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Old 05-10-2010, 10:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post
withOUT pictures it's hard to guess at ANY of the issues here.

94.9% of the problems with z/d awnings are operator errors.

and 5% are related to DRYNESS/sticking inside the strut arms.

the small hook ((travel latch)) riveted to the tube cover is a relatively recent addition to the product.

and only a 2ndary/back up mechanism (think belt/suspenders)

and it's located at the rear because the spring is near the rear on the patio awning, as i recall.

the rotary/WHEEL turn knobs at each end will totally secure the roller.

Attachment 102180

EVEN without the internal spring, but the ROTARY knobs need to be firmly tightened.

there are 30 years of patio awnings out there doing FINE without the hook/travel latch.

curbside window only awnings CAN unroll during travel with enough SIDE WIND, once the spring fatigues.

that typically takes 20 years, but the small hook/latches on the window awnings are useful in that regard.
_________

sorry shinny but the z/d bits may be the BEST parts on the stream, and the design has ~40 years+ of reliability...

THAT's the primary rub against the z/d parts, the design is LONG toothed and so MANUAL.
_________

while it's fine to contact them directly this stuff is also covered under the a/s warranty

and a qualified a/s dealer should be able to handle repairs.

cheers
2air'
94.9% operator error; I would say more like +94.9%! I am personally part of the +94.9% club; a set of rafter arms and a nice scratch on one the body panels later; what can I say. Go to the Zip Dee video on U-tube and watch until you have it memorized; that cured me.

Ed
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:31 AM   #22
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I have seen you mention this before, bit I am not sure which part you are refering to...
Quote:
2) The forced action of pushing out the aluminum struts can result in time of having a bent aluminum strut.
You have main arms and rafter arms, which one of these are the struts?
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:26 AM   #23
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A&E still sells awnings for Airstreams.

I still prefer Zip Dee awnings.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:25 PM   #24
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Zip Dee Hell Update

I spoke to Richard at Zip Dee this AM and he directed me to Benlo RV in nearby Cabazon in the Palm Springs area. The good news is my Airstream is in one of their inside storage units next door. Richard said that it sounded like the canister spring 'came un-sprung.' Richard agreed that the spring holds the awning closed, but that the single safety catch at the rear should provide protection in these rare cases.

Someone here suggested cable ties and another velcro. As I see it that would only hold the outriggers in place. Once the spring goes look out.

The tech at Benlo has been fixing awnings for 22 years. He said he has seen this happen maybe a couple of dozen times with the spring issue. Might have been a bad day at ZipDee or at the AS factory or just a defective part. My AS will be out of action for two to four weeks while they take it off, inspect and order replacement parts. I have to pay for the parts and labor and then see if ZipDee will reimburse them in a timely manner.

I called Richard back at ZipDee but he was out to lunch. They gave me to Linda. Linda was the polar opposite to Richard. She told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, that their products had been tested, and that the patio awning could not unfurl if the safety clasp was in place. Further, Linda said that their engineers had proven that in a case like this the awning would only unfurl from the back. Well I know what I saw, and yes it did try in the back too, but it really came loose all the way to the front where there was not safety catch.

The tech told me that based on what he's seen, and if this was his trailer he would install not, one or two, but three safety catches. As you'll notice in my photos, the single safety catch ZipDee provided was starting to bend upward and would have likely failed too at some point. The C-Clamps in my photos were my saving grace to limp home.


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Old 05-10-2010, 02:58 PM   #25
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Those round wheel stops hold the arms of the awning tight to the trailer. If the spring in the roller tube breaks it is possible for the awning to unfurl even though the wheel stops are tight.
On my awning I have a Zee Lock which is locked when the awning is in the travel position(rolled up). When locked the roller tube cannot rotate.
When you unfurl the awning you are supposed to leave the lock unlocked.
In my opinion every awning should have the Zee lock.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:31 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Your issues are clearly the exception. I would suggest that you contact zipdee and let them make it right.
Airstream warrants the trailer from hitch to back bumper. Yours is new enough to still be under warranty. Make a claim with Airstream if Zip-Dee denies your warranty claim with them. In fact, you probably should let them know just in case and so that they can add it to their warranty log of issues with the product. If they keep such a log...plus, it could have been installer error, i.e. Airstream's falt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman View Post

the rotary/WHEEL turn knobs at each end will totally secure the roller.

cheers
2air'
I know that this is true. My hook broke off because my roller tube got bent. For over a year we have traveled at 75 MPH on the interstate for hours at the time passing semis and other high profile vehicles and have never had the awning unfurl. Yes, the majority of the awning staying retracted was thanks to the spring, but I don't think my spring is all that tight. When I begin retracting it I have to push on it until it is about half way rolled up. Then it will finish retracting on its own.

