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Old 10-03-2007, 10:14 AM   #1
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Zip Dee up or Zip Dee down?

We are going on our first trip the weekend for 4 nights. My goal is not to mess anything up and have a good time with the family. When I bought our AS the maintenance guy giving us the walk-through told me not to leave the awning up and unattended. His suggestion was if I was not using it, roll it up. I know that the awnings are expensive and can cause a lot of damage if a strong storm rolls in.

My questions to you experienced Streamers is:
-Do you put the awning up at night?
-Do you use the awning tie-downs?
-If you use the tie-downs, what works best?

Any other input would be great.

Thanks
Ron
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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Hi Ron,
Have fun with your new trailer.
My advice is to always put the awning away when you are not there.
I went five sites down for a potluck dinner. Torrential rain for five minutes and the awning was on the ground. Insurance covered and for $300.00 I got a new awning with all arms etc.
I never thought about my awning while I was at my friends.
I even put it away when I go to bed.
You will learn that to put it away only takes two minutes if that.
So why take the chance.
Al
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:26 AM   #3
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Put it up unless absolutely sure of no winds at night

Another reason to leave it up is that generally, when camping, heavy dews descend in the morning, leaving the fabric wet for several (or more) hours.

If you depart without permitting the awnings to dry, and they are left rolled up wet (stored) the fabric will mildew - VERY difficult to clean.
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Old 10-03-2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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I don't have a Zip Dee on our vintage trailers, however I saw one get literally blown off and taken away four trailers down at the International Rally in Springfield MO a couple of years ago. Not only did it damage the owner's trailer but also the one down the way.

I've also been at rallies where micro-burst kind of storms come up, the owner's are away and the other rally participants have taken down the awnings in their absence...however I wouldn't want to depend on anybody else being around and doing that for you. I for one, don't know how to operate Zip Dees - so I focused on the stake & pole vintage awnings that day.

Better safe than sorry ~

Shari
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:18 AM   #5
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The basic advice for awnings is:
If you're going away for the day, roll it up.
If the sky looks threatening, roll it up.
If it is windy, roll it up. (over 25mph)
If the weather forecast is for rain, roll it up.
If you see all the other campers rolling theirs up, roll it up.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:18 AM   #6
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Have your awning arms different lengths when you do put your awning up. Standing to the side it will look like the awning is at a slant compared to the line of the trailer. This allows rain to shed sideways and not pool in the middle and break your arms. This is just a good habit to get into -- the amount doesn't have to be severe. Usually have the arm by the door fully extended so the door clears, then the other end can be one or two clicks less. You'll be there during the occasional rain and observe how this does work!

I use HoldAwn tiedowns. They are easy to use and have a little give. We had some fresh breezes this last weekend and I was reassured that nothing was shaking or billowing. I'd have put it away if there was any hint of that.

Variable strong winds? Storms? Leaving the campsite? Always put it away. (Wish I could say I was that good...)
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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We always have ours out. Of course a little common sense is needed and there is a learning curve. We like to leave ours out so that it covers our chairs from rain and heavy dew. It also lets people know we are home. If the weather is getting wet or with a mild breeze we set out the Zip-Dee in the Rally Position. Once or twice we have tied down the corners when it looks to get really bad out, but always make sure we have a rain dip set up if it is going to rain. All in all the awning is there to use so we do!
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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Ron -

Good advice from all above.
We keep ours open as long as we are near - if we go sightseeing during the day, the awnings get rolled up.
Overnight, stays out if good weather is forecast - rolled up if at all questionable.
I use tie-downs almost always - just in case.
Stakes in the ground and I use those truck-bed ratchetable tie downs.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:12 PM   #9
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We leave ours up day and night while camping if it's not very windy.

If it rains we lower one of the arms so the water runs off.

While camping beachfront in Fort DeSoto (FL), we discovered very quickly that the evening sea breezes were too much for the awning - we got into the habit of putting it away at night. But for regular camping we leave it up.
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:30 PM   #10
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We use our awnings whenever we are at the site or not far away (like walking the dogs) but if the weather is threatening or erratic we leave them up...we habitually roll them up at night these days because it's no fun to worry about them in the middle of the night if it starts to get windy...and even less fun to get up in the middle of the night and get dressed in a hurry to put them away...I've done it! We also hang a small wind chime from the awning that gives us an audible warning if the wind picks up and we happen to be inside...besides the chime being a nice thing to have... And the uneven set up is important if it's raining... We have a couple of extra long bungee cords that we are going to try out for tie-downs (using tent stakes to anchor them, and adjust the tension)...we are hoping they will keep it steady in light breezes and yet have enought give as to not be too ridged...and they can quickly be removed if a quick roll-up is necessary. (I'll get to report how well this works...)

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Old 10-03-2007, 11:27 PM   #11
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Depends on where you are, and what time of year it is. Here in California during the summer there isn't usually much problem with wind or rain.....in MOST places. We normally leave them up, some common sense is assumed. I know, I probably shouldn't assume...
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:32 PM   #12
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I'm so confused!!!

I kinda find this thread funny...is your awning "up" or "down" when it is in use? I see references to both here...to me, a ZipDee is "down" when it is in use and "up" when it's not - "We pulled the awning down" and "rolled the awning up".

With our stake & tent pole we say it is "up" when it is in use and down when it is not - "We put the awning up" and "take the awning down".

Shari
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:45 PM   #13
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Perhaps we should say rolled up, or pulled out? Up to me, is rolled up/put away/stowed.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:14 AM   #14
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As someone who has suffered damage to my awning from the elements, I keep mine stowed at night and secure when deployed.
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:58 AM   #15
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Left mine up and level in the rain. Bent the support arm.

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Old 10-04-2007, 06:53 AM   #16
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Heed your dealer's advice and roll it up if you're not around. EVEN AT NIGHT. Roll it up before the dew sets in just in case you move before having a chance to dry it out. Save yourself a painful expense in repair. Been there and done that. ZIP DEE never even included the tee shirt! Stupid me

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Old 10-04-2007, 09:43 PM   #17
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I use the "Would I feel stupid" rule.

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Old 10-04-2007, 10:12 PM   #18
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You have gotten a lot of good advice. Bottom line, an awning anchored to the side of a trailer is just about impossible to leave out and not incurr damage.

My friend who spends the winter in south texas does leave his out all the time. He uses a 2-3 inch nylon strap running the long way of the awning placed about a foot from the outside edge. Each end is then attached to a fairly heavy spring which then fastens to an anchor in the ground. He also used the clips from camping world to attach the side of the awning to the braces.

I almost never put mine out. Caravanned for 3 months this summer and it wasn't out once.
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:18 PM   #19
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Wind vs Rain

Wind is my biggest fear with the Zip Dee. Rain is not a problem if you keep the awning angled. During rain, I keep mine at the 4th hole on the front of the AS where the door is, and the 1st or 2nd hole at the rear. This gives a good angle to prevent water from pooling on the fabric and bending the arms.

I witnessed an SOB bend it's supports at Bullards Beach SP in Oregon last weekend by collecting water on the fabric. When the owner woke up, he must have had 50-75 gallons of water collected on the awning. One support arm remained straight....the other bent 90 degrees.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:10 AM   #20
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Up or down? Is that a card game?

We've been in the mountains of Western NC since April. During that month, we had 70 MPH winds and of course the awning was up. After we cleaned up all the limbs that came down the awning went back out to cover our carpet and chairs and it's been out ever since. It's tied down big time and tilted when it rains or when we leave for the day.
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