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Old 01-31-2021, 08:40 PM   #1
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2020 28' International
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Zipdee automatic relax awning

I have a 2020 international (28RBT) and the automatic Zipdee awning has not worked from day 1. It freezes when opening. I have taken it back to the dealer and they have tried to fix it, but canít. Zipdee is giving me and the dealer the runaround. The rear arm lags and fails to open, just stops.
Has anyone experienced this issue? Any advice?

Thanks.
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Old 01-31-2021, 08:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major_Tom;
Zipdee is giving me and the dealer the runaround.
Really? I found Zip-Dee great to work with. Dealers don't have a clue about many of the sub-systems that are installed on trailers they sell, airstream or otherwise.

I would be persistent with ZipDee and Airstream corporate. Zip-Dee are a small company, generally speaking, in my experience, they seem to care about the products they sell.
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Old 01-31-2021, 09:57 PM   #3
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Thanks - I will have to contact corporate, I guess. So far Zipdee has grilled me over whether this was a real warranty issue. I had to send them a video of our training to prove that the awning "freezes" when opening from day one - even though our dealer verified the issue. (good thing I videoed the training). I left it for a month with the dealer and they hassled with Zipdee on all of these "fixes" that didn't work.
They are even saying the rear arm "lag" is normal. The video on their website does not show this. You would think that when you buy a $120K trailer that the awning would open like it is supposed to do.
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Old 02-01-2021, 06:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major_Tom;
Thanks - I will have to contact corporate, I guess. So far Zipdee has grilled me over whether this was a real warranty issue. I had to send them a video of our training to prove that the awning "freezes" when opening from day one - even though our dealer verified the issue. (good thing I videoed the training). I left it for a month with the dealer and they hassled with Zipdee on all of these "fixes" that didn't work.

They are even saying the rear arm "lag" is normal. The video on their website does not show this. You would think that when you buy a $120K trailer that the awning would open like it is supposed to do.

Sometimes bits fail. Your trailer has five or ten thousand little bits and parts holding it together and making it work.

The issue is likely that your dealer is lazy, incompetent, doesnít care or some combination of these. This should have been caught on pre-delivery inspection and fixed prior to you getting the trailer.

Who knows what conversations they are having. I remember one thread here where a gentleman waited over a month on his dealer and they had not even contacted airstream for the warranty authorization.

Iíd stay on airstream corporate and zip Dee. Itís unfortunate but Iím sure they will find the path to resolution.
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Old 02-01-2021, 06:39 AM   #5
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Hello Major Tom

Your situation happened to me once. What I do now is stand right by the rear arm, if it shows any tendency towards stopping I give it a gentle nudge and it then extends as it should.

I think I've read about others doing the same.
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Old 02-01-2021, 06:55 AM   #6
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I'm with wulfraat, Zip Dee is usually very good with customer service. The design uses stepper motors and feedback to detect limits so if the arm mechanism is a bit out of alignment or there is excessive friction or perhaps a wiring issue it may stop deploying early. You just need get them to help you diagnose the issue correctly and apply the right fix. Perhaps you can suggest an arm swap out so they can inspect the arm directly.
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Old 02-01-2021, 07:07 AM   #7
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the rubber cushion that your arm rests against actually has two purposes, one for cushion, the other to help launch the arm when opening. Ours will sometime require "help" when opening. We've found after setting for awhile we need to clean and lubricate with silicone and white lithium grease in the hole on the outer arm, plus run in up and down several times to exercise it.
The people at Zip Dee have always been very helpful, to provide assistance, help, advice and quick service.
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Old 02-01-2021, 08:17 AM   #8
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On my 2021 international, the rear arm would get stuck as well. Especially in tilt mode. Turns out the rear arm was improperly installed at Airstream and somehow the wires were pinching and causing the motor to short. Dealer ordered a new arm, replaced and now everything fine. Also remember per Zip-Dee you should always hit the close button when you turn the switch on. Even if the thing is already closed. That resets the system.
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Old 02-01-2021, 09:26 AM   #9
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I had issues with my automatic in the beginning several years ago. They eventually replaced the motor and control board, and even installed slightly larger rubber "bumpers" giving it a little more push on the start (all under warranty). Been working fine now for the last couple years
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Old 02-01-2021, 09:56 AM   #10
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Our 2020 30ft International has the same problem. I just give it a gentle nudge when opening. I have an appointment at Jackson Center and this is on the list. I've tried lubing ever where. It worked as designed for a short period of time then started to need the gentle nudge on the rear arm, so that's just become part of the routine for opening.
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Old 02-01-2021, 10:25 AM   #11
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ZipDee Awning Issues

