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Old 07-30-2015, 02:14 PM   #21
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Well, I could go on and on about the problems we experienced with our electronic awning, oh wait a minute...I have already.

Great, one more thing for us to worry about...people, if you contemplate purchasing a new Airstream, please do yourself a favor and go for the tried and true manual model.

That said, whew, I feel better. Unless you are traveling with the battery disconnect in the "use" mode in order to keep the fridge working, I would think, as the awning runs off the 12v system solely, one preventative measure could be to travel with the battery in the "store" mode? Get that fridge nice and cold prior to departure, don't open it, and it should (unless it is 100 degrees out) keep your food cold for a number hours (watch out for that fish though-P/U).. One would think?
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:22 PM   #22
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I have the automatic Zip Dee. Airstream does not instal a on/off switch although Zip Dee recommends it. Also, the fused power lead could be wired direct to the battery bus. There is a fair amount of residual battery drain if left this way. Install a switch and reconnect the fused power lead to the DC circuit bus. This is the bus that powers all the circuit breakers or fuzes. As for the inadvertent opening. I would get Airstream to replace the push button control panel as it could be a intermittent fault that could recur.
If you use a power switch be sure and press the close button before operating the awning. That resets the system after a power interruption caused by turning off the power in the first place. Hope this helps I sure like my auto Zip Dee.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:41 PM   #23
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If the awning is installed on a motorhome, it would be a good idea if it had a provision that disabled power to it when the ignition is on. That's not practical if the awning is installed on a trailer. Placing the trailer's battery switch into Store mode isolates the batteries from the converter and 12v loads... Once plugged into the tow vehicle, the 12v charge line supplies 12v to the trailer and everything should be operable from the external 12v source. Maybe the Luddite in me is coming out. Given a choice, I would opt for the manual awning. Otherwise I would find a way to add a switch to prevent the awning from operating.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:48 PM   #24
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I can read the headline now..... ZipDee hit by hackers... Im glad to hear you were able to stop it before bad things happened.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:30 PM   #25
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Does yours have a safety hook fixed to the trailer to latch the awning closed? My 2010 16-foot has a small metal hook that latches down onto the awning when it's in the retracted position. This acts as a backup if the two screw-down knobs happen to loosen up and flop over. Of course my latch never lined up perfectly so I never use it, LOL.....
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:45 PM   #26
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Electric Zip Dees, at least on the 2015 Classic, do not have locking tabs. No screw knobs either like the manual awnings.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:09 AM   #27
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Following up on some of the comments/questions, after I spoke with ZipDee yesterday.

dznf0g: yes, it's a momentary switch, ghaynes755 is right except that pressing *any* key will stop an action that is in progress.

Ghaynes755 and BAB are right that a separate board/module is required to be installed to make a Remote control possible. It is optional and our Airstreams don’t come with it by default. So there is NO WAY I could have picked up an extraneous RF signal. So much for that theory.

Guskmg is right that ZipDee recommends a separate on/off switch for the automatic awnings. Airstream did not take them up on that suggestion, but Graysailer has the right idea that we should all install an on/off switch inline with power to the unit. That was ZipDee’s recommendation when I spoke with them yesterday. (They were very cordial and helpful on the phone, btw. I have praise for them and their product through this, lest I be misunderstood. )

Nwrvr – you paid $19K for what?! I hope that was a typo.

Amm3824 – Confirming there is no mechanical safety latch. That could lead to other problems by trying to operate the awning with it in place.

One more tidbit from ZipDee, on the main control board there is a little black switch that resets the awning – if accidently pushed, it could open and close the awning. I’m not sure where that board is on our 28, but will look for it.

Otherwise, I still have no clue why it opened, and I have no assurance it won’t happen again, so therefor to have peace of mind I either have to 1) install a switch, or 2) pull the fuse each time I take it on the road. #1 seems like the right thing to do. I just haven’t figured out the right place to put it yet. Ideally it would be right next to the control panel.

Thanks everyone for your involvement in this thread. Maybe some chance Airstream will pick this up and install a proper switch for it in future.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:38 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybair View Post
Following up on some of the comments/questions, after I spoke with ZipDee yesterday.

dznf0g: yes, it's a momentary switch, ghaynes755 is right except that pressing *any* key will stop an action that is in progress.

Ghaynes755 and BAB are right that a separate board/module is required to be installed to make a Remote control possible. It is optional and our Airstreams don’t come with it by default. So there is NO WAY I could have picked up an extraneous RF signal. So much for that theory.

Guskmg is right that ZipDee recommends a separate on/off switch for the automatic awnings. Airstream did not take them up on that suggestion, but Graysailer has the right idea that we should all install an on/off switch inline with power to the unit. That was ZipDee’s recommendation when I spoke with them yesterday. (They were very cordial and helpful on the phone, btw. I have praise for them and their product through this, lest I be misunderstood. )

Nwrvr – you paid $19K for what?! I hope that was a typo.

Amm3824 – Confirming there is no mechanical safety latch. That could lead to other problems by trying to operate the awning with it in place.

One more tidbit from ZipDee, on the main control board there is a little black switch that resets the awning – if accidently pushed, it could open and close the awning. I’m not sure where that board is on our 28, but will look for it.

