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Old 09-22-2014, 11:48 AM   #1
Rivet Master
Ray Eklund's Avatar
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,313
ZIP DEE Five Gallon Bucket Option

I know. I pick up loose cents in a parking lot and car wash. If there is a day old newspaper in a waste basket while camping... it becomes my reading material for the evening.

Securing your Zip Dee awning when departing your campsite:

I am 6 feet tall in the morning and a bit shorter by the end of each day. Non the less, the five gallon plastic bucket can be turned upside down and used as a step... bucket. It can be flipped over to haul water from a river, fill with sand to tie down the awning brackets if it becomes windy. Many multiple uses for an empty plastic bucket.

I can hold onto the "center cloth ribbon" and let the awning retract, step up onto my step bucket and let it "snap". I then can take the "crab claw" and set it. Each end I can reach and tighten each end down, securely by hand.

The long rod makes a good fishing rod, or a rattlesnake prod. We eventually just left it at home as our step bucket worked wonders. If you are uncomfortable standing upon one step bucket.... add a second one. Not necessary, but practical. ... and look around your campsite. The loose change is there for the taking! Never miss a chance to add some loose change into the "kitty". You never know when it meows and is needed for some major expense, like a third step bucket.

I misunderstood the subject of one thread, which becomes more frequent over time, the original issue with the Zip Dee awning and how many notches for clearing the bottom of the awning and the Airstream door. As I could not delete my title, I opted to submit a new thread, not to be outdone or maneuvered by other experienced Airstream owners.

Since most RV's and Trailers are SQUARE, this is less of a problem. We are taking an awning intended for "normal trailers"... SQUARE. If you have not noticed, Airstreams are contrary in the trailer spectrum... they are CURVED.

This is an awning that fits both square and round... but the round has a bit of disadvantage. That curve positions the awning back three or so inches. Now, keep this secret between yourself and your dog. Let the others scratch their heads wondering how this is going to be "fixed". Rollers on the door? Rollers? How then do you close the door, or is it attached to the outside with sheet metal screws and looks like something to hang a bird feeder?

Just accept the fact that you must be careful standing on a five gallon bucket. You must also have to accept the fact you must be careful when entering or exiting the door with the Zip Dee at three notches, unless you are able to squeeze through small openings like a mouse.

Four notches and you are golden. Three, you have the nimble agility of a mouse. One or two... you are trying to break into the trailer and should be arrested immediately as ANY Airstream owner knows you cannot open the door.

Have I said everything I can? Probably not. This is for a group of us to sit around at a campsite and discuss over a few liquid refreshments. Otherwise, some will take this all too seriously and want compensation from Zip Dee... My response... buy a camper that is square... it takes experience to open a door to an Airstream. The Zip Dee manual just forgot about Airstreams and their peculiar shape... UNsquare.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:22 PM   #2
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Davenport , Iowa
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Good thinking, and suggestion about the liquid refreshmentS.
My thought on this would be to have a SMALL awning over the door and a larger for the rest of the AS. The small one would also be easier to take down in a wind and at night. It could be higher and be fastened with straps and the poles wouldn't hit you when you came out the door.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:41 PM   #3
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
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We have a small plastic stepstool we carry into the back of the truck - I can climb in without it, but, some days I'm just not feeling it. And it makes it a LOT easier to lift out our bikes and such. When I need more height on the trailer, I have that step stool. I often use it to unlatch the streetside awning, for example. (I'd rather one of those fold out steps that mounts under the truck, but given the price of them, we'll stick with the stepstool for the foreseeable future.)
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:05 PM   #4
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2014 30' FB FC Bunk
Hoover , Alabama
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,525
Im too slow in the head to remember to press up on the awning as I frequently enter and exit. A sad commentary on my poor memory or abilities, but a fact pretty much non-the-less.

My 4 year old son certainly will have a hard time complying with my request to reach up and make an effort to ensure no contact between the door and the awning. He still struggles at this point with "open ended questions", but I am told at this age, that is still more or less "age appropriate". My 2 year old daughter cannot open and close the door yet, but more years to wonder how she will do avoiding door/awning contact. My wife? Well, she has the best genetics to remember something like that, but it seems after having children, she developed what she calls "mommy brain"...she forgets things constantly since having children.

I also will camp and have guests with me with some nephews locally camp some weekends with me....most small kids less than age 6. My nieces and my sister are going to join us for a week on Tybee Island June 2015 and being they also share my DNA at least in part, I cannot guarantee they will comply.

"Rollers? How then do you close the door, or is it attached to the outside with sheet metal screws and looks like something to hang a bird feeder?"

yes, and you bring up a good point...if we made it even bigger, then we could hang a bird feeder from the larger roller fixture...bird photography is a budding hobby of mine.

Door Roller

Also I have a link to my first attempts at hummingbird taken with a tamron 180mm macro lens shot with nikon SB flash mounted on camera
Maine Hummingbird: Photo by Photographer Ellery Curtis -

Other options I thought of included taking an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor..would not fix the problem I have entirely, but would slow the progression of memory impairment some or if I am lucky totally.

Also could consider capital punishment for offenders...not sure the wife would buy into that though...DHR would frown upon it...

My policy in my camping in the past nearly 1 year has been to try and remember and be careful entering and exiting...but sadly those efforts have proven a failure as I frequently find myself opening the door when its raining, the door contacts the awning...then I say "oh S%$T, I dun forot!" then 3 year old just goes in and out without a regard for the contact...
ďThe atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them...We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.Ē

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