I am not a tall person (5'-6" here) with a 20 year old back injury and I had always had issues extending the patio awning on our Airstream. It is either 19' or 20' in length, I forget but it is heavy. I purchased a a set of Lift Handles, I think they were under $25/pair at the time,(Awnings By Zip-Dee) and that made a tremendous difference in my ability to lift our awning. That, and $16 bucks for a latch hook kit for the front end is way cheaper than throwing away a new awning that is about $2K IIRC and replacing it with a new other brand.

I know you are frustrated to have paid so much for a new trailer to have this happen, but any problems I have had were a result of operator error. What I don't understand is why Zip-Dee doesn't include something as inexpensive as the lift handles on a product they sell for so much.
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:58 PM   #27
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poor quality ZipDee arm

Hi, We purchased a 2008 20' Safari from Colonial in July of 2008. While we have never taken it out on the road, we do have a nice setup here on our property. Last July we extended the awning as per usual procedure.... However, when it was time to retract to close up for the weekend, the front arm bent and we were unable to get the awning put away. Being the front arm we were able to take arm off. The arm was bent, see photos. Colonial after several weeks and several phone calls and and the photo replaced the arm under warrenty. It seems like the awning was under too much tension. At the very end of the roll up it almost pulls me off the ground ! While waiting for the new warrentied arm we had a spare off of an 1977. Boy, the difference in metal weight and quality was amazing ! The 1977 arm was so much more sturdy !! Installed new front arm. The back arm then bent ! Unfortunately, my husband in taking the back arm bracket off ran into a spring attack ! Dent in bottom panel and a still numb finger.... Looks like the quality has gone down in metal used and if the Factory (or Colonial ) installed the awing, they must have wound the spring WAY too much !! Two strikes ! Did I mention that once the weather warmed up on of the silver vinyl trim sections just fell off. The 1972 and even the 2005 is much better quality than the 2008.....
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:02 PM   #28
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ShinyRd...

Wow, I feel for your frustration over the awing spring breaking/unhooking...

In looking at your pic's, I see where the awing fabric was still a bit loose - from trying to furl the awing by hand, I assume - a real challenging task, at best, and a nasty job on the road when it's been flapping in the breeze!

I guess my question is, if you were able to furl the awing normally, in effect completely inside the alum covering slats, wouldn't the threaded stowing 'wheels' hold the entire awing assembly tight enough against the trailer body, that it wouldn't be able to unfurl - even with the unattached internal spring?

Our older AS doesn't have any secondary hook locks, and I've never seen any need - till your posts, of course!

We have one hook lock on the long window awning on the road side, and, unfortunately one of the rivets holding it have come loose - so I've removed it for now - but have many road miles on it without any sign of that awing coming unfurled from road speed winds, etc -

I guess I'll take another look to reattach the hook for additional safety - maybe the springs were stronger in the older units, as that sucker doesn't seem to move one bit when furled...

Your awing alerts have given many of us notice to keep an occasional 'eyeball' on our treasured shade canvas...

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Old 05-10-2010, 09:41 PM   #29
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This is a good thread. Sorry about the damage. Made me take a look at a few of the videos...

This guy makes it look easy..

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Old 05-11-2010, 10:04 AM   #30
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I should have taken another picture when the fabric was out another 5 feet at the front or billowing in the wind while traveling but this was a solo trip and I had my hands full. My photos here were after winding it back in with my hands under the canister as far as I could get it before attaching the C-clamps in Barstow in a Home Depot parking lot.

If I had the time (still working full time) to make a short video while my canister spring is broken, it would show that with both wheel knobs locked over the outriggers you can easily pull the awning fabric out at the front, even with the extra security catch closed at the back. A lot of people on this thread seem to think that those knobs will keep the awning fabric canister closed. They do not if the enclosure spring fails. Adding 2 or 3 safety catches is really cheap insurance. The photos I posted yesterday also show that the one and only factory safety catch was partially deformed and on its way to failure.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:49 AM   #31
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Im sorry you even have to post a thread like this with a 2010 model. I work with new high end cars everyday and typically when something happens it happens right away. If a part is defective it usually will fail within a few hundred miles. I think you just had a random mechnical failure and hopefully they can fix it without anymore stress to you. There should be something thrown in for your pain and suffering.. like a free detail or sumptin.. lol

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Old 05-11-2010, 10:57 AM   #32
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Just a guess

Based on my experience with the Zip Dee awning on our new 2010, I'd say the spring failed because the installer wound it up too tight during installation. That was the case with mine. When I first unfurled the awning it got away from me and slammed closed. No damage anyway. So I got a couple of guys and we unwound the spring 4 full revolutions before it would operate properly.

I've had experience with those K&E awnings on Airstreams in the late 90s. K&E quit making the brackets to fit Airstream when Airstream quit specing them.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:12 AM   #33
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Thank you Antique Pedaler as you made a good point. In retrospect my awnings seemed to have too much spring tension in them from day one. They were hard to extend or retract without the springs pulling like heck all the time and it made operation by one person difficult. I watched the ZipDee video and my awning could not be easily operated as in their video. Guess that factory and my dealer let it slip. That said I think that having two or three safety catches should be a slam dunk!

