beveled and needs to be oriented correctly to engage in the Lower Rafter Arm. You know it's oriented correctly when the Roll Pin is facing the hook end! I hope to check this out soon to see if it fixes my problem!!! With it engaged properly, it should hold the awning out securely.

Laura
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:39 PM   #26
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If I was going to stake out a dog to hold the awning, I'd make sure the dog was big enough to keep all four feet on the ground.

Pat
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:49 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cclarkego View Post
OK, I watched the ZipDee Maintenance video several times, cursing the guy who made it look so easy, watching him holding the awning out with practically one finger while throwing the ratchet arm around with his other hand. I swear he even let it go for a moment while he was talking. I meanwhile have the pull down strip clenched between my knees trying to make my way to the side to start trying to pull the button out on the main arm to stretch that baby to the next hole. After hearing snickering from behind the bushes here at my RV park, I say I need help. My assistant steps forward.
"Could you just hold this tie strap for a minute, I have to figure out how to do this 'spear motion' with the rafter arm?" He takes the tie strap. I make several 'spear motions' with the rafter arm and in return the roller comes back and hits me in the head. Now the guy is really trying hard not to laugh, but I say wait, I really have to learn how to do this. A few more spear motions and I give up. Good thing I am not relying on this motion to secure my dinner or I'd go hungry. I take over holding the tie strap and with one quick strike, he spears it into lock. At least now I know it works.
I take my can of silicone and spray the s*** out of nook and cranny, wipe with clean cloth and reverse all the steps to put it away. Reward my assistant with a cold Corona. Guess i'll have to start an exercise regime to get in shape for future awning opening practice. Has anyone out there really done this alone?

Carol
I do it alone always. Rather than spearing the rafter arm, I place a small step stool below the end of the roller, I walk myself daon the roller tube, step up on the stool facing the trailer, and sharply pull the rafter arm to
click it in place. There is something about the height and my build that just doesn't allow be to spear it with any strength.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:50 PM   #28
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I should've proofed...no clue what daon is....should be "down"
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:20 PM   #29
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Mello Mike,

Yup, that is the one I watched, probably about six times. First of all, that little trick about folding up the tie strap to keep the roller from rolling up does NOT work on my trailer. Thank God I held on to an inch of the strap or I never would have seen that strap again. The instructions are nice and clear however and at least I know what it takes to get the rafter arm to click. I will try dznf0g's idea with the step stool next to see if with a little height I can get some more heft into the action. I am considering a bubblewrap headband to keep the darn thing from cracking me on the skull again.

The thing that gets me is that the video is done with a nice new awning and a big guy to go through the motions. I want a more realistic one with an older awning and a 110 pound woman doing the maneuvers. Throw in a little breeze while we are at it. Now we are talking reality tv.

Perhaps I could teach both my labs into holding the tie strap down, together they at least outweigh me, while I fiddle with everything but I can hear the conversation that would go on between them during this escapade.

Mike rolls his eyes to Vige with a big smile and mumbles out the side of his mouth, "Why don't you let go first?"
Vige: "No, you let go first and then I'll drop it and run like hell."
Mike: Heck no, don't run, let's watch mom roll up in the silly thing. Ready, on a count of three...."

Carol
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:55 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I do it alone always. Rather than spearing the rafter arm, I place a small step stool below the end of the roller, I walk myself daon the roller tube, step up on the stool facing the trailer, and sharply pull the rafter arm to
click it in place. There is something about the height and my build that just doesn't allow be to spear it with any strength.
I pull on the arm rather than spear it too. I can't "spear" it all, but do just fine by using my weight to pull it all the way out (like the guy in the video does)
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:03 PM   #31
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just be careful you don't fly off the stool. my trailer rarely had the owning out for the first 12 years and was a bit hard to open. each year it gets easier. i guess the tension soften if it gets used. a damp towel is helpful in keeping a grip on the arm, especially after you spray it with silicone ;-)
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #32
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I think the stool method will work, being careful of course though now that I think of it, one time out in the woods a friend helped me get the awning open and went home. I spent the weekend and on Sunday I tried everything to get that awning down alone, could not get that rafter arm off the roller. This was pre-silicone maintenance being done on it. I even pulled the Explorer up next to it so I could brace my foot in the window and tug on it. The sun was going down and wind was on the way. I had to call my friend back and promise a heck of a lot more than a Corona to get them back out to the woods and dismantle it.......
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:58 PM   #33
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Carol, your adventures w/the awning are classic. Keep em coming. You write comedy AND are a great painter.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:22 PM   #34
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Back to the lubricant. I had a ZipDee representive come to my trailer at the International in 2008 and check my awning and show me how to use it. He strongly suggested the wet Silicone lubricant. I use it faithfully. Over time it really worked. Also had to deal with slight bent or damaged arms with a little straightening and a fine file.
Got another trailer with 2 broken awning springs. Will be replacing the springs as soon as I can get the order for them place.
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