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Old 01-27-2018, 01:38 PM   #21
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Interesting posts. I really wanted to get a classic but opted for a FC because when I asked dealer "where is the mechanical backup when the electric awning fails?" they responded with" There isn't any" Hmmmm.
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Old 01-27-2018, 01:59 PM   #22
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In the awning owners manual, there is a procedure described to retract the awning if the power retract fails. Tools are included and it takes a drill, 12 volt or otherwise to run the awning in.
Have not had to yet, but did familiarize myself with the procedure just in case.
Did not choose the power awning option, but it came with it so we will make the best of it for now.
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Old 01-27-2018, 02:57 PM   #23
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Not my experience Zipdee was most helpful

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Electric awning is fine until it breaks after your warranty expires. Very expensive to fix. Donít ask how I know this.
I also have a 2014 27FB that I bought lightly used in 2016 and I had electric awning problems which were fixed with new parts provided free by the awning manufacturer Zip Dee. First thing to know is that after my AS was built ZipDee completely redesigned the awning. I have a new electronic control board, motorized lift struts, and awning drive motors. With Zip Dee's phone assistance I made all the updates myself and it cost me only my time. They were most responsive.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:38 PM   #24
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Related to awnings, but not exactly pertaining to the question...
Having spent time in the retractable awning market, we were careful to remind everyone that the awning is a shade product, not to be equated to a fixed structure. If it is too windy to sit beneath it read a newspaper, then it's too windy to have the awning extended. Do yourself and your rig the favor of retracting it when winds pick up speed.
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:05 PM   #25
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I would have considered an electric awning if it had sensors for rain and/or wind. Because it doesn't and requires human intervention I decided to stay with the manual awning.
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:52 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
Iíve had both (currently have automatic)

Manual:

Pro - simple, always works, nothing to go wrong. Also provides a steeper pitch front-to-back for shedding rain to one end of the trailer or the other.

Cons - manual intervention to deploy


Automatic:

Pros - press a button. Done. Sweet. Kids and the like can operate.

Cons - quirky - sometimes doesnít quite behave and a reset is required.


Many people who invested in the new automatic awnings absolutely hate them because they can have gremlins.

Personally, I really like mine and Iím happy. I think the newer units have most of the bugs worked out (mine is a 2017).
Ditto,
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:57 PM   #27
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Manual. Had a large power awning on a motor home and lots of issues. The awning on the airstream is fairly simple once you master putting it up and taking it down and as long as your physicaly able I would recommend the manual. There are several You Tube videos on using the awning which I found helpful.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:15 PM   #28
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Very happy with the manual on our 2016 Classic.
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:17 PM   #29
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Manual vs automatic awning

It sounds like lots of sage advice here. I went round and round with this decision myself. I have used the manual awning on the 25FB and found it to work fine in my flat driveway. Unfortunately, my experience is that is a rare scenario. When the site is not level, and the back of the trailer is elevated, it is a PITA to get the manual awning out. My decision finally was to opt in for the baggage of the power awning. I stepped up on my 2018 GT and bit the bullet.. There is nothing more satisfying than an effortless deployment. I do have t say, I am more judicious about when and how often I will deploy it. I am not getting any younger and want my experience moving forward to be enjoyable. That was why I went for it. On the GT it is an opinion, so you can make your choice and move on. Worse case it fails and needs to be replaced. I will enjoy it until that happens. When is the last time you saw a car with manual windows? Embrace the technology.
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Old 01-27-2018, 06:21 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodiak2006 View Post
It sounds like lots of sage advice here. I went round and round with this decision myself. I have used the manual awning on the 25FB and found it to work fine in my flat driveway. Unfortunately, my experience is that is a rare scenario. When the site is not level, and the back of the trailer is elevated, it is a PITA to get the manual awning out. My decision finally was to opt in for the baggage of the power awning. I stepped up on my 2018 GT and bit the bullet.. There is nothing more satisfying than an effortless deployment. I do have t say, I am more judicious about when and how often I will deploy it. I am not getting any younger and want my experience moving forward to be enjoyable. That was why I went for it. On the GT it is an opinion, so you can make your choice and move on. Worse case it fails and needs to be replaced. I will enjoy it until that happens. When is the last time you saw a car with manual windows? Embrace the technology.
I liked mine also for the first 3 years...and then it failed miserably like so many others have...this is not good technology when you pay over $3000 for something that won't last 3 years...
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Old 01-27-2018, 09:56 PM   #31
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Electric windows and door locks on a car are nothing like the random assortment of widgets that mostly work most of the time to get an electric awning open and then closed again. The difference in reliability is exponential.

