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Old 02-01-2017, 06:53 AM   #1
Advocate28
 
2020 27' Flying Cloud
Sheboygan , Wisconsin
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Why so hard to open the awning?

I just purchased a 16' Bambi Sport. I haven't even taken it home yet, as I'm waiting for a solar panel to be installed. When the dealer was showing me how to open the awning, I didn't have enough height and/or upper body strength to push the awning bar to the locking point when opening it. I can lift 50 pound feed sacks and bales of hay easily, and work out daily, so I am not without some strength. I am 5'2", so perhaps a stool would help when I try again. But it does seem like a design flaw to me. Is it always that hard, or is there a problem with this awning?
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:04 AM   #2
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Not sure what you are describing. If it is the little lock lever on the end of the awning it should move with very light pressure, just a couple of lbs. If it is the wheel locks that hold it closed then they are too tight or corroded and hard to turn. That awning should open very easily. On our much older awnings the bearing at the end with the lock got stiff and finally locked up. And I could see no way to actually lubricate it. But when I replaced it our 20 foot long awning opens very easily now.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:14 AM   #3
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I use a stool. It's all about the angles which force needs to be applied. I have a rotator cuff that's just plain wearing out. Lifting the awning to it's proper height is no problem, but applying tension to the horizontal rods is a problem. I use a step stool and pull the rods toward me, instead of "stabbing" them outward with arms overhead.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:36 AM   #4
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Two foot step ladder. Two of them.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:41 AM   #5
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ZipDee sells some handles that attach to the arm, swing out of the way when not in use, and give you all the leverage you need. Eliminated my need to use a step stool.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:57 AM   #6
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A small folding stool comes in handy for us altitude challenged individuals.

Such as,
http://t.harborfreight.com/step-stoo...orm-62515.html
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:58 AM   #7
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We have been doing this Airstreaming thing for eleven years now, and know exactly what you are talking about regarding awning deployment.

We believe it is more of a matter of leverage than brute strength. I am 5'10" and always found deploying the awning relatively easy. On the other hand, SuEllyn, at 5'5", has always found it difficult unless she stands on some sort of stool.

Zip Dee does make assist handles for putting up the awning rails. We do not have them, but they may provide you with an answer to your problem. These handles go for around $40.

Brian
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:07 AM   #8
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Get a step stool. A girls best friend when camping. You will have all kinds of uses for it, including opening the awning.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:15 AM   #9
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Apply spray silicone (the type used for screen doors) on all the arms and moving parts of the awning mechanism as needed. Do not assume that silicone has been applied by either the dealer or Airstream before you took possession of your trailer. Properly siliconed, your awning should deploy very easily. It takes me about two minutes with very little effort to deploy or stow our awning when I maintain the silicone applications.

Your height is a separate but real issue. If you are 5'2" you should look into either using a small step stool or the "arms" that Zip Dee sells (check out their web page for more on this.)
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Apply spray silicone (the type used for screen doors) on all the arms and moving parts of the awning mechanism as needed. Do not assume that silicone has been applied by either the dealer or Airstream before you took possession of your trailer. Properly siliconed, your awning should deploy very easily. It takes me about two minutes with very little effort to deploy or stow our awning when I maintain the silicone applications.

Your height is a separate but real issue. If you are 5'2" you should look into either using a small step stool or the "arms" that Zip Dee sells (check out their web page for more on this.)
Only use dry spray silicone on arms , other lubes will attract dirt. Amazon has plastic 2 step stool that folds flat. I use to turn wheels much easier than hook rod, also do not use arms to pull awning out only strap as arms takes 2 people then hard to do.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:28 AM   #11
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There are three steps to setting up the awning arm, if you do them in this order it's not much a a reach.

After pulling the awning out, hook the upper awning arm onto the awning roller. Then BEFORE lifting it, push the upper awning arm in it's locked position. Then lift the awning roller with one hand and set the height position on the lower awning arm.

Yes you do need to keep the awning arms lubricated or they will stick when raising or lowering. Chances are the dealer didn't do it.
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:40 AM   #12
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From my experience there are three things that can reduce the effort of extending the awning arm.
1. Keep the arms clean and lubricated. I use a Scotchbrite pad wet with silicone lubricant. With the awning stowed, lift the arm off of its storage hook and extend it. Spray the pad with silicone and wrap it around the arm. Rub it back and forth until you can see that the arm is clean. Spray the arm with some more silicone and stow it. Do it again on the next arm.
2. Be careful how you push/pull on the arm when extending it. If you are not perfectly in line with the direction of travel, it will bind. I actually have to lift up at the point where the extension slides out of the fixed piece while pulling/pushing the arm out.
3. Get a pair of the handles. They really help a lot. I have seen recommendations to push up on the awning roller but bad shoulders keep me from doing that.

Al
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:06 AM   #13
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After watching this video and the follow ons I became an instant master of the Zip Dee awning,

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Old 02-01-2017, 10:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
There are three steps to setting up the awning arm, if you do them in this order it's not much a a reach.

After pulling the awning out, hook the upper awning arm onto the awning roller. Then BEFORE lifting it, push the upper awning arm in it's locked position. Then lift the awning roller with one hand and set the height position on the lower awning arm.

Yes you do need to keep the awning arms lubricated or they will stick when raising or lowering. Chances are the dealer didn't do it.
What Doug said...except....I use the stool and PULL the upper arm out all the way (rotator cuff thing...whatever works best individually), then raise the lower arms. BTW, I found the add on handles to be more nuisance than without. Took them off.
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:56 AM   #15
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To echo everyone, use a small step stool. On both of the AS's I've had, one side works when I'm in the doorway but the other side requires the use of the stool. If it makes you feel better, I'm 6'2" and still dislike using the rod to unscrew the knob. It's much easier by hand when on the stool.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:10 AM   #16
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On my 16 and my new 22 Sport the awning does not have the rotating knob, rather a small hook going into an eyelet mounted on the side of the AS below the awning. When the awning is rolled there can be difficulty in rehooking or unhooking the darn thing. I find when totally dry and I go really slow the awning tends to roll tighter and therefore hook more easily. I know exactly what this question refers to. Don't think its a defect just the design. I happen to often use a small stool or step ladder. Design could be better but its not that big of a deal if you can reach the hook rather than only use the flimsy bar provided.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:54 AM   #17
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Look on YouTube
Lots of suggestions and solutions
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:17 PM   #18
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Yes, the previously mentioned video was very helpful for me. I also use a stepstool as others suggested, which I also find very helpful for getting in and out of my 4x4 F250. Here is the one I use, very lightweight and folds flat.
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...ep-stool/65819
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:22 PM   #19
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Awning

The problem I have is with the pins on each sibe. Seems as though regardless of what I use for lubrication, one of them is still difficult to pull out. Will keep reading to see if someone comes up with answer. Best of travels to ya......
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:53 PM   #20
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Yes
You need to pull or push the tension bars while the awning is still down at the lowest level. I learned that the action was like "Spearing a Fish" ..lots of momentum, but I also have rotator cuff issues so I just grab the bar and pull hard toward me when I can't "spear" and lubrication is absolutely essential.
JCW
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