Otherwise, I still have no clue why it opened, and I have no assurance it won’t happen again, so therefor to have peace of mind I either have to 1) install a switch, or 2) pull the fuse each time I take it on the road. #1 seems like the right thing to do. I just haven’t figured out the right place to put it yet. Ideally it would be right next to the control panel.

Thanks everyone for your involvement in this thread. Maybe some chance Airstream will pick this up and install a proper switch for it in future.
The $19K was to repair the damage by replacing the AS skin and replace the awning. We had to replace the side panels from the door forward and the forward curved quarter panel where the lower awning bracket tore off, plus of course, the awning itself. Fortunately, my insurance paid except for my deductible. Gee, I wonder if my premiums will go up next year?

At my request, Airstream Adventures Northwest installed a switch next to the awning control panel to electrically isolate the awning and it is on my checklist to turn off before towing. One good thing is that the control module (located under the kitchen sink) was replaced with the most recent update which apparently addresses past issues that caused motors to fail and other problems.

I agree, a safety latch would not be a good idea. If you forget to unlatch the awning the extension arms would tear it off the skin faster than you could shut it off. There is another thread where someone had the experience of his awning motor not energizing to allow the arms to extend which tore the awning's aluminum cover off the top of the trailer. There should be a torque limit switch to prevent this and maybe one has been incorporated in the new control modules. This would be a good question for Zip Dee.

Safe travel,
Steve
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:20 PM   #29
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NWRvr: Youch that's painful. Seems like that would be a warrantee thing. Airstream really ought to put in a safeguard for that.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:26 PM   #30
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This thread is making me nervous about ordering the power awning. I debated and debated on whether or not to get it and decided to go ahead and try it. Hopefully with precautions all will work fine.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:19 PM   #31
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I wouldn't be nervous about getting one. We love it - works great and is so easy. It just needs to have a switch on it to unpower it when on the road, and completely avoid this potential (and apparently rare) issue.

I don't know exactly how NWRVR's caused so much damage when it opened, but ours opened at 60 mph and it didn't hurt it at all. Sturdy product. I wouldn't want to try it again though. ;-)
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:18 AM   #32
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About 3 years ago I had called Zip Dee to enquire about replacing the main awning (it being then 25 years old). The Z-D rep mentioned that they had power awnings and that there was a kit that they could retrofit onto my existing awning. I thought about it and came to the conclusion that this would invoke two principles: (1) it would violate KISS and (2) it would trigger Murphy's Law. So I decided against it. My existing awning is easily set up (unlike the awning that I had when I owned a 1994 moho), so why tempt fate.
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:44 AM   #33
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Communicated with ZipDee as well and they do recommend a power cutoff switch, which will also cut the parasitic draw when boondocking. Stopped at Jackson Center where they were unaware of any issues with the power awning, but installed a cutoff switch for me. Something less to worry about!
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:36 AM   #34
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Where did they install the switch and is it the same style as other switches as to "look" good? A pic of it would be nice. I haven't got around to fixing this yet, but do plan on it. thanks
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:05 PM   #35
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Not to say any thing bad about Airstream or the dealers but they always say that they have not heard of "such and such" problems.
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Old 08-21-2015, 09:34 PM   #36
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It seems that if ZipDee recommends a power isolation switch they should have included one in the control panel. Wouldn't you think?
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Old 10-20-2015, 03:21 PM   #37
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fuse for the power awning

We have the 2015 Classic with the power awning and wondered if someone could tell me where the fuse for the power awing is? I would like to remove it while pulling down the road. I did travel to Elk Grove Village and have the updated chip installed, the operation of the awning checked and everything is good to go, just don't want to look in my mirror and see the awning opening.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:29 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graysailor View Post
This thread is making me nervous about ordering the power awning. I debated and debated on whether or not to get it and decided to go ahead and try it. Hopefully with precautions all will work fine.
Guess I am wondering about all the concerns here as we do not have, nor ever have had a "power awning". I can get ours up in less then 3 min. by myself and same goes for retracting....what am I missing by not having it powered-- a free hand to hold a beer or what? Maybe the 30' model is more of a challenge?
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:04 PM   #39
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Latest from Airstream on problem

We have been quite concerned about the stories of ZipDee electrically operated awnings opening at weird times. We asked our dealer to check it out with Jackson Center.

The reply was that AS acknowledged the problem and cited the board as the problem. AS told the dealer that the problem is fixed and a new board has been installed in the new models. That seems to fit most of the posts.

We had really considered doing without the electrical operation and going with manual. Since AS recognized the problems and told the dealer about the fix, we are going to take the chance on it. Have not asked about a separate cut out switch.
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:27 PM   #40
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I have not officially taken delivery as yet but I have seen my new Classic. I too was quite wishy washy about the power awning but went ahead and ordered it. The trailer is currently having other goodies added to the trailer but the first thing I added was the cut out switch. So with this switch no power to the awning until I hit the switch first. Getting quite anxious for the walk thru and actually taking delivery.

Dometic has a vacuum that can be installed in Rv's Wondering if anyone has any experience with these. Does not require a lot of space and comes with a 40' retractable hose. Could be a nice feature if it actually works.
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