Zip Dee Awnings of Illinois
Love it. Love it. Besides the generous nature of the service people at 847-437-0980, the awnings are life savers in the hot sun or rain. The following is for the newbies, like ourselves. Those of you with decades of experience probably do not need to hear any of this. Some of the little details that will make or break your awning experience:
(1) On clear evenings with NO threat of rain. Drop the awning. You can damage the Main Arm Bars with a sudden big wind coming through the middle of the night. The "main arm bars" can be bent if enough tension is put on them. We have the aluminum bars, and maybe the stainless steels are stronger overall that are available. Slightly off color if that worries you with aluminum match. I might opt for the stainless steel next time.
(2) If you expect or experiencing RAIN. You have four settings on the Main Arm Bars (part #71300 Right or Left). Rarely do we use the top setting which is the fourth. We use the third click over the door side and the second click on the opposite side. We take our shovel and trench a spot from where water will drain, and run it away from the trailer... when possible. The rain will run off in the direction of the low end, flawlessly. You need to gently lift the awning when you open the main door, so it does not rub too hard on the bottom side of the awning. The screen door needs to be opened carefully to check clearance with the awning. After you get adjusted to the getting in and out of the trailer, you are figuring it out.
(3) On hot sunny, desert hot, type days. We try to leave the awning UP to keep the aluminum skin... cool. Put the awning on the first click and it would take some horrific wind to create a problem. Your aluminum will keep cool at air temperature, rather than 125+ degrees in the sun.
(4) Our next AS will have Zip Dee awnings on both sides of the trailer. Our Safari already has the bead on the top of the trailer for installation. You can keep the interior much cooler during the day, and it takes less time for the interior to cool off after sunset.
(5) I use a five gallon plastic bucket to stand upon when I am rolling the awning up. I hold onto the cloth leader, and walk it towards the trailer and then stand up on the plastic bucket/ladder for the more affluent owners. I release the cloth leader about a foot from being finished. I know, the awning tool that is with the trailer... I do not use it. The bucket is a time saver. The tool would be a nice fly rod when in a pinch, though.
(6) Anything I have missed? We added up our trailer mileage this morning: 20,374 miles and counting for two years.