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Old 04-20-2020, 02:51 PM   #1
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Manual Zip-Dee Awning and wind gusts

Hello, hope everyone is doing okay. We are hunkered down in New Mexico (full timers, so couldn't go home). We like to leave the awning up as a sort of outdoor living room. The wind here is gusty. Most of the time it is very gentle and clearly is not damaging the awning. Sometimes, though, it gusts, and we have taken the awning in many afternoons, then put it back out.
The problem is, the wind is very unpredictable, and the gusts only last a very short time. It seems like a lot of trouble to be taking it in and out, not to mention the endless discussion and trying to decide whether this gust is the one we should bring it in on. The gusts are so short that by the time we get in in, the wind is usually calm, the result being we have the awning out during the wind gust and in when it is calm har har.
TL DR: How much of a wind gust will the manual Zip-Dee tolerate? How about a sustained wind?
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:07 PM   #2
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The question is hard to answer. I am parked in Fl with wind gusts and thunderstorms, We put it out and take it in or sometimes I tie down the corners to stakes and hope. A wind gust that does not rio it off can still do damage by working the rivets that hold the awning and supports loose a little at the time. Ours is a 32' and like yours the awning is a huge, heavy thing. I took ours down yesterday just before a storm and it is still down waiting another storm tomorrow. How much wind it can take seems to depend upon just how the wind happens to hit it. I loosened some rivets where the upp[er supporters attaches with one gust on a clear day with 20 mile winds but one heavy gust near Carlsbad. That loud pop make a permanent worrier about the awning of me.
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:43 PM   #3
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Lots of variables involved with awnings and wind. I will secure the arms with straps and bungee cords to prevent problems, but when the wind starts flapping the material it is time to roll up. I also never leave the awning out overnight or when we are not nearby.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:00 PM   #4
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It also depends wind direction relative to AS position, but 20 mph gusts start to get me into action.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:33 PM   #5
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I prefer to put the awning in than lose it to a wind gust or rain storm
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Lots of variables involved with awnings and wind. I will secure the arms with straps and bungee cords to prevent problems, but when the wind starts flapping the material it is time to roll up. I also never leave the awning out overnight or when we are not nearby.
Very wise words.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:27 PM   #7
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Manual Zip-Dee Awning and wind gusts

We always retract the awning at night. Otherwise the worrywort (me) wouldn’t get any sleep at all. Even with a gentle breeze, it makes noise. Plus, who wants to be outside in their jammies 🤪retracting it in the middle of the night?
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Old 04-21-2020, 05:10 AM   #8
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As a former sailor, I have a sense of wind speed but I like the reference to flapping material. I also use tie-downs anchored in the ground, if the ground is amenable. That stops the arms from bouncing around if there are gusts. Still, when the wind is gusting 15-20 knots, I roll everything in and leave it there until I am sure there will be no more gusts. I never leave it out when we leave the trailer or when we go to bed. Without tie-downs, I'd be rolled in before 15 knots. I have seen too many damaged awnings in campgrounds to not go through this exercise.
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Old 04-21-2020, 05:13 AM   #9
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We once got woken up by a tornado. It was a small EF-0 with 85 mph winds. The upper awning struts failed at around 80 MPH and the awning then rolled itself up. The only damage was to the struts and the clevis attatchment to the trailer skin. I leave the awning up all the time unless there are winds forecast for 40 mph or above. To keep it from rattling I tie the two ends down with 1" ratchet straps.
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Old 04-21-2020, 07:37 AM   #10
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Damaged upper struts. The awning itself was OK.
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Old 04-21-2020, 07:54 AM   #11
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We have the ZipDee relax awning that allows you to roll it up partway if we feel the wind is picking up. The shorter awning still provides shade and is quite stable with 4-5 feet out.

That said, we never leave the awning out at night or when a squall is expected.

Right now my awning is shorted out, tied to the roof and broken. But that was another thread!
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:16 AM   #12
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If it flaps, it gets rolled in, and usually at night. But, if the Mrs has strung lights, the wind is calm, and nothing on radar for 600 miles, I've been known to risk it.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:21 AM   #13
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We were less than diligent in south Texas and several times I had to get up in the night to rescue the flapping when wind unexpectedly came up. We did have the anti flapper rigs and tie downs on during the stay in the park
Did not seem to be a problem at the time.
Following spring, while dewinterizing and preparing for summer, the rear awning mount fell off the trailer while parked in front of the house. Very lucky it didn't come off on the 4 day trip home
Moral... don't risk it
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:50 AM   #14
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I have some tent stakes and line that I run from the ends of the awning. I have each line tied to the awning with a short length of shock cord. I've found that the shock cord eases the wind gusts and provides me with the confidence to leave the awning out a little bit longer in windy conditions.

Make sure that you have an assistant helping to put the awning back up during windy conditions as that is one time that the awning can more easily get damaged.
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:58 AM   #15
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We also use shock cords to assist the apparently very fragile ZIP DEE awning support system on our multi thousand dollar trailers
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:14 AM   #16
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I learned a painful lesson about awnings, and I have the marks to prove it.
The question is not, "How much wind can the awning take?" but rather, "How much wind can your roof take? Or the awning arms?"
Now, I just use it while I'm siting there, and always stow it at night.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:19 AM   #17
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Generally speaking, I use 15 mph as the cutoff point for my main ZipDee awning. The smaller rear and curbside awnings can easily withstand 20mph without objectional noise or worries.

Those numbers are for the forecasted wind speed, not gusts which of course, can be random and destructive. However, when anything over about 15mph is predicted, I'll retract the support arms so that the awning is lower and tucked in closer to the coach. That makes a noticeable difference in reducing the flapping and associated noise, especially overnight when everything else is so quiet.

These Camco Awning De-Flappers dramatically reduce the flapping and flexing of the support arms. However, they have to be removed and reinstalled each time the awning is deployed:

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Awning-...s%2C453&sr=8-3
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:23 AM   #18
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As in sailing, when you think about reefing or
rolling up the awning, it is probably the right time to do so.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:25 AM   #19
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When in doubt, retract awning...better to be safe then sorry, especially if your not around to watch. We have anchored the front using rope/line on both ends, tying to our Blue Ox hitch on one side, and another "anchor" on the other when available...but still, we were around in case we have to retract in strong gusts...real pain is at night when this happens and your sleeping...getting the wife to get up and go retract sometimes is a challenge! Only need to see what the wind can do to an awning once, to know you don't want that to happen..can be very costly and inconvinient.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:45 AM   #20
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Err on the side of caution

I used my internal frustration meter to calculate this same equation. Simple math: How much time does it take to extend/retract the awning v. the amount of time it will take to repair the awning after it tears away from the trailer.

If it's flapping and moving the trailer, I'm going to retract it.

If I'm going to be away from the trailer for a while and the wind is unpredictable (Florida right now) I'm going to retract it.

At night? I'm going to retract it.
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