Airslide, After speaking with ZipDee I don't see any extra love. I'll have to pay for everything upfront (labor, parts and shipping) and then I'll go to work getting reimbursed.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:46 AM   #34
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... I'll have to pay for everything upfront (labor, parts and shipping) and then I'll go to work getting reimbursed.
is there some reason u r NOT taking this too an a/s dealer so THEY can handle this?

most dealer/service shops will do this stuff, and the stream should NOT be out of action for a MONTH...

also removal/mounting and everything SHELL related for the repairs should be handled by an a/s service center...

because IF there are 2ndary issues or ONgoing problems after the repairs and they've been done by a NON a/s shop...

that's a problem for sure (think LEAKS)

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #35
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I agree with 2air. This would seem to be an Airstream warrenty issue. Airstream should be involved and you should not be out of pocket a penny for repairs. My experience with A/S for warrenty issues has been excellent. I suggest you give them a call before you do any repairs yourself as that could void the warrenty.

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Old 05-12-2010, 11:30 AM   #36
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I agree with 2air. This would seem to be an Airstream warrenty issue. Airstream should be involved and you should not be out of pocket a penny for repairs. My experience with A/S for warrenty issues has been excellent. I suggest you give them a call before you do any repairs yourself as that could void the warrenty.

John
The Airstream warranty, usually does not cover "owner errors".

Thousands upon thousands of Zip Dee awning owners, that use the center support, have never experienced any problems with it.

The bottom line is how much tension you apply to that arm. If it's proper, the arm cannot fall out, as thousands will confirm.

If anyone were to blame, I would suggest the dealer that sold the trailer, for not giving proper instructions to the buyer. Airstream has no control over that issue.

Andy
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:07 PM   #37
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...Thousands upon thousands of Zip Dee awning owners, that use the center support, have never experienced any problems with it...
wrong thread.

this 1 is about the original/new internal roller SPRING.

cheers
2air'
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:22 PM   #38
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ShinyRoad,
I'm not a well experienced Airstream Traveler but when we started RVing, I put an emergency kit together. (Not to be confused with the standard tool kit I carry.) 2 rolls of duct tape, mult. cable ties, several wire cloths hangers with a pair of dykes and pliers, a roll of visqueen plastic, several small tarps, assorted bungie cords, misc spring loaded clamps and now, thanks to your insight into something I hadn't thought of, 4 large c-clamps. Wishing you the best.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:37 PM   #39
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It's a shame this happened to you and a representative from Zip Dee in this weak market blew you off, go figure, common sense anyone.

Awnings - manual or electric? I've had many motorhomes before my airstream with both manual and electric awnings. My favorite is the manual for many reasons, 1. you can determine the pitch, 2. you can secure it yourself and be sure, unless something breaks. 3. Even though I have a Carefree now without a rachet mechanism I like it. I had a Carefree electric on my 40' coach and being 13 feet up and a 5 degree pitch it was about as worthless as you know what on a boar. I extended it in Florida last year on vacation and 2/3 rds the way down it flopped open. Guess what, the end cap spun out on the rod from the motor. A technician came out 4 days later (Monday) and showed me it had been modified to a newer slip proof stlye, and even though under warranty, only 3 years old, Carefree would not pay for the repairs unless the head was replaced (5 days later due to shipping from them) They told me to go see my dealer since I opted to have the old one modified that day for $200 so I could leave and continue my vacation instead of paying another $250 to stay where I was. I already extended my stay 4 days on my nickle. So much for another manufacturer's helpfulness even under warranty. Carefree of Colorado didn't give a hoot.

Stick with Zip Dee after it's fixed to your satisfaction.
Good luck on your quest.
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Old 05-14-2010, 04:51 PM   #40
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Glad I found this thread as we just had a major problem with our zip dee three days. ago. We have a 2009 International that we bought in Feb and the fourth time we put down the awning, well, it went down fine, but the next morning it wouldn't move! No wind that nite at all! many people in the park came to our rescue but we couldn't get the arm to release (the one that goes into itself). So we called zipdee, no help there, thus we took it apart, bought some marine grade green twine stuff and when we got to a dealer, the part was bad. BUT in order for zipdee to honor the warranty, we would have to send it back, they would look at it, then decide whether or not to honor the warranty. Took too long so we ordered new ones...they do make stainless steel ones and we ordered those. Why do things always happen the furthest from home and our dealer! I do know how disappointed you are with the zipdee and AS as a whole. So far we have have a flood (not leak) from not placing the seals properly in the storage compartments, then leaks, too many to count, then the tires had bulges and AS said they were ok, BUT Goodyear said they were bad! So we put on new tires and not at the AS expense. Yes we are getting disolussioned at best. What happened to quality control???
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