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Old 08-16-2018, 07:11 AM   #1
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Zip Dee Relax Awning Procedure

Just some learn from my own mistakes info I’d like to share about the Zip Dee, Relax 12v automatic patio awning. If you ever disconnect 12v power from your unit (say for storage) then reapply 12v power (say getting ready for a trip) and you want to extend the awning you must first run a close cycle (or retract) before extending the awning. This recalibrates the awning for trouble free operation and is clearly stated in the Operations Instructions (which I never read) and was not conveyed to us at walk through. Nor was the proper operation explained when we took it back to dealer for repair (awning not operating properly, and fabric pulled out of the front of the channel) and no explanation as to why it malfunctioned. So, when this happened a second time I called Zip Dee and they set me on the right track without bashing me for not reading my operating manual. Also, of interest is, improper operation of awning by owner is not covered under warranty. For those of you who actually read all the material that comes with your Airstream my hat is off to you.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:54 PM   #2
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Thanks for the reminder Airhead2018. There’s a lot of information thrown out during the walk through and a lot of paperwork to read over, it’s easy to miss something along the way.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:47 PM   #3
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Wow! Just wow! Thanks, we will be taking ours out from storage for the first time next eeek and I too have never read or heard of this procedure.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wconley View Post
Wow! Just wow! Thanks, we will be taking ours out from storage for the first time next eeek and I too have never read or heard of this procedure.
So happy my learning curve will help someone else!
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:10 PM   #5
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Airhead2018 - you are beating yourself up for something that should not be happening at all.

The Zip Dee manual (which I have read several times) needs a good re-write to clarify their operating directions. Ten of the 14 pages are about how to install one (which does not apply to most of us). Two pages are Operating Instructions which are as clear as mud. In the latter, they write that anytime there is a "gap in power to the awning, RUN A CLOSE CYCLE before attempting any other functions on the awning." Logically (to me), the very next sentence should define exactly what a "close cycle" is. When I called the Zip Dee trouble shooting number (open Mon-Fri 8 am to 4:15 pm), the lady told me that the close cycle was indeed defined in the manual. She couldn't tell me where it was defined but in reading through all of it again, I found it in the INSTALLATION section (specifically, #12 on page 11).
Why am I spending part of my morning posting this? Because I've read too many posts about the costly mistakes owners unwittingly make when operating their very expensive Zip Dee awnings when they first use them. My dealer didn't mention the little detail about the consequences of power cut-off to the awning; or how to correct for it. The Zip Dee installation/owner manual buries this information in the installation section. The lady on the trouble shooting line was helpful with her tips - which ought to be in the manual i.e. never turn your awning power button off (ever); press "Close", then "Open" each time you extend your awning, etc.

So much waste occurs (of time, money, re-work) because Zip Dee nor the dealers are incentivized to properly educate awning owners because incorrect operation of the awning and ensuing damage are NOT covered by the warranty. All repair costs fall on the owners (which enables Zip Dee to make even more money, right?)

Recommendations:
1) Zip Dee - separate the installation instructions from the operating instructions i.e. create 2 manuals. Re-write the operating instructions from the NEW CUSTOMER viewpoint. Currently, the Zip Dee operating instructions seem to be written by a Zip Dee person who knows them inside and out.
2) AS dealerships - ensure the walk-through person/dealer is trained on how these awnings work, including how easily malfunctions can occur.

3) Air Stream Headquarters: Insist that Zip Dee improve their operating instructions manual - they are the only awning provider you use, they make a lot of money because of that, and should be eager to do this. Also, ensure dealers are educated and trained on not just the fun side of operating the awnings (because it was fun to see during my walk-through) but also on the havoc that so easily happens by not knowing about consequences of power cut-off.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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Say AirHead, any relation to the AirHead compost toilet people? Sorry, I could not resist that. On earlier Relax awnings, Airstream did not install a master awning switch. That caused batteries to run down because of residual draw when not being used. Later, I believed they did, even though ZIP Dee recommended that all along. Consequently, any time the master is turned on the awning must be placed in the closed position first. If Zip Dee would program the awning computer to do that, life would be simpler.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead2018 View Post
Just some learn from my own mistakes info I’d like to share about the Zip Dee, Relax 12v automatic patio awning. If you ever disconnect 12v power from your unit (say for storage) then reapply 12v power (say getting ready for a trip) and you want to extend the awning you must first run a close cycle (or retract) before extending the awning. This recalibrates the awning for trouble free operation and is clearly stated in the Operations Instructions (which I never read) and was not conveyed to us at walk through. Nor was the proper operation explained when we took it back to dealer for repair (awning not operating properly, and fabric pulled out of the front of the channel) and no explanation as to why it malfunctioned. So, when this happened a second time I called Zip Dee and they set me on the right track without bashing me for not reading my operating manual. Also, of interest is, improper operation of awning by owner is not covered under warranty. For those of you who actually read all the material that comes with your Airstream my hat is off to you
FWIW.
We had our 2017 30' Classic in for replacing a malfunctioning Converter. In the process it sat on the dealers lot with batteries and converter removed.
I had the batteries out a number of times and never experienced any problems with initial deployment of the awning. Hit the extend button and out she went.
With that said I will follow your advice in the future.
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:04 PM   #8
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Seems to me Zip Dee could solve this issue if they just progammed a close signal to initiate each time an open signal was sent!
Wouldn't the. matter what series of events preceded each requst to " open"
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Old 08-17-2018, 07:16 PM   #9
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What is the rest of the industry doing? I don't hear about these issues with other awning manufacturers! Why would AS put up with this? Are they just plain incompetent?

