Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-01-2012, 08:24 PM   #1
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Rafter arms too long?

When we bought the Tin Pickle two years ago, I knew that the awning needed attention as the rear main arm tube was corroded shut. Well, yesterday I managed to disassemble the arm, clean the corrosion, reassemble and re-tension the spring. I'm noticing, though, that the rafter arms won't compress enough by a couple of inches to clip onto the shaft on the roller when the awning is at full extension; it's as if either the awning fabric is too short or the arm is too long.

Perhaps the fabric was replaced and made too short? Is there a suggested procedure for setting this stuff up?

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 02:41 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
is it a zip dee like this?
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 03:53 AM   #3
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by richinny View Post
is it a zip dee like this?
Yes.... I'll trying reefing on it harder tomorrow - but it seems awful tight.

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 06:32 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
jdalrymple's Avatar
 
2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,695
On the zip dee awnings I have been around, if the rafter will stow in the normal position, it is an easy fit to attach it on the main roller for deployment.

Are you sure the rafters are not extended maybe just one notch as you try to attach them?
__________________
Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
jdalrymple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 07:47 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
overlander63's Avatar
 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,252
It's very possible the fabric has shrunk. You also have to give the rafter arms a sharp tug to get them to click into place. That's really the toughest part of using a ZipDee awning.
__________________
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 08:08 AM   #6
Rivet Master
 
tkasten's Avatar
 
1965 22' Safari
Vassar , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 848
Images: 6
I'm guessing that the awning is not fully opened or the rafter arms are in an extended position.
__________________
Tim
TAC MI 14

Everyday is a Saturday
tkasten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 10:06 AM   #7
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
My rafter arms have two locking positions - fully extended, and fully retracted. I'll try to get the arms to lock into position after first engaging them on the roller shaft in the unlocked position.

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
overlander63's Avatar
 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,252
Bart, the rafter arm should have a ratcheting lock and several grooves milled into the two pieces. One piece will have the ratchet, the other will have the slots (grooves) for the ratchet to lock into.
__________________
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
memgrove2000's Avatar
 
Elkhart , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 633
Send a message via AIM to memgrove2000
Bart, I have to put my arms on before locking them into the locked position. Pull out the fabric to the end. Then unlock the rafter arm put it on the roller tube end. Then while standing outside the awning but facing the trailer pull the rafter arm HARD untill it locks into position. Ours is an old Zip-Dee with no ratchet and grooves just a spring loadded pin with two holes. One for closed and one for open with tension. Good luck
__________________
Mike
Have a great day!

TAC # IN 1 Air#27922
memgrove2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
Bart, the rafter arm should have a ratcheting lock and several grooves milled into the two pieces. One piece will have the ratchet, the other will have the slots (grooves) for the ratchet to lock into.
Mine's an older unit - it uses the same locking mechanism as the main arm. The rafter arm just has the two positions.

Attached are two pictures with the awning fully extended and the rafter arms locked in their only extended position.

- Bart
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2012-01-02 12.37.47.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	361.9 KB
ID:	148081   Click image for larger version

Name:	2012-01-02 12.37.30.jpg
Views:	112
Size:	311.0 KB
ID:	148082  

__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
memgrove2000's Avatar
 
Elkhart , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 633
Send a message via AIM to memgrove2000
Does your pull strap attach on the top of the fabric? Ours is on the bottom side. Could your fabric be on upside down? I it looks right on the end of the tube. But the strap looks like it is on top?

Also I think our skirt is on the back side of the roller.

It may be just enough difference to get that last 6 inches you need.
__________________
Mike
Have a great day!

TAC # IN 1 Air#27922
memgrove2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 02:11 PM   #12
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by memgrove2000 View Post
Does your pull strap attach on the pot of the fabric? Ours is on the bottom side. Could your fabric be on upside down? I it looks right on the end of the tube. But the strap looks like it is on top? It looks like it needs one more roll to get to the right place.
It's quite possible. The previous owners didn't exactly grok much about the Airstream. Whether or not the fabric is upside down or not, the arms still appear short to me; reversing the fabric won't make a lot of difference I think. However, it certainly indicates that the folks who replaced the awning had no idea how it was supposed to work. Perhaps they had someone make a new awning that is too short. How long are they supposed to be, anyway?

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,409
This will sound wierd but...

Your awning fabric is on upside down.

(by the time I hit post, someone else had noticed and posted too.)

Did you take it off to clean the roller, adjust the springs, etc?

I had to look at the video to spot what was really wrong.

Look at the video from earlier in the thread, now look at your awning. What first tipped me that something was wrong is that the hem at the edge of the fabric is turned OUT - not in. This hem would catch water in the rain. Think of a pair of blue jeans; the hem should be turned under, not facing out.

Next on the video you'll see that fabric rolls over the top, and is sewn with the seam in the back of the roller - The part that hangs down free is behind the roller - on yours it's in front. And that my dear is why you think it's too short!

So take the whole thing down, slide the fabric off, flip it over (putting what is now on the front end of the trailer on the back) and put it back on. Your fabric will be almost a foot longer. In the event that the fabric IS actually still too short, you could take out the seam that creates the pocket for the roller, and move it to the edge of the fabric, eliminating the little skirt at the edge.

