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Old 11-13-2020, 05:47 PM   #1
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2017 20' Flying Cloud
Williamson County , Texas
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Zip Dee Manual Awning Winding and Unwinding

So the first thing I will say is that this can be a dangerous operation, so proceed with sensible caution. If you are in any way not confident in your capabilities go with a professional.

First step is to view the procedure on the Zip Dee video, and review the written instructions for awning replacement. You will note that a helper is mandatory. Always good to have a helper, but I believe that my method is acceptable, and in my opinion offers more stability than a perhaps inexperienced helper.

I recommend ONLY the Zip Dee video, there is at least one other video on this procedure that in my opinion is very dangerous where it shows unwinding the head without the lever arm attached (yikes).

You have watched the video right? Ok then:

-Prior to detaching the support arm from the bracket, what I have done is support the roller at the tension end with either a step ladder or as in the photo a hi lift jack.

-With that vertical support, the next step is to attach a ratchet strap to the shaft. I attached the other end to my truck , but any substantial tie point inline with the end would work. The idea is you are counteracting the spring force trying to pull the awning towards the trailer, and that force is significant.

-Now you can detach the lower bolt at the arm pivot and lower the arm to the ground, there is only a modest force due to the long lever arm.

-Next you can lift the arm, slide of the extension, and proceed as the video shows you.

IMPORTANT: if during the winding or unwinding process you lose control of the arm, DO NOT TRY TO CATCH IT OR STOP IT. It will spin around like an out of balance prop, but will eventually stop. That is the potentially dangerous part of the procedure, but if you proceed sensibly and keep control of the arm at all times it does not require much strength to do a full wind or unwind due to the leverage of the arm.
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Old 11-16-2020, 06:53 AM   #2
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Regarding safety awareness. See post #16
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:18 AM   #3
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Yes. I have done this many times.
It's never fun, but it is doable with caution.
As far as winding, the rule of thumb is one turn per foot of awning plus 7. The seven turns added is because it takes seven turns to unwind away from the body to the deployed position.
I always have a helper handy, to keep things steady, and to assist if needed.
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