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Old 06-20-2019, 11:52 AM   #1
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
Midland , MI
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 86
ZipZee Powered Awning Failure

We picked up our brand new Tommy Bahama 27' a month ago. The technician operated the awning to show us how it worked and it was fine. I was outside yesterday checking everything in preparation for a trip and decided to cycle the awning to make sure it was functional - I read many threads discussing problems with these awnings. The awning opened properly, but when I tried to retract it the front arm wouldn't retract which left the front end up in air a few feet. Being a brand new trailer, this was pretty frustrating. I was supposed to get an awning manual operation kit with the trailer, but didn't.

I opened the awning all the way - the rear arm didn't extend and the front one remained extended. I waited until today to do anything more since there was no urgency and I didn't want to damage anything further. I called both my dealer to ask about the manual operation kit and I called ZipZee to see if they had any suggestions. I talked to Randy at ZipZee, a very nice guy, and he asked about the status of the control panel lights. I found the control panel mounted under the kitchen sink and took a picture of the lights as that was easier than getting my head in there! The "front-home" light was on, even though the awning was in an open position. The home light is supposed to light up when the limit switch for the closed position is activated. Since it was lit, that meant the control system thought it was in home position and didn't need to retract. Randy suggested I disconnect the front home wire to trick the control into thinking it was open rather than closed (which it was of course). He thought that might make the retract operation happen. Since there is no limit switch in play, there is a risk of over retracting the arm. I paid close attention, ready to shut it down when the arm got close to the scribe mark. Sadly, nothing happened. The awning retracted as before, full retraction on the rear and none on the front This left the front arm up in the air a few feet. (It's worth noting the rear arm didn't extend when I tried to open the awning. Instead of saying "open" on the control pad, it said "status" and kept flashing. The motor in the front arm kept running as well. I immediately shut it down to prevent motor burn out.)

So then I decided to try closing it manually. I didn't receive the kit, which includes a flex drive for this purpose, but I do have a right angle drive for my drill and a 5/16" drive socket. Using that I was able to retract the front arm. (If you ever have to do this, retract the awning part way to tip the arms up to allow access to the drive shaft. Otherwise the right angle drive won't fit, or it may scratch the trailer.)

When the awning was fully closed both home lights were lit. The awning is supposed to reset when it's closed so I had hopes that this would cure the problem. It didn't. The awning opens but neither drive arm extends so it's in a very tipped position, essentially unusable.

If anyone has thoughts on fixing this, please respond. My dealer is 3 hours away and I would rather not bring it to them if I can avoid it. Thank you.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:22 PM   #2
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2019 30' Classic
Canfield , Ohio
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 2,293
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobnGayl View Post

If anyone has thoughts on fixing this, please respond. My dealer is 3 hours away and I would rather not bring it to them if I can avoid it. Thank you.
You're right! The dealer probably would just call ZipDee. I'm guessing you have a bad board. ZipDee can send you one. Call them again. I've seen them go out of their way to help.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:44 AM   #3
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Jackson Center , Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobnGayl View Post
We picked up our brand new Tommy Bahama 27' a month ago. The technician operated the awning to show us how it worked and it was fine. I was outside yesterday checking everything in preparation for a trip and decided to cycle the awning to make sure it was functional - I read many threads discussing problems with these awnings. The awning opened properly, but when I tried to retract it the front arm wouldn't retract which left the front end up in air a few feet. Being a brand new trailer, this was pretty frustrating. I was supposed to get an awning manual operation kit with the trailer, but didn't.

I opened the awning all the way - the rear arm didn't extend and the front one remained extended. I waited until today to do anything more since there was no urgency and I didn't want to damage anything further. I called both my dealer to ask about the manual operation kit and I called ZipZee to see if they had any suggestions. I talked to Randy at ZipZee, a very nice guy, and he asked about the status of the control panel lights. I found the control panel mounted under the kitchen sink and took a picture of the lights as that was easier than getting my head in there! The "front-home" light was on, even though the awning was in an open position. The home light is supposed to light up when the limit switch for the closed position is activated. Since it was lit, that meant the control system thought it was in home position and didn't need to retract. Randy suggested I disconnect the front home wire to trick the control into thinking it was open rather than closed (which it was of course). He thought that might make the retract operation happen. Since there is no limit switch in play, there is a risk of over retracting the arm. I paid close attention, ready to shut it down when the arm got close to the scribe mark. Sadly, nothing happened. The awning retracted as before, full retraction on the rear and none on the front This left the front arm up in the air a few feet. (It's worth noting the rear arm didn't extend when I tried to open the awning. Instead of saying "open" on the control pad, it said "status" and kept flashing. The motor in the front arm kept running as well. I immediately shut it down to prevent motor burn out.)

So then I decided to try closing it manually. I didn't receive the kit, which includes a flex drive for this purpose, but I do have a right angle drive for my drill and a 5/16" drive socket. Using that I was able to retract the front arm. (If you ever have to do this, retract the awning part way to tip the arms up to allow access to the drive shaft. Otherwise the right angle drive won't fit, or it may scratch the trailer.)

When the awning was fully closed both home lights were lit. The awning is supposed to reset when it's closed so I had hopes that this would cure the problem. It didn't. The awning opens but neither drive arm extends so it's in a very tipped position, essentially unusable.

If anyone has thoughts on fixing this, please respond. My dealer is 3 hours away and I would rather not bring it to them if I can avoid it. Thank you.
Hi BobnGayl,*

We're very sorry to learn about the issue you are having. Please send us a direct message with your contact information and the last 6 digits of your VIN so we can share it with our Customer Service and Technical Support team. We look forward to helping you get this resolved.

You can also reach Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support at*customer_support@airstream.com*

Thank you.
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