And really study that video - your side arms definitely must stretch out just to keep the top of the door from rubbing on the awning fabric and give you walking around room under it.

Best of luck, Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 02:37 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,409
That video

Is worth it's weight in gold. There are about 2 dozen local airstreams with owners who are newbies - and the awning deployment messes are sometimes epic.

BTW, there is an awning helper, a handle that can be installed on the side arm to help push or pull it out. VERY handy for the vertically challenged and/or female owner. Check ZipDee's website.

PAULA
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 02:43 PM   #15
Maniacal Engineer
 
barts's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,239
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
Your awning fabric is on upside down.

(by the time I hit post, someone else had noticed and posted too.)

Did you take it off to clean the roller, adjust the springs, etc?

...
And really study that video - your side arms definitely must stretch out just to keep the top of the door from rubbing on the awning fabric and give you walking around room under it.

Best of luck, Paula
Thanks to both of you - indeed that's exactly what's wrong. This is exactly how the trailer was when we bought it. One of the rafter arms was broken, and the owner had bolted it back together - but mirror image of how it was supposed to be. Even w/ the fabric flipped, I expect we'll need to resew that seam, but this explains a lot.

Now to gently release the tension on the spring and get the fabric off the trailer....

- Bart
__________________
Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
https://tinpickle.blogspot.com
https://smaalders.net/barts
barts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 02:53 PM   #16
Rivet Master
 
dznf0g's Avatar
 
2007 30' Classic
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 11,279
Images: 5
Bart,

I agree, the fabric is on upside down, but flipping it won't change the length of roll out much at all. Also, I am concerned with the roller springs. Did they put the fabric on the roller flipped and tension the springs in the wrong direction. If not, the fabric must be removed from the roller as well as the wall and flipped.

Is there any evidence with the attaching hardware that this awning is not original to this trailer? I am afraid that either, or both the rafters and the strut are mismatched.

Zip Dee folks are very helpful and can probably give you model #s and measurements of the components which should be on that trailer. Is there still a label visible on the arm assemblies. If so, there is a model number or serial number on that label which allows them to pull up the part numbers and dimensions.

Something on yours just don't look right....including maybe the fabric. It definitely looks newer than the vintage of your trailer.
__________________
-Rich-

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." - Red Green
dznf0g is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 03:59 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
memgrove2000's Avatar
 
Elkhart , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 633
Send a message via AIM to memgrove2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
It's quite possible. The previous owners didn't exactly grok much about the Airstream. Whether or not the fabric is upside down or not, the arms still appear short to me; reversing the fabric won't make a lot of difference I think. However, it certainly indicates that the folks who replaced the awning had no idea how it was supposed to work. Perhaps they had someone make a new awning that is too short. How long are they supposed to be, anyway?

- Bart
Maybe someone that is near a trailer can measure for us. Ours is 2 miles down the road and is working on being snowed in.
__________________
Mike
Have a great day!

TAC # IN 1 Air#27922
memgrove2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 04:09 PM   #18
Rivet Master
 
memgrove2000's Avatar
 
Elkhart , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 633
Send a message via AIM to memgrove2000
Something on yours just don't look right....including maybe the fabric. It definitely looks newer than the vintage of your trailer.[/QUOTE]

I was thinking the same thing. Ours has a travel lock that keeps the roller tube from moving. It is on the roller tube at the front end of the trailer. I have to use the long rod to release it, and the wheel locks before it will unroll. I dont see one in the pictures.

But the new travel locks are different. (More like a hook and eye type latch.)
__________________
Mike
Have a great day!

TAC # IN 1 Air#27922
memgrove2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #19
Rivet Master
 
Silver Goose's Avatar
 
2008 27' Classic FB
Burkburnett , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 985
From your 2nd photo, it looks like the aluminum wrap is missing. On mine the fabric attaches to it and then the wrap attaches to the awning rail. If someone attached the fabric to the rail without the wrap, the fabric would be nearly a foot too short for the roller to extend far enough. When rolled up, the fabric is not exposed. Your photo looks like the 1st foot of fabric from the awning rail has been exposed.

The fabric is definitely upside down, the pull strap should hang from the inside of the roller tube. Do a utube search for ZipDee operating instructions. You will see how the wrap works and there is a few good views of how the fabric hangs at the roller tube.
__________________
AIR 47751
Silver Goose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 04:47 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
overlander63's Avatar
 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 21,252
Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
Now to gently release the tension on the spring and get the fabric off the trailer....

- Bart
If the awning is on backwards, maybe the awning tube is as well. In that case, the spring will be at the front instead of the rear.
__________________
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any suggestions for RV parks in NoCal for long term stays? norma Solo Streamers 5 01-06-2012 02:42 PM
What are the bracketd under our awning arms? Skatiero Exterior Restoration Forum 3 10-07-2011 05:37 PM
"The Long, Long Trailer" GeocamperAS Hitches, Couplers & Balls 14 05-10-2011 07:02 PM
Refinishing window arms '76 Globetrotter kentuvman Windows & Screens 8 04-24-2011 07:54 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Airstream, Inc. or any of its affiliates. Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.