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 06-26-2017, 11:58 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Barretta2's Avatar
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 83
Replace perfect ZipDee awning with power awning?

Would appreciate words of advice on whether I'm nuts to consider replacing my perfect awning (2012 23D FC) with a power awning. I travel about two to three months a year solo, and I don't have the upper arm strength to set my awning manually, so I find myself very reluctant to deploy it. I'm a 5'5" woman and not a wimp but I find myself wishing I could just push a button and have a fully set awning.
Pros and cons? Approx cost? If you've done this, are you glad you did? And--who does it best...Jackson Center?
Thanks, 'stream on.
Barretta2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2017, 12:03 PM   #2
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,908
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
Before you spend money, have you tried something like this: Get a stable step-stool/short stepladder and get a step or two up before trying to extend or retract the awning. I"m 5'9" and I notice that if I'm standing in the right place to be able to push on the awning roll, it's extremely easy to extend the main arm but if I'm not, it requires a lot of force. The first couple of times I just pushed because I could, but eventually realized that being able to push out and up at the same time on the roll required MUCH less force. I'm barely tall enough for the last click so I wonder if having a step might make it easy for you and save you thousands...
__________________
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2017, 12:17 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Mollysdad's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 5,605
Blog Entries: 1
Are there any good tips in this video?
Mollysdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2017, 01:02 PM   #4
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,328
Hi

The factory installed power awning works pretty well. I see no downside to having Jackson Center do the work other than convenience. The normal cautions about wind and rain still apply to a power awning. The risk you multiply with a power awning you can't retract manually is a failure of some sort. At that point you are very much stuck where you are. I'd make sure that you can still do the manual retract stuff in an emergency....

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2017, 01:23 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3,121
Gotta disagree with Uncle Bob. There have been many reports of problems on this forum with the power awning. It could be that Airstream is over the growing pains, but there is no accurate way to tell. On the road solo, you do not want a problem with a power awning that will not retract.
I am 5'6" and 135 lbs; the awning was a bit of a challenge until: Zipdee sells two handles that flip down and attach to the arm. Gives you plenty of leverage to extend and retract. In addition I added a small folding step stool that I only need some of the time, depending on the site. Between the two, you can do a manual awning without problems.
Larry
lsbrodsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-26-2017, 02:24 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar
 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,593
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
I didn't watch the whole video but there are some good you tube videos out there. One of which gave me the hint pushing the awning arms is a lot easier than pulling. There are also handles which give you a better position.
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 07:46 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Barretta2's Avatar
 
2013 23' Flying Cloud
Naples , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 83
Replace perfect ZipDee awning with power awning?

Thank you, everyone, for the very helpful comments....will try using my step ladder and explore the handles. Love this Forum!
Barretta2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 08:02 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,923
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barretta2 View Post
Thank you, everyone, for the very helpful comments....will try using my step ladder and explore the handles. Love this Forum!
Amazon has 2 step plastic stool that snaps open and shut folds flat very sturdy not heavy, easily stores in closet plus handles makes job easy, much better than metal step stools, plus can reach wheels w/out wand, but I'm 5/10.
featherbedder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 08:51 AM   #9
Free Range Human
 
Drathaar's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
Currently Looking...
Twin Rocks , Oregon
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 733
Images: 4
Rubbermaid makes a very stable step stool with 2 steps. We use it for the Airstream and truck camper. About $30. Ace seems to be the easiest place to find one.

Important tip here... If you have an Airstream that has the small diameter pegs that secure the rafter arms in travel, contact Zipdee and get the larger diameter pegs that will not allow the rafter arm claws to be stored improperly. You can break the claw casting if you store it in the wrong spot. Including mine, I know of 6 or 7 folks who have broken them.

It's about a 10 minute job to replace them.
Drathaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 11:12 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
2014 27' FB International
Sugar Land , Texas
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 56
Well Yes and No on the not being able to retract the power awning. The awning comes with a cord that connects from the battery to the primary motor in the roll. I've had to use mine once and the awning has worked fine since. Don't believe those who rag and rag because their are some bad reviews in years past. Zip Dee had completely redesigned the system. They gave me all the motors and parts free to update mine and it runs fine. Call zip dee they are great people and will tell you everything truthfully
us3rnam3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 11:18 AM   #11
Toaster Life
 
2010 23' International
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 191
I would be very leary of the power awning. At the beginning i too had issues deploying the regular awning, but as others have pointed out it takes more technique than strength, and once you "master" the art of opening the awning with the help of some tools (read a step stool) it does not take much strength at all. We carry a 2 step aluminium ladder that I find useful for many jobs, and doubles as a stool to sit on. It lets me reach up and grab the initial strap, then I walk down and away to delpoy it. You might find a handy weight helps so that you can run a strap through the weight and the awning pull to keep the awning open while you work on the side posts. A jug gallon jug of water and a cord or luggage strap would do. I have found over time there are a lot of "tricks" to this trade.