When the Firefly system failed to meet their expectations, AS fired them and moved on to Czone. That is the way it is supposed to work. I can understand keeping the manual system for historical reasons, but come on, why put everyone through this with the ZipDee Relax system?

Move on to a manufacturer who knows something about power awnings!
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:37 AM   #10
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Automatic Zip Dee awning information

I wanted to post this information as we too have had problems with our awning. We traded for a new 2019 Globetrotter back in July. At the dealer, the awning extended and retracted as advertised. We returned to the campground and during the night, the maintenance person came to our power pole and unplugged our AS. This was to change breakers as our neighbor had problems with power. After that, our awning never did work as it should. I took it back to the dealer for repair or whatever it needed and we left with it working. Next day, it would extend and retract but would not tilt. Again a trip back to the shop. The technician was very smart on these units and after calling Zip Dee a new control board was ordered overnight FedEx. Upon installation, the awning has worked flawlessness since. Also, additional information to know in that the control board is located in a compartment below the kitchen sink in a compartment closed by four screws. The technician also showed me a little red button located on upper right of control board which will reset everything. This is in case everything screws up again. After pressing that button, a close cycle must be completed. It has been working as it should ever since. I'll just take my old manual opening awning anytime. Hope this helps.
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:48 PM   #11
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Also while traveling awning should be locked out by switch to prevent opening. this can also be accomplished by hinting your brakes in the TV while attached to trailer with the 7 pin connector(supposedly)
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:58 PM   #12
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Rear side of awning is “lazy”

I took delivery of a new 2020 27FB Globetrotter with the ZipDee Relax Awning. Aside from the awning being way over complicated in the way it operates (e.g the brain) mine has a lazy rear side of the awning (the non powered end).

I had the dealership look at it and they said that was normal with the longer awnings where you have to give it a nudge.

I had originally through it was an under powered gas strut or it needed an adjustment.

Not quite buying it is normal operating procedure but thought I would leverage the wisdom of the crowds to help.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:47 PM   #13
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Good to know. thanks.
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:37 PM   #14
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Auto Awning malfunction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead2018 View Post
Also while traveling awning should be locked out by switch to prevent opening. this can also be accomplished by hinting your brakes in the TV while attached to trailer with the 7 pin connector(supposedly)
My installation/operators manual indicates not to “lock out” the awning by switch when traveling. In fact, it says leave the unit powered on while traveling, “which scares me to death”. Initially, I thought it was a printing error. But no, that is correct. They don’t want the power turned off to the unit while traveling. Don’t figure!
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingLink5 View Post
My installation/operators manual indicates not to “lock out” the awning by switch when traveling. In fact, it says leave the unit powered on while traveling, “which scares me to death”. Initially, I thought it was a printing error. But no, that is correct. They don’t want the power turned off to the unit while traveling. Don’t figure!
I would have to call on that one.
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:25 PM   #16
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Airstream manual is wrong - ZipDee says turn off when traveling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingLink5 View Post
My installation/operators manual indicates not to “lock out” the awning by switch when traveling. In fact, it says leave the unit powered on while traveling, “which scares me to death”. Initially, I thought it was a printing error. But no, that is correct. They don’t want the power turned off to the unit while traveling. Don’t figure!
There’s another thread about a power awning deploying when on the road. ZipDee has since updated the control panel to include a switch to disconnect power to prevent this. Owners of older units are encouraged to install a disconnect switch to prevent unwanted deployment.

To your point, the Airstream manual has it backwards. See Post# 56:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f540...-195274-3.html

You should turn the control panel switch OFF during travel. Try it yourself by turning the switch ON and press open. Then close it and turn the switch OFF and press open - it will not open!
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:46 PM   #17
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I trust the lable on the switch as when off it actually cuts the power to the computer on the awning.
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Old 06-14-2020, 02:26 PM   #18
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Hello,

Does anybody know the lubrication procedure. Our 18 month old globetrotter awning has stopped working while wife on solo trip. Coachnet came out. Tech very knowledgeable and nice. After working for an hour determined it was failed due to lack of lubrication and to be serviced by dealer. Lazy days in MN appointment on Tuesday. Will see what happens.
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Old 06-14-2020, 03:16 PM   #19
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There is a small hole (about 1/8") on each arm. ZipDee says to use white lithium grease (if I recall correctly). WD40 makes this in a spray can with a thin tube. Insert the tube into the holes and give them a shot of grease. Then cycle the awning a couple of times to distribute. Our Relax was also having problems when we bought our used 2018, but after doing this a couple of times it has worked fine for us.
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