We have a 2017 Classic 30 with the ZipDee Relax awning. Our owners kit we received on pickup had a couple of copied pages for the Relax awning, as well as the complete, and useless, owners manual for the standard, manually operated, ZipDee awning.
During the walkthrough, the dealer tech made a big deal about how this "new, automatic awning was virtually maintenance free." Maybe if we had received the correct owners' manual I would have found out earlier this is incorrect.
My point being, you may not always be getting the best, or correct, advice from the dealer.
Our awning completely froze up last summer (out of warranty). The awning was not retracting evenly and the awning material was "penciling" around the roller shaft to the point of bending the mount at the rear of the trailer.
I called ZipDee and was connected with a service tech. He walked me through verifying the status of the control board (buried under the sink cabinets), resetting the awning, and getting it fully closed so I could make it home. He told me to call him back when I was home and at that point spent over 30 minutes walking me through the things I needed to do. Lubing the main arms with silicone spray. Cleaning and lubing the rafter arms. Resetting the awning so it retracted evenly. He was a great help. So it is distressing to hear your experience with ZipDee has not been the same. Are you talking to a customer service rep or a service tech. If not a tech, ask to be transferred.
And continue to push this through AS Corporate. Hopefully they will push down better instructions to dealers.
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Old 02-01-2021, 12:54 PM   #12
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I have had issues with my awning also but only when it is cold out (below 40) and then I just cycle it back and forth a few times (once it took 4 try's) typically just a couple. I have never tried the nudge before but certainly will next time.
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Old 02-01-2021, 07:35 PM   #13
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I have the same problem as the original poster.

On my 2020 Globetrotter 25FBT, the rear arms are not working properly and the awning will only start to deploy before freezing up after opening about 18 inches. Airstream of Scottsdale had it all day last week and determined that the horizontal stabilizer arm is at fault and Iím waiting for a replacement to arrive from ZipDee.

I found Randy in ZipDeeís service department to be very knowledgeable and patient, but it takes an Airstream dealer to get the work done under warranty. These things are over designed, finicky, and fragile.

I would prefer the simplicity and reliability of the manual awning over the misnamed Relax Awning. The reputation of the powered awning is not good and my experience with it reinforces that.
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Old 02-01-2021, 10:54 PM   #14
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We have a 2020 Globetrotter 27fb. We've had some issues with the opening of the awning going part way and stopping. We also noticed that our solar controller voltage and the voltage on the tank monitor were more than a volt different. They found that the disconnect switch at the door was not functioning correctly and was causing the voltage issues. That also solved the awning issue for us so far.
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Old 02-02-2021, 11:58 PM   #15
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Zipdee Relax awning defects

Thanks for all of your comments. I videoed the back arm deployment malfunction and sent to Zipdee. They said that the rubber bumpers donít have enough spring to launch the awning arms and they are sending new ones. I am skeptical and I think that the gas rafters are not fully charged and not pushing out the awning.
Any thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 02-03-2021, 06:54 AM   #16
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I was actually near Elk Grove Village when I ran into an issue and decided to stop by their factory. It's a not a massive place, and those folks were simply downright phenomenal to meet and work with. I had a 15 year old claw that broke off. Clearly nowhere near the warranty period. Guy took my part back to the shop, came back 5 mins later and said, this one is on us, next one is on you, on and by the way, here are some upgraded claw rests, replace the skinny ones you have and make sure to lube the awning rails.

Reminded me of the old Fantastic Vent support prior to being bought purchased from a conglomerate.

Anyway, I agree that the power awnings from what I've read are problematic, but have the utmost faith in ZipDee.
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Old 02-03-2021, 07:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major_Tom View Post
Thanks for all of your comments. I videoed the back arm deployment malfunction and sent to Zipdee. They said that the rubber bumpers donít have enough spring to launch the awning arms and they are sending new ones. I am skeptical and I think that the gas rafters are not fully charged and not pushing out the awning.
Any thoughts?

Thanks
Agree with all the previous comments sent to you. Im' not an expert on the awning by any means but have a couple of thoughts. We were at Alumapalooza a few years ago and ZipDee was there to give orientations on the manual and electric awning. They did state the delay on the rear arm was normal. The motor is on the front end (no motor on the rear). When the motor moves the front end out, there is a delay until the rear gets pulled out. The rubber bushings do "help" push it out. They probably do need replacing every now and then if they stay too compressed. ZipDee has sent me some replacements also. If it need a little help with your hands I don't think that would be an issue.

They also suggest silicone on the upper arm struts / pivot points there and at each end of the awning caps. Also lithium grease in the little hole in the inside awning arm (this will lubricate the screw that moves the awning arm in and out.

The only operating issue I have had with mine to date was with it not extending in cold weather. I was told in cold weather there could be some freezing of moisture in there (or fabric is not as flexible) that causes some resistance for opening. If the sensors detect too much resistance it will shut down the opening process. I re-set it, waited for warm weather and no issue.

FYI - I had a water leak in the awning arm area covered by Airstream Warranty. For whatever reason, the rubber bushing that the electrical wires pass through to the motor on the front arm came free. This allowed water to pass through into my front storage compartment and into the subfloor. The subfloor needed to be repaired. I would suggest if you replace any of the bushings, I would add some sealant to the entry screw area where it is fastened and sealant around any of the rivets that attached the awning arm brackets.
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Old 02-03-2021, 07:50 AM   #18
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Hate to throw more gas in this fire. But, my 2018 Classic 33 has similar problem from day 1. 1 out of 20 times, awning goes out 2í and stops. Retract and it opens fine. This year I noticed that awning fabric was winding up on itself at front, overlapping. Working with Zip Dee, they said that one of the pressured gas struts (round bars) was unbalanced (not equal pressure). Dealer is replacing both gas struts and the upper bracket that holds them to trailer body. Keep fingers crossed!
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Old 02-03-2021, 09:13 AM   #19
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We had the partial open challenge until I changed my process, when opening for the first time after setting up camp I first hit close twice. This is before attempting to open. Then push open. This resets all the sensors and I have had it open without issue since I started that process. Of course I lube things routinely.
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