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Old 06-30-2018, 09:49 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Loretto , Tennessee
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 25
Zip Dee Awning Repair

My awning got to where it would not retract without help. I figured the spring was broken. After disassembling, the spring is in tact and nothing appears broken. At the far end of the spring assembly, there is an end that fits onto the center wooden rod. The end is metal and has three ears which grab a pin that is attached to the awning tube (that it slides into).

Here is my question: Is the metal end supposed to spin freely around the wooden rod? I think it should. I can't see any other way to load tension onto the spring.
1989 Excella 25'
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:21 AM   #2
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Loretto , Tennessee
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 25
OK, I think I'm past the question in the original post. Answer is YES it is supposed to spin. My reasoning is this: when I took the metal end off, a small disc of teflon or plastic fell out. It had a bit of white grease remaining. Also there was a metal brad tapped into the very end of the wooden shaft. To me this means it is intended to rotate/spin. So I sanded the wooden shaft to a point where the metal end spins when placed back onto the end of the wooden shaft.

2nd Question: To put the end cap back onto the awning tube, can I use pop rivets or do I need a different type?
1989 Excella 25'
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Old 06-30-2018, 12:32 PM   #3
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , NC Highlands County, FL
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Posts: 4,361
I cant answer, due to lack of experience with your issue.
But, this might help.

There are at least three different types of springs, so this might not be the correct one. An example:

These documents came from ZipDee's website. It takes some effort to search through everything that is there (not user friendly IMO). I spent some time searching earlier this year when I removed one of the smaller awnings on my Excella.

This video shows the problem, but not the fix, if anyone is curious.
2014 Silverado LTZ 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package
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Old 06-30-2018, 01:55 PM   #4
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
Knoxville , Tennessee
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On my 2 awnings the end of the awning away fron the spring was causing the problem. Told the lock end out of the roller tube, drove the shaft out of the bearing, cleaned and lubed, and the awnings work fine now.

And yes just pop rivets work fine to hold the ends in the tube.
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Old 06-30-2018, 03:57 PM   #5
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Loretto , Tennessee
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 25
Alan, thanks for the links. I'd already seen the Youtube video and was disappointed they didn't show the process of repairing it.

Bill, thanks, that's what I was hoping. I have a pop rivet kit so will use what I have. FYI, my 500 pc rivet kit comes with I guess standard sizes of which the largest is a 3/16 x 3/8. I will have to drill out my awning's holes to make these fit. No problem.
1989 Excella 25'
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:48 AM   #6
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
Join Date: Dec 2003
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If you call ZipDee, they will help you.

Somebody, please, point me to the road.

AIR 3987
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:25 PM   #7
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Loretto , Tennessee
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Posts: 25
Putting it back together

Our awning had another issue. On the end towards the rear of the trailer, the fabric had pulled out of the aluminum channel about 2'. Upon inspecting this, I found there is a plastic/rubber tube about 3/8" diameter sewn into the fabric. This tube is what holds the fabric in the channel. The tubing had simply disintegrated. We ordered the tubing from Zip Dee and my wife used her portable Singer to sew it in. Worked like a champ once we got everything set up. She used upholstery thread and a heavy needle.

We discussed the merits of removing all the old tubing and putting in one continuous length of the new tubing. I mashed around on the old stuff and it seemed pretty flexible and in tact except for the very ends. We decided to just replace the ends...both ends. We may wind up redoing this but now that we have some experience it shouldn't be that bad.
1989 Excella 25'
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