Oh, and while our electric Zip-Dee awning was kerbusted and we were trying to find someone to fix it, we had the opportunity to chat about it with a Newmar Class-A owner. Their rig also had automatic awnings, of course. Their awning has sensors to shut it in case of wind, etc. Their biggest complaint was that most of the time the awning, once deployed, would go completely crazy, running itself in again, even if the wind was not blowing. The problem was so bad they could not use it. The dealer had repeatedly tried (and apparently failed) to fix it.

So, if we had it do over again, we would not accept an electric awning of any sort from any manufacturer on any RV. Ever. As other folks have noted, our experience has convinced us that the more manual features we have on our trailer, the more reliable the trailer will be.
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Old 01-27-2018, 10:14 PM   #32
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FWIW - after following this thread I timed how long it takes me to deploy our awning. I timed it at around 60 seconds by myself with no issues.
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Old 01-27-2018, 11:52 PM   #33
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Murphyís law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

Extension to Murphyís Law: ...at the worst possible moment.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:14 AM   #34
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Electric awnings, powerstabilizers, electric hitch jacks, complicated electronics. Be careful of what you wish for.! You may get it, and regret it!
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:04 AM   #35
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Quote:
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One of my support arms on one side stopped extending. I called Zip Dee to see if parts were available before I took it apart. I was told by their service dept. that no parts were available. My only option was to purchase a whole, new arm at about $1500. I asked if I could ship the entire assembly to them to see what they could do with it. They agreed and fortunately, all that was wrong was an internal bolt had come loose that connected the motor to the arm extension rod.
One interesting note on removing the support arm to send it to Zip Dee for repairs: In order to disconnect the wires that power the motor that is inside of the arm, we found a very small access port that is on the aluminum wall inside of the bedroom down near the floor. The port is about the diameter of a quarter. Believe me, it is very difficult disconnecting (and eventually reconnecting) the wires inside of that little hole. Mine is a queen bed so at least we could get to the port on the wall. I don't know how you would get to it with a twin bed model. I guess there is another port somewhere on the other end of the trailer for the other support arm. I'm sure I will have to find it when the other arm inevitably fails...
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:10 AM   #36
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Quote:
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One interesting note on removing the support arm to send it to Zip Dee for repairs: In order to disconnect the wires that power the motor that is inside of the arm, we found a very small access port that is on the aluminum wall inside of the bedroom down near the floor. The port is about the diameter of a quarter. Believe me, it is very difficult disconnecting (and eventually reconnecting) the wires inside of that little hole. Mine is a queen bed so at least we could get to the port on the wall. I don't know how you would get to it with a twin bed model. I guess there is another port somewhere on the other end of the trailer for the other support arm. I'm sure I will have to find it when the other arm inevitably fails...
The rear one is "easy" to get to. It's next to the main door, almost behind the curbside dinette seat. Look for a silver disc that looks like the one for the front arm. At least you can sit on the door sill to work on it.
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:29 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
FWIW - after following this thread I timed how long it takes me to deploy our awning. I timed it at around 60 seconds by myself with no issues.
When they first came out a dealer I visited had timed deploying a manual and an automatic- I think the manual was slightly faster. But it's really about trying to have convenience.

We like the idea of auto but din't use it enough to justify the cost or the questionable reliability.

When power windows first came out people avoided them too- they had glitches. Those got worked out and are now very reliable. In time awnings will too.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:00 AM   #38
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Quote:
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Our '2018 Classic has the automatic awning as standard and it works fine (so far). But honestly, there was nothing wrong with the manual awning on our Flying Cloud and if I had been given the choice to save some money on the Classic by going manual, I probably would have gone that way.
I was somewhat apprehensive about having an automatic awning on our 2017 2017 classic. I accepted it thinking if it becomes problematic I will swap it for a manual. To date it has performed 100 percent trouble free and since I can deploy it manually should something go sideways I love it.
The manual can be adjusted a bit better however being able to simply push a button and retract when I feel like it is really great..
I recall many of nights when the wind picked up or started to rain heavily, getting out of bed going outside the retract the awning.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:08 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
I recall many of nights when the wind picked up or started to rain heavily, getting out of bed going outside the retract the awning.
I would never leave an awning (manual or auto) deployed overnight. You never know when a bad storm will come up fast.
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:16 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadtech View Post
I would never leave an awning (manual or auto) deployed overnight. You never know when a bad storm will come up fast.

What you said. I once saw an awning ripped off a big class A by a sudden afternoon windstorm while the owners were away from the campsite.
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