Hope this helps
Toasterlife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 11:21 AM   #12
Toaster Life
 
2010 23' International
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 191
I try and stay away from anything that uses more battery power - and things that are noisy, I try to avoid the generators as they annoy fellow campers, and when boondocking we are energy misers to stretch out our battery use. Also when something mechanical goes wrong it is often much easier to fix than something that is mechanical AND electrical....
Toasterlife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 11:33 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
m.hony's Avatar
 
2013 30' Classic
Greenwood , Mississippi
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 12,111
Noooooo!
__________________
2013 Classic 30 Limited
2007 Silver Toyota Tundra Crew Max Limited 5.7 iForce
2006 Vivid Black Harley-Davidson Road King Classic
1999 Black Nissan Pathfinder LE
TAC #MS-10
WBCCI #1811, Region 6, Unit 56
Airforums #70955
m.hony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 11:33 AM   #14
rbs
Rivet Master
 
rbs's Avatar
 
2015 30' Classic
Decatur , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 532
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 3
we love our power awning, and power stabilizers, the only thing we did was have Zip Dee change the electronic board (an update recommended, was not an issue) and have Airstream install a switch to turn the power off/on. If I spent all of my time worrying about what "some" people say could go "wrong" I wouldn't enjoy my Airstream
rbs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 04:17 PM   #15
CAV
2 Rivet Member
 
CAV's Avatar
 
2004 25' International CCD
Dubuque , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 57
I'd call ZipDee and ask what your options are.
--I'm solo and love my electric awning and use it a lot. But roll in at night and when I'm gone.
-- ZipDee has just upgraded their circuit board to fix previous issues (gave me one free at Alumapalooza).
-- see if ZipDee can retrofit your existing awning.
--there is a kit to manually take it down. Greg the ZipDee rep just gave a seminar at Alumapalooza 2017.
CAV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 07:39 PM   #16
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,769
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
Ive found the manual Zip-Dee awning pretty easy to extend manually. The most difficult or time consuming item is the circular locks which secure the awning on each end. Trying to line these up and loosen or tighten those with the supplied rod is really a pain.

What I've done is buy a two step aluminum ladder. I stand on this and have enough height to turn the knobs by hand. First it's easy to unscrew and secondly you can make sure those knobs are tight and holding the awning securely. With your height you probably will need a taller ladder since I'm 5'9".

As far as standing on a ladder to pull out the awning, I'd advise against that since that becomes a balance issue and if you lean the wrong way, you will go tumbling off and may lose control of the awning having it snap back hard against the trailer. The rod is plenty long to allow you to pull the awning away from the trailer or hold it security when retracting. In those cases I think having two feet on the ground is a lot safer.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56 S/OS#15
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2017, 08:28 PM   #17
Rivet Master
 
2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,485
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbs View Post
we love our power awning, and power stabilizers, the only thing we did was have Zip Dee change the electronic board (an update recommended, was not an issue) and have Airstream install a switch to turn the power off/on. If I spent all of my time worrying about what "some" people say could go "wrong" I wouldn't enjoy my Airstream

Ditto,
I am always looking to simplify things and having additional motors switches what have you did not appeal to me. However our 2017 Classic came with the Power Awning. My first reaction was we will use it until it conks out and than replace it with a manual unit. After using it for 3 months I don't think that will happen. I love the thing. It is so fast and simple that I am hooked. Going on a day trip I don't agonize over what to do, just push the button and in about a minute or less its tucked away.
franklyfrank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2017, 09:37 AM   #18
Half a Rivet Short
 
2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 9,328
Hi

If you have solar, the amount of power used by the awning is pretty modest compared to the sunshine variation day to day. Yes, every bit counts. In this case we're talking about < 1% in normal use.

Bob
uncle_bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2017, 12:27 PM   #19
Moderator
 
DKB_SATX's Avatar

 
2017 26' Flying Cloud
Alamo Heights , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,908
Images: 1
Blog Entries: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
Ive found the manual Zip-Dee awning pretty easy to extend manually. The most difficult or time consuming item is the circular locks which secure the awning on each end. Trying to line these up and loosen or tighten those with the supplied rod is really a pain.

What I've done is buy a two step aluminum ladder. I stand on this and have enough height to turn the knobs by hand. First it's easy to unscrew and secondly you can make sure those knobs are tight and holding the awning securely. With your height you probably will need a taller ladder since I'm 5'9".

As far as standing on a ladder to pull out the awning, I'd advise against that since that becomes a balance issue and if you lean the wrong way, you will go tumbling off and may lose control of the awning having it snap back hard against the trailer. The rod is plenty long to allow you to pull the awning away from the trailer or hold it security when retracting. In those cases I think having two feet on the ground is a lot safer.

Jack
My recommendation wasn't to stand on a stepstool or ladder for unfurling the awning from the side of the trailer (since the awning strap+rod make that simple) it was for extending the arms, since it seems that works much better when pushing on the awning roll than trying to push the arm directly.

Someone on this thread suggested the extra handles that attach to the sliding part of the arm and give better leverage for extending from there (which I haven't used, and didn't think of.) That might be the be-all end-all solution if that makes it easy to extend and retract the arms.
__________________
— David

Zero Gravitas — 2017 Flying Cloud 26U | WBCCI# 15566

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
DKB_SATX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2017, 01:11 PM   #20
Rivet Master
 
lsbrodsky's Avatar

 
2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3,121
It is! They should be standard with the awning. It is never a problem now.
Larry
lsbrodsky 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
My Zipdee power awning beetlebob Awnings 22 05-09-2017 05:23 AM
ZipDee fabric joiner replace? cwf Awnings 6 04-16-2013 07:10 AM
The perfect 30 amp power inlet for an Airstream: drboyd Electrical - Systems, Generators, Batteries & Solar 0 09-30-2012 05:47 PM
Repair/Replace ZipDee Chair Fabric???? Tammy Upholstery, Blinds, Walls & Interior Finishes 3 08-01-2004 02:27 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 05:55 PM.


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