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Old 07-28-2015, 07:38 PM   #1
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Zip Dee automatic awning opened on the road

We have a 2015 International 28 with electric Zip Dee awning. Works great and we really like the push-button operation.

But on a recent road trip, at 60 mph, my wife yelled to stop fast as the awning was opening! It was completely opened by the time I stopped. Luckily no damage (great quality and kudos to Zip Dee for that), but why did it open? (Good thing we were in the right lane at the time and it didn't smack a truck next to us or something!)

This was about 500 miles since opening the awning last, and about 1 hr into the current leg of the trip.

It rolled up just fine after the auto-open, but then we were a bit nervous about proceeding, so I pulled the fuse. Later on the trip, we reinstalled the fuse to use the awning again and I spaced pulling it out when we departed. No problem - it never opened by itself again. I left the fuse in and we did another 1000 miles before reaching home.

Now what? I don't want to experience that again. The local airstream shop called Zip Dee who claims they haven't seen that before. Anyone else experience this?

I don't really want to install a switch inline with fuse if no one else has this issue, for peace of mind We shouldn't have to be "special" - this is less than 1 year old..

Ideas? thanks, Gary
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:44 AM   #2
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Does the awning have a remote keypad?

Bruce
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:29 PM   #3
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Is there an on/off switch?
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:54 PM   #4
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I'm guessing remote.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:34 PM   #5
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There is not a remote control for the awning, as far as I know. Just the keypad panel that is just inside the door. Interesting thought though - if there's a remote control for it rattling around somewhere maybe a button on it was pressed.

There is not an on/off switch for the awning. The keypad has 4 buttons: open, close, tilt front, tilt rear..

I've never seen a remote for it though - does anyone else have a remote for their Zip Dee?

Gary
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:59 PM   #6
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I just ran out to garage and checked the manual, and it does call out that there is an "optional" remote control available. I looked around in the trailer and couldn't find one - I really don't think ours came with this optional remote.

However, if it's remote capable, that means it can be activated by either a key press or a radio signal. I guess there's a slim chance that it picked up some random radio signal that triggered it.. ? Seems very unlikely, but it could be possible. We were traveling through a town at the time..

I wonder what frequency the remote operates at? I will call Zip Dee to find out..

Thanks for the clue - it's the best theory so far.

Gary
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:17 AM   #7
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I remember watching a video from Colonial that showed a key chain fob.
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:18 AM   #8
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It is entirely possible that some stray RF could activate the awning. I'm not sure the of the frequency that the pad or remote controller uses but the chance is there. There also could be a short somewhere that closed the contacts necessary to cause the extend motor to start operating. My suggestion is that you give Zip Dee a call first to get some guidance. They would have the experience to know what conditions need to occur to engage the opening mechanism. I think we would be all interested to hear what they say.

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Old 07-30-2015, 10:19 AM   #9
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I think if had one of these I would install a simple power on/off switch, surprised it does not already come with one.
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:49 AM   #10
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Electric Zip Dee Awning

Quote:
Originally Posted by garybair View Post
We have a 2015 International 28 with electric Zip Dee awning. Works great and we really like the push-button operation.

But on a recent road trip, at 60 mph, my wife yelled to stop fast as the awning was opening! It was completely opened by the time I stopped. Luckily no damage (great quality and kudos to Zip Dee for that), but why did it open? (Good thing we were in the right lane at the time and it didn't smack a truck next to us or something!)

This was about 500 miles since opening the awning last, and about 1 hr into the current leg of the trip.

It rolled up just fine after the auto-open, but then we were a bit nervous about proceeding, so I pulled the fuse. Later on the trip, we reinstalled the fuse to use the awning again and I spaced pulling it out when we departed. No problem - it never opened by itself again. I left the fuse in and we did another 1000 miles before reaching home.

Now what? I don't want to experience that again. The local airstream shop called Zip Dee who claims they haven't seen that before. Anyone else experience this?

I don't really want to install a switch inline with fuse if no one else has this issue, for peace of mind We shouldn't have to be "special" - this is less than 1 year old..

Ideas? thanks, Gary

A far out thought - by chance where you anyway near an 18 wheeler? Maybe he just happened to key his mic as he was passing you or meeting you on the highway. Just sayin'.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:03 AM   #11
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We have had no problems w/ our automatic awning but we've only had the trailer a short time. Be very interested to learn what you figure out.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:10 AM   #12
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A little off topic but important to note. Study the manual on how to retract the awning if it gets stuck. There is a adapter cord to try and retract if the electronic control is dead. But if the motor is dead, it's quite a task and you really need two people. The instructions are not the best. I used to be a tech writer for instruction manuals in an earlier life. Now that most are done off shore, it's amazing how they are so poorly written.
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:15 AM   #13
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Exorcism? That is scary and potentially expensive!
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:15 PM   #14
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Is this switch a momentary switch, or do you have to hold it "on" until fully depolyed and retracted?
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:53 PM   #15
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Control switches are membrane type switches. Single press and release and it opens or closes depending on which switch. Touch the same switch again and it stops. Other two switches are for tilt/retracting one end or the other for rain water run off.

I think I saw an image of the remote unit. It is a module that needs to be connected into the control panel for the awning and the key fob.

That would be some really powerful EMI/RF to trigger it to start opening.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:01 PM   #16
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Ok, it's a momentary switch. 2 things : I have seen membrane switches with the contacts so close that changing Temps can cause a contact to occur. Does it take a firm pressure to activate or a light touch?
Secondly, pull the switch out and see if there are any stray wire strands which could be cross contacting intermittently between the terminals.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:09 PM   #17
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After reading all of this thread I believe I will install a simple on/off switch which would take the worry out of a possible opening.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:47 PM   #18
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Our Zip Dee relax motor failed. I hand cranked it in per manual and I was within a mile of the dealer to have it replaced when it auto opened. $19K later we are camping again but I did have a switch installed to isolate the awning control.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:01 PM   #19
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The switch unit is one piece. Takes a firm push, think there is a slight click but would need to take a look. So no way to pull to check an individual switch, at least looking at the unit externally.
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Old 07-30-2015, 02:01 PM   #20
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The remote control is an option. Around $375, as I recall. I ordered it and installed it shortly after my trailer was delivered. It includes not just the key fob, but a completely separate board that has to be connected to the main board. Without the remote board, there's no WAY a stray RF signal could open the awning as there's no receiver without that board plugged into the stock set up. I do NOT carry the key fob on my key ring specifically because I inadvertently hit the "open" button while it was in my pocket and the trailer was in the shed. The awning began the open process....and fortunately, no damage was done. My only awning issue was the need to slightly adjust the open limit switch while I was camping in Vermont. I called Zip Dee and the tech told me exactly how to do it....after determining that 'yes' I did have the emergency awning kit that came with my trailer. He said that there are too many people who have the Relax awning who either don't have this kit, or don't know they do. My advice. If you don't have this, better find it. It only took a couple of turns with the special adjuster tool and it was fine. His comment was that despite numerous trips to JC, the installers at the factory just can't seem to get the awning adjusted to spec. BTW, I really like the awning.....and am much more inclined to run it out and enjoy it rather than the headache of the